“The John Ford Collection” leads off this week’s assortment of classic films, which also includes the Sonja Henie favorite “Wintertime,” the Blu-ray debut of “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir,” a variety of timeless Westerns gathered in a jaw-dropping 50-disc set, and much more.
The Columbia Films Collection
|The Ghost And Mrs. Muir (1947)||Wintertime (1943|
The fast-paced crime comedy “The Whole Town’s Talking” (1935) concerns a notorious mobster (Edward G. Robinson) who stumbles upon a meek hardware company clerk (Robinson, again) who’s his spitting image, and starts exploiting the docile doppelganger as an alibi. Jean Arthur, Wallace Ford co-star. The Britain-filmed “Gideon Of Scotland Yard” (1958) follows a day in the life of a hard-nosed, harried London chief inspector (Jack Hawkins) as he must deal with a rampaging killer and departmental corruption in addition to typical homelife woes. Anna Lee, Anna Massey co-star. “The Last Hurrah” (1958) is a dramatic look at political cronyism in a large Eastern city starring Spencer Tracy stars as a popular mayor who finds himself at odds with the powerful machine as he runs for re-election. With Pat O’Brien, John Carradine. Cynical Old West lawman James Stewart and hard-bitten Cavalry officer Richard Widmark must join forces to rescue a captive settler party from hostile Indians. “Two Rode Together” (1961) co-stars Shirley Jones, Linda Cristal. Five-disc set also includes “The Long Gray Line.”
Large-scale skating musical with Sonja Henie as a Norwegian champion who lands in Canada with her wealthy uncle, who has purchased a dilapidated hotel. While being wooed by two men (Cesar Romero and Cornel Wilde), Henie organizes a dazzling ice show to raise cash to revive the resort. Carole Landis and Woody Herman and his Band also star; songs include “Later Tonight.”
The Ghost And Mrs. Muir (1947)
Spirited romantic comedy stars Gene Tierney as a widow who moves into a haunted seashore house and, despite the warnings of her neighbors, shuns the attempts by sea captain spectre Rex Harrison to scare her away. After falling for the beautiful, headstrong lady, Harrison helps her escape financial troubles by dictating his adventure-filled life story to her to have published. With George Sanders, Edna Best, Natalie Wood.
Thin Ice (1937)
A Swiss hotel’s ski instructor shares her time on the slopes with a handsome ski enthusiast reporter whom she later discovers is a prince. Romance blossoms, much to the chagrin of diplomats who don’t want the prince to wed a commoner. Sonja Henie excels in the film’s several skating scenes; Tyrone Power, Arthur Treacher, and Joan Davis co-star.
Fifty-disc set features 200 frontier favorites, including “Abilene Town,” “Billy the Kid Returns,” “The Dawn Rider,” “The Fighting Fists of Shanghai Joe,” “In Old Santa Fe,” “McLintock!,” “Rim of the Canyon,” “Santa Fe Trail,” “This Man Can’t Die,” “White Comanche,” and many more.
Il Generale Della Rovere (1959)
Vittorio De Sica plays a petty con artist who poses as an Italian colonel during World War II. However, his masquerade backfires as the plan goes to his head and he is captured by the Nazis, who aim to use his penchant for disguise to their own advantage. This masterpiece from Roberto Rossellini offers a prime example of the Italian neo-realist style of filmmaking. Hannes Messemer, Vittorio Caprioli co-star.