They just don’t make ’em like they used to!
If this is a sentiment you agree with, you’ll want to check out this overview of what classic films are being released on DVD this week.
|Coney Island (1943)||Mister 880 (1950)||Say One for Me (1959)|
23 Paces to Baker Street (1956)
Van Johnson plays a blind playwright living in London in this crackling mystery, overhearing distressing conversation that puts him on the trail of a missing child. Unable to obtain effective help from law enforcement, the writer strikes out on his own, assisted by his butler and a former girlfriend. Vera Miles, Patricia Laffan co-star.
A Message to Garcia (1936)
Gripping, if factually suspect, tale of the Spanish-American War casts John Boles as Andrew Rowan, the Army officer charged with braving Cuba’s Oriente Mountains to deliver a communique from President McKinley to Calixto Garcia, general of the island’s insurgents. Barbara Stanwyck, Wallace Beery, Alan Hale, Herbert Mundin co-star; George Marshall directs.
Apartment for Peggy (1948)
While trying to make a home life for returned soldier husband William Holden as he pursues his G.I. Bill college degree, ebullient housewife Jeanne Crain also manages to show their landlord–elderly, depressed professor Edmund Gwenn–that life always has much to offer. Affecting slice of postwar Americana co-stars Gene Lockhart, Betty Lynn; George Seaton writes and directs.
Clive of India (1935)
Sweeping historical epic casts Ronald Colman in the title role of Robert Clive, the 18th-century British soldier who rose from a functionary with the East India Company to solidify the corporation’s military rule of the colony. Loretta Young, Colin Clive, C. Aubrey Smith, Cesar Romero, Mischa Auer co-star; Richard Boleslawski directs.
College (Ultimate Edition) (1927)
University life is spoofed in this riotous Buster Keaton feature with him playing a bookish student who tries to woo a co-ed with an eye for athletes. His attempts to impress involve taking on a variety of demanding jobs, offering Keaton the opportunity to shine with his famously complex and physical approach to silent comedy. Anne Cornwall, Harold Goodwin co-star.
Coney Island (1943)
Fun musical set in Brooklyn’s “Sodom by the Bay” at the dawn of the 20th century, as saloon songstress Betty Grable becomes the center of a tug of war for her career–and affections–between boss Cesar Romero and promoter George Montgomery. Phil Silvers, Charles Winninger co-star; the plot would be recycled seven years later for Grable’s “Wabash Avenue.” Songs include “Beautiful Coney Island,” “Get the Money.”
In his feature film debut, Glenn Ford plays a disenchanted New York clerk who saves up to buy a parcel of land in Arizona, and decides to thumb his way out there. His journey brings him into the orbit of a young runaway (Richard Conte, also debuting), a professor (Raymond Walburn) opting for the hobo life, and an illegal immigrant (Jean Rogers) who fled Franco’s Spain. Ward Bond, Marjorie Rambeau also star; co-scripted by Dalton Trumbo.
Holiday for Lovers (1959)
Stressed-out Boston psychiatrist Clifton Webb believed the best thing for his nerves would be to pack up spouse Jane Wyman, and desirable daughters Jill St. John and Carol Lynley, for a South American vacation. The overprotective dad, however, doesn’t allow himself a lot of rest, as he has to fend off a raft of males interested in his girls. Engaging farce co-stars Paul Henreid, Gary Crosby.
A Dutch Holocaust survivor (Dolores Hart) places her trust in an ex-Nazi sympathizer (Marius Goring) for passage to Palestine…while he intends to ship her to white slavery into South America. A police inspector (Stephen Boyd) oversteps his jurisdiction to confront (and accidentally kill) the creep, and places his career on the line to help the young woman in her flight. Leo McKern, Hugh Griffith, Donald Pleasence, Harry Andrews co-star. AKA: “The Inspector.”
Mister 880 (1950)
It seems that the U.S. Treasury has a dirty little secret. Its most implacable adversary is a charming, aged counterfeiter (Edmund Gwenn) who knocks out just enough phony singles to live on–and who’s eluded capture for a decade. Newly minted Secret Serviceman Burt Lancaster takes on the challenge, but can he bring himself to bring the old gent in? Demanded charmer based on a true story co-stars Dorothy McGuire, Millard Mitchell, Minor Watson.
Oh, Men! Oh, Women! (1957)
A busy psychiatrist (David Niven) thought it would be another day at the office when his new patient (Ginger Rogers) shared her suspicions of philandering by her hard-drinking actor husband (Dan Dailey). What’s the shrink’s analysis when the other woman turns out to be his own betrothed (Barbara Rush)? Sly sex farce co-stars Tony Randall (his screen debut), Natalie Schafer; Nunnally Johnson co-scripts and directs.
Raiders from Beneath the Sea (1964)
A cash-strapped apartment manager/scuba enthusiast (Ken Scott) makes the fateful decision to turn his avocation into a vocation, as he leads a pack of crooks on a mission to knock over a Catalina Island bank and make a sub-sea escape. Will they get away with it, or wind up all wet? Merry Anders, Russ Bender, Booth Colman co-star.
Remember the Day (1941)
As she awaits a photo opportunity with the presidential candidate (Shepperd Strudwick) who’d been her pupil 25 years earlier, an elderly schoolteacher (Claudette Colbert) reflects on the days when the politico-to-be (Douglas Croft) had a puppy-dog crush on her, and on her life with the colleague/husband (John Payne) whom she lost in World War I. Affecting drama co-stars Anne Revere, Frieda Inescort.
Say One for Me (1959)
Engaging musical-comedy stars Bing Crosby as a showbiz-savvy priest whose NYC mission ministers to entertainers. When parishioner’s daughter Debbie Reynolds has to become breadwinner by dancing at a questionable nightclub, the padre takes it upon himself to make sure club owner Robert Wagner keeps things on the up-and-up. Ray Walston, Frank McHugh, Stella Stevens, Joe Besser co-star. Sammy Cahn/Jimmy Van Heusen score includes “The Secret of Christmas” and the title tune.
Something for the Birds (1952)
When the last sanctuary of the California condor is targeted for oil production, environmentalist Patricia Neal heads to Washington to try and effect a rescue. She hits a significant roadblock in the person of slick O&G lobbyist Victor Mature, but when the mating instinct kicks in, will he stand in her way? Charming romantic/political farce co-stars Edmund Gwenn; Robert Wise directs.
Tender Is the Night (1962)
In the course of his Zurich apprenticeship, an American psychiatrist (Jason Robards, Jr.) makes the grievous mistake of getting emotionally involved with the fragile woman (Jennifer Jones) in his charge, and gets drawn by her into a sordid sojourn through Jazz Age Europe. Opulent take on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s semi-autobiographical tale co-stars Joan Fontaine, Paul Lukas, Tom Ewell, Jill St. John.
The Marriage-Go-Round (1961)
Anthropology professor James Mason and wife Susan Hayward find the first real test of their long and happy union when an old friend from abroad asks them to take on their daughter as a houseguest. Turns out that the little girl has grown into stunning Swedish gymnast Julie Newmar…and she’s fixated on having the brilliant Mason as a baby daddy! Robert Paige, Trax Colton co-star.
The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947)
In late 19th-century Boston, business college grad Cynthia Pilgrim (Betty Grable) raises some eyebrows when she takes a typist job in a shipping company’s all-male office. Just imagine the impact on her job–to say nothing of her smitten boss (Dick Haymes)–when she becomes a full-out suffragette! Anne Revere co-stars. The score of unpublished George Gershwin melodies, given lyrics by brother Ira and completed by Kay Swift, includes “Aren’t You Kinda Glad We Did?,” “Changing My Tune.”
Wabash Avenue (1950)
In Gay Nineties Chicago, casino chanteuse Betty Grable dreams of bigger and better opportunities. While boss Phil Harris likes having her right where she is, longtime business rival Victor Mature wants to get in a dig by spiriting her away to the New York stage. Spirited redo of Grable’s 1943 vehicle “Coney Island” co-stars Reginald Gardiner, Margaret Hamilton; score includes “Wilhelmina,” “Baby Won’t You Say You Love Me?”
All 37 episodes from the sixth season–including “The Wagon Train Mutiny,” “The Mavis Grant Story,” “The Eve Newhope Story,” “The Abel Weatherly Story,” and “The Barnaby West Story”–are featured in a 10-disc set.
Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey vie for a fictional kingdom’s crown in the political satire “Cracked Nuts” (1931); Boris Karloff, Edna Mae Oliver co-star. Bert and Bob are stranded vaudevillians who help a kind widow rescue her failing drugstore in “Caught Plastered” (1931). Framed and sent to prison, W&W are unwilling recruits for the warden’s football team in “Hold ‘Em Jail” (1932). The boys are cosmetics salesmen sent on the run when they mistakenly swap their wares for missing securities in “Hips, Hips, Hooray!” (1934). Thelma Todd co-stars. Cigar stand operators Bert and Bob are on the suspect list when their landlord turns up dead in “The Nitwits” (1935), with Betty Grable. An archeologist charges W&W with returning artifacts to a tomb before a curse takes hold in “Mummy’s Boys” (1936). And the team’s final vehicle, “High Flyers” (1937), casts them as carny pilots conned into aiding a diamond-smuggling scheme. Lupe Velez co-stars. Four-disc set also includes “Half Shot At Sunrise” and “Hook, Line And Sinker” (1930).
Wife, Husband and Friend (1939)
Grasping voice teacher Cesar Romero strings along marginally talented housewife Loretta Young by trumpeting her operatic potential, and harried husband Warner Baxter’s got no choice but to foot the bill. What happens when her debut fizzles, and her spouse is proven to be the voice of the family? Charming farce co-stars Binnie Barnes, Eugene Pallette, J. Edward Bromberg.
Exceptional biography of Woodrow Wilson, chronicling his rise from college administrator and political theorist to governor of New York and President of the United States during World War I, which led to his fight for a League of Nations. Alexander Knox excels in the title role; Charles Coburn, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Thomas Mitchell, and Vincent Price co-star.