Greetings film fans! This week’s new releases offer up something extra special for all of you classic cinema lovers. We’re thrilled to announce that Movies Unlimited is exclusively offering the classics Rhapsody in Blue and The Great Waltz on DVD . But the terrific titles don’t stop there! The rest of this week’s new offerings include a variety of sought after gems that are making their long awaited home video debuts. Amongst these are great films featuring Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, William Powell, Bette Davis, Yul Brynner, Ernest Borgnine, George C. Scott and many more of your all-time favorites. There’s also a bunch of recent releases, some great TV sets and other exciting DVD and Blu-ray releases. Whether you are looking to get a jumpstart on your holiday shopping or just want to pick yourself up a movie, you can definitely find something to tickle your fancy this week. There’s never been a better time to be a film lover!
Rhapsody in Blue (1945)
Compelling biography of composer George Gershwin featuring Robert Alda as the musical genius. Follow his career from his early days struggling on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and his partnership with brother Ira to his fame as one of music’s most beloved writers. With Joan Leslie, Alexis Smith, and Oscar Levant as himself. Includes the Gershwin favorites “Embraceable You,” “Swanee,” “Summertime,” “Someone to Watch Over Me,” the title tune, and many more.
The Great Waltz (1938)
The life of 19th-century Austrian composer Johan Strauss is chronicled in this lavish biography. The film follows “The Waltz King’s” rise from orchestra leader to world-renowned musician, and explores his tumultuous romantic relationships with a banker’s daughter and an opera singer. Fernand Gravet, Luise Rainer, and Miliza Korjus star in this beautifully photographed, music-filled effort.
Wealthy Caroline Grannard (Ruth Chatterton) and her husband Greg (John Miljan) are on the verge of getting a divorce, clearing the way for Julian (George Brent), a writer who’s always loved her. But everyone’s future happiness is up in the air as a financial rough spot may bring Caroline and John closer, and Julian is pursued by beautiful socialite Malbro (Bette Davis). Adrienne Dore, John Wray also star in this lighthearted mix of comedy and drama.
Jean Giraudoux’s farce is updated to Paris in the 1960s, where the wacky Countess Aurelia (Katharine Hepburn) and her three friends who frequent a sidewalk cafe discover that businessmen plan to destroy the City of Lights by drilling for oil. All-star cast includes Danny Kaye, Richard Chamberlain, Charles Boyer, Yul Brynner, and Margaret Leighton.
Unknown actress Elsa Brinkman (Kim Novak) is hired to star in a film about Lylah Clare (also played by Novak), a ’30s Hollywood legend who tragically died on her wedding night. But Elsa learns that an uncanny physical resemblance isn’t the only thing the two women share, as she begins adopting some of the late starlet’s characteristics and becomes the object of obsession of Lylah’s husband (Peter Finch), who is also the biopic’s director. Ernest Borgnine co-stars; directed by Robert Aldrich.
Loosely based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s story “Babylon Revisited,” this classic romantic drama set in post-WWII Europe follows journalist Van Johnson as he is kissed by beautiful stranger Elizabeth Taylor while covering the end-of-war celebrations. A whirlwind romance ensues, and after the pair wed they find their lives growing apart–resulting in tragedy. With Walter Pidgeon, Donna Reed.
George C. Scott stars as a retired getaway driver who now lives a quiet life in a small Portuguese fishing village. He’s hired for one last job transporting a killer (Tony Musante) and his girlfriend (Trish Van Devere, Scott’s future wife) to France, but a double cross leaves all three of them on the run for lives. Taut crime thriller from Richard Fleischer (who replaced original director John Huston) also stars Colleen Dewhurst (Scott’s then-wife), Aldo Sambrell.
Colorful, unpredictable adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel about a young Englishman who is taken on a series of bizarre adventures by his eccentric Aunt Augusta after his mother dies. The young man stops at a number of countries while meeting his relative’s lovers and becoming involved in a smuggling plot. Maggie Smith, Alec McCowen, and Louis Gossett, Jr. star; George Cukor directs.
Set between 1904 and 1908, this compelling drama focuses on the joys and hardships experienced by three sisters living in a small Montana town. Bette Davis, Anita Louise, and Jane Bryan star as the siblings whose romances, relationships, and marriages are expertly chronicled, and Errol Flynn is the charming writer who captures eldest sister Davis’ heart. With Beulah Bondi, Alan Hale.
A unique sense of dark humor drives this unusual tale, set in 1918, that follows Jonas Candide (Stacy Keach), a former carny who travels from prison to prison in the American South with his own portable electric chair. Asking $100 for every zap, Jonas finds his business threatened when he falls for the beautiful Gundred (Marianna Hill), one of a pair of siblings he’s been hired to execute. Bud Cort, Graham Jarvis, James Sloyan, M. Emmet Walsh co-star.
An Indian attack separates brothers Quinton and Morgan Beaudine (Tim Matheson, Kurt Russell) for eight years, as Quinton studies medicine and Morgan takes on the ways of the Native Americans, even adopting the name “Two Persons.” The brothers’ reunion leads them to search for their missing sister, joining forces with a cattle driver (Brian Keith) with a past as a gunslinger. This pilot adventure for the western TV series co-stars John Cameron Mitchell, Neville Brand. AKA: “The Longest Drive.”
Matthew Perry co-created and stars in this quirky sitcom set at the Sunshine Center, a cut-rate San Diego sports arena. On the brink of a mid-life crisis, the facility’s manager (Perry) has his hands full dealing with his less-than-satisfying personal life, a bizarre group of co-workers, and the various fiascoes that pass for the center’s concerts and events. With Allison Janney, Andrea Anders, James Lesure, Nate Torrence, Portia Doubleday.
Four-disc set includes “Her Husband’s Affairs,” “Miss Grant Takes Richmond,” “The Fuller Brush Girl,” and “The Magic Carpet.”
All 22 episodes from season five–including the two-part conclusion to “Her Honor,” “Who Was That Mashed Man?,” “I’m OK, You’re Catatonic/Schizophrenic,” “Jung and the Restless,” and “Danny Got His Gun: Part 1″–are collected in a three-disc set.
Chester Morris makes his final appearance as Jack Boyle’s famous character Horatio “Boston Blackie” Black in this comic mystery outing. After Blackie is accused of killing the proprietor of a Chinese laundry, he enlists the aid of his sidekick “The Runt” (Sid Tomack) to find the real murderer before Inspector Faraday (Richard Lane) and Sergeant Matthews (Frank Sully) lock him up. Maylia, Don McGuire co-star.
The ideally cast George Sanders anchors this drama told in flashback over the slain body of a prominent Czech emigre businessman, detailing the many backs he stabbed and lives he ruined as he wound his way to power. Yvonne DeCarlo, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Colleen Gray, and Tom Conway co-star in this tale inspired by the 1955 unsolved murder of notorious stock manipulator Serge Rubenstein.
Slick and sophisticated con artist Sherwood Nash (William Powell) teams with dress designer Lynn Mason (Bette Davis) to take the fashion industry by storm (read: swindle the heck out of it) in this delightful musical comedy. Their plan involves taking a trip to Paris to swipe the latest designs then returning to New York to sell the knockoffs. Frank McHugh, Hugh Herbert co-star; the Busby Berkeley musical numbers include “Spin a Little Web of Dreams,” “Broken Melody,” and more.
Tex Barton (Marshall Thompson) is an orphaned farmboy who is saddened when his beloved horse Bess dies while he’s serving overseas during World War II. But when Tex saves a wounded mare on an island in the South Pacific, he forms a strong attachment to the horse, which he also names Bess. Their bond becomes unbreakable when Bess rescues Tex and his pals from a Japanese attack. George Tobias, Clem Bevans also star in this poignant drama inspired by a true story.
A delightfully frisky family fable about a bull terrier named Wildfire who rises from poverty in the “Bow-wow-ery” and life as a dogfight participant to the lap of luxury when a servant and his wealthy employer take him in. Jeff Richards, Edmund Gwenn, and Dean Jagger star; the voice of Wildfire is supplied by Vic Morrow. AKA: “Bar Sinister,” “Wildfire.”
Witty and sophisticated comedy stars Greer Garson as penniless showgirl Julia Packett, who finds adventure and romance while on a boat ride to France, where her daughter (Elizabeth Taylor) is scheduled to get married. Upon arriving in Paris, Julia reunites with her ex-husband (Walter Pidgeon), leading to a series of humorous complications. With Peter Lawford, Cesar Romero, and Reginald Owen.
Paul Muni delivers a magnificent portrayal as Mexican leader Benito Juarez in this gripping historical drama. Set in the early 1860s, the film chronicles Juarez’s valiant fight for his country’s freedom and his conflict with Maximilian Von Hapsburg (Brian Aherne), a political puppet installed as Mexico’s emperor by French ruler Napoleon III (Claude Rains). Bette Davis, John Garfield also star.
Due to a childhood injury, Clara Johnson (Yvette Mimieux) is a 26-year-old young woman with the mental capacities of a 10-year-old girl–a daunting condition that leaves her upper-class parents (Olivia de Havilland, Barry Sullivan) ever hopeful that she can attract the right kind of man to offer her the best chance at a happy life. While visiting Italy, Clara is admired by a handsome suitor (George Hamilton) who enters their circle. Romantic drama co-stars Rossano Brazzi, Isabel Dean.
Pre-Code potboiler offers Ann Dvorak as the titular homemaker, who goads scuffling adman spouse George Brent into starting his own agency. Her pride at his success gives way to regret, however, once he hires ex-flame Bette Davis to help with the workload…and the late nights at the office start piling up. John Halliday, Ruth Donelly also star.
Based on the novel “A Case of Need” by Michael Crichton (under the pseudonym Jeffery Hudson), this medical mystery stars James Coburn as Boston pathologist Dr. Peter Carey. When a trusted colleague (James Hong) is accused of performing an illegal abortion that led to the death of the hospital chief of staff’s (Dan O’Herlihy) daughter, Carey launches his own investigation to prove his friend’s innocence. With Jennifer O’Neill, Pat Hingle; directed by Blake Edwards.
Exciting adaptation of A.E.W. Mason’s novel “The Four Feathers” is set in the Sudan where a British military officer (Anthony Steel) is unjustly declared a coward after resigning his commission. In order to reclaim the respect of his fellow soldiers and his fiancee, he embarks on a perilous mission to Africa. Co-directed by Zoltan Korda, the film recycles footage and the script from Korda’s “The Four Feathers” (1939). Laurence Harvey, Mary Ure also star.
Heartwarming fun and heart-stopping suspense are blended in this delightful and exciting adventure for the entire family. Two runaway children hide out in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, where they are helped by an elderly recluse (Ingrid Bergman). With Sally Prager, Richard Mulligan. AKA: “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.”
Offbeat comedy/drama starring Van Johnson as an attorney with a strange medical condition: He’s so hypersensitive to alcohol that even the slightest smell of booze gets him loaded. While romancing his boss’s beautiful daughter (Elizabeth Taylor), Johnson must decide if he wants to put his legal expertise to use helping wealthy clients or fighting for civil rights. With Percy Waram, Fay Holden, Edgar Buchanan.
Mike (Jan-Michael Vincent) is a member of a proud Native American tribe who’s spent many years separated from his family. But he’s called back to his village when his grandfather (Chief Dan George), an aging medicine man, enlists his help to battle the malevolent spirit of an ancient witch. Now, Mike will have to tap into the power buried deep within his bloodline in an effort to save his people. Marilyn Hassett co-stars in this offbeat horror tale.
In this hilarious British comedy, five soldiers are picked by a wacky military psychiatrist to participate in a frantic 48-hour scavenger hunt. The men scamper across the English landscape in search of a host of strange items, but the exercise is actually a test to see who can think the fastest under bizarre circumstances. Michael Callan, Lionel Jeffries, Denholm Elliott, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Bernard Cribbins star.
Based on the novel by John Christopher, this thought-provoking sci-fi adventure from director/co-scripter Cornel Wilde is set in England where a virus has destroyed most strains of wheat and rice. With society teetering on the brink of starvation, a man (Nigel Davenport) leads his family across a bleak British landscape to his brother’s farm, encountering renegade soldiers, roving biker gangs, and other threats along the way. With Jean Wallace (Wilde’s then-wife), John Hamill.
Elizabeth Taylor is at her most evocative as a reclusive, emotionally fragile woman who chances to peer out the window at the house next door…and witness the commission of a murder. Her husband (Laurence Harvey) and best friend (Billie Whitelaw) treat the incident as paranoid fantasy. Is she losing her grip on reality, or is a far more sinister truth being concealed?
The night school program at a Boston college has just added a new course, and it’s a study in blood-curdling terror! A series of grizzly decapitations–all with comely co-eds as victims–leads a police lieutenant to suspect a well-regarded anthropology professor. But is he really the killer or is someone else causing the girls to lose their heads? Gruesome slasher stars Leonard Mann, Rachel Ward (in her film debut), Drew Snyder.
Quirky comedy for those of all ages about a 9-year-old Baltimore boy who possesses the unique ability to (as the title suggests) communicate with those of an equine nature. It isn’t long before his strange gift attracts the attention of a shady gambler who needs the young man to pick the winner of the upcoming Preakness by getting it, quite literally, from the horse’s mouth. Jackie “Butch” Jenkins, Peter Lawford, Beverly Tyler, Edward Arnold, Charles Ruggles star.
Odongo (Juma) is an African orphan boy who works for grizzled hunter Steve Stratton (Macdonald Carey) on an animal sanctuary that caters to zoo and circus owners. When he’s falsely accused of setting the animals free before a wealthy client arrives, Odongo runs off into the wilderness. Now, Stratton and compassionate veterinarian Pamela Muir (Rhonda Fleming) must find the boy before it’s too late. Eleanor Summerfield, Francis De Wolff also star in this thrilling adventure.
The “Harry Potter” film series reaches its thrilling and epic conclusion as Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) fulfills his destiny in a defining battle with Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), who has secured the weapon he is certain can dispatch the young wizard. With longtime friends Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) by his side, Harry makes his last stand defending Hogwarts and the power of good magic. With Michael Gambon, Helena Bonham Carter, Jason Isaacs, Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltrane, and Gary Oldman.
Eight-disc set includes “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1,” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.”
This final made-for-TV feature in the long-running “Hart to Hart” series finds Jennifer Hart (Stefanie Powers) planning a romantic weekend with hubby Jonathan (Robert Wagner), only to get caught up in a mystery involving a missing woman she physically resembles. In order to locate the woman, Jennifer places herself in danger by impersonating her. With George Hamilton, Katja Riemann.
Eighteen episodes–with guest stars Louis Armstrong, Lucille Ball, Johnny Carson, Bill Cosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Liberace, Johnny Mathis, Bob Newhart, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, Kate Smith, The Supremes, Orson Welles, and many more–are featured in a six-disc set.
Dun dun! All 456 episodes from “Law & Order’s” 20-year run are presented in a 104-disc set.
If you’ve already given actual Barbies for Christmas gifts, maybe it’s time to consider placing this delightful animated feature under your favorite little gal’s tree! In this adventure, Mattel’s classic doll character celebrates the holidays with all of her sisters (together for the first time in a Barbie feature) and that spunky pup, Skipper!
Hanna-Barbera’s 1978-81 animated series, originally airing as part of “The All-New Popeye Hour,” follows the misadventures of the huge–and, thus, ironically named–Dinky Dog (voiced by Frank Welker). Adopted by young Sandy (voiced by Jackie Joseph) and Monica (voiced by Julie Bennett) when he was a pup, Dinky is always causing king-sized damage, much to the consternation of the girls’ uncle Dudley (voiced by Frank Nelson).
After an Academy Award-winning big-screen career, myopic misadventurer Quincy Magoo (voiced by Jim Backus) made the jump to TV in three animated series and several specials. Included in this 11-disc set are all 26 episodes of “The Mr. Magoo Show” (1960-61); all 26 episodes of “The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo” (1964-65); the feature-length special “Uncle Sam Magoo” (1970); and all 16 episodes of “What’s New, Mr. Magoo?” (1977).
For details and availability of more of this week’s new releases, click here.
Here’s a look at last week’s new releases.