Click here to learn more about anamorphic widescreen!
Go to the Home Page
Go to The Rumor Mill
Go to Todd Doogan's weekly column
Go to the Reviews Page
Go to the Trivia Contest Page
Go to the Upcoming DVD Artwork Page
Go to the DVD FAQ & Article Archives
Go to our DVD Links Section
Go to the Home Theater Forum for great DVD discussion
Find out how to advertise on The Digital Bits

Site created 12/15/97.



The Digital Bits logo
page created: 11/23/10



Classic Coming Attractions by Barrie Maxwell

back to Page One

Barrie Maxwell - Main Page

Classic Blu-ray Reviews

The third time's the charm when it comes to the home video presentation of White Christmas, the 1954 Paramount release that stars Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen.

White Christmas (Blu-ray Disc)

While the story's a little thin and not all the Irving Berlin songs memorable, the whole is better than the sum of the parts. It's just a joyful piece of entertaining musical fluff that gives some superb performers lots of opportunity to show what they're capable of, and as a piece of Christmas cheer, it more than merits its adoration by so many people. Bing of course sings "White Christmas" and Danny Kaye shows his many and varied talents for singing, dancing, and all-round mugging. Rosemary Clooney is solid with her singing, but it's Vera-Ellen who really shines. Her reputation as one of the best dancers in Hollywood is nicely validated by her efforts here. The film was released on DVD almost 10 years ago and for its time, sported a pretty nice image backed up by a new 5.1 audio mix. We even got an audio commentary from Rosemary Clooney - a bit hit and miss in terms of continuous commentary, but a welcome addition to the release at a time when Paramount releases generally suffered from a lack of supplements. Paramount revisited the title in 2009 with a 55th anniversary release that sported the same transfer, but did add quite a few production featurettes. Now comes the Blu-ray release which allows the 1.78:1 VistaVision presentation to really shine. The image is very sharp and beautifully detailed in both fore and background areas. The most impressive aspect is the colour - superbly lush and accurate throughout. Flesh-tones, given some of the makeup choices, are well conveyed too. There is the odd soft shot or brief sequence, but all are attributable to the source material. The image also sports a modest level of grain that gives the release a lovely film-like look. Very high marks to Paramount for the effort here. Both the original mono and a DTS-HD 5.1 track are provided. Like the earlier DVD's 5.1 Dolby track, the new lossless one gives the musical numbers more heft and softens the harshness of the mono track somewhat. There's little use of the surrounds but the front soundstage is nicely opened up. The supplements are the same fine set of 7 featurettes and 2 trailers provided on the 2009 DVD, except that all but one of them are now presented in HD. Highly recommended.

The 1935 production of Mutiny on the Bounty was one of many given the typically classy MGM treatment under the guidance of producer Irving Thalberg.

Mutiny on the Bounty

Extensive research was undertaken to ensure the film's accuracy in look and in the general framework of the mutineers' actions. Beyond that, however, any resemblance to real history is rather limited.Two replicas of the original H.M.S. Bounty were constructed, one of which was actually sailed to Tahiti for use there and the other to Santa Catalina Island where it was used for interiors. Two expeditionary trips to the South Seas were made in order to shoot background material. The resulting film is still the best "Bounty" version despite expensive remakes featuring Marlon Brando in 1962 and Mel Gibson in 1984. Robert Montgomery, Wallace Beery, and Myrna Loy were initially envisaged as the film's leads, but saner heads prevailed with the eventual selection of Clark Gable as Mr. Christian and Charles Laughton as Captain Bligh. The latter duo provides one of those enduring images of casting from Hollywood's Golden Age. Laughton is the embodiment of the heartless Captain Bligh, however inaccurate the presentation of the real character may be, while Gable gives a very adroit performance mixing strength with compassion, tinged with occasional hints of his trademark humour. Franchot Tone offers a solid interpretation of midshipman Byam and among the supporting cast are such reliables as Donald Crisp, Henry Stephenson, Dudley Digges, Herbert Mundin, Spring Byington, and Ian Wolfe. The scenes in Tahiti are sensitively handled (without becoming cloying) by director Frank Lloyd, with Movita and Mamo providing nice portrayals of two island women. The film offers a fine blend of action, adventure, exotic locales, and romance, and eventually was awarded the Best Picture Oscar for the year against strong opposition that included Captain Blood, David Copperfield, The Informer, Les Miserables, Ruggles of Red Gap, and Top Hat. Warners' efforts on the previous DVD version didn't translate into quite the same level of excellence that some of their classics DVDs exhibit. For the Blu-ray, however, Warners was able to unearth the original nitrate negative and that discovery has paid great dividends. The resulting full frame (as originally filmed) Blu-ray image is leagues ahead of the DVD in crispness, cleanliness, deepness of the blacks, and image detail. Object textures and facial features have the sort of impact that one expects from high definition and there is definite depth to the image much of the time. You'll find no obvious digital manipulation, just a nice rendering of light to moderate grain and an overall film-like feel. Inevitably some speckles remain and there are several noticeable scratches that apparently defied correction, but those are minor quibbles about an effort that makes Mutiny on the Bounty's visual experience now worthy of the film's superb entertainment value. A DTS-HD mono track has been provided that offers clear dialogue and even some heft to the limited action sequences. Some minor background hiss is present, but it's never a distraction. A whole raft of dubbed soundtracks and sub-titles are included including a set of the latter in English. The disc is encased in one of Warners' fine digibooks which provides lots of useful background production info and photos. Otherwise, the disc supplements are the same as on the previous DVD. They include the vintage documentary Pitcairn Island Today which gives a feeling for the life of Christian and his supporters' descendants, a newsreel for the 1935 Academy Awards, and trailers for the film and the 1962 remake. Highly recommended.

The original Ocean's 11 (1960) appears to have been conceived by Frank Sinatra and his Rat Pack pals Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and Peter Lawford as a neat way to pass their time in Las Vegas while entertaining the casino patrons at night.

The House on 56th Street

In the film, the four of them are part of a group of eleven ex-airborne World War II commando buddies that Danny Ocean (Sinatra) has assembled to knock over five casinos just after the New Year comes in, following a plan originated by highly-strung racketeer Akim Tamiroff. The whole effort is an exercise in cool that bears little scrutiny as any sort of realistic heist. Frank and his pals look sharp, their patter is hip, and everything just falls into place. Guards conveniently look the other way, casino plant components are easily compromised, and the police are ineffectual. The female component of the cast is mainly there for window-dressing though it must be said that Angie Dickinson certainly adds class and dignity as Ocean's wife. Shirley MacLaine contributes a cameo as a drunken reveler who momentarily disrupts the carefully-timed operation. As with most carefully-planned heists, the unexpected usually intervenes and that is certainly the case with Ocean's 11 when one of the gang members suffers a heart-attack and dies. The unraveling that results leads to a Treasure of the Sierra Madre-like denouement. The film of course is not to be taken seriously, and viewed in that vein it delivers good entertainment. Best of all, it provides a wonderful visual time capsule of place, time, and ethos that no longer exist. And those looking for familiar faces in the cast will be amply rewarded beyond those already mentioned - Richard Conte, Joey Bishop, Henry Silva, Norman Fell, Ilka Chase, Cesar Romero, Red Skelton, George Raft, Don "Red" Barry, and so on. Warner's 2.40:1 Blu-ray transfer is a very nice improvement on the previous DVD. While there is some inconsistency, it offers a generally crisp, dimensional image with strong colour fidelity. Some of the scenes, for example those with Sinatra and Dickinson together, have depth that makes them almost jump off the screen. Image contrast is very good and evidence of untoward digital manipulation is negligible (a couple of suggestions of edge effects and brief moire). A fine patina of grain is evident. One certainly has the sense that the image, even in the theatres back in 1960, can't have looked much better than it does on the Blu-ray. The DTS-HD mono audio is solid - clear dialogue and a decent rendering of Nelson Riddle's score. The disc carries over all the supplements of the previous DVD release except for some cast and crew biographies. The highlight is an audio commentary by Frank Sinatra Jr. and Angie Dickinson that conveys some good information though is subject to blank air at times. Recommended.

Finally we have more Humphrey Bogart on Blu-ray. Warner Bros. has now released two of his best pictures - The Maltese Falcon from 1941 and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre from 1948 - in the new format.

The Maltese Falcon (Blu-ray Disc)The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Blu-ray Disc)

I won't bore you with superfluous comments on two films whose content has been amply summarized, reviewed, and analyzed over the years, but get right into how they stack up on Blu-ray. Simply put, the results are all we could have hoped for. The Maltese Falcon looks sharper; textures are more clearly defined; and it even sports a measure of depth not previously seen. Black levels are very good and a nice patina of grain is quite evident. Shadow detail is exemplary. There are a couple of instances of apparent print damage or softness, but they're nigglingly minor occurrences that detract not a whit from the overall excellence. The DTS-HD mono track is reasonably dynamic and there's only some minor hiss on the negative side. The disc carries over all the supplements of the most recent 3-disc DVD release with the notable exception of the two previous movie versions (1931's The Maltese Falcon and 1936's Satan Met a Lady). That means we do get: an excellent audio commentary by Bogart biographer Eric Lax; Becoming Attractions: The Trailers of Humphrey Bogart (a 45-minute Robert Osborne- hosted TCM piece on marketing Bogart's films); a making-of documentary on the film; Breakdowns of 1941 (bloopers for WB films of that year); makeup tests; a Warner Night at the Movies program for 1941 (a newsreel, cartoons, a short, and trailers); and three radio show adaptations of the film. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre looks if anything even better than The Maltese Falcon on Blu-ray. The improvement over the previous DVD version is even more noticeable and is so in every facet of the image. It's sharper, more varied in its grayscale, better detailed, and offers extremely deep blacks. Facial close-ups exhibit all the sharpness and skin texture that we've come to expect of the best HD efforts. Grain is not as evident as on The Maltese Falcon, but there's never any suggestion of artificial digital manipulation. Warners has also done a superb job with the DTS-HD lossless mono track. The beautifully clean of any audio distortion or hiss, and offers a degree of fidelity that one doesn't expect from a mono track. Max Steiner's score fares particularly well. With the exception of a Bogart trailer gallery, all the supplements from the DVD release have been included on the Blu-ray. That includes: another superb audio commentary by Eric Lax; a Warner Night at the Movies suite of supporting shorts, newsreel, and trailers for 1948; a making-of documentary; a 2-hour documentary on director John Huston; a Bugs Bunny cartoon (8 Ball Bunny); a Lux Radio Theatre audio broadcast featuring Bogart and Walter Huston; and the film's theatrical trailer. Both The Maltese Falcon and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre on Blu-ray are very highly recommended.


New Announcements

Classic Media will release Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends: The Complete Series on January 4th. It will be an 18-disc set containing all five seasons of the show.

Coming on January 25th from Criterion is Eclipse Series #25: Basil Dearden's London Underground. It'll be a 4 DVD set including Sapphire (1959), The League of Gentlemen (1960), Victim (1961), and All Night Long (1962). Jean-Pierre Melville's Army of Shadows (1969) and Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964) are due on Blu-ray on January 11th. New Blu-ray and DVD versions of two of Sam Fuller's films (Shock Corridor [1963] and The Naked Kiss [1964]) are set for January 18th. Criterion's February plans include a Blu-ray edition of Federico Fellini's Amarcord (1973)on February 8th. Extras include audio commentary by film scholars Peter Brunette and Frank Burke and Fellini's Homecoming, a forty-five-minute documentary on director Federico Fellini's complicated relationship to his hometown and past. Senso (1954, directed by Luchino Visconte) will have Blu-ray and DVD editions available on February 22nd. Among its supplements will be: The Making of Senso - a new documentary featuring director of photography Giuseppi Rotunno, assistant director Francesco Rosi, costume designer Piero Tosi, and Caterina D'Amico, daughter of screenwriter Suso Cecchi D'Amico and author of "Life and Work of Luchino Visconti"; Viva Verdi - a new documentary on Visconti, Senso, and opera featuring Italian film scholar Peter Brunette, Italian historian Stefano Albertini, and author Wayne Koestenbaum; and The Wanton Countess - the rarely seen English-language version of the film. Also coming on the 22nd is Sweet Smell of Success (1957) in both Blu-ray and DVD editions. Supplements will include: new audio commentary by film scholar James Naremore; Mackendrick: The Man Who Walked Away - a 1986 documentary featuring interviews with director Alexander Mackendrick, actor Burt Lancaster, producer James Hill, and more; and James Wong Howe: Cinematographer - a 1973 documentary about the Oscar-winning director of photography, featuring lighting tutorials with Howe.

Disney has now finalized February 1st as the release date for a 60th anniversary Blu-ray edition of Alice in Wonderland (1951). Among the supplements is the Mickey Mouse cartoon Through the Mirror in HD. March 1st will see a Blu-ray Diamond Edition of Bambi (1942).

Fox's sad 75th Anniversary efforts have yielded their latest yawner - the Twentieth Century Fox 75th Anniversary Collection coming on December 7th. It comprises three volumes - Volume One covering the period 1935-1960 and containing 22 titles on DVD, Volume Two 1961-1985 (23 titles), and Volume Three 1986-2010 (30 titles). With one exception every title has been released on DVD and/or Blu-ray before, in some cases multiple times, so I'm not going to bother listing them. The one exception - you guessed it - 1933's Cavalcade, which many classic enthusiasts have wanted for a long time and after December 7th will still be wanting since there's no firm indication that it'll be available separately. If true, that's a real slap in the face to fans who have supported Fox loyally over the years. Meanwhile, we will finally get Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea: Season Four, Volume Two on January 11th. That's a three-week delay from the originally announced date, but the release will now include the series pilot with the original commercials as aired on ABC in 1964.

Grapevine Video has its usual mix of silent and sound releases for October. The silent ones are: Hungarian Rhapsody (1928, German film starring Lil Dagover), The Man Who Had Everything (1920, with Jack Pickford), Max Linder Comedies (The Three-Must-Get-Theres [1922]/Seven Years Bad Luck [1921]), and Tol'able David (1921, with Richard Barthelmess). The sound releases include a Wild Bill Elliott Double Feature (Calling Wild Bill Elliott [1943]/Bordertown Gun Fighters [1943]), Space Patrol: Volume #5 (4 episodes from the live TV series), and Dagmar's Story (1953-1965). For November, Grapevine has added the 15-chapter silent serial The Power God (1925), the Thomas Ince epic Civilization (1916), a Franklin Pangborn comedy My Friend from India (1927), and the Douglas Fairbanks film Mr. Robinson Crusoe (1932, both silent and sound versions). The November sound releases are: a 1932 mystery double feature of The Monster Walks (Rex Lease) and The Thirteenth Guest (Ginger Rogers), a collection of horror trailers Coming Attractions - Classic Horror, and Space Patrol and the Ralston Rocket (2 episodes of the Space Patrol TV series and 2 episodes of Tom Corbett: Space Cadet).

Image Entertainment has announced The Twilight Zone: Season 3 with a street date of February 15th. It will be a five-disc set including all 37 episodes of the third season of the Rod Serling' series, along with hours of new and exclusive bonus features similar to the releases of the first two seasons.

Infinity Entertainment will be offering Presenting Roger Corman's Best of the Bs Collection 3: Escape From Prison!, on DVD Nov. 23rd. It will include: Swamp Women (1955), Women in Cages (1971), The Big Bust Out (1973), The Hot Box (1972), and High School Big Shot (1959).

Kino has set The Black Pirate (1926, with Douglas Fairbanks) for a Deluxe Edition Blu-ray release on December 14th. Extras will include audio commentary by Rudy Behlmer, 50 minutes of outtakes, a Lee Erwin organ score, a B&W "Talkie" adaptation, and a photo gallery.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Allied Vaughn have finalized an agreement that will allow retailers to offer an expanded range of MGM's Limited Edition Collection film titles on DVD via Manufacturing on Demand (MOD). Some will include the original theatrical trailer. Over 50 films will be available in the short term, with a plan to expand to more than 400 titles within 18 months. The initial wave of film titles will include: By Love Possessed (1961), Diary of a Madman (1963), Futureworld (1976), The Hawaiians (1970), The Satan Bug (1965), The Spikes Gang (1974), Vigilante Force (1976), The Witches (1968), The 7th Dawn (1964), 99 River Street (1953), Captain Kidd and the Slave Girl (1954), Flight from Ashiya (1964), Leo the Last (1970), and Big House, U.S.A. (1955). The names of the retailers making these titles available and when exactly they'll go on sale are not known as yet (likely late November or December). Retail price will be the MOD standard $20 each.

MPI has The Honeymooners Christmas Special on its schedule for December 14th. It's the third of four such specials made by Jackie Gleason in the 1970s that MPI will have released.

Paramount has set The Lucy Show: The Third Season and Have Gun - Will Travel: Season Five, Volume One for release on November 30th. On December 7th, we'll get Bonanza: The Official Second Season, Volume 1 with a number of extras that include some audio commentaries, cast members "at home" photos, and various archival footage and promotional material. Meanwhile, The Andy Griffith Show 50th Anniversary: The Best of Mayberry has been delayed first to October 19th and until December 21st. Gunsmoke: Season 4, Volume 2 is planned for December 14th, as is Hawaii Five-0: the Tenth Season. Mannix: Season 4 appears to be planned for a January 4th release. With the impending theatrical release of the Coen Brothers' new version of True Grit, the original John Wayne True Grit (1969) will be released by Paramount on Blu-ray on December 14th. Extras will include audio commentary by Jeb Rosebrook, Bob Boze Bell, and J. Stuart Rosebrook, 4 featurettes (True Writing, Working with the Duke, Aspen Gold: Locations of True Grit and The Law and the Lawless) and the film's theatrical trailer.

Respond2 Entertainment released Tonight: 4 Decades from the Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson on October 26th. It's a 15-disc set containing over 50 episodes covering the show's 30-year run from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. Over 30 hours of material that has never before been released on DVD including rescued footage from shows originally airing in the 1960's (virtually all episodes and other content from the 1960's were lost) and all-new interviews with some of Carson's most celebrated and regular guest stars including actress Loni Anderson, comedian David Brenner, and fan-favorite animal handler Jim Fowler!

Shout! Factory has The Bob Hope Collection set for December 7th. It will contain five titles: The Lemon Drop Kid (1951), Road to Bali (1952), Road to Rio (1947), My Favorite Brunette (1947), and The Seven Little Foys (1955). TV series available include Marcus Welby M.D.: Season Two on October 12th, Ironside: Season Four on October 19th (website only), and Mr. Ed: Season Four on November 16th (website only).

Sony has moved the release of The Films of Rita Hayworth from November 2nd to December 21st. The studio has also gathered the eight volumes of chronological Stooges shorts into The Three Stooges: The Complete Collection for release on November 30th. That's 190 shorts from the period 1934-1959 on 17 discs. The individual DVD releases of Good Neighbor Sam, Operation Mad Ball, Phfft!, The Notorious Landlady, and Under the Yum Yum Tree have all been moved from November 2nd to January 4th. The five titles were previously only available in The Jack Lemmon Collection (which included a 6th disc of extras). There hasn't been any official Sony announcement as yet, but retailer listings suggest the following titles will be added to the Sony MOD program on November 23rd: 40 Carats (1973), Everything's Ducky (1961), Idol on Parade (1959), Ladies in Retirement (1941), Mark of the Gorilla (1950), No Sex Please, We're British (1973), Screaming Mimi (1958), The Wrong Box (1966), and The Deadly Affair (1966).

TCM in conjunction with Universal is adding to its exclusive Vault Collection with the December 10th (a delay from November 15th) release of the Claudette Colbert & Fred MacMurray Romantic Comedy Collection. It will comprise three films: The Gilded Lily (1935), The Bride Comes Home (1935), and Family Honeymoon (1949).

Timeless Media Group will release The Virginian: The Complete Second Season - Collector's Tin on December 21st, two weeks later than originally planned. It will be a ten-disc set containing 30 restored episodes. December 14th brings 1960's Coronado 9: The Complete Series (a private detective series with Rod Cameron, 39 episodes on 4 discs) as well as State Trooper: The Complete Season One (Rod Cameron as a Nevada State Trooper, 39 episodes on 4 discs).

Universal apparently has Blu-ray versions of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963) and To Kill a Mockingbird (1962, with Gregory Peck) coming in 2011, although no specific dates have yet been announced.

VCI's first releases of the new year will come on January 11th. They include The Green Hornet Original Serials Collector's Set (a box set of the two Green Hornet serials previously released by VCI) and The Green Hornet: Movie Edition. The latter is a 2-hour feature movie edited from the original 13-chapter serial. The work was carried out by VCI with the help of Green Hornet historian Martin Grams Jr. Coming on February 1st is Joseph Losey's The Prowler (1951, with Van Heflin) with a fine list of supplements including audio commentary by Eddie Muller and three production/restoration featurettes. Also on that date, expect a Pre-Code double feature of Hell Harbor (1930, Lupe Velez) and Jungle Bride (1933, Anita Page), and a 4-disc, 12-movie horror marathon Scream Theater that includes Alice Sweet Alice (1977), Beast of the Yellow Night (1971), Beyond Atlantis (1973), Death Game (1976), Don't Open the Door (1975), House of the Living Dead (1976), The Night Creature (1978), Scream Bloody Murder (1973), Sisters of Death (1978), Twilight People (1972), The Vampire Happening (1971), and Young Hannah: Queen of the Vampires (1972). A release of the British TV series The Flockton Flyer: Season One (1976-77) rounds out the slate. VCI also has a couple of amendments to its late November releases. Meet John Doe: 70th Anniversary Edition has slipped to December 16th and New Faces (1954, with Eartha Kitt) has been postponed indefinitely due to concerns with the existing source material.

Warner Archive releases for September 28th include: That Certain Woman (1933, with Bette Davis), Jimmy the Gent (1934, with James Cagney), A Stolen Life (1946, with Bette Davis), A Thunder of Drums (1961, with Richard Boone), and The Judge Steps Out (1949, with Alexander Knox). For October 5th, the Archive has added five sports films: Huddle (1932, with Ramon Novarro), College Coach (1933, with Pat O'Brien), The Crowd Roars (1938, with Robert Taylor), The Babe Ruth Story (1948, with William Bendix), and The Fireball (1950, with Mickey Rooney). Newly remastered for release on October 12th are: The Cyclops (1957, with James Craig), The Disembodied (1957, with Allison Hayes), The Hypnotic Eye (1960, with Allison Hayes), and Macabre (1958, with William Prince). Also available on that date are: Pretty Maids All in a Row (1971, with Rock Hudson), The Todd Killings (1971, with Robert Lyons), and Moonfleet (1955, with Stewart Granger). The Archive releases for October 19th are highlighted by 10 classic Warner titles. Four of them starring Ronald Reagan come packaged as the Brass Bancroft of the Secret Service Mystery Collection. The titles are Secret Service of the Air (1939), Code of the Secret Service (1939), Murder in the Air (1940), and Smashing the Money Ring (1939). The other six Warner films are packaged as three horror/mystery double features: Sh! The Octopus (1937) along with Find the Blackmailer (1943), The Smiling Ghost (1941) with The Hidden Hand (1942), and Mystery House (1938) with The Patient in Room 18 (1938). Also set for the 19th are: Hot Rod (1950, with Jimmy Lydon, remastered), The Opposite Sex (1956, with June Allyson, remastered), Adam's Woman (1970, with Beau Bridges), All American Boy (1973, with Jon Voight), Once You Kiss a Stranger (1969, with Carol Lynley), The Sell-Out (1976, with Richard Widmark), Treasure Island (1972, with Orson Welles), and You're a Big Boy Now (1966, with Rip Torn). October 26th additions to the Archive include six Lon Chaney features: He Who Gets Slapped (1924), Mockery (1927), The Monster (1925), Mr. Wu (1927), The Unholy Three (1925), and The Unholy 3 (1930). Other releases are: The Green Slime (1968, remastered edition), Eye of the Devil (1966, with Deborah Kerr, remastered edition), The Swan (1956, Grace Kelly, remastered), One Romantic Night (1930, Lillian Gish), One Way Passage (1932, Kay Francis), The Funky Phantom (1971), and Goober and the Ghost-Chasers (1973-1975, all 16 episodes on 4 discs). The first November additions to the Archive, on the 2nd, focus on Kay Francis and several multi-title releases. The two Francis titles are Stolen Holiday (1937, with Claude Rains) and Street of Women (1932). The other releases include two double bills - Draegerman Courage (1937, Barton MacLane)/Road Gang (1936, Donald Woods) and Girl Crazy (1932)/Peach O'Reno (1931), both with Wheeler and Woolsey. There is also a George Arliss Collection of Old English (1930), A Successful Calamity (1932), and A King's Vacation (1933). Finally Americathon (1979, Harvey Korman) makes its appearance. November 9th brings Madame Satan (1930, directed by C.B. DeMille), Plymouth Adventure (1952, with Spencer Tracy), Your Cheatin' Heart (1964, with George Hamilton), Bachelor Mother (1939, with Ginger Rogers), Bundle of Joy (1956, with Debbie Reynolds), Susan Slept Here (1954, with Dick Powell), and Boys' Night Out (1962, with Kim Novak). November 16th additions to the Archive comprise: The Phantom Tollbooth (1970, remastered), The Human Comedy (1943, Mickey Rooney, remastered), The Outfit (1973, Robert Duvall, remastered), Hotel (1967, Rod Taylor), Luise Rainer Collection (The Emperor's Candlesticks [1937], Big City [1937], The Toy Wife [1938]), Barbara Stanwyck Value-Pak (The Secret Bride [1934], The Woman in Red [1935], Cry Wolf [1947], B.F.'s Daughter [1948], The Man with a Cloak [1951]), and Errol Flynn Value-Pak (Green Light [1937], Footsteps in the Dark [1941], Never Say Goodbye [1946], That Forsyte Woman [1949]). In a departure from previous practice, one of the forthcoming releases in the Warner Bros./TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection will include a classic title previously not available on DVD. The film is Hills of Home (1948, with Edmund Gwenn and Donald Crisp). It will be included in TCM Greatest Classic Films: Lassie, set to appear on February 1st. The other titles in the two-disc set will be the previously-available Lassie Come Home, Son of Lassie, and Courage of Lassie. Also coming on February 1st will be TCM Greatest Classic Legends: John Ford Westerns (She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Three Godfathers, Cheyenne Autumn, Wagon Master); TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Jean Harlow (Dinner at Eight, Libeled Lady, China Seas, Wife versus Secretary); and TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Errol Flynn (The Adventures of Robin Hood, Captain Blood, The Sea Hawk, Adventures of Don Juan). All individual titles are reissues. The release of the Jean Harlow set begs the question - where is the long-promised set of previously unreleased titles of hers hinted at for her 100th birthday in 2011? Meanwhile, the Ronald Reagan Centennial Collection is set to appear on January 25th. It is simply an 8-film collection of titles all previously released on DVD - same transfers, same content (Dark Victory/Knute Rockne All American/Kings Row/Desperate Journey/This Is the Army/The Hasty Heart/Storm Warning/The Winning Team). Warner Bros. will release Elia Kazan's America, America (1963) as a standalone pressed DVD on February 8th. It will include audio commentary by film historian Foster Hirsch. The title was previously only available as part of Fox's Elia Kazan Film Collection.

Well once again, that's it for now. I'll return again soon.

Barrie Maxwell
barriemaxwell@thedigitalbits.com

E-mail the Bits!


Don't #!@$ with the Monkey! Site designed for 1024 x 768 resolution, using 16M colors and .gif 89a animation.
© 1997-2015 The Digital Bits, Inc., All Rights Reserved.
billhunt@thedigitalbits.com