Burnt Offerings: MOD DVD

Burnt Offerings For February 5, 2014

February 05, 2014 - 12:01 am   |   By 

The various MOD services haven’t exactly hit the ground running in 2014, with only a handful of new releases trickling out each week.

That might be starting to change this week.

Warner Archive has a number of interesting titles and the Sony Choice Collection has five new ones for your consideration.  [Read on here...]

Let’s check ‘em out and remember, both studios’ offerings are available for purchase at WarnerArchive.com.

 

NEW FROM THE WARNER ARCHIVE COLLECTION

Purchase titles from Warner Archive and support The Bits!

Search: The Complete Series (1972-73) – A few years back, Warner Archive released Probe, a TV-movie pilot created by Leslie Stevens. Now, we finally get the complete short-lived series, retitled to the more generic Search after NBC found out there already was a show called Probe. Hugh O’Brian, Doug McClure and Anthony Franciosa star as the high-tech spies under the direction of Burgess Meredith. The pilot movie is a lot of fun, so I’m excited to check out the series.

Mystery In Mexico (1948) – Four new additions to Warner Archive’s Film Noir collection arrive today, starting with this B-movie from director Robert Wise. Insurance investigator William Lundigan treks south of the border to track down a missing necklace and his colleague who disappeared along with the stones.

Nocturne (1946) – When a Casanova songwriter is shot and killed, all signs point to suicide. But homicide detective George Raft suspects otherwise, centering his investigation on the composer’s long list of former lovers.

Red Light (1949) – Raft is back, this time seeking vengeance for the murder of his kid brother, a priest. The supporting cast is virtually a who’s who in film noir, including Raymond Burr, Virginia Mayo and Harry Morgan.

Roadblock (1951) – Charles McGraw stars as another insurance investigator (the occupation of choice for film noir), drawn into the underworld when he falls for gold-digging Joan Dixon.

The Barretts Of Wimpole Street (1934) – One of the great romances of the 1930s finally comes to DVD. Norma Shearer and Fredric March star as poets Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning with a supporting cast that includes Charles Laughton and Maureen O’Sullivan. A typically glossy MGM production of its day and a fine gift for your classics-loving Valentine.

Brother Rat (1938) – Three cadets at the Virginia Military Institute (Eddie Albert, Ronald Reagan and Wayne Morris) have to hustle to keep Albert’s marriage and impending fatherhood a secret from their superior officers.

Brother Rat And A Baby (1940) – The whole gang reunites for this sequel with the now-graduated pals coming to Albert’s aid as he vies for a baseball coach position at their alma mater.

Dear Heart (1964) – Geraldine Page stars as a lonely postal worker visiting New York for a convention who meets and falls for traveling salesman Glenn Ford. This is a gentle, acclaimed romantic comedy that seems to have been overlooked lately.

Smilin’ Through (1932) – Norma Shearer and Fredric March both tackle dual roles in this romance. Leslie Howard costars as Sir John Carteret, a man still mourning the death of his wife (Shearer) years ago. He raises his niece (also Shearer), who falls in love with March, the son of the man who killed his bride.

The Cheshire Murders (2013) – Two new HBO documentaries arrive today, beginning with this true crime tale of a triple homicide that shocked the small town of Cheshire, Connecticut in 2007.

Glickman (2013) – A portrait of pioneering sportscaster Marty Glickman from executive producer Martin Scorsese, this doc includes rare archival footage and new interviews with the likes of Marv Albert, Bob Costas, Frank Gifford, Jim Brown, Larry King and many more.

 

NEW FROM THE SONY CHOICE COLLECTION

The Crimson Blade (1964) – Lionel Jeffries and Oliver Reed star in this swashbuckler from Hammer Films, originally titled The Scarlet Blade in the UK. I guess American audiences weren’t hip to the word “scarlet” back in ’64.

The First Time (1952) – Robert Cummings and Barbara Hale are a young married couple trying to cope with the arrival of their first child in this comedy. It sounds pretty routine but the fact that it’s from underrated genius-director Frank Tashlin makes me curious.

I Am The Law (1938) – And the law is Edward G. Robinson in this crime story about an honest D.A. taking on a corrupt city government.

Rings Around The World (1966) – Don Ameche hosts this documentary compiling footage of some of the world’s most legendary circus acts, directed by future Oscar ceremony producer Gil Cates.

The Slingshot (1993) - Åke Sandgren directs this Swedish coming-of-age story about a 10-year-old boy in 1920s Stockholm. Stellan Skarsgård plays the boy’s socialist father.

- Adam Jahnke

 

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