Sure, there are some recent theatrical films included in this week’s list of new DVD and Blu-ray releases (including last year’s Best Picture winner), but the true gems are an assortment of classics. Here’s a rundown of what terrific movies are now available!
“They Drive By Night” (1940) is a gritty and compelling road drama starring George Raft and Humphrey Bogart as truck-driving brothers who take on corrupt businessmen when they try to set up their own company. Ann Sheridan, Ida Lupino, Alan Hale co-star; Raoul Walsh directs. Next, a court-martialed U.S. Army officer (Bogart) takes passage on a ship bound for Japan and learns of a plot to blow up the Panama Canal, in the John Huston WWII espionage thriller “Across The Pacific” (1942). Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet co-star. “Action In The North Atlantic” (1943) is a hearty salute to the unsung WWII heroics of the Merchant Marines, as first mate Bogart and captain Raymond Massey dodge U-boats to deliver supplies to Russia. And, a band of Devil’s Island escapees joins up with Free French sailors to fight for their occupied homeland, in “Passage To Marseille” (1944). Bogart, Peter Lorre, Greenstreet, and Claude Rains star.
Two-disc set includes “Mildred Pierce” (1945), “Humoresque,” “Possessed” (1947), and “The Damned Don’t Cry.”
The classic melodrama “Young Man With A Horn” (1950) stars Kirk Douglas as a driven trumpet player who devotes his life to music, to the exclusion of almost everything else. Doris Day and Lauren Bacall are the women in his life; Harry James performed Douglas’ tunes. Next, Douglas is a tyrannical, ruthless movie producer whose climb up the ladder of success is recalled by three associates: a starlet (Lana Turner), a director (Barry Sullivan), and a writer (Dick Powell), in “The Bad And The Beautiful” (1952). Vincente Minnelli’s barbed look at the Golden Age of Hollywood also features Gloria Grahame, Walter Pidgeon, Gilbert Roland. And, “Before I Forget” (2009) finds Douglas in a one-man stage performance, candidly sharing stories about his lengthy Hollywood career, his marriages and family, and the stroke that changed his life. Two-disc set also includes “Lust For Life.”
Sudser-in-the-skies focuses on the professional and romantic entanglements of a crew of flight attendants headed up by Virginia Bruce and Jane Wyman. Though Bruce is determined to land skirt-chasing pilot Dennis Morgan, there’s turbulence ahead when his vision problems warrant a grounding from airline topkick Ralph Bellamy. Wayne Morris, John Litel also star.
Julia Roberts is delightfully diabolical as the evil Queen in this lighthearted adaptation of the Grimm fairy tale “Snow White.” When she learns that her beautiful stepdaughter Snow White (Lily Collins) has caught the eye of the handsome Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer), the Queen banishes the young woman from the kingdom and uses dark magic to enchant the prince. Can Snow White and seven plucky dwarves end the Queen’s sinister reign for good? Nathan Lane, Mare Winningham co-star.
After graduating from high school, energetic teen Grace (Selena Gomez) goes on vacation in Paris with her best friend Emma (Katie Cassidy) and her stepsister Meg (Leighton Meester). But when Grace is mistaken for British royalty and whisked away to Monte Carlo, she and her pals are thrust into the most glamorous week of their lives. With Cory Monteith, Andie MacDowell.
All eight fifth-season episodes–including “The Adventure Of The Egyptian Tomb,” “Yellow Iris,” “The Case Of The Missing Will,” “The Chocolate Box,” and “Jewel Robbery At The Grand Metropolitan”–are presented in a two-disc set.
One of the last grand silent films was also one of Hollywood’s first attempts to salute its own past. Marion Davies stars as a young actress who gets a job at a Sennett-like comedy film studio, and later leaves it (and her discoverer/lover, top comic William Haines) behind in the belief she can land more “serious” roles. King Vidor directs; the copious cameos include Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., John Gilbert, William S. Hart, Norma Talmadge, many, many others.
With the advent of Pearl Harbor, rear admiral Charles Laughton has no choice but to prep a dry-docked WWI destroyer for recommissioning. The admiral hands the helm to tough, old-school commander Brian Donlevy, and boots arrogant blueblood Robert Taylor from his cushy desk job to serve as second. Their journey to ready the old tub for battle in the Pacific makes for rousing entertainment. Walter Brennan, Marilyn Maxwell co-star.
Spine-tingling horror anthology from Amicus Films features Donald Pleasence and Jack Hawkins as psychiatrists analyzing the phobias of the patients at their clinic. There’s ferocious, not-so imaginary tigers; a time-travelling bicycle; a tree with a mind of its own; and a human sacrifice. With Joan Collins, Kim Novak, Suzy Kendall, and Donald Houston; Freddie Francis directs.
Charlton Heston stars as an archeologist who breaks into an Egyptian tomb and accidentally releases a vengeful spirit that possesses his newborn baby daughter. Will Heston be able to sacrifice his child before she can unleash her deadly powers and destroy all of mankind? Susannah York, Jill Townsend, Stephanie Zimbalist also star in this spine-tingling thriller based on Bram Stoker’s “The Jewel of Seven Stars.”
Desperate to keep their wedding from becoming a media circus, a well-known movie actress (Alice Eve) and her writer fiance (David Tennant) flee to a remote Scottish island. Still followed by paparazzi, they hire a local girl (Kelly Macdonald) to fill the title role. What happens when Macdonald and husband-to-be Tennant start to fall for each other for real makes for a charming romantic romp.
An 1880s deputy marshal (Robert Taylor), whose determined pursuit of lawbreakers earned him the title nickname, tracks down the final member (Jack Lord) of an outlaw gang involved in a fatal stage robbery. To Taylor’s surprise, the residents of the frontier town where the reformed Lord has settled down–including the sheriff (Fess Parker)–rally behind him, forcing Taylor to rethink his harsh brand of justice. Compelling western drama also stars Tina Louise.
1880s marshal Clint Walker inherits land in Wyoming and trades in his badge for the life of a rancher. But new dangers plague him and his family, from an ex-con Walker put away who shows up seeking revenge to a marauding grizzly on the prowl, in this exciting frontier adventure. Leo Gordon, Martha Hyer, Keenan Wynn also star.
While vacationing in the South of France, a reticent professor (Alec Guinness) has a chance encounter with a suave count (Guinness, again) who’s his exact physical double. After a shared evening’s carousing, the educator awakens to find that the friends and family of the now-vanished nobleman won’t listen to his assertions of his real identity. Having no choice but to play along, he comes to discover his lookalike’s treacherous agenda. Gripping suspenser co-stars Bette Davis, Irene Worth, Nicole Maurey.
Husband Sid Caesar, wife Vera Miles, and teenage son Barry Gordon rent a New England seaside house for the summer, unaware that it’s already occupied by a trio of ghosts who died there a century earlier and don’t like having their “slumber” interrupted. Horror auteur William Castle mixes scares with laughs in this spooky comedy. Mary Wickes, John McGiver, Cass Daley, John Astin also star; based on a novel by Nathaniel Benchley.
The next 20 episodes of the series–including “Meet The Baby Daddy,” “Meet The Home Alone,” “Meet The Product Party,” “Meet The Wing Man,” and “Meet The Recession”–are presented in a three-disc set.
With the outbreak of WWII, British couple Robert Donat and Deborah Kerr find relief from their stodgy, unhappy union when each gets pressed into naval service, and each finds fulfillment, self-esteem, and a romantic fling. After three years, they finally get a concurrent leave…but do they want to reunite? Oscar-winner for Best Original story co-stars Glynis Johns, Ann Todd, Ronald Culver; directed by Alexander Korda. AKA: “Perfect Strangers.”
With the Kraken vanquished, demigod Perseus (Sam Worthington) aims to become a humble fisherman at the outset of this sequel to 2010′s “Clash of the Titans.” However, mankind’s insufficient faith is stoking the power of the imprisoned Titans, leading to a resumption of Perseus’ heroic do-gooding in response to a plot hatched between Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and Ares (Edgar Ramirez) to permit the abduction of Zeus (Liam Neeson). Rosamund Pike, Danny Huston, and Bill Nighy co-star.
Five Academy Awards–including Best Picture, Director, and Actor–went to this magical, mostly silent seriocomedy set in 1927 Hollywood. As screen idol George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) wonders if the imminent arrival of sound will doom his career, a chance encounter entangles his life with that of young would-be actress Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo), who becomes a superstar while his own fame starts to fade. With John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller; directed by Michel Hazanavicius.
The popular 1980s cop show gets a modern updating in this hilarious action/comedy. Rookie police officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are selected for a recently reactivated police unit that specializes in undercover operations in high schools. Sent to infiltrate the school they attended together as teens, the boys must fit in with the younger generation while trying to flush out the supplier of a new synthetic drug. With Ice Cube, Brie Larson, and, in cameos, Holly Robinson Peete, Peter DeLuise, and Johnny Depp.
Fast-talking literary agent Eddie Murphy didn’t think twice about bamboozling his spiritual guru client…until a full-grown Bodhi tree mystically sprouted in his yard. Incredibly, the tree drops a leaf for every word he speaks…and when it goes bare, his life will end. Can he hold his tongue until the spell is lifted? Contemplative comedy co-stars Kerry Washington, Cliff Curtis, Clark Duke, Allison Janney.
You may not remember this: David Soul stepped into Humphrey Bogart’s dinner jacket to play ex-pat nightclub owner Rick Blaine in this short-lived NBC drama based on the 1942 film classic. Joining Soul for danger and intrigue in WWII Casablanca were Hector Elizondo as French police captain Louis Renault, Scatman Crothers as Sam the piano player, and Ray Liotta as Sacha.
First, “High Sierra” (1941) stars Humphrey Bogart as world-weary gangster “Mad Dog” Earle, recently released from prison, who hooks up with two young toughs for a jewel heist. But when his “final job” backfires, Earle finds himself hiding out in California’s Sierra Mountains, in this classic crime drama. With Ida Lupino, Alan Curtis, Joan Leslie. And, a dapper New York gambler’s (Bogart) search for the missing baker who prepares his favorite cheesecake leads him and his cronies into battle with Nazi spies, in “All Through The Night” (1941), a slam-bang wartime actioner laced with comedy. The great supporting cast includes Conrad Veidt, Peter Lorre, Kaaren Verne, William Demarest, Jane Darwell, and a young Jackie Gleason. Two-disc set also includes “The Petrified Forest” and “The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse.”
For details and information about more of this week’s new releases, click here.
Here’s a look at last week’s DVD and Blu-ray releases