Some rare James Stewart films lead off this week’s overview of classic DVD and Blu-ray releases. Here’s a look at what titles are now available.
House Of Wax (2D And 3D Versions) (Blu-ray) (1953)
Timeless horror favorite stars Vincent Price as the operator of a wax museum in 1850s Baltimore who is crippled after being caught in a fire set by his greedy partner for the insurance money. With help from mute aide Charles Bronson (billed as Charles Buchinsky), a vengeful Price opens a new venue…one whose subjects look a little too realistic. Phyllis Kirk, Frank Lovejoy, and Carolyn Jones also star. This special edition features the 2D and theatrical 3D versions.
No Time For Comedy (1940)
Against all odds, Midwestern journalist James Stewart finds himself the author of the Broadway season’s comic sensation…as well as winning the hand of charmed leading lady Rosalind Russell. Though he swiftly becomes the Great White Way’s favorite farceur, will either his career or marriage survive the self-satisfied scribe’s itch to pen something more “meaningful”? Charlie Ruggles, Allyn Joslyn, Genevieve Tobin co-star in this adaptation of the Broadway hit. AKA: “Guy With A Grin.”
Of Human Hearts (1938)
Civil War-era drama starring James Stewart as the son of strict rural minister Walter Huston. Defying his father’s wishes and with help from his mother, Stewart studies medicine in the East and serves as a Union Army physician, ignoring his family until his mother tries to contact him through President Lincoln. John Carradine, Beulah Bondi also star.
Vivacious Lady (1938)
In the big city to track down hard-partying kid brother James Ellison, strait-laced science professor James Stewart finds himself wowed by knockout nightclub singer Ginger Rogers…so much so, he marries her that night. Returning to college, can he work up the nerve to explain to mom Beulah Bondi and dad/dean Charles Coburn? Demanded farce co-stars Franklin Pangborn, Jack Carson; George Stevens directs.
The Cisco Kid And The Lady (1939)
Cesar Romero’s first saddling-up as Cisco finds the Kid riding in too late to rescue a miner from the fatal betrayal of callous claim-jumper Robert Barrat. When he learns the dead man left an infant child behind, Cisco promises to preserve the tot’s legacy from the sidewinder’s schemes. Hard-riding rip-roarer co-stars George Montgomery, Ward Bond, Chris-Pin Martin, Marjorie Weaver, Virginia Field.
A scientist obsessed with bringing the dead back to life, revived corpses turning to marble, a clandestine affair, and a voodoo-practicing housekeeper make for a terrifying tale, in “The Face Of Marble” (1946). John Carradine, Claudia Drake, Robert Shayne, Maris Wrixon star. Then, new cemetery caretaker Richard Boone discovers that, by putting black pins on unoccupied lots shown on a map of the graveyard, he can kill the site’s owner, in the stylish, low-budget creeper “I Bury The Living” (1958). Theodore Bikel, Peggy Maurer also star. After his brother literally loses his head, Jonathan Drake realizes that his family is in the grip of an ancient South American curse–and he’s the next victim. “The Four Skulls Of Jonathan Drake” (1959) stars Eduard Franz, Paul Wexler, Valerie French. And, a doctor’s attempt to cure his wife’s insanity with injections of snake venom seems to work, until she gives birth to a little girl who can turn herself into a deadly serpent, in “The Snake Woman” (1961). Susan Travers, John McCarthy star.
The Gay Caballero (1940)
When Cisco (Cesar Romero) and Gordito (Chris-Pin Martin) ride into town, they find the locals believing him to have died…and worse, died trying to swindle a woman out of her homestead. He’s got to show that the rumors of his death were greatly exaggerated–and clear his name–by roping and tying the rannies responsible. Robert Sterling, Sheila Ryan, Janet Beecher co-star.
The unique artistry of Austro-Hungarian-born B movie auteur Edgar Ulmer is spotlighted in this three-disc collection. The controversial social drama “Damaged Lives” (1933) explores the horrors of venereal disease through a young couple whose future is endangered by the husband’s terrible mistake. Diane Sinclair, Lyman Williams star. Stolen jewels, blackmail, and murder all play a part in the Canadian-set thriller “From Nine To Nine” (1935), with Ruth Roland, Doris Covert, Kenne Duncan. And 1700s Russia is the setting for the musical drama “Cossacks In Exile” (1939), based on an operetta about a band of soldiers forced to leave their Ukraine home for Turkey. Michael Shvetz, Maria Sokil, and Helen Orenko. Also included are seven Ulmer-directed shorts, including “Way Down South” (1930), “Let My People Live” (1939), “Goodbye, Mr. Germ” (1940), “Another To Conquer” (1941), and more