A brief news update for this fantastic Wednesday which discusses TCM prepping for 31 Days of Oscar and a whole mess of upcoming DVDs and Blu-rays.
I’ll explore the full slate for 31 Days of Oscar during my TCM Top Twelve for February, but they’ve announced the various themes for the month, exploring practically every category in the Oscar world between 1929-1967. On top of that, they’ve announced an air date for “And the Oscar Goes To…” a documentary tracing the history of the Academy Awards directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman. You can catch it February 1st at 8PM Eastern with an encore on CNN February 27th at 9PM and 11PM. 31 Days of Oscar is always a stellar lineup during the doldrums post-New Years, and TCM documentaries are always elegant and highly researched so be sure to spend some time watching.
Coming Soon to DVD/Blu-ray
20th Century Fox: With Oscars upon us, Fox is rolling out a few MGM classics on Blu-ray; the 1967 Best Picture Winner In the Heat of the Night and 1985’s musical A Chorus Line. The trailer is the only additional feature for A Chorus Line, while In the Heat of the Night has audio commentary with director Norman Jewison, actors Lee Grant and Rod Steiger, and cinematographer Haskell Wexler; three featurettes including one exploring the music of Quincy Jones (who’ll be at the upcoming TCM Classic Film Festival), and the theatrical trailer. I’ve been dying to watch Sidney Poitier in the intense drama so look for a review of In the Heat of the Night soon. You can purchase both movies on Blu-ray now.
Kino Classics: Kino is invested in releasing horror classics on Blu-ray and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is one of their more anticipated endeavors to me. Kino’s transfer of Jekyll and Hyde is presented in HD from an archival 35mm cut with color tinting. This silent version from the 1920 stars John Barrymore as the titular man with two personalities competing for relevance, although Kino’s Blu-ray will feature a 12-minute adaptation from 1912 starring James Cruze as well as a rival 1920s version starring Sheldon Lewis and produced by Louis B. Mayer. The disc will also include a 1925 slapstick parody called “Dr. Pyckle and Mr. Pride” starring Stan Laurel, and a rare 1909 audio recording of the transformation sequence. You can purchase Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on January 28th.
Fox Cinema Archives: Also available on January 28th are a few more additions to the FOX Cinema Archives. The new wave of manufactured-on-demand releases include more Sonja Henie films (Happy Landing from 1938 and One in a Million from 1936). You can also snag Beneath the 12-Mile Reef (1953), a public domain movie starring Robert Wagner.
Columbia Classics: Columbia is also releasing a few titles to their MOD program. You can purchase The Miami Story (1954) and Trail of the Rustlers (1950) via their website on January 28th.
Warner Archive: Only two film releases via Warner Archive this week. The first couple of radio comedy, Jim and Marian Jordan will have two of their films available: Here We Go Again (1942) and Heavenly Days (1944), both featuring their characters Fibber McGee and Molly. You can purchase these manufactured-on-demand titles via Warner Archive’s website
. TCM Vault: And finally, the TCM Vault opens up to provide a fantastic Blu-ray/DVD Combo of Orson Welles’ classic, The Lady From Shanghai. Bonus features include an introduction with Robert Osborne, commentary with Eddie Muller, stills, posters, biography, behind-the-scenes photos, a set of lobby cards, and a TCMDb article. You can purchase this amazing film noir exclusively at TCM.com.