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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
May 312015
 

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Now on Blu

THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS (1943) The heroes and heroines of Warner Bros.’ Hollywood Homefront come together for the cause – lifting a nation’s spirits while donating their salaries to Bette Davis and John Garfield’s laudable Hollywood Canteen. Under the aegis of director David Butler and producer Mark Hellinger, a true all-star team assembled to put forth a frothy, infectious concoction of a show with a number of sensational numbers from the likes of Arthur Schwartz and Frank Loesser. This film is so-packed-to-the-rafters with delight, it still sends spirits soaring seven decades later. Joan Leslie, Dennis Morgan, Edward Everett Horton, S.Z Sakall and Eddie Cantor provide the spine of the show, as a group tasked with mounting a production starring the extremely temperamental Eddie Cantor. But Cantor’s bus driver double (Eddie Cantor) may just be answer the players and producers need. Now, thanks to its 1080p HD restoration, Thank Your Lucky Stars looks – and sounds – better than ever. Featuring Bette Davis, John Garfield, Errol Flynn, Ann Sheridan, Olivia de Haviland, Ida Lupino and many, many more. Special Features include Theatrical Shorts in HD: Falling Hare, Little Red Riding Rabbit, & Food and Magic. Original Theatrical Trailers: Thank Your Lucky Stars & Watch on the Rhine. Musical Shorts: Three Cheers for the Girl & The United States Army Band. Vintage Newsreel: Hollywood Canteen Celebrates First Birthday and Audio Only: Lady Esther Screen Guild Theater Radio Broadcast.

One Texas Twister

BRONCO: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON (1961-62) Bronco Layne (Ty Hardin) rides out on his swan song season in high style, saddling up for some of his most surprising adventures yet. Among the high-octane oaters found in this 4-Disc, 18-Episode collection, Bronco teams up with his poetry-spewing Irish counterpart, “The Harrigan” (Sean McClory), assists famed Shakespearian thespian Edwin Booth (Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.), goes undercover to root out a nest of assassins in “Prince of Darkness,” and acts as “The Equalizer” keeping the peace between rival outlaw gangs so that Butch Cassidy’s niece can get married. All the while, the shadows of the Civil War cast a spell of remembrance and regret over the season, as Bronco must face his own actions during the war and undertake one last mission on behalf of the slain President Lincoln. Other notable guests include Jack Elam (The Dakotas), James Best (The Dukes of Hazard) and Chad Everett (Medical Center).

Two By William Wellman

ROBIN HOOD OF EL DORADO (1936) Warner Baxter stars as infamous ‘bandit or patriot’ Joaquin Murrieta in William Wellman’s forthright historical drama, depicting the dilemma faced by the Mexican natives of the recently enfranchised California. As Anglo greed and villainy systematically dismantle all that  virtuous peon Joaquin Murrieta has tried to build, he turns to vengeance, and then banditry, to pay them back. Bruce Cabot co-stars as an enlightened Anglo who tries, and fails, to change Murrieta’s path, while J. Carrol Naish chews the scenery as the notorious Three Fingered Jack.

THIS MAN’S NAVY (1945) Wallace Beery toplines in Wellman’s World War II rouser about the naval officers that gallivant above the clouds – the lighter-than-airmen. Beery plays “Old Gas Bags” Ned Trumpet, Chief Pilot of a naval blimp stationed in Lakehurst. The airship vet, in a bid to bolster his image around the base, invents a daredevil son and heir. As his fable starts to collapse, Trumpet sets out to find his invented son and succeeds. But Trumpet’s selected scion, Jess (Tom Drake) faces challenges and a destiny all his own that eventually leads to the deadly jungles of Burma and a daring rescue attempt from his faux father.

Four Sixties Capers

THE SECRET PARTNER (1961) Stuart Granger plays a successful shipping magnate caught up in a web of blackmail and deceit in this tight and twisty British thriller co-starring Ben-Hur’s Haya Harareet. Under the thumb of a sleazy dentist (Norman Bird), recently separated businessman John Brent (Granger) is coerced into being an accomplice to a daring theft of his company’s assets. The dentist, meanwhile, is under the control of mystery masked mastermind… Basil Dearden directs. 16×9 Widescreen

ONCE A THIEF (1965) Ralph Nelson directs up-and-coming international sensations Alain Delon and Ann-Margret in this Euro-flavored crime drama that captures the grit and grain of San Francisco’s seamy side before the bright sunshine of the Summer of Love. Ex-con Eddie Pedak (Delon) tries to hue to the straight and narrow for the sake of his loyal spouse (Ann-Margret) and daughter. But caught between the rock of his sociopath sibling (a superb Jack Palance) and the hard place of a vengeful cop (an also superb Van Heflin), Eddie finds himself driving the wrong way down fate street. 16×9 Widescreen

SIGNPOST TO MURDER (1965) Joanne Woodward, Stuart Whitman and Edward Mulhare topline in this Brit suspenser cum psychodrama in which a reformed homicidal psychopath may just be the sanest citizen in town. Alex Forrester (Whitman) is confined to an institution for the criminally insane after apparently slashing the throat of his beloved spouse in a psychotic break. Now seemingly sane, he is denied parole by a politically squeamish board and seizes on an obscure bit of English law. If he can escape, and remain free for 14 days, he qualifies for a new trial. Now a fugitive, he plans to hide out in the wheelhouse inhabited by lonely housewife Molly Thomas (Woodward). But there’s a pair of problems… Molly’s fear is turning to passion and Molly’s husband is missing… 16×9 Widescreen

THE MALTESE BIPPY (1969) Laugh-In’s Rowan and Martin’s action-adventure-romantic-horror-melodramatic comedy may best be described by Dick Martin himself, as on the original posters: “AXEL, who is WESLING’s accomplice, murders him after he swallows the gems. ERNIE and SAM tie up AXEL and are feverishly preparing to cut open the corpse, which they find in AXEL’s room, when RAVENSWOOD bursts in. He is followed by CARLOTTA who shoots him and is shot in turn by JOANNA, a so-called house agent, also looking for the diamonds. She is killed by HELGA, RAVENSWOODS’s housekeeper, who is shot by FENSTER, a man posing as a buyer for the house. (And that’s just the first reel!)”. Or maybe not. Sci-Fi nudies, crime, Gothic mansions, vampires and werewolves (oh my!) combine for a bippy-busting romp. Directed by Norman Panama, co-starring Julie Newmar, Carol Lynley, Mildred Natwick, Fritz Weaver and Robert Reed. 16×9 Widescreen

From Our Friends at HBO

NIXON BY NIXON: IN HIS OWN WORDS (2014) From 1971-73, Richard Nixon secretly recorded his private conversations in the White House. When the existence of the tapes was exposed during the Watergate scandal, Nixon refused to allow their release, explaining they contained “blunt and candid remarks on many different subjects” that could sully the presidency forever. Only certain conversations pertaining to Watergate ended up being heard at the time, but after Nixon’s death in 1994, the government began releasing the tapes. In 2010, hundreds more hours of recordings were released by the Nixon Library. Using excerpts from the tapes, original press reports, and Nixon’s reflections a decade after the tapes were exposed, Nixon By Nixon: In His Own Words chronicles Nixon’s conversations about historic events including the war in Vietnam, the Pentagon Papers leak, his Supreme Court appointments, and more. The tapes expose many of the “blunt and candid” statements made by the President about women, people of color, Jews, and – perhaps his favorite target – the media. Directed by Peter Kunhardt and edited by Phillip Schopper, the team behind HBO’s In Their Own Words films, Nixon By Nixon: In His Own Words offers a more complete picture of the only U.S. president to resign from office.

NOTE: These DVDs are Manufactured on Demand (MOD); to order, fans must visit The Warner Archive Collection, WB Shop.com, Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

 Posted by on May 31, 2015  Add comments

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