This week’s new releases include everything from a 50th anniversary edition of a timeless family favorite to Mae West masterpieces, recent theatrical offerings, TV favorites, Hollywood favorites featuring iconic stars, and so much more! Let’s welcome in July with these great new releases that are now available!
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (4K Ultra HD)(1971)
Gene Wilder stars as Willy Wonka, maker of Everlasting Gobstoppers, Fizzy Lifting Drinks, Three Course Dinner Gum, and other sweet treats in this music-filled fantasy based on Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Join five contest-winning children on a tour of Wonka’s magical candy factory, staffed by the mysterious and diminutive Oompa Loompas. With Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum. Includes the songs “The Candy Man,” “Oompa-Loompa-Doompa-De-Do,” and more.
Night After Night (1932)
Retired pug Joe Anton (George Raft) had finally opened his own nightclub, and was itching to show that he had developed class…especially to gorgeous debutante Jerry Healy (Constance Cummings). He hires proper matron Mabel Jellyman (Alison Skipworth) for coaching in how to be a gentleman, but his old crowd–like brassy Maudie Triplett (Mae West, in her film debut)–won’t make the transformation easy! Wynne Gibson, Louis Calhern co-star.
She Done Him Wrong (1933)
For her second film, Mae West adapted her 1928 Broadway play “Diamond Lil” and starred as Lady Lou, a bawdy Bowery saloon keeper and stage singer who invites religious mission officer Capt. Cummings (Cary Grant)–in reality an undercover federal agent–to “come up sometime and see me.” Along the way West tosses out some classic one-liners and also sings “Frankie and Johnny” and “Easy Rider.” Noah Beery, Owen Moore, Gilbert Roland co-star.
I’m No Angel (1933)
Hilarious, naughty pre-Production Code farce featuring Mae West as Tira, an unscrupulous carnival entertainer who takes a turn as a lion-tamer in order to get her boyfriend and fellow con artist out of a jam. Along the way Tira also falls for a suave millionaire (Cary Grant), the cousin of an admiring playboy. Songs include “I Want You, I Need You” and “They Call Me Sister Honky Tonk.” With Edward Arnold, Gregory Ratoff.
Belle of the Nineties (1934)
New Orleans singer Mae West heats up “The Big Easy” as Ruby Carter, “the most talked about woman in America,” who juggles romances with boxer “the Tiger Kid” (Roger Pryor) and millionaire Ace Lamont (John Miljan), while dodging the flirtations of every hot-blooded male along the Mississippi. There’s lots of wild West one-liners and music by Duke Ellington and His Orchestra, including the jazz standard “My Old Flame.” With Johnny Mack Brown, Katherine DeMille.
Goin’ to Town (1935)
Saloon singer Cleo Borden (Mae West) suddenly finds herself one very wealthy lady when her oilman swain loses a shoot-out–and she’s his only beneficiary. Though she takes a shine to Edward Carrington (Paul Cavanagh), the administrator appointed to handle her fortune, he’s not as impressed–and she takes a crash course in how to be a real lady. Fun West vehicle co-stars Gilbert Emery, Monroe Owsley.
Go West Young Man (1936)
Movie star Mavis Arden (Mae West) heads to a small town to attend the preview of her newest film and finds romantic complications among the common folk while falling for down-to-earth farmboy Bud Norton (Randolph Scott). Mae’s marvelous one-liners, satirical swipes at Hollywood, and songs like “I Was Saying to the Moon” and “On a Typical Tropical Night” are among the highlights. With Warren William, Alice Brady.
Klondike Annie (1936)
After killing her lover in self-defense, Barbary Coast madam Rose Carlton (Mae West) hops an Alaska-bound freighter and soon winds up impersonating an evangelist, Sister Annie, in order to elude the law. Offbeat West entry, based on her own 1921 unproduced play, mixes comedy, drama, and music; songs include “It’s Better to Give Than to Receive.” With Victor McLaglen, Phillip Reed; directed by Raoul Walsh.
Every Day’s a Holiday (1937)
Mae West is at her best as Peaches O’Day, a con woman in 1890s New York who poses as sultry French singer Mademoiselle Fifi in order to elude the law. Her ruse eventually leads to the downfall of crooked mayoral candidate John Quade (Lloyd Nolan) and the election of a reform mayor (Edmund Lowe) into office. Period comedy, scripted by West, co-stars Charles Butterworth, Charles Winninger, with a special appearance by Louis Armstrong.
My Little Chickadee (1940)
If you thought the American Wild West couldn’t get any wilder, wait till you see what happens when W.C. Fields and Mae West team up for this comedy-western classic, co-written by the leads. W.C. is Cuthbert Twillie, con man and “notions seller,” and Mae is Flowerbelle Lee, the shame of her Chicago community. Together they clean up a lawless town, capture the notorious Kissing Bandit, and shoot off the fastest array of one-liners you ever heard. With Joseph Calleia, Dick Foran, Margaret Hamilton.
Nice Girl? (1941)
Deanna Durbin stars as small-town gal Jane Dana, who, in an effort to appear more mature to her friends and family concocts a kooky story about being engaged to Richard Calvert (Franchot Tone), one of her father’s business partners. Will boyfriend Don Webb (Robert Stack) see through Jane’s games and grasp she’s still the “nice girl” he knows her to be. Musical comedy co-stars Robert Benchley, Walter Brennan. Songs include “Old Folks at Home,” “Beneath the Lights of Home.”
Mad About Music (1938)
Worried about her age, a vain Hollywood actress (Gail Patrick) decides she wants to forget about her daughter Gloria (Deanna Durbin), so she sends her to a Swiss boarding school. Gloria invents an explorer father to impress her mates, but when asked to prove he’s real, she tries to find a suitable parent to play the role. With Herbert Marshall, Arthur Treacher. Songs include “I Love to Whistle.”
That Certain Age (1938)
Smitten with her family’s houseguest, visiting journalist Vincent Bullitt (Melvyn Douglas), teenager Alice Fullerton (Deanna Durbin) ignores former steady beau Ken (Jackie Cooper) until Bullitt sets things right, in this song-filled romantic comedy that was co-scripted by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett. Soundtrack includes “Be a Good Scout,” “You’re as Pretty as a Picture,” and the title tune.
Pickup on South Street (Criterion Collection)(1953)
Samuel Fuller’s classic crime thriller stars Richard Widmark as New York City pickpocket Skip McCoy, who discovers his latest mark–the beautiful Candy (Jean Peters)–was carrying an unexpected bonus in the form of microfilm stolen by Communist spies. McCoy finds himself mixed up in a web of danger and intrigue involving Candy, a dogged government agent (Willis Bouchey), and the spy ring itself. With Richard Kiley, Thelma Ritter, Murvyn Vye.
Pariah (Criterion Collection)(2011)
Alike (Adepero Oduye) is a bright teen from Brooklyn, and she’s at peace with her lesbian leanings. That’s more than can be said for her churchgoing mom (Kim Wayans) and doting cop dad (Charles Parnell), who are in denial about her sexual identity. They start steering Alike away from her out and butch BFF (Pernell Walker) and toward a co-worker’s “nice” daughter (Aasha Davis), but the results might not be what they’re hoping for, in this acclaimed coming-of-age drama.
Madame Curie (1943)
“Mrs. Miniver” co-stars Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon reunite in this compelling biodrama of 19th-century married scientists Marie and Pierre Curie, who struggled for years to prove their discovery of radium, only to have tragedy strike at the height of their success. Mervyn LeRoy directed this adaptation of Eve Curie’s biography of her parents; Robert Walker, Henry Travers, C. Aubrey Smith, and Dame May Whitty co-star.
Major Dundee (1965)
Sprawling, character-driven western epic from director Sam Peckinpah featuring Charlton Heston as Major Amos Dundee, a glory-hungry Union officer heading across the Mexican border with a troop of outcasts in search of a tribe of Apache Indians responsible for raiding an Army outpost. Richard Harris, Jim Hutton, James Coburn, Senta Berger, and Warren Oates co-star.
In Harm’s Way (1965)
Otto Preminger directs this masterful actioner of Navy men in the Pacific after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. While veteran officer Rockwell “Rock” Torrey (John Wayne) deals with the loss of his command and the return of his estranged son, longtime friend Paul Eddington (Kirk Douglas) faces his own personal and professional demons. They both get a shot at redemption with a mission to capture a strategically located island. Patricia Neal, Tom Tyron, Paula Prentiss, and Henry Fonda co-star.
Stylish–if somewhat fictionalized–telling of David Bowie’s (Johnny Flynn) 1971 promotional tour in the States finds the young British rocker staging a series of private shows when he’s unable to legally perform in America. Bowie’s experiences in the U.S. impel him to remake his public image, ultimately leading to the genesis of his legendary Ziggy Stardust persona. Marc Maron, Jena Malone, Derek Moran also star.
Intriguing sci-fi drama is set on a distant moon with a poisonous atmosphere where teenager Cee (Sophie Thatcher) and her father Damon (Jay Duplass) arrive in search of valuable alien gems. As Damon becomes overwhelmed by his own greed, the pair finds themselves facing a series of dangers, including a less-than-friendly fellow prospector (Pedro Pascal), and a band of mercenaries. With Luke Pitzrick, Arthur Deranleau, Andre Royo.
The Watch (2021)
This visually striking satirical sci-fi procedural spun from Terry Pratchett’s “Discworld” mythos follows the caseload of grizzled police chief Sam Vines (Richard Dormer) and his oddball underlings on the City Watch of Ankh-Mopork, as they try to keep some semblance of order amongst the fantastic beings in Discworld’s most famous, and famously corrupt, metropolis. Lara Rossi, Adam Hugill, Marama Corlett, Jo Eaton-Kent, Samuel Adewunmi, Wendell Pierce, Anna Chancellor also star.
Just a Gigolo (1978)
David Bowie stars in this unusual West German drama as Paul Ambrosius von Przygodski, a Prussian officer who returns to Berlin after serving in World War I to find a life very different from the one he left behind. With employment opportunities scarce, Paul has little choice but to work as a male prostitute at Baroness von Semering’s (Marlene Dietrich, in her final role) house of ill-repute. With Sydne Rome, Kim Novak, David Hemmings, Maria Schell, Curd Jürgens.
Night Terror (aka Night Drive) (1977)
With her son hospitalized, skittish housewife Carol Turner (Valerie Harper) wasn’t stopping for anything as she made a wee-hours sprint up the desert highway from Phoenix to Denver. Unfortunately, it made her the sole witness to the roadside shotgun slaying of a state trooper–and the psycho (Richard Romanus) responsible takes off after her in pursuit. Well-remembered made-for-TV nailbiter also stars Michael Tolan, Nicholas Pryor, Quinn Cummings, Dinah Manoff.
Biochemist Douglas Petersen (Tom Hollander) proudly presented wife Connie (Saskia Reeves) and son Albie (Tom Taylor) with a dream European vacation before Albie started college…and Connie took the occasion to let her husband know she’d be leaving him. His efforts to revisit their past and salvage their marriage as they crossed the continent are cleverly captured in this miniseries co-starring Iain De Caestecker, Gina Bramhill; David Nicholls adapted his novel for TV.
A van pulled from a County Down lough containing a suicide note, but no body, was traced as belonging to a missing local businessman. The presumptive victim, however, had long-ago ties to the IRA…and hard-bitten Northern Ireland DCI Tom Brannick (James Nesbitt), driven by a blood vendetta dating back to the Troubles, is spurred on a monomaniacal hunt for the truth. Intense BBC One miniseries co-stars Lorcan Cranitch, Charlene McKenna, Lisa Dwan, Ian McElhinney.
I Know This Much Is True (2020)
In early-‘90s New England, Dominick Birdsey (Mark Ruffalo) had his crosses to bear–most of all, keeping an eye on his paranoid schizophrenic identical twin Thomas (Ruffalo, again). When Thomas does an egregious act of self-harm in protest of the Gulf War, Dominick may not be able to keep his personal house of cards from collapsing. Acclaimed HBO take on the Wally Lamb novel co-stars Melissa Leo, Rosie O’Donnell, Imogen Poots, Kathryn Hahn, Juliette Lewis.
The 317th Platoon (1965)
The First Indochina War, 1954: With the Battle of Dien Bien Phu raging, French commander Torrens (Jaques Perrin) and his experienced Alsatian second Willsdorf (Bruno Cremer) were ordered to get their largely Laotian suppletive platoon to North Cambodia for evacuation. The unforgiving terrain would combine with a brewing war of wills between the topkicks to spark tragedy, in writer-director Pierre Schoendoerffer’s adaptation of his novel. Pierre Fabre, Manuel Zarzo co-star.
Captured in Mosul, journalist Khadija Young (Georgina Campbell) finds herself interrogated by militants who believe there’s more to her than she’s revealed. Their suspicions are confirmed when they learn Young is actually working for the CIA. Now, she must prevent the terrorists from acquiring highly sensitive codes that will allow them to easily attack the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. Intense, minimalist drama also stars Luke Benward, Ibrahim Renno, Mido Hamada.
Le Mans (1971)
Breakneck driving sequences highlight this thrilling look at the famed 24-hour French endurance race. Steve McQueen stars as an American driver, still haunted by his involvement in an accident during the previous year’s race that killed a fellow competitor, who becomes determined to beat a German rival while finding himself drawn to the dead man’s widow. Elga Andersen, Siegfried Rauch co-star.
Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
This entertaining sci-fi spin on “Seven Samurai” and “The Magnificent Seven” follows Shad (Richard Thomas), a young man whose agrarian world is threatened by evil warlord Sador (John Saxon). Shad must call together a band of mercenaries–including ruthless assassin Gelt (Robert Vaughn), human pilot Cowboy (George Peppard), and sexy warrior woman St. Exmin (Sybil Danning)–to save his planet. John Sayles scripted and James Cameron served as art director.
Controversial, audacious film trilogy from director Todd Haynes that’s definitely for the open-minded. In “Hero,” a woman recounts the murder of her husband by her young son. “Horror” is a modern-day monster movie in which a scientist drinks a strange chemical and turns into a leper sex killer, and “Homo” details a brutal homosexual romance between two convicts. James Lyons, Scott Renderer star.
Percy vs. Goliath (2020)
In the late ‘90s, small-town Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser (Christopher Walken) was sued for infringement by Monsanto over the agrichemical giant’s GMO canola being found growing on his land. Insisting that the seeds were wind-blown and not deliberately planted, he’d gear up for a years-long legal battle that reached Canada’s Supreme Court, and made him a face of the transgenic crops debate, as recounted in this fact-based offering. Christina Ricci, Zach Braff also star.
Here Are the Young Men (2020)
In early-oughts Dublin, a trio of working-class teenage mates–level-headed Matthew (Dean-Charles Chapman), disaffected Rez (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo), and borderline sociopath Kearney (Finn Cole)–were busy partying through graduation summer before an uncertain future. However, bearing witness to a brutal tragedy may turn their merely aimless path into a genuinely toxic one. Anya Taylor-Joy, Travis Fimmel, Conleth Hill also star; Rob Doyle co-adapted his novel with director Eoin Macken.
Drunk History: The Complete Series
Get comedians and actors to recount true chapters of Americana–that is, after first getting them good and hammered–and then, have A-list talent re-enact and lip-sync the fractured narratives–and you’ve got the basis for this wildly funny (and yet still very informative) series that bowed on Comedy Central in 2013. Sauced storytellers include Jen Kirkman, Jenny Slate, Natasha Leggero, David Wain, Lauren Lapkus, Duncan Trussell; series creator Derek Walters hosts. 70 episodes on 11 discs.
The Purge: The Complete TV Series
Spun out of the popular and politically charged fantasy film franchise, this USA series set on the violence-filled night when America suspends martial law follows the Purge’s impact on various types from a combat Marine (Gabriel Chavarria) come home to rescue his sister (Jessica Garza) from a suicide cult to a businesswoman (Amanda Warren) out to manipulate the chaos for her own advancement. Hannah Emily Anderson, Colin Woodell, Lili Simmons, Lee Tergesen, and William Baldwin also star. 20 episodes on 4 discs.
For a complete overview of all of this week’s new releases, click here.