Burnt Offerings: MOD DVD

Burnt Offerings for July 29, 2014

July 29, 2014 - 9:08 am   |   By 

First of all, let me apologize for missing virtually the entire month of July. Too much to do, not enough time to do it, you know how it goes. The good news is that Burnt Offerings is back just in time to check out a bumper crop of new MOD releases, including a couple of long-desired cult TV offerings. Without further ado, let’s dive right in. If you must have further ado, why not click through the banners and buy a few discs, which naturally helps support The Bits. Thanks muchly! [Read on here...]

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NEW FROM THE WARNER ARCHIVE COLLECTION

Beyond Westworld: The Complete Series (1980) – Michael Crichton’s 1973 Westworld (and its 1976 sequel, Futureworld) spawned this short-lived spinoff. Jim McMullan stars as the security chief tasked with hunting down rogue androids sprung from their theme-park environment by scientist James Wainwright. My memory of this show is hazy at best but I’m a fan of the movies, so I’m excited about checking this out.

Wizards And Warriors: The Complete Series (1983) – Now this show, I remember. Jeff Conaway stars as Prince Erik Greystone in this comedy-fantasy, battling Duncan Regehr as the dastardly Prince Dirk Blackpool. Julia Duffy and Clive Revill costar. This was a fun show but even at the time, I was hardly shocked when it was canceled after a mere eight episodes. Its loyal legion of fans will be thrilled by its arrival on DVD.

Bronco: The Complete First Season (1958-59) – Ty Hardin stars as Bronco Layne in this spinoff of the Western Cheyenne. The 5-disc set includes all 20 episodes of the first season and includes such stalwart guest stars as Claude Akins, Jack Elam, Lorne Greene and James Coburn.

The White Tower (1950) - Glenn Ford stars in the half-dozen other releases from Warner Archive this week. In this Technicolor adventure, Ford is one of six strangers who form an expedition to scale the titular “unclimbable” mountain in the Alps, presumably because it’s there. Valli, Claude Rains, Cedric Hardwicke and Lloyd Bridges costar.

Young Man With Ideas (1952) – Ford plays an ambitious young lawyer who works up the nerve to leave his small practice in Montana and move to Los Angeles. Any resemblance to my life is purely coincidental.

Trial (1955) – In this social/courtroom drama, Ford is a law professor engaged to defend a Hispanic teenager wrongfully accused of killing his white girlfriend. Arthur Kennedy nabbed a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his role as the pro-Communist attorney who plans to martyr his client for the cause.

Ransom! (1956) – When Ford’s son is kidnapped, he goes against the instructions of the FBI and appears on television, refusing to pay the ransom and vowing to find his child. If this sounds familiar, it’s because Ron Howard and Mel Gibson remade it 30 years later without the exclamation point in the title.

Imitation General (1958) – American troops are in a tight spot during WW2 when Sergeant Ford is mistaken for a commanding officer. Rather than risk demoralizing the men by telling them their CO has been killed, Ford goes along with the ruse in this wartime comedy.

Torpedo Run (1958) – Submarine Commander Ford and his first officer Ernest Borgnine are on the hunt for the Japanese aircraft carrier that launched the attack on Pearl Harbor. But it’s also being used to transport innocent prisoners including Ford’s wife and child.

 

NEW FROM 20TH CENTURY FOX CINEMA ARCHIVES

Call Her Savage (1932) – Clara Bow’s second-to-last film is a fast-paced pre-Code melodrama that casts her as a free-spirited hellcat. This is widely considered to be her best talking picture, so its arrival on DVD should be greeted with a hearty “It’s about time!”

Alex & The Gypsy (1976) – Jack Lemmon stars as a sad sack bail bondsman who falls for a gypsy (Genevieve Bujold) accused of murder. This was not warmly received at the time of its release but the cast (which also includes James Woods) demands some attention.

- Adam Jahnke

 

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