The Happy Road Starring Gene Kelly Now On DVD

Classics from the archives, recent theatrical releases, vintage TV favorites and would-be blockbusters. It must another week’s worth of new DVD and Blu-ray releases! MovieFanFare presents a look at the best and brightest of these new viewing possibilitites. Check them out and see what gems are waiting for you!

The Happy Road

When his teenage son wants to prove his independence by fleeing his posh Swiss boarding school, American businessman Gene Kelly (who also directed and produced) has to go on a comic hunt across the French countryside. Thing is, the boy’s girlfriend joined the escape and her single mom (Barbara Laage) is just as determined to get in on the quest. Charming romp co-stars Michael Redgrave, Brigitte Fossey, Bobby Clark.

A Woman’s Secret

Intriguing tale from director Nicholas Ray and writer Herman J. Mankiewicz (“Citizen Kane”) studying the relationship between a popular singer (Maureen O’Hara) and her protege (Gloria Grahame), who has been mysteriously shot. The film features an inventive time-shifting structure and co-stars Melvyn Douglas, Bill Williams, and Victor Jory.

Battleship

Based on the classic board game, this sci-fi actioner concerns an alien armada from an Earth-like planet that arrives on our world in response to a NASA signal. After one of the ships crashes, the remaining four land in Hawaiian waters and quickly become engaged in battle with naval forces. Surrounded by an impenetrable force field, the fleet–led by Admiral Terrance Shane (Liam Neeson)–fights to ensure the survival of mankind. With Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Rihanna, and Brooklyn Decker.

Black Hand

Fact-inspired crime tale set in 1900s New York offered Gene Kelly a change of pace as an Italian-American taken back to the old country as a boy when his father was killed by the notorious extortionist gang. Grown and back in town, he teams with sympathetic cop J. Carroll Naish to get the goods on the Black Hand and break their influence. Teresa Celli, Marc Lawrence co-star.

Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Second Season

All 12 episodes from season two–including “21,” “A Dangerous Maid,” “Gimcrack and Bunkum,” “Two Boats and a Lifeguard,” and “To the Lost”–are featured in a five-disc set.

Born to Be Bad

Just because man-eating conniver Joan Fontaine managed to steal wealthy Zachary Scott away from cousin Joan Leslie, it doesn’t mean she has to break off her long-standing affair with moody writer Robert Ryan. Nicholas Ray’s tough, memorable portrait of a femme fatale co-stars Mel Ferrer, Bess Flowers; based on Anne Parrish’s 1928 novel “All Kneeling.”

Calamity Jane

Jane Alexander delivered an Emmy-nominated performance as the larger-than-life frontierswoman of the Old West who strove to prove herself the equal of any man. Focus is given to her speculated relationship with Wild Bill Hickok (Frederic Forrest); Ken Kercheval, David Hemmings, Talia Balsam also star. Keep an eye out for a young Sara Gilbert.

Caravan

Stewart Granger stars as a 19th-century writer asked to transport a valuable necklace to Spain. The treacherous task brings Granger into contact with aristocrats, villains, and a beautiful Gypsy girl (Jean Kent) he marries after losing his memory in a fight. Based on a novel by Eleanor Smith; Anne Crawford, Robert Helpmann co-star in the romantic adventure film.

Crest of the Wave

When efforts by the British Royal Navy to develop a state-of-the-art torpedo go fatally awry, the U.S. offers the services of naval scientist Gene Kelly and his staff for their input. The prideful English sailors, however, don’t appreciate the presence of the Yanks and the rivalries just might threaten to scuttle the project. Adaptation of the West End hit “Seagulls Over Sorrento” from the Boulting Brothers co-stars Bernard Lee, Sid James.

Darling Companion

Co-written and directed by Lawrence Kasdan, this engaging drama follows an ennui-stricken woman (Diane Keaton) as she finds meaning in her life after she rescues an abandoned dog–much to the dismay of her surgeon husband (Kevin Kline). When the mutt goes missing after their daughter’s wedding, the pair must deal with the reality of their troubled marriage as they search for the canine. With Dianne Wiest, Richard Jenkins, Elisabeth Moss.

Deep Waters

Affecting drama set on the coast of Maine, as lobsterman Dana Andrews is cajoled by social worker fiancee Jean Peters to act as a mentor to troubled orphan Dean Stockwell and steer him towards responsible adulthood. Scenic, flavorful tale co-stars Cesar Romero, Anne Revere, Ed Begley.

Don Juan Quilligan

It’s not uncommon for a seaman to have a girl in every port, but New York river barge skipper William Bendix has managed to get himself a spouse (Joan Blondell) in Brooklyn…and another (Mary Treen) in Utica. Mate Phil Silvers concocts a scheme that’ll land the bigamist boatsman in prison before he has to face the wives in this chuckler. Anne Revere, John Russell co-star.

Earthbound

A businessman (Warner Baxter) is gunned down by his ex-lover (Lynn Bari), who then callously sets up her husband (Henry Wilcoxon) to take the fall for the murder. The victim’s spirit, though, can’t depart this plane…and he must guide his widow (Andrea Leeds) in uncovering the truth if he’s to ever rest. Fantasy-suspenser co-stars Charley Grapewin.

Elopement

Industrial designer Clifton Webb, primed to see daughter Anne Francis join the firm upon her college graduation, blows his stack when she runs off with psychology professor William Lundigan. It seems that Lundigan’s dad (Charles Bickford) is no more happy about the union and their angry alliance to track the couple down makes for many laughs. Reginald Gardiner, Tommy Rettig co-star.

For Heaven’s Sake

It’s the job of angel Clifton Webb to make sure babies get born, and when a theatrical couple (Joan Bennett, Robert Cummings) proves more focused on career than family, he comes to Earth in the guise of a rich Texas production backer in order to move things along. Webb starts enjoying this mortal coil a little too much in this charming fantasy. Edmund Gwenn, Joan Blondell co-star.

Homeland: The Complete First Season

All 12 episodes of the first season–including the “Pilot,” “Clean Skin,” “The Good Soldier,” “Crossfire,” and “Marine One”–are featured in a three-disc set.

In Plain Sight: Season Five

All eight episodes from the fifth and final season–including “The Anti-Social Network,” “Four Marshals and a Baby,” “Drag Me to Hell,” “The Medal of Mary,” and “All’s Well That Ends”–are featured in a two-disc set.

In the Meantime, Darling

All eight episodes from the fifth and final season–including “The Anti-Social Network,” “Four Marshals and a Baby,” “Drag Me to Hell,” “The Medal of Mary,” and “All’s Well That Ends”–are featured in a two-disc set.

Keeper of the Bees

In this powerful drama, Neil Hamilton stars as a traumatized World War I veteran who feels that his time is growing short. Arriving in a small village with plans of ending his life, he encounters a beekeeper and the man’s young protege. Through his friendship with the pair, the shell-shocked vet learns that he still has much living left to do. With Betty Furness, Emma Dunn; based on the novel by Gene Stratton-Porter.

Lonesome

Movie fans can be grateful that Hungarian-born soldier and bacteriologist Pal Fejos (aka Paul Fejos) settled into a director’s chair to deliver this part-silent, part-sound ode to Coney Island on a busy Fourth of July. In the film–which boasts creative color tinting, special effects, and a very mobile camera–two lonely people meet inside the amusement park only to experience acute anxiety after they are sep arated. Glenn Tryon, Barbara Kent star. Also includes the bonus Fejos film “The Last Performance” (1927), with Conrad Veidt and Mary Philbin; and a reconstruction of the previously incomplete sound version of his lavish backstage saga “Broadway” (1928), with Tryon and Evelyn Brent.

Looney Tunes: Mouse Chronicles: Chuck Jones Collection

Three of Warner Bros. animation icon Chuck Jones’ biggest stars were also three of his smallest. Follow inquisitive, motormouthed mouse Sniffles and cheese-happy best buds Hubie and Bertie in 19 classic, rodent-related Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts. Two-disc set includes “Naughty But Mice” (1939), “Sniffles And The Bookworm” (1939), “Toy Trouble” (1941), “The Aristo-Cat” (1943), “Mouse Wreckers” (1949), “Cheese Chasers” (1951), and more.

Love on a Budget

The eighth of the popular “Jones Family” comedy programmers finds daughter Bonnie (Shirley Deane) having her new marriage to Herbert (Russell Gleason) threatened by financial hardship, and matters aren’t helped when Uncle Charlie (Alan Dinehart) shows up peddling a get-rich-quick scheme. Jed Prouty, Spring Byington co-star.

Maidstone and Other Films by Norman Mailer

Who else would dare finance, direct, and star in a Norman Mailer-made movie but…Norman Mailer? This collection of experimental films by the maverick writer reveals his uncompromising imagination at work, beginning with “Wild 90″ (1968), the genre-twisting saga of three gangsters fighting amongst themselves in a Manhattan apartment. With Buzz Farbar, Mickey Knox; cinematography by D.A. Pennebaker. Next, Mailer goes “Beyond The Law” (1968) with a rugged tale of one night in and around a New York police precinct and a nearby bar. Mailer, Rip Torn, and George Plimpton star. Finally, the provocative “Maidstone” (1970) features Mailer as a presidential candidate targeted for assassination. The film is notorious for Rip Torn and Mailer’s hammer-hitting, ear-biting fight scene in which the actors came out of character. Co-stars Beverly Bentley.

Mother Didn’t Tell Me

When Dorothy McGuire visits the doctor’s office of William Lundigan, a simple head cold turns into a full-blown–and mutual–bite from the love bug. What she didn’t see coming, however, were the sundry challenges of being a physician’s wife–from the long hours to the patients’ demands to his entering a partnership with attractive colleague Joyce Mackenzie. Jesse Royce Landis, Gary Merrill, June Havoc co-star.

Mr. Lucky: The Complete Series

Based on the 1943 Cary Grant film of the same name and developed by Blake Edwards, this 1959-60 drama starred John Vivyan as the title hero, a professional gambler whose plush gaming ship, the Fortuna II, was docked in international waters off the Southeast U.S. coast. Helping Mr. Lucky run his floating casino was his buddy Andamo (Ross Martin); Henry Mancini supplied the hit theme song.

My Gal Sal

Fanciful musical biopic casts Victor Mature as Tin Pan Alley songsmith Paul Dresser, following his rise from medicine show huckster to purveyor of tunes popularized by chanteuse Sally Elliott (Rita Hayworth). Score includes “On the Banks of the Wabash,” “Mr. Volunteer,” and the title tune. Carole Landis, Phil Silvers, and James Gleason co-star in this adaptation of the memoir by the composer’s brother, novelist Theodore Dreiser.

Nob Hill

Colorful musical is set in 1900s San Francisco, where Barbary Coast saloonkeeper George Raft achieves his long-desired entry into the upper crust through the attentions of socialite Joan Bennett, then callously dumps songstress girlfriend Vivian Blaine. Can orphaned ward Peggy Ann Garner help smooth things over? Songs include “San Francisco,” “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” “Hello! Ma Baby.” Alan Reed, B.S. Pully co-star; Henry Hathaway directs.

Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season

All 22 episodes of the first season–including the “Pilot,” “The Thing You Love Most,” “The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter,” “Fruit of the Poisonous Tree,” and “A Land Without Magic”–are presented in a five-disc set.

Pilot #5

With his Java outpost under daily siege from Japanese planes, airman Franchot Tone takes on a certain suicide mission to bomb the enemy carrier. As he embarks, his colleagues recall a troubled past marked by his involvement with political corruption, and his search for redemption on the battlefield. Gene Kelly (in his first dramatic role), Van Johnson, Marsha Hunt also star; keep an eye out for Ava Gardner and Peter Lawford.

Poirot: Series 6

All four fifth-season episodes–including “Hercule Poirot’s Christmas,” “Hickory Dickory Dock,” “Murder on the Links,” and “Dumb Witness”–are presented in a four-disc set.

Secret World

When beautiful young Britisher Jacqueline Bisset elects to visit the French chateau of ex-lover Pierre Zimmer, she elicits passions and resentments amongst the members of his household, particularly from orphaned, withdrawn teenage nephew Jean-Francois Maurin. Emotional tale co-stars Giselle Pascal, Marc Porel, Paul Bonifas.

Sidney Sheldon’s Nothing Lasts Forever

Powerful miniseries tracks the triumphs and tragedies of three young woman doctors (Gail O’Grady, Brooke Shields, Vanessa Williams) as they’re placed in the crucible of an internship at a San Francisco hospital. Lloyd Bridges, Gerald McRaney, Gregory Harrison, Chris Noth, Meshach Taylor, Saul Rubinek co-star.

Sons of Anarchy: Season Four

All 14 fourth-season episodes–including “Out,” “Brick,” “Kiss,” “Call of Duty,” and the two-part “To Be”–are featured in a four-disc set.

Southside 1-1000

First-rate film noir from director Boris Ingster (“Stranger on the Third Floor”) featuring Don DeFore as a federal agent investigating a counterfeit ring run by convict Morris Ankrum. Ankrum hides his illegal efforts with his supposed religious convictions, but DeFore’s deal to purchase the goods leads him to an unlikely participant in the scheme. With Andrea King. AKA: “Union 1-1000,” “Forgery.”

The Cross of Lorraine

Promised repatriation to their homes after laying down their arms to the German invaders, a troop of French soldiers is instead transported to a POW camp. While rebellious Gene Kelly is subjected to inhumane treatment for his defiance, seemingly compliant Jean-Pierre Aumont quietly works to engineer a breakout. Rousing World War II propaganda co-stars Peter Lorre, Cedric Hardwicke, Hume Cronyn, Joseph Calleia under Tay Garnett’s direction.

The Devil Makes Three

U.S. Army captain Gene Kelly returns to post-war Germany for a reunion with the farm family that saved his life, only to find them lost in an air raid save for now-grown daughter Pier Angeli, who is embittered and embroiled with black marketeers looking to fund a reclamation of power for the Nazis. Can he thwart the scheme while dealing with his feelings for her? Richard Egan co-stars.

The Forbidden Street

Unusual drama stars Maureen O’Hara as a Victorian lady of means who falls for her impoverished art teacher (Dana Andrews), takes up with him in the slums, and helplessly watches him fall victim to drink. She then finds herself subjected to blackmail by a harridan neighbor (Sybil Thorndike), and only a kindly puppeteer (Andrews, again!) can help her escape. Wilfrid Hyde-White, Fay Compton also star. AKA: “Britannia Mews,” “The Affairs of Adelaide.”

The Hanging Tree

In this intelligent, psychological western, a doctor with a secret in his past attempts to make a new life for himself in a small town, but after he shoots a man who has assaulted a blind Swiss girl, he faces the hangman’s noose. Gary Cooper, Karl Malden, Maria Schell, Ben Piazza, and George C. Scott star.

The Las Vegas Story

One-time Sin City lounge singer Jane Russell’s return to town on the arm of stockbroker husband Vincent Price turns out less than triumphant, after her spouse starts losing heavily and gets implicated in a casino owner’s murder. It gets worse when the cop assigned to the case turns out to be ex-lover Victor Mature. Gritty drama co-stars Hoagy Carmichael, Brad Dexter, Jay C. Flippen.

The Last Challenge

Veteran frontier marshal Glenn Ford had a deserved reputation as the territory’s fastest draw, which the widows of all comers could attest to. When young pistolero Chad Everett rides into town to provoke a name-making shootout, will the lawman listen to saloon hostess gal pal Angie Dickinson and retire a live hero? Gary Merrill, Jack Elam co-star in the final directorial credit for MGM mainstay Richard Thorpe.

The Lucky One

On the field of combat, a young Marine (Zac Efron) finds a photo of a young woman (Taylor Schilling)…and believes it to have been his good luck charm through three tours in Iraq. Once back in the States, fate brings him to her doorstep…and as far as she knows, he’s just answering a job ad for her family business. Can he build trust–and perhaps more–in spite of a resentful ex (Jay R. Ferguson), and the truth about her picture? Adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks romance also stars Blythe Danner.

The Pirates!: Band of Misfits

Fun-filled computer-animated adventure focuses on the Pirate Captain (voiced by Hugh Grant), an inexperienced scalawag trying to win the coveted Pirate of the Year award. The riches and reputation he seeks appear to be in his grasp when an encounter with Charles Darwin (David Tennant) reveals that the Captain’s pet bird is actually the last living dodo. But does the scientist have his own agenda? Also features the voices of Martin Freeman, Salma Hayek, Imelda Staunton, Jeremy Piven.

The Secret of the Purple Reef

When their father’s ship vanishes in Caribbean waters–during reportedly calm seas–brothers Richard Chamberlain (his film debut) and Jeff Richards journey to St. Kitts to uncover the reasons why. Does local thug Peter Falk know more than he’s telling? Scenic island mystery also stars Margia Deane, Robert Earle.

The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season

All 13 episodes from the second season–including “What Lies Ahead,” “Save the Last One,” “Chupacabra,” “18 Miles Out,” and “Beside the Dying Fire”–are featured in a four-disc set.

Think Like a Man

Inspired by the Steve Harvey book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man,” this uproarious comedy follows four women as they use the aforementioned tome to get their guys to behave how they want. Their plan is a success until the men discover what has been going on. But which side will prevail in this hilarious battle of the sexes? Michael Ealy, Jerry Ferrara, Meagan Good, Regina Hall, Kevin Hart star.

Two and a Half Men: The Complete Ninth Season

All 24 episodes from season nine–including “Nice to Meet You, Walden Schmidt,” “People Who Love Peepholes,” “Frodo’s Headshots,” “A Possum on Chemo,” and “Oh Look! Al-Qaeda!”–are featured in a three-disc set.

Walk Softly, Stranger

Joseph Cotten plays a gambler who escapes his past by relocating to a small town, where he falls for wheelchair-bound, embittered manufacturing heiress Alida Valli. Their chances for happiness are compromised, however, when some old “friends” manage to pick up his tracks. Dark drama co-stars Spring Byington, Paul Stewart, Jack Paar, John McIntire.

Whiplash: The Complete Series

Which TV frontier hero fended off stagecoach robbers with a bullwhip and boomerangs? Christopher Cobb (Peter Graves), an American adventurer who went to Australia in the 1850s to found the island continent’s first stage line, did in this offbeat 1960-61 syndicated series. Filmed on location down under, the show also starred Anthony Wickert.

The Power and the Glory

In this psychological drama, the first Hollywood film to tell its story through narrated flashbacks, a railroad magnate’s (Spencer Tracy) life unfolds, from his rise from a humble track walker to the unhappiness that ultimately came with his success. Preston Sturges received his first screenplay credit for this long-thought-lost film co-starring Colleen Moore, Ralph Morgan, and Helen Vinson.

For details and availability of more of this week’s new releases, click here.

Here’s a look at last week’s DVD and Blu-ray releases.

  • Dave

    WOW……..some great stuff

  • Evelyn

    Some wonderful rare items……thanks

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PRCEXBJGWEEFRQCMSYHDNIXGWA JackW

    The title of Tracey’s Power and the Glory is misleading. The Power and The Glory was a novel written by Graham Green and adapted many times into a film but not the version you listed above. It concerned a priest in Mexico back in the days when the Mexican government was Communistic and it was attempting to eradicate the churches and the priesthood.

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