A happy Thanksgiving to my US friends in this week’s News From the Lake. In anticipation of my big holiday gift guide, we’ll detail a few new DVD/Blu-rays scheduled for release as well as some TCM news. Let’s dive right in!
If you’re a fan of modern interpretations of gangster pictures than you might want to check out TNT’s three-week television event, Mob City. In honor of its premiere, TCM (a subsidiary of TNT) will be four classic gangster movies with opening introductions by Robert Osborne and Ed Burns, who stars on TNT’s new drama. The four films will air December 3rd starting at 8pm Eastern with White Heat, followed by The Roaring Twenties at 10pm, The Big Heat at midnight, and Key Largo at 2am. Mob City, written and directed by Frank Darabont, premieres December 4th at 9pm on TNT, and will subsequently air in two-hour blocks over three consecutive Wednesdays. I’m enjoying these various adaptations of classic gangster tropes (see the aforementioned Gangster Squad from earlier this year as another example), so I’ll be taking a gander at TNT’s drama.
Coming Soon on Blu-ray/DVD
Criterion: Criterion has announced their February slate of releases and classic film fans will want to purchase a few. The big release is Alfred Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent, long available on HuluPlus in the Criterion section. The movie will have a dual format DVD/Blu-ray with a plethora of bonus content as per the Criterion standard. Also in February you can pick up Jules and Jim, Roman Polanski’s Tess, and a restored version of Breathless. Jules and Jim comes out first on February 4th, followed by Foreign Correspondent on February 18th, Tess February 20th, and Breathless February 25th. You can preorder all of these, now, via Amazon.
20th Century Fox: The fine folks at Fox continue to give solid Blu-ray releases to smaller-grade pictures, although this one has a megawatt star attached. The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, starring Ingrid Bergman, is being released for the first time on Blu-ray. As with the majority of Fox’s classic Blu-ray’s, bonus content will be minimal with just an audio commentary and a Fox Movietone News segment. Interestingly, one of the commentators is acclaimed biographer Donald Spoto, which is enough to get my purchase. You can pick up The Inn of the Sixth Happiness on February 4th.
Also from Fox is a new spate of DVD releases as part of their Fox Cinema Archives collection. In this go-round they’ll be debuting twelve movies featuring ice skater Sonia Henie, six available for the first time. Between November 26th and December 17th you can purchase Thin Ice (1937), Wintertime (1943), You Can’t Have Everything (1937), Young America (1932), Iceland (1942), Love That Brute (1950), My Lucky Star (1938), Thunder in the Valley (1947), George White’s 1935 Scandals (1935), One in a Million (1937), Happy Landing (1938), and Beneath the 12 Mile Reef (1953). You can purchase or pre-order any of these titles on Amazon or the Fox website.
Kino Classics: Kino Classics continue their push to bring all of director Mario Bava’s work to Blu-ray with the announcement of their next release, Bava’s The Whip and the Body. This Christopher Lee chiller is mastered in HD from its 35mm print and comes with an Italian cut with optional English subtitles, an English dubbed version, an edition French version with English subtitles, audio commentary with Bava biographer Tim Lucas, theatrical trailer, and trailers for other releases in the Bava collection. You can pre-order The Whip and the Body now or purchase it when it hits shelves December 17th.
Warner Archive: No actual DVD releases this week, but I’m hoping to start covering their Warner Instant new releases. This week you can instantly watch the pre-Code melodrama, Finishing School (1934), Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando’s Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967), and Julie Christie in Petulia (1968), along with countless other movies, some not currently available on DVD. Warner Archive runs a two-week free trial so if you haven’t tried them out, I recommend it.
That’s all from the Lake this week, and have a happy Thanksgiving!
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.