Top DVD & Blu-ray Releases: Week of 4-29-12

New DVD releases featuring Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy in MaytimeNew DVD Releases:

Two exclusive releases featuring Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy highlight this week’s new releases. Along with those great offerings, there’s also classics from Gene Kelly, Judy Garland, James Cagney, Mickey Rooney and many more of your favorite stars. For fans of more recent films, there’s some contemporary hits making their debut as well. Just see for yourself!

Maytime — Exclusive!

One of the best films from the team of Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy was this story of an opera star (MacDonald) who, more out of gratitude than anything else, accepts the marriage proposal of mentor/promoter John Barrymore. Her decision leads to regret when she finds herself falling for a penniless young singer (Eddy). Herman Bing co-stars; score includes “Will You Remember (Sweetheart)?,” “Czaritza,” “Santa Lucia.”

 

 

Conspiracy

Bessie Love stars as a woman forced to go on the run after she kills a ruthless gang leader she’d been trying to help her assistant D.A. brother bring down. But when the gang retaliates by kidnapping Love’s brother, help comes from a gossip columnist and a curmudgeonly mystery writer who team up to find the sibling before the crooks can get her. Ned Sparks, Hugh Trevor, Ivan Lebedeff co-star.

As Good As Dead

When a cult-like sect of religious fundamentalists finds that their leader has been murdered, they track down the man (Cary Elwes) they believe responsible for the killing, then kidnap and torture him. However, when a battle of ideologies ensues, the fanatics learn that they may just have the wrong guy. Will they let him go, and who’s the real killer? This tense and enigmatic tale co-stars Andie MacDowell, Brian Cox, Frank Whaley, and Matt Dallas.

Certifiably Jonathan

Jonathan Winters stars as himself in this mockumentary that follows the legendary funnyman (who is also a gifted artist) as he dreams of having one of his paintings displayed in the Museum of Modern Art. When an art critic praises his work, Winters gets a chance to realize his dream…until someone steals his sense of humor and he can no longer paint. Can he reclaim his artistic mojo? With Nikita Ager, Dominic Keating; with cameos from Tim Conway, Robin Williams, Rob Reiner, Jeffrey Tambor, and many more.

Covert Affairs: Season Two

All 16 episodes from the second season–including “Begin The Begin,” “Around The Sun,” “Half A World Away,” “World Leader Pretend,” and “Letter Never Sent”–are featured in a four-disc set.

Film Noir Collection

Two-disc set includes “They Made Me A Criminal,” “Scarlet Street,” “Shock” (1946), “The Stranger” (1946), “Impact” (1949), “Port Of New York,” “Whirlpool,” “D.O.A.” (1950), “Quicksand” (1950), and “Beat The Devil.”

George Harrison: Living in the Material World

Director Martin Scorsese pays tribute to one of music’s most beloved talents with this affectionate and informative two-part HBO documentary. The film explores Harrison’s childhood in Liverpool, his tenure with The Beatles, his interest in Indian culture, and much more through never-before-seen interviews with his widow Olivia, son Dhani, and friends and collaborators such as Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, George Martin, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Terry Gilliam, and many others.

Haywire

Directed by Steven Soderbergh, this action-packed thriller stars mixed martial arts icon Gina Carano as Mallory Kane, a black-ops agent working for a government security contractor. After she is double-crossed and left for dead, she puts her considerable fighting skills to the test in order to discover who set her up. Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, and Michael Douglas co-star.

Jesse Owens

In the midst of an atmosphere soaked with virulent racism, Olympic athlete Jesse Owens took home an astonishing four gold medals during the 1936 games in Berlin. This “American Experience” program revisits that historic achievement, offering an overview of how Adolf Hitler saw the staging of the games as an opportunity to achieve political advantage, as well as how Owens’ remarkable triumph turned into a bittersweet homecoming.

Joyful Noise

In a small Georgia town, the newly appointed church choir director (Queen Latifah) clashes with her late predecessor’s feisty widow (Dolly Parton). Adding fuel to their fiery feud is the budding romance between Latifah’s daughter (Keke Palmer) and Parton’s grandson (Jeremy Jordan). Can these two strong-willed women work together in order to get the choir ready for a national competition? Spirited musical comedy also stars Courtney B. Vance and Kris Kristofferson.

Kojak: Season Four

All 24 episodes from the fourth season–including “Birthday Party,” “An Unfair Trade,” “The Pride And The Princess,” “Monkey On A String,” and “Another Gypsy Queen”–are featured in a six-disc set.

Ladies of the House

To raise money for their church, Rose (Florence Henderson), Elizabeth (Donna Mills), and Birdie (Pam Grier) undertake the ambitious renovation of a run-down house. As the challenging project gets underway, the ladies find their personal identities being shaped by the rewarding work. Moving drama also stars Bob Bledsoe, Nicole DuPort, and Judith Baldwin.

Living in a Big Way

Army lieutenant Gene Kelly returns from overseas to find that disheartened, spoiled wife Marie MacDonald wants a divorce. The two try to work things out with help from her parents, who realize Gene is the right fellow for their daughter. This MGM musical-comedy boasts dazzling choreography and such songs as “It Had to Be You” and “Fido and Me.” With Charles Winninger, Phyllis Thaxter.

Love Is On the Air

Looking for love? Then check out this collection of seven romance-themed installments of some classic TV sitcoms. Includes episodes of “Leave It to Beaver,” “That Girl,” “Dennis the Menace,” “Father Knows Best,” “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet,” “The Patty Duke Show,” and “Hazel.”

Lovin’ the Ladies

Taking a $5,000 bet that he can introduce any two strangers and have them engaged within a month, Allan Kearns selects his subjects: snooty socialite Renee Macready and humble electrician Richard Dix, who agrees to pose as a swell to bring the deal off. Matters begin to get complicated when Dix finds himself falling for Kearns’ girlfriend. Early talkie romantic farce co-stars Lois Wilson, Anthony Bushell, Selmer Jackson.

Mothers Cry

Early talkie sudser offered Broadway star Dorothy Peterson her first film role as a widowed mother determined to do right by her four children and set them on the right path, only to find each delivering their own form of heartbreak as they reach adulthood. Edward Woods, David Manners, Helen Chandler, and Evalyn Knapp co-star as the grown kids.

New Year’s Eve

Director Garry Marshall‘s follow-up to “Valentine’s Day” focuses on another group of loosely connected folks, this time facing life’s problems as the year draws to a close. A single mom (Sarah Jessica Parker) clashes with her teenage daughter (Abigail Breslin), a terminally ill man (Robert De Niro) finds solace in the company of two nurses (Halle Berry and Alyssa Milano), and a singer (Jon Bon Jovi) tries to win back an old flame (Katherine Heigl). Star-studded cast also includes Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Biel, Hilary Swank.

Noose for a Gunman

The locals cringed when word spread that a notorious gunslinger (Jim Davis) had made his way back to his hometown. He claims to have gotten wind of a scheme to rob the express office, but will local law enforcement believe him? Enjoyable old-school oater also stars Barton MacLane, Harry Carey Jr., Ted de Corsia, Leo Gordon, and Kermit Maynard.

Portrait of an Escort

Powerful tale stars Susan Anspach as a divorced L.A. mom scuffling to make ends meet, who finally strikes gold when she signs on with a paid escort service. Eventually, the social stigma has her looking to get out, but both her vengeful madam (Edie Adams) and a client-turned-stalker have other ideas. Cyd Charisse, Tony Bill, Kevin McCarthy co-star.

Running Target

A quartet of escaped convicts have made their way into the remotest recesses of the Colorado Rockies, and the local sheriff (Arthur Franz) reluctantly accepts the aid of a ragtag posse in order to flush them out. The lawman, however, just might find as much danger from his fellow pursuers as the pursued. Doris Dowling, Richard Reeves, Myron Healey also star.

The Dick Van Dyke Show: Carl Reiner’s Favorites

Twenty episodes of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” picked by series creator and co-star Carl Reiner–including “Never Name a Duck,” “Laura’s Little Lie,” “The Plots Thicken,” “Baby Fat,” and “A Day in the Life of Alan Brady”–are featured in a two-disc set.

The Doorway to Hell

Gritty early Warner mob movie successfully casts Lew Ayres against type as a ruthless Chicago racket czar who’s ready to get out and enjoy a rich retirement, but the rivals who’ve kidnapped his idol-worshipping younger brother (Leon Janney) have other ideas. James Cagney, in his second film, receives a superlative showcase as Ayres’ treacherous lieutenant; Archie Mayo directs.

The House on Garibaldi Street

Tipped in 1960 that Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann was alive and living in Buenos Aires, Israeli intelligence launched an audacious plan to spirit him out of Argentina and bring him to justice. Compelling true-life suspense story stars Martin Balsam, Topol, Leo McKern, Nick Mancuso, Janet Suzman.

The Invisible Man: The Complete Series

David McCallum starred as the “now you see him, now you don’t” scientist who used his invisibility to work as a globe-hopping agent for an international trouble-shooting corporation, which in return tried to help McCallum reverse his condition, in this 1975-76 NBC sci-fi/drama series. With Craig Stevens, Melinda Fee.

The Last Mile

Intense remake of the heralded prison drama boasts a memorable turn by Mickey Rooney as the pushed-too-far, nothing-to-lose death row convict who spurs a violent inmate revolt on the eve of an execution. Remarkable effort also stars Donald “Red” Barry, Michael Constantine, Frank Overton, Alan Bunce.

The Matrimonial Bed

A woman (Florence Eldridge) makes an appointment with the city’s most in-demand hairdresser (Frank Fay), and upon finally meeting him, is shockingly certain he’s the husband she believed lost in a train wreck five years before. The stunned stylist is sure she’s nuts, and the only one less happy about this turn of events is her miffed second spouse (James Gleason). Ribald pre-Code effort from Michael Curtiz co-stars Beryl Mercer, Lilyan Tashman.

The Sky’s the Limit

Charles Dickens’ famously unfinished work receives an intriguing new adaptation with this British miniseries about troubled choirmaster John Jasper (Matthew Rhys), who fights the onset of madness brought on by drug abuse as he eyes a romance with Rosa (Tamzin Merchant), his favorite pupil. Will her fiance, a man named Edwin Drood (Freddie Fox)–who is also Jasper’s nephew–stand in the way? With Rory Kinnear, Amber Rose Revah.

The Virginian: The Complete Sixth Season

All 26 episodes from season six–including “The Reckoning,” “Ah Sing vs. Wyoming,” “The Death Wagon,” “The Crooked Path,” and “Seth”–are featured in a nine-disc set.

Tomahawk Trail

A West Point grad (George Niese) freshly assigned to run a fort deep within Apache territory finds himself all too quickly overwhelmed by the responsibility, as his reconnaissance patrol’s horses are stolen and the outpost’s troops slaughtered in his absence. A grizzled sergeant (Chuck Connors) wrests away command, knowing that court-martial awaits should their slim chances at survival pan out. John Smith, Susan Cummings, Harry Dean Stanton co-star.

Wagon Train: The Complete Season Five

All 37 episodes from the fifth season–including “The Captain Dan Brady Story,” “The Traitor,” “The Bettina May Story,” “Swamp Devil,” and “The Heather Mahoney Story”–are featured in a 10-disc set.

War Drums

Although Apache chief Mangas Coloradas (Lex Barker) intended to honor a brokered peace with settlers, the violent acts of encroaching gold miners threaten to undo the treaty. It falls to a fur trader (Ben Johnson) who has the chieftain’s respect to try and stem the bloodshed. Superlative sagebrush saga also stars Joan Taylor, Richard Cutting.

Listen, Darling

In an early film role, Judy Garland is a spunky teenager who teams up with friend Freddie Bartholomew to find the right husband for her widowed mother. Mary Astor, Walter Pidgeon, Gene Lockhart also star in this spry musical-comedy that features such songs as “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart,” “Ten Pins in the Sky,” and “On the Bumpy Road to Love.”

Rose Marie — Exclusive!

Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald are calling you, in this classic operetta set in the Great White North. She’s an opera star using her influence to help outlaw brother James Stewart with his flight from the authorities, and he’s the Mountie assigned with bringing him in. Allan Jones, David Niven co-star; great score includes “Indian Love Call,” “The Mounties,” “Pardon Me, Madame,” “Just for You.” AKA: “Indian Love Call.”

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.

  • Bernard

    Three cheers for the company(?) that releases “MAYTIME” and “ROSE MARIE” on dvd FINALLY !
    When can we see “The Girl of the Golden West” and “New Moon” ???? How difficult is it
    to put all the Jeanette MacDonald/ Nelson Eddy movies in a NICE BOX SET ???
    Anybody reading? 

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