Burnt Offerings: MOD DVD

Burnt Offerings for May 27, 2014

May 27, 2014 - 2:12 pm   |   By 

I thought this week’s column was going to be short and sweet, thanks to the Memorial Day holiday. That is, until I learned that Universal had reactivated their stealth MOD program and released no less than 20 new titles. Plus, we’ve got new stuff from Warner and 20th Century Fox, so get comfy. And if something catches your eye, don’t forget to click on the banners below, buy nifty discs and help support The Bits, all of which we appreciate very much. So thanks in advance! [Read on here...]

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NEW FROM THE UNIVERSAL VAULT SERIES

For The Defense (1930) – William Powell stars as a slick defense attorney who specializes in getting guilty parties off the hook.

Love Me Tonight (1932) – A classic movie musical starring Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald with songs by Rodgers and Hart. Previously released on DVD by Kino.

Kiss And Make Up (1934) – Cary Grant stars as a celebrated “beauty doctor” (a.k.a. plastic surgeon) in this musical (yep, Cary sings) comedy. Previously released on DVD in Universal’s Cary Grant: Screen Legend Collection.

Mrs. Wiggs Of The Cabbage Patch (1934) – A very atypical W.C. Fields movie with Fields playing a supporting role to Pauline Lord as the title character.

Thirty Day Princess (1934) – Sylvia Sidney stars as a princess visiting the US and as a lookalike actress engaged to impersonate her when she takes ill. Cary Grant costars and this was also in the Cary Grant: Screen Legend Collection.

The Good Fairy (1935) – Margaret Sullavan stars as a young woman struggling to make it on her own in this comedy from director William Wyler. The fact that her character’s name is Lu Ginglebuscher should be your first hint that the screenplay is by Preston Sturges. This has previously been released on DVD by Kino.

Wings In The Dark (1935) – Cary Grant stars as an aerospace engineer who is blinded in an accident. Myrna Loy is the stunt pilot who loves him. Also available in the Cary Grant: Screen Legend Collection.

Big Brown Eyes (1936) – Detective Cary Grant recruits Joan Bennett to help him nab a gang of jewel thieves. This was also previously available in the Cary Grant: Screen Legend Collection.

Love Before Breakfast (1936) – The always wonderful Carole Lombard stars in this screwball romantic comedy. Previously released on DVD in Universal’s Carole Lombard: The Glamour Collection.

Wedding Present (1936) – Cary Grant and Joan Bennett are romantically entangled reporters whose wedding day keeps getting postponed in this screwball comedy. Also available in the Cary Grant: Screen Legend Collection.

Angel (1937) – Marlene Dietrich takes a solo vacation away from husband Herbert Marshall and falls in love with Melvyn Douglas in this Ernst Lubitsch directed romantic comedy.

True Confession (1937) – Carole Lombard stars as a pathological liar accused of murder and can’t even get her lawyer husband (Fred MacMurray) to believe she didn’t do it. Also available in the Carole Lombard: Glamour Collection.

If I Were King (1938) – Another Preston Sturges script distinguishes this period adventure with Ronald Colman as French poet/adventurer Francois Villon.

Variety Girl (1947) – Mary Hatcher, Olga San Juan and DeForest Kelley are top-billed in this musical revue but the real draw is the endless parade of big-name cameos. Look for Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Burt Lancaster, Gary Cooper, Robert Preston, Veronica Lake, Pearl Bailey, Spike Jones and even a George Pal Puppetoon segment.

No Room For The Groom (1952) – Tony Curtis returns home from the war to find that wife Piper Laurie has moved her large, extended family into their home. Douglas Sirk directs this comedy.

The Mississippi Gambler (1953) – Tyrone Power brings riverboat gambling to New Orleans.

Lady Godiva Of Coventry (1955) – I’d be a lot more excited about seeing Maureen O’Hara as the legendary naturist if this was made in any other decade other than the 50s. Oh, well. Keep your eyes peeled for Clint Eastwood as “First Saxon”.

I Saw What You Did (1965) – One of William Castle’s best suspense movies reunites him with Joan Crawford. A pair of teenage girls prank calls random strangers and whisper the title phrase, landing them in big trouble when they call somebody who just murdered his wife. This was released on DVD by Anchor Bay about a million years ago but it’s been out of print for a long time. I’m glad to see it’s finally back in circulation.

The Choirboys (1977) – Robert Aldrich directs this adaptation of Joseph Wambaugh’s comedic cop novel. The ensemble cast includes Charles Durning, Louis Gossett Jr., Randy Quaid and James Woods.

Mad About Mambo (2000) – William Ash stars as an Irish high school student who signs up for dance lessons to improve his soccer game and falls in love with his partner, Keri Russell.

 

NEW FROM THE WARNER ARCHIVE COLLECTION

Men Of The Fighting Lady (1954) – Van Johnson and Walter Pidgeon star in this Korean War action flick set aboard the USS Oriskany, an aircraft carrier stationed in the Sea of Japan.

Longmire: The Complete First And Second Seasons (2012-13) – I’ll be honest, I don’t really follow television so I didn’t even know this was a thing until it was announced for Blu-ray release. But it sounds like a pretty good show, so fans of the A&E series should be pleased with the arrival of the first two seasons on Blu.

Kung Fu – The Legend Continues: The Complete First Season (1993-94) – More TVD this week as David Carradine returns in this 90s spinoff of the original 1970s martial arts series. He plays the grandson of his character from the original Kung Fu, teamed with his cop son (Chris Potter).

Sarah Silverman: We Are Miracles (2013) – Silverman takes the stage at the Largo in front of in audience of 39 souls. I actually caught this stand-up special awhile back and it’s very funny. Check it out.

Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 (2014) – HBO Documentary Films takes a sobering look at the work of the Veterans Crisis Line, helping those who served cope with post-traumatic stress and depression.

 

NEW FROM 20TH CENTURY FOX CINEMA ARCHIVES

Maryland (1940) – Fay Bainter stars as a woman whose husband is killed in a horse-riding accident and subsequently forbids her son (John Payne) from having anything to do with the animals. Easier said than done, especially when Payne falls under the influence of trainer Walter Brennan.

Woman’s World (1954) – Clifton Webb needs to find a successor for his Big Business and is hiring policies depend just as much on the executive-to-be’s wife as his own skills. An all-star cast vies for the job, including June Allyson, Van Heflin, Lauren Bacall, Fred MacMurray, Arlene Dahl and Cornel Wilde.

The Bottom Of The Bottle (1956) – Joseph Cotten’s respectable life is jeopardized by the sudden arrival of his boozehound fugitive brother, Van Johnson. Based on a novel by Georges Simenon.

- Adam Jahnke

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