Here’s a Rundown of What Yesteryear Favorites Are Available This Week

A New Life (1988)

Alan Alda is at his best as a recently divorced, irritable, and self-centered Wall Street whiz encountering the pitfalls and pratfalls of his new single status. Feeling distinctly uncomfortable returning to the bar scene, Alda begins to fear he’ll be “on the market” for the rest of his life…until Cupid’s arrow unexpectedly strikes his heart again. Written and directed by Alda, the film features Ann-Margret as the ex-wife, Veronica Hamel, Mary Kay Place, and Hal Linden.

Action Heroes of the Cliffhanger Serials (1992)

This nostalgic documentary salutes the classic ’30s and ’40s movie serials that inspired the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” films.  See the dashing heroes, dastardly villains, and thrilling stunts that kept audiences on the edge of their seats each week, with scenes from “Flash Gordon,” “The Green Hornet,” “Batman and Robin,” “King of the Rocket Men,” and more.

Chronicle of a Summer (1961)

Filmmaker/anthropologist Jean Rouch and sociologist Edgar Morin take to the streets of Paris to ask citizens a simple question–”Are you happy?”–and in the process, influence the art of documentary moviemaking for decades to come. The duo’s renowned exercise in “cinema verite” delivers an expansive         portrait of a particular time and place while simultaneously revealing timeless human concerns.

Classic All-Star Commericals

An array of classic Hollywood notables–Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Humphrey Bogart, Charlton Heston, Bob Hope, Red Skelton, John Wayne, and former pitchman-in-chief Ronald Reagan, among others–are featured extolling the virtues of such products as Texaco gasoline, Kool-Aid, Gillette razors, E-Z Pop popcorn, Coca-Cola, and Cheerios in this collection of vintage TV commercials.

Cole Younger, Gunfighter (1958)

Romanticized tale of the notorious outlaw casts Frank Lovejoy as a much older Younger, who offers his talents to help a cowpoke (James Best) purge his town of the power-mad politicians who have the locals under their thumbs. Sagebrush saga also stars Abby Dalton, Jan Merlin, Douglas Spencer.

Fort Vengeance (1953)

With the law at their heels, gambler brothers James Craig and Keith Larsen cross the Montana border into Canada. Their knowledge of the ways of the Sioux quickly find them employment…with the newly formed Mounties. When one sibling betrays his oath–and tries to foment tribal war–the other must stop him at all costs. Colorful oater co-stars Rita Moreno, Reginald Denny, Morris Ankrum.

Hiawatha (1952)

Native American adventure tale inspired by the Longfellow poem casts Vince Edwards as the young Ojibway brave sent on a mission to broker peace with the Dakotah, and who faces peril from those among both tribes who hunger for war. Colorful saga co-stars Yvette Duguay as Minnehaha; with Keith Larsen, Morris Ankrum, Stuart Randall.

Liberace: The Candleabra Collection

“Mr. Showmanship” has rarely glittered as brightly as in this two-disc set of 1953-55 television performances. Featuring episodes from “The Liberace Show” and holiday specials, this presentation follows the flamboyant star as he takes his place at the piano (complete with candelabra, of course) and tickles the ivories–much to the delight of his legions of fans!

She Devil (1957)

Fifties fright film fave featuring shapely Mari Blanchard as a tuberculosis-stricken woman who agrees to act as guinea pig to scientist Jack Kelly’s cutting-edge experiments. While the efforts seem to work on the surface, they have turned Blanchard into a mean-spirited manipulator with a criminal mind. Albert Dekker also stars; directed by Kurt Neumann (“The Fly”). 

The Boy from Oklahoma (1954)

Correspondence-course lawyer Will Rogers, Jr.–not so good with a six-gun, but a whiz with a lariat–seeks to hang up his shingle in a corrupt town. He soon assumes the late sheriff’s badge in order to bring grafting mayor Anthony Caruso to heel. Amiable oater co-stars Nancy Olson, Lon Chaney, Jr., Wallace Ford, Slim Pickens, Merv Griffin; directed by Michael Curtiz.

The Diary of a Chambermaid (1946)

A desirable serving girl (Paulette Goddard) in a monarchist French household of the 1880s has her choice of suitors offering wealth, position, or romance. She first sets out to seduce the richest of the eligible men…but soon finds the match to be less than desirable. Will she obtain the best partner, or will her ambitions prove to be her undoing? Perhaps the best of Jean Renoir’s Hollywood films; with Hurd Hatfield, Burgess Meredith, and Irene Ryan.

The Falcon Mystery Movie Collection, Vol. 2

Tom Conway’s remaining adventures as sleuth Tom Lawrence are collected on two discs. When a Texas playboy is murdered in Manhattan, Lawrence traces the trail back to the Lone Star State in “The Falcon Out West” (1944). When new works by a supposedly dead artist surface, Lawrence goes to Mexico City to investigate in “The Falcon In Mexico”  (1944). Lawrence travels to Tinseltown when a cuckolded actor turns up slain in a back lot in “The Falcon In Hollywood” (1944). Lawrence keeps silk smugglers at bay, in the City by the Bay, in “The Falcon In San Francisco” (1945). “The Falcon’s Alibi” (1946) better hold up,  when the jewelry he’s been hired to safeguard disappears. Lastly, Lawrence squares off with murderous thugs after a diamond-synthesizing system in “The Falcon’s Adventure” (1946).

The Gun Hawk (1963)

After taking vengeance against his father’s killers–and getting badly wounded in a subsequent shootout with sheriff Rod Cameron–aging gunslinger Rory Calhoun seeks to hole up in a tough town where outlaws rule. Will that be enough to stop the determined lawman’s pursuit? Rip-roarin’ oater co-stars Rod Lauren, Ruta Lee, Morgan Woodward.

The Red Menace (1949)

Produced shortly before the cloud of McCarthyism descended upon the U.S., this propagandistic drama tells the story of a young couple on the run from “communist forces” out to lure them into their way of life. You know what they say: better dead than “red”! Robert Rockwell, Hanne Axman, and Duke Williams star in this tough, documentary-style curio.

West Point: The Complete Series (1956)

To ensure verisimilitude, the producers of this 1956-57 series following the dramatic lives of West Point cadets sought (and received) the cooperation of the military academy as well as the U.S. Department of Defense. Boasting storylines based on actual case files, the program also featured memorable guest stars, including Chuck Connors, Clint Eastwood, and Barbara Eden; Donald May portrayed a fictional cadet early on; includes nine episodes written by a pre-”Star Trek” Gene Roddenberry. AKA: “The West Point Story.”

View our entire list of the most recent DVD Movie Releases. 

  • Blair Kramer

    “She Devil”… I suspect that movie may be about my college girlfriend…