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Burnt Offerings for September 23, 2014

September 23, 2014 - 2:01 pm   |   by

If it’s Tuesday, this must be Belgium. Belgium, of course, being code for our weekly look at new MOD DVD releases and interesting titles currently available on various streaming services. You see, it’s wordy. You can understand why we shortened it to “Belgium”. Anyhoo, clicking on the banners below whisks you away to a glorious world of e-commerce. Shop and support and we thank you most sincerely. [Read on here...]

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Oh, Sailor Behave (1930) – Here’s a genuine rarity. Vaudeville clowns Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson made their movie debuts in this musical from director Archie Mayo. And while Olsen and Johnson get top-billing, they seem to have absolutely nothing to do with the main plot, a convoluted story about a reporter (Charles King), a Romanian general (Noah Beery) and a kidnapped heiress (Irene Delroy). This movie is so obscure, it’s still awaiting 5 votes on IMDb so it can get a user rating.

One Night At Susie’s (1930) – Susie’s is a gangland flophouse run by Helen Ware. When Ware’s foster son (Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.) takes the rap for a murder that was actually committed by showgirl Billie Dove, her underworld cronies have a thing or two to say about it.

Five And Ten (1931) – Marion Davies stars in a rare dramatic role as the daughter of the owner of the country’s largest chain of 5 & Dime stores. Newly rich, the family leaves the sticks and heads to New York City where Davies falls for the already-betrothed Leslie Howard.

The Man Who Played God (1932) – George Arliss stars as a concert pianist who loses his hearing, develops the ability to read lips, and becomes an anonymous philanthropist to those in need. Arliss previously played this role in a 1922 silent version and Liberace would take it on in the 1955 remake Sincerely Yours. Today, this version is probably best remembered for giving Bette Davis her breakthrough role.

Classic Shorts From The Dream Factory, Volume 3 (1933-34) – Also known as Before They Were Stooges. Ted Healy and Howard, Fine & Howard (better known as Moe, Larry and Curly) star in these six MGM shorts including Hello Pop, a 1933 two-strip Technicolor short that had been considered lost for decades before a print was discovered in Australia.

The FBI: The Complete Ninth Season (1973-74) – Efrem Zimbalist Jr.’s long-running crime drama comes to a conclusion with this 6-disc set. Keep your eyes peeled for such guest stars as Dabney Coleman, Tom Selleck, Harvey Keitel and Annette O’Toole.



The Young Doctors (Redbox Instant, EpixHD) – One of last week’s JET’s Most Wanted picks on Facebook, directed by Phil Karlson, starring Fredric March, Ben Gazzara, Dick Clark (?!), Ina Balin & Eddie Albert! The Generation Gap hits the hospital when elder pathologist March clashes with young upstart Gazzara and his modern ways. An impressive cast including George Segal in one of his first films and narrated by Ronald Reagan. Not available on DVD.

Blue Ruin (Netflix) – One of my favorite movies of the year so far, from the same folks who brought you the supremely underrated Murder Party. Macon Blair is brilliant in this twisted tale of revenge. Do yourself a favor and check this one out. Also available on Blu-ray and DVD from Anchor Bay.

The Vanishing (Hulu Plus) – Celebrate the late George Sluizer by watching his classic 1988 thriller, one of the most frightening movies you will ever see. Criterion will be upgrading this on DVD and Blu on October 28 but if you can’t wait, it’s on their Hulu Plus channel. Sluizer’s inferior 1993 remake with Jeff Bridges and Kiefer Sutherland is also available (digitally from Vudu, on DVD from Fox and coming to Blu on October 14 from Twilight Time) but that’s strictly optional. The 1988 version is required.

The Horn Blows At Midnight (Warner Archive Instant) – A must for Jack Benny fans, if only to see the movie that was the butt of so many of his own jokes for so many years. And if you’re not a Jack Benny fan, that’s probably because you haven’t seen any of his work yet, so get on it. Warner Archive also has this available on DVD.

- Adam Jahnke