Now on Blu-ray Disc!
HIT THE DECK (1955) Hallelujah in High Definition! One of the final bigscreen MGM musical extravaganzas, “Hit the Deck”hits all the right notes as three singing swabbees (Tony Martin, Vic Damone, Russ Tamblyn) fall for three very different femmes – a chanteuse, a chorus girl, an admiral’s daughter, a show girl and a show-stopper (Jane Powell, Debbie Reynolds, Ann Miller) while on shore leave. Based on the Broadway musical of the same name, adapted from the play “Shore Leave,” “Hit the Deck” hits the cinema seas well-provisioned with a larder full of snappy Vincent Youmans tunes, including Miller’s alluring barefoot turn as The Lady from the Bayou, Martin’s heart-fluttering More Than You Know and the male leads’ rousing rendition of Hallelujah. Produced by Joe Pasternak, with choreography by the great Hermes Pan. Also stars Gene Raymond. 5.1 DTS Audio & 1080p HD. 19×9 Widescreen.
Know When to Hold ‘Em
BRET MAVERICK: THE COMPLETE SERIES (1981) James Garner returns to his signature role, the amiable and affable grifting gambler Bret Maverick, in this sequel series with a twist. Last seen bestowing a guest star blessing upon the brow of “Young Maverick” (1979), “Bret Maverick” sees the king of card sharks getting tied down and trying to play it respectable … almost! After winning the Lazy Ace saloon in an all-star high stakes poker game, Bret decided to set down roots in the town of Sweetwater. Maverick partners up with upright ex-sheriff Tom Guthrie (Ed Bruce) to run the saloon while he plays a private table and tries his hand at ranching. But rogues will out, and Bret still schemes and stirs up trouble, despite Tom’s best efforts. “Bret Maverick” is a sure bet for sure-fire sly Western entertainment as only Garner can deliver.
Album Oriented Video
THE CARS: HEARTBEAT CITY (1984) Boston’s New Wave breakout sensation The Cars rode on the crest of the music video wave, crafting some of the seminal pieces of rock-vid during the dawn of the era. This music video “album,” inpired by the band’s 1984 chart-topper, contains songs from three of the band’s most successful discs including “You Might Think,” “Drive” and, of course, the title track “Heartbeat City.” Upping the ante on this sight and sound phantasmagoria is the behind the camera talent, Jeff Stein, Tim Pope, Timothy Hutton (yes, THAT Timothy Hutton) and Andy Warhol (yes, THAT Andy Warhol, with his last directorial work).
No Biz Like It
IRENE (1940) This Sixth Avenue Cinderella tale feature stage sensation Anna Neagle taking the title role in this film adaption of the record-breaking Broadway super sensation. Irene O’Dare is a homespun shop-girl sent to make an upholstery house call for the filthy rich and richly frivolous Mrs. Vincent (Billie Burke). While there she catches the interest of playboy-with-a-secret Don Marshall (Ray Milland) who helps shepherd her from shop to salon, and Irene is transformed, first into a fabulous fashion model, then into an even more fabulous mysterious foreign heiress. Also stars Roland Young, and features a dazzling Technicolor ball sequence that heralded the arrival of the “Alice Blue Gown.”
THE SMARTEST GIRL IN TOWN/SHE’S GOT EVERYTHING (1936, 1937) Before she was Maisie, Ann Sothern delighted in a series of romantic escapades, many of which co-starred Gene Raymond. Ann’s range – even in light fare – is on ample display in this Sothern/Raymond double feature as she swings as a cynical, hard-bitten model on the hunt for a golden hubby and then swoons as the sensible coffee heiress who inherits a pile of debt. Raymond, in both cases, is the answer to her problems, if she can only see that in time.
THE MAYOR OF 44TH STREET/RADIO STARS ON PARADE (1942,1945) This show-biz pairing offers up a look at the seldom seen stars of nightclub and airwave. “The Mayor of 44th Street” sees George Murphy starring as a show biz impressario trying to escape his shady past, while Richard Barthelmess, in his final screen appearance, plays the shady past. “Radio Stars on Parade” sees funnyman duo Wally Brown and Alan Carney accidentally inherit a talent agency and some talent (Frances Langford). Unfortunately, that talent is wanted … by the mob! Also stars Ralph Edwards and Skinnay Ennis, Don Wilson, and Sheldon Leonard.
BROADWAY BILL (1934) Frank Capra directs Warner Baxter and Myrna Loy in this tale of love and redemption earned through the auspices of a big-hearted longshot racehorse. Baxter plays a horse trainer who has traded in a track for the high life, but finds himself trapped by his domineering father-in-law. He takes it on the lam – with lovesick sister-in-law (Loy) trailing behind – to bet it all on a horse named Broadway Bill. Capra would remake the film with much of the same cast (including an excellent Clarence Muse) 16 years later with Bing Crosby as “Riding High.”
DETECTIVE STORY (1951) Top-notch ensemble noir depicts a day in the life of a detective squad from director William Wyler. Kirk Douglas leads a cast of a-list talent including Eleanor Parker, William Bendix, Cathy O’Donnell and a young Lee Grant.
ISLANDS IN THE STREAM (1977) George C. Scott stars in this Hemingway adaptation chronicling the affairs of an alienated sculptor in the Caribbean on the eve of World War II. Director Franklin J. Schaffner breaks the film up into four distinct parts, almost four distinct short features, before weaving this mutli-faceted portrait into a Nazi-defying climax. With David Hemmings, Claire Bloom, and Gilbert Roland.
FALLING IN LOVE (1984) Meryl Streep and Robert DeNiro star in this adult romance that sees two strangers meet and fall in love. Out Christmas shopping, a graphic designer (Streep) and an architect (DeNiro), accidentally exchange gifts. From this random mix-up, first a friendship grows, then something deeper, leaving the pair to struggle with what their love will lead them to. Also stars Harvey Keitel, Jane Kaczmarek and Dianne Wiest.