It will retail for $59.92, but is available at Classicflix.com for only $44.99. However, for 3 days only (until May 3rd), we'll have it for the SPECIAL PRE-ORDER PRICE of $39.99. Individual titles will retail for $12.97, and are available at Classicflix for $8.99.
Virginia City (1940)
In his second Western, Errol Flynn again teams with Dodge City director Michael Curtiz to play an undercover Union officer determined to stop a gold-laden train rolling to Dixie. Randolph Scott is a Johnny Reb ramrodding the shipment, Miriam Hopkins is a beguiling spy, Humphrey Bogart is a pencil-mustached desperado, and pioneering stuntman Yakima Canutt pulls off a daring stagecoach feat.
- Commentary by historian Frank Thompson
- Warner Night at the Movies 1940 Short Subjects Gallery
- Vintage Newsreel
- Technicolor Shorts: Cinderella’s Feller and The Flag of Humanity
- 1936 WB Short: The Light Brigade Rides Again
- Classic Cartoons: Cross Country Detours and Confederate Honey
- Trailers of Virginia City and A Dispatch from Reuters
San Antonio features blazing action in Technicolor® (a rip snorting saloon gunfight), suspense (a tense showdown in the granddaddy of Texas monuments, the Alamo) and a beautiful girl (Alexis Smith as a sultry songbird) to add romantic luster to the heroics.
- Warner Night at the Movies 1945 Short Subjects Gallery:
- Vintage Newsreel
- Oscar-Nominated Vitaphone Varieties Short Story of a Dog
- Vintage Shorts: Frontier Days and Peeks at Hollywood
- Classic Cartoons: A Tale of Two Mice and Wagon Heels
- Trailers of San Antonio and The Corn Is Green
Errol Flynn saddles up for his final Western starring as Confederate Captain Barstow in a brawny tale directed by William Keighley (co-director of Flynn’s The Adventures of Robin Hood) and filmed wholly in the rugged environs of Gallup, New Mexico. Co-star Patrice Wymore became Mrs. Flynn weeks before the film’s release. And drawling character actor Slim Pickens (Blazing Saddles) makes his debut as one of Captain Barstow’s men.
- Commentary by biographer Thomas McNulty
- Warner Night at the Movies 1950 Short Subjects Gallery
- Vintage Newsreel
- Trailers of Rocky Mountain and The Breaking Point
- Bonus Gallery of Santa Fe Trail Series Western Shorts: Roaring Guns, Wells Fargo Days and Trial by Trigger
- Classic Cartoon: Two’s a Crowd
- Joe McDoakes Comedy Short So You Want to Move
The star heads for the wide-open spaces of Montana in this adventure saga about a bitter range war. Errol Flynn plays an Australian transplant looking to buy grazing land. But the cattle-raising locals won’t sell to interlopers, especially one they consider the most contemptible excuse for a human being ever to cross the Great Plains: a sheep rancher. Flynn’s San Antonio co-star Alexis Smith is a flame-haired beauty with an eye for the newcomer…until she learns his occupation. In time, she’ll put aside her disdain for the handsome stranger.
- Warner Night at the Movies 1950 Short Subjects Gallery
- Vintage Newsreel
- Joe McDoakes Comedy Short: So You Want a Raise
- Classic Cartoon: It’s Hummer Time
- Trailers of Montana and 1950’s Chain Lightning
- Bonus Gallery of Santa Fe Trail Series Western Shorts: Oklahoma Outlaws, Wagon Wheels West and Gun to Gun
Warner Press Release
How the West Was Won (2-Disc Special Edition) Retail: $20.97, Our: $15.99
How the West Was Won (Ultimate Collector's Edition) Retail: $59.92, Our: $44.99
How the West Was Won (Blu-Ray) Retail: $34.99, Our: $29.99
Warner Home Video has announced the Region 1 DVD release of two restored and remastered editions of How The West Won on 26th August 2008. One of only two narrative feature films produced in the original Cinerama three-panel widescreen process, How the West Was Won follows four generations of a courageous New England farm family as they travel to the fertile Ohio Valley during America’s early westward expansion.
M-G-M and Cinerama, Inc. spared no expense to give this sprawling Western saga the huge vistas made possible with the original Cinerama process. After its initial theatrical engagements in theaters equipped with three synchronized projectors for Cinerama presentation, the film was subsequently presented on traditional theater screens with the three separate Cinerama panels being optically joined to form a standard 35mm 2.35:1 widescreen image, leaving most subsequent viewers puzzled by the annoying ‘join lines.’
Following several years of careful development, the technicians at Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging perfected a technology that could finally eliminate the ‘join lines,’ and unify the images into a superb viewing experience that captures the essence of the production’s initial road show exhibitions, with an aspect ratio of 2.89:1.
This ultimate western film gets the Ultimate treatment with How the West Was Won Ultimate Collector’s Edition ($59.92 SRP). The two disc Standard Definition Ultimate Collector’s Edition is loaded with collectible memorabilia including a 20-page theatrical press book reproduction, 10 behind-the-scenes photo cards and 10 postcards, and an exclusive movie poster offer. A Two Disc Special Edition ($20.97 SRP) will also be available, offering just the disc content.
Some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including John Wayne, Henry Fonda, James Stewart, Richard Widmark, Gregory Peck, Lee J. Cobb, Debbie Reynolds and Carroll Baker star in How the West Was Won. Set between 1839 and 1889 against the backgrounds of the Louisiana Purchase, the Civil War, buffalo hunters, the Pony Express and the first transcontinental railroad, the film consists of five segments, with direction by Henry Hathaway, John Ford and George Marshall, and written by James R. Webb and John Gay, suggested by a Life Magazine series of the same name. The film was the winner of 3 Academy Awards (Best Screenplay, Best Sound and Best Editing) as well as being nominated for an additional five Oscars, including Best Picture. In 1997, How the West Was Won was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the US National Film Registry.
Dick Tracy Returns (1938) - Retail: $29.99, Our: $17.99
Pa Stark (Charles Middleton, Ming the Merciless of Flash Gordon fame) and his five criminal sons are holding America in a grip of terror. It is up to Dick Tracy and his G-Men to bring the ruthless Starks to justice in a thrill-packed chapter play. Fast-paced, non-stop action is the hallmark of Witney and English, who from 1937 to 1941 directed for Republic Pictures some serials that are generally regarded as the finest ever to come out of Hollywood. Dick Tracy Returns belongs to that select group of super serials, and it is pure gold for thrill lovers.
Dick Tracy - RKO Classic Collection - Retail: $14.99, Our: $10.99
Four Dick Tracy Features on two DVDs!
'The comic-strip crimefighter Dick Tracy, created by Chester Gould, was part of the Saturday matinee serials, starring Ralph Byrd. In 1945, RKO revived the Tracy series, and Morgan Conway was chosen to portray Tracy in a pair of feature films: Dick Tracy and Dick Tracy vs. Cueball. RKO's earliest publicity photos posed Conway in profile, hoping to imitate Gould's square-jawed caricatures. Although Conway’s’ screen Tracy didn't resemble the print Tracy in the flesh, Conway's dramatic interpretation was faithful; he gave the role a humble, businesslike quality while keeping with police procedure. Morgan Conway is considered by many to be the best on screen Dick Tracy. Although Conway's Tracy was praised by critics as the closest to Gould's original concept, the public seemed to prefer Byrd, who returned in the role for the final two RKO features. To them, Ralph Byrd was Dick Tracy. RKO accepted this and hired Byrd to finish the series. Dick Tracy's Dilemma and Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome. Boris Karloff spices up the final RKO feature as the fearsome bad guy known as Gruesome. All four movies had many of the visual features associated with film noir: dramatic, shadowy photographic compositions, with many exterior scenes filmed at night. In addition, RKO stocked the films with familiar faces, creating a true rogues' gallery of characters. Max Allan Collins -- who took over the writing of the TRACY strip from Chester Gould, and went on to create Road to Perdition -- provides informative on-screen introductions to each film, exclusive to this VCI release.
A musical Italian biopic starring Ermanno Randi, Young Caruso chronicles the life of Enrico Caruso, the world-famous tenor of the early 20th Century. But before Caruso was singing his heart out in opera houses all over the world, he grew up underprivileged in Naples, Italy. This biopic dramatizes the singer's early years, following his poverished youth as he chases his dream of being a singer. Maurizio di Nardo plays famed tenor Caruso as an awkward young choir boy, while Ermanno Randi takes over the role in adulthood. A young Gina Lollobrigida (destined to be called "The Most Beautiful Woman in the World") co-stars as Stella. This DVD includes over 30 minutes of rare Caruso recordings from 1907 to 1916. Also included is a special narrative for the blind. This is truly a DVD for all to cherish.
- 30 minutes of Original Music by Enrico Caruso with historical facts
- Narrative for the Blind
- Mummy Dearest: A Horror Tradition Unearthed
- Feature Commentary by Film Historian Paul M. Jenson
- Feature Commentary by Rick Baker, Scott Essman, Steve Haberman, Bob Burns, and Brent Armstrong**
- Posters & Stills**
- Trailer Gallery
- He Who Made Monsters: Life and Legacy of Jack Pierce**
- Unraveling the Legacy of The Mummy**
- Universal Horror Documentary**
Also Note: Production Notes and Cast and Filmmakers were Bonus Features in the 2007 single disc release. As well, The Mummy Archives was in the 2004 release The Mummy: The Legacy Collection. These may or may not be encompassed in the new release.
Comedians in skirts (some of 'em girls!), the nut who used too much glue, the Frenchman with a mouthful of marbles, Charlie Chaplin comedies that don't have Charlie Chaplin in them, the girl everyone thought was crazy, the incomparable Snub Pollard goes looking for trouble, famous brothers doing their thing, and a portrait of Harold Lloyd as young man.
These never-before-on-home-video comedy shorts have been mastered from archival elements and rare collections, some of them previously thought lost altogether, and are presented with new musical scores.
Hold on to your pork pie hat—here comes American Slapstick, Volume 2!
HAROLD LLOYD: PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN
Luke Joins the Navy • Harold Lloyd • 1916
Surviving Extract From This Rare Lonesome Luke Short
By the Sad Sea Waves • Harold Lloyd • 1917
Early Glasses Character Short Restored From 9.5mm Materials.
Bliss • Harold Lloyd • 1917
Reconstructed From The Surviving Nitrate And 9.5mm Materials, With The Assistance Of The Library Of Congress.
Hey There • Harold Lloyd • 1918
Harold Lloyd In An Early One-Reel Glasses Short.
Don't Shove • Harold Lloyd • 1919
Lloyd Riffs On Chaplin's THE RINK In His Own Idiom.
THE HAL ROACH B-LIST
Dodge Your Debts • Gaylord Lloyd • 1921
Harold's Brother Creates His Own Brand Of Havoc. With Thanks To David Shepard And Film Preservation Associates.
Looking for Trouble • Snub Pollard • 1919
One-Reel Short Restored From Nitrate And 16mm, Thanks To Bruce Lawton.
Whirl O' the West • Snub Pollard • 1921
A Rare One-Reel Snub Comedy Restored From 9.5mm Sources.
The Dippy Dentist • Snub Pollard • 1920
Snub, Gaylord, Paul Parrott, And Sunshine Sammy Morrison--What's Not To Love?
Shiver and Shake • Paul Parrott • 1922
Paul Parrott And His Bride Face A Haunted House, Restored From 9.5mm.
Post No Bills • Paul Parrott • 1923
Paul Parrott And Too Much Glue.
A Fresh Start • Jimmie Adams And Lige Conley • 1920
The First Ever Educational Mermaid Comedy, Directed By Jack White.
Kid Speed • Larry Semon • 1924
Larry The Speed Demon.
Jonah Jones • Lloyd Hamilton • 1924
Ham And Babe
Breezing Along • Lloyd Hamilton • 1927
Another Complete Ham Two-Reeler.
CHARLIE WITHOUT CHAPLIN:
CHARLEY CARTOONS BY SULLIVAN/MESSMER • 1919
Excerpts From Felix in
The Hobo • Billy West • 1917
A Gorgeous Print Of This Faux-Chaplin Short With Billy West And Oliver Hardy.
Oh Shoot • Bobby Dunn • 1923
The Second Reel Of This Rare Arrow Comedy, With Special Thanks To Steve Massa.
CHAPLIN WITHOUT CHARLIE:
Caught in a Park • Syd Chaplin • 1915
Syd's Gussle In A Keystone One-Reeler.
Gussle's Wayward Path • Syd Chaplin • 1915
Syd's Gussle In A Keystone One-Reeler.
Charley's Aunt • Syd Chaplin • 1925
Syd In One Of His Biggest Feature Hits, Sourced From Material Provided By All Day Entertainment And Film Preservation Associates.
HEARTS AND HAVOC:
Be Reasonable • Billy Bevan • 1921
One Of Bevan's Best Comedies.
At Your Service • Sid Smith And Harry Mccoy • 1921
A Hallroom Boys Comedy.
Call The Wagon • Neal Burns • 1923
A Gag-Addled Christie Two-Reeler About A Fellow Who Frames His Girl As A Lunatic, Only To Get His In Return.
THE GIRLIE SHOW:
Hold Still • Anne Cornwall • 1926
Anne Is An Aspiring Photojournalist. This Premise Results In Slapstick Galore.
Cinderella Cinders • Alice Howell • 1920
If You Aren't An Alice Howell Fan Yet, You Will Be.
Hash House Fraud • Louise Fazenda • 1915
Louise Is A Waitress At A Lunch Counter That Descends Into Chaos.
Faro Nell • Louise Fazenda • 1929
Campy, Double-Entendre-Packed Western Spoof With Louise As Un Unwitting Bigamist.
THE TALKIE ERA:
Playboy Number One • Willie Howard • 1937
Dialogue Comedy On A Steamship!
The Phantom Light (1935)
Michael Powell directed this creepy quota quickie before his success with the Academy Award winning Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes and the cult classic Peeping Tom. The disappearance of two lighthouse keepers stationed on the desolate coast of
Red Ensign (1935)
This fact-based expose of corruption and sabotage in the British shipping industry is another early work from acclaimed director Michael Powell. With
The Upturned Glass (1947)
Before he was a multiple Academy Award nominee, James Mason (Lolita) starred as a surgeon turned sleuth in this absorbing revenge thriller. After sparing the eyesight of a young patient, Dr. Michael Joyce falls in love with the girl’s grateful mother, Emma Wright (Rosamund John), whose husband has been absent for years. When her man returns unexpectedly, Emma reluctantly ends the affair, only to be killed in a mysterious fall. Using his surgical skills to trace the killer, Michael begins his own investigation but has no intention of handing the murderer over to the police.
With Vampyr, Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer's brilliance at achieving mesmerizing atmosphere and austere, profoundly unsettling imagery (as in The Passion of Joan of Arc and Day of Wrath) was for once applied to the horror genre. Yet the result—concerning an occult student assailed by various supernatural haunts and local evildoers at an inn outside Paris—is nearly unclassifiable, a host of stunning camera and editing tricks and densely layered sounds creating a mood of dreamlike terror. With its roiling fogs, ominous scythes, and foreboding echoes, Vampyr is one of cinema's great nightmares.
NOTE: Vampyr is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.19:1, a European format that is narrower than a 1.33:1 image. The black bars along the side of the screen, called "pillarboxing," are normal for this format, and will be even more pronounced on widescreen televisions.
High and Low (1963)
Toshiro Mifune is unforgettable as Kingo Gondo, a wealthy industrialist whose family becomes the target of a cold-blooded kidnapper in Akira Kurosawa’s highly influential domestic drama and police procedural High and Low (Tengoko to jigoku). Adapting Ed McBain's detective novel King's Ransom, Kurosawa moves effortlessly from compelling race-against-time thriller to exacting social commentary, creating a diabolical treatise on class and contemporary Japanese society. Criterion is proud to present High and Low in this new high-definition digital transfer.
NOTE: This release has a new, restored high-definition digital transfer, with newly restored original four-track surround sound. As well as a new and improved English subtitle translation.
Little Fugitive - Special Edition (1953)
Widely regarded as one of the most influential and enjoyable films of the American independent cinema, Little Fugitive is an utterly charming fable that poetically captures the joys and wonders of childhood.
When a seven-year-old boy (Richie Andrusco) is tricked into believing he killed his older brother, he gathers his meager possessions and flees to New York’s nether wonderland: Coney Island. Upon and beneath the crowded boardwalk, Joey experiences a day and night filled with adventures and mysteries, resulting in a film that is refreshingly spontaneous and thoroughly delightful.
Hailed by critics as a groundbreaking cinematic feat, Little Fugitive won the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival, played in nearly 5,000 theatres in the U.S. and is now recognized as a classic of American independent film.
Inducted in 1997 to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress and the National Film Preservation Board
Remastered from a New High-Definition Transfer
- Feature-length Audio Commentary by Morris Engel
- Two Documentary Films by Mary Engel:
- Morris Engel: The Independent (2007, 28 min)
- Ruth Orkin: Frames of Life (1995, 18 min.)
- Theatrical Trailer
- Image Gallery
Lovers and Lollipops (1955, 82 min.)
A follow-up to the hugely successful Little Fugitive, Lovers and Lollipops is the enchanting tale of a seven-year-old girl’s reaction to her mom’s new boyfriend.
When an attractive widow begins seeing an old friend, her daughter Peggy (Cathy Dunn) feels their relationship threatened. Though not always intentionally, Peggy responds by thwarting the romance that is blossoming between the two adults.
Shot on location among the landmarks of New York City — the Central Park Zoo, Macy’s Toy Department, the Statue of Liberty and Chinatown — Lovers and Lollipops is a lyrical ode to the resilience of love and the charms of youth.
Weddings and Babies (1958, 81 min.)
A work of artistic finesse and great emotional candor, Morris Engel’s Weddings and Babies is a bittersweet tale of love, hope and sacrifice, staged to perfection amid the sidewalks and storefront apartments of New York’s Little Italy.
Viveca Lindfors stars as Bea, a Swedish-born woman who yearns to begin a family with her photographer boyfriend Al. But the two things to which Al has devoted his career — weddings and babies — are the very things he cannot make room for in his life. The unexpected appearance of Al’s aging mother, evicted from a boarding house, only intensifies his familial confusion, and Bea must decide whether to wait for Al or seek happiness elsewhere.
With its verite visual style and naturalistic performances (owing to Engel’s background as a photojournalist in New York City), Weddings and Babies bore a profound influence on the independent cinema of the 1960’s.
NO BONUS FEATURES
Six films out on June 3rd:
- Rhubarb (1951)
- Houdini (1953)
- Money from Home (1953)
- Papa's Delicate Condition (1963)
- The Busy Body (1967)
- Those Daring Young Men in their Jaunty Jalopies (1969)
Editorial Note: A word for the Utopians out there because I can just hear the lamentations about the artwork or the lack of special features. We should ALL be encouraged that another small company has decided to be aggressive when it comes to releasing classics on DVD. These smaller companies like Legend, Kino, VCI, Flicker Alley, Image, Lions Gate and Criterion risk a lot and fill a large gap in the classic film market that might other wise not be filled. Please support there effort by buying their products.
A charming and fast-paced screwball comedy starring screen legend Ray Milland and enchanting beauty Jan Sterling. Trouble follows when an eccentric millionaire bequeaths his fortune - and his baseball team - to his pet cat! Now the team’s publicist (Milland) must convince the players that Rhubarb is the key to their success, at the same time evading gangsters and avoiding the wrath of his lovely - and allergic - fiancee! Rhubarb is a hilarious comedy classic in the style of Bringing Up Baby and His Girl Friday.
NO BONUS FEATURES
Tony Curtis gives a winning performance as the great Houdini, the struggling circus performer who emerged as the world's most captivating magician and escape artist. From his beginnings as a "wild man" carnival act to the internationally famous feat of escaping from a locked trunk in an ice-jammed river, Houdini effectively captures the amazing life and courage of this fascinating man. Also stars the beautiful Janet Leigh as Houdini's supportive wife who lovingly stood by his side throughout his legendary career.
A hilarious laugh-a-minute comedy starring the legendary comedy team of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. When “Honey Talk” Nelson’s (Dean Martin) gambling debts start to mount, he enlists his veterinarian cousin Virgil (Jerry Lewis) to help him fix a race. Along the way, the boys find plenty of time for gags, music and for “Honey Talk,” a romance with the gorgeous Phyllis (Marjie Millar). Features their now classic take on Cyrano de Bergerac!
Dr. Georges Bonnet has figured out a way to live forever. All he needs are the glands of some very unwilling donors! Anton Diffring stars as the mad doctor in this chilling Hammer Horror classic. As he struggles against the inevitable icy grip of death, the doctor begins a descent into madness that threatens to destroy the laws of nature and the lives of those he lusts after. It's up to horror legend Christopher Lee to stop his unholy quest before it takes a final deadly turn!
NO BONUS FEATURES
Papa's Delicate Condition (1963)
Jackie Gleason stars in this warm-hearted look back at one family's larger than life father. Set at the start of the 20th century, Gleason plays Jack Griffith, a gregarious railroad man whose love for his family is rivaled only by his love for the bottle. Griffith's penchant for outrageous behavior, followed up by a more outrageous gift to atone for it, has begun to alienate his wife and oldest daughter, although his youngest still adores her father. Gleason portrays Griffith's "delicate condition" with a mixture of humor and humanity, and the end result is a moving portrait of a family's ups and downs. Gleason's performance of the Academy Award winning song "Call Me Irresponsible" is not to be missed.
A star-studded comedy classic! Screen legend Sid Caesar teams up with Robert Ryan and the beautiful Anne Baxter in this fast paced, laugh-a-minute farce. Caesar is a bumbling gopher to a mob boss who must recover a fortune in cash stowed in the suit of a corpse! Directed by master showman William Castle, and featuring the first big screen performance of Richard Pryor.
NO BONUS FEATURES
Those Daring Young Men in their Jaunty Jalopies (1969)
Screen legend Tony Curtis leads an all-star international cast in this hilarious, romantic and action-packed romp! Set in glorious Monte Carlo, this hugely entertaining follow-up to Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines follows the dashing Schofield (Curtis) as he teams up with the scheming Sir Cuthbert Ware-Armitage (Terry-Thomas) in a zany, winner-take-all car rally beset with scheming competitors, treacherous cliffs - and a very beguiling blonde (Susan Hampshire.)
**Sony** has announced a May 27th release date for The Three Stooges Collection, Vol. 2 (1937 - 1939). Volume 2 will continue the chronological format in what may be the best of all sets released in this series with shorts like Cash and Carry, Healthy, Wealthy and Dumb, Tassels in the Air, Termites of 1938 and Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise to name a few. It will retail for $24.96, but is available at Classicflix.com for only $19.99. Details below.
A two disc Stan Laurel set: The Stan Laurel Collection, Vol. 2 - List $29.95, Our: 20.99
A Mabel Normand Feature and Short: The Extra Girl / The Gusher - List $24.95, Our: 17.99
A Harry Langdon Double Feature: Three's a Crowd / The Chaser - List $24.95, Our: 17.99
KINO INTERNATIONAL TO RELEASE THE SLAPSTICK SYMPOSIUM THREE: THE STAN LAUREL COLLECTION II, MABEL NORMAND’S THE EXTRA GIRL, and THE HARRY LANGDON COLLECTION
After the successful release of two SLAPSTICK SYMPOSIUM series totaling seven DVDs, Kino International now proudly extends its already impressive collection of slapstick silent comedies with the SLAPSTICK SYMPOSIUM III.
This time, Kino focuses its efforts on actress Mabel Normand, arguably the most popular screen comedienne of the silent film era, and on silent legends Stan Laurel and Harry Langdon. These three previously unavailable DVDs, THE STAN LAUREL COLLECTION II (a 2-disc set), Mabel Normand’s THE EXTRA GIRL and THE HARRY LANGDON COLLECTION, will prebook on May 6, 2008, each with a SRP of 29.95. The street date for all three titles is June 3, 2008.
All three silent-comedy DVDs in the SLAPSTICK SYMPOSIUM III introduce to the general public some of the most important and previously unavailable works from these three silent cinema film comedians.
From Harry Langdon’s directorial debut Three’s a Crowd (1927) to Stan Laurel’s desert adventure spoof Under Two Jags (1923) and the feature-length comedy classic The Extra Girl starring Mabel Normand and produced by Mack Sennett – the founder of the influential Keystone Studios in 1912, – all of these rare films can now be appreciated on DVD in pristine transfers made form the best surviving materials.
Made possible by a collaboration between Kino International and Lobster Films (www.lobsterfilms.com) and The Raymond Rohauer Collection, these three DVDs stand as an homage to the longstanding appeal of these performers and continue Kino’s commitment to employing state-of-the-art transfer technology to create high-standard DVD masters. And in the case of Mabel Normand’s THE EXTRA GIRL and THE HARRY LANGDON COLLECTION, all films in these titles were transferred to High Definition before being converted to standard DVD format.
Born in Staten Island, New York , Mabel Normand began her acting career at the age of 16, when she met producer/director Mack Sennett. Demonstrating a special flair for comedy, Ms. Normand became a short film star (produced by Mark Sennett), went to act with Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, and quickly moved to directing and writing.
She has been credited with being the first person to throw a cream pie on film – at Arbuckle in A Noise from the Deep (1913) – and her full ascension to stardom happened in 1914 , when she starred with Chaplin and Marie Dressler in Tillie's Punctured Romance. During that period, she even directed Chartlie Chaplin in Caught in a Cabaret (1914), and Mabel at the Wheel (1914) , to name a few.
The Iowa-born Harry Langdom became a film star in the 1920s, after joining Mack Sennett’s Keystone Studios. At the height of his film career, Langdon’s fame and popularity was approaching Chaplin’s and Keaston’s, and his childlike, always-at-awe screen character had its own niche among the works of other silent-screen performers.
English-born American omic actor, writer and director Stan Laurel was half of the famous double-act Laurel and Hardy. Although widely known for his sound films in the 1940s, Laurel’s solo work is just as impressive, if not more diverse and revealing, than his later duo roles.
Laurel’s unique career stretches from the silent film period to the post-World War II era, and Kino’s 2-disc THE STAN LAUREL COLLECTION II, attempts to make available to a general public the full spectrum of Laurel’s comedic artistry.
THE STAN LAUREL COLLECTION II
Comedy Shorts1918-1926 on Two DVDs
Prior to forming a fruitful partnership with funny man Oliver Hardy, Stan Laurel was a slapstick headliner in his own right.
This two-DVD set continues Kino International’s monumental tribute to Stan Laurel with twenty-one slapstick classics, painstakingly restored by Paris’s Lobster Films. Beginning with Huns and Hyphens (1918, in which Laurel plays a supporting role to Larry Semon), the collection follows Laurel’s rapid rise to stardom, passing through Hal Roach’s stable of master comedians to carve out his own big-screen niche.
In addition to playing the inept everyman wreaking havoc in a variety of domestic and professional situations, Laurel often starred in elaborate parodies of popular films, including Mud and Sand (1922, posing as Rhubarb Vaselino), the desert adventure Under Two Jags (1923) and Rupert of Hee-Haw (1924, spoofing the now-forgotten Rupert of Hentzau).
- Huns and Hyphens (1918, 19 min.)
- Just Rambling Along (1918, 9 min.)
- Frauds and Frenzies (1918, 21 min.)
- Do You Love Your Wife? (1919, 13 min.)
- Hustling for Health (1919, 12 min.)
- The Egg (1922, 22 min.)
- Mud and Sand (1922, 29 min.)
- The Noon Whistle (1923, 11 min.)
- White Wings (1923, 11 min.)
- Under Two Jags( 1923, 11 min.)
- Pick and Shovel (1923, 13 min.)
- Kill or Cure (1923, 13 min.)
- Short Orders (1923, 12 min.)
- A Man About Town (1923, 12 min.)
- Smithy (1924, 24 min.)
- Rupert of Hee Haw (1924, 23 min.)
- Mandarin Mix-Up (1924, 21 min.)
- Detained (1924, 14 min.)
- Somewhere in Wrong (1925, 22 min.)
- Pie-Eyed (1925, 20 min.)
- Get Em Young (1926, 23 min.)
THE MABEL NORMAND COLLECTION
In 1923, slapstick pioneer Mack Sennett conceived and produced a feature-length film designed to showcase the homespun appeal and comedic prowess of Mabel Normand, who had been a fixture on the madcap screen for more than a decade.
THE EXTRA GIRL follows the misadventures of Sue Graham, a small-town lass who escapes her romantic entanglements by heading for the green pastures of Hollywood. Sue quickly discovers that the dream factory is just a factory like any other, as she is assigned to duty in the wardrobe department. But through pluck and ambition, she manages to overcome every setback, including one hair-raising sequence in which she accidentally
unleashes a man-eating lion on the studio backlot.
This Kino DVD also includes the rare 1913 short THE GUSHER, mastered from an archival 35mm print with the original color tints. Set in the oil fields of California, it follows the efforts of a wily con artist to defraud a yokel (Ford Sterling) and his bride-to-be (Normand).
Mack Sennett’s 1913 comedy THE GUSHER
Starring Mabel Normand, Ford Sterling & the Keystone Kops
THE EXTRA GIRL
U.S. 1923 Color Tinted 68 Min. 1.33:1
Produced by Mack Sennett
Directed by F. Richard Jones
Screenplay by Bernard McConville
With Mabel Normand, Ralph Graves,
Vernon Dent, George Nichols
Organ Score by Jack Ward
Edited sound version © 1969 Paul Killiam
U.S. 1913 Color Tinted 14 Min. 1.33:1
Produced and Directed by Mack Sennett
Music Composed & Performed by Ben Model
New titles © 2008 Kino International Corp.
Original Music © 2008 Kino International Corp; P Ben Model
THE HARRY LANGDON COLLECTION
With his quizzical expression and childlike demeanor, Harry Langdon was one of the slapstick cinema’s brightest stars, a low-key alternative to his more fast-paced contemporaries.
His hard-luck persona always had a melancholy air as he ambled through life, blissfully ignorant of the pitfalls of modernity. In 1927, enjoying the power that came with owning his own production company, Langdon steered his trademark character even further from the conventionalized slapstick of his Mack Sennett background. His directorial debut, THREE’S A CROWD, didn’t just dabble in pathos, it plunged its hapless hero into a netherworld of loneliness worthy of Samuel Beckett (a self-avowed Langdon fan). Harry stars as a slum-dweller who invites a freezing woman (Gladys McConnell), pregnant with another man’s child, into his home. Nursing mother and child back to health, he achieves his dream of having a family...or so he hopes.
Langdon’s second film as director, THE CHASER (1928) is a dark, slightly kinky comedy in which carousing Harry is ordered by a judge to swap domestic duties (and clothing) with his wife. Deprived of his “manliness,” Harry contemplates suicide while coping with flirtatious salesmen and the scorn of a former comrade.
This DVD of THREE’S A CROWD and THE CHASER is authored from new HD masters derived from the 35mm negatives held by the Raymond Rohauer estate. Due to decomposition of the original film elements, portions of THE CHASER are mastered from a 16mm print.
Audio commentary for THREE’S A CROWD by film historian David Kalat
THREE’S A CROWD
U.S. 1927 Color Tinted 61 Min. Full-Frame (1.33:1)
Directed by Harry Langdon Story by Arthur Ripley
Adapted by Robert Eddy and James Langdon
Photographed by Frank Evans and Elgin Lessley
With Harry Langdon, Gladys McConnell, Cornelius Keefe
Organ Score by Lee Erwin
© 1927 First National Pictures
renewed © 1955 Warner Brothers
U.S. 1928 B&W 63 Min. Full-Frame (1.33:1)
Directed by Harry Langdon Story by Arthur Ripley
Screenplay by Robert Eddy, Clarence Hennecke
and Harry McCoy
Photographed by Frank Evans and Elgin Lessley
With Harry Langdon, Gladys McConnell, Helen Hayward
Organ Score by Lee Erwin
© 1928 First National Pictures
renewed © 1955 Warner Brothers Pictures Inc.
Restored sound version © 1989 The Rohauer Collection
Specialty DVD Supplier Flicker Alley Announces First United States Release of
Abel Gance’s La Roue (The Wheel)
A new restoration of almost 4 ½ hours, the most complete version of this monumental French film since 1923, La Roue makes its home video premiere on May 6th.
(Los Angeles, CA) Flicker Alley, LLC, a specialty supplier of fine silent films and classic cinema programming, in association with Film Preservation Associates, today announced that the company will release La Roue (The Wheel) by Abel Gance (Napoleon, J’Accuse). Of the film, Jean Cocteau wrote: “There is cinema before and after La Roue as there is painting before and after Picasso.” The home video release follows the film’s North American premiere on Turner Classic Movies by ten days. This marks the first occasion that this essential film has received distribution in the United States, and is the first home video edition to be released anywhere in the world.
Three years in production, and for its time unprecedented in length and complexity of emotion, La Roue pushed the frontiers of film art beyond all previous efforts. It became a source book of cinematic invention that reverberated in countless other classic films over the decades. It was hailed by artists and intellectuals, who recognized it as a stunning advance in modern art. German director G. W. Pabst, an ardent admirer of La Roue, was encouraged by Gance’s example to undertake his own remarkable explorations of human psychology in such silent films as Pandora’s Box and Diary of a Lost Girl. Said Akira Kurosawa, “the first film that really impressed me was La Roue.”
This 2-DVD set, which has a retail price of $39.95, includes a new symphonic score composed and conducted by Robert Israel, a short film by poet Blaise Cendrars showing the great work in production, along with a booklet containing an outstanding essay by William M. Drew on the history and impact of La Roue, and comments by Robert Israel on the music score.
Taken to its bare bones, the story deals with Sisif, a locomotive engineer who saves infant Norma from a train wreck and raises her as his adopted daughter. Norma thinks Sisif’s son Elie is her brother, and when the two fall in love, she leaves to marry a virtual stranger. Sisif is also obsessed with her and the plot elaborates this triangular relationship. Abel Gance pioneered a dazzlingly innovative style of rapid montage that revolutionized filmmaking around the world, especially in the works of Eisenstein and his contemporaries in the Soviet Union. Almost every sequence was experimental; as Gance’s cinematographer, L-H Burel recalled, “I’d never come to the end of it if I were to list all the tests we did, all the special effects I invented and all the innovations we launched.”
La Roue was originally shown in France over three days, in 32 reels, with a running time of almost eight hours, but was soon shortened to 12 reels, the maximum length for a typical feature film at the time. This new restoration, produced by Eric Lange, David Shepard and Jeff Masino with invaluable support from Turner Classic Movies, began with a 35mm master positive of this 12-reel version, a Russian print of an 8-reel version, two incomplete tinted nitrate prints of a longer French version, and finally, for two short but critical scenes, a 4-reel abridged version released by Pathe on 9.5mm for home movie screening. Conflating all of this material, the Lobster Film Studios restoration team headed by Eric Lange was able to prepare and digitally restore a 20-reel version, by far the most complete edition of LA ROUE seen anywhere since 1923. This release possesses exceptional pictorial quality and English titles that use the type font and moving photographic backgrounds of the original film.
**20th Century Fox** has announced a July 1st release date for the Blu-Ray debut of Batman: The Movie - Special Edition. Tons of bonus features will be part of this Hi-Def DVD including some new Hi-Def featurettes. It will retail for $39.98, but is available at Classicflix.com for only $30.99. Details below.
The four greatest super-criminals of The United Underworld - The Catwoman, The Joker, The Riddler and The Penguin – combine forces to dispose of Batman and Robin as they launch their fantastic plot to control the entire world. Can the dynamic duo stop The United Underworld before it’s too late?
- Commentary by actors Adam West and Burt Ward
- Commentary by screenwriter Lorenzo Semple, Jr.
- Isolated Score Track 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio (Lossless)
- All-new high-definition featurettes:
- Batman: A Dynamic Legacy
- Caped Crusaders: A Heroes Tribute
- Gotham City’s Most Wanted
- 35th Anniversary Piece Featuring Interviews with Adam West and Burt Ward
- The Batmobile Revealed with George Barris
- The Batmobile Interactive Tour
- A 360 Degree Navigational Tour
- Batman on Location: Mapping the Movie
- Holy Pop-Up Trivia Track, Batman!
- Original Teaser and Theatrical Trailers
- From the Vaults of Adam West
- Interactive Pressbook
- Production Stills
- Behind the Scenes
- From the Vaults of Adam West