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

Directed by Walter Hill
Starring David Carradine, Keith Carradine, Robert Carradine, James Keach, Stacy Keach, Dennis Quaid, Randy Quaid, Christopher Guest, Nicholas Guest, Pamela Reid, Harry Carey Jr., Fran Ryan

Imprint has announced Directed By Walter Hill, a Blu-Ray set of six films directed by Walter Hill: Hard Times (1975), The Driver (1978), The Long Riders (1980), Extreme Prejudice (1987), Johnny Handsome (1989) and Broken Trail (2006).

This is good news, first, because I absolutely love The Driver and The Long Riders—and because among the many extras to be including in this thing, I get to do a commentary for The Long Riders—one of the best of the many Jesse James movies. It’s almost certainly the most accurate.

The folks at Imprint do extraordinary work, always, and I’m overjoyed to be a tiny part of this one. Highly recommended.

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Directed by Hugo Fregonese
Starring Stephen McNally, Coleen Gray, Willard Parker, Arthur Shields, James Griffith, Armando Silvestre, Georgia Backus, Clarence Muse

Apache Drums (1951) was producer Val Lewton’s last film; he died before its release. Though this was his only Western, and the only time he would produce a Technicolor film, Apache Drums is very much an extension of his earlier work in horror films at RKO. It’s a terrific, but sadly overlooked, 50s Western.

It’s coming to DVD and Blu-Ray in November from Explosive Media. I’m so stoked about this one. Highly, highly, highly recommended.

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Directed by Raoul Walsh
Starring Rock Hudson, Julie Adams, Mary Castle, John McIntire, Hugh O’Brian, Dennis Weaver, Forrest Lewis, Lee Van Cleef, Glenn Strange

Next up from Explosive Media is Raoul Walsh’s The Lawless Breed (1953), coming to DVD and Blu-Ray (region free!) in September.

Raoul Walsh, Rock Hudson and Julie Adams during shooting.

It’s a pretty inaccurate story of the outlaw John Wesley Hardin, played by Rock Hudson. The manuscript for his autobiography is used to launch the picture as a series of flashbacks. 

With Walsh’s typical no-nonsense, propulsive direction, a really strong cast and incredible Technicolor photography from Irving Glassberg (which will really be something to see in high definition), The Lawless Breed plays as a better movie than it actually is. Highly recommended.

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Directed by R. G. Springsteen
Starring Tony Young, Dan Duryea, Dick Foran, Elsa Cárdenas, Jean Hale, Emile Meyer, David Carradine, Ray Teal, Harry Carey, Jr.

Gordon Kay produced the last batch of Audie Murphy Westerns at Universal International, along with a few other pictures like Taggart (1964). It’s got a great cast, with Dick Foran, Ray Teal and Harry Carey, Jr. supporting Tony Young and the great Dan Duryea. This was David Carradine’s first film. It was based on a Louis L’Amour novel. R. G. Springsteen directed, and he would direct a number of the A.C. Lyles Westerns over at Paramount. These films carried the 50s Western torch into the 60s.

Explosive Media is bringing Taggart to DVD and Blu-Ray in August, part of a summer full of terrific Universal International Westerns. They’ll be Region Free, folks, so order away!

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Directed by Rudolph Maté
Starring Tony Curtis, Colleen Miller, Arthur Kennedy, William Demarest, Robert J. Wilke, Chubby Johnson, I. Stanford Jolley

Explosive Media is really coming through for the rest of the year, bringing some prime 50s Westerns from Universal-International to DVD and Blu-Ray. I’ve already covered Seven Ways From Sundown (1960) and Hell Bent For Leather (1960), excellent Audie Murphy pictures, coming in May and June.

Watch this blog, since we’ll do one of these releases a day through the week.

Coming in July is Rudolph Maté’s The Rawhide Years (1955). Tony Curtis is a riverboat gambler who flees when he’s implicated in a murder. He returns three years later to clear his name, track down the real killers and be reunited with his girl (Colleen Miller).

Curtis is cool and Arthur Kennedy makes a nasty villain here. Irving Glassberg shot this in Technicolor and 2.0. Rudolph Maté and editor Russell Schoengarth keep things moving at a steady pace. Can’t wait to see this in high-definition. Highly recommended.

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Directed by Budd Boetticher
Starring Robert Stack, Joy Page, Gilbert Roland, Virginia Grey, John Hubbard, Katy Jurado, Paul Fix

Indicator has announced a special edition of Budd Boetticher’s wonderful Bullfighter And The Lady (1951) for a July Region B release. You get both Boetticher’s complete 124-minute cut and the 87-minute version released by Republic. John Wayne produced the picture, which landed Boetticher (and Ray Navarro) an Oscar nomination for Best Original Story.

You also get a slew of extras:
• Audio commentary with Glenn Kenny & Farran Smith Nehme
My Kingdom For… (1985) Boetticher’s autobiographical documentary about bullfighting
• Interview with Mary Boetticher (2022)
An Evening With Budd Boetticher audio recording
• Limited edition booklet

The Olive Blu-Ray was nice, a bare-bones release of the extended cut. It certainly deserves this deluxe edition. It’s a great, great film. Highly, highly recommended.

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Directed by John Ford
Starring John Wayne, William Holden, Constance Towers, Althea Gibson, Judson Pratt, Ken Curtis, Willis Bouchey, Hank Worden, Denver Pyle, Strother Martin, Hoot Gibson

When John Ford’s The Horse Soldiers (1959) first arrived on Blu-Ray (in 2011, if memory serves), it was a huge improvement on the old DVD, and there’s plenty of reasons to believe Kino Lorber’s new 4K restoration will be another leap forward.

The Horse Soldiers is a better picture than it gets credit for being, and getting better and better looking on video is a great way to crank up interest in it — and hopefully a bit of a reappraisal.

After a stuntman was killed on location, Ford lost his enthusiasm for the film and pretty much checked out on its completion — but even watered-down Ford is better than just about anything else you’ll see.

William H. Clothier’s cinematography here is, as always, top-notch — and should be stunning in this new restoration. A commentary from Joseph McBride will be a nice addition. Coming in June. Highly, highly recommended.

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Directed by George Sherman
Starring Audie Murphy, Felicia Farr, Stephen McNally, Robert Middleton, Jan Merlin

Explosive Media out of Germany has announced another Audie Murphy picture coming to DVD and Blu-Ray in June — George Sherman’s Hell Bent For Leather (1960).

The first of the Audie Murphy pictures produced by Gordon Kay for Universal International, Hell Bent For Leather was directed by George Sherman in CinemaScope and Eastman Color. This one has a good part for Felicia Farr, one of my favorite actresses from 50s Westerns (The Last Wagon, Reprisal!, 3:10 To Yuma), and really incredible Lone Pine location work from Clifford Stine. This is a good one!

I’m so stoked that someone has gotten around to these Gordon Kay Murphy films on Blu-Ray, so a big thanks to the folks at Explosive Media. Highly recommended.

Thanks again to John Knight for the news.

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For the next week — the clock’s ticking! — the fine folks at Powerhouse/Indicator in the UK are running a great sale across much of their incredible catalog.

Some are region-free, some are set for Region B. There’s some great stuff to be had here, from Budd Boetticher’s A Time For Dying (1969) to the John Ford At Columbia 1935-1958 set to their Columbia Noir series. Many, many more. Click on the image up top to start shopping!

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Directed by Harry Keller
Starring Audie Murphy, Barry Sullivan, Venetia Stevenson, John McIntire, Kenneth Tobey

One of the last run of pictures Audie Murphy did for Universal International, produced by Gordon Kay and directed by Harry Keller (with a day or two by an uncredited George Sherman), Seven Ways From Sundown (1960) is a good one. Murphy’s as cool as ever, and there’s a great part for Barry Sullivan. Plus, John McIntire and Kenneth Tobey are along for the ride.

Explosive Media has announced a May 22 release for the picture on DVD and Blu-ray. It’ll be in its original 1.85 and region free.

It’s a solid picture (and it gets a chapter in my book). Highly, highly recommended.

Thanks to John Knight for the news.

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