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Archive for the ‘Explosive Media’ Category

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 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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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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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

Over at Cinesavant.com, the mighty Glenn Erickson has spilled the beans on the glories of the upcoming Blu-Ray of Sam Peckinpah’s Major Dundee (1965) from Germany’s Explosive Media.

It’ll be the longer cut — the version that was previewed in the States and that ran in some parts of the world, accompanies by documentaries, commentaries, interviews and all sorts of cool stuff. The mangled masterpiece certainly deserves the attention it’s getting here. Can’t wait.

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Directed by Andre de Toth
Starring Randolph Scott, Claire Trevor, Joan Weldon, George Macready, Alfonso Bedoya, Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine

The Stranger Wore A Gun (1953), one of six Randolph Scott pictures directed by Andre de Toth, had all sorts of interesting technical things going for it — which makes the announcement that Explosive Media is bringing it to Blu-Ray in Germany something worth celebrating.

Stranger Wore A Gun 3D poster

The one-sheet for The Stranger Wore A Gun bragged about it all: 3-Dimensions, wide screen and stereophonic sound.

Andre de Toth was chosen to test-drive and fine tune a number of Hollywood’s technical developments of the 50s. For instance, the second of the De Toth Scotts, Carson City (1952), was the first Warnercolor filmHouse Of Wax (1953), the first major-studio 3-D movie, was filmed in the Natural Vision 3-D format and Warnercolor, with the added bonus of stereophonic sound.

The Stranger Wore A Gun was the first film composed and shot to be projected at 1.85. This aspect ratio is still the standard, in use in theaters and on video today. This framing in, for me, the key benefit of this upcoming Blu-Ray, along with the high definition, of course. It will not be offered in 3-D, and sadly, the three-track stereo elements were lost years ago.

This is not the best of the de Toth Scott movies, but it’s got Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine and Claire Trevor. And George Macready is totally despicable as the bad guy. Scott is so cool in the movies from this period, no matter how strong the movie around him is.

Not sure what Explosive’s region policy is. I’m sure hoping The Stranger Wore A Gun is something we can all enjoy. Can’t wait.

Thanks, John, for the tip.

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