Whoa! That’s the first word that comes to mind in terms of the sheer variety of new releases that are now available. It’s been a minute since there’s been a week packed with so many must-see TV and movie titles making their home video debuts, so we encourage you to take some time and peruse the below list and plan your viewing for the days ahead. Enjoy!
Nightmare Alley (2021)
Having learned the nuances of a mentalist act during his stint as a carny, calculating drifter Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) headed for New York to establish himself as a society psychic. However, his overreach in partnering with corrupt psychologist Lilith Ritter (Cate Blanchett) in order to better fleece the big town’s elite will come with a shattering price. Guillermo del Toro’s stylishly foreboding redo of the 1947 noir staple also stars Rooney Mara, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins.
The Godfather Trilogy (50th Anniversary)
Five-disc set includes The Godfather, The Godfather, Part II and Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Coda: The Death Of Michael Corleone.
Captains of the Clouds (1942)
First-class war yarn with James Cagney as Brian MacLean, a rebellious pilot-for-hire in the Canadian bush whose reckless ways put him on the outs with his fellow flyers…especially when he weds the fiancée (Brenda Marshall) of one rival. Things change, however, when World War II breaks out, and MacLean and the other pilots join the RCAF. Co-stars Dennis Morgan, Brenda Marshall, and Alan Hale; Michael Curtiz directs.
Blue Skies (1946)
The Irving Berlin music catalog takes flight in this popular extravaganza, as memorable production numbers propel the tale of a fateful triangle between an ambitious nightclub owner (Bing Crosby), his hoofer war buddy (Fred Astaire), and the chorus girl (Joan Caulfield) they both love. Billy De Wolfe, Olga San Juan, Frank Faylen also star; hit-laden score includes “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” “You Keep Coming Back Like a Song,” “Heat Wave,” and “White Christmas.”
The Flight of the Phoenix (Criterion Collection)(1965)
James Stewart, Hardy Krüger, Richard Attenborough, Peter Finch, and Ernest Borgnine star in this saga of a group of men who are stranded in the Sahara when their plane crashes. A rescue is unlikely, and their numbers are already starting to dwindle. Now, their only chance of making it out of the desert alive rests with the long shot plan of cobbling together a working aircraft out of what’s left of theirs. Ian Bannen, Ronald Fraser co-star; based on the novel by Elleston Trevor.
Saturday Night Live: The Complete First Five Seasons
“Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” The first five years of Saturday Night Live featured some of the most beloved cast members of all time, including Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, and Laraine Newman – the “Not Ready For Prime-Time Players.” They set the stage for some of the most hilarious television comedy, and it was all live! Now the best of the original cast is available unlike ever before. Every episode of Seasons 1-5!
The O. Henry Playhouse: The Complete Series, Vol. 2 (1957)
Directed by such Hollywood veterans as Bernard Girard and George Waggner, The O. Henry Playhouse – The Complete Series, Vol. 2 contains thirteen half-hour episodes that shine the spotlight on such timeless tales as “”One Dollar’s Worth”” and “”Christmas by Injunction”; and also features a glittering array of movie and TV stars in Chuck Connors, Claude Akins, Tommy Kirk, Susan Morrow, Preston Foster, Leo Gordon, Morris Ankrum, Jeanne Bates, Whitney Blake, Stanley Clements, John Doucette, Ross Elliott, Jack Mulhall, Frank Jenks, Mary Field, Dave O’Brien, Simon Oakland, William Schallert, Les Tremayne, Minerva Urecal, Grant Withers and Richard Arlen.”
La Llorona (U.S. Limited Edition)(1933)
An early horror classic drawn from Mexico’s rich tradition of folklore, La llorona recounts the chilling tale of the ‘wailing woman’ who kills herself and her child before returning to haunt the living. Expressionistic, lyrical and atmospheric, Ramón Peón’s film draws on the influence of Universal Pictures’ contemporaneous horror cycle and incorporates elements of period melodrama and romance. This landmark production in the evolution of Mexican cinema has been newly restored from the only surviving film elements, and is presented here with a selection of essential extras.
The Phantom of the Monastery (U.S. Limited Edition)(1934)
Made in the wake of La Llorona’s success and directed with flair by Fernando de Fuentes (regarded as one of the masters of early Mexican cinema), The Phantom of the Monastery (El fantasma del convento) tells the macabre tale of a troupe of hikers who become lost in a forest and take refuge in a haunted monastery. There, they encounter shape-shifting shadows, ominous sealed doorways, and a cellar crowded with coffins. An expressionistic Gothic triumph which has tragically languished in obscurity outside of Mexico, The Phantom of the Monastery has now been lovingly restored and is presented on Blu-ray at long last in a world debut edition, along with a selection of illuminating extras.
Rock Hudson’s Home Movies (1992)
Intriguing look at the films and gay life of Rock Hudson, as narrated by Hudson “himself” from beyond the grave. By looking at clips from the actor’s most popular films like “Pillow Talk” and tracing his career from contract player to legend, this biography reveals aspects of Hudson’s life that may have been evident on the screen all along. Eric Farr narrates; Mark Rappaport directs.
The Madame Blanc Mysteries: Series 1 (2021)
Posh Cheshire antiques dealer Jean White (Sally Lindsay) was stunned to learn that her husband Rory died in the South of France under shady circumstances. Still, that would pale next to finding that he’d leveraged the business, and left her with almost nothing. Repairing to her last asset–a cottage in Sainte-Victoire–she’d make her own inquiry into Rory’s homicide in this flavorful series. Steve Edge, Sue Vincent, Sue Holderness, Robin Askwith co-star. 6 episodes on 2 discs.
Back Street (1941)
Skillful adaptation of the tearjerking Fannie Hurst novel features Charles Boyer and Margaret Sullavan as star-crossed lovers Walter Saxel and Ray Smith. Years after their marriage plans are sabotaged, the pair are reunited in New York City. When Ray discovers that Walter is now married to another, she agrees to become her mistress in order to remain a part of his life. With Richard Carlson, Frank McHugh, Tim Holt.
Now and Forever (1934)
Con man Jerry Day (Gary Cooper) is reunited with young daughter Penelope (Shirley Temple), who lived with relatives after her mother’s death, and takes the tyke with him on his scams while trying to get to know her better. For the sake of the child, his girlfriend (Carole Lombard) tries to talk Jerry into going straight, but can this crook say goodbye to crime for good? With Charlotte Granville, Guy Standing.
Dexter: New Blood (2021)
A decade after he faked his own death in Miami, forensic scientist/serial murderer Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall) was living a quiet life in upstate New York under the guise of shopkeeper “Jim Lindsay.” Triggering events, however, mean that his long battle to tamp down his violent impulses will be lost. Showtime miniseries revival reunites Hall, Debra Carpenter, and original showrunner Clyde Phillips; Julia Jones, Clancy Brown, Jack Alcott, Johnny Sequoyah, Alano Miller also star.
A Time for Dying (U.S. Limited Edition)(1969)
The final western from one of the genre’s greatest directors, Budd Boetticher (Ride Lonesome), and the last screen appearance of war hero-turned-movie star Audie Murphy (To Hell and Back), A Time for Dying is an offbeat, elegiac look at the Old West, prefiguring Don Siegel’s classic western, and John Wayne’s final picture, The Shootist. Richard Lapp stars as a young man with fine shooting skills who crosses paths with real-life figures, such as Jesse James (played by Murphy) and Judge Roy Bean (Victor Jory), only to discover the true violence of the West.
To Sleep So as to Dream (1986)
In the 1950s, the daughter (Moe Kamura) of an aging silent film star (Fujiko Fukamizu) is abducted…and the diva engages a private eye (Shiro Sano) and his eccentric assistant (Koji Otake) to ensure her recovery. Their dogged pursuit of the cagey kidnappers, however, only suffices to uncover a greater mystery. Black-and-white, largely silent, and dreamlike debut for filmmaker Kaizo Hayashi also stars Akira Oizumi, Morio Agata.
Click here for a complete overview of all of this week’s new releases!