Olive Digs Republic: Well, we’re happy to report that it didn’t take long for Olive to get to their newly acquired library of titles from Republic Pictures. The new releases include Cyrano De Bergerac (1950) with Jose Ferrer in an Oscar-winning tour-de-force as the cavalier who coaches a friend to woo the beautiful Roxanne (Mala Powers) because of his consciousness over his big nose…A Double Life (1947) with Ronald Colman in an Oscar-winning turn as a brilliant actor with multiple personalities whose problems become apparent during a production of Othello…Speaking of Shakespeare, there’s Orson Welles’ Macbeth (1947), a stark and stylish adaptation of the Bard’s tragedy mounted by Welles, available in its full 107 min. version.
Olive also has several Paramount titles in the loop including the much-requested Walter Matthau-Elaine May farce A New Leaf (1971); Child’s Play (1972), directed by Sidney Lumet, with Beau Bridges as a young teacher and Robert Preston and James Mason as veteran educators dealing with unsettling behavior by students in a Catholic school; and Man on a Swing (1974), helmed by Frank Perry, in which police chief Cliff Robertson believes psychic Joel Grey may have something to do with a murder case he’s investigating.
Universal’s Ghouls Go Blu: This news is scary good! Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection is an eight-disc Blu-ray set consisting of the great vintage studio monster movies including Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolf Man, The Phantom of the Opera and regular and 3-D versions of The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Also on the way in the format is Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein.
Hitch Goes Blu: In Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection (Limited Edition), Hitch’s Universal-owned films have been collected for an impressive boxed set. Included are Saboteur, Shadow of a Doubt, Rope, Rear Window, The Trouble with Harry, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, The Birds, Marnie, Torn Curtain, Topaz, Frenzy and Family Plot.
More Alfred-o suspense sauce is on the way with Warner’s Blu-ray releases of Strangers on a Train and the 3-D version of Dial M for Murder.
Superman Goes Blu: Look! Up on the screen! It’s gorgeous animated images of the Man of Steel in Max Fleischer’s classic cartoons! Fans of the all-American superhero are in for a treat with Max Fleischer’s Superman: Collector’s Edition, a 17-short, two-disc collection of colorful and exciting animation produced in the early 1940s. Titles include “Secret Agent,” “The Mummy Strikes” and “The Bulleteers.” Included is a deluxe booklet about the shorts and their creators.
Foxy Titles: An enclave of DVD films from Fox Entertainment has been issued by Anchor Bay. Among the titles are the creepy The Entity (DVD and Blu-ray) with Barbara Hershey, Six Pack with Kenny Rogers, The Pirate Movie with Christopher Atkins and Kristy MacNichol, Hear No Evil with Marlee Matlin, the shocker Ghost in the Machine, Tough Enough with Dennis Quaid and Jack the Bear with Danny De Vito.
Bright Fights, Big Budget: Some people think it is cool. Others consider it a disaster, something so bad it is unintentionally funny. Whatever your take on 1982’s Megaforce is, you don’t have to wait any longer for it to arrive on DVD. Barry Bostwick stars as commander Ace Hunter, called on by the president to save the world from a diabolical dictator, using his Megaforce band of specialists. Heavy on Spandex, weird weapons and souped-up vehicles, Megaforce was helmed by comedy action expert Hal Needham (Smokey and the Bandit, The Villain). Persis Khambatta, Henry Silva, Michael Beck and Edward Mulhare also star in this delirious (and often daffy) mix of sci-fi, action, stunts and glitzy costumes.