Sunday, January 20, 2013

Coming to DVD: Olive, Twilight Time, Warner Archive, Region 2

There have been several very interesting DVD announcements within the last few days.

The terrific Olive label has a number of terrific releases slated for March 26th. These titles will be released on both standard DVD and Blu-ray.

I'm especially interested in RUTHLESS (1948), a film noir I believe has previously been available only in public domain releases. It has a marvelous cast: Zachary Scott, Lucille Bremer, Louis Hayward, Sydney Greenstreet, Martha Vickers, Raymond Burr, and Diana Lynn. It was directed by Edward G. Ulmer.

Also on the list: THE DEVIL AND MISS JONES (1943), an enjoyable comedy with Jean Arthur, Bob Cummings, Charles Coburn, Edmund Gwenn, and Spring Byington. It's been several years since I last saw it. I've never seen John Ford's THE SUN SHINES BRIGHT (1953), with Charles Winninger, Arleen Whelan, and one of my faves, John Russell.

I'm intrigued by HELL'S HALF ACRE (1954), starring Wendell Corey, Evelyn Keyes, Nancy Gates, and Marie Windsor. And Nat King Cole in a Samuel Fuller movie?! That would be CHINA GATE (1957), also starring Gene Barry, Angie Dickinson, and Lee Van Cleef. That certainly sounds unusual.

That same date there are several early John Wayne releases, including THE LAWLESS NINETIES (1936) with Ann Rutherford and A MAN BETRAYED (1941) costarring Frances Dee. Somehow I'd missed the realization that Wayne and Dee had ever worked together!

50 Westerns From the 50s has the interesting news that a Tyrone Power film I haven't seen, PONY SOLDIER (1952), will be coming out from Twilight Time.

Unfortunately for those of us who continue to prefer the more affordable and versatile DVD format, it appears that PONY SOLDIER is only available in Blu-ray. That said, I'll probably end up splurging on it, given that it stars my favorite actor and I've never seen the movie.

The Warner Archive had fantastic news for fans of "B Westerns this week: a three-film George O'Brien Collection, a Wild Bill Elliott Double Feature, and a Wayne Morris Double Feature. These all look very appealing!

And for George Brent fans such as myself, there's the added bonus of the Archive's new release THE RIGHT TO LIVE (1935), based on a play by Somerset Maugham. Josephine Hutchinson and Colin Clive costar.

There's also very interesting Region 2 news. It turns out that a few '40s Paramount films not available in the United States are coming out in Europe in the Region 2 format.

This week, for example, sees the release of AND NOW TOMORROW (1943), which has a wonderful cast including Loretta Young, Alan Ladd, and Susan Hayward.

Also out on Region 2 this week: DIXIE (1943) with Bing Crosby, Dorothy Lamour, and Marjorie Reynolds, and VARIETY GIRL (1947), a film with an all-star cast which I was able to watch on VHS a couple of years ago; my review is here.

I also learned that a special Paramount title which is very high on many classic film fans' wish lists was released on Region 2 a few months ago! The beloved ghostly romance THE UNINVITED (1944), starring Ray Milland and Gail Russell, came out last October 29th.

The Amazon UK website describes it as "the first official DVD release in the world." It was remastered and comes with a collector's booklet "with exclusively commissioned articles and lobby card reproductions." Disc extras include the trailer plus stills and poster galleries.

It's hard to understand why a sought-after film such as THE UNINVITED rates a release in the UK but not the U.S. Perhaps it will be released in the TCM Vault Collection this year. I'd love to see it boxed in a spooky Gail Russell set with a pair of other Paramount films, THE UNSEEN (1945) and NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND EYES (1948).

In the meantime, however, I've got an all-region player and it looks like I'll be sending some business to Amazon UK in the next few weeks!

4 Comments:

Blogger Vertumno said...

Very interesting post as usual. I just wanted to point out that Pony Soldier is available in France on DVD. French title is La dernière flèche. Cheers!

2:40 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks so much for sharing that information! I may check into that. :)

Best wishes,
Laura

3:19 PM  
Blogger silverscreenings said...

Ooh, some good titles here. Sooo glad to see "The Devil and Miss Jones" - a ton of great lines in this movie.

3:50 PM  
Blogger grandoldmovies said...

I'm amazed also that 'The Uninvited' has not yet been released in the US on DVD (though it had, I recall, a VHS release many years ago). Could there be some rights issue involved?

7:15 AM  

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