Movie Questions About The Keep, Night People & More

Letters. We get letters. And we’d like to answer them here, each time we update this column. So email us here at and we’ll print the letters in this column. Here are a couple of our recent queries:

Question: Love your column! As a huge fan of all things film noir, I have a few questions on the potential availability of a few noir classics and more recent era gems.

The first one concerns the availability of Johnny Stool Pigeon with Dan Duryea, Howard Duff and Shelley Winters on DVD? This winter I was lucky enough to catch this forgotten treasure at the annual San Francisco Noir Festival. It is one of those great pictures that have fallen through the cracks, which is a shame, because the film has a lot to recommend it. The print that we saw was a brand new copy struck especially for the festival by Universal, and it looked gorgeous.

The next one is I Walk Alone with Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, and Lizabeth Scott. Another forgotten gem, it seems hard to imagine that even the notoriously slow Paramount Studios could leave a movie like this with such an A-list cast sitting around and never put it out in any video format.

The third one is Cry Of The City with Victor Mature and Richard Conte. It is a Fox film and seems a perfect fit for their Film Noir series.

My last one is a modern noir, The Public Eye with Joe Pesci. I was very surprised to learn that this one is not out on DVD.

Have you heard any news as to when Warner will issue a fifth noir box set? How about the long rumored Sony/Columbia series?

Finally, I’ve questions on the status of three TV series. First is the old 1950s classic Highway Patrol with Broderick Crawford. The second is the early 1990s Showtime series Fallen Angels, and the last one is not a noir at all, but still a personal favorite of mine, The PJs, which was Eddie Murphy’s clay-animated series on Fox.

Any information on the above is greatly appreciated, and thanks again for the always valuable and informative column.
— (via email)

Answer: We love all of your suggestions as we are big film noir fans, too. We can tell you that Universal has bandied about the noir idea recently—anything is possible, especially if their new Pre-Code boxed set does as well as they hope. I Walk Alone, while issued in theaters by Paramount, may, in fact, now be controlled by Universal, since the company owns lots of older Paramount titles. So, folks, get on the ball and add these two winners to that noir set! Agreed, it doesn’t make sense that 1992’s overlooked The Public Eye with Pesci as the Weegee-like crime photographer, produced by Robert Zemeckis, is not on DVD. Warner’s talked of a new noir set this year, though we don’t have any titles confirmed yet, and a Sony collection is rumored to surface in the fall.

As for your TV requests, Highway Patrol, from the same production company as Bat Masterson and Sea Hunt, is an independent, so there’s no word who will handle the 1950s fave with Mr. Crawford as the gruff chief Dan Matthews, or when. The terrific series Fallen Angels, with top-notch casts, writers and directors, we believe is now owned by Universal, even though Paramount’s Showtime offered it on cable. No word on its imminent release, despite widespread interest. Noting to report on Murphy’s The PJs, either.

Question: I remember a movie with Richard Todd, Laurence Harvey, Richard Harris and David McCallum called The Long And The Short And The Tall. Any chance that this may be released on DVD any time soon?
— (via email)

Answer: Also known as Jungle Fighters, this 1961 British effort is set in Burma and focuses on a group of soldiers who take a Japanese scout prisoner, unaware that his capture is part of a grander scheme. This highly regarded but rarely seen film is controlled by Warner Brothers last we heard, and its DVD release is a real longshot.

Question: Will any of these movies soon be available on DVD?

1) The Reckless MomentJames Mason
2) Ministry Of FearRay Milland
3) Ride The Pink HorseRobert Montgomery
4) I Walk Alone – Burt Lancaster
5) Rope Of Sand – Burt Lancaster
6) Mister 880 – Burt Lancaster
— (via email)

Answer: Check off another letter to a film noir and thriller lover. Your choices are prized to say the least, but, sadly, none of these are expected anytime soon in digital format, despite their worthiness. We particularly love your choices of 1949’s Rope Of Sand, in which diamonds and thieves collide, as Burt shares screen time with Casablanca standouts Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, andsury agent on his case. We also love Ride The Pink Horse, with Montgomery directing and starring as an at-loose-ends WWII vet trying to get even for his pal’s death by extorting cash from the late friend’s gangster killer.

Question: I am interested in knowing whether or not any of the following films are slated for DVD release:

1) The Lusty Men – Robert Mitchum
2) Hell On Frisco Bay – Edward G. Robinson
3) Flesh And Fantasy – Edward G. Robinson
4) Toward The Unknown – William Holden
5) Streets Of Laredo – William Holden
6) An American Guerrilla In The Philippines – Tyrone Power

— (via email)

Answer: We do have the Power-headlined, Fritz Lang-helmed American Guerilla in stock right now. As for the others, some are in various stages of DVD development for release, but we would guess later rather than sooner.

Question: Hello. I’d like to know if there’s any word on a DVD release for Michael Mann’s The Keep? It’s been in limbo for years! Also, Richard Stanley’s sci-fi thriller, Hardware? Specifically, a North American release.

A few more titles of interest include:

The Appaloosa – (Marlon Brando & John Saxon)
Cross My Heart – (Martin Short)
One Trick Pony – (Paul Simon)
Outlaw Blues – (Peter Fonda)
Short Time – (Dabney Coleman)
The Wild Life – (Chris Penn & Eric Stoltz)
Werewolf – (1987 Fox TV series)
Iron Man – (’70s animated classic)
— (via email)

Answer: Paramount has been said to be working on a DVD release of Michael Mann’s 1983 supernatural suspenser The Keep for some time, but, so far, nada. Although the film was a real disappointment at the box-office, it has a devoted following that has been waiting for a special edition DVD since—well, forever, it seems. There has been no word on Richard Stanley’s admired 1990 feature debut Hardware, now owned by Miramax and Disney.

1966’s The Appaloosa is, in fact, part of MCA’s Marlon Brando 4-Movie Collection. As of this time, you have to purchase the whole enchilada, which includes The Night Of The Following Day, A Countess From Hong Kong, and The Ugly American. We believe that by July we will have both the Peter Fonda-Susan Saint James musical-infused comedy Outlaw Blues and the Paul Simon starrer One Trick Pony. We have no word on the others as of yet.

Question: Any chance of seeing Gregory Peck’s Night People on DVD? Also, Good Morning, Miss Dove.
— (via email)

Answer: We’ve received lots of queries regarding 1954’s Night People, a top-notch cold war suspenser with Peck as a CIA agent stationed in West Berlin when an American soldier is kidnapped by the Soviets. Although Broderick Crawford, the military man’s father, pushes for immediate action, the situation is more complicated than first assumed. Shot in cinemascope and directed by screenwriter-producer Nunnally Johnson (How To Marry A Millionaire, The Dirty Dozen), the film was produced by Fox, but the company has pretty much ignored the demands for a DVD. We’ll give them another shout and see if they respond. Nothing from the company either on Miss Dove, the 1955 period tale with Jennifer Jones as the schoolmarm who left her mark for generations on a New England town.

Question: Hello there, I consider myself a classic film fan. I don’t know if the police film, made in the 50’s titled Between Midnight And Dawn starring Edmond O’Brien and Gale Storm, was ever released on VHS or DVD. I have searched several sources and found zip. Perhaps you can help. Thanks.
— (via email)

Answer: This 1950 Columbia release (now controlled by Sony) has never been on VHS or DVD, but we believe a new print has recently been produced, always a good sign. Sony has been getting items from their library out occasionally, but we don’t think this crackerjack crime tale, with O’Brien and Mark Stevens as cops trying to corral bad guy Donald Buka and Storm as the gal both Stevens and O’Brien like, is imminent. The director was Gordon Douglas, friend of “The Rat Pack” and helmer of Them! Don’t expect it anytime in the near future. Sorry.

Question: Deborah Kerr is another acclaimed actress with many hard to find performances on DVD. Any idea who controls the rights to these great Kerr films?

1) Tea And Sympathy
2) Edward, My Son
3) Prudence And The Pill
4) The Chalk Garden
5) Eye Of The Devil
— (via email)

Answer: In order:

Tea—released by MGM, now owned by Warner
Edward—same thing
Eye—Warner (we think)

No word on any of them coming out soon, but we’d bet Tea And Sympathy would be the first of the group to reach DVD.

Question: I would like to know if any of the following will be coming out on DVD:

1) The Mad Miss Manton with Barbara Stanwyck & Henry Fonda
2) Trade Winds with Fredric March & Joan Bennett
3) Murder, He Says with Fred MacMurray
4) So Long At The Fair with Jean Simmons & Dirk Bogarde
5) This Could Be The Night with Jean Simmons & Tony Franciosa
6) The Canterville Ghost with Charles Laughton & Robert Young
7) The Snoop Sisters TV pilot with Mildred Natwick, Helen Hayes & Paulette Goddard
8) It Takes A Thief with Robert Wagner
9) Footsteps In The Dark with Errol Flynn
— (via email)

Answer: We hope to have The Mad Miss Manton in stock by July. This much-requested 1938 film offers Stanwyck as a society gal who recruits Fonda and others from her social circle to help her when the police don’t believe she’s got the inside scoop on a murder. None of the other titles you have asked about are on their way to DVD, unfortunately. We can say the 1960s show It Takes A Thief with Bob Wagner as a cat burglar is among the most requested shows in our files. We’ve also received lots of requests for Murder, He Says, as well as for Footsteps In The Dark, with the dashing Errol in suit and tie in a nod to William Powell’s Nick in The Thin Man.

Question: Someone recently wrote in to you with the question….when we would finally see the rest of the Andy Hardy films on DVD? Your response was short by 9 films. There were 16 Andy Hardy films in all. The titles left out are: A Family Affair, You’re Only Young Once, Judge Hardy’s Children, Out West With The Hardys, The Hardys Ride High, Judge Hardy And Son, Andy Hardy’s Private Secretary, Andy Hardy’s Double Life and Andy Hardy’s Blonde Trouble.

I am a big fan of these great classic family films and can only hope that there will be one huge set so the fans can get all the Hardys in one shot! Love your column and look forward to it each month! Thanks for giving the film buffs just what they need by way of great info on upcoming classic releases.
— (via email)

Answer: Sorry for the mistake on Andy Hardy—you are correct on your number. Can you imagine someone playing the same part for 16 films these days? And thanks for the kind words.

Question: I’ve got a great list: The Fortune (Jack Nicholson & Warren Beatty, 1972), The Locket (Robert Mitchum, 1946), Blowing Wild (Gary Cooper & Barbara Stanwyck, 1953), Viva Zapata (Marlon Brando, 1952), The Mad Miss Manton (Barbara Stanwyck, 1938) and Mrs. O’Malley And Mr. Malone (Marjorie Main, 1950)……anything on these?

Also have a couple of TV series: In The Heat Of The Night and Police Story. I can’t understand why Heat Of The Night hasn’t been released on DVD, and Police Story was such a great series. Thanks a lot.
— (via email)

Answer: Check out our prior remarks regarding the imminent arrival of The Mad Miss Manton in July. There’s been lots of talk about Sony putting out The Fortune, and the company claims it’s in their plans, just not for the immediate future. Why Fox has ignored the Oscar-winning Viva Zapata! for so long is beyond us. As for the other titles you requested, we have no word on their arrival. We sure would like to see the Joseph Wambaugh-inspired Police Story on DVD, too. So many great stories and so many great TV moments!

Question: Please, can you tell me when the DVDs of Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy will be released? Will The Firefly be released on DVD?
— (via email)

Answer: Warner is diligently working on readying the MacDonald-Eddy musicals for DVD, but they’ve run into snags over quality of the elements. The studio is still into putting them out, but they’re not going to say when. As for The Firefly, the 1937 film with Ms. MacDonald as a singing spy for Spain had no slated DVD date, either.

Question: Can you tell me if the movie Look Who’s Laughing is available. It starred Edgar Bergen and Jim Jordan, and also Lucille Ball. I believe it came out in 1943.
— (via email)

Answer: The 1941 film also starred Jordan’s wife Marian, and the two were cast as their more familiar radio series personas of Fibber McGee and Molly. It was produced by RKO, which would make it a Warner DVD release. No word yet on its arrival on the format, but since the company has its archive up and running and specializing in just this sort of thing, who knows?

Question: Would you happen to know if there are any plans for the studio to release the old Ellery Queen series starring Jim Hutton on to DVD?
— (via email)

Answer: The entertaining mystery show with Timothy Hutton’s father ran from 1975 to 1976 on NBC, who also produced, so it would be a product of Universal. No word from the studio on its DVD debut yet—a mystery to us, considering how popular it seems to have been.

Question: Hi, love your column. I was wondering if there were any plans to upgrade the non-anamorphic bare-bones DVD of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. I sure think that it is deserving.
— (via email)

Answer: Sadly, we haven’t heard a word on an upgrade on one of our fave musicals. Certainly, the Robert Morse-Michele Lee 1967 tuner deserves it, but MGM says it’s not in their plans. We guess the studio just doesn’t believe in “The Brotherhood Of Man” who agree that this fine film deserves special attention.

Question: Always enjoy your informative column. This, however, is more of a complaint than a request. I’m a movie fan with a broad-based interest and also new to Blu-ray. While I enjoy some of the new films that are being released in this new format, I am disappointed that the studios are dragging their feet and not releasing more of their classic titles on Blu-ray. What is especially frustrating is that Paramount and Universal are noticeably recycling many of their classic titles in “new 50th and 40th anniversary editions” and “Centennial” editions in the standard DVD format, i.e., Sunset Boulevard, Sabrina, Funny Face, Pillow Talk, Rear Window, Vertigo, to name a few. How much mileage do they think they can wring out of titles in the standard format? Do they really expect us to buy a new standard DVD edition and then rebuy the same titles when they’re released (if ever) on Blu-ray? One can dream, can’t one? Anyway, thanks listening and allowing me to vent.
— (via email)

Answer: No problem. We agree with you—he said as The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and El Dorado were being reissued. We have been told that this practice is based on past sales figures, so obviously there are people out there who will purchase Sunset Blvd. no matter what version or how many times it is issued. It is a frustration, for sure, especially when so many terrific (and much-requested) movies lay in limbo, collecting cobwebs while an enthusiastic audience waits for them.

Question: Any idea when you think Battlestar Galactica 4.5 could be released? Also any news on the 7th season release of Law And Order-maybe by December?
— (via email)

Answer: We have no official date on Battlestar Galactica 4.5, the last entry in the series, but we know there’s lots of talk—and even a trailer on the Caprica DVD—about it. Our guess would be in the summer. Your guess for Law & Order would be as good as ours. For the record, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Ninth Season will be issued in May.

Question: Hello. I’m looking for a Daffy Duck cartoon I loved as a kid. It ends with a cameo of Errol Flynn as Robin Hood saying “Welcome to Sherwood.” I know it’s not Robin Hood Daffy. Do you know the title of the cartoon and the collection it can be found in?
— (via email)

Answer: I think you may be getting your cartoons confused. Rabbit Hood from 1949 features Bugs Bunny and Errol Flynn, and is available both on Looney Tunes Spotlight Collection 4 and the pricier Looney Tunes Golden Collection 4. Daffy Duck starred in 1958’s Robin Hood Daffy, but there was no Errol Flynn. In this one, Porky Pig is Friar Tuck, and Daffy sings a song that starts like this: “Oh, join up with me, so joyous and free, And away to old Sherwood hie…” Both cartoons were directed by Chuck Jones, and Robin Hood Daffy is available on DVD in Looney Tunes Golden Collection 3. En garde, Doc!