This week’s new releases offer everything from a Criterion Collection edition of a 1930s favorite to star-packed releases from the Warner Archive Collection to a complete series set of an iconic cartoon. We think you’ll find plenty of additions to your home viewing library when you check out the following titles, all of which are available right now!
History Is Made at Night (Criterion Collection)(1937)
Irene Vail (Jean Arthur) fled to Paris in order to escape her possessive shipping magnate husband Bruce (Colin Clive), and she was rescued from his would-be ruinous blackmail attempt by gallant waiter Paul Dumond (Charles Boyer). While the two fell madly in love, Bruce was far from done with them–and his increasingly dangerous efforts to imperil their happiness would criss-cross two continents. Frank Borzage’s long-demanded romantic drama co-stars Leo Carrillo, Ivan Lebedeff.
Willy’s Wonderland (2021)
With his car broken down in the Nevada desert, a quiet drifter (Nicolas Cage) didn’t have any options for cash past an after-hours janitorial job at a condemned family entertainment center. Unfortunately for him and a gaggle of trespassing teens, the facility’s eight animatronic mascots came to murderous life–and it doesn’t look like they’ll win enough tickets to see the morning. Outrageous horror-comedy actioner also stars Emily Tosta, Beth Grant, Ric Reitz, Grant Cramer.
Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940)
The final entry in M-G-M’s “Broadway Melody” series features top-flight entertainment in the form of a marvelous Cole Porter score (“Begin the Beguine,” “I’ve Got My Eye on You”), exciting Fred Astaire-Eleanor Powell dance numbers, and some hilarious skits. Also stars George Murphy, Frank Morgan, and Ian Hunter. Other songs include “Between You and Me,” and “I Concentrate on You.”
The Producers (1967)
Mel Brooks’ directorial debut is one of the greatest comedies of all time and stars Zero Mostel as conniving theater producer Max Bialystock and Gene Wilder as skittish accountant Leo Bloom. Together they produce “Springtime for Hitler,” a lavish stage musical which they’ve planned to flop so they can keep their little old lady investors’ money. But should the play become a hit, the boys’ll be doing all their producing in the pokey. With Lee Meredith, Dick Shawn, Kenneth Mars, Christopher Hewett.
Doctor X (1932)
A series of cannibalistic murders that rocked New York brought glib crime reporter Lee Taylor (Lee Tracy), and the cops, to the Long Island medical research institute of Dr. Jerry Xavier (Lionel Atwill). Aware that he and his four staffers comprise the suspect pool, Xavier asks 48 hours to root out the killer himself–but his elaborate unmasking gambit will run into stunning snags. Early Technicolor pre-Code shocker also stars Fay Wray, Preston Foster, Arthur Edmund Carew.
In the early 70’s, director William Friedkin was coming off the Oscar-winning triumph of “The French Connection” when he signed on to adapt William Peter Blatty’s best-selling horror novel, and the end product would define shock cinema for the decade. Filmmaker Alexandre Philippe (“Memory: The Origins of Alien”) sat down with Friedkin for a deep dive on his iconic effort, where he shares his memories of the production and explains how his creative process informed the chilling on-screen results.
The Wild Life (1984)
In Southern California, a high school senior wrestling star (Chris Penn), who can’t pin down a commitment from his disinterested girl (Jenny Wright), decides to share an apartment with an older buddy (Eric Stoltz) who’ll regret deciding he’s too “mature” for his ex (Lea Thompson). Raucous ensemble tale of teen life from scripter Cameron Crowe co-stars Randy Quaid, Rick Moranis, Hart Bochner, Ilan Mitchell-Smith.
Green Dolphin Street (1947)
Lush MGM melodrama that won an Oscar for its visual effects (a tidal wave and an earthquake among them) stars Lana Turner and Donna Reed as 1840s British sisters Marianne and Marguerite Patourel, both in love with sailor William Ozanne (Richard Hart). When William, who prefers Marguerite, settles in New Zealand to run a lumber business and writes a letter while drunk mistakenly asking Marianne to marry him, she agrees, only to later learn the truth. Van Heflin, Frank Morgan, Edmund Gwenn co- star.
Hercules and the Captive Women (aka Hercules Conquers Atlantis)(1961)
Reg Park flexes his pecs in his first outing as the mythological strongman, who finds himself shipwrecked on the shores of Atlantis. Herc rescues the beautiful Princess Ismene (Laura Efrikian), battles a shape-changing god, takes on an army of supermen, and must thwart the evil Queen Antinea’s (Fay Spain) schemes of global conquest. Ettore Manni, Luciano Marin, Mario Valdemarin also star. AKA: “Hercules and the Haunted Women,” “Hercules Conquers Atlantis.”
Wedding Every Weekend (2020)
Strangers Brooke (Kimberley Sustad) and Nate (Paul Campbell), each coming off a relationship disaster, surprisingly found one another on the guest lists of four consecutive weekend wedding ceremonies. Agreeing to buddy up for the month to spare themselves any further drama, their odyssey finds the arrangement of convenience blossom into something much more, in this Hallmark charmer; Brandi Alexander, Geoff Gustafson, Peter Benson, Karen Kruper co-star.
North Shore (1987)
After winning a surfing contest in Arizona (of all places), teenager Rick (Matt Adler) heads off to spend the summer in Hawaii. While trying to master the big waves of the North Shore, Rick clashes with some territorial locals, falls for a young Hawaiian beauty (Nia Peeples), and is taken under the wing of a surf guru (Gregory Harrison) who teaches him the finer points of “soul surfing.” John Philbin, Gerry Lopez also star in this rousing drama that features breathtaking surfing footage.
El Topo (1970)
A mix of spaghetti western, Tod Browning shocker, Christian allegory, and Carlos Castaneda fantasy, writer/director/star Alejandro Jodorowsky’s quintessential cult film follows black-clad gunslinger El Topo (The Mole), who abandons his young son and sets off on a quest in the desert. Betrayed and left for dead, El Topo is rescued by a band of deformed cave-dwellers and, years later, attempts to help them leave their underground home for a frontier town where his now-grown son is a monk. Brontis Jodorowsky, Robert John, Mara Lorenzio also star.
Fando Y Lis (1968)
El Topo director Alexandro Jodorowsky’s debut feature is a typically trippy affair chronicling a young couple’s quest. Carrying his partially paralyzed lover Lis on his back, Fando and she wander through a barren wasteland of lecherous crones and vampiric predators as they search for the fabled Lost City of Tar, where dreams become reality. Met with riots at its festival premiere, the film stars Sergio Klainer and Diana Mariscal.
The Holy Mountain (1973)
A nameless thief wanders the streets of Mexico City, worshipped and reviled by those he meets, until he comes to the home of a mysterious alchemist who recruits him to join a band of nine people. Their mission: take over the Holy Mountain and depose its inhabitants, thus attaining universal knowledge and immortality. Writer/director Alejandro Jodorowsky (“El Topo”) once again blends New Testament imagery with the surrealism of Buñuel for a bizarre and at times bewildering cinema odyssey. Horácio Salinas, Zamira Saunders, and Jodorowsky star.
Concrete Plans (2020)
Looking for a tax dodge on his ancestral property in the Welsh mountains, an ex-special forces officer (Kevin Guthrie) took on a disparate and desperate group of five laborers to perform the under-the-table renovations. The workers quickly weary of their unsavory conditions and employer’s arrogant attitude–and their frustrations might turn fatal as they learn there’ll be no cash on the barrelhead. Culture war-driven suspenser co-stars Steve Speirs, Goran Bogdan, Amber Rose Revah.
Ancient Aliens: Season 13 (2020)
Was author Erich von Däniken on to something when he suggested in the 1968 book “Chariots of the Gods?” that alien visitors came to Earth in ancient times? This History Channel series, with the cooperation of von Däniken, explores some of the author’s most provocative theories, seeking out whatever evidence might verify the mind-blowing suggestion that we are–and were–not alone! All 12 episodes from season 13 are included in this three-disc set.
Fukushima 50 (2020)
In March 2011, the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan also had the horrific consequence of disabling the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, triggering level 7 meltdowns. Only the brave professionalism of site superintendent Masao Yoshida (Ken Watanabe), shift supervisor Toshio Isaki (Koichi Sato), and 48 other facility employees who stood by their posts kept a disaster from becoming worse; true-life adventure drama co-stars Narumi Yasuda, Shiro Sano.
Fanchon the Cricket (1925)
Given a rustic upbringing by her eccentric grandmother, wild-child waif Fanchon (Mary Pickford) knew little but scorn from the locals. After she saves local gentry Landry Barbeau (Jack Standing) from drowning, however, she finds herself on the end of an unanticipated–and perhaps heartbreaking–courtship. Uncovered adaptation of George Sand’s “La Petite Fadette” co-stars Lottie Pickford, Jack Pickford, Gertrude Norman, Russell Bassett; James Kirkwood, Sr. directs.
September 30, 1955 (1978)
A compelling look at the effect of screen hero James Dean’s death on alienated college student Jimmy J., played by Richard Thomas. Stunned by the news of his idol’s death in a fatal car crash, Jimmy J. assembles his friends for a ceremony honoring Dean, but tragedy soon follows. Dennis Quaid, Tom Hulce, and Lisa Blount co-star.
Spaceballs (4K Ultra HD)(1987)
Such a long time ago, in a galaxy so far away, you don’t want to think about it…Mel Brooks lines the “space opera” genre up in his sights and fires away! See Winnebagoes in space, the villainy of Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis), Barf (John Candy)─half man/half dog, and Brooks in a dual role as the evil President Skroob and Yogurt, master of the mystical Schwartz. With Bill Pullman, Daphne Zuniga, Dick Van Patten.
A mishap at a rocket base photo shoot sent Josie and the gang blasting off into the cosmos with this 1972 spin-off of the original animated series. Joined by kooky alien buddy Gleep, the kids visit strange new worlds while trying to get back to Earth. Voiced by Janet Waldo, Barbara Pariot, Jackie Joseph, Sherry Alberoni, Don Messick, and Casey Kasem. All 16 episodes of the Archie Comics-inspired series are featured in this two-disc set.