New & Upcoming Releases

May 21

The Body Stealers (RB UK 88 Films BD £16.99) We would dismiss this forgotten 1969 British rip-off of Invasion of the Body Snatchers out of hand except it stars George Sanders and Maurice Evans(!).

Friendly Persuasion (Warner Archive BD $21.99) A Quaker family’s pacifist beliefs are rocked by the Civil War in William Wyler’s 1956 drama that won a Palme d’Or at Cannes. A favorite film of President Reagan’s. Gary Cooper and Dorothy McGuire star.

The Lawyer (Kino BD $24.95) A 1970 courtroom drama; a wealthy doctor is accused of beating his wife to death. Inspired by Cleveland’s Dr. Sam Shepard, the same guy who inspired The Fugitive. Barry Newman stars as the lawyer, Petrocelli, who went on to a short-lived TV series based on this film.

The Nun's Story (Warner Archive BD $21.99) Audrey Hepburn gets she to a nunnery in Fred Zinnemann’s acclaimed 1959 adaptation of Kathryn Hulme’s novel. Also stars Peggy Ashcroft and Peter Finch.

Once Upon a Time in the West (Paramount 4K UHD $39.99) Epic Sergio Leone 1968 western that, like High Noon, seems to get re-released annually in a new format.

Peeping Tom (Criterion 4K UHD $49.95, BD $39.95) Well, we’ve tried, but honestly we’ve never been able to make it through Michael Powell’s unpleasant film about a man who hates and kills women. Anna Massey didn’t have much luck with men; she’s not only in this, but in Hitchcock’s Frenzy, too.

Vitagraph Comedies (Kino BD $39.95) In many ways, we film lovers are living in a golden age. This set contains dozens of one, one-half, two, and three reel comedies from the oughts through the early twenties, starring John Bunny, Larry Semon, Mr. & Mrs. Sidney Drew, and many, many others. More than nine total hours of fun. Postponed from last month.

You're a Big Boy Now (Warner Archive BD $21.99) Love, family, and New Yawk City in another early Francis Ford Coppola film, this from 1966. Cast includes Elizabeth Hartman, Peter Kastner, Geraldine Page, Rip Torn, Karen Black, and Julie Harris.

May 14
May 28
May 7

L'amour Fou (Radiance Films UK BD £16.66) The dissolution of a relationship between a director and an actress, filmed in theatrical terms, in Jacques Rivette’s 1969 classic. Make movies about what you know about, people.

Devil's Doorway (Warner Archive BD $21.99) Native American Robert Taylor (uh, what, now?) returns home a decorated war hero but still has to deal with prejudice and hatred in Anthony Mann’s 1950 western. Also stars Paula Raymond, who probably plays a Nubian princess.

Dr. Jekyll and the Werewolf (Mondo Macabro BD $29.95) Boy, I’m not going to any garage sales in THAT neighborhood.

High Noon (Kino 4K UHD $39.95, BD $24.95) They keep re-releasing this in new formats, for fans of the 1952 classic who won’t be forsaken, oh my darlin’.

The Mask of Fu Manchu (Warner Archive BD $21.99) Sure novels can be potboilers, but so can movies – this is a wonderfully inappropriate, action-packed 1932 horror classic with Boris Karloff and Myrna Loy. Love it, and we hear the new Blu-ray’s a wow. Watch for our review soon; this is our Official ITB Release of the Month for May!

The Rain People (Warner Archive BD $21.99) Classic-of-its-era 1969 film from director Francis Ford Coppola; Shirley Knight runs away from home when she learns she’s pregnant. James Caan co-stars.

Seeing Red: 3 French Vigilante Thrillers (Fun City Editions BD $64.95) Well, we haven’t had a set of French Vigilante Thrillers ‘round here in a while. Includes Street of the Damned, Black List, and Shot Pattern, all from the early ‘80s, a grand era for French Vigilante Thrillers, apparently.

A Story of Floating Weeds / Floating Weeds: Two Films By Yasujiro Ozu (Criterion BD $39.95) The score: French Vigilante Thrillers 3, Ozu Dramas 2. Okay, we kid, but these are two quintessential films for film lovers. Ozu made the former in 1934 and remade it in color in 1959. They’re both great.

Zero Woman: Red Handcuffs (Cauldron Films BD $34.95) When a politician’s daughter is kidnapped, a convicted murderess is released from prison and tasked with finding her in Yukio Noda’s 1974 Japanese action film.

 

Against the Storm: Herbert Kline in a Darkened Europe (Flicker Alley BD $39.98) Documentarian (and Jew) Herbert Kline risked his life to film what was going in in Czechoslovakia in 1938 (A Film of “The Nazi Way") and Poland in 1940 (Light’s Out in Europe).

All the Young Wives + My Pleasure Is My Business—Drive-in Double Feature #21 (Dark Force BD $24.95) We LOVE releases like this because we don’t have to look ‘em up, their titles give you full information regarding what the films are about and whether or not you’d enjoy them, right, dear reader?

Back from the Dead (Kino BD $24.95) Lost and forgotten 1957 horror film about a woman (Peggy Castle) haunted by her husband’s late first wife. Arthur Franz co-stars. This originally played on a double-bill with The Unknown Terror, the movie with Mexican soap bubble monsters, so by comparison, Back from the Dead must’ve looked brilliant.

Bushman (Milestone Films BD $29.95) A remarkably sensitive study of a man caught between two cultures, and thank you L.A. Times guy for giving us the plot so succinctly, because we read the story and couldn’t understand it. The leading man was arrested and deported (in real life) during the making of the film, which became part of the story. Directed by David Schickele, 1971.

Daisy Miller (Kino BD $24.95) After The Last Picture Show, Peter Bogdanovich had a tendency to cast his girlfriend Cybill Shepherd in films that nobody went to see, like this one, 1974, based on the Henry James story.

Man's Castle (Sony MOD $26.99) Love and poverty in the Great Depression with Spencer Tracy and Loretta Young, directed by Frank Borzage, 1933. This is a 78 min. restored version.

Meet John Doe (ClassicFlix BD $29.95, DVD $24.95) 1941 Frank Capra film with Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck; it’s long been in the public domain and long needed restoration so let’s hope this is it. Also postponed from last month. What was going ON last month, eh?

Paris Blues (MGM BD $19.95) Martin Ritt’s 1961 romantic drama with Paul Newman and Sidney Poitier and no, they romance isn’t between THEM (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

Philo Vance Collection (Kino BD $39.95) William Powell stars in a trio of early talkie mysteries based on the novels by S.S. Van Dine, including The Canary Murder Case and The Greene Murder Case (both released in 1929 and both co-starring Balcony favorite Jean Arthur) and The Benson Murder Case (1930) with Natalie Moorhead.

Republic Pictures Horror Collection (Kino BD $59.95) Well, now we are heading into our Balcony field of expertise, aren’t we? As producers of horror films, Republic Pictures made great producers of westerns and serials, if you catch our drift. Still, there was a market for these things and so here you go. Includes The Lady and the Monster (1944) with Erich von Stroheim, the original screen version of Donovan’s Brain; The Phantom Speaks (1945) with Richard Arlen, about a dead gangster who isn’t done with gangstering yet; The Catman of Paris (1946) with Lenore Aubert, a story about… well, about a catman in Paris, what else? And finally, it’s Valley of the Zombies (1946) with Ian Keith, zombies, and vampires. All of these were previously released on Blu-ray by Imprint/Via Vision in Australia, by the way.

Sci-Fi Chillers Collection (Kino BD $49.95) For completists, here’s one pretty good film, The Colossus of New York (1958, with Ross Martin), one not-so-good film, The Unknown Terror (see also Back from the Dead, above), and one horrible film, Destination Inner Space (1966).

Three Revolutionary Films by Ousmane Sembène (Criterion BD $99.95, DVD $79.95) Out of Africa, we have Emitaï (1971), Xala (1975), and Ceddo (1977). Not our field of expertise, but we DO know that none of them was released as a co-feature with The Unknown Terror. At least, we don’t think so.

Belladonna of Sadness (Discotek Media 4K UHD $39.95) An animated film for adults, directed by Eiichi Yamamoto, 1973, and weren’t the 1970s a crazy time? Remember Fritz the Cat?

Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker (Severin 4K UHD $44.95, BD $29.95) Also known as Night Warning, and it has Jimmy “Kristy’s brother” McNichol and Julia “The Incredibly Self-Centered Maid from Newhart” Duffy and it’s from William Asher, director of the Beach Party movies, so it has a lot going for it, seemingly.

Cathy's Curse (Severin 4K UHD $44.95) YES! We absolutely needed a low-grade Canadian version of The Exorcist or this month’s release schedule would be sorely lacking. Directed by somebody or other, 1977. Not to be confused with Cathy’s Clown, the Everly Brothers song, or Chatty Cathy, your little sister’s doll that wouldn’t shut up so one night while sis was asleep you took the doll and buried it in the back yard.

The Chase (Kino BD $49.95) An army veteran with mental problems gets involved with a gangster’s wife in Arthur Ripley’s 1946 film noir. Bob Cummings stars.

Columbia Noir #6 (Indicator UK BD £54.99) Making room on our shelf for yet another superb collection of crime dramas and psychological thrillers courtesy of our friends at Powerhouse Indicator. This set is a collection of all 8 of short, moody low-budget films (1944-1948) based on the Whistler melodrama radio series; three of the films were directed by William “House on Haunted Hill” Castle. Titles include (ready for this?) The Whistler, Mark of the Whistler, Power of the Whistler, Voice of the Whistler, Mysterious Intruder, Secret of the Whistler, The Thirteenth Hour, and Return of the Whistler. There really is no “whistler” character (nor does he have a mother) but Richard Arlen stars in all but the last film in the series.

The Great Alligator River (Severin Films 4K UHD $49.99) Italian adventure film with Barbara Bach and Mel Ferrer, amongst others, menaced by a river deity who’s taken the form of a giant killer alligator. I hate when that happens. Directed by Sergio “Not Al” Martino, 1979.

The Hour Before the Dawn (Kino BD $24.95) Franchot Tone and Veronica Lake star in a romantic drama set against the start of World War II; based on the 1942 novel by W. Somerset Maugham and directed by Frank Tuttle.

Prison Walls - Abashiri Prison I-III (1965-1972) (Masters of Cinema US BD $59.95) The first three in a long-running series set in and around a notorious Japanese prison; directed by Teruo Ishii and starring Ken Takakura.

Pursued (Kino BD $49.95) Suspense, drama, and murder in a 1947 western noir directed by Raoul Walsh, starring Bob Mitchum and Teresa Wright.

A Queen's Ransom (Eureka US BD $39.95) Assassins after Queen Elizabeth during a visit to Hong Kong, directed by Shan-His Ting, 1976. How dare they, those rascals!

Saigon (Kino BD $24.95) Romance and murder in what was then known as French Indochina, I’ll bet, in Leslie Fenton’s 1947 noir that was the fourth and final teaming of Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake.