Welcome to 2020! For this first week of the new year there’s some great classics hitting DVD and Blu-ray for the first time. Check out these films that you’ll want to spend the frigid winter days with!
I Love Trouble (1948)
Private detective Stuart Bailey (Franchot Tone) is hired by prominent politician Ralph Johnston (Tom Powers) to look into his wife’s (Lynn Merrick) past after she begins receiving letters from someone who’s attempting to blackmail her. Bailey digs up some interesting dirt, but all is not as it seems, and he soon finds himself hip-deep in an unexpectedly complex case involving stolen cash and murder. Janet Blair, Janis Carter, Adele Jergens also star.
The 39 Steps (1959)
Slightly altered from the Alfred Hitchcock version, this British adaptation of the John Buchan novel stars Kenneth More as Richard Hannay, the put-upon protagonist sought for the murder of a woman claiming to be a spy. Before her death, she tells Hannay about foreign agents trying to smuggle out military plans. He must then desperately fight to clear his name, before police close in on him, and learn the secret to “the 39 steps.” Taina Elg, James Hayter, and Barry Jones co-star.
Operation Bottleneck (1961)
During World War II, a detachment of American paratroopers landed in Burma with orders to extract a wounded officer from the clutches of the Japanese. The only hope for any of them to survive the perilous mission may rest with a quartet of local “comfort girls” out for revenge against the invading oppressors. Hard-to-find battle saga stars Ron Foster, Miiko Taka, Norman Alden, John Clarke, Ben Wright.
Serengeti Shall Not Die (1959)
This winner of the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature–written and directed by noted zoologist Bernhard Grzimek–offers a remarkable portrait of the Tanzanian wildlife whose conservation the filmmaker came to champion. Remarkable aerial footage captured by Grzimek and his son and collaborator Michael (who died in a production-related crash) fuels an viewing experience that has caused awe and debate for generations. AKA: “Serengeti.”
By the 16th century, vampires had developed an immunity to sunlight…and over the ensuing decades, they obtained dominion over Europe, keeping what humans remained for slaves and sustenance. A cadre of rebels select young Jonathan (Jürgen Jung) as the point man to infiltrate the lord of the undead’s castle and open it to attack. Singular spin on “Dracula” co-stars Paul Albert Krumm, Ilona Grübel, Hertha von Walther, Hans-Dieter Jendreyko.
In their bid to smash a counterfeiting ring, the Treasury men decided to parole convicted paperhanger Tris Stewart (Lloyd Bridges) on the condition that he’d help them smoke out the racketeers. The conniving Stewart decided to play both ends against the middle, and attempted to beat it to Mexico with a cigarette girl (Barbara Payton) in one hand and the plates in the other. Richard Fleischer’s moody, documentary-styled crime drama co-stars John Hoyt, Russ Conway, Robert Karnes.
Veteran big game hunter Frank Walsh (Nicolas Cage) was just looking forward to his payday when he chartered passage from the Amazon to the U.S. with a captured white jaguar in tow. Unfortunately, the freighter was also bearing extradited terrorist Richard Loffler (Kevin Durand)…and once he escapes and looses the big cat, Walsh may be the crew’s only hope against two very different but equally dangerous predators. Famke Janssen, LaMonica Garrett, Michael Imperioli also star.