Air Born: The MGM feature Night Flight (1933) has not been seen in any parts since 1942, but all that will change when Warner Home Video puts it on DVD this summer. Known in some circles as “Grand Hotel of the air,” Night Flight offers an amazing cast that includes Clark Gable, John and Lionel Barrymore, Helen Hayes, Robert Montgomery and Myrna Loy. Directed by Clarence Brown (National Velvet, The Yearling), the film features incredible aerial footage and centers on a group of brave pilots who fly from Santiago to Rio de Janeiro in order to get a serum that will halt an outbreak of polio. This is what has become a rarity: a regularly pressed, non-manufactured-on-demand release of a library classic.
Shout, Shout Lets Them All Out: For years, Shout Factory, started by some of the folks behind Rhino Records, has been one of the most aggressive indie companies out there. They’ve managed to wrangle the rights to much-requested TV series like SCTV and Leave It to Beaver, and cult films such as the original The Stepfather. Now, the company has pacted with Fox for some interesting titles. Among them are:
Capone (1975): Ben Gazzara plays “Scarface,” a pre-Rocky Sylvester Stallone is Frank Nitti and John Cassavetes, Susan Blakely and Harry Guardino are also featured in this slam-bang gangster yarn helmed by Steve Carver (Big Bad Mama).
Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry/Race with the Devil: The cash registers at the drive-in box-office went cha-ching when Fox teamed these two action-packed entries together. The first is the 1974 tale of ex-race car driver Peter Fonda, mechanic Adam Roarke and blowsy blonde Susan George, who decide to rob a grocery store and elude cop Vic Morrow. The film is filled with careening car chases and amazing stunt work. 1975’s Race with the Devil is a hybrid of chase film and occult thriller, with dirt bike racer Fonda and sponsor pal Warren Oates joining wives Lara Parker and Loretta Swit in a huge RV for a trip through Texas. During the trek they encounter Satanists who are soon tailing them. In other words, this double feature is open air theater heaven.
Off Limits/Gordon’s War: Off Limits (1988), stars Willem Dafoe and Gregory Hines as military police investigating a rash of prostitute murders in 1968 Saigon. Vietnam is also the backdrop in Gordon’s War (1973), helmed by Ossie Davis, and starring Paul Winfield as a veteran who returns home to find his wife dead of heroin. Winfield enlists some of his wartime friends to stop the drugs and the dealers in the ‘hood.
And further down the road, expect:
Damnation Alley (1977), the sci-fi adventure in which a group of survivors of World War III dodge monstrous plants and creatures in all terrain vehicles. Jan-Michael Vincent, George Peppard, Dominique Sanda and Jackie Earl Haley star.
The Nickel Ride (1974): Top-notch, unsung modern noir with Jason Miller as a mid-level L.A. mobster who soon finds himself out of favor with his superiors and stalked by cowboy hitman Bo Hopkins. Robert Mulligan (To Kill a Mockingbird) directs; John Hillerman, Linda Haynes and Victor French co-star.
99 and 44/100% Dead (1974): John Frankenheimer’s wild spoof of crime films stars Richard Harris as a freelance assassin hired by mob boss Edmond O’Brien to take out rival Bradford Dillman. In response, Dillman enlists one-armed killer Chuck Connors to give Harris grief. Ann Turkel also stars.
Bad Dreams/Visiting Hours: Just in time for Halloween comes this twin-bill of 1980s shockathons. Bad Dreams (1988) stars Jennifer Rubin as the survivor of a mass murder attempt by a creepy cult. Just out of a coma, Rubin finds that the cultists’ leader is after her to complete his deranged mission. Canada’s Visiting Hours (1982) stars Lee Grant as a reporter pursued by serial killer Michael Ironside while she recuperates in a hospital. Linda Purl and William Shatner co-star.
This Means War: Sony has surprised everyone by going non-MOD on two much-requested war-themed releases.
The Heroes of Telemark (1965): In this first-rate war adventure, physicist Kirk Douglas is recruited by Norwegian freedom fighter Richard Harris to try and halt the Nazi mission to develop an atomic bomb in a rural Norwegian village. Based on a true incident, the Anthony Mann-helmed film also features Ulla Jacobson and Michael Redgrave.
The Night of the Generals (1967): A perverse war saga that takes place in two eras. After a Polish prostitute is murdered by a German general, German intelligence officer Omar Sharif investigates the case. The suspects are Donald Pleasance, Charles Gray and Peter O’Toole, but it may take decades before the culprit is revealed. Anatole Litvak (The Snake Pit) brought stylish direction to this crackerjack whodunit that reunited Lawrence of Arabia stars O’Toole and Sharif, features future Bond Blofelds Pleasance and Gray, and also co-stars Tom Courtenay, Philippe Noiret and Christopher Plummer.
Steady Eddy And Lovely Jeanette Lead Archival Arrivals: After years in the rumor stage, Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald have finally landed on DVD, courtesy of Warner’s Archive series.
While it’s not a complete boxed set of the duo’s musical classics, we’ll take ‘em.
Naughty Marietta (1935), the first screen teaming of the leads, casts Ms. MacDonald as a French princess who switches places with her maid in order to dodge an arranged marriage. On her way to New Orleans, she encounters pirates and a handsome mercenary sea captain (Eddy) who takes a liking to her. Based on Victor Herbert’s operetta, the score includes “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp” and “‘Neath the Southern Moon.”
Sweethearts (1938) features Jeanette and Nelson as a show-business couple that is jockeying to abandon their long-running Broadway show for Hollywood. Complications set in that split the couple apart while they are caught in the middle of a tug-of-war between The Great White Way and Tinseltown. The color production, based on another Herbert operetta, also stars Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger and Mischa Auer, and includes the songs “Pretty as a Picture” and “Game of Love.”
There has been no shortage of new titles from Warner when it comes to their Archive program. Also on the horizon are:
Bachelor in Paradise (1961): Tax-strapped bachelor author Bob Hope explores the swinging life of singlehood in the ‘burbs for his new book, and soon finds a line of gorgeous housewives—and angry hubbys. Lana Turner, Janis Paige, Jim Hutton and Paula Prentiss also star.
Sunday in New York (1963): Lively rom-com with Jane Fonda as the virginal young woman seeking advice after the breakup of her relationship with wealthy Robert Culp by visiting pilot brother Cliff Robertson in Manhattan. A case of mistaken identity, a chance meeting between Jane and Rod Taylor on a bus, and supporting work from Jo Morrow and Jim Backus add to the fun.
Bride by Mistake (1944): Wealthy Laraine Day trades places with personal assistant Marsha Hunt to get rid of the suitors who want her only for her cash. She falls for a fighter pilot (Alan Marshall) who happens to have a thing for the married Ms. Hunt.
Design for Scandal (1941): After judge Rosalind Russell hits a publisher with a nasty divorce ruling, the disgusted defendant sets ace reporter Walter Pidgeon out to get the goods on her. All Walt uncovers is the liking he takes to Roz, causing all sorts of problems.
Her Highness and the Bellboy (1945): Hedy Lamarr is the princess who lands in New York to find a newspaper reporter she fell for. While in a hotel, she meets bellboy Robert Walker, who mistakes her for a maid, and mistakenly thinks he has a shot. June Allyson and Agnes Moorehead co-star.
My Love Came Back (1940): Music student Olivia de Havilland’s education is secretly paid for a phonograph company mogul, an arrangement which makes his older children suspicious. The kids are also resentful of dad’s handpicked successor Jeffrey Lynn, who Olivia winds up taking a fancy to.
Indie News: Several indie titles that may have come and gone in your area (if at all) are well worth your attention. They may fly under the radar in theaters, but they are certainly worth catching on DVD and/or Blu-ray.
Tamara Drewe: Based on a graphic novel, this tale centers on the lead character, a journalist who returns to her hometown to sell off a family estate and discovers a group of quirky characters who have good and bad connections to her life. Gemma Arterton stars in this film from Stephen Frears (High Fidelity).
Four Lions: Terrorism as a subject for comedy? Believe it or not, it is in this acclaimed British satire in which a group of U.K.-based jihadists decide to carry out a bomb plot during an annual London parade. The inept renegades’ attempts to prepare for the mission are the source for many laughs.
Night Catches Us: A member of the Black Panther party returns to his old Philadelphia stomping grounds, only to discover it may be difficult to go home again as he encounters some of his former radical brothers-in-arms and the wife of his former best friend. Anthony Mackie and Kerry Washington star.
Monsters: A miracle of low-budget filmmaking, this haunting saga of a photographer and a young woman’s journey through a Mexico that has been infiltrated by squid-like aliens comes from writer-director Gareth Edwards, who created most of the special effects on his desktop computer.
Welcome to the Rileys: James Gandolfini is a man whose deteriorating marriage to emotionally troubled Melissa Leo leads him looking for love with stripper Kristen Stewart.
A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop: The Coen Brothers’ first feature, Blood Simple, gets remade in this stylish Chinese production from Zhang Yimou (Hero). The owner of a noodle shop attempts to have his wife murdered in a plot that backfires.
How Swede It Is: Kino’s Ingrid Bergman: Swedish Film Collection offers the lovely and oh-so talented actress in three early films from her homeland that helped make her a star. In Intermezzo (1936), Ms. Bergman plays the young piano teacher involved in an affair with an older violinist while she teaches his child how to play an instrument. Bergman repeated her performance in an English-language remake, mounted three years later by David O. Selznick as a vehicle for his new find. A Woman’s Face (1938) stars Ms. Bergman as a member of a gang of con artists who agrees to murder a child for an inheritance, but, after being horribly burned in a fire, attempts to change her life with help from a kindly plastic surgeon. June Night (1940), the actress’s last Swedish effort before departing for Hollywood full-time, offers a bravura performance by Ingrid as a small-town woman involved in a crime so shocking that she moves to Stockholm to escape the press. Ms. Bergman would learn more first-hand about the nature of scandal years later when, as a married woman, her romance with filmmaker Roberto Rossellini became an international story.
Minnelli with an “M”: Warner Archives has lately delved into the “M” files of their library to cover some first-rate releases from the great Vincent Minnelli. While the hubby of Judy Garland and father of Liza Minnelli is best known for directing such musicals as Meet Me in St. Louis, The Pirate, An American in Paris, The Band Wagon and Gigi, or light comedy classics like Father of the Bride, Designing Woman, The Long, Long Trailer and The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, Minnelli was also superb at tackling other genres. His films were usually wonderfully shot in cinemascope, expertly designed, colorful and filled with allusions to Freud and surrealism. The scope of the man’s diverse talents is evident in these titles:
The Cobweb (1955): Minnelli adapted the novel by William Gibson (The Miracle Worker) set in a psychiatric hospital where Richard Widmark takes the reins after a power struggle with director Charles Boyer. While new drapes for the premises become the source of unusual controversy, adultery, backstabbing and the neuroses of patients and practitioners are revealed. Lauren Bacall, Gloria Grahame, John Kerr, Oscar Levant, Lillian Gish and Fay Wray also star.
Tea and Sympathy (1956): Robert Sherwood’s controversial play gets the Minnelli treatment as a college student (John Kerr) ridiculed for his effeminate characteristics finds more than tea and sympathy from Deborah Kerr, wife of the school’s manly housemaster (Leif Erickson). Darryl Hickman, Edward Andrews and Norma Crane co-star.
The Reluctant Debutante (1958): More in line with his light comedies, this film features real-life hubby and wife Rex Harrison and Kay Kendall as society types who want Harrison’s daughter (Sandra Dee) to meet the proper guy in London. They zero in on handsome jazz drummer John Saxon, but they don’t know he’s really a millionaire.
Two Weeks in Another Town (1962): A companion piece to Minnelli’s earlier all-star Hollywood opus The Bad and the Beautiful, this film stars Kirk Douglas as a fading actor who accepts a job in Rome from filmmaker pal Edward G. Robinson, only to find he’s actually being hired to supervise the film’s dubbing. When Robinson gets ill, Douglas lobbies to replace him in the director’s chair. Clare Trevor, Cyd Charisse and George Hamilton also star.
Docs That Rock: If you are looking for something compelling and real and are tired of watching Celebrity Rehab, we suggest these documentaries:
A Film Unfinished: An astonishing document about the Nazi propaganda machine filmed during the WWII era, revealing the truth behind a Nazi-sponsored film depicting Jews in the Warsaw ghetto ignoring the hardships of other Jews in order to enjoy “the good life.”
Waiting for “Superman”: From David Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) comes this searing indictment of our failed public education system, focusing on a group of kids with high aspirations that their social situations and schools can’t support.
Orgasm Inc.: A filmmaker working on erotic videos for a pharmaceutical company developing a female version of Viagra turns the cameras on her company and other developers of similarly-targeted products in this expose of Big Pharma, medical quackery and the exploitation of women, as well as advocates who are trying to help the cause of women’s sexual problems.
The Tillman Story: What really lead to the death under fire of Pat Tillman, the NFL player who left a lucrative career to enlist in the military and fight for his country in Afghanistan? His family’s effort to uncover what truly occurred is the focus of this moving film that manages to be touching and infuriating at the same time.
Swat Team: Long before Seth Rogen, or even Van Williams, ‘40s movie audiences thrilled as newspaper publisher Britt Reid decided to hit his city’s criminal element with more than headlines in the guise of the masked and mysterious Green Hornet. In a pair of popular Universal serials, the Hornet stung hoods with the aid of his Asian sidekick-chauffeur-gadget man Kato (Keye Luke). VCI has excavated the popular character withThe Green Hornet: Movie Edition, the featurized version of the first 1940 serial starring Gordon Jones as the hero. This one includes the original black and white and enhanced colorized versions of the adventure. The Green Hornet Strikes Again!, the second 1941 movie serial with Warren Hull donning the mask, is available in both one and two-disc sets. The latter also includes classic radio programs.
The Brits Are Coming: VCI has two sets of British comedies landing on our shores. The upcoming Terry-Thomas Comedy Double Feature offers the gap-toothed funnyman in Too Many Crooks (1959) and Make Mine Mink (1960). In Crooks, the comic becomes the target of a crew of knuckleheaded kidnappers who target his daughter but wind up with his wife (Brenda De Banzie). Little do they know, Terry doesn’t mind getting rid of her, and the miffed missus ends up leading the hapless hoods on a revenge sting. In the hilarious Mink, the Englishman is a former military officer who joins forces with a group of female eccentrics to rob furs from the rich and give their proceeds to charity. Also on the VCI docket is the Diana Dors Comedy Double Feature spotlighting the blonde bombshell known as “the British Marilyn Monroe.” An Alligator Named Daisy (1955) features Diana as the fiancée of Donald Sinden, who has to make the best of having to care for the title reptile. In Value for Money (1955), Dors is a sexy dancer who tries to take John Gregson for all the loot he just inherited from his late father.
Dietrich Gets a Grant: Two pre-code gems from the Paramount library have been put together for a classic double bill with The Song of Songs/This Is the Night. Marlene Dietrich, sans directing mentor Josef von Sternberg, stars in The Song of Songs (1933), playing a young orphan who moves to Berlin to live with her aunt. There she poses for a young sculptor, eventually drawing the romantic attention of both the artist and his wealthy patron. Brian Aherne and Lionel Atwill also star in this lush drama from Rouben Mamoulian (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Mark of Zorro). This is the Night (1932) has Cary Grant in his first movie, essaying the supporting role of a javelin-throwing Olympic athlete who returns home to find that wife Thelma Todd is carrying on an affair with single Roland Young. As the amorous couple prepares for a trip to Venice, Grant is told that Young is married by pal Charlie Ruggles, and a fake wife (Lili Damita) is enlisted to fill the bill. The antics never stop in this double entendre-filled screwball tale of adultery, duplicity and laughs. Frank Tuttle (The Glass Key, This Gun for Hire) directs.
A Bushel of Peck: Universal is breaking up their Gregory Peck Film Collection, making all of the entries in this salute to the Oscar-winning actor available separately. Now available as singles are The World in His Arms (1952), Cape Fear (1962), a special version of To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), Captain Newman, M.D. (1963), Mirage (1965) and Arabesque (1966).
Moses Supposes: One of the most popular biblical epics of all time gets a new pressing in The Ten Commandments (Restoration Version). The 1956 opus from Cecil B. DeMille will soon be available in Blu-ray, DVD and a special Blu-ray/DVD gift set that also offers DeMille’s silent 1926 version. All sorts of extras are available on all versions, including commentaries, photo galleries, featurettes and documentaries, in addition to a new transfer of the all-star spectacle featuring Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner and Edward G. Robinson. So there’s your Moses now.
The Window Opens—And More Warner Archives Pop Out: Among the latest Warner Archive titles is The Window, one of our most requested titles. As a child, I will never forget the sheer horror of watching this suspenser that got its message across powerfully: Don’t ever, EVER lie! In this 1949 film directed by former Hitchcock cinematographer Ted Tetzlaff (Notorious), child acting sensation Bobby Driscoll (Disney’s Treasure Island) stars as a kid living in a Lower East Side tenement who is prone to telling fibs. But when he witnesses a murder involving the neighbors across the street, no one believes him, not his parents (Barbara Hale and Arthur Kennedy) or the police. So what’s a kid to do? The tension rises as the film moves on, and a series of complications find the youngster face-to-face with the people he’s accused of a heinous crime. Based on a story by Cornell Woolrich, The Window is a noir guaranteed to raise goosebumps on kids of all ages.
Additionally, Warner is rolling out:
The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1959): Spooky, powerful doomsday drama with miner Harry Belafonte returning from a cave-in to post-nuclear blast Manhattan where he finds everything deserted and destroyed—except for lovely Inger Stevens, and, later, racist Mel Ferrer.
Night Must Fall (1937): Robert Montgomery nabbed an Oscar nomination for his performance as a mysterious newcomer to an English village who charms his way into the home of a wealthy woman whose niece suspects him of foul play. Dame May Whitty and Rosalind Russell also star in this surprise-filled suspenser.
Fort Dobbs (1958): A sagebrush fan favorite with Clint Walker as the strapping frontiersman who escorts Virginia Mayo and her son on a Comanche-imperiled trek to the title outpost Fort Dobbs after her husband is killed. But did Walker have something to do with her hubby’s death? Gordon Douglas (Them!) directs.
Vitaphone Cavalcade Of Musical Comedy Shorts Collection: This incredible five-disc compendium of musical featurettes spans from the mid-1930s through the 1940s, and includes an array of comic interludes and musical numbers from the likes of Patsy Kelly, The Gumm Sisters (a young Judy Garland and her sibs), Mae Questel and Leon Errol, along with newsreel footage and more.
Just Tell Me What You Want (1980): A change-of-pace for director Sidney Lumet, this romantic farce stars Alan King as a wealthy, married businessman who has to deal with TV producer girlfriend Ali McGraw when she grows weary of his dodging commitment.
Blondie Johnson (1933): Joan Blondell makes an early splash in this crime tale that casts her as a down-and-out gal who gets involved with hoods and the rackets in order to make ends meet. The crackerjack supporting cast includes Sterling Holloway, Chester Morris and Allen Jenkins.
Heat Lightning (1934): Two sisters who run a gas station/luncheonette in the middle of the desert encounter seedy ex-boyfriends, jewel robbers and other assorted characters in this drama starring Aline McMahon, Ann Dvorak, Preston Foster and Glenda Farrell.
Black Fury (1935): First-rate socially conscious film from Warner Brothers, directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Paul Muni as a Pennsylvania miner who gets embroiled in a nasty conflict with management and their hired thugs.
Rover Dangerfield (1991): In this animated favorite, Rodney Dangerfield provides the voice of the lead character, a Vegas dog ditched by his owner’s boyfriend, who finds himself on a farm. Talk about no respect!
Lion’s Roar Brings On More: Now that MGM has gotten their on demand program in gear, they seem committed to make things work with an eclectic blend of titles. As we mentioned previously, MGM’s library includes recent MGM releases, United Artists titles and stuff cherry-picked from a bunch of other libraries of now-defunct companies. Hence, the eclecticism, and among the most recent highlights:
Fort Massacre (1958): Joel McCrea is the cavalry officer trying to steer his troop safely through Apache territory and avenge the death of his wife and child at the hand of the Indian tribe at the same time.
Billy Two Hats (1974): Desi Arnaz, Jr. is the title character, a half-breed who teams with Scottish outlaw Gregory Peck for a robbery in which the killing of a third bandit brings tough sheriff Jack Warden on their trail. The first Western filmed in Israel.
The Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday (1976): Lee Marvin is an old frontiersman, Oliver Reed his Native American partner, Robert Culp a two-timing thief and Kay Lenz a prostitute in this bawdy western farce.
Queen of Blood (1966): An alien spaceship lands on the planet Mars, prompting an expedition to the Red Planet which proves more dangerous than anyone bargained for. John Saxon, Basil Rathbone and Judi Meredith star in Curtis Harrington’s sci-fi shocker.
The Black Sleep (1956): An all-star horror cast that includes Bela Lugosi, John Carradine, Lon Chaney, Jr., Tor Johnson, Basil Rathbone and Akim Tamiroff are featured in this tale of a mysterious potion that puts people in trance-like sleeps, set in London in the 1870s.
Daughters of Satan (1972): Tom Selleck’s first starring role casts him a curator of a museum whose discovery of an antique painting depicting a witch that looks like his wife leads him into a series of supernatural incidents that threaten them both.
The Ambulance (1990): Larry Cohen’s comic shocker tells of a mysterious ambulance that picks up patients, and then mysteriously disappears. Eric Roberts, Red Buttons, Janine Turner and James Earl Jones star.
Return from the Ashes (1965): Hitchockian thriller with chess master Maximilian Schell marrying wealthy concentration camp survivor Ingrid Thulin, and then plotting her demise with duplicitous new stepdaughter Samantha Eggar.
Cop Hater (1958): Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct story stars Robert Loggia and centers on a rash of cop killing during a New York City heat wave.
Cohen & Tate (1988): Roy Scheider and Adam Baldwin are thugs are find themselves battling each other thanks to the efforts of a young boy whose parents were killed by the mob.
The Captive City (1952): Robert Wise’s crackerjack thriller with John Forsythe as a crusading reporter uncovering the machinations of a mobster who is manipulating the city’s police force.
Not as a Stranger (1955): Stanley Kramer directed this epic drama with Robert Mitchum as a medical student who marries well-off nurse Olivia de Havilland so she can pay his tuition, but cutting off pal Frank Sinatra in the process.
A Cold Wind in August (1961): Lola Albright is the stripper who seduces 17-year-old neighbor Scott Marlowe and soon becomes infatuated with the teen in this controversial drama that still sizzles.
The Murder of Mary Phagan (1988): Top-notch TV movie about the true incident in 1913 in which an Atlanta factory girl was murdered and her Jewish supervisor is convicted of the crime. Jack Lemmon, Peter Gallagher, Richard Jordan, Robert Prosky and Kevin Spacey star.
Body Slam (1968): Hal Needham (Smokey and the Bandit) directed this wild satire in which rock music promoter Dirk Benedict accidentally gets involved with wrestling, becoming a manager for grapplers who he eventually brings into the music world. Tanya Roberts, Rowdy Roddy Piper and Lou Albano co-star.
Hope Diamonds : For The Bob Hope Collection, Vol. 2, we’ll get to see a cavalcade of Bob comedy that spans the decades. Included in this four-disc set are The Great Lover (1948) with Rhonda Fleming; Son of Paleface (1952) with Jane Russell and Roy Rogers; Paris Holiday (1958) with that Anita Ekberg (grrrr-owl), plus Fernandel and Preston Sturges; The Private Navy of Sergeant O’Farrell (1968), co-starring Phyllis Diller and Gina Lollobrigida (double grrrrr-owl!), How to Commit Marriage (1969) with Jackie Gleason and Tina Louise (triple grrrrr-owl!) and Cancel My Reservation (1972) with Eva Marie Saint (quadruple grrrr-owl!) . Fans of Ol’ Ski Nose will have a laff riot!
Olive Gardening: Olive Films continues mining the Paramount vault for interesting vintage films. Their latest two are Rope of Sand (1949), an adventure produced by Hal B. Wallis who tries to recapture some of his Casablanca magic by casting Paul Henreid, Claude Rains and Peter Lorre. Henreid is a mean-spirited police inspector stationed in Africa in pursuit of a lost diamond field. His main adversary is thief Burt Lancaster, who endures some torturous experience trying to track down the gems. Rains plays the head of a diamond syndicate, Lorre is a mercenary and French singer-actress Corrine Calvet, a Wallis discovery, is the alluring woman of the film helmed by William Dieterle (The Devil and Daniel Webster, Dark City).
Also on Olive’s plate isThe Mountain (1956), a spectacular adventure filled with hair-raising mountain-climbing sequences. Retired climber Spencer Tracy is the older brother of guide Robert Wagner, who has his sights set on the booty of a downed plane atop a French alpine peak. Once the brothers scale the mountain, they discover an Indian woman still alive among the wreckage. Tracy wants to rescue her, while Wagner only wants the goods from the plane. Sibling tensions ensue, as do thrilling situations against gorgeous backdrops (filmed in the French Alps’ Mont Blanc). Edward Dmytryk (Crossfire, The Caine Mutiny) directs
Down the road from Olive will be a trio of Otto Preminger productions made for Paramount: Hurry Sundown (1967), a controversial look at racial and sexual tensions in a Georgia town with Michael Caine, Jane Fonda, Faye Dunaway, George Kennedy, Robert Hooks and John Phillip Law; Skidoo (1968), one of the weirdest films ever made, with Jackie Gleason leading the all-star cast as a mobster who takes LSD in prison in hopes of escaping from the big house and reality—co-stars include Carol Channing, Mickey Rooney, Frankie Avalon and Groucho Marx; and Such Good Friends (1971), a dark comedy that offers Dyan Cannon as a housewife who has some startling revelations when hubby Laurence Luckenbill goes into a coma from being at a hospital for routine surgery.