Turner Classic Movies has pacted with Universal to issue several new-to-DVDs showcasing the great Cary Grant. This comes after TCM’s release of such Universal-licensed efforts as Remember the Night and the Universal Cult Horror Collection. These films, originally produced by Paramount, will be available individually, or collected in a set called Cary Grant: The Early Paramount Years. The titles include:
The Last Outpost (1935) finds Grant as a British officer wounded in WWI-era Kurdistan who falls for a nurse (Gertrude Michael) who happens to be married to the intelligence agent (Claude Rains) who rescued him.
The Eagle and the Hawk (1933), in which Cary tries to save the reputation of WWI British flying ace Fredric March after he commits suicide. Carole Lombard has a small role as the woman with whom March has an affair.
The Devil and the Deep (1932) is a superior sub drama, although Mr. Grant is only appears briefly, playing a lieutenant transferred to another base when sub commander Charles Laughton suspects him of having an affair with wife Tallulah Bankhead. Things don’t get easier when Gary Cooper comes on board, and when Laughton suspects the same, the future of his crew is put in jeopardy.
We understand future TCM/Universal releases will feature the likes of Fred MacMurray, Claudette Colbert and, possibly, Deanna Durbin.
Sony No Baloney
Sony has been on a roll of late, offering some dandy stuff from their library, including The William Castle Collection and Columbia Film Noir Classics I. Good news: they’ve got more on the way for 2010. There is a New Hollywood Collection, which includes films from the 1960s and 1970s produced by the BBS company, headed by Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider, including Five Easy Pieces, Easy Rider, The Last Picture Show, The King of Marvin Gardens, Head and the new-to-DVD titles A Safe Place and Drive, He Said. Also on tap is Columbia Film Noir Classics II, with such hard-hitting “B” movie gems as Pushover, City of Fear, The Brothers Rico, In a Lonely Place and Nightfall. Those of you who can’t get enough noir will look forward to the imminent Bad Girls of Film Noir, Vol. 1 and Bad Girls of Film Noir, Vol. 2, two collections of movies that have been restored by the UCLA Film Archives.
Bad Girls of Film Noir, Vol. 1 offers: The Killer That Stalked New York (1950), a film that mixes heist thrills and smallpox threat suspense with Evelyn Keyes, Charles Korvin, William Bishop and Dorothy Malone; Two of a Kind (1951) has femme fatale Lizabeth Scott and Alexander Knox as con artists who recruit cardsharp Edmond O’Brien into their latest scam; Bad For Each Other (1953) features Charlton Heston as an altruistic army doctor sucked into society life by Lizabeth Scott; and The Glass Wall (1953), in which unemployed factory worker Gloria Grahame befriends illegal immigrant Vittorio Gassman in New York City.
Bad Girls of Film Noir, Vol. 2 offers Night Editor (1946) in which cheating couples and murder mix with William Gargan and Janis Carter; One Girl’s Confession (1951) boasts Cleo Moore as a robber looking for stolen loot to help restaurant owner Hugo Haas; Women’s Prison (1955) is a classic W-I-P saga with Ida Lupino as the tough prison supervisor and Jan Sterling, Cleo Moore, Audrey Totter and Phyllis Thaxter among her prisoners; and Over-Exposed (1958), with Richard Crenna as a reporter and Cleo Moore as a photographer who get in trouble with the mob.
The gold standard for DVD companies, Criterion
has added to their licensing deals by teaming with IFC for some prime recent titles. On the way in January are Che, Steven Soderbergh’s two-part epic, along with Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas and Roberto Rossellini s War Trilogy, which packages Open City, Paisan and Germany: Year Zero in a set. In February, expect recent IFC theatricals Revanche, an Oscar- nominated Austrian thriller, and Hunger, the acclaimed drama centering on IRA member Bobby Sands’ hunger strike. Along with Max Ophuls’ romantic classic Lola Montes and Leo McCarey’s overlooked 1937 family tearjerker Make Way for Tomorrow, the company continues to impress and surprise with their diverse selections.
All That Jazz
Lionsgate has put together a batch of jazz-oriented DVDs (with CDs) called Music Masters that should please both music and movie fans. The selection includes:
A Man Called Adam (1966), with Sammy Davis Jr. as a jazz trumpeter dealing with tragic situations in his life; the impressive co-stars include Louis Armstrong, Mel Torme, Frank Sinatra, Jr. and Peter Lawford.
Ballad in Blue (1966): Ray Charles plays himself in this affecting drama that finds him helping a sightless British boy. Ray also belts out some classic tunes under the direction of Paul Henreid.
Beyond the Sea (2004): Kevin Spacey directs and stars in this eclectic biopic about the life, music and acting career of Bobby Darin, which centers on his rise to fame and his relationship with Sandra Dee (Kate Bosworth).
The Buena Vista Social Club (1998): Acclaimed documentary in which Wim Wenders and Ry Cooder explore the musical heritage of Cuba and it
Brotherly Movie Love
The Brothers Warner, a new documentary examining the efforts of Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack Warner offers a fascinating glimpse into movie history. The beginnings of Hollywood and the Warners’ part in building the movie biz makes for terrific viewing. Lots of film clips and interviews with the likes of James Dean, Humphrey Bogart, and Debbie Reynolds help tell the story, which is directed by Cass Warner Sperling, granddaughter of Harry Warner.
Not-So Merry Old England
From VCI comes an interesting set of serious and rarely seen gems from Great Britain called British Cinema Drama Collection. Grand National Night (1953) tells of a horse owner who encounters eerie complications after he kills his alcoholic wife. Kill Me Tomorrow (1957) details the efforts of a tabloid reporter who gets involved with crime to raise money for his son’s operation. In The Scamp (1957), a boy believes he has accidentally killed his alcoholic father. Rough and the Smooth (1959) tells of a calculating German nympho who seduces, blackmails, and deceives three men, including her newest lover. Richard Attenborough, Pat O’Brien, William Bendix, Nigel Patrick, and Michael Hordern are among the actors in these efforts presented in a two-disc set.