The past meets the present in this week’s new releases. Leading things off is a 1972 classics, and the rest of the DVDs and Blu-rays that are now available leap back and forward in time from the 1930s to today. As such, there are titles that will please every genre taste — from musicals to exploitation. Browse what titles will kick off your October below!
Jeremiah Johnson (1972)
Exquisitely photographed in Utah, this western adventure from director Sydney Pollack stars Robert Redford as rugged mountain man Jeremiah Johnson in the 1830s Rockies. Following service in the Mexican War, Johnson shuns civilization and learns to subsist in the wilderness, then sets out to hunt down the Crow Indians who were responsible for the deaths of his wife and adopted son. Will Geer, Delle Bolton, Paul Benedict also star in this adaptation based on two biographies of Johnson.
Love Me Tonight (1932)
Marvelously inventive musical romance with Maurice Chevalier as Maurice Courtelin, a charming Parisian tailor whose efforts to help a shady nobleman (Charlie Ruggles) out of a jam magically lead him to Princess Jeanette (Jeanette MacDonald). Maurice and Jeanette fall in love, but how will the she react when she discovers his humble heritage? Myrna Loy, Charles Butterworth co-star. The Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart score includes the title tune and “Isn’t It Romantic.”
Five Graves to Cairo (1943)
In a remote oasis hotel in the Sahara Desert, British soldier Corporal John Bramble (Franchot Tone) impersonates a servant in order to get information from the inn’s newest “guests”: invading Afrika Korps tank troops and their commander, Gen. Irwin Rommel (Erich von Stroheim). Things get tricky when Bramble learns the servant was really a German spy, in this WWII espionage tale from director/co-writer Billy Wilder. With Anne Baxter, Akim Tamiroff.
Trick Baby (1972)
Philadelphia con artist White Folks (Kiel Martin) is a “trick baby”–the product of a black prostitute and her caucasian customer. Able to pass for white, he and African-American partner Blue Howard (Mel Stewart) use their talents to pull racially motivated jobs. But they find themselves in trouble when they learn a previous mark is linked to gangsters, in this unusual “blaxploitation” drama based on a novel by Iceberg Slim. With Vernee Watson, Beverly Ballard. AKA: “The Double Con.”
Unmade Beds (1976)
Punk-scene photographer Rico (Duncan Hannah) readily slipped from real life in mid-’70s New York into a fantasy existence straight out of early-‘60s French New Wave cinema, fancying himself both as filmmaker and gangster on the Paris streets. The fragile balance might collapse completely once he gets romantically involved with the beautiful Blondie (Deborah Harry). Amos Poe’s Godard-redolent debut feature also stars Eric Mitchell, Patti Astor, Robert Gordon.
Mission: Impossible: The Original Television Series
Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to watch this classic 1966-73 CBS espionage series, as the members of the top-secret Impossible Missions Force take on dangerous assignments across the globe. Originally led by Dan Briggs (Steven Hill) and succeeded by Jim Phelps (Peter Graves), the team also included model and actress Cinnamon Carter (Barbara Bain), electronics expert Barney Collier (Greg Morris), and master-of-disguise Rollin Hand (Martin Landau). With Peter Lupus, Leonard Nimoy. All 171 episodes are included in this 46-disc set.
The Honeymoon Phase (2019)
For new couple Eve (Chloe Carroll) and Tom (Jim Schubin), the lure of a $50K payday was irresistible–and so, claiming to be newlyweds, they joined a research study where they’d be sealed within a luxury apartment for one month. However, as Eve slowly comes to really get to know her boyfriend’s real (and dangerous) nature, the experiment may deliver unexpectedly stunning results. Effective fantasy-thriller also stars François Chau, Tara Westwood, Ione Butler.
Compelling and unsettling, independent filmmaker Bette Gordon’s feminist-themed drama focuses on Christine (Sandy McLeod), a young woman who starts working as a ticket seller at a seedy Times Square adult theater and becomes increasingly enmeshed in the world of pornography and the theater’s bizarre patrons. Will Patton, Richard M. Davidson, Luis Guzman, Nan Goldin also star; score by John Lurie.
Down-and-out Weslake (Donald Sutherland) was reduced to minding the counter at the San Francisco pawn shop of crusty Garvey (Jack Warden) when he tumbled onto a scheme by some of the boss’s disgruntled misfit clients to rob the place. Rather than blow the whistle, however, he insinuates himself as the heist’s mastermind! Louis Malle’s hilarious remake of “Big Deal on Madonna Street” co-stars Sean Penn, Wallace Shawn, Christine Baranski, and Professor Irwin Corey.
The Silencing (2020)
Since his young daughter’s disappearance five years ago, hard-drinking hunter-tracker Rayburn Swanson (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) has lived a recluse’s life running a wildlife preserve. Following the serial slayings of local girls, the town sheriff (Annabelle Wallis) after the killer turns to Swanson to play on his empathy, utilize his formidable skills–and offer a chance at redemption. Gripping thriller from Canada also stars Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Zahn McClarnon, Melanie Scrofano.
The Foreigner (1978)
Having deplaned in New York, European operative Max Menace (Eric Mitchell) started drifting through the SoHo punk club scene, encountering various oddballs as he fruitlessly searched for the contact carrying his mission details. Unfortunately, his arrival got noticed by a pack of thugs assigned to tail him and take him out. Amos Poe’s slice-of-the-times indie thriller co-stars Deborah Harry, Patti Astor, Duncan Hannah, Anya Phillips.
Genesis II/Planet Earth: Two Movie Collection
Conceived as a pilot for a TV series that never happened, the sci-fi tale Genesis II (1973) from Gene Roddenberry centers on 20th-century NASA scientist Dylan Hunt (Alex Cord), awakened after decades of suspended animation to a post-apocalyptic world in conflict between two factions. As the peaceful members of the PAX try to convince Hunt to join them, the violent, mutated Tyranians wish to use his knowledge of nuclear technology to their advantage. Mariette Hartley, Ted Cassidy co-star. Then, in Planet Earth (1974), Gene Roddenberry’s second pilot for his proposed “Genesis II” series stars John Saxon as Dylan Hunt, a scientist frozen in suspended animation in the 20th century and revived in the year 2133. Hunt encounters the matriarchal Confederacy of Ruth and is soon enslaved along with the rest of the men. Now, he has two choices: escape or become breeding stock for the society’s leader (Diana Muldaur). With Janet Margolin, Ted Cassidy.
The Elephant Man (Criterion Collection)(1980)
Director David Lynch’s striking black-and-white drama tells the emotional true story of John Merrick (named Joseph in real life), whose monstrous skull and hideous deformities cast him as a freak known as “the Elephant Man” in Victorian London. John Hurt shines in the title role, and Anthony Hopkins is the compassionate doctor who helps Merrick to be seen as the kind and intelligent man he truly is. With Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller.
Death Rage (1976)
In his final film, Yul Brynner stars as Peter Marciani, a former mob assassin who comes out of retirement to find and kill the Italian gangster who had his brother murdered. Traveling to Naples, Marciani romances a stripper (Barbara Bouchet) and recruits a protégé (Massimo Ranieri), but he soon begins to wonder if he’s targeted the right man. Slick crime thriller from Italy also stars Martin Balsam, Giacomo Furia. AKA: “Anger in His Eyes.”
Thomas and the Magic Railroad (20th Anniversary Edition)(2000)
From the popular TV program “Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends” comes the little engine’s first movie. The Magic Railroad that connects the land of the talking trains to the human world is in danger of being shut down by evil diesel engines, and it’s up to Thomas–along with the help of some human pals (Alec Baldwin, Peter Fonda, and Mara Wilson)–to foil the plans of Diesel 10 and his henchmen.
Italian horror filmmaker Lucio Fulci took a swing at the sword-and-sorcery genre with this gore-filled fantasy saga. Gifted with a magic bow, young warrior Ilias (Andrea Occhipinti) teams with outlaw Mace (Jorge Rivero) to keep the powerful weapon from falling into the hands of Ocron (Sabrina Siani), an evil masked sorceress. Conrado San Martín, Violeta Cela also star.
Ghost Ship (Collector’s Edition)(2002)
Creepy shocker in which the crew of a salvage tugboat skippered by Captain Sean Murphy (Gabriel Byrne) tries to bring home an abandoned Italian ocean liner adrift in the Bering Sea for 40 years. While repairing and prepping the ship for towing, Murphy and his crew encounter strange incidents that are linked to the liner’s otherworldly inhabitants. Julianna Margulies, Ron Eldard, and Isaiah Washington also star.
For bookish UCLA student Jonathan Moore (Anthony Edwards), his passion for playing paintball tag provided the full extent of the thrills in his life. That would change on his vacation to Paris, where he hooked up with the gorgeous and mysterious “older woman” Sasha Banicek (Linda Fiorentino)…and she’d pull him behind the Berlin Wall into a world of espionage and danger. Stylish comedy-thriller also stars Alex Rocco, Marla Adams, Nick Corri, Klaus Löwitsch.
The Bay of Silence (2020)
While London engineer Will Walsh (Claes Bang) was concerned about the postpartum depression exhibited by his artist spouse Rosalind (Olga Kurylenko), he couldn’t foresee that she’d vanish with his infant son and twin stepdaughters. Nor could he anticipate the tragedy he’d find after tracking them down…or the stunning revelations as he then dug into his wife’s shattered past. Riveting take on the Lisa St. Aubin De Teran novel also stars Brian Cox, Alice Krige, Assaad Bouab.
John Lewis: Good Trouble (2020)
This intimate account of legendary U.S. Representative John Lewis’s life and legacy takes us through his more than 60 years of activism—from the bold teenager on the front lines of the Civil Rights’ movement to the legislative powerhouse he is today. Dawn Porter’s fantastic documentary is a moving tribute to the real-life hero at the forefront of many hard-won battles for lasting change.
The Banker (1989)
Tight crime thriller follows worn out cop Dan Jefferson (Robert Forster) as he tries to catch Spaulding Osbourne (Duncan Regehr), a powerful and prominent banker murdering high-priced call girls with a laser sight-equipped crossbow. Things become dangerously personal when Osbourne turns his attention to a tough TV reporter (Shanna Reed) who is also Jefferson’s ex-wife. With Jeff Conaway, Leif Garrett, and Richard Roundtree.
Click here for a complete overview of all of this week’s DVD and Blu-ray new releases.