After his time with David Selznick, Val Lewton, one of the finest creators of atmospheric horror, began a career at RKO, where he created a series of delicate little horror films that has never been equalled.
Back in 2005, a wonderful set of 9 films was released by Warner on DVD, and over the...
Warner Archive is releasing Crossfire, a 1947 RKO production, directed by Edward Dmytryk, in their normal boring quality, which means virtually perfect.
Lush black and white, with a patina of film grain give the impression that one is viewing a nitrate 35mm print.
The only digital oddity that...
Never been a Wheeler and Woolsey fan. I've always felt more attuned to "the boys," Chaplin and Keaton. Or if teams, Laurel & Hardy, or the Marx Bros.
Never did I ever believe that a Wheeler and Woolsey film would be restored.
Never did I ever expect a Wheeler and Woolsey film to arrive on...
I could probably end these few words right here by telling you that Warner Archive's Flying Leathernecks, a 1951 RKO production, is perfect in every respect.
But I won't do that. If for no other reason than I find that boring.
So let's talk about oddities.
The film opens with an RKO logo.
The name Dorothy Arzner may not be at the fore of many younger cinephile's minds, but it should be.
A career going back to the silent era, as an editor on Too Much Johnson (1919). The film was re-made in 1938 any another filmmaker. The first woman director in the DGA, and then there's that...
Underwater probably has more interest historically than as a film. It wasn't very good in 1955, and hasn't exactly turned Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White over the ensuing decades.
It's a very minor work for director John Sturges, who had the ability (The Great Escape) to create films that...
You are doing a splendid job of giving us classics from the RKO library, and somehow making them look as good as they probably did when first released to theaters.
Here are some I'd love to see you or someone get around to:
BACK TO BATAAN
BOY WITH GREEN HAIR (Color)
New from Warner Archive, and another Blu-ray toward getting closer - we'll never get there - to having a compleat collection of John Ford films, Wagon Master is a gorgeous black & white production, as seen through the lens of Bert Glennon.
RKOs can be iffy, but this one is a beautiful...
Mention the name of Val Lewton to any fan of the cinema, and you'll generally receive a knowing smile or nod, as he was one of the unsung B picture heroes of the 1940s at RKO.
Between 1942 and 1946, he was the man behind a series of horror/thrillers that are little gems of his field.
Back in 1933, after appearing in Dancing Lady for M-G-M, Fred Astaire, who received 6th billing, just beneath Winnie Lightner, made a move to RKO, and so began a series of classic musicals that fans have been waiting to appear on Blu-ray.
There were ten films in the series, and the first to...
I'm a huge Val Lewton fan.
There's never been anyone quite like him for intelligent, atmospheric horror.
Scream Factory's new Blu-ray of Robert Wise's (his second film in the series, after The Curse of the Cat People) 1945 The Body Snatcher, has everything going for it.
Finally in a gorgeous Blu-ray presentation
From Criterion, with a cornucopia of extras
No need to give this one a great deal of thought
Belongs in every serious collection
Image - 5
Audio - 5
Pass / Fail - Pass...
The 1951 version of The Thing was an interesting production for RKO.
Produced by Howard Hawks, shot by Russell Harlan, and with a score by Dimitri Tiomkin, it was a big deal.
James Arness, at 6'6", and not quite settling upon a screen name, played the alien creature. He would still...
H.C. Potter's 1947, The Farmer's Daughter is a quintessential Selznick production, released via RKO.
It's part of Kino Lorber's agreement with Disney to make available the Selznick productions, previously held by ABC, and is a nice step above some of the others in the series in terms of...
The concept worked.
Create a great, catchy title, and build a film around it.
And it probably worked for no one better than for Val Lewton, the king of the horror/thrillers at RKO from 1942 to 1946. A period during which he produced nine extraordinary low budget films, and left an indelible...
A few words about...™ Joan of Arc -- in Blu-ray
Victor Fleming's 1948 Technicolor Joan of Arc is an interesting film.
Produced with a very large budget, and with three superb cinematographers at the helm, it's a gorgeous film to look at.
As a production, it's big on process...
A few words about...™ While the City Sleeps -- in Blu-ray
At the end of his very long career, the great Fritz Lang, made a few noir films for RKO. To me, his last great film was The Big Heat, for Columbia, in 1953.
The two final American productions, both 1956, were While the...
Nicholas Ray's 1951, On Dangerous Ground, with Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Ward Bond and Ed Begley, is one of the little black & white miracles from the RKO library, now at Warner Bros.
Somehow, it has survived from the nitrate era, with both the original picture and track negatives intact, and...