Film Noir Favorites and More Now on DVD & Blu-ray

 Classic film noir favorites,  Boris Karloff Triple Feature and Danny Kaye starring Hans Christian Andersen from 1952 are now available on DVD. 

Death in Small Doses (1957) starring Peter Graves, Mala Powers, Chuck Murder Is My Beat (1955) starring Paul Langton, Barbara Payton Code Two (1953) starring  Ralph Meeker, Sally Forrest
Death in Small Doses (1957) Murder Is My Beat (1955) Code Two (1953)

 Boris Karloff Triple Feature

When oilmen Ricardo Cortez and Gordon Oliver squared off over a rich Chinese reserve–and the attentions of missionary Beverly Roberts, they didn’t anticipate that all would become the prisoners of bandit warlord Boris Karloff in “West Of Shanghai” (1937). The discovery of a corpse on an Army base shines the spotlight of suspicion on a civilian employee/ex-embezzler (Karloff), in “The Invisible Menace” (1938). Eddie Craven, Marie Wilson, Cy Kendall, Regis Toomey co-star.  And when compassionate surgeon Karloff treats an escapee from “Devil’s Island” (1939), he finds himself sent to the infamous French penal colony, and the nonexistent mercies of commandant James Stephenson. Nedda Harrigan co-stars.

Professional Soldier (1935)

Based on a story by Damon Runyon, this thrilling adventure for the entire family stars Victor McLaglen as a mercenary hired to kidnap a prince so that his employers can take over a small European kingdom.  After he is thrown into prison, he discovers that his superiors are planning on killing the friendly young royal. But can McLaglen stop the dastardly murder plot? With Freddie Bartholomew, Gloria Stuart, Constance Collier.

Code Two (1953)

Ralph Meeker tops the cast of this biker-themed police thriller, portraying a cocky recruit in the LAPD nearly booted from training camp before joining the ranks of an elite motorcycle unit. Once empowered by the badge, Meeker and his partners pursue criminals working the black market. Hard-nosed picture mixing film noir and documentary styles co-stars Elaine Stewart, Keenan Wynn, and Robert Horton.

Death in Small Doses (1957)

Peter Graves shines as a government agent who goes undercover to investigate the use of illegal amphetamines by long-haul truck drivers in this classic crime drama based on a “Saturday Evening Post” expose. Will he find drugs in the big rigs? Or will his true identity be discovered first? Mala Powers, Chuck Connors, and Robert Williams co-star.

Hans Christian Andersen (1952)

Danny Kaye stars as the Danish cobbler-turned-storyteller extraordinaire in a fanciful family favorite, loosely based on Andersen’s life. Lavish sets and ballet sequences and a Frank Loesser score that includes “Inchworm,” “Thumbelina,” and “The Ugly Duckling” add to this timeless fantasy. Co-stars Farley Granger, Zizi Jeanmarie, Joey Walsh; directed by Charles Vidor.

Murder Is My Beat (1955)

B-movie maverick Edgar G. Ulmer (“Detour”) also helmed this pulpy noir delight starring Paul Langton as a policeman protecting Barbara Payton (in her final credited role), a woman he believes wrongly accused of murder. When he is confronted by colleague Robert Shayne, Langton successfully bargains for that old standard: 24 hours, to clear her name. With Selena Royle, Kate MacKenna.

The Mudlark (1950)

Fascinated with a cameo of Queen Victoria (Irene Dunne), a street urchin (Andrew Ray) in 1875 London resolves to sneak into Buckingham Palace so that he can meet her in person. A canny Benjamin Disraeli (Alec Guinness) sees in the plucky boy the means to draw Her Majesty out of her widowhood-driven seclusion. Charming historical tale co-stars Finlay Currie, Anthony Steel, Beatrice Campbell.

Perry Mason: The Eighth Season, Vol. 2 (1965)

The remaining 15 episodes from the eighth season–including “The Case of the Thermal Thief,” “The Case of the Feather Cloak,” “The Case of the Fatal Fetish,” “The Case of the Deadly Debt,” and “The Case of the Mischievous Doll”–are featured in a four-disc set.

Wild River (1960)

Adapted from the novels “Dunbar’s Cove” by Borden Deal and “Mud on the Stars” by William Bradford Huie, this romantic drama from director Elia Kazan stars Montgomery Clift as a Tennessee Valley Authority agent tasked with evacuating a small town as part of a dam’s construction. He faces opposition from the locals, most notably a stubborn old lady whose granddaughter (Lee Remick) quickly catches Clift’s eye. Jo Van Fleet, Albert Salmi, Jay C. Flippen also star. 

Jackson 5ive: The Complete Animated Series

Singing siblings Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon, and Michael Jackson became Saturday morning cartoon stars in this 1971-73 Rankin-Bass show, which followed the boys (voiced by other actors) on tour and in way-out and groovy adventures around the world. Each episode also featured two songs–including “ABC,” “I Want You Back,” “I’ll Be There,” “Got to Be There,” and more–by the group.

King: A Filmed Record…Montgomery to Memphis (1970)

The man, the dream, and the memories live on in this documentary of the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, from the Montgomery bus boycott to the Nobel Peace Prize, from the triumph on the Lincoln Memorial steps to the tragedy in Memphis. Co-directed by Sidney Lumet and Joseph L. Mankiewicz; includes appearances by Marlon Brando, Charlton Heston, James Earl Jones, Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier, and others, plus a stunning selection of archival and newsreel footage.

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  • William Sommerwerck

    Those who haven’t seen “Hans Christian Andersen” should be aware that the film isn’t “loosely” based on his life — it has no connection with it, whatever. Only two elements are correct: They got his name right. And he was in love with a ballet dancer — but the dancer wasn’t female.

    I’m reminded of the 1939 “Jesse James”, of which one of his descendants said of its accuracy: “There were two people named Frank and Jesse James. And they rode horses.”