TV GONE WEST
SUGARFOOT: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON (1958-59) Saddle up for another shot of sarsaparilla alongside the wild west’s coolest counselor-by-correspondence, “Sugarfoot” Tom Brewster (Will Hutchins). Tom continues to wander the west while pursuing his law degree by mail, always ready to outwit first and resort to violence last in this 5-Disc, 20-Episode collection. The griping season opener, “Ring of Sand,” sees Tom going round in circles in an arid wasteland as he desperately tries to save a grieving father (Will Wright) from his suicidal quest for vengeance. He later tests his mettle against foes like his evil, identical cousin “The Canary Kid” (Will Hutchins) which guest stars Wayde Preston as Colt .45’s Christopher Colt! Tom also aids friends valiant and true, including a caped, crusading Polish pianist played by Adam West! Other notable guests include 77 Sunset Strip’s Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. and Ed “Kookie” Byrnes, Jay North, Tommy Rettig, Martin Landau, John Carradine, Don “Red” Barry, Dorothy Provine and Virginia Gregg. Note: Initial quantities of this release will be traditionally replicated (pressed) in anticipation of high consumer demand.
ALICE: THE COMPETE FOURTH SEASON (1979-80) Farewell, Flo – and hello Belle! Alice’s fourth season saw some big changes coming to Mel’s Diner. Polly Holiday’s Flo proved to be such an irresistible spin-off lure, midway through the season she heads off to Flo’s Yellow Rose. In a serendipitous twist, Flo’s fill in turns out to be no less a talent than the original Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore’s Flo, Diane Ladd! Ladd plays Belle, a former employee and flame of Mel’s, who considers herself something of a country-western warbler – look out, Alice! This season the show puts celebrities playing themselves on the menu, including Art Carney (who turns out to be Vera’s cousin), both Telly and George Savalas make a pit stop and Dinah Shore even hosts Mel – and his chili – on her talk show! Memorable guests NOT playing themselves include the great Eve Arden as a local talk host and Martha Raye as Mel’s overbearing mother. 3-Disc, 26 Episode Collection. Note: Initial quantities of this release will be traditionally replicated (pressed) in anticipation of high consumer demand.
Paramount Playhouse – Back in Print
THE ROSE TATTOO (1955) Tennessee Williams reportedly tailored the part of Serafina Delle Rose for Italian actress Anna Magnani (Rome, Open City) but Magnani did not feel her command of English was sufficient to the demands of William’s prosodic dialogue on stage. Thankfully, when the play came to be adapted for film four years later, that was no longer the case and Magnani astonishes. Serafina is a widowed recluse, clashing with her amorous age teenage daughter (Marisa Pavan) when her world is upended by the seemingly cloddish truck driver played by a beaming Burt Lancaster. Daniel Mann directs under producer Hal Wallis, with legendary lensman James Wong Howe framing the action.
THE MATCHMAKER (1958) Thornton Wilder’s classic comedy about love and errant clerks – which would later become the musical, Hello Dolly – comes to the big screen courtesy of director Joseph Anthony and writer John Michael Hayes (Winter Kill). Yonkers matchless matchmaker Dolly Levi (Shirley Booth) sets her sights on miserly department store magnate Horace Vandergelder (Paul Ford) who already has intentions towards the lovely lady milliner Irene Malloy (Shirley MacLaine). It’s a good thing for Dolly that Vandergelder’s overworked clerks Cornelius Hackl (Anthony Perkins) and Barnaby Tucker (Broadway cast transplant Robert Morse) decide to play hooky and monkey wrench the works. 16×9 Widescreen.
THIS PROPERTY IS CONDEMNED (1966) Sidney Pollack directs this cinematic expansion of Tennessee Williams’ devastating one act play, with a young Francis Ford Coppola making script contributions. A waif dressed in rags (To Kill a Mockingbird’s Mary Badham) tells a tale of woe to a young boy (Jon Provost) outside a condemned boarding house. It’s the story of her sister Alva Starr (Natalie Wood), the town’s main attraction at the too-young age of sixteen and Owen Legate (Robert Redford), the railroad man sent to shut the town down. In a storm of passions and cheap experiences, the chance of reclaimed innocence flickers. But can love truly triumph over knowledge? A superb cast fills out the passion play, including Charles Bronson, Kate Reid, Dabney Coleman and Robert Blake. 16×9 Widescreen.
FIRST MONDAY IN OCTOBER (1981) Master craftsmen Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee (Inherit the Wind) presciently presented a play about the first woman justice on the Supreme Court – a conservative! – in 1977. By the time Ronald Neame directed the film adaptation, life imitated art in a very big way when Ronald Reagan (Voice of the Turtle) nominated Sandra Day O’Connor to the bench on July 7, 1981. Jill Clayburgh plays the conservative Judge Loomis, while Walter Matthau plays her left-leaning foil, Judge Snow, in full amiable curmudgeon mode. Barnard Hughes plays the Chief Justice charged with keeping his fractious court in balance as they take on standards of indecency, pornography and free speech. 16×9 Widescreen.
SHIRLEY VALENTINE (1989) Willy Russell’s one woman show Shirley Valentine, the tale of a lower middle class Liverpudlian lass’ middle aged sexual re-awakening, was a smash stage hit with Pauline Collins in the role. Lewis Gilbert wisely retained her services for this cinematic treatment thats opens the story up while still retaining its dramaturgical charms. Tom Conti is a delight as an aging Greek Casanova, lampooning his own considerable screen smolder reputation. Shirley Valentine took world cinema by storm upon its initial release, and still strikes a moving, quirky chord decades later. 16×9 Widescreen.
HBO Never Forgets
AN APOLOGY TO ELEPHANTS (2013) Elephants, majestic and intelligent,have suffered under the hands of humans for hundreds of years. They’re poached for their tusks, chained in captivity and their natural habitats destroyed. Narrated and executive produced by Lily Tomlin and directed and produced by Amy Schatz, An Apology to Elephants is an HBO family documentary that illustrates how elephants live in the wild – from their matriarchal structure to their truly impressive memories – and examines the problems and issues that arise when they are brought to live in captivity in zoos and circuses.