Orson Welles: King Lear (1953) - 3 Day Special Price

King Lear (1953)
January 26th
E1 Entertainment
Retail: $29.98, Our: $19.99 $16.98 (Until November 2nd)
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On the heels of just-released The Barbara Stanwyck Show, Vol. 1, E1 Entertainment has announced the January 26th release of King Lear (1953). The live 73 minute show broadcast on CBS as part of the Omnibus series stars Orson Welles in the title roll. Bonus features are:

  • Interviews & Rehearsal Footage with Peter Brook and Virgil Thomson
  • Demonstration & Discussion of Scenes from Hamlet by Walter Kerr
  • Reports from the Yale University Shakespeare Festival by Alastair Cooke
  • PLUS: A Collectible Booklet with Essays About the Performance

Retail will be $29.98, but it's available at ClassicFlix.com for only $19.99. However, for 3 days only (until November 2nd), we'll have it for the SPECIAL LOW PRE-ORDER PRICE of $16.98.

It is expected to be on a single disc.

Universal Unveils MOD Program: Starts With Cult Horror Collection

Great news for classic film fans as Universal Studios and TCM have teamed up to open the Universal library to MOD (Manufactured on Demand) as part of the TCM Vault Collection.

The TCM Vault Collection, which brought us last year's Lost and Found RKO Collection, is a line that features remastering, restoration and a handful of extras.

Available now, the Universal Cult Horror Collection is the first set of titles released through this new collaboration and features:

More are expected (see below) including Remember the Night (1942), a Cary Grant Set as well as titles from Fred MacMurrary, Claudette Colbert and Deanna Durbin.

They are only availble to buy at TCM.com and MoviesUnlimited, but they are exclusively available for rent at ClassicFlix.com. They're available to put in your queue, but may be approximately four weeks before they are available for shipment.

To easliy find the TCM Vault Collection, look under "Fun Ways to Browse" and click "TCM Vault."


Turner Classic Movies and Universal Studios Home Entertainment (USHE) have entered into an extensive new partnership to offer classic movie fans rare vintage films, all digitally remastered, on DVD on a made-to-order basis. The TCM Vault Collection Presented by Universal marks USHE’s first foray into the manufactured-on-demand (MOD) arena. TCM began offering MOD featuring lost titles from the RKO library.

TCM and USHE are working to remaster a number of great titles never before available on DVD, with several never available on home video at all. The first titles made available include five chilling horror films, three early Cary Grant pictures and the unsung 1940 holiday classic Remember the Night, starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray and scripted by the great Preston Sturges. The films will be made available by request on DVD via TCM.com for the first time during the fourth quarter of 2009. TCM host Robert Osborne will provide introductions for selected titles, which will also include supplemental materials compiled by TCM and extensive material from the TCM archives. In addition, TCM will present exclusive premieres of the movies over the next six months.

“Many terrific films have been unavailable on home video for far too long, especially the holiday classic Remember the Night,” Osborne said. “It’s wonderful that today’s movie fans will be able to enjoy these rare movies. TCM and Universal have worked hard to restore them digitally and provide historical context, bonus content and behind-the-scenes information, something DVD collectors are sure to appreicate. I’m proud to be part of this great project with TCM and Universal.”

For Universal, the agreement is a great way to reach avid film fans. “Universal is very proud of its prestigious collection of Hollywood screen gems,” said Craig Kornblau, president, Universal Studios Home Entertainment. “Like us, TCM is deeply dedicated to honoring Hollywood’s golden age. This collaboration presents the perfect opportunity to share Universal’s rich cinematic legacy and celebrate vintage works with classic film fans.”


Remember the Night (1940)
DVD Availability: Nov. 22
TCM Telecasts: Dec. 6 and Dec. 24
Suggested Retail Price: $19.99

This heart-warming holiday romance – penned by Preston Sturges – marked the first of four on-screen pairings of Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck and came four years before their iconic work in Double Indemnity. MacMurray plays a prosecutor who finds himself falling in love with a shoplifter (Stanwyck) during a court recess at Christmas time. The atmospheric film co-stars Beulah Bondi, Elizabeth Patterson and Sterling Holloway and was directed by Mitchell Leisen.

Remember the Night is rarely seen and received a brief home-video release on VHS. It is being now remastered and brought back to life so it can take its rightful place as a signature holiday classic. Special features on the DVD will include an introduction by Robert Osborne; still galleries, including behind-the-scenes photos; never-before-seen interview segments on the work of director Mitchell Leisen from the TCM Archives; and the original movie trailer, trivia, biographies and more.

Cary Grant Collection (films also available as singles)
DVD Availability: January 2010
Three early Cary Grant films will populate this boxed set:

The Eagle and the Hawk (1933) – This vivid World War I drama stars Frederic March as a disillusioned but fearless squadron leader and Cary Grant as his bullied gunner-observer. The gripping interpersonal drama, anti-war sentiments and outstanding aerial dogfights give this film an impact that remains vital today. Carole Lombard and Jack Oakie round out a top-notch cast. The great director Mitchell Leisen, who is billed as associate director, is believed to have directed most of this film.

The Devil and the Deep (1932) – This melodrama is headlined by Tallulah Bankhead, Gary Cooper, Cary Grant and Charles Laughton. The setting is the northern coast of Africa, where submarine commander Laughton is stationed and where his wife, Bankhead, is splitting her time between suitors Cooper and Grant. This marked Laughton’s first American film and one of his most underappreciated performances.

The Last Outpost (1935) – Cary Grant plays a British officer saved from a Kurdish tribe by fellow officer Claude Rains. But when Grant unknowingly falls in love with Rains’ wife, tragedy looms. Gertrude Michael and Kathleen Burke co-star under the dual direction of Charles Barton and Louis Gasnier.

Future Universal collections and titles for rollout on DVD and TCM include vintage films from Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert, Deanna Durbin, director Douglas Sirk and many more.

A Man Called Adam (1966) in January

A Man Called Adam (1966)
January 12th
Lions Gate
Retail: $14.98, Our: $10.99
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The jazzy melodrama A Man Called Adam (1966) starring Sammy Davis Jr. comes to DVD on January 12th from Lions Gate.

No word on bonus features, but according to the cover, it'll have a bonus CD.

Retail will be $14.98, but it's available at ClassicFlix.com for only $10.99.

WARNER ARCHIVE: 17 More in Western and Drama Wave

In its most prolific wave since the initial offerings back in March, Warner Bros. has listed 17 new Warner Archive titles over at WBShop. They are also now available for rent at ClassicFlix.

The Fastest Gun Alive (1956) and The Badlanders (1956) are just two of the eight westerns in this wave. Dramas make up a good portion too with long-awaited titles like Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939), Gabriel Over the White House (1933) and The Mortal Storm (1940).

Also included is The Robert Benchley Miniatures Collection. The 3-disc set includes all 30 short subjects made by Benchley at MGM between 1935 and 1944.

All 17 titles can be found HERE in the Recent Additions section.

They're available to put in your queue, but may be approximately four weeks before they are available for shipment.

This new wave brings the total Warner Archive titles exclusively available for rent at ClassicFlix.com to 282.

CRITERION: Roberto Rossellini's War Trilogy in January


Roberto Rossellini's War Trilogy
January 26th
Retail $79.95, Our: $69.99
Rome, Open City (1945), Paisan (1946), Germany Year Zero (1948)
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Criterion has announced a January 26th release date for Roberto Rossellini's War Trilogy. The 3-disc set will include Rome, Open City (1945), Germany Year Zero (1948) (both previously released by Image Entertainment) and Paisan (1946) which is making its DVD debut.

Lots of bonus features will accompany what are sure to be superior prints. Full details below.

It will retail for $79.95, but is available at ClassicFlix.com for only $69.99.

Roberto Rossellini is one of the most influential filmmakers of all time. And it was with his trilogy of films made during and after World War II—Rome Open City, Paisan, and Germany Year Zero—that he left his first transformative mark on cinema. With their stripped-down aesthetic, largely nonprofessional casts, and unorthodox approaches to storytelling, these intensely emotional works were international sensations and effectively launched the neorealist movement. Shot in battle-ravaged Italy and Germany, these three films are some of our most lasting, humane documents of devastated postwar Europe, containing universal images that encompass both tragedy and hope.

Rome, Open City (1945)
This was Roberto Rossellini’s revelation, a harrowing drama about the Nazi occupation of Rome and the brave few who struggled against it. Though told with a bit more melodramatic flair than the other films that would form this trilogy and starring well-known actors—Aldo Fabrizi as a priest helping the partisan cause and Anna Magnani in her breakthrough role as the fiancée of a resistance member—Rome Open City (Roma città aperta) is a shockingly authentic experience, conceived and directed amid the ruin of World War II, with immediacy in every frame. Marking a watershed moment in Italian cinema, this galvanic work was an international sensation, garnering awards around the globe and leaving the beginnings of a new film movement in its wake.


  • Video introduction by Roberto Rossellini from 1963
  • New video interviews with Rossellini scholar Adriano Aprà, Rossellini’s friend and confessor Father Virgilio Fantuzzi, and filmmakers Paolo and Vittorio Taviani
  • Audio commentary by film scholar Peter Bondanella
  • Once Upon a Time . . . “Rome Open City,” a 2006 documentary on the making of this historic film, featuring rare archival material and footage of Anna Magnani, Federico Fellini, Ingrid Bergman, and many others

Paisan (1946)
Roberto Rossellini’s follow-up to his breakout Rome Open City was the ambitious, enormously moving Paisan (Paisà), which consists of six episodes set during the liberation of Italy at the end of World War II, taking place across the country, from Sicily to the northern Po Valley. With its documentary-like visuals and its intermingled cast of actors and nonprofessionals, Italians and their American liberators, this look at the struggles of different cultures to communicate and of people to live their everyday lives in extreme circumstances is equal parts charming sentiment and vivid reality. A long-missing treasure of Italian cinema, Paisan is available here for the first time in its full original release version.


  • Video introduction by Roberto Rossellini from 1963
  • Rossellini and the City, a new documentary on Rossellini’s use of the urban landscape in these films, by film scholar Mark Shiel
  • Excerpts from rarely seen videotaped discussions Rossellini had with faculty and students at Rice University in 1970 about his craft
  • Into the Future, a new visual essay about the War Trilogy by film scholar Tag Gallagher

Germany Year Zero (1948)
The concluding chapter of Roberto Rossellini’s War Trilogy is the most devastating, a portrait of an obliterated Berlin shown through the eyes of a twelve-year-old boy. Living in a bombed-out apartment building with a sick father and two older siblings, young Edmund is mostly left to wander unsupervised, getting ensnared in the black-market schemes of a group of teenagers and coming under the nefarious influence of a Nazi-sympathizing ex-teacher. Germany Year Zero (Deutschland im Jahre Null) is a daring, gut-wrenching look at the consequences of fascism, for society and the individual.


  • Video introduction by Roberto Rossellini from 1963
  • Roberto Rossellini, a 2001 documentary by Carlo Lizzani, assistant director on Germany Year Zero, tracing Rossellini’s career through archival footage and interviews with family members and collaborators, with tributes by filmmakers François Truffaut and Martin Scorsese
  • Letters from the Front: Carlo Lizzani on “Germany Year Zero,” a 1987 podium discussion with Lizzani
  • Italian credits and prologue
  • New illustrated essay by film scholar Thomas Meder on Rossellini’s relationship with his mistress Roswitha Schmidt

FLICKER ALLEY: Soviet Serial Adventure Miss Mend (1926) in December

Miss Mend (1926)
December 15th
Flicker Alley
Retail: $39.99, Our: $29.99
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Flicker Alley has announced a December 15th release date for the Soviet Serial Adventure Miss Mend (1926). The 4 1/2 hour, three part film will be a 2-disc set and feature brand new English intertitles.

Complete details and bonus features below. It will retail will be $39.99, but it's available at ClassicFlix.com for only $29.99.

NOTE: It is assumed the feature will be across both discs so this 2-disc set will count as one rental.


Flicker Alley, a specialty supplier of fine silent films and classic cinema programming, in collaboration with The Blackhawk Films Collection and Turner Classic Movies, proudly present the American video premiere of epic Soviet serial adventure, Miss Mend.

Produced in the Soviet Union in 1926, but inspired by American movie cliffhangers of the day, this three-part, 4 ½ hour film was directed by Fedor Ozep and Boris Barnet (who is also featured in the cast).

Based on the 1923 pulp novel “Mess Mend”, both the film and its source material share an interestingly “Westernized” pedigree; though the novel claims to have been authored and published by an American scribe “Jim Dollar,” the fictional persona is actually a nom-de-plume for a Russian woman, Marietta Shaginian, whose biography for Dollar explains that he was a laborer who fell by sheer chance into tremendous fortune and publishes his fiction at his own expense.

Regarded by the official Soviet press of the time as a prime example of shameless "Western-style" entertainment, Miss Mend was nevertheless hugely popular, becoming one of the most successful Soviet films of the decade. Though you’ll find no tractors, capitalist oppression, or revolution, the film does manage a few jokes at the American characters’ ’ expense.

Co-director Boris Barnet, actor, ex-boxer, and a graduate of the Kuleshov School, directed other notable silent films including The Girl With the Hatbox and The House on Trubnaya Square; his career extended to the mid-1960s with his most notable sound film being Outskirts (1933). Fedor Ozep, also a screenwriter, emigrated from the Soviet Union. In Germany, he directed a wonderful version of Tolstoy's The Living Corpse and The Murder of Dmitri Karamazov, making later films in France, and finishing his long career as a Hollywood director.

Mastered in high definition from superb 35mm elements, with a 'dream cast' of 1920s Soviet film stars, Miss Mend pits a cadre of proletarian sleuths against a villainous gang of selfish capitalists, each side boasting its own collection of zany sidekicks, everything from a streetwise urchin to a Typhoid dog. The film also features beautiful location photography, impressive stunt scenes, horse, car and boat chases, and stylized sets inspired by Fritz Lang's German thrillers.

Miss Mend is accompanied by a newly-recorded large-orchestra score by Robert Israel.


  • Miss Mend: A Whirlwind Vision of an Imagined America - A brand new, 25-minute documentary exploring the creative forces and cultural influences behind Miss Mend
  • Creating The Music of Miss Mend: Go behind the scenes of Robert Israel’s brilliant new score in a new, 15-minute documentary featuring the actual Miss Mend recording sessions
  • PLUS: Miss Mend and Soviet Americanism – A new booklet essay by historians Ana Olenina and Maxim Pozdorovkin

Merry Sitcom! - Christmas Classics in November

Merry Sitcom! - Christmas Classics From TV's Golden Age
November 3rd
Shout! Factory
Retail: $12.99, Our: $10.99
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Yes, it is slim pickens out there for new releases. But we did find something that was somewhat under the radar. Shout! Factory has a November 3rd release date for Merry Sitcom! - Christmas Classics From TV's Golden Age.

It contains a variety of seven Christmas episodes, on one disc. One of which, "Christmas Memory" from Window on Mainstreet, has yet to be released on DVD.

It will retail will be $12.99, but it's available at ClassicFlix.com for only $10.99.


  • “The Christmas Story” - Father Knows Best
  • “A Very Merry Christmas” - The Donna Reed Show
  • “The Day They Captured Santa” - McHale's Navy
  • “A Vision of Sugar Plums” - Bewitched
  • “Christmas and the Hard Luck Kid” - That Girl
  • “Wailing in a Winter Wonderland” - The Flying Nun
  • “Christmas Memory” - Window on Main Street

The Music Man (Blu-Ray) in February

The Music Man (Blu-Ray)
February 2nd
Warner Bros.
Retail: $28.99, Our: $23.99
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Warner Bros. adds another Blu release with the announcement of The Music Man (Blu-Ray) with a February 2nd release date. Warner's "Blu Wave" now boasts more classic Blu-Ray releases on the schedule than standard.

Bonus features are not yet known, but we expect features to carry over from the previous SD release. It will retail will be $28.99, but it's available at ClassicFlix.com for only $23.99.

WARNER ARCHIVE: 11 More Including Comrade X, The Bribe

Some long-awaited titles like Comrade X (1940), Every Girl Should Be Married (1948), The Bribe (1949) and Our Miss Brooks (1956) are part of the eleven newly announced Warner Archive tiltes now available at WBShop and also available for rent at ClassicFlix.

This new wave has something for everyone with stars like Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Kirk Douglas, Susan Hayward, Dean Martin, Dennis Morgan, Ginger Rogers, Clark Gable, Hedy Lamarr, Robert Taylor and Ava Gardner, just to name a few.

The Titles Are:

  • The Barbarian (1933) - Myrna Loy, Ramon Novarro
  • The Bribe (1949) - Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner, Charles Laughton, Vincent Price, John Hodiak
  • Comrade X (1940) - Clark Gable, Hedy Lamarr, Oskar Homolka, Felix Bressart, Eve Arden
  • Every Girl Should Be Married (1948) - Cary Grant, Betsy Drake, Franchot Tone, Diana Lynn, Alan Mowbray
  • Our Miss Brooks (1956) - Eve Arden
  • Penthouse (1933) - Myrna Loy, Warner Baxter, Charles Butterworth, Mae Clarke
  • Perfect Strangers (1950) - Ginger Rogers, Dennis Morgan, Thelma Ritter
  • Pretty Baby (1950) - Dennis Morgan, Betsy Drake, Zachary Scott, Edmund Gween, William Frawley
  • The Subject Was Roses (1968) - Patricia Neal, Jack Albertson, Martin Sheen
  • Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957) - Dean Martin, Anna Maria Alberghetti, Eva Bartok, Walter Slezak, Paul Henreid
  • Top Secret Affair (1957) - Susan Hayward, Kirk Douglas, Paul Stewart, Jim Backus

You can also find them listed HERE in the Recent Additions section. They're available to put in your queue, but may be approximately four weeks before they are available for shipment.

This new wave brings the total Warner Archive titles exclusively available for rent at ClassicFlix.com to 265.

WARNER ARCHIVE: The Joe McDoakes Collection

Mentioned here six weeks ago, then quickly removed from Warner's site, The Joe McDoakes Collection has now been permanently listed over at WBShop. The six disc set, containing all 63 McDoakes shorts, are now also available for rent at ClassicFlix.com.

It's available to put in your queue, but may be approximately four weeks before it's available for shipment.

This new wave brings the total Warner Archive titles exclusively available for rent at ClassicFlix.com to 254.

DVD Release Score Card - Third Quarter

In our quarterly assessment of classic titles released on DVD, we can actually report that more titles were released (60) during this past third quarter, than in third quarter 2008 (55). However, that is mainly due to two companies with vastly increased output (VCI & Sony).

Year to date, classic releases on DVD are down 27%. And we are likely to see worse year to year numbers when all is said and done for 2009. This is mainly due to the fact that new releases for feature films from the major studios have come to a halt. In fact, not a single new release of a feature film was announced in the entire month of September (Warner Archive, Blu-Ray & Re-Releases Excluded).

The top chart (below) compares releases during the third quarter this year and last. The bottom chart compares releases for the first nine months of 2009 with 2008.

In brief:

Major Labels
  • Sony was up last quarter mainly thanks to their Screwball Comedy Sets
  • Universal was up, but is down for the year overall and is likely to remain so even with the upcoming Claudette Colbert Collection
  • Paramount is up and continues to make use of its T.V. library
  • Warner is down drastically, but the stats do not take into account the Warner Archive Collection which at present sits at 253 titles
  • MGM & Fox: Are they still in business?
Smaller Labels
  • VCI continues to excel with its British sets, Serials, Westerns & mainly B selections
  • Criterion is up with three recent Art House releases in addition to That Hamilton Woman
  • Infinity is even, but we can expect Spike Jones and Jerry Lewis sets this fall
  • Kino is down for the quarter and way down for the year to date
  • Shout! Factory is even, but their overall pace has slowed too
  • Timeless Media is up and will probably be about even for the year
  • MPI is down while Flicker Alley and All Day look to be comfortable at a one release a year pace


We have permanently stopped tracking the studios below as they seem to have abandoned classic film releases all together. Could Fox & MGM be next?

  • Legend Films
  • Roan
  • Weinstein Co.
  • Classic Media
  • Image Entertainment
  • S'More Entertainment


  • Only titles that are new to DVD are counted (no "Special Editions" or Blu-ray)
  • Boxed sets count the tiles in the set and not the set itself (ex. The recently released Doris Day Spotlight Collection counts as 5 and not 1)
  • Re-released titles don't count, except ones that are were out of print (ex. Rembrandt in the recent Korda Eclipse Collection)
  • Not included here are PD labels like Alpha
  • Warner Archive titles are not included
  • Yellow is for studios behind last year's pace. Green for ahead.

DVD SCORE CARD - Third Quarter:

DVD SCORE CARD - Year to Date:

WARNER ARCHIVE: Rosalie, Everybody Sing in Stars of Oz Wave

Four more Warner Archive tiltes are available at WBShop and are also available for rent at ClassicFlix in this "Stars of Oz" wave. WBshop has even put all four in a set for just $39.95!

They Are:

  • Rosalie (1937) - Nelson Eddy, Eleanor Powell, Frank Morgan, Edna May Oliver, Ray Bolger
  • Everybody Sing (1938) - Judy Garland, Allan Jones, Fanny Brice, Reginald Owen, Billie Burke
  • George White's Scandals (1945) - Joan Davis, Jack Haley, Phillip Terry
  • Flying High (1931) - Bert Lahr, Charlotte Greenwood, Pat O'Brien, Kathryn Crawford

They're in Warner's "Pre-Order" section which means there's a 50/50 chance they'll drop off the site, before coming back permanently in the near future. And probably not with that price. However, all are available to be placed in your ClassicFlix queue immediately.

You can also find them listed HERE in the Recent Additions section. They're available to put in your queue, but may be approximately four weeks before they are available for shipment.

This new wave brings the total Warner Archive titles exclusively available for rent at ClassicFlix.com to 253.

The Best of Spike Jones in November

The Best of Spike Jones
November 24th
Retail: $29.98, Our: $20.99
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Following up on their highly acclaimed 2007 release, Spike Jones - The Legend, Infinity Entertainment has announced a November 24th release date for The Best of Spike Jones.

Guest stars include Eddy Arnold and Zasu Pitts. The 3-disc set will retail will be $29.98, but it's available at ClassicFlix.com for only $20.99.

Dubbed the "Master of Musical Mayhem" by Rolling Stone, comedic bandleader Spike Jones and the City Slickers were hugely popular in the '40s, '50s and '60s and were known for wacky skits and zany renditions of the day's most popular songs. An accomplished musician, Spike was a true innovator whose comedic madness was lightyears ahead of his time who directly influenced such iconoclasts as Frank Zappa, Ernie Kovacs, "Weird Al" Yankovic, Stan Freberg and George Carlin.

From 1954-61, Spike came into living rooms across the nation with The Spike Jones Show (NBC & CBS). His special brand of music featured hilarious arrangements punctuated by sneezes, hiccups, snores, belches, gunshots, explosions, whistles, bird calls, cowbells, foghorns -- and anything else laying around at the time! Now experience this classic television on DVD for the first time -- digitally remastered and featuring Spike's biggest hits (over 60 melodies!) and most hilarious bits -- in a special-edition, three-disc collector's set, produced and edited under the personal supervision of Spike Jones, Jr.

Features show regulars vocalist Helen Grayco (Mrs. Jones) and the City Slickers: Freddie Morgan, Doodles Weaver, George Rock, Sir Fredrick Gas and Billy Barty. Also such stars of the day as Eddy Arnold, Zasu Pitts and Howdy Doody.


  • Two Never-before-aired Pilots Marking the Band'sTelevision Debut