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Archive for the ‘DVD/Blu-Ray News’ Category

Directed by John Ford
Starring John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Ben Johnson, Claude Jarman Jr. , Harry Carey Jr., Chill Wills, J. Carrol Naish, Victor McLaglen, Grant Withers, The Sons Of The Pioneers

Olive Films is adding Rio Grande (1950), the third of John Ford’s “Cavalry Trilogy,” to its Signature Edition series. (The first two were Fort Apache and She Wore A Yellow Ribbon.) The release date is listed as November 17.

John Ford did Rio Grande for Republic to get the opportunity to do The Quiet Man (1952), but such dealmaking does not take away from this brilliant movie. The cinematography from Bert Glennon alone is worth the upgrade to Blu-Ray. Essential.

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Critics’ Choice has really come on with a bang, announcing DVD sets movie nuts have been asking for. The Buck Jones Western Collection sounds terrific, gathering up nine of his Columbia pictures from 1930 to 1933, including one with John Wayne.

Men Without Law (1930)
Directed by Louis King
Starring Buck Jones, Carmelita Geraghty, Thomas Carrmin)

The Avenger (1931)
Directed by Roy William Neill
Starring Buck Jones, Dorothy Revier, Otto Hoffman

Branded (1931)
Directed by D. Ross Lederman
Starring Buck Jones, Ethel Kenyon, Wallace MacDonald.

The Deadline (1931)
Directed by Lambert Hillyer
Starring Buck Jones, Loretta Sayers, Robert Ellis

The Range Feud (1931)
Directed by D. Ross Lederman
Starring Buck Jones, John Wayne, Susan Fleming

Forbidden Trail (1932)
Directed by Lambert Hillyer
Starring Buck Jones, Barbara Weeks, George Cooper

The Thrill Hunter (1933)
Directed by George B. Seitz
Starring Buck Jones, Dorothy Revier, Arthur Rankin

The California Trail (1933)
Directed by Lambert Hillyer
Starring Buck Jones, Helen Mack, Luis Albert

Unknown Valley (1933)
Directed by Lambert Hillyer
Starring Buck Jones, Cecilia Parker, Wade Boteler

With this set and the serials on Blu-Ray from VCI, this is a great time for Buck Jones fans. Recommended.

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Directed by William Castle
Starring Lex Barker, Patricia Medina, Warren Stevens, Craig Stevens, John Dehner, Mel Welles

Around here, it’s a big deal when a William Castle or Sam Katzman picture turns up on Blu-Ray.

Duel On The Mississippi (1955) isn’t a Western, but it’s pretty close. It’s one of those Louisiana riverboat things, with plenty of ridin’ and shooting’, and river pirates instead of outlaws or Indians. Lex Barker’s fine, Patricia Medina is beautiful, and John Dehner’s always terrific.

Henry Freulich’s Technicolor cinematography’s gonna be stunning on Blu-Ray, I’m sure. It’s coming in December from Germany’s Explosive Media. Can’t wait. You may have it on DVD in the Mill Creek William Castle Western set.

Thanks to John Knight for the news.

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Kino Lorber’s bringing a couple of underrated Anthony Quinn Westerns to Blu-Ray in early 2021 — Man From Del Rio (1956) and The Ride Back (1957). These two pictures illustrate all the riches that were turning up in theaters during the 50s. Major stars like Anthony Quinn were doing medium-budget Westerns like this, along with the stuff guys like George Montgomery and Guy Madison were doing.

Man From Del Rio (1956)
Directed by Harry Horner
Starring Anthony Quinn, Katy Jurado, Peter Whitney, Douglas Fowley, John Larch, Douglas Spencer, Guinn “Big Boy” Williams

Man From Del Rio has a great cast and has overlooked far too long. Hopefully, a nice widescreen HD transfer of Stanley Cortez’s cinematography will give it a bit of a reappraisal. Cortez, of course, shot a few films you might’ve heard of — The Magnificent Ambersons (1942), The Night Of The Hunter (1955) and The Naked Kiss (1964).

Wish Harry Horner had directed more. This and Beware, My Lovely (1952) show he really had the chops. His production design work is incredible. He did pictures like The Wonderful Country (1959), The Hustler (1961) and The Driver (1978).

The Ride Back (1957)
Directed by Allen H. Miner
Starring Anthony Quinn, William Conrad, Lita Milan

William Conrad produced and co-stars in this one. He’s a lawman who heads to Mexico to bring back outlaw Quinn. Director Allen H. Miner did the George Montgomery picture Black Patch the same year. Black Patch went a bit too far with the stylistics, but that’s not a problem here. Joseph Biroc shot The Ride Back, by the way. He’d just shot Attack (1956) for Robert Aldrich, who was a producer on The Ride Back. Biroc’s B&W cinematography is always a plus, and it’ll be stunning on Blu-Ray.

I love the tagline “It rides a trail no Western ever rode before!”

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Directed by Robert Aldrich
Starring Burt Lancaster, Jean Peters, John McIntire, Charles Buchinsky, John Dehner, Paul Guilfoyle, Ian MacDonald, Walter Sande, Morris Ankrum, Monte Blue

Kino Lorber has announced that a Blu-Ray of Robert Aldrich’s Apache (1954) will be available later this year.

It’s a solid little picture with a great cast. The downbeat ending was changed to something United Artists felt audiences would like. Apache was a big hit, so maybe UA was right. But Lancaster and Aldrich were not. The success of this one landed Aldrich the chance to director Lancaster and Gary Cooper in Vera Cruz (1954), a much bigger picture.

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Directed by Sam Peckinpah
Starring Charlton Heston, Richard Harris, Jim Hutton, James Coburn, Michael Anderson Jr., Mario Adorf, Brock Peters, Senta Berger, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson, L.Q. Jones, R.G. Armstrong, Slim Pickens, Dub Taylor, Michael Pate

Western fans and Peckinpah nuts have spent decades debating the merits of Major Dundee (1965). Nowadays, we also debate the merits of one DVD or Blu-Ray release of the picture over the other. It’s coming in a nice new set from Imprint out of Australia in October.

For me, the participation of Mr. Glenn Erickson puts an immediate Seal Of Approval on anything to do with Major Dundee. It’s his favorite movie, he’s certainly an authority on it (along with lots of other movies), and he’s a really nice guy. Nick Redman and Paul Seydor are also represented. 

Special Features and Technical Specs:
• Limited 2-Disc hard box edition with unique artwork on the first 1,500 copies
• Includes the 2005 4K extended cut scan and original theatrical cut
• NEW 2020 Audio Commentary by film historians Glenn Erickson and Alan Rode (Extended Cut)
Passion & The Poetry: The Dundee Odyssey – Mike Siegel ‘s 2019 feature length documentary on the making of Major Dundee with L.Q. Jones, James Coburn, Lupita Peckinpah, Chalo Gonzalez and more
Mike Siegel: About the Passion & Poetry Project – New English language version. Filmmaker Mike Siegel talks about his beginnings and his ongoing film historical project about Sam Peckinpah
Passion & Poetry: Peckinpah Anecdotes: Nine actors telling stories about working with Sam Peckinpah
• English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (new score by Christopher Caliendo) (Extended Cut)
• English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 (original score by Daniele Amfitheatrof) (Extended Cut)
• English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 (original score by Daniele Amfitheatrof) (Theatrical Cut)
• Audio Commentary with Film Historians Nick Redman, Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons and David Weddle
• Isolated score by Christopher Caliendo in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo (Extended Cut)
• Isolated score by Daniele Amfitheatrof in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo (Theatrical Cut)
• Extended deleted scenes/outtakes with commentary by Glenn Erickson
• Original Trailers
• Trailer Artwork Outtakes
• Exhibitor Promo Reel Excerpt
• Vintage featurette: “Riding For A Fall” 

That’s a lot of stuff. I’m getting really excited about this one. Not sure what the Region info is on it.

UPDATE (8/4/2020): The word is, Imprint Blu-Rays are Region Free.

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Directed by Edward Dein
Starring Eric Fleming, Kathleen Crowley, Michael Pate, John Hoyt, Bruce Gordon

Kino Lorber has announced an October release for the terrific Western/Horror mashup Curse Of The Undead (1959). The story of vampires in the old West, it’s a better picture than you’d expect it to be — pictures like Billy The Kid Vs. Dracula (1966) set the cowboy/monster bar pretty low. U-I excelled at both Westerns and monster movies in the 50s, and Curse Of The Dead succeeds as both.

Ellis Carter’s cinematography is really nice on this one, and it should look terrific on Blu-Ray. Can’t wait to get my hands on this thing!

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Directed by Edwin L. Marin
Starring Randolph Scott, David Brian, Phyllis Thaxter, Helena Carter, Dickie Jones, Ray Teal, Michael Tolan, Paul Picerni, Emerson Treacy, Bob Steele, Walter Sande, Chubby Johnson

Warner Archive has been righting a few wrongs lately, bringing some pictures back to DVD that’ve been missing for a while. One of the latest to be announced is Edwin Marin’s Fort Worth (1951). (Click the lobby card for the Warner Archive link.)

It’s a pretty good one, with a great cast and gorgeous Technicolor photography from Sid Hickox. It was the seventh Western Scott and Marin did together. It was also the last, with the director passing away a couple months before it opened. (Wish a Blu-Ray was also on the way.)

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Directed by Henry Hathaway
Starring John Wayne, Dean Martin, Martha Hyer, Michael Anderson Jr., Earl Holliman, George Kennedy, Paul Fix, James Gregory, Dennis Hopper, John Doucette, Strother Martin, Percy Helton

Paramount has announced a September Blu-Ray release of The Sons Of Katie Elder (1965). It’s a terrific movie, with an incredible cast and gorgeous cinematography from the great Lucien Ballard. Paramount’s Blu-Rays of pictures like this can be stunning, if they’re not overly processed like El Dorado (1966) was. Still, it comes highly recommended. 

With this announcement this week, and last week’s news of The Gunfighter (1950) from Criterion, things are looking pretty good.

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Directed by Henry King
Starring Gregory Peck, Helen Wescott, Millard Mitchell, Jean Parker, Karl Malden, Skip Homeier, Anthony Ross

Criterion has announced the October release of one of the absolute key Westerns of the 50s, Henry King’s The Gunfighter (1950). 

This is one of those movies that introduced a theme that’s been ripped off so often, we have a hard time understanding how fresh and innovative the film really was. In the case of The Gunfighter, it’s so good, we can always appreciate it for that. That theme, of course, is the gunman who wants to hang up his guns and live a normal life — here, he has a wife and son to reconnect with. There have been dozens of variations on that idea since, but this is where it came from.

You can always expect a sterling transfer from Criterion, along with a healthy stack of supplemental stuff. They do a terrific job on whatever they take on. The Gunfighter is essential (it gets a chapter in my 50s Westerns book, by the way), and I’d consider the Criterion disc just as essential.

Thanks to everybody who sent in the news!

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