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Classic Coming Attractions by Barrie Maxwell

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Barrie Maxwell - Main Page

Classic Blu-ray Reviews (Continued)

In 1956, Columbia brought William Inge's play "Picnic" to the screen after a successful Broadway run where the play starred Ralph Meeker and Janice Rule. Neither repeated their work on film.

Picnic (Blu-ray Disc)

The Picnic story is that of young, rootless, charming drifter Hal Carter (William Holden, instead of Meeker) who hitches a train ride into a small Kansas town seeking college friend Alan Benson (Cliff Robertson). He has an immediate impact on the town's women including Madge (Kim Novak, instead of Rule) who proves to be the girlfriend of his college buddy; Millie (Susan Strasberg) who is Madge's younger college-bound sister; Madge and Millie's mother Flo (Betty Field); and garrulous but repressed schoolteacher Rosemary (Rosalind Russell). Emotions are brought to a head at a town picnic when Rosemary becomes drunk and ends up tearing Hal's shirt while on the dance floor. The 115-minute film never flags and delivers a true slice of Americana of an era with conventions and attitudes now long past. Despite the passage of 55 years, it retains a vitality that never ceases to captivate no matter how many times one has seen it. The film's ending resolves the story's various threads in ways that are thoughtful and heartening. It goes almost without saying that that superb actor, William Holden, is marvelous in the lead role, skillfully blending forcefulness and sympathy. It is, however, a supporting cast - one that amazes in its range of high-profile screen performers like Robertson, Field, Russell, and Novak as well as numerous well-known supporting players such as Arthur O'Connell, Nick Adams, and Verna Felton - that really elevates the film. Director Josh Logan together with cinematographer James Wong Howe paint a series of beautiful and dramatically effective images of people and places through the judicious use of the 2.55:1 CinemaScope frame and Technicolor. Picnic is available on Blu-ray from Twilight Time as a result of Twilight's arrangement with Sony. The Blu-ray image is in a word, beautiful. Colour fidelity is excellent and image sharpness is very good with but a few minor exceptions. Image detail excels on both close-up and longer shots. As is typical of Twilight Time's efforts, there is no evidence of untoward digital manipulation. A 5.1 DTS-HD Master audio track does an impressive job at conveying George Duning's familiar music (under the baton of conductor Morris Stoloff) as well delivering quite a decent measure of immersion throughout the film. Dialogue is very clear. A 2.0 DTS-HD mix is also provided as are English subtitles. The extras comprise the theatrical trailer and an isolated score track (2.0 DTS-HD Master audio). Very highly recommended.

Fort Apache (1948, RKO) is the first film of and my favourite in John Ford's cavalry trilogy (the others being She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Rio Grande), though just marginally so as all three films offer immense viewing pleasure.

Fort Apache (Blu-ray Disc)

It stars Henry Fonda as a stubborn, martinet-like officer whose assignment as the commander of the title cavalry base in Indian territory and his ill-conceived handling of his command leads to an unnecessary disaster. His second-in-command (John Wayne), clearly a favorite of the men, is unable to persuade Fonda of the error of his ways and unwilling to question the latter's authority. The disaster of Fonda's ultimate decisions becomes the stuff of legend through the efforts of the press - a result characteristic of Ford films (and one that he explored to its ultimate conclusion in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance). Fonda and Wayne are both typically superb in their respective roles while the Ford stock company of supporting players is strikingly present, lending on the one hand comedy and music support (Victor McLaglen, Dick Foran, Pedro Armendariz, Hank Worden) and solid competence and character reliability on the other (Ward Bond, George O'Brien). John Agar and Shirley Temple provide a pleasing romance angle to further temper the stresses of the plot workings. Monument Valley is once again used to grand effect by Ford. Action content is limited, but very well orchestrated. Fort Apache is a further example of how well black and white film can benefit from the Blu-ray treatment. Warner Bros.' full-frame 1.37:1 image is sharp, bright, and boasts a very detailed gray scale with excellent contrast. Detail is noticeably good both in close-ups and in the longer shots. The Monument Valley vistas fair very well in that regard. Moderate grain is pleasingly present. The mono DTS-HD Master audio track does a good workmanlike job, providing clarity and even suggesting a measure of good dynamic range in the isolated action sequences with marked sound effects such as charging horses and echoes of gunfire. A Spanish DD mono track and English, French, and Spanish sub-titles are included. The supplement package features an interesting audio commentary by film historian F.X. Feeney and carries over both the theatrical trailer and the good featurette Monument Valley: John Ford Country from the earlier DVD release. Highly recommended.

Lacking somewhat Alfred Hitchcock's legendary plot build-up and crisp though at times clinical execution, and seeming at times almost accidental in its script machinations, The Lady Vanishes (1938) is still one of his most satisfying and purely entertaining comic thrillers.

The Lady Vanishes (Blu-ray Disc)

Margaret Lockwood plays an attractive young woman traveling Europe by train who encounters a charming spinster-aunt-type (Dame May Whitty) who later just seems to vanish. Unable to get people to believe her, Lockwood tries to investigate the disappearance herself, aided by fellow passenger Michael Redgrave. Adding spice and vitality to the whole concoction are a sometimes entertaining and at others mysterious group of other passengers, principal of which are the cricket-obsessed Englishmen Charters and Caldicott (Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne respectively). The talented and memorable cast also includes the familiar Cecil Parker, Paul Lukas, and Googie Withers, as well as Emile Boreo (as the flustered hotel manager). The result is just plain delightful fun that maintains interest throughout as Mae Whitty's disappearance is finally resolved. The film is now available on Blu-ray from Criterion and it definitely looks superior to any previous home video incarnation. The 1.37:1 image is quite sharp and offers a nicely-detailed gray scale with appropriate grain evident. Whites are very clean and while blacks are acceptable, they could be a bit deeper. There are a few speckles and the odd scratch still evident, but nothing of any significance. The PCM mono sound is free of hiss and crackle. Dialogue is clear and well balanced with sound effects and the small amount of background music. English SDH subtitling is provided. Chief among the notable supplements are Bruce Eder's typically enlightening and easy-to-listen-to audio commentary, and the complete 1941 feature film, Crook's Tour, which features Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne reprising their Charters and Caldicott characters. The engaging film (though I prefer Night Train to Munich myself as a later film featuring the pair) finds them mistaken for spies in the Middle East. It's presented in HD and looks quite presentable though not as impressive as The Lady Vanishes. Other extras include a booklet of two essays on the film, excerpts from Francois Truffaut's 1962 audio interview with Hitchcock, a video essay on Hitchcock and the film by Hitchcock scholar Leonard Leff, and a stills and poster gallery. Very highly recommended.

The most recent manner in which I experienced 12 Angry Men was as a live stage play in Toronto starring Richard Thomas as the dissenting member of a jury of white men seemingly intent on convicting a Puerto Rican teenager charged with murdering his father.

12 Angry Men (Blu-ray Disc)

It was, however, as a teleplay by Reginald Rose broadcast on CBS's Studio One in September of 1954 that 12 Angry Men first made its appearance on the North American scene. In 1957, it became a film by virtue of a joint production by Henry Fonda's and Reginald Rose's production companies - Orion/Nova. Distributed by United Artists, it was the first feature film directed by Sidney Lumet, in some ways signaling a career that would frequently demonstrate a deep commitment to illuminating social inequality and pitting lone individuals against the herd. Filmed in black and white and depicting the confines of a small stifling jury room, 12 Angry Men is an electrifying profile of men under pressure and the many different ways they respond. Henry Fonda is closely associated with the film, for his dissenting juror is the drama's central character, and Fonda imbues him with a degree of moral courage that anyone who has seen the film would like to think they could demonstrate in kind. As time has proven, the rest of the cast is almost equally solid - including now revered New York stage and TV characters actors such as E.G. Marshall, Lee J. Cobb, Jack Warden, Ed Begley, and Jack Klugman. If that's not enough, Edward Binns, Robert Webber, and Martin Balsam are also along for the ride. If you've never experienced 12 Angry Men, you're in for a treat indeed. No guns are fired, no one is killed on screen, and the world outside virtually ceases to exist. Yet the film continually mesmerizes right from reel one and conveys a feeling of the real world that only a few of its 1950s' contemporaries were managing. While previously available on DVD from MGM, it is now gloriously alive on Blu-ray courtesy of Criterion. The 1.66:1 Blu-ray transfer is very crisp throughout with a nice level of grain well maintained. Image detail is also notably good in the film's numerous close-ups and overall image cleanliness is commendable. There is no indication of untoward digital manipulation. The dialogue-driven film is well delivered on its LPCM mono track. I detected an occasional minor instance of hiss, but nothing distracting at all. English SDH subtitling is provided. Of major interest among the disc's supplements is an HD presentation of the original 1954 TV presentation of 12 Angry Men as directed by Franklin Schaffner. Also included are a teleplay directed by Sidney Lumet and written by Reginald Rose - Tragedy in a Temporary Town (1956); a production history of 12 Angry Men; a booklet featuring an essay by writer and law professor Thane Rosenbaum; archival interviews with Sidney Lumet; new interviews about the director, writer, and cinematographer; and the original theatrical trailer. Very highly recommended.


New Announcements (DVD-R/MOD)

Blue Underground will have A Bullet for the General (1967, Gian-Maria Volonte) out on Blu-ray on May 22nd.

Criterion starts off April with A Hollis Frampton Odyssey (1966-1979, 24 films) on the 10th on both Blu-ray and DVD. Hal Ashby's Harold and Maude (1971, Ruth Gordon) follows on April 17th on both Blu-ray and DVD. A Blu-ray only release of Yasujiro Ozu's Late Spring (1949) is also due on the same date. April 24th will bring The Organizer (1963, Marcello Mastroianni) on both Blu-ray and DVD, and Eclipse Series 32: Pearls of the Czech New Wave on DVD only. The latter will be a 4-DVD set containing Pearls of the Deep (1966), Daisies (1966), A Report on the Party and Guests (1966), Return of the Prodigal Son (1967), Capricious Summer (1968), and The Joke (1969). For May, there are two Ingmar Bergmann films coming on Blu-ray and DVD on the 29th - Summer Interlude (1951) and Summer with Monika (1953). On the 22nd, Eclipse Series 33: Up All Night with Robert Downey Sr. offers five of his most raucous and outlandish films from 1964-1975 on a two-DVD set: Babo 73, Chafed Elbows, No More Excuses, Putney Swope, and Two Tons of Turquoise to Taos Tonight.

Disney's MOD program (Disney Generations) has released The Waltz King (1963, Kerwin Mathews). Availability is through Amazon.com.

Entertainment One (eOne) will have two Luchino Visconti films for release on DVD on March 13th: La Terra Trema (1948) and Bellissima (1951, Anna Magnani).

Film Chest and Synergy Entertainment will have two TV-oriented collections for release on February 21st. That Show with Joan Rivers: Volumes 1-3 will be a 3-disc set containing examples from That Show, Rivers' first talk show which aired weekdays in syndication on NBC in 1968-69. Then, Lawrence Welk Classic Episodes, Vol. 1-4 will be a 4-disc set featuring the fifth anniversary show, the "Gypsy" show, a salute to veterans, and a Mardi Gras celebration.

Fox is expected to release Titanic (1953, Barbara Stanwyck) on Blu-ray on April 3rd.

Grapevine Video's January releases start off with four silents: D.W. Griffith's The Girl Who Stayed at Home (1919, Carol Dempster), The Conquering Power (1921, Rudolph Valentino), The Clash of the Wolves (1925, Rin-Tin-Tin), and Eve's Leaves (1926, Leatrice Joy). Sound releases include an early musical double feature of Howdy, Broadway (1929, Tommy Christian) and Swing High (1930, Helen Twelvetrees); Clancy in Wall Street (1930, Charles Murray); and Jungle Gold (1966) - the feature version of the 1944 Republic serial The Tiger Woman (Linda Stirling). February releases feature four silent titles: The Blasphemer (1921, John Harden), The Lucky Devil (1925, Richard Dix), The Sky Rider (1928, Dick Wilson), and The Woman in the Suitcase (1920, Enid Bennett).

Hen's Tooth Video has The Last of the Mohicans (1936, Randolph Scott) and The Corsican Brothers (1941, Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) in its sights for an April release - on the 10th and 3rd respectively. As with the company's recent releases of The Count of Monte Cristo (1934) and The Man in the Iron Mask (1939), the April titles will be officially licensed DVD releases that will be derived from fine grain elements. Though somewhat beyond's this column's mandate of generally pre-early 70s titles, Tom Selleck fans will be pleased to know that Hen's Tooth will release High Road to China (1983) on both DVD and Blu-ray on April 17th and Lassiter (1984) on DVD on April 24th.

Inception Media will have Frank Capra's Lady for a Day (1933, May Robson) on both Blu-ray and DVD on March 20th.

Kino will have Lost Keaton - 16 Comedy Shorts available on Blu-ray on March 20th. This 2-disc Blu-ray release, previously released on DVD in 2010, will contain the 16 Educational Pictures shorts from the 1934-1937 period.

MGM's Blu-ray classic release slate for January 24th (previously announced for two Woody Allen titles and three Hitchcock ones) also will include Billy Wilder's The Apartment (1960, Jack Lemmon). MGM is also going to give us Bond 50: The Complete 22-Film Collection on Blu-ray in 2012. Nine of its titles have not previously been available on Blu-ray (Goldeneye, Octopussy, The Spy Who Loved Me, You Only Live Twice, The Living Daylights, Tomorrow Never Dies, Diamonds are Forever, A View to a Kill, and On Her Majesty's Secret Service).

There were seven MGM MOD classic releases on January 3rd: The Big Caper (1957, Rory Calhoun), Busting (1974, Elliott Gould), Diary of a Bachelor (1964, Joe Silver), The Magnetic Monster (1953, Richard Carlson), The Savage Wild (1970, Gordon Eastman), A Small Town in Texas (1976, Timothy Bottoms), and Vice Squad (1953, Edward G. Robinson). February 28th additions to the collection will include: The Big Night (1951, John Barrymore Jr.), Southwest Passage (1954, Rod Cameron), Three Bad Sisters (1956, Marla English), Timbuktu (1958, Victor Mature), The Wonderful Country (1959, Robert Mitchum), Sinful Davey (1969, John Hurt), Hell's Boats (1970), Hornet's Nest (1970, Rock Hudson), Savage Sisters (1974,), and Wanda Nevada (1979, Peter Fonda).

Olive Films will release both The Mountain (1956, Spencer Tracy) and Where Love Has Gone (1964, Bette Davis) on Blu-ray on February 28th. Then March 27th will bring Assault on a Queen (1966, Frank Sinatra), Come Blow Your Horn (1963, Frank Sinatra), It's Only Money (1962, Jerry Lewis), and Who's Minding the Store? (1963, Jerry Lewis) on both DVD and Blu-ray. No Man of Her Own (1950, Barbara Stanwyck) and Something to Live For (1952, Joan Fontaine) will also be released on March 27th, but on DVD only.

Paramount has announced the release of Roman Polanski's Chinatown (1974, Jack Nicholson) on Blu-ray for April 3rd. Supplements will include: audio commentary with Robert Towne and David Fincher; Water and Power (HD) - In this three-part documentary, screenwriter Robert Towne visits sites along the original Los Angeles Aqueduct for the first time and is informed of the social and environmental impacts and given insight into the major issues around the creation and ongoing operation of the aqueduct; Chinatown: An Appreciation - In this featurette, prominent filmmakers (Steven Soderbergh, James Newton Howard, Kimberly Peirce, Roger Deakins) express their personal admiration for Chinatown; and the theatrical trailer. This is one further announcement tuned to Paramount's 100th anniversary celebrations this year. (Earlier announcements such as Wings and To Catch a Thief have already been made.) Hints have also been made about monthly classics on Blu-ray that will include Hondo (1953, John Wayne - not a Paramount production but who's complaining) coming on June 5th, Barbarella (1968, Jane Fonda) on July 3rd, and likely Sunset Boulevard (1950, Gloria Swanson - no date yet).

Rarovideo has announced the January 17th release of Alberto Lattuada's The Overcoat (1952, Renato Rascel) and a Blu-ray release for the Fernando Di Leo Crime Collection on January 31st. The latter was made previously released on DVD in 2011. It contains: Caliber 9 (1972), The Italian Connection (1972), The Boss (1973), and Rulers of the City (1976). Additional Rarovideo releases will include The Automobile (1971) due on February 28th and which is an episode from the TV miniseries The Three Women featuring Anna Magnani. Luchino Visconti's Conversation Piece (1974, Burt Lancaster); The Visitor (1963, Sandra Milo); and Young Violent Dangerous (1976, Eleonora Giorgi) will all follow on March 13th. Rarovideo's releases are distributed for the company by Entertainment One.

Schanachie will make Car 54: Where Are You?: The Complete Second Season available on April 10th.

Sony has announced a 20-disc Three Stooges: The Ultimate Collection DVD box set release for March 27th. This is likely just a repackaging of their existing Stooges DVD releases.

Releases from the Sony MOD program on February 7th will include Bless the Beasts and Children (1971, Billy Mumy), The Last Posse (1953, Broderick Crawford), Who's Minding the Mint (1967, Jim Hutton), The Virgin Soldiers (1969, Nigel Patrick), and Yesterday's Enemy (1959, Stanley Baker). March 6th classic releases include Interlude (1968, Oskar Werner), Just for Fun (1963, Mark Wynter), Mr. Winkle Goes to War (1944, Edward G. Robinson), Ring-a-Ding Rhythm! (1962, Helen Shapiro), and Spin a Dark Web (1956, Faith Domergue). Coming on April 3rd will be Die! Die! My Darling! (1965, Tallulah Bankhead) and The Lone Wolf Meets a Lady (1940, Warren William).

TCM's Vault Collection in conjunction with Sony will see a March 5th release of UPA Classic Cartoon Collection. It will be a three-disc set containing 38 cartoons from the 1950s. Set for May 7th is The Jean Arthur Drama Collection which will include four early Columbia films of hers: Whirlpool (1934), The Most Precious Thing in Life (1934), The Defense Rests (1934), and Party Wire (1935).

The TCM Vault Collection in conjunction with Universal will see the release of a Joel McCrea Westerns Collection. It will consist of: The Virginian (1946), Cattle Drive (1951), Border River (1954), and Mustang Country (1975) - each on a separate disc. Availability date is expected to be April 2nd.

Coming from Timeless Media Group as a 6-disc set will be Cimarron City: The Complete Series on March 6th. May 1st will see the arrival, in collectible tins, of Wagon Train: The Complete Fifth Season and The Virginian: The Complete Sixth Season.

Twilight Time has Columbia's Pal Joey (1957, Frank Sinatra) planned for a Blu-ray release on February 14th as well as Fox's Swamp Water (1941, Dana Andrews).

Universal has plans for Harvey (1950, James Stewart) on Blu-ray on March 6th. The Nutty Professor (1963, Jerry Lewis) and The Deer Hunter (1978, Robert De Niro) are also scheduled for Blu-ray on the same date. The releases are part of Universal's 100th Anniversary celebration. Night Gallery: Season Three is set for DVD on April 10th. Although a little more recent in vintage than I usually cover in this column but very much in the classic ethos, Sydney Pollack's Out of Africa (1985, Robert Redford) will receive a new transfer and Blu-ray release on March 6th. April 17th will see the arrival of Buck Privates: Universal 100th Anniversary Collector's Series for release on Blu-ray and DVD. Extras will include Abbott and Costello Meet Jerry Seinfeld and 3 featurettes (100 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics, 100 Years of Universal: The Carl Laemmle Era, and 100 Years of Universal: Unforgettable Characters). Pillow Talk (1959, Rock Hudson) will see a Blu-ray release on May 1st. The disc will include audio commentary and a couple of featurettes on the making of the film and on the Rock Hudson-Doris Day collaborations. Speaking of the Universal 100th Anniversary, further classic titles that will be getting new restorations and remastering in 2012 (with most if not all getting Blu-ray releases) will be The Birds, Dracula (1931, both English and Spanish versions), Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), and The Sting (1973). Specific release dates later this year have still to be announced.

VCI has a nice line-up for February, including the first serial in a while - Don Winslow of the Coast Guard (Universal, 1942, with Don Terry). New releases in VCI's Rank Collection line include A Town Like Alice (1956, Peter Finch and Virginia McKenna) and Carve Her Name with Pride (1958, Virginia McKenna). Also on the docket is George! (1972, Marshall Thompson). The street date for all four titles is February 14th. On March 6th, VCI adds to its Rank Collection with two "Carry On" double features. The very British "Carry On" comedies were all directed by Gerald Thomas and starred an ensemble cast that typically included the likes of Sidney James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, and Barbara Windsor to name just a few. Carry On Double Feature Volume 1 will contain Carry On Don't Lose Your Head (1966) and Carry On Follow That Camel (1967, with guest star Phil Silvers). Carry On Double Feature Volume 2 will contain Carry On Doctor (1967) and Carry On Up the Khyber (1968). April 3rd will bring Ladislao Vajda's Miracle of Marcelino (1955). Digitally restored from a new HD master, the Cannes Film Festival Grand Prize winning film will be available in both Blu-ray and DVD versions.

The Warner Archive additions for January 10th include Cheyenne: The Complete Third Season (1957), The Squaw Man (1914/1931), The Last Hunt (1956, Robert Taylor), Welcome to Hard Times (1967, Henry Fonda), Day of the Evil Gun (1968, Glenn Ford), Rhapsody in Blue (1945, Robert Alda), The Great Waltz (1938, Luis Rainer, newly remastered), and the Monogram Cowboy Collection: Volume Two. The latter will contain six Whip Wilson titles - Canyon Raiders (1951), The Gunman (1952), Stage to Blue River (1951), Night Raiders (1952), Montana Incident (1952) and Wyoming Roundup (1952), as well as two Rod Cameron ones - Fort Osage (1951) and Wagons West (1952). For January 17th, the new titles lead off with the directorial debuts of John Frankenheimer - The Young Stranger (1957, James MacArthur) and George Roy Hill - Period of Adjustment (1962, Jane Fonda). The Fondas also are represented by new Archive releases of Tall Story (1960, Jane Fonda's screen debut), In the Cool of the Day (1963, Jane Fonda), Slim (1937, Henry Fonda), and John Ford's The Fugitive (1947, Henry Fonda). For January 24th, 4 Bogart and 2 Cagney films are being made available: Taxi (1932), The Frisco Kid (1935), You Can't Get Away with Murder (1939), It All Came True (1940), Conflict (1945), and Chain Lightning (1949). January 31st brought four films from the time of transition from silents to sound: The Idle Rich (1929, Conrad Nagel), The Voice of the City (1930, Willard Mack), Man to Man (1930, Philips Holmes), and The Woman Racket (1930, Blanche Sweet). February 7th sees the arrival of I Married An Angel (1942, Nelson Eddy and Jeanette Macdonald), The Firefly (1937, Jeanette Macdonald), Busby Berkeley's Broadway Serenade (1939, Jeanette Macdonald), Balalaika (1939, Nelson Eddy), and One Sunday Afternoon (1948, Dennis Morgan). February 14th added four Wheeler and Woolsey comedies - Diplomaniacs (1933), Kentucky Kernels (1934), The Rainmakers (1935), On Again-Off Again (1937) - as well as British Agent (1934, Kay Francis), The Red Danube (1949, Walter Pidgeon), and FBI: Season Two, Part One and Part Two (1966).

Coming on March 27th from Warner Bros. will be Casablanca: 70th Anniversary 3-Disc Blu-ray + DVD Combo Edition. All of the previous DVD and Blu-ray content will be included, and the new set will add a pair of new documentaries (Michael Curtiz: The Greatest Director You Never Heard Of and Casablanca: An Unlikely Classic). Additionally, the set will compile a trio of additional, previously-released documentaries (including 2008's You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story and The Brothers Warner and the 1993 doc Jack L. Warner: The Last Mogul). Packaging will be a double-wide giftbox, with brand-new collectibles created for this release including a 60-page production art book with never-before-seen photos, personal memos, and archival documents about the production. A reproduction of the original 1942 film poster and a set of four collectible drink coasters will also be included. After much speculation early in the Blu-ray era, Warner Bros. will finally release Jeremiah Johnson (1972, Robert Redford) on Blu-ray on May 1st. Camelot (1967, Richard Harris) will celebrate its 45 birthday with a release on Blu-ray in book packaging from Warner Bros. on April 24th. Supplements will include audio commentary, four featurettes, and a CD soundtrack sampler disc. Meanwhile March 13th will see the arrival on DVD of TCM Greatest Classic Films: Gangsters - Edward G. Robinson. It will be a 4-disc set comprising The Little Giant (1933), Bullets or Ballots (1936), Kid Galahad (1937), and Larceny Inc. (1942). All four will be accompanied by a "Warner Night at the Movies" supplement tuned to the appropriate year. March 6th will bring a number of single-disc cartoon compilations: Looney Tunes: Unleashed, Looney Tunes: Best of Bugs Bunny, as well as three Tom & Jerry releases (In the Dog House, Summer Holiday, and World Champions). The number of cartoons will clock in at a total run time of about an hour. There are presumably no items new to DVD on these cartoon releases. April 10th will see the arrival on DVD of The Prince and the Showgirl (1957, Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier). The studio has set Maverick: The Complete First Season for release on May 29th. And a final note from Warner Bros.: Beginning in May of this year, the studio will put The Wizard of Oz (1939) on moratorium until the final quarter of 2013. A new 75th anniversary restoration is expected at that time, available in Blu-ray and likely DVD.

Well once again, that's it for this outing. I'll return again very soon.

Barrie Maxwell
barriemaxwell@thedigitalbits.com

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