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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Classic Films on Blu-ray: February 14, 2017

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The new Blu-ray releases for the week of February 14th include the classic sci-fi "It Came From Outer Space" now ready for 3D viewing, the prehistoric adventure "One Million Years B.C." starring Raquel Welch, the 1956 mystery thriller "23 Paces to Baker Street", the Criterion Collection release of the 1978 Italian drama "The Tree of Wooden Clogs", and Sydney Pollack's 1974 crime drama "The Yakuza".

Check out all the new movies and TV shows released on DVD and Blu-ray after the jump.





MOVIES


IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE 3D (1953)


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Product Description: A spaceship from another world crashes in the Arizona desert, and only an amateur stargazer and a schoolteacher suspect alien influence when the local townsfolk begin to act strange.

Purchasing Links: 2-D / 3-D Blu-Ray

Director: Jack Arnold

Starring: Richard Carlson, Barbara Rush, Charles Drake, Joe Sawyer

Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi

Runtime: 81 min

Rating: Not Rated

Language: English

Studio: Universal

Special Features:
  • Audio Commentary
  • The Universe According to Universal
  • Theatrical Trailer




ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. (1966)


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Product Description: Brand New 4K Restoration! In this vivid view of prehistoric life, a man from the vicious Rock People, Tumak (John Richardson, Black Sunday) is banished from his home, but soon finds himself living among the kind, gentle Shell People. There, he falls in love with the beautiful Loana (Raquel Welch, 100 Rifles, Fuzz, Fathom), in the role that made her an international sex symbol and a major star. The two decide to strike out on their own, living by their wits in a deadly land of treacherous beasts and unknown dangers, leading to a thrilling climax by the edge of an angry volcano. The stunning primeval creatures were created by the legendary special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen (The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms). One Million Years B.C., a true science-fiction classic, was directed by Don Chaffey (Jason and the Argonauts) and featured a strong supporting cast that included Martine Beswick (Thunderball), Robert Brown (The Living Daylights), Percy Herbert (Too Late the Hero) and Yvonne Horner (Prehistoric Women). The 100-minute international cut and the 91-minute U.S. cut are both included on this Blu-ray.

Purchasing Links: Blu-ray

Director: Don Chaffey

Starring: Raquel Welch, John Richardson, Percy Herbert

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy

Runtime: 100 min

Rating: Not Rated

Language: English

Studio: Kino Lorber

Special Features:
  • Audio Commentary by Film Historian Tim Lucas (NEW)
  • In the Valley of Dinosaurs – Interview with Star Raquel Welch
  • An Interview with SFX Legend Ray Harryhausen
  • Interview with Actress Martine Beswick
  • Animated Montage of Posters and Images
  • Trailers




23 PACES TO BAKER STREET (1956)


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Product Description: While drowning his sorrows at the local bar, blind writer Phillip Hannon (Van Johnson) eavesdrops on a nearby conversation. Convinced that he's just overheard details of a kidnapping plot, Hannon runs to the police. When they dismiss his suspicions as the ravings of a blind man, Hannon takes matters into his own hands. With the help of his ex-fiancée, Jean Lennox (Vera Miles), and his loyal secretary, Bob Matthews (Cecil Parker), Hannon uses his four remaining senses to track down the criminals. Cinematography by Milton Krasner (Three Coins in the Fountain, All About Eve, An Affair to Remember).

Purchasing Links: Blu-ray

Director: Henry Hathaway

Starring: Van Johnson, Vera Miles, Cecil Parker

Genre: Crime, Mystery, Thriller

Runtime: 103 min

Rating: Not Rated

Language: English

Studio: Kino Lorber

Special Features:
  • Audio commentary by film historian Kent Jones
  • A Trailer Gallery
  • Reversible Art




THE TREE OF WOODEN CLOGS (1978)


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Product Description: A painterly and sensual immersion in late nineteenth-century Italian farm life, Ermanno Olmi’s The Tree of Wooden Clogs lovingly focuses on four families working for one landowner on an isolated estate in the province of Bergamo. Filming on an abandoned farm for four months, Olmi adapted neorealist techniques to tell his story, enlisting local people to live as their own ancestors had, speaking in their native dialect on locations with which they were intimately familiar. Through the cycle of seasons, of back-breaking labor, love and marriage, birth and death, faith and superstition, Olmi naturalistically evokes an existence very close to nature, one that celebrates its beauty, humor, and simplicity but also acknowledges the feudal cruelty that governs it. Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1978, The Tree of Wooden Clogs is at once intimate in scale and epic in scope—a towering, heart-stirring work of humanist filmmaking.

Purchasing Links: Blu-ray (Criterion), DVD (Criterion)

Director: Ermanno Olmi

Starring: Luigi Ornaghi, Francesca Moriggi, Omar Brignoli

Genre: Drama, History

Runtime: 186 min

Rating: Not Rated

Language: Italian

Studio: Criterion Collection

Special Features:
  • Ermanno Olmi: The Roots of the Tree, an hour-long episode of The South Bank Show from 1981, featuring an interview with Olmi on the film and a visit to the farm where it was shot
  • New program featuring cast and crew discussing the film at the Cinema Ritrovato film festival in Bologna, Italy, in 2016
  • Archival interviews with Olmi
  • Trailer
  • New introduction by filmmaker Mike Leigh
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Deborah Young




STEAMBOAT BILL JR. / COLLEGE (1928)


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Product Description: STEAMBOAT BILL, JR. was Buster Keaton s last independent silent comedy and also one of his finest. He stars as the effete son of a gruff riverboat captain (Ernest Torrence), who struggles to earn his father s respect (and the love of beautiful Marion Byron). But the film is best remembered for the climactic cyclone sequence a slapstick tour-de-force in which Keaton s comedic stunts are performed amid the full-scale destruction of an entire town.

A stone-faced response to Harold Lloyd s The Freshman, COLLEGE follows a frail scholar as he tries to win the heart of a girl (Anne Cornwall) through athletics. Keaton used his own physical agility to brilliant comic effect, as his character suffers a series of crushing failures. But the greatest surprise comes at the end, when the scrawny intellectual finally releases the physical tiger within.

Purchasing Links: Blu-ray

Directors: Charles Reisner, James W. Horne

Starring: Buster Keaton, Marion Byron, Ernest Torrence, Tom McGuire

Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama

Runtime: 134 min

Rating: Not Rated

Language: English

Studio: Kino Lorber

Special Features:
  • Orchestral score by Timothy Brock
  • Organ score by Lee Erwin
  • Audio commentary by film historians Michael Schlesinger and Stan Taffel
  • Introduction by Serge Bromberg
  • Vintage Alka-Seltzer commercial starring Buster Keaton
  • Music by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
  • Organ score by John Muri
  • Audio commentary by Rob Farr
  • Tour of filming locations, by John Bengtson, author of Silent Echoes
  • Introduction by Serge Bromberg
  • Introduction by Lillian Gish
  • Run, Girl, Run, a 1928 collegiate comedy starring Carole Lombard
  • The Scribe (1966), Keaton's final on-screen performance




THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN (1966)


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Product Description: Bumbling, small-town typesetter Luther Heggs tries to solve a murder so he can prove he has what it takes to become a reporter. Luther thinks he's seen a ghost in a house where a killing has taken place. However, when he writes an article about what he's seen for his newspaper, nobody will believe him. So, to prove he's telling the truth, Luther spends a night in the "haunted house." But will the would-be reporter stay alive long enough to get to the bottom of this mystery? And will he be able to win over Alma, the girl he's crazy about, in the process?

Purchasing Links: Blu-ray

Director: Alan Rafkin

Starring: Don Knotts, Joan Staley, Liam Redmond

Genre: Comedy, Family, Mystery

Runtime: 90 min

Rating: Not Rated

Language: English

Studio: Universal Studios

Special Features:
  • None




SUDDENLY IN THE DARK (1981)


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Product Description: In this psychological and supernatural horror thriller from Korean dierctor Ko Yeong-nam, a beautiful housewife becomes suspicious of her husband after the arrival of a young housekeeper carrying a strange wooden doll. Starring Yun Il-bong, Kim Yeong-ae, and Lee Ki-seon.

Purchasing Links: Blu-ray

Director: Ko Yeong-nam

Starring: Yun Il-bong, Kim Yeong-ae, Lee Ki-seon

Genre: Horror

Runtime: 95 min

Rating: Not Rated

Language: Korean

Studio: Mondo Macabro

Special Features:
  • Interview with producer Suh Byung-gi
  • Interview with critic Kim Bong-seok on the history of Korean horror films
  • Classic K-Horror VHS Cover Art Gallery
  • Teaser Trailer
  • Mondo Macabro Promo Reel
  • Limited edition booklet with brand new essays on the film by Grady Hendrix and Christopher Koenig



THE YAKUZA (1974)


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Product Description: Former private eye Harry Kilmer knows a lot about Japan - and the gangsters who keep an iron grip on its gambling, prostitution and protection rackets. He knows there's a right way to approach the brutal underworld. And he knows there's one thing powerful mobsters respect: greater power.

Robert Mitchum is Kilmer in this haunting East-meets-West-head-on thriller powered by a team of heavy Hollywood hitters: writers Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver) and Robert Towne (Chinatown) and director Sydney Pollack (The Interpreter). Co-starring Japan's Takakura Ken and veteran character actor Brian Keith. The Yakuza is a modern film noir in which honor and loyalty become issues of life and death. Violence erupts with the speed of a Tokyo-bound bullet train. And the last thing to die is tradition.

Purchasing Links: Blu-ray

Director: Sydney Pollack

Starring: Robert Mitchum, Ken Takakura, Brian Keith

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama

Runtime: 123 min

Rating: R

Language: English

Studio: Warner Archive Collection

Special Features:
  • Audio Commentary by Director Sydney Pollack
  • Promises to Keep - Featurette
  • Theatrical Trailer




OCTOBER SKY (1999)


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Product Description: In 1950's mining town called Coalwood, Homer Hickam is a kid with only one future in sight, to work in the local coalmine like his father. However in October 1957, everything changes when the first artificial satellite, Sputnik goes into orbit. With that event, Homer becomes inspired to learn how to build rockets. With his friends and the local nerd, Homer sets to do just that by trial and a lot of error. Unfortunately, most of the town and especially Homer's father thinks that they are wasting their time. Only one teacher in the high school understands their efforts and lets them know that they could become contenders in the national science fair with college scholarships being the prize. Now the gang must learn to perfect their craft and overcome the many problems facing them as they shoot for the stars.

Purchasing Links: Blu-ray

Director: Joe Johnston

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Chris Cooper, Laura Dern

Genre: Biography, Drama, Family

Runtime: 108 min

Rating: PG for language, brief teen sensuality and alcohol use, and for some thematic elements

Language: English

Studio: Universal

Special Features:
  • Aiming High: The Story of the Rocket Boys
  • Spotlight on Location
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Feature Commentary with Homer Hickam








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