Burnt Offerings: MOD DVD

Burnt Offerings for October 21, 2014

October 21, 2014 - 12:15 pm   |   by
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Last week’s Burnt Offerings fell victim to the Dreaded Deadline Doom, so my apologies to regular readers of this column, if any. This week is a little light on new releases but I’ll try to scrounge up some interesting morsels just the same. As ever and always shall be, please channel your shopping cyberdollars through the little banners seen below and accept our gratitude for helping support The Bits. [Read on here...]

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NEW FROM THE WARNER ARCHIVE COLLECTION

Possessed (1947) – Joan Crawford delivers an outstanding, Oscar-nominated performance in this film noir classic as a mentally unstable woman recounting the events that led to her being charged with murder. This isn’t the only new Blu-ray from Warner Archive lately. Last week, the James Cagney musical classic Yankee Doodle Dandy arrived on Blu. Also recently announced, Pete Kelly’s Blues with Jack Webb and George Sanders in The Picture Of Dorian Gray.

Back In Print – Warner Archive doesn’t have any new-to-DVD releases this week but they do have five older out-of-print titles back in circulation. These include Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Sergio Leone’s The Colossus Of Rhodes, Billy Wilder’s Love In The Afternoon and I Love You, Alice B. Toklas starring Peter Sellers.

Those are some pretty big names, so permit me to engage in some idle, completely unfounded speculation. At an event last week at the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Criterion Collection’s Kim Hendrickson and Curtis Tsui confirmed that Warner Bros. titles will finally be coming to Criterion. There are at least a few titles up there that I’m guessing Criterion would love to get their hands on. Particularly Blow-Up but I could see them going for the Hitchcock and Wilder titles, too. So I wouldn’t be too terribly surprised if one or more of those titles were presented on Blu-ray by Criterion at some point in the future. But that’s just a guess, so don’t hold my feet to the fire over this.

 

NEW FROM 20TH CENTURY FOX CINEMA ARCHIVES

One Wild Night (1938) – Journalist June Lang and budding criminologist Dick Baldwin team up to solve a series of disappearances in a small town in this comedy.

The Magnificent Dope (1942) – Suave Don Ameche meets his match in country bumpkin Henry Fonda in this underrated comedy from director Walter Lang.

 

NEW FROM THE UNIVERSAL VAULT SERIES

Supernatural (1933) – The Universal Vault creaks back open with a selection of horror and mystery titles just in time for Halloween. Carole Lombard is possessed by the spirit of an executed serial killer in this thriller from White Zombie director Victor Halperin.

Secret Of The Blue Room (1933) – Gloria Stuart’s suitors must prove their worth by spending the night in a room where multiple murders took place.

The Mystery Of Edwin Drood (1935) – Claude Rains stars in this Charles Dickens adaptation.

The Mystery Of Marie Roget (1942) – Edgar Allan Poe’s story is adapted to the screen with detective Patric Knowles looking into the disappearance of an actress.

Jungle Woman (1944) – Acquanetta returns as Paula the Ape Woman in this sequel to Captive Wild Woman.

Son Of Ali Baba (1952) – Tony Curtis has the title role in this sword-and-sandal epic costarring Piper Laurie.

Back In Print – Many titles from previous Universal box sets are now available individually on MOD, including The Black Cat (1941), Horror Island (1941), Man Made Monster (1941), Night Monster (1942), Captive Wild Woman (1943), Cult Of The Cobra (1955), The Mole People (1956), The Deadly Mantis (1957), and The Monolith Monsters (1957).

 

NEW FROM THE MGM LIMITED EDITION COLLECTION

MGM’s MOD program has been dormant for a couple of years, so it’s nice to see them dipping a toe back in the water. Unfortunately, their initial wave consists entirely of previously released titles coming back into print. These are Captain John Smith And Pocahontas (1953), The Purple Plain (1954), The Big Knife (1955), Time Limit (1957), The Hoodlum Priest (1961), War Hunt (1962), I Could Go On Singing (1963), They Call Me Mister Tibbs! (1970), Bucktown (1975), Our Winning Season (1978), A Small Circle Of Friends (1980), Body And Soul (1981), That Championship Season (1982), Dempsey (1983), The Aviator (1985), Just Between Friends (1986), Rage Of Honor (1987), Winners Take All (1987), The Chocolate War (1988), Salaam Bombay! (1988), A Dry White Season (1989), Mission Of The Shark (1991), Wild Orchid 2 (1991), A Family Thing (1996), The Hanging Garden (1997), Ulee’s Gold (1997), Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Song (2001), The Legend Of Johnny Lingo (2003), Osama (2003), and Swimming Upstream (2003). It remains to be seen if MGM plans on releasing any new titles or if they’ll just be using MOD to keep previously released discs in print from now on. I’ll be keeping an eye out.

- Adam Jahnke

 

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