Take a trip into the heart of entertainment with this week’s new Blu-rays and DVDs. As you’ll see in the titles showcased below, this is a week where classics — both from the golden age of Hollywood and more recent favorites — take center stage. You’ll want to add these diverse array of film and TV releases to your home video library, one that will be enhanced by the following new offerings…
Roman Holiday (1953)
Audrey Hepburn won a Best Actress Academy Award for her role as Ann, a beautiful princess on a European publicity tour. During a stop in Rome, Ann sneaks away from her embassy, determined to see the Eternal City on her own terms. A hard-bitten newspaperman (Gregory Peck), hiding the fact that he’s a reporter, spends the day with her in an effort to get a scoop, but finds himself falling for the young royal. Director William Wyler’s charming romantic comedy also stars Eddie Albert.
Flying Leathernecks (1951)
This classic WWII aviation epic stars John Wayne as a “by the book” Marine squadron leader whose harsh treatment of the pilots in his unit causes him to clash with his affable and compassionate second-in-command. Whose leadership style will serve the men better when it’s time for the Wildcats to stare death in the face during the Battle of Guadalcanal? With Robert Ryan, Don Taylor, and Janis Carter.
Disputed Passage (1939)
Concluding that emotional detachment must be necessary for his professional effectiveness, medical student John Wesley Beaven (John Howard) breaks off his engagement to Chinese-American classmate Audrey Hilton (Dorothy Lamour). Coming to realize his mistake, he traces her to war-torn Nanking, but does fate have one more cruel trick to play? Frank Borzage’s take on the Lloyd Nelson sudser co-stars Akim Tamiroff, Gordon Jones, Keye Luke.
The Ghost Breakers (1940)
Radio crime show host Larry Lawrence (Bob Hope) went on the run after getting mixed up in the murder of a mobster (Anthony Quinn), and wound up sharing a stateroom with Cuba-bound heiress Mary Carter (Paulette Goddard). On the island, the pair encounters a haunted house, zombies, hidden treasures and the dead gangster’s twin brother (Quinn, again). Spirited fright farce also stars Richard Carlson, Paul Lukas, Noble Johnson, and Willie Best.
The Cat and the Canary (1939)
Take one gloomy mansion in the Louisiana bayou, add a group of relatives gathered for a will reading and marked for elimination by a mysterious killer, and sprinkle in some classic Bob Hope one-liners, and you get this lively updating of the “old dark house” chiller. Paulette Goddard is the heiress who catches wise-cracking actor Wally Campbell’s (Hope) eye. Third film version of the 1922 stage play co-stars Gale Sondergaard, George Zucco, John Beal, Douglass Montgomery.
Spawn of the North (1938)
The hazardous life of Alaskan salmon fishermen was vividly brought to life in this rugged drama. Jim Kimmerlee (Henry Fonda) and Tyler Dawson (George Raft) are former friends caught on opposite sides of a conflict with Russian pirates who pillage other fishermen’s nets. Dorothy Lamour, Akim Tamiroff, John Barrymore, and “Slicker the Seal,” as himself, co-star.
Cody (Lucas Jaye) is a young boy who dutifully joins his mother (Hong Chau) while she deals with the hoarder’s house that belonged to his recently deceased aunt. Del (Brian Dennehy) is the widowed war veteran who lives next door. The unlikely bond that develops between Cody and Del over the course of one summer provides each with a much-needed respite from the loneliness they both struggle with. Christine Ebersole co-stars in this moving, character-driven drama.
Barefoot in the Park (1967)
The first screen translation by Neil Simon of one of his own Broadway plays was this light comedy that portrayed married life in a fifth-floor walk-up apartment in New York City. Can young newlyweds Corie (Jane Fonda) and Paul Bratter (Robert Redford)─with vastly conflicting personalities (she’s a free spirit, he’s a stiff-shirt lawyer)─get past their differences and live happily ever after? Mildred Natwick, Charles Boyer, Herb Edelman also star; Gene Saks directs.
Single mother-of-two Christy Plunkett (Anna Faris) is finally getting her life together after a long battle with alcoholism. Join Christy as she tries to be a role model to teenaged daughter Violet (Sadie Calvano) and young son Roscoe (Blake Garrett Rosenthal) while repairing her relationship with flighty mom Bonnie (Allison Janney), who’s had her own struggles with addiction. Nate Corddry, Matt L. Jones, French Stewart also star in this quirky sitcom.All 20 episodes of the seventh season are included in this two-disc set.
Shivers (Vestron Video Collector’s Series)(1975)
Debuting director David Cronenberg helmed this perverse Canadian chiller about a scientist doing research on a new parasite. Using the organism to perform a radical method of organ transplant on a woman, the doctor commits suicide when the experiment goes horribly awry. The parasite then escapes into the patient’s apartment complex, turning all its residents into crazed, violent sex maniacs. Paul Hampton, Joe Silver, Lynn Lowry, and Barbara Steele star. AKA: “The Parasite Murders,” “They Came from Within.”
Little Monsters (Vestron Video Collector’s Series)(1989)
What’s that lurking under 11-year-old Brian Stevenson’s (Fred Savage) bed? Why, it’s blue-skinned, horned creature Maurice (Howie Mandel), who promptly takes his charge into his otherworldly home, where all manner of goblins and beasties live. Scarily funny comedy also stars Daniel Stern, Ben Savage, Margaret Whitton, Frank Whaley, Rick Ducommun.
Killing Eve: Season Three (2020)
MI5 desk jockey Eve Polastri (Sandra Oh), who longed for a field agent’s life, became convinced that a string of notorious international assassinations was the work of a woman, and was determined to prove it. Turns out she was right…and to her great peril, the perpetrator–sociopathic Russian operative Oksana Astankova, b/k/a “Villanelle” (Jodie Comer)–was reciprocating her fascination. Acclaimed BBC America take on the Luke Jennings thrillers co-stars Fiona Shaw, Kim Bodnia, Owen McDonnell. All eight episodes from the third season are featured in this two-disc set.
The Affair (1973)
Stricken by polio as a child, popular songwriter Courtney Patterson (Natalie Wood) was well resigned to a solitary private life, when she was confronted with the insistent attentions of successful and smitten lawyer Marcus Simon (Robert Wagner). As Courtney lets down her defenses, she has to face her concerned family’s skepticism about Marcus’ intentions…and the possibility they might be right. Telefilm sudser for the then-just remarrieds co-stars Bruce Davison, Pat Harrington, Kent Smith.
Freedom Road (1979)
Powerful made-for-TV movie (originally aired as a two-part miniseries) stars Muhammad Ali as escaped slave Gideon Jackson. After fighting with the Union forces during the Civil War, Jackson becomes a spokesman for his people and is eventually elected to the U.S. Senate where he champions land ownership rights for his fellow former slaves and poor white farmers. With Kris Kristofferson, Edward Herrmann, Ossie Davis, and Alfre Woodard.
Beau Travail (Criterion Collection)(1999)
From acclaimed director Claire Denis comes a hypnotic reworking of Herman Melville’s “Billy Budd” set against the backdrop of a French Foreign Legion outpost in East Africa. Former officer Galoup recounts the story of Sentain, a new recruit who steals the spotlight from him, resulting in jealousy and betrayal that destroys the lives of both men. Denis Lavant, Grégoire Colin star.