From Sal Mineo to Tommy Sands to the Life of Sol Hurok

New DVD releases Just in time for the Holiday season featuring the much requested 1953 Baseball classic The Kid from Left Field and A Private’s Affair, the 1959 Comedy-Musical starring Sal Mineo.

Classic Baseball Movies: The Kid from Left Field Half Angel 1951 Starring Loretta Young, Joseph Cotten Tonight We Sing 1953 Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie (1952) Starring  Jean Peters
Classic Baseball Movies Half Angel 1951 Tonight We Sing 1953 Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie (1952)


A Private’s Affair (1959) Service comedy-musical follows the misadventures of a trio of young dogfaces (Sal Mineo, Gary Crosby, Barry Coe) whose a capella antics while on KP wind up getting them the chance to show their stuff on a nationally televised talent hour. Songs include “It’s the Same Old Army,” “36-24-36”; Barbara Eden, Jim Backus, Bob Denver, Terry Moore, Jessie Royce Landis co-star under Raoul Walsh’s direction.

The Guru (1969) A rock star (Michael York) takes off from the pressures of his Swinging London lifestyle to study sitar with an Indian musician (Utpal Dutt), who reluctantly allows him to come along for a rendezvous with his own spiritual master (Nana Palsikar). Trenchant comedic take on the George Harrison/Ravi Shankar/Maharishi Yogi connection from Merchant/Ivory co-stars Rita Tushingham, Madhur Jaffrey, Saeed Jaffrey.

The Kid from Left Field (1953) As a doormat baseball team struggles through its season, peanut vendor/washed-up big leaguer Dan Dailey starts feeding tips to the dugout through bat boy son Billy Chapin. Pretty soon, the team’s fortunes turn around…but can the surreptitious arrangement last when the owner installs the kid as manager? Anne Bancroft, Lloyd Bridges, Ray Collins, Richard Egan co-star.

Hostage Imprisoned for an attempt on the life of her abusive father–and aware he’ll be waiting for her when she gets out–a tormented young woman (Carrie Hamilton) breaks jail and goes on the run. She makes a hostage of a despondent recent widow (Carol Burnett), and the two take lessons from their forced flight together. Effective made-for-TV effort for the mother-daughter duo co-stars Annette Bening, Leon Russom.

Half Angel (1951) Though happily engaged–presumably–to stuffy boyfriend John Ridgely, repressed nurse Loretta Young harbors an attraction to lawyer Joseph Cotten. Things get interesting when she starts to sleepwalk, and manifest a personality that’s a lot less shy about her desires. Split-uation comedy co-stars Cecil Kellaway, Jim Backus, Irene Ryan.

My Pal Gus (1952) A workaholic executive (Richard Widmark) has pretty much figured everything out, except how to get a handle on his incorrigible, bratty 5-year-old son (George Winslow). A progressive teacher (Joanne Dru) works her wonders on the boy, as well as his romantically interested father…but what happens when grasping ex-wife Audrey Totter re-enters the picture?

Tonight We Sing (1953) Engaging, performance-laden biopic stars David Wayne as Russian-born American impresario Sol Hurok, who made it a life’s mission to bring high art to the common man. Anne Bancroft co-stars as his wife; featured artists playing Hurok’s clients include Ezio Pinza (as Feodor Chaliapin), Roberta Peters (as Elsa Valdine), Tamara Toumanova (as Anna Pavlova), and Isaac Stern (as Eugene Ysaye).

Sing, Boy, Sing (1958) A young, Elvis-esque pop star (Tommy Sands) is pushed to the limit by his grasping agent (Edmond O’Brien), and then finds himself in a crisis of faith when confronted by his dying minister grandfather (John McIntire). Moving tale of rock ‘n’ roll and redemption co-stars Nick Adams, Jerry Paris, Josephine Hutchinson; score includes “Crazy ‘Cause I Love You,” “Daddy Wants to Do Right,” and the title tune.

Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie (1952) As his beloved small town marks its half-centenary, aged barber David Wayne reflects on a life marked by no small number of sorrows, starting with the faithlessness of bored spouse Jean Peters. Sentimental slice of early-20th-century Americana also stars Hugh Marlowe, Albert Dekker, Tommy Morton, Helene Stanley; final film directed by Henry King.

Madison Avenue (1962) Grey-flannel drama stars Dana Andrews as a hotshot advertising executive kicked to the curb after losing a war of wills with his boss. Eager for revenge, Andrews signs on with a failing agency run by Eleanor Parker and builds it into a major player in the cutthroat ad world. With Jeanne Crain, Eddie Albert, Henry Daniell.

It Happened in Athens  (1962) In 1896 Athens, a publicity-hungry actress (Jayne Mansfield) declares that she’ll wed the winner of the revived Olympics’ 26-mile marathon, all the time believing that her military officer lover (Nico Minardos) has the event in the bag. What to do when an impoverished shepherd (Trax Colton) comes away with the gold? Xenia Kalogeropoulou, Bob Mathias, Brad Harris co-star.

Burning Man (2011) Between his trendy Sydney eatery and his unending string of casual affairs with women, a high-strung, high-end chef (Matthew Goode) has little time for his young son (Jack Heanly). In the aftermath of a terrible accident, however, the profound tragedy that the compulsive culinarian is trying to outrun comes to light. Effective drama from Australia co-stars Bojana Novakovic, Rachel Griffiths, Kerry Fox.

Lawless (2012) During Prohibition, the Bondurant brothers–Jack (Shia LaBeouf) Howard (Jason Clark), and Forrest (Tom Hardy)–have managed to carve out their own moonshining empire in Virginia. Just as Jack aims to increase his holdings in the business, a corrupt lawman (Guy Pearce) from Chicago arrives to pressure the siblings for the customary bribe. Their refusal sets the stage for a bloody war in director John Hillcoat’s violent true crime drama. With Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain.

Lincoln: The One-Man Show (2012) America’s 16th president is vividly brought to life by actor Gary Saderup in this unforgettable one-man stage performance. Following “Honest Abe” from his time as an Illinois prairie lawyer to his tumultuous White House years, Saderup uses Civil War-era photos and music with Lincoln’s own writings and speeches to detail how his opinions on democracy and slavery were formed and how they drove his to fight for the country’s preservation.

Christmas in Compton (2012) Compton businessman Big Earl’s (Keith David) Christmas tree lot is endangered after son Derrick (Omar Gooding)–who divides his time between his dad’s operation and producing music–makes some questionable decisions in secret. With the situation spiraling out of control and the family’s financial survival now in question, Derrick pins his hopes on some form of divine intervention. Charming holiday offering co-stars Eric Roberts, Porscha Coleman.

Men in Black 3 (2012) MIB agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) face their biggest challenge yet in the hit third entry of the popular sci-fi/comedy series. When evil alien criminal Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) erases K from history, J must travel back in time to 1969, where he teams up with a younger version of K (Josh Brolin) in an effort to defeat Boris and restore the timeline. Emma Thompson, Michael Stuhlbarg, Alice Eve co-star.

Sparkle (2012) Set in Detroit in the late 1960s, this stylish remake of the 1976 film follows Sparkle (Jordin Sparks), Sister (Carmen Ejogo), and Dee (Tika Sumpter) Anderson, three sisters who form an all-girl music group against their mother’s (Whitney Houston, in her final film role) wishes. The girls achieve success, but Sister’s drug use threatens to end their careers and tear their family apart. With Derek Luke, Mike Epps. Includes the songs “Celebrate,” “His Eye Is on the Sparrow,” and more.

Step Up Revolution (2012) After moving to Miami, aspiring dancer Emily (Kathryn McCormick) finds herself falling for Sean (Ryan Guzman), the charismatic leader of a dance crew that has been confounding the community with its synchronized flash-mobbing. Will the kids be able to make a stand against the developer (Peter Gallagher) who wants to gentrify their ‘hood, especially after it’s revealed he’s Emily’s dad? Fourth entry in the move-busting series co-stars Misha Gabriel, Cleopatra Coleman.