Category Archives: DVD Releases

Classics on Disc: July 15

olive-Armored-Attack!

This film has a pretty fascinating history – directed by Lewis Milestone (All Quiet in the Western Front), it was originally released in 1943 as The North Star. In 1957, it was edited and a voiceover added to make it explicitly anti-Communist and re-released as Armored Attack!. I haven’t seen either version, but Olive Film has included both on this disk. I’m not sure I’ve heard of many other cases like this, where a film was overhauled and rereleased with a new title. I’m pretty fascinated to see it. Plus that cover is gorgeous!

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Classics on Disc: July 1

Olive-Good-Sam

My pick this week is from Olive Films, which has been releasing some pretty solid classic Blu-rays lately. I actually haven’t heard of Good Sam before, but I’m surprised I haven’t, with it starring Gary Cooper and Ann Sheridan, and directed by Leo McCarey. That’s some first-rate talent all around, so I’m hoping this one is a hidden gem that’s been off the radar for a while, rather than a misfire. Here’s the description from Olive’s website:

In the tradition of It’s a Wonderful Life… Everyone in town agrees that there ought to be more good Samaritans like Sam Clayton (Gary Cooper, High Noon). Sam is a department store manager and a devoted family man. Unfortunately for Sam, no good deed goes unpunished. When Sam loans the family car to the neighbors … he gets sued when they have an accident. When he invites his brother-in-law for a visit – much to the dismay of Sam’s wife (Ann Sheridan, Kings Row) – the man stays around for six months. Sam is even willing to loan his own family savings to a young couple so they can start their own business and have a baby. Eventually, Sam learns why nice guys finish last when he himself needs someone to turn to! Legendary director, Leo McCarey (The Bells of St. Mary’s, An Affair to Remember) directed this dark comedy with gorgeous black-and-white cinematography by the great George Barnes (The File on Thelma Jordon, Rebecca).

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Classics on Disc: June 24

cc-Hard-Day's-Night

My pick this week is a no-brainer – it’s Criterion’s only release, which helps, but even so, A Hard Day’s Night is a must-own, especially for Beatles fans. And I am one. It defies genre, being sort of a narrative film, sort of a concert film, sort of a documentary, and sort of a music video. Director Richard Lester brings a great sense of fun and spontaneity to the film that to some extent introduced the Beatles to the US, and set the standard for rock music films forever after. This package is loaded with extras, too – multiple documentaries and interviews, a commentary track, a short film by Lester, and much more.

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Classics on Disc: June 17

cc-Judex

My pick of the week is a Criterion release, Georges Franju’s 1963 film Judex. I’ve never seen this film (I’ve only seen Eyes Without a Face of Franju’s work), but it definitely sounds like something I’d like: “Combining stylish sixties modernism with silent-cinema touches and even a few unexpected sci-fi accents, Judex is a delightful bit of pulp fiction and a testament to the art of illusion.” It’s an update of the silent Louis Feuillade serial. Which I also haven’t seen. Oops.

More DVD/Blu-ray releases after the jump.

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