It’s mostly DVD/Blu-ray news this week, but with all that I’ll mention details on a new Hollywood biography you should look into as well as more fun with Cleopatra.
Cleopatra is already out on Blu-ray, but 20th Century Fox can’t get enough of creating fun ways to engage with the film. They’re recently launched an interactive timeline of the movie’s production for readers who want to understand the sheer span of the creation of the epic. You can watch videos, look at rare photos, and see how long this gargantuan opus took from pre-production to premiere. I spent awhile watching videos and looking at the gorgeous pictures. If you want a deeper understanding of the creation, or simply want to have another look at the breadth of the movie, check out the site here.
University Press of Mississippi is a favorite of mine for their determination at covering actors/actresses who might not have received the glitzy biography treatment. Their latest book is on character actress Mary Wickes, appropriately titled “I Know I’ve Seen That Face Before.” Wickes worked in every medium, including Broadway appearing in countless works including Now, Voyager, The Music Man and The Lucy Show. The bio includes interviews with over 300 stars, and based on the friends Wickes had, this could be quite the juicy story. You can purchase Mary Wickes: I Know I’ve Seen That Face Before wherever books are sold.
Warner Brothers kicks off the home video section this week. On October 1st, you can purchase the silent classic The Big Parade, directed by King Vidor and starring John Gilbert. The highest grossing film of the silent era, the movie has been remastered for DVD and Blu-ray with audio commentary, featurettes, and a 64-page book in the Blu-ray. I love the Warner Brothers Blu-ray book editions and this is one to grab for silent film fans.
And from Warner Archive this week it’s Garbo, Gilbert, films from Monogram Studios, and some late 70s era films. First off, Greta Garbo plays an adulterous wife in The Painted Veil (1934), while John Garfield is forged in the fires of war in Air Force (1943); on the Monogram front, you can order Woman in Bondage (1943) about a woman (Gail Patrick) torn between her German Nazi roots and the increasing atrocities of the time, Eddie Condon is a gangster dealing in black market adoptions in Black Market Babies (1945), and Kane Richmond is a cardsharp with a femme fatale problem in Don’t Gamble With Strangers (1946); and finally, Gene Hackman and international star Liv Ullman explore the revisionist West in Zandy’s Bride (1974), while author Grahame Greene is adapted for the screen in The Human Factor (1980). All of these are available to order, on demand, from Warner Archive. Remember, these are manufactured on demand, using the best copies possible, and do not include bonus content.
Finally, just in time for Halloween you can purchase the classic horror film The Haunting from Warner Brothers. Set for release on October 15th, the movie won’t contain any new bonus features, but if you’ve wanted this gothic horror icon on Blu-ray keep this on your Amazon wishlist.
That’s all from the Lake for this week! See you next Wednesday!
A freelance film critic whose work fuels the Rotten Tomatoes meter. I've been published on The Hollywood Reporter, Remezcla, and The Daily Beast. I've been featured in the L.A. Times. I currently run two podcasts, Citizen Dame and Ticklish Business.