Your Questions Answered on Dick Powell, Susan Hayward Favorites

Movie Questions AnsweredQ: There is an old Dick Powell movie called You Never Can Tell, with Dick as a murdered dog reincarnated as a human to find his murderer. The movie was also known as One Never Knows. I would love to have this movie if it is ever available.

A: This 1951 film is among the most-requested we’re asked about—and has been for many years. In the film, the dog is a German shepherd and, in human form, is named Rex Shepherd. The nifty, unique fantasy also stars Charles Drake as the bad guy and Joyce Holden as Powell’s Palamino secretary. Unfortunately, You Never Can Tell has never been available in any format thanks to an oversight of distributor Universal Studios. Sadly, we have no word on its imminent release.

Q: Will The Flim Flam Man ever be released on DVD?

A: We think you’ll see this 1967 cult fave with a wide following on our site by year’s end. George C. Scott plays Mordecai Jones, an old-school con artist who teams with young ex-soldier folksinger Curly Treadaway (Michael Sarrazin) to teach him the tricks of his trade. Highly entertaining shenanigans ensue; Sue Lyon, Harry Albertson, Harry Morgan, Slim Pickens and Albert Salmi also star in this Fox release directed by Irvin Kershner (The Empire Strikes Back).

Q: Will the movie The Longest Hundred Miles be released on DVD? Made in 1967, it started Doug McClure and Ricardo Montalban.

A: There’s a small chance that this well-remembered TV movie centered on a bold escape from the Philippines during the Japanese invasion of World War II will make its way to DVD at some point. The cast featured McClure as an American GI and Montalban as a priest, as well as Katherine Ross as a military nurse who tries to rescue a group of children on a rickety bus.

Q: When are we going to have Ada, starring the brilliant Susan Hayward, in widescreen released on DVD?  Also, about a Susan Hayward set from Fox—please, please, please. I am only one of thousands impatiently waiting.

A: Susan Hayward is easily one of the most popular actresses we get requests for. Obviously, the talented and beautiful Oscar-winning brunette has quite a following.  Ada would probably be owned by Warner, and an ideal candidate for the Warner Archives. In this political drama, Ms. Hayward is a prostitute who marries singer-musician Dean Martin. Martin becomes governor, but has little control over his job because of aide Wilfred Hyde-White’s iron hand. Eventually Hayward uses her strong will and street smarts in the political arena. As for the Fox titles, the notion of seeing Ms. Hayward’s films for the studio any time in the near future isn’t likely, because it seems like Fox has essentially curtailed their classics line after a nice run. We do have some fine films starring the actress, but you’ll have to wait for Ada, The President’s Lady (one of our favorites) and others.

Q: We have already seen Naughty Marietta and Sweethearts remastered and reissued on DVD this year. When will the other MGM Nelson EddyJeanette MacDonald films come out? They are long overdue. Anyone know anything about this?

A: We do. Bitter Sweet (1940) is next in line with the singing duo, this time chirping songs by Noel Coward. The tale is set in 19th century Vienna, where MacDonald elopes with music teacher Eddy, but both encounter tough financial times that lead their lives in surprising directions years later. George Sanders and Ian Hunter also star; the soundtrack features such songs as “I’ll See You Again” and “If You Could Only Come With Me.” It’s slated for this September, and there may be more MacDonald/Eddy films on the way. By the way, Jeanette sans Nelson can be seen in Smilin’ Through (1941), a Technicolor musical remake of a story filmed twice before. MacDonald plays two roles here, as a woman who dies and her lookalike, orphaned niece, a source of torment for the widowed uncle (Brian Aherne) who raised her. Gene Raymond and Ian Hunter also star in this film directed by Frank Borzage.

Q: There was a television series that aired from 1988-1991 on TV staring Lee Horsley and Sigrid Thornton, entitled Paradise, AKA Guns of Paradise. Will this be released anytime soon on DVD?

A: The good news is that Warner controls the Lorimar production, so it is a candidate for their Archives program. For the record, it ran for three seasons on CBS and starred Horsley as a gunfighter who attempts to change his reputation by caring for his sister’s four children when it is discovered that she is ill. The show had some cable play after its initial run.

Q: I am looking for the movie titled Rage starring Glenn Ford, release year 1966.

A: This riveting ticking-clock thriller stars Ford as an anti-social, alcoholic doctor living in a Mexican border town who is bitten by a rabid dog. Ford discovers he has only 48 hours to find help from a neighboring town; Stella Stevens also stars. The film is owned by Sony, so a manufacture-on-demand release is not out of the question.

Q: The Best of Enemies is a classic Anglo-Italian movie that I don’t think has ever been on VHS, never mind DVD. It is based on a true story from WWII in Ethiopa. It would be great to see this movie available on DVD.

A: This is yet another fairly obscure film that has a huge following. David Niven, Alberto Sordi and Michael Wilding star in this military comedy directed by Guy Hamilton (Goldfinger, Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins).  Our hunch is that it will make its way to the made-on-demand program from Sony at some point. The anti-war farce features Niven and Wilding as British officers on a recon mission over Africa during WWII whose plane crashes. They are captured by Italian commander Sordi, who strikes a deal with them: He will let them go if they allow him to take a nearby fort. Hilarious complications ensue in this comedy from producer Dino de Laurentiis.

Q: Any word on the Canadian TV series Adderly being put out on DVD?

A: No, but we are intrigued by the notion. We vaguely remember when the 1986-1988 series briefly ran on late night on CBS, where it did well enough to warrant a brief prime time stint, where it didn’t find a sufficient audience. Winston Rekert played the title character, a special agent reassigned to bureaucratic duties after he injures his hand during a mission. In his new role, Adderly meets some odd characters and finds himself in dangerous situations. No word on a DVD appearance, though.

Q: You may have received this question previously, but are there any plans in the near future to release the 1960’s TV series Tarzan with Ron Ely on DVD?  So many other TV series have been and still are being released, but I hear nothing regarding this series, which was one of my favorites.  Also…would love to know if the Gene Wilder classic Sunday Lovers will ever be released?  Thanks for your time and assistance with my query.

A: Muscular Rony Ely played Tarzan for two seasons, from 1966 thought 1968, on this much-hyped NBC series. We have no word on this oft-requested take on “the Ape Man” swinging onto DVD soon. As for 1980’s Sunday Lovers, the anthology film with Wilder, Roger Moore, Lino Ventura, Kathleen Quinlan and Lynn Redgrave, it is a likely candidate for the Warner Archives. Although it didnt catch on  in the States, the international film amassed quite a following, based on the requests we have recieved for it.

Q:  I saw a Jack Nicholson-directed movie in the ‘70s—Drive, He Said. It had a college basketball setting, & one of the co-stars was Mike Warren. I’ve never been able to find it again. Any comments?

A: Nicholson’s directorial debut is only currently available as part of the Criterion Collection’s American Lost and Found: The BBS Story.  There is a chance that it will be issued as a single later, but right now we are not sure. Released in 1971, the film stars William Tepper as a college basketball player and Michael Margotta as his politically active friend, both of whom are concerned about being drafted. Karen Black plays a teacher’s wife with whom Tepper is involved and Bruce Dern plays his clean-living coach.  For the record, the other films in the set include Head, Easy Rider, A Safe Place, the Last Picture Show, Five Easy Pieces and The King of Marvin Gardens. Nicholson went on to helm Goin’ South and The Two Jakes.

Q: I’m a big fan of Sword and Sandal movies. Is there any chance that two of Steve Reeves’ movies, Morgan the Pirate and The Slave, will ever come out on DVD?

A: We wish we could tell you something differemt, but we have no word on the Reeves adventure epics you asked for. We’e been lobbying for Morgan the Pirate, the 1960 high seas adventure with Mr. Reeves as the infamous Sir Henry Morgan for some time. We believe the MGM Limited Edition Collection will eventually put out this must-requested swashbuckler helmed by Andre de Toth (House of Wax). 1962’s The Slave, also known as The Son of Spartacus, offers Reeves as a brave Roman centurion sent to Egypt by Caesar who, in fact, turns out to be the son of the famous slave leader. Where the American DVD rights to the film lay is unclear.

Q: Are you ever gonna release a movie starring Christopher George called Devils 8?

A: Well, unfortunately, we don’t release the titles. We are really the middle people between the studios and you, the consumer. But we can tell you that this title has a good shot at being issued by the MGM manufacture-on-demand program, since they control the American International Pictures library of which this film is part of.  George plays a government agent who has a group of ornery fellows on a chain gang released so they can be properly trained in order to wage war on moonshiner Ralph Meeker. Others in the film helmed by Burt Topper (Soul Hustler) include Fabian, Ross Hagen, Larry Bishop and Leslie Parrish.

Q: Is there any hope that the following films will be released on DVD?

Show Boat -1936 By far the best version

Little Boy Lost – A very good dramatic Crosby

The Uninvited -1944 the very best supernatural film, with Ray Milland and Gail Russell

Conspiracy of Hearts – Moving Lilli Palmer film.

With so much junk appearing on DVD each week, it is hard to understand why good films  such as these remain unavailable.

A: All good choices, with The Uninvited, owned by Universal, remaining one of our most-requested films. At one time, we understood that the ’36 Show Boat was receiving some restoration attention, and Warner was considering putting out a complete set with all three versions. Lately, we have heard nothing further about such plans. The other titles you mentioned would be much-welcomed, but we’ve heard nothing new.

Q: Is there any hope that the Anthony Andrews-Jane Seymour version of The Scarlet Pimpernel will be released on DVD? Also, the film Ladyhawke starring Rutger Hauer, Michele Pfeiffer and Matthew Broderick?

A: We expect Ladyhawke and the ’82 TV version of The Scarlet Pimpernel to be reissued at some point. Warner has Ladyhawke, but The Scarlet Pimpernel would be from an independent company. Both were popular period adventures.

Q: Would love to see Come to the Stable starring Loretta Young and Celeste Holm out on DVD.

A: We would, too. Ms. Young and Ms. Holm play nuns from a French convent  who enlist colorful characters to help them build a children’s hospital in a New England town. Hugh Marlowe, Elsa Lanchester and Dooley Wilson also star. The film is from Fox, so it’s a longshot to make its way to DVD anytime soon.

Q: Amongst the many fine films never released to DVD is one that I would dearly love to see surface. Released in 1974, Conrack was directed by Martin Ritt (what a great director) and starred Jon Voight and Paul Winfield. Based on the novel “The River is Wide” by Pat Conroy, it certainly worthy of a wider showing in a time when many of today’s films are just above mediocre.

A: Once again, another Fox title condemned to oblivion by its company. It’s a fine film that deserves a better fate, but we don’t expect it in the foreseeable future.

Q: I was pretty small at the time but my brother took me to a matinee showing of a flick where I believe Santa Claus was watching children with a telescopic instrument which had an eyeball attached to the end of it. Not sure what the name of it was, but I had to leave the theater and never felt quite the same about Santa again. Otherwise, you guys have done a great job of covering all the films that had an affect on me. Thanks!

A: The film is 1959’s Santa Claus, perhaps the most demented holiday movie of all time. This Mexican production invovled Santa squaring off against Pitch, the devil’s helper, over the soul of a little girl named Lupita. That “cosmic telescope” that creeped you out is in there, as are frightening reindeers, child slaves toiling in Toyland, lips on a talking machine and much, much more to scare kids and adults alike. It is available here.

Q: I am a big Charles Bronson fan and was wondering if there are any Bronson films that are going to be released?

A: Good news.There is a double feature of Rider on the Rain/Farewell Friend coming up. Rider on the Rain (1970) is a moody thriller with Marlene Jobert as a French woman who kills a man who raped her, then faces investigator Bronson, doggedly seeking the truth of the events. Rene Clement (Forbidden Games, Purple Noon) directs. Farewell Friend (1968) is another name for Honor Among Thieves, with former Foreign Legion adversaries—mercenary Bronson and doctor Alain Delon—teaming to pull off a heist. Also on the way down the line from Sony’s archive program is The Stone Killer (1973) from Death Wish/The Mechanic director Michael Winner. Chuck is a disgraced NYPD cop relocated to Los Angeles to stop mobster Martin Balsam’s plan to use Vietnam veterans as assassins for rival gang leaders. Other Bronson efforts we’d like to see on DVD: From Noon Till Three, Love & Bullets and Red Sun.