NEW FROM THE WARNER ARCHIVE COLLECTION
The Great Race (1965) – Blake Edwards’ stab at making The Greatest Comedy of All Time (in the Mad Mad World vein) arrives on Blu-ray. It isn’t quite but it’s plenty of fun and any excuse to see Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis at the height of their comedic powers (and Peter Falk at any time) is a good one. A very worthwhile addition to Warner Archive’s excellent Blu-ray lineup.
The Desert Song (1943) – The second film version of the popular operetta (following a still unavailable and possibly lost 1929 adaptation) updates the story to World War II and pits star Dennis Morgan against the Nazis in Africa.
The Desert Song (1953) – Once more into the desert, this time with Gordon MacRae and Kathryn Grayson. To be honest, I’m not familiar with The Desert Song but fans have been looking forward to these movies being released on disc for a long, long time.
Loopy De Loop: The Complete Collection (1959-65) – I thought I had at least a passing familiarity with most of Hanna-Barbera’s cartoons but I’ll confess that Loopy De Loop is a new one for me. A French-Canadian wolf (voiced by Daws Butler) with a heart of gold, Loopy starred in 48 theatrical shorts, mostly in the early 60s. They’re all collected in this latest entry in the Hanna-Barbera Classic Collection.
Batman – The Brave And The Bold: The Complete Second Season (2009-11) – The Caped Crusader teams up with Plastic Man, Aquaman, Captain Marvel, The Metal Men, Detective Chimp (!!!) and lots more. I’m a fan of this light-hearted animated series and I’m glad Warner Archive is continuing to bring it to Blu-ray.
NEW FROM THE SONY PICTURES CHOICE COLLECTION
Girl In The Case (1944) – Master locksmith Edmund Lowe takes on German spies in this comedy-mystery from B-movie maestro William Berke.
Best Man Wins (1948) – Edgar Buchanan stars in this adaptation of the Mark Twain story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog Of Calaveras County”. This was an early film for director John Sturges, best known today for The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape.
NEW FROM THE UNIVERSAL VAULT SERIES
No, you aren’t hallucinating. The Universal Vault Series, which at this point seems more like a dare than a concentrated effort to release movies on disc, quietly dumped 20 new titles on August 28. There’s some good stuff in here and, unlike the studio that released them, I thought you might like to know about them.
Desire (1936) – Marlene Dietrich and Gary Cooper star in this sophisticated romantic comedy from director Frank Borzage and producer Ernst Lubitsch. I find it very hard to believe that this hasn’t been released previously in a Dietrich or Cooper collection but this seems to be making its DVD debut. Amazing.
The General Died At Dawn (1936) – Gary Cooper again, this time as a mercenary tangling with Chinese warlord Akim Tamiroff. This one was previously released in Universal’s Gary Cooper: The Franchise Collection.
Klondike Annie (1936) – Mae West goes north to Alaska with director Raoul Walsh. Previously released on DVD by Image Entertainment but long out of print.
Louisiana Purchase (1941) – Bob Hope is a patsy for a corrupt Senator in this Irving Berlin musical. Previously released on DVD as half of a Tribute Collection Double Feature.
Skylark (1941) – Business-minded Ray Milland might lose his wife (Claudette Colbert) to a handsome stranger (Brian Aherne) if he doesn’t start paying more attention to her. It’s about time some more Colbert movies were released on disc. Now how about She Married Her Boss?
Star Spangled Rhythm (1942) – Paramount Pictures puts on a patriotic, star-studded WW2 revue. The huge cast includes Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Dorothy Lamour, Veronica Lake and many, many more. This also came out previously as half of a Bob Hope Tribute Collection Double Feature.
Frenchman’s Creek (1944) – Joan Fontaine is a proper Englishwoman who falls in love with swashbuckling pirate Arturo de Córdova. Based on a novel by Daphne Du Maurier.
Gypsy Wildcat (1944) – Maria Montez, the Cobra Woman herself, stars as a Gypsy princess! Frankly, I’m down to watch Maria Montez in anything, especially something with as lurid a title as Gypsy Wildcat. Co-written by James M. Cain, of all people.
Frontier Gal (1945) – Yvonne De Carlo runs a saloon in the Wild West and falls in love with outlaw Rod Cameron.
River Lady (1948) – Yvonne De Carlo trades the frontier for the river, the saloon for a gambling riverboat, and graduates from gal to lady.
Calamity Jane And Sam Bass (1949) – Yvonne De Carlo returns! I’m guessing her Calamity Jane is pretty similar to her saloon keeper and riverboat owner. Howard Duff costars as Sam Bass.
Buccaneer’s Girl (1950) – The four movies that made up Universal’s Pirates Of The Golden Age Movie Collection get individual MOD re-releases. First up, the inescapable Yvonne De Carlo goes to New Orleans and falls for pirate Philip Friend.
Double Crossbones (1951) – Donald O’Connor is wrongfully accused of dealing in stolen goods and becomes a somewhat unlikely pirate in this comedic adventure.
Against All Flags (1952) – Errol Flynn is comfortably in his swashbuckling wheelhouse, romancing Maureen O’Hara and battling Anthony Quinn.
Yankee Buccaneer (1952) – Jeff Chandler plays a commander in the newly minted U.S. Navy, sent to the Caribbean to dispatch some nefarious pirates.
The Golden Blade (1953) – It’s Rock Hudson’s Arabian Nights as he takes magic sword in hand to fight for the love of princess Piper Laurie. Previously released on DVD as part of Universal’s Rock Hudson: Screen Legend Collection.
The Great Impostor (1961) – Tony Curtis had one of his best roles as Fred Demara, a con man who slipped into a number of different identities and professions over the years.
Romanoff And Juliet (1961) – Peter Ustinov directs and stars in this Cold War spin on Romeo & Juliet with Sandra Dee and John Gavin.
The Truth About Spring (1965) – Hayley Mills stars with her real-life dad John Mills as a father-and-daughter on the hunt for buried treasure.
Madame Sousatzka (1988) – Shirley MacLaine stars as an eccentric piano teacher in this UK drama from director John Schlesinger.
- Adam Jahnke