News in a nutshell: Classic film fans lose two more stars and what’s new on DVD and Blu-ray.
Audiences said goodbye to Christopher Lee this week, one of the last Masters of Horror. The start certainly lived a long life, passing at 93, but it’s sad that his voice won’t be around to scare us anymore. You can read one of countless eulogies on Lee here. TCM has already jumped on the bandwagon with a TCM Remembers video. They’ve also scheduled June 22nd for an all-day tribute to the star, showing several of his classic horror films and a few of his dramatic works.
Also passing away this week at 93 was Monica Lewis, the voice of the famous “Chiquita Banana” and star of the 1974 disaster film Earthquake. Lewis was a great classic film voice on Twitter, where she’d respond to questions, share stories with bloggers, and jump into an occasional #TCMParty here and there. The New York Times wrote a very touching tribute to her.
Good news for those continuing to follow Monika Henreid’s fundraising efforts as she gathers funds to finish the documentary/biography on her father, Paul Henreid, in Beyond Victor Laszlo. The Humphrey Bogart Estate has recently come on-board in support of her work and she has expanded the contribution perks for those wanting to donate. If you haven’t visited her campaign page in awhile and wanted to contribute a smaller amount than her base limit, check back as she’s created numerous perks for those wanting to donate $5, $10 or $20.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
Warner Archive: Warner Archive released a trio of swingin’ ’60s titles this week – Quick, Before It Melts (1964), Sandra Dee in Doctor, You’ve Got to Be Kidding (1967), and Three Bites of the Apple (1967). You can order all three, manufactured on-demand, through the Warner website.
Also from Warner (not Warner Archive) is the latest in their continuing streak of amazing box sets. You can own the Special Effects Collection on October 6th. The four-film set contains Mighty Joe Young (1949), The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953), The Son of Kong (1933), and Them! (1954), all on Blu-ray for the first time. Each will also be available on individual Blu-ray.
Columbia Classics: Columbia keeps rolling out entries in the Whistler series, recently debuting The Secret of the Whistler (1947), The Thirteenth Hour (1947), and The Return of the Whistler (1948). Only The Mark of the Whistler (1944) remains unreleased but it’s just a matter of time. Columbia Classics also debuted the sports drama Smith of Minnesota (1942) on DVD.
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.