Where’s Charley?, And More Of Your Questions, Answered

Movie Questions AnsweredQuestion: What are the chances we’ll ever see Susan Hayward in I Can Get it for You Wholesale?

Answer: You can now get it for yourself at retail, because Fox is releasing it as part of their archives collection. The 1951 garment district saga showcases Ms. Hayward as a put-upon fashion model who uses her craftiness to make a name for herself as a fashion designer. Dan Dailey, George Sanders and Sam Jaffe also star in this drama that was shot on location.

Question:  I remember watching a movie, I think it was in the late ‘60s or early ‘70s, about a family of kids whose only remaining parent died and they kept the fact hidden so they wouldn’t be separated and put into foster homes. This was set maybe in the Appalachians. The characters all had funny names. I used to remember them all but now the only one I remember was a man (I think it was the bad guy) whose name was Kaiser Pease. If this movie rings a bell with anyone, I’d like to know the title and also if you have this movie for sale.

Answer: The film is 1974’s Where the Lilies Bloom.  It was from some of the same folks who produced Sounder (the Mattel toy company). You are correct that there is a character named “Kiser Pease,” and he’s played by the great character actor Harry Dean Stanton. You pretty much have the plot right. Unfortunately, it has yet to be put on DVD.

Question:  I’m looking for the comedy The Crystal Ball, starring Ray Milland and Paulette Goddard. A great movie—I laughed all the way through.

Answer: This1943 Paramount film is controlled by Universal, which has been making some of their classics available to us through Turner Classic Movies (TCM). We haven’t heard of this coming out on DVD, but we would certainly welcome it, along with The Uninvited, another Milland Paramount film which remains one of our most requested titles. The Crystal Ball stars Milland as an attorney dating wealthy Manhattan widow Virginia Field who takes a liking to poor Texas gal Goddard, who poses as a fortune teller to get her man.  The film is peppered with great co-starring parts for William Bendix, Gladys George (as “Madame Zenobia”) and Cecil Kellaway; Elliott Nugent (1949’s The Great Gatsby) directs.

Question: I’ve been waiting forever for The Dark at the Top of the Stairs to come out on DVD.  Such a good movie….

Answer: This 1960 adaptation of William Inge’s play is a dramatic powerhouse, with Robert Preston scoring as an unemployed salesman in 1920s Oklahoma, trying to come to terms with financial difficulties, his troubled marriage to Dorothy McGuire, and daughter Shirley Knight’s involvement with Jewish military cadet Lee Kinsolving.  Angela Lansbury, Eve Arden and Frank Overton also star under Delbert Mann’s direction. Warner owns the controversial film, an ideal candidate, one would think, for their Archives collection.

Question:  What was the first martial arts scene in American cinema? The earliest scene I can find is a judo demonstration in Across the Pacific (1942), starring Humphrey Bogart.

Answer: That’s a great question. We can trace the use of martial arts in American films to the Mr. Moto films starring Peter Lorre. The wily Japanese detective created by J.P. Marquand was an expert at judo, as displayed in Think Fast, Mr. Moto (1937) and the other films in the franchise. As you mentioned, Across the Pacific, in which director John Huston reunited with Maltese Falcon stars Bogey, Mary Astor and Sydney Greenstreet, has martial arts sequences. No less fascinating is 1962’s The Manchurian Candidate, with Henry Silva engaging Frank Sinatra in martial arts combat.

Question: While I just recently saw Richard Dreyfuss in Let It Ride on TV, I’ve been looking for it for several years on VHS or DVD, and can’t find it. It’s a great little film, with a varied cast who do it well. What’s up? Where can I find it?

Answer: Sorry. You can’t. The terrifically underrated 1989 Dreyfuss horse racing movie, formerly available on VHS, has been out-of-print from Paramount for a few years now. We have received no word of its DVD reissue, even from Olive Films, which has been bringing the Paramount library to the format at a good clip.  When the movie does arrive on DVD, it’s likely that its fans—myself included—will “have a good day.”

Question:  I’ve got frustration with Where’s Charley?  (1952) with Ray Bolger.  I’ve heard the hold-up is because Frank Loesser’s widow never liked the filmed version of the Broadway musical.  It’s a shame when such subjective viewpoints, even if shared by those who have ownership rights, deprive a viewing public of outstanding and classic performances, such as to see the fab Ray dance and hear the great song Once in Love with Amy once more!  Now, if Movie Irv can pitch it…I, for one, would love to catch THAT DVD release for the first time ever…Thanks.

Answer:  We wish we could do something about it! You’re right about Loesser’s opera singer widow. Jo Sullivan, not being a fan of the film version of the show, which was based on the 1890s farce Charley’s Aunt. So since she controls the rights to the music, it’s been out of circulation for decades. In addition, the Warner Brothers release is in need of some serious restoration. It’s a shame, because by all accounts (we’ve never seen it) Ray Bolger—aka  “Scarecrow” from The Wizard of Oz—turns in a tour-de-force performance as the Victorian Era Oxford University student who impersonates his aunt so he can chaperone his girlfriend and her friend around, and farcical moments of mistaken identity with music ensue.  Adapted from a hit Broadway show featuring a bright Loesser-George Abbott score, the film is much desired by musical comedy and Bolger fans, but, despite recent rumors, is not slated to be issued on DVD in the near future.

Question: My friend keeps telling me about a movie in which a guy in his bathing suit hops from pool to pool in a neighborhood, talking to the folks who own the pools as he travels from one home to another. I never heard of such a movie and wonder if one exists?

Answer: Your friend must be talking about The Swimmer (1968), in which Burt Lancaster plays a discontented Connecticut suburbanite who encounters his neighbors—and relives moments from his life—as he paddles from swimming pool to swimming pool. Based on a story by John Cheever, the film was directed by Frank Perry (Mommie Dearest), who was actually fired before it was finished and replaced by an uncredited Sydney Pollack. The powerful drama won critics over but fizzled at the box-office. It also featured Janice Rule, Marge Champion , Kim Hunter and Joan Rivers, and the first score by the recently departed Marvin Hamlisch.


  • Joel

    Has another Hayward favorite “Tap Roots”, (I think a Universal release), been
    released on DVD?

  • Mikejaral

    wasn’t there a movie called Wheres Charley, with tony curtis & debby reynolds?  a very funny movie.

    • Wayne P.

      Havent heard about the above version you note but there were 2 prior releases to the Bolger one…Charley’s Aunt in 1941 with Jack Benny and an early 30′s take with Charlie Ruggles but the title name escapes me right now!?

      • Richard

        There was a silent version of “Where’s Charley?” starring Charlie Chaplin’s half-brother Syd.  It IS available on DVD.

    • thecollectortoo

      I think you are thinking about “Goodbye Charlie”. 

    • Abraham Gonzalez Soto

       You are right. I saw the movie long time ago.

  • Wayne P.

    Thanks for trying Irv and the nice update on the status of Wheres Charley?  Will continue to pray and scour the flea markets for an old VHS…:)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SIKEVVEEWYKMV6LTOBEH7RL2MA Roy

    Tyrone Power films Untamed, Pony Soldier, King of the Khyber Rifles, and Lloyds of London have not been released by Fox in the U.S. on DVD. They are available in Spain. Has Fox scheduled them for their new Cinema Archives series?

  • Caryoh

    Samson  and Delilah  WHEN??????

  • Truebob62

    in what movie does it show stuff about wall street bailouts during end credits

  • John H

    as for martal arts scene  do not forget “BLOOD ON THE SUN “

  • Judy

    Can you assist me with an address to contact Jill St. John?  No one seems to be able or want to help me with this.

  • Cjn


  • TrippyTrellis

    Three of my 100 favorite movies are still MIA: “Something for Everyone”, “My Foolish Heart” and “The Sleeping Car Murders”.

  • jimjn

    I need some help. There are so many bad, older western movies
    that have been, and still are released on DVD all the time, yet I still can’t
    get Tension at Table Rock, Starring Richard
    Egan, Dorothy Malone and Cameron Mitchell. It was released in 1956 by RKO Radio
    Pictures. I think Turner Broadcasting owns it now but I have not seen seem it
    out for sale anywhere. Does anyone know where I can get a USA compatible DVD of
    the movie? Maybe even a good VHS copy?  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=713983697 Gordon S. Jackson

    Can anyone enlighten me as to why Fox withdrew “The Raid” in August just as it was due for release?  Very disappointing as I had that one on order. Also I heard that there is only one extant print of “a Hatful of Rain” in circulation. Is that true and why it has never been released on either VHS or DVD? And finally, since Fox have released “From Hell to Texas” overseas, is there any chance it might be made available in North America through their cinema archives series?

  • fbusch @dslextreme.com

    Just recently found “Let it Ride” on Amazon, one of my favrite Dreyfuss flicks. Pricey, but I had to have it. (they had several, new and used).



  • Billy Mack

    How/where might I obtain a copy (DVD/VCR) of “The Last Time I Saw Archie” with Jack Webb & Robert Mitchum?

  • Aaron

    I would like to see MGM MOD release “The Bachelor Party(1957)” ,am surprised it is still MIA.

    Also two horror pictures, “The Blood On Satan’s Claw(1970)” and “Blood Beach(1980)”.

  • cc7529

    I have been looking for three movies but have never found them on VHS or DVD.

    1) The Art of Love  with James Garner and Dick Van Dyke
    2) Alias Nick Beal with Ray Milland
    3) The Return of Doctor X with Humphrey Bogart ( His only Horror Film)

    Can you tell me if theyare currrently available of if they soon will be?

  • Mark

    i would like to see warner archive’s release the following Humphrey Bogart movies The Big Shot 1942, Isle Of Fury 1936, The Oklahoma Kid 1939. Also there is a B-Grade Movie Called Busses Roar 1942 with Eleanor Parker and Richard Travis. Would be great if warner archive could release these movies!

  • Rebecca

    I keep looking for My Cousin Rachel with Richard Burton and Olivia DeHaviland

  • Aaron

    “The Return Of Doctor X” was released in 2006 along with five other pictures in the “Hollywood Legends Of Horror Collection”.
    The other films are “Doctor X”,” “Mark Of The Vampire”,”The Mask Of Fu Manchu”,”Mad Love” and “The Devil-Doll”.

  • Barbara

    Re: Where the Lilies Bloom: I recently saw it for the first time on TV one weekend – don’t remember which station, except it was NOT cable or satellite. Does this mean it has actually become available?

  • Teresa Woods

    LOOKING FOR:   movie set in future where land is scarce. A couple get pregant without permission and the child is taken.  Their one chance of getting the child back is a race being held for a parclel of land that will go to the winner.

  • Barbara Bonnin

    Late one night I came upon a movie on TV about a symphony orchastra traveling by bus entertaining troops during WWII,  They get lost and go behind German lines, captured, the German commander is a music lover and agrees to let the members practice if they will play for him.  Two American soldiers are hiding in the practice area and it is decided to play, incorporate the Americans into the orchestra and attempt an escape.  Play the Fairwell Symphony.  I was too late to get the title of the movei and have searched but never have found it.  Would love to see it again

    • Bob

      I think you are looking for, COUNTERPOINT (1967) with Charleton Heston and Maiximilian Schell.

      • Barbara Bonnin

         Right on, Bob.  Thanks so much for the information. 

  • Chett56

    Would really like to see Jerry Lewis in “A Visit To A Small Planet” either on DVD or Blu-Ray.  I heard the hold up was from the author of the play, but now that he is dead, who has the rights?

  • Kevin

    I am still asking why “Batman”. the 1966 TV series has not been released yet????  They are showing it on 2 cable channels, you can get overseas versions on the internet,  Why won’t they bring it out???? 

  • dog888k

    Is the Martin/Lewis That’s My Boy available?  Everyone should have a chance to see Eddie Mayhof do his role of the world’s most obnoxious middleaged ex jock.   

  • Chicagomike47

    what was the name of the movie that only showed the killer”a hand, and he was wearing a BLACK ONYX RING?

  • caligerry

    let it ride is avaliable on dvd though mostly on non usa dvd formats mostly from austrilla if you have a region free player check out amazons web site.

  • JB

    Trying to remember the title of a black & white thriller about a blind girl who gets attacked in the tub. anyone?