Another week of News From the Lake with the usual smattering of news and DVD/Blu-ray releases.
Some sad news to start the news with. Oscar-nominated actress Martha Hyer passed away, May 31st at the age of 89. She was best remembered as Gwen French in Vincente Minnelli’s Some Came Running, starring Frank Sinatra; Hyer was nominated for her role. She also played William Holden’s forgotten fiancee in Sabrina. More infamously, she passed on the part of Marion Crane in Hitchcock’s Psycho. Hyer had been living in New Mexico since the 1980s. It’s always sad to mourn the loss of another classic star.
The bulk of our news comes from TCM this week. If you didn’t watch last Friday, the TCM Friday Night Spotlight started the summer with pirate-themed features hosted by comedian Greg Proops. There’s still three more weeks to shiver your timbers.
The rest of the month’s schedule is as follows:
- June 13th
- 8PM – The Crimson Pirate (1952)
- 10PM – The Pirate (1948)
- Midnight – The Princess and the Pirate (1944)
- 1:45AM – Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd (1952)
- June 20th
- 8PM – Against All Flags (1952) [A TCM Premiere]
- 9:30PM – Captain Blood (1935) [I highly recommend this!]
- 11:45PM – The Sea Hawk (1940)
- 2AM – The Master of Ballantrae (1953)
- June 27th
- 8PM – Treasure Island (1934)
- 10PM – The Boy and the Pirates (1960)
- 11:30PM – Captain Kidd (1945)
- 1AM – Blackbeard the Pirate (1952)
Jane Fonda is the latest recipient of the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film. The ceremony, with over a thousand prominent actors and celebs in attendance, is set to air on TNT this Saturday, January 14th at 9pm and 10:30pm. If you’re not a TNT fan, you can catch an encore of the ceremony, August 1st, during an all-night tribute to Jane Fonda on TCM. The schedule of Fonda’s night is currently up at TCM.com, but I like to be surprised.
Funnyman Gene Wilder is sitting across from Robert Osborne this Tuesday as the TCM Guest Programmer. He’ll present four of his favorite films starting at 8pm Eastern time. His choices are: Random Harvest (1942), The Merry Widow (1934), Witness for the Prosecution (1957), and Dark Victory (1939). I think Gene and I could have an awesome time watching movies together; he seems to like the same movies as me!
New on DVD and Blu-ray
Walt Disney: Journeys in the Disney Vault may be over, but Disney continues to release their animated classics on Blu-ray. The studio’s planning to upgrade Sleeping Beauty (1959) to their latest Diamond Edition with a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo Pack. The bonus content looks to carry over from the past DVD release, aside from a few featurettes, one prominently synergizing with ABC’s Modern Family. Also, hitting the shelves is The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) for the first time on Blu-ray. No bonus content has been announced. Sleeping Beauty hits shelves October 7th, while Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad comes out August 12th.
Kino Classics: A month back Kino announced their association with MGM, culminating in the release of five movies onto Blu-ray. In already a short time they’ve announced another four titles for release in August, two starring Audrey Hepburn:
- August 12th
- Shirley MacLaine and Audrey Hepburn in The Children’s Hour (1961)
- Burt Lancaster’s The Unforgiven (1960)
- August 26th
- Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner in On the Beach (1959)
- Kirk Douglas in Cast a Giant Shadow (1966)
All of these are updates from past DVDs; each is debuting on Blu-ray for the first time. No details on any bonus content’s been announced. I’m incredibly excited about Kino’s diversity with this new line of releases, and hopefully we’ll here about more soon.
Warner Archive: Warner continues the theme of spotlighting individual celebrities (Gable, Greer Garson), and they’re not done going through the “G” section of the phonebook because this week’s releases are about John Garfield. Garfield’s earliest films are being released: Blackwell’s Island and Dust Be My Destiny (both 1939), Flowing Gold, East of the River, Saturday’s Children (all 1940), and Dangerously They Live (1941). They’re also upgrading Vincente Minnelli’s 1955 musical, Kismet to Blu-ray. As always, you can purchase these releases through Warner Archive.com.
20th Century Fox: Three more B-movies from 20th Century Fox’s Cinema Archives line are set for release June 24th: The Cowboy and the Blonde (1941), Here Comes Trouble (1936), and I Was an Adventuress (1940).