Going Exploring for 1940’s Kit Carson And More

Q: Any chance we’ll be seeing Kit Carson on DVD with Jon Hall?

A: Yes!! The end of January will mark the DVD appearance of Jon Hall as the legendary scout in Kit Carson (1940). Carson teams with Captain John Fremont (Dana Andrews) and his troops to lead a group of settlers to California, but comes across hostile Indians and the Mexican army in the process. Clayton Moore, Lynn Bari and Ward Bond co-star.     

Q: I’m trying to find out the name of a movie made in the late 50’s or early 60’s with an alien that has needles dripping with some kind of drug that slide out from the tips of its fingers…anybody??

A: We’re pretty certain that film is Invasion of the Saucer Men from 1957, which centers on a group of teens ending off aliens with plans to invade the Earth. The film featured a pre-Riddler Frank Gorshin, ever-active character actor Raymond Hatton, Gloria Castillo, Steven Terrell, Ed Nelson (Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea) and little person Angelo Rossito as one of the bubble-headed extraterrestrials. Released by American-International Pictures, the film has not found a DVD release as of yet.

Q:    Have you any influence in getting The Green Scarf (1954), a great mystery thriller with Michael Redgrave and Ann Todd, released on video in ANY format?

A: The 1954 courtroom thriller has a sizable following that dates back to its theatrical release, where it played in several theaters for many months. Set in France, the film features a bearded Michael Redgrave as an attorney given the impossible task of defending a blind, deaf and mute seaman (Kieron Moore) accused of murder. Ann Todd plays the suspect’s interpreter and wife in this gripping film. The film was produced independently in England, which is the reason it has yet to surface on DVD.  All the films from its producers’ library are controlled by CanalPlus, which puts it under the Lionsgate umbrella. Its appearance on DVD in the immediate future remains highly unlikely at this time. 

Q: I recall a pretty spooky and unusual film from a while ago involving the ghost of a man’s wife that appears while he is in a large house in England. I am thinking that the male lead was played by an American singer. Any guesses?

A: We’re fairly certain the film you ask about is a 1978 oddity called The Comeback, with Jack Jones as an American singer headed to England to re-charge his career after a long absence from performing following his wife’s death. But once across the pond, Jack runs into all sorts of horror, including ghostly appearances by his late spouse. The film was directed by Pete Walker, the British cult figure behind Schizo and House of Whipcord, and also featured David Doyle (Charlie’s Angels), Holly Palance (daughter of Jack) and Pamela Stephenson (who had a brief stint on SNL). We do have it on DVD   and Blu-ray.  

Q: Is the Michael Rennie version of Les Miserables from the 1950s available on DVD?

A: Not only is it available, but you get a bonus rendition of the Hugo story. Rennie’s 1952 version, directed by Lewis Milestone (All Quiet on the Western Front) with Edmund Gwenn and Sylvia Sidney, is available on a double-feature with the 1935 film starring Fredric March as Jean Valjean and Charles Laughton as Inspector Javert under the direction of Richard Boleslawski (Theodora Goes Wild). If you are a Les Miz-o-phile, Olive has just issued the epic, rarely seen 1958 French version with the great Jean Gabin as Valjean on DVD and Blu-ray. Then you also have the 1978 Richard Jordan TV production and the 1998 film with Liam Neeson as Valjean. And to add the icing to the cake, we also offer the ultra-rare 1934 version from French filmmaker Raymond Bernard, whose staggering 4-hour rendition is considered the most accurate filming of the Hugo book.  Completists may want to check out Les Miserables, a 1952 “Lux Radio Theater” audio interpretation, with Ronald Colman and Robert Newton.