Crawdaddy's "Random Thoughts" about Home Video, Film & TV

Mike Boone

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This morning I woke up in the mood for some Kirk Douglas movies. I chose two movies that were written by Dalton Trumbo. Both movies were on German Blu-rays that will soon have 2020 Blu-ray releases here in the States. Kino has already announced one for Blu-ray release in May and I suspect the second movie will also be released by Kino later on in 2020. Therefore, I think it was best I watched these two Blu-rays again in their entirety to see if its wise to double-dipped on either of these film titles.



The first Blu-ray this morning was "The Last Sunset" (1961) starring Rock Hudson, Kirk Douglas, Dorothy Malone, Joseph Cotton and Carol Lynley. This western was directed by Robert Aldrich. From what I can gather Douglas and Aldrich didn't get along during the filming of this movie. Aldrich called it an unpleasant experience. To me, it's a good western with a plot twist that I didn't see coming when I first watched this movie on TV some time in the mid-1960s. Frankly, I thought the plot twist was ahead of its time. The movie is about a gunfighter fleeing to Mexico from an American lawman that is after him for a personal reason. The gunfighter makes his way to a ranch in which his former lover is the wife of the alcoholic's ranch owner. The ranch owner is preparing too drive his cattle to Texas for market and needs some additional hands to help complete the cattle drive. Again, I think it's a good western and always thought the idea of the gunfighter having a derringer as his weapon of choice kind of cool, but kind of stupid for obvious reasons. The Blu-ray video presentation was decent, but if Kino releases this movie on Blu-ray with an audio commentary then I'll probably buy it again on Blu-ray disc.



My second Douglas/Trumbo movie this morning was "Lonely are the Brave" (1962) starring Kirk Douglas, Gena Rowlands and Walter Matthau. This modern western is about a cowboy born in the wrong era that is still fighting against modern society and its norms. I don't want to say much more about the film except it's basically a movie about a man and his horse living in (1962) New Mexico that really should be living in (1882) New Mexico. Douglas has stated this was a personal favorite of his and it's the same with me. Just a great film and one that every film buff should see at least once in their life. The movie has a great cast of other character actors in lesser, but still pivotal roles. The Blu-ray video presentation is really good, but like "The Last Sunset" if the upcoming Kino BD release in May has an audio commentary then I'll buy it again on Blu-ray. Hell, I even have this on HD digital that I bought on iTunes for $4.99 a couple of years ago. That's how much I really love this movie!

Robert, thank you for your post. Because I learned from it that "Lonely Are The Brave" is likely to have a Blu-ray release, this coming Spring, and I've been hoping for a BD release for a very long time. That movie is quite a fine film, and Kirk Douglas has long been a favorite actor of mine, but sadly, I also have a strong personal connection with "Lonely Are The Brave". In 2006, my daughter, and only child, Sarah, was living in Tucson, Arizona, about 2,000 miles away from where she grew up, here in Ohio. In 1999, Sarah had moved out to Arizona to live with her boyfriend there. And during trips made to Arizona, to visit my daughter, my wife & I, had accompanied Sarah to see places very similar to some of the locales shown in that Kirk Douglas film. But by early 2006, Sarah was a tortured, seriously bi-polar, young woman of 30, whose condition had previously brought her to try 4 suicide attempts, including me experiencing the aftermath of her 4th attempt, as I was at a Tucson hospital, in April 2001, finally seeing my severely injured daughter return to consciousness, on the 3rd day I was there. Don't want to draw this out too long to reach the point where Mr Douglas's film becomes relative to my personal situation, so I'll summarize things, somewhat, by saying that Sarah initially recovered from her 2001 incident, but then went on to experience almost 5 more years of a life that was a hard mixture of happiness that often alternated with emotional pain. So on the evening of Saturday Feb. 11th 2006, I received a phone call from my daughter's step brother, Marc, that Sarah had taken off in her car, earlier that day, and frequent calls to her cellphone were bringing no response. Marc told me on that Saturday evening that he'd immediately call me if Sarah was located. So all night, I couldn't sleep, and the TV was on, showing whatever films that TCM happened to be playing. Then finally, somewhere around 5 to 6 o'clock Sunday morning, after getting no news all night, from Marc, about the search for my daughter, I found myself staring, bleary eyed, at the scene in "Lonely Are The Brave", where Kirk Douglas is saying goodbye to Gena Rowlands. And at that moment, it just suddenly struck me that it was all over for Sarah, and that my daughter would not be returning to us this time. Then, about 7 or 8 hours later, around 1 PM Sunday, my wife and I were over at her sister's house, when my daughter's step dad, Dan, called from Tucson and said "Michael, they have found Sarah, and she is not living."

I'm sorry fellow HTF members, if I bummed anyone out, with my account of a personal landmark, which would hit some people as being morbid, since it associates "Lonely Are The Brave", in some small way, with an actual tragedy, from the reality we live.

But if & when, "Lonely Are The Brave", shows up on Blu-ray, I'm sure I'll buy it, and watch the film for the 3rd or 4th time, while thinking about Sarah, and remembering the last time the film's images fell on my eyes, on a February morning, back in 2006.
 

Robert Crawford

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Mill Creek releasing The Man From the Alamo/They Came to Cordura onto Blu-ray 05-12-20. Does anybody have a problem with both movies on the same disc? One movie is 79 minutes long while "The Came to Cordura" is 123 minutes. I'm definitely buying this BD release as "The Came to Cordura" is $12 on iTunes without a cheaper price drop since 2016. While "The Man From the Alamo" isn't even listed on iTunes. Of course, both are Sony titles so I checked Vudu with the same results except the "They Came to Cordura" HD digital is $13.99.

https://www.amazon.com/Alamo-Cordur...529011&rw_html_to_wsrp=1&s=movies-tv&sr=1-411
Amazon dropped the pricing to $11.99 for this double-feature release. Also, the same for "Hollywood Story/New Orleans Uncensored".

https://www.amazon.com/Hollywood-Or...ywood+story&qid=1582203103&s=movies-tv&sr=1-1
 

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Robert Crawford

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Man, Mike Clark sure has a thing against Anne Baxter and her sexual appeal which I vehemently disagree with him. I'm planning on watching both versions of "Cimarron" 1931 and 1960 in the near future. I'm going to try to watch both of them the same day as I have the HD digital of the former and the Blu-ray of the latter film.

https://www.mediaplaynews.com/cimarron-1960-review/
 
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atcolomb

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I like Anne Baxter and in my option she has plenty of sex appeal in The Magnificent Ambersons and The Ten Commandments.
 

Robert Crawford

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I like Anne Baxter and in my option she has plenty of sex appeal in The Magnificent Ambersons and The Ten Commandments.
Yeah, I don't know why Clark thinks Baxter isn't sexy, but I always thought she was sexy with a pretty face, nice body and speaking voice.
 
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Robert Crawford

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Walter Kittel

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I think the last time I watched Jungle Fever was on a Blockbuster VHS rental. It's been awhile. Thanks for the link to Mike Clark's review; he makes some good points about the film - especially the strength of the cast including a relatively unknown Samuel L. Jackson.

- Walter.
 

Robert Crawford

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I think the last time I watched Jungle Fever was on a Blockbuster VHS rental. It's been awhile. Thanks for the link to Mike Clark's review; he makes some good points about the film - especially the strength of the cast including a relatively unknown Samuel L. Jackson.

- Walter.
It was a great cast as Jackson and Berry really shined in that movie.

 

Robert Crawford

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Speaking of Dr. Kildare films, I'm in the mood for some Barbara Stanwyck. TBH, I'm always in the mood for Ms. Stanwyck.:)


Anyhow, I'm going to break out my Barbara Stanwyck DVD Boxset and watch the first film that had the Dr. Kildare character in it. "Internes Can't Take Money" (1937) starring Stanwyck, Joel McCrea as Dr. Kildare, Lloyd Nolan, Stanley Ridges and Lee Bowman. I've been meaning to watch this film for the longest time, but never got around to it. That changes in a few minutes. By the way, Stanwyck and McCrea had good film chemistry together in the films they did together.



More Miss Stanwyck on Blu-ray coming from Kino on May 12th:

Coming May 12th!

BARBARA STANWYCK COLLECTION
• Internes Can't Take Money (1937)
Audio Commentary by Film Historian Dr. Eloise Ross
Optional English Subtitles
Theatrical Trailer
• The Great Man's Lady (1942)
Audio Commentary by Film Historian Dr. Eloise Ross
Optional English Subtitles
Theatrical Trailer
• The Bride Wore Boots (1946)
Optional English Subtitles
Theatrical Trailer

 

Robert Crawford

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Last night I was in the mood for some Cagney so I watched my HD Digital of "Each Dawn I Die" (1939) starring Cagney, George Raft, Jean Bryan, George Bancroft and a host of other great character actors. It's been almost 14 years since I last viewed this movie when the DVD came out in 2006. I bought the HD Digital during one of iTunes Christmas sales in 2018, but haven't watched it until last night. I must say the video presentation looked good enough for a Blu-ray release. That was a well spent $4.99 as it's a major improvement over the DVD.

As to the movie, Cagney was excellent and channeled some of his acting skills he displayed in "Angels with Dirty Faces" and "White Heat" into this 1939 movie. Hell, even Raft gave one of his better acting performances which really isn't saying much considering his limited acting range. I think this is the only movie, both, Cagney and Raft were in together as lead actors. I'm pretty sure they appear in a couple of other movies together beforehand, but not as major stars like in this movie. "Each Dawn I Die" storyline is about a hot shot reporter that uncovered graft by local politicians and is thus, set up by those politicians for a rigged murder charge and is sent to state prison for a long prison term. There he meets a life long criminal portrayed by Raft and they become pals until Raft escapes from authorities during a court sequence. Anyhow, the movie from there on out is about Raft finding evidence that could clear Cagney. The premise of the movie is ridiculous, but it's highly entertaining to me. The prison scenes have its share of brutality. Also, a lot of action during a prison break sequence which always excited me to see on screen. I watched this movie more than a few times growing up, as it was on TV in the NYC Metro area quite a bit back in the day. Again, the movie has many plot points that are not steep in reality, but it's a good movie with some fine acting performances.
 

Robert Crawford

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Yes, I missed it very much so. Today, I'm watching "Two of a Kind" (1951) starring Edmond O'Brien, Lizabeth Scott, Terry Moore and Alexander Knox. Have to start getting in my weekend mood for such movies.;)
 

Robert Crawford

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After watching "Two of a Kind" for the first time, I have to agree with Eddie about it. I found the movie entertaining and amusing at 75 minutes. It didn't play out like I thought it would, but it was nice watching Lizabeth Scott and Terry Moore especially in bathing suits. Trying to con an old couple out of their money, tsk, tsk.:)

The 2010 DVD is part of the "Bad Girls of Film Noir" Volume One. The video presentation was pretty good for a ten year old DVD.
 

Robert Crawford

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On the TCM app I watched "The Talk of the Town" (1942) starring Gary Grant, Jean Arthur and Ronald Coleman. It's been a good while since I last watched this highly thought of film directed by George Stevens. Every time I see a Jean Arthur movie, I wish she didn't retired from movie acting after "Shane". I know she had an issue of stage fright throughout her acting career and probably didn't want to play "old lady" roles. Such a delightful actress! Did anybody have a smoother speaking voice than Ronald Colman? Cary Grant was Cary Grant in this movie. I never considered "The Talk of the Town" among my favorite comedies because I thought the romantic angle was kind of disjointed to me. I know they played around with the ending and had test audiences decide which of the male leads, Arthur's character ends up with. Anyway, I always liked the film a lot, but the subject matter of the film never jived with me as the theme behind this comedy. Yet, I absolutely love "His Girl Friday" and that film's subject matter isn't any bed of roses for a comedy either. Go figure!:)



Another TCM app viewing was "Sons and Lovers" (1960) starring Trevor Howard, Dean Stockwell, Wendy Heller and Mary Ure. Talk about a movie that I haven't seen in a good number of years. Damn, it's a depressing movie about a artistic talented young man coming of age, but not knowing how to totally love a woman due to his own upbringing and family relationships along with those of the women he attempted to love. Some great acting performances and terrific black and white cinematography. It's a fine movie, but man, it's a sad movie about unhappy people.
 

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I used to watch the Stevens film on TV quite often as a child in PR. Needless to say, it was because I absolutely loved Jean Arthur. I had to wait till I moved to NYC in '71 in order to catch up with Sons and Lovers. Fortunately my first viewing was a 'Scope print so I was able to appreciate the visuals and the acting. Plus, being older, I could also understand the subject matter, something I would have had trouble with as a child.
 

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I reviewed the Fox DVD-R release of Sons and Lovers a couple of years ago. It's a fine film, but, as you said, depressing.
 

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