My pick this week is Olive Film’s release of Max Ophül’s Caught, a noir film that I haven’t seen but very much want to. I’ve seen several of Ophül’s French films, and Letter from an Unknown Woman (which I didn’t care for, but I think I’d like it better on rewatch), but I’ve never seen him do a genre film quite like this, and this looks like a great release from Olive to amend that. Seriously, Olive is really imitating Criterion lately, especially on cover art. I almost thought this WAS Criterion for a minute. They just need to get rid of the ugly blue snap cases and go with something sleeker. Here’s the description for the film from Olive’s site:
Caught is a tale of Leonora (Barbara Bel Geddes), an aspiring carhop who meets and marries a mysterious millionaire, Smith Ohlrig (Robert Ryan). Soon after the wedding, Laura realizes she’s trapped in a loveless marriage with a ruthless workaholic husband who torments her with twisted mind games. Unable to obtain a divorce from Smith, she moves out of the mansion and goes to work for a dedicated doctor, Larry Quinada (James Mason). The two quickly fall in love but the romance comes to an abrupt halt when Leonora learns that she is pregnant with Ohlrig’s child. Legendary director Max Ophüls and the top-notch cast masterfully navigate the ensuing complications through atmospheric cinematography by Lee Garmes (Duel In The Sun) and stylish art direction from Frank Paul Sylos (Suddenly).
More new (old) releases after the jump.
I’ve seen Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid and it’s pretty middling; I haven’t seen The Lost Moment, and again, that cover art is drawing me right in.
This week at Warner Archive it’s all about June Allyson and…TV movies. I haven’t heard of the any of the TV movies, but whatever. June Allyson is where it’s at, and even though I’ve seen a lot of June Allyson movies, I haven’t seen ANY of these! Which is pretty typical of Warner Archive releases, because they do an awesome job of putting out the lesser-known stuff. The Secret Heart looks the most awesome because, well, it looks very noirish and just a little insane. Warner Archive’s description: “Widow Lee Addams is concerned about her stepdaughter Penny. She knows Penny hides a secret heart, twisted by her fixation with her dead father. At a family holiday at the Addams’ farm Penny finds a new obsession: her stepmother’s devoted beau.”
TCM’s release is a box set of four noir films, three of which have never been released on DVD before – Fritz Lang’s Ministry of Fear, which I’ve seen and recommend, is also in Criterion collection. The other three are You and Me (1938), Undertow (1949) and Hollywood Story (1951). All of these look like good times for noir fans, but I’m particularly drawn to Hollywood Story. Here’s the description from ClassicFlix: “Richard Conte is Larry O’Brien, a stage producer with dreams of being in the movie business who decides to shoot a documentary about the mysterious death of a silent film director, only to find himself in danger of suffering the same fate. With cameos by silent film stars such as Helen Gibson and Francis X. Bushman, it is reminiscent of Sunset Blvd., released a year prior.” That said, Undertow is directed by William Castle, so…yeah, the whole set looks solid.
After a paltry week last week, there are some solid new releases this week, though still nothing quite mainstream. I guess the studios are assuming everyone’s going to see Transformers 4 and not buying DVDs. WRONG. Anyway. The Raid was one of my favorite action films when it came out, so I’m stoked to see The Raid 2, which supposedly has just as much awesome action with a slightly more fleshed out story. Also coming out is Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac – I’m generally a fan of von Trier’s work, but I’m wary of this one.