New Releases for June 26!

by Bryan Theiss

As part of our continuing project to fill in our library of high-def reissues we’ve gotten in a new batch of blu-rays from Twilight Time (whose releases are limited to 3,000 copies) and Kino-Lorber. Here’s what we put out today, all of which is available via rent-by-mail, or from our pickup window:

ADVENTURES OF HAJJI BABA (1954)

“A charming piece of exotica about a Persian barber (John Derek) unexpectedly landed with the mission to escort a princess (Elaine Stewart) to her wedding. Of course, the beautiful pair spars and ultimately falls in love, but not before some mad adventures involving bandits and Amazons and suggested debauchery.” Includes isolated music and effects track (score by Dimitri Tiomkin).

(Blu-Ray)

BANDOLERO! (1968)

Jimmy Stewart and Dean Martin are headed for the border with Raquel Welch hostage, Sheriff George Kennedy on their tail and a gang of bandits trying to kill them. You know how it is. Includes isolated music track (score by Jerry Goldsmith) and commentary by film historians Tony Latino, Lee Pfeiffer, and Paul Scrabo.

(Blu-Ray)

BENEATH THE 12-MILE REEF (1953)

“One of the earliest CinemaScope™ pictures, Beneath the 12-Mile Reef (1953) takes us deep into the crystal-clear, perilous waters off the Florida coast, where two rival sponge-diving families produce a boy (Robert Wagner) and a girl (Terry Moore) who of course fall for each other, hard.” Includes isolated music track (score by Bernard Herrmann) and featurette Robert Wagner: Hollywood’s Prince Charming.

(Blu-Ray)

BLUE DENIM (1959)

1950s “issues movie” about teen pregnancy. With isolated music track (score by Bernard Herrmann).

(Blu-Ray)

CEASE FIRE (1953)

Here’s an interesting one for customers with a 3D Blu-Ray set up: “Cease Fire! is the rare production to employ the stereoscopic process to heighten reality, emphasizing the brutality of combat, the vastness of a cold, unfamiliar terrain and the isolation felt by a patrol of valiant fighting men. Part documentary, part drama and part cinéma vérité, Cease Fire! still remains a unique and remarkable achievement in filmmaking.”

(3D Blu-Ray)

THE CHAIRMAN (1969)

In this thriller, Gregory Peck plays a scientist undercover in communist China with an explosive implant that will be detonated if he fails his mission to steal an agricultural enzyme formula. This was Peck’s last collaboration with director J. Lee Thompson, following The Guns of Navarone, Cape Fear and Mackenna’s Gold. Includes isolated music track (score by Jerry Goldsmith), audio commentary with film historians Eddy Friedfeld and Lee Pfeiffer, and two alternate scenes from the international version.

(Blu-Ray)

DAY OF THE DOLPHIN (1973)

George C. Scott plays a scientist who has been training two dolphins to understand English – then spies release his dolphins to use in an assassination. That is not an ethical use of super-dolphins! Brand new 4K restoration of the cult classic by director Mike Nichols (The Graduate) includes new commentary by film historians Howard S. Berger and Nathaniel Thompson, interviews with screenwriter Buck Henry and actors Leslie Charleson and Edward Herrmann, and more.

(Blu-Ray)

THE GENERAL DIED AT DAWN (1936)

“Action-packed film noir” starring Gary Cooper and Madeline Carroll “battling overwhelming odds in a deadly struggle against tyranny,” fighting a warlord planning to take over the northern provinces of China. Directed by Lewis Milestone (Ocean’s 11). Brand new 4K master with audio commentary by author/film historian Lee Gambin and actress/film historian Rutanya Alda.

(Blu-Ray)

GENGHIS KHAN (1965)

Omar Sharif plays the titular Great Khan and Emperor of the Mongol Empire in an adventure epic co-starring James Mason, Stephen Boyd, Eli Wallach and Telly Savalas. From the director of Journey to the Center of the Earth. Includes isolated music and effects track (score by Dušan Radić).

(Blu-Ray)

THE GUN RUNNERS (1958)

Audie Murphy stars as a Florida boat captain mixed up in some trouble after renting his boat to a gun-smuggler selling to Cuban revolutionaries in director Don Siegel (Dirty Harry)’s adventure thriller adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not.

(Blu-Ray)

HILDA CRANE (1956)

Jean Simmons plays a divorcee who moves from New York City back to her small home town, where her love life causes a stir. Includes isolated music track (score by David Raksin) and the featurette Jean Simmons: Picture Perfect.

(Blu-Ray)

HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING (1967)

Robert Morse goes from window washer to CEO in the classic musical with songs by Nelson Riddle (Pal Joey), form the director of The Parent Trap.

(Blu-Ray)

IT’S THE OLD ARMY GAME (1926)

W.C. Fields plays a druggist who just can’t get any sleep. Based on his own play, it’s Fields’ fourth film, but the first he had control over. Mastered in 2K from 35mm film elements preserved by The Library of Congress, with commentary by James L. Neibaur, author of The W.C. Fields Films, and a new score by Ben Model.

(Blu-Ray)

MORITURI (1965)

Marlon Brando is a German deserter and Yul Brynner is the captain of a blockade-running freighter in this suspenseful WWII thriller. Includes isolated music track (score by Jerry Goldsmith).

(Blu-Ray)

MOTHER WORE TIGHTS (1947)

Betty Grable and Dan Dailey teamed for the first time in this “effervescent vaudeville family showbiz saga that boasts, in the best nostalgic Fox musical tradition, pitch-perfect Technicolor®-tailored production finery and an expertly curated menu of beloved popular songs.” Includes Mother Wore Tights radio program.

(Blu-Ray)

OKLAHOMA CRUDE (1973)

Faye Dunaway protects her oil-rich land from a businessman with the help of a loutish hired gun (George C. Scott). Directed by Stanley Kramer (The Defiant Ones, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World).

(Blu-Ray)

THE OTHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT (1977)

Melodrama based on a Sidney Sheldon book about the tempestuous lives of a French woman and American-Canadian pilot after a torrid love affair on the eve of WWII. Music by Michel Legrand.

(Blu-Ray)

PIN UP GIRL (1944)

Betty Grable stars in “A loosely assembled but consistently bubbly diversion about a yarn-spinning USO hostess playing a dizzying game of dual identities with potential soldier beaus while passing through New York.” Includes audio commentary with film critic Richard Schickel and deleted musical number “This Is It.”

(Blu-Ray)

PIRATES OF BLOOD RIVER (1962)

Christopher Lee and Oliver Reed star in a pirate movie from Hammer Studios! Includes isolated music and effects track and audio commentary with writer Jimmy Sangster, art director Don Mingaye and film historian Marcus Hearn.

(Blu-Ray)

THE PRESIDENT’S LADY (1953)

“Deft blend of frontier adventure and affecting romance” with Charlton Heston as President Andrew Jackson and Susan Hayward playing his love. Includes isolated music track (score by Alfred Newman) and vintage The President’s Lady radio show.

(Blu-Ray)

RUNNING WILD (1927)

W.C. Fields plays a meek, put-upon accountant who turns things around after being hypnotized to believe he’s a lion. Directed by Gregory La Cava (My Man Godfrey). Mastered in 2K from 35mm film elements preserved by The Library of Congress, with audio commentary by author James L. Neibaur and new score by Donald Sosin.

(Blu-Ray)

SHE (1984)

Sandahl Bergman – girlfriend in Conan the Barbarian, villainess in Red Sonja – gets to play the warrior queen protagonist in this post-apocalyptic fantasy quest based on the novel by H. Rider Haggard. Includes new interview with writer/director Avi Nesher.

(Blu-Ray)

THE SHEIK (1921)

Rudolph Valentino stars in one of his most iconic roles – “The Sheik plays upon a long tradition of Orientalism in Western art, which romanticized the sands of Northern Africa as a hotbed of seduction and captivity.” With organ score by Ben Model, archival footage taken at Valentino’s funeral, and audio commentary by Gaylyn Studlar, co-editor of Visions of the East: Orientalism in Film.

(Blu-Ray)

SNAKE IN THE EAGLE’S SHADOW / DRUNKEN MASTER

Double feature of early Jackie Chan classics, both from 1978, that developed his comedy/kung fu style and broke him through to super-stardom in Hong Kong. Both include isolated music and effects tracks; Drunken Master includes commentary with film historians Ric Meyers and Jeff Yang.

(Blu-Ray)

SNAKE PIT (1948)

Olivia de Havilland stars as a woman who is institutionalized after a mental breakdown. “A plea for understanding, a critique of contemporary conditions and treatments, and a superb melodrama, this is a film that both horrifies and touches.” Includes isolated music track (score by Alfred Newman), audio commentary with film historian Aubrey Solomon, Fox Movietone Newsreels, and two vintage radio shows.

(Blu-Ray)

STAGECOACH (1966)

Ann-Margret, Red Buttons, Bing Crosby and Slim Pickens are among the cast of this western remake. With isolated music track (score by Jerry Goldsmith) and commentary with film historians Lee Pfeiffer and Paul Scrabo.

(Blu-Ray)

THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN (1954)

Dorothy McGuire, Jean Peters and Maggie McNamara play “working women in glamorous 1950s Rome, all pursuing romance by means fair or foul.” Includes isolated music track (score by Victor Young), audio commentary with film historian Jeanine Basinger, and a Fox Movietone Newsreel.

(Blu-Ray)

TOM SAWYER (1973) / HUCKLEBERRY FINN (1974)

The Sherman Brothers, who wrote the songs for Mary Poppins and many other Disney classics, wrote both of these Mark Twain musical adaptations, with casts including Warren Oates, Jodie Foster and Paul Winfield. Special features include isolated music tracks, commentaries with the Sherman Brothers and others, and a Tom Sawyer rehearsal with John Williams and the Sherman Brothers.

(Blu-Ray)

WILD IN THE COUNTRY (1961)

A supportive psychiatrist (Hope Lange) helps a talented young troublemaker (Elvis Presley!) become a writer in this melodrama from acclaimed writer Clifford Odets (The Sweet Smell of Success). Also starring Tuesday Weld and Millie Perkins. Includes isolated music track.

(Blu-Ray)

XY & ZEE (1972)

“Edna O’Brien adapted her own novel for X, Y and Zee, a campy soap opera starring Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Caine, and Susannah York as the three points of a triangle that has very little to do with love.” Includes isolated music track (score by Stanley Myers).

(Blu-Ray)

ZAZA (1923)

Gloria Swanson “engages in two knock-down drag-out cat fights, frisks through playful love scenes, writhes in a hospital bed, nurses a broken heart, and evolves into a soberly dignified woman” in this silent romance from director Allan Dwan (The Three Musketeers, Sands of Iwo Jima). Includes piano score by Jeff Rapsis, adapted from the original 1923 cue sheet, and audio commentary by Frederic Lombardi, author of Allan Dwan and the Rise and Decline of the Hollywood Studios.

(Blu-Ray)

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