Oh man, this is gonna be great!
You’ll have to pardon my enthusiasm, it’s just that there are variety of really exciting releases for lovers of classic cinema this week. From a second collection of movies featuring Bomba the Jungle Boy to an underrated Loretta Young film, here’s your look at what timeless favorites are now available!
Johnny Sheffield swings back into action as Bomba in the final six Monogram jungle thrillers. When diamond smugglers pose as geologists and make slave labor out of the locals, Bomba smashes their schemes in “African Treasure” (1952). Lyle Talbot co-stars. The jungle boy sets out on a dangerous quest to uncover the truth about his parents’ fates in “Bomba And The Jungle Girl” (1952). Karen Sharpe co-stars. Bomba agrees to safeguard filmmakers on a documentary shoot, but there’s a killer amongst the crew, in “Safari Drums” (1953). Bomba seeks to deliver a recovered sacred artifact back to the Watusi, but plunderers have other ideas, in “The Golden Idol” (1954). Paul Guilfoyle co-stars. When a movie star (Beverly Garland) ventures into the veldt after her runaway embezzler husband, Bomba must make sure they aren’t prey for a “Killer Leopard” (1954). When elephants rampage, Bomba must put down the leader to preserve the herd, in “Lord Of The Jungle” (1955). Wayne Morris co-stars.
Legendary film song-and-dance star Gene Kelly brought his terpsichorean talents to the small screen in this installment of the performing arts series “Omnibus.” Demonstrating his impeccable footwork, Kelly is also joined by such sports notables as Mickey Mantle, Johnny Unitas, Sugar Ray Robinson, and Bob Cousy to show that there’s nothing unmanly about dancing.
To Be Or Not To Be (1942)
Ernst Lubitsch’s original WWII satire and comedy classic stars Jack Benny as a hammy Shakespearean actor who, along with members of his Polish theater group, make us of their acting and makeup skills to become involved with espionage following the Nazi invasion. Carole Lombard, in her last film, is Benny’s unfaithful wife/leading lady. With Sig Rumann, Robert Stack.
The original film version of Agatha Christie’s classic thriller finds 10 strangers being summoned to a remote island by an unseen host, who accuses each of getting away with murder. As they’re bumped off one by one, the guests come to realize that the killer is among them…but who is it? June Duprez, Barry Fitzgerald, Louis Hayward, Walter Huston star; directed by Rene Clair.
Early Fassbinder (Criterion Collection)
In his first feature film, “Love Is Colder Than Death” (1969), Rainer Werner Fassbinder co-stars as a small-time pimp who joins unscrupulous thug Ulli Lommel on an ill-fated crime spree. Hanna Schygulla also stars. “Katzelmacher” (1969) follows a group of shiftless friends whose mundane lives are interrupted by an enigmatic Greek immigrant. Fassbinder, Schygulla, Lillith Ungerer star. “Gods Of The Plague” (1970) focuses on a small-time Berlin crook whose plans to escape his past go awry when his ex-lover sells him out to a corrupt cop. Fassbinder, Schygulla, Harry Bear star. The homage to American crime dramas “The American Soldier” (1970) follows a Vietnam veteran of German descent hired by the Munich cops to take out a criminal gang. Karl Scheydt stars. The unflinching look into filmmaking “Beware Of A Holy Whore” (1970) observes a German film crew at a Spanish seaside hotel as they await their temperamental director. Fassbinder, Schygulla, Eddie Constantine star.
Three Little Girls In Blue (1946)
Musicalized makeover of “Three Blind Mice” casts June Haver, Vivian Blaine, and Vera-Ellen as the Midwestern milkmaid sisters who head out to early-1900s Atlantic City with a convoluted scheme to land themselves rich husbands. Engaging effort co-stars George Montgomery, Celeste Holm, Frank Latimore; score includes “You Make Me Feel So Young,” “Somewhere in the Night.”
Me And My Gal (1932)
One of the perks of NYC cop Spencer Tracy’s waterfront beat is the hash house where he can flirt shamelessly with sassy server Joan Bennett. Will there any room for romance, though, after her ditzy sister (Marion Burns) offers shelter to an ex-boyfriend (George Walsh)–the very hood the detective’s been assigned to catch? Henry B. Walthall, George Chandler co-star under Raoul Walsh’s direction.
The Sweet Ride (1968)
A trio of Malibu beach-house roommates–aging tennis hustler Anthony Franciosa, dissatisfied surf bum Michael Sarrazin, and draft-dodging jazzman Bob Denver–find themselves questioning their aimless lifestyle after their involvement with wanna-be starlet Jacqueline Bisset draws them into violent danger. Michele Carey, Michael Wilding, Warren Stevens co-star; soundtrack features Dusty Springfield, Moby Grape
Private Number (1936)
After taking a maid’s job in a plush household, poor girl Loretta Young finds herself falling for bosses’ son Robert Taylor, and vice versa. They marry on the sly before he goes back to college…will he confront his disapproving parents with the truth before resentful major domo Basil Rathbone does it for him? Oft-filmed sudser co-stars Patsy Kelly, Joe E. Lewis, Jane Darwell.