Monday, July 16, 2012

Coming to DVD: Three Wicked Melodramas From Gainsborough Pictures

There's fabulous news today about a new release due out from Criterion on October 9th.

Criterion will release an Eclipse DVD set titled Three Wicked Melodramas From Gainsborough Pictures.

The set will include three "Gainsborough Cycle" costume pictures made in the UK in the mid '40s: THE MAN IN GREY (1943), THE WICKED LADY (1945), and MADONNA OF THE SEVEN MOONS (1945).

Criterion's Eclipse line typically features beautiful prints but no extras.

As I wrote in my 2009 review of THE MAN IN GREY, the Gainsborough films starred mix-and-match casts consisting of James Mason, Stewart Granger, Margaret Lockwood, Phyllis Calvert, and Patricia Roc, and each of those actors appears in two of the films in the set apiece.

THE MAN IN GREY made a huge star of James Mason as the man audiences loved to hate, and of course both Mason and Granger went on to highly successful careers in the United States.

The actresses are better known in the UK, but they are all terrific, with Lockwood and Roc being particular favorites of mine. Roc's brief foray into U.S. films included the notable Jacques Tourneur Western, CANYON PASSAGE (1946), costarring Dana Andrews and Susan Hayward.

The "Wicked Melodramas" featured in the new set have previously had Region 2 releases, but to my knowledge this is the first time they'll be out on DVD in the United States.

VCI has done a great job releasing some other films of the era, such as FANNY BY GASLIGHT (1944), LOVE STORY (1944), and CARAVAN (1946), but it's terrific seeing some of the best-known Gainsborough films receive attention from Criterion.


Blogger Kevin Deany said...

Thank you so much for letting us know about this release. Three films I've always wanted to see.

8:09 AM  

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