James Stewart’s last series TV stint came as homespun but cagey West Virginia criminal lawyer Billy Jim Hawkins in these eight telefilms that aired on CBS. Strother Martin co-starred. Heiress Bonnie Bedelia is accused of triple homicide in “Death and the Maiden” (1973). Hawkins heads to Hollywood to defend film cowboy Cameron Mitchell in “Murder in Movieland” (1973). Billy Jim has the challenge of representing mercy killer Julie Harris in “Die, Darling, Die” (1973). Vengeful father William Windom’s accused of settling with his son’s slayer in “A Life for a Life” (1973). A Civil War re-enactment turns deadly in “Blood Feud” (1973); Lew Ayres, James Best co-star. Washed-up footballer James Luisi’s fingered for a very illegal hit on his boss in “Murder in the Slave Trade” (1974). Ex-flame Teresa Wright needs Hawkins’ help to exonerate her son in “Murder on the Thirteenth Floor” (1974). It looks bad for campaign manager Paul Burke when a reporter with dirt on senator Pernell Roberts turns up dead in “Candidate for Murder” (1974).
First, in “Cinderella II: Dreams Come True,” our heroine finds herself married to Prince Charming. As the young princess tries to fit into palace life with the help of her Fairy Godmother and mouse pals Gus and Jaq, she learns that the best way to live happily ever after is to be herself. With the voices of Jennifer Hale, Christopher Daniel Barnes. Then, in “Cinderella III: A Twist In Time,” the beauty’s wicked stepmother casts a spell that reverses everything her Fairy Godmother created for her. With the ball gown and horse-drawn carriage gone, is it still possible for Cinderella and Prince Charming to stay together? Hale, Tara Platt, Susanne Blakeslee provide voices.
Costume drama stars Orson Welles as the infamous 18th-century hypnotist and charlatan Cagliostro, following his misadventures as he honed his gifts at mesmerism to pursue revenge against the nobleman who killed his parents, and to exert his influence over the court of Louis XVI of France. Akim Tamiroff, Valentina Cortese, Frank Latimore co-star.
Sylvester Stallone (who also co-wrote) and his band of soldiers-for-hire (Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, and Randy Couture) return, along with a young recruit (Liam Hemsworth), in this slam-bang sequel. Joined by a CIA agent (Bruce Willis), an old buddy of Stallone’s (Chuck Norris), and a rival mercenary (Arnold Schwarzenegger), the boys find themselves squaring off against a sinister international arms dealer (Jean-Claude Van Damme).
All 26 episodes from season two–including “Is There a Doctor in the House?,” “The Bard and the Bod,” “A Hair of the Dog,” “Long Night’s Journey Into Day,” and “Who’s on First?”–are featured in a seven-disc set.
Heaven’s Gate (Criterion Collection)
The sprawling, controversial epic from Michael Cimino that depicts the Wyoming range wars of the 1870s follows a brutal showdown between ruthless cattle barons and the mostly immigrant settlers. Kris Kristofferson, Sam Waterston, Isabelle Huppert, John Hurt, and Christopher Walken star.
In this Civil War-era saga, Van Heflin leads a squad of Confederate soldiers–Peter Graves and Lee Marvin among them–on an escape route to Canada as the war ends. Planning to rob banks and set a small Vermont town ablaze to retaliate against the North, Heflin masquerades as a businessman to walk among his enemies incognito…but his scheme is complicated by his infatuation with local widow Anne Bancroft. With Richard Boone, Tommy Rettig.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the award-winning musical, an all-star array of “Les Miz” cast members from productions around the world took the stage at London’s Royal Albert Hall, joined by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, to perform the songs in concert. Colm Wilkinson, Judy Kuhn, Philip Quast, Lea Salonga, and Ruthie Henshall head the cast; songs include “I Dreamed a Dream,” “One Day More!,” “On My Own,” and a special encore of “Do You Hear the People Sing?,” performed by 17 Jean Valjeans in their native languages. Special edition includes commemorative booklet.
Frightening, thought-provoking drama that speculates upon topical tensions. A grain-starved U.S.S.R. makes a desperate gambit to break the embargo…a guerrilla seizure of the Alaskan pipeline. Stunning story of a world on the brink stars Rock Hudson, Brian Keith, David Soul, Cathy Lee Crosby.
Renowned documentary filmmaker Ken Burns chronicles the life and times of those affected by the “Dirty Thirties,” when horrific dust storms born of a decade-long drought plagued America’s breadbasket during the 1930s. Both episodes of the two-part program–”The Great Plow Up” and “Reaping the Whirlwind”–focus on the stories of Depression-era families threatened by the historic ecological disaster.
Having fled a nasty row with her husband, a young woman (Muriel Pavlow) goes to the movies only to get mixed up in a violent crime when she becomes an eyewitness to two thieves (Donald Sinden, Nigel Stock) robbing the place. An accident puts her into the hospital, where the two criminals try their best to shut her up permanently. British thriller co-stars Belinda Lee, Michael Craig.
With his job on the line, and the impossible task of having to market frozen porridge, a harried adman (Marty Feldman, who co-scripted) tries to come up with a salacious campaign to make the product sexy. It doesn’t help that his repressed wife (Judy Cornwell) is heading up a campaign to rid the British airwaves of smut! Cheeky satire co-stars Shelley Berman, Julie Ege. AKA: “Every Home Should Have One.”
Jimmy Smits dons the sombrero to play the legendary Cisco Kid, a Mexican gunrunner who meets a priest named Pancho (Cheech Marin) while facing a firing squad during the Mexican Revolution. The two escape and become a team, battling Texas outlaws and French soldiers while helping the country’s poor. Sadie Frost, Tim Thomerson co-star in this affectionate western-comedy.
The classic western novel is given a stirring and exciting treatment with Bill Pullman directing and starring as the title character, a man from Virginia trying to make a new life for himself in Wyoming. Taking a job as a foreman on a ranch and about to marry school teacher Diane Lane, the Virginian faces danger when he’s betrayed by his best friend. With John Savage, Dennis Weaver, and James Drury (’60s TV’s Virginian).
Army officer, adventurer, blazer of the Oregon Trail, California’s first governor and U.S. Senator, first Republican presidential candidate–the remarkable life of John C. Fremont is grandly dramatized in this sprawling CBS miniseries. Richard Chamberlain stars as the Great Pathfinder, with stellar support from Alice Krige, Ben Johnson, F. Murray Abraham, Rip Torn, Jerry Orbach, Fritz Weaver.
In Victorian England, Dr. Henry Jekyll (Udo Kier) invites his closest friends to an engagement party for his fiancee (Marina Pierro). Perhaps he shouldn’t have reserved a place for that Hyde fellow, as the attendees begin to meet strange and horrible fates, one by one. Erotically charged take on the Stevenson tale from Walerian Borowczyk co-stars Patrick Magee, Howard Vernon. AKA: “The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Miss Osbourne,” “Dr. Jekyll And His Women.”
How many drunken sailors does it take to cause an international incident? In this wacky British comedy, it only takes one seaman (Donald Sinden) to persuade his inebriated buddies to weld some random metal to a foreign vessel and make it appear as if it possesses some sort of secret weapon. The joke’s on him when he gets assigned to the very same ship! With Akim Tamiroff, Sarah Lawson.
A mysterious wandering gunslinger comes to the aid of a fiercely independent homesteader woman who must fight an entire town to save her land in this powerful frontier drama based on the classic Zane Grey book. Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, Henry Thomas, G.D. Spradlin star.
In his directing debut, Tommy Lee Jones plays Hewey Calloway, a cowboy during the early 1900s who visits his brother’s troubled Texas farm after a two-year absence. While trying to help his sibling save the farm, Jones falls in love with schoolteacher Sissy Spacek and is tempted to go back to his bad habits when pal Sam Shepard stops by to see him. With Frances McDormand, Matt Damon.
Ten-disc collection of films written and/or directed by Quentin Tarantino includes “Reservoir Dogs,” “True Romance,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Jackie Brown,” “Kill Bill: Vol. 1,” “Kill Bill: Vol. 2,” “Death Proof,” “Inglourious Basterds,” and two discs featuring exclusive special features.
All 26 episodes from season four–including “Growing Up,” “The Big Heist,” “Kathy,” “Green Hair,” and “On Your Toes”–are collected in a three-disc set.
When Mrs. Claus travels to the town of Pineville, she’s unaware that cute and cuddly–but mischievous–talking pups Hope, Jingle, Charity, and Noble have stowed away on her sled. And when it looks like the holiday spirit is starting to disappear, it’s up to Mrs. C and her trouble-making pals to save Christmas. Cheryl Ladd, Richard Kind, Josh Feldman, Danny Woodburn, Kaitlyn Maher star in this charming entry in the “Santa Buddies” franchise.
This English comedy follows the hilarious complications that ensue when a gruff cargo captain (John Gregson) who has trouble coping with human charges is given command of a luxury liner. He’ll have enough of a challenge keeping the boat on a steady course, but he’s also saddled with the task of dodging shapely and love-hungry female suitors! Peggy Cummins, Donald Sinden co-star.
Intriguing crime drama finds a mob attorney (Richard Widmark) returning to his sleepy California desert hometown–where his estranged father (Carl Benton Reid) and brother (Earl Holliman) serve as sheriff and deputy–to help his gang boss employer (Lee J. Cobb) fly to Mexico to elude capture. When the plan derails, Widmark must choose on which side of the law he’ll stand. Tina Louise, Lorne Greene also star. AKA: “The Baited Trap.”
Superb drama starring Alec Baldwin as a military academy cadet who starts a relentless investigation into the suspicious death of a gay classmate. Set during the Vietnam War, this challenging film also stars Hal Holbrook, Lloyd Bridges, Eddie Albert, and Alexis Smith; script by Gore Vidal.
Explosive, superbly photographed frontier drama stars Joel McCrea as a veteran ranch hand caught up in the middle of a brutal range war between a strong-willed sheep rancher (Veronica Lake) and her cattleman father (Charles Ruggles), the minion of a powerful land baron (Preston Foster). With Donald Crisp, Lloyd Bridges; Andre De Toth directs.
Comedy icon and pioneering TV funnyman Milton Berle shows off his legendary wit in this rare episode of “The David Susskind Show,” talking candidly with host Susskind about his show business career, life during the early days of television, and other topics.
For details and availability of more of this week’s new releases, click here.
Here’s a look at last week’s DVD and Blu-ray releases.