Whoosh! The minutes, hours, and days fly by so quickly in our fast-paced society that free time is as at premium. If you are a regular MovieFanFare reader, it’s probably a safe assumption that you enjoy watching films during your time away from the rat race. But what movies should you check out when you have some leisure time? We’ve got some suggestions, namely these recently released DVDs and Blu-rays that you may have missed. Featuring the brightest stars in Hollywood history, here are some great recommendations from us to you!:
The death of a media mogul leaves the top three executives of his company battling it out for control, in director Fritz Lang’s gritty film noir tale that exposes the seamy underbelly of the news world. The competition boils down to which man will be able to break the story of “The Lipstick Killer,” a serial murderer who targets young women. Dana Andrews, Rhonda Fleming, Vincent Price, John Barrymore, Jr., George Sanders, and Ida Lupino star.
Norman Jewison’s slick, sophisticated romantic caper film stars Steve McQueen as cool Boston millionaire Thomas Crown, who masterminds a bank heist just for the fun of it, then carries on a torrid romance with the beautiful insurance investigator (Faye Dunaway) on the case. Highlighted by inventive camerawork, a classic kissing scene, and Michel Legrand’s Oscar-winning song “The Windmills of Your Mind,” the drama co-stars Jack Weston, Paul Burke, and Yaphet Kotto.
A lightning rod for critics and censors upon its debut, this British-made (but set in America) noir thriller stars Linden Travers as the title heiress, who is abducted by crooks after a botched effort to steal her wedding jewelry. The thugs’ new plan to hold her for ransom might founder on her mutual attraction with the gang’s psychopathic leader (Jack La Rue). Based on the same novel that inspired 1971’s “The Grissom Gang”; with Hugh McDermott, Lily Molnar, Leslie Bradley.
Culled from sketches star W.C. Fields performed on stage with the Ziegfeld Follies, this silent comedy finds Fields, as harried druggist Elmer Prettywillie, dealing with late-night customers, a false fire alarm followed by the real thing, and becoming the victim in a Florida real estate scam. Louise Brooks, William Gaxton also star; based on the same play that inspired Fields’ 1934 film “It’s a Gift.”
Spineless accountant Elmer Finch (W.C. Fields) was a willing doormat for just about everybody, from his wife and kids to his boss and coworkers to his clientele. However, a mistaken brush with the law and a fortuitous run-in with a hypnotist suddenly vests the number-crunching nelly with the courage of a lion–and now he’s out to settle accounts with all of his tormentors! Fun silent Fields vehicle co-stars Mary Brian, Marie Shotwell; Gregory La Cava (”My Man Godfrey”) directs.
Korean War vet Jim Henry (Richard Conte), falsely accused of killing a woman he met in a Las Vegas bar, escapes from police custody. A roadside encounter with magazine photographer Mrs. Cummings (Joan Bennett) and model Susan (Wanda Hendrix) offers Henry a chance to escape the title manhunt in this gripping “B”-suspenser. Roger Corman wrote the story while working as a literary agent, receiving his first screen credit. Reed Hadley also stars.
Martin Scorsese directs this lavish filming of Edith Wharton’s classic novel set against the backdrop of New York society of the 1870s. Aristocratic lawyer Newland Archer (Daniel Day-Lewis) questions his wedding plans when he falls for fiancée May Welland’s (Winona Ryder) cousin–the beautiful Countess Olenska (Michelle Pfeiffer)–an American fleeing her disastrous marriage to a European nobleman. With Miriam Margolyes, Geraldine Chaplin, Michael Gough, Richard E. Grant.
The neighborhood bully kids were always merciless to challenged John Radley (Richard A. Buswell)…and Gretchen (Loretta Leigh Bowman) was the only one of his peers to ever show him any kindness. Ten years after his involuntary commitment, he’s loose and can finally show his appreciation–by leaving pieces of his onetime tormentors gift-wrapped on her porch! Videostore scare staple also stars G. Michael Smith, Tobe Sexton, Chasen Hampton.
After their evacuation flight from war-torn China is hijacked and crashed in the Himalayas, a group of travelers spearheaded by British diplomat Robert Conway (Ronald Colman) is led through the frozen terrain to a hidden and happy civilization nestled within the valley of Shangri-La. The visitors’ discovery of the uncanny truths behind the improbable idyll drive Frank Capra’s classic adventure/romance saga. Jane Wyatt, Sam Jaffe, John Howard, H.B. Warner, Thomas Mitchell star.