by Bryan Theiss
Our primary mission at Scarecrow has always been to connect people with as many films as possible. But of course when people come to us looking for a particular film, they’d also like to get the best version available. With that in mind, we’ve been making an effort to beef up our catalog of blu-ray re-issues that we may have had to skip due to tight budgets. When we went into this temporary lockdown mode, we had just received a large batch of titles from the world class Twilight Time, Kino and Cohen Media labels, and were on the verge of expanding our NEW BLU-RAY section to showcase them. Things being what they are, we’ve decided to make them available through rental by mail.
More than half of them will end up in our DIRECTORS section. These include Bertrand Blier’s Get Out Your Handkerchiefs, George Cukor’s Let’s Make Love (starring Marilyn Monroe), Julien Duvivier’s Diabolically Yours (starring Alain Delon), Terence Fisher’s Sword of Sherwood Forest (with Peter Cushing as the Sheriff of Nottingham!), Sam Fuller’s Hell and High Water, John Huston’s horror thriller Phobia, James Ivory’s The Bostonians and Quartet, Phil Karlson’s Elvis Presley (and Charles Bronson!) boxing movie Kid Galahad, Henry King’s Captain from Castile and Untamed, Fritz Lang’s Henry Fonda western The Return of Frank James, Joseph Losey’s Galileo, Anthony Mann’s He Walked By Night (the police procedural that led to co-star Jack Webb creating Dragnet), Nicholas Ray’s The True Story of Jesse James, Tony Richardson’s A Delicate Balance (starring Katharine Hepburn), Oliver Stone’s Talk Radio, Bertrand Tavernier’s A Sunday in the Country, Raoul Walsh’s The Tall Men (starring Clark Gable, Jane Russell and Robert Ryan), William Wyler’s The Good Fairy, and Frederick Zinnemann’s Behold a Pale Horse.
We’ve also got Curtis Hanson’s 1987 suspense thriller The Bedroom Window, Camille Claudel, Desert Fury (the 1947 film noir that Eddie Muller called “The gayest movie ever produced in Hollywood’s golden era”), the weird Andy Kaufman robot movie Heartbeeps, the Robert DeNiro/Bill Murray/Uma Thurman mob comedy Mad Dog and Glory, the notorious 1966 Hollywood-behind-the-scenes drama The Oscar (regarded by many as a camp classic), the Hope & Crosby favorite Road to Morocco, and the Robert Aldrich produced What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice?.
Also included in this batch are a few recent films from overseas: Girls of The Sun and My Son from France, Britt-Marie Was Here from Sweden, and the 2018 adaptation of Henry James’ The Aspern Papers starring Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Joely Richardson and Vanessa Redgrave. And we’ve got Shoah: Four Sisters, the last work of director Claude Lanzmann. It focuses on four Holocaust survivors from different parts of Eastern Europe, using interviews conducted in the ‘70s but not used in Lanzmann’s 1985 masterwork Shoah.
Personally, I’m most excited about Barbarella-director Roger Vadim’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses. Jeanne Moreau stars as Juliette Valmont in this cool 1959 modernization of the story we know as Dangerous Liaisons (or maybe Cruel Intentions). It’s always been a favorite of mine to play in-store because of the great soundtrack by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers featuring Thelonious Monk. And this includes an isolated music track! I’m also glad we got to bring in four Spike Lee classics: Clockers, Crooklyn, Jungle Fever and Mo’ Better Blues. His films are always beautiful to look at, yet many of them have been relegated to out-of-date DVD transfers.
Keep an eye out for more blu-ray upgrades in the near future, including some great special editions from Scream Factory. We’ll also get back to adding weekly new releases of recent films.
Here’s the complete alphabetical list of the titles we put out this week (all blu-ray):
10 NORTH FREDERICK (1958)
ADMIRABLE CRICHTON (1957)
ASPERN PAPERS (2018)
BEDROOM WINDOW (1987)
BEHOLD A PALE HORSE (1964)
BOSTONIANS, THE (1984)
BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE (2019)
CAMILLE CLAUDEL (1988)
CAPTAIN FROM CASTILE (1947)
DELICATE BALANCE (1973)
DESERT FURY (1947)
DIABOLICALLY YOURS (1967)
GET OUT YOUR HANDKERCHIEFS (1978)
GIRLS OF THE SUN (2018)
GOOD FAIRY (1935)
HE WALKED BY NIGHT (1948)(SPECIAL EDITION)
HELL AND HIGH WATER (1954)
HUSBANDS & WIVES (1992)
IT ALWAYS RAINS ON SUNDAY (1948)
JUNGLE FEVER (1991)
KID GALAHAD (1962)
LET’S MAKE LOVE (1960)
LIAISONS DANGEREUSES (1959)
MAD DOG AND GLORY (1993)
MO’ BETTER BLUES (1990)
MY SON (2017)
OSCAR, THE (1966)
RETURN OF FRANK JAMES (1940)
RETURN OF MARTIN GUERRE (1982)(DIRECTOR’S CUT)
ROAD TO MOROCCO (1942)
SHOAH: FOUR SISTERS (2018)(2 DISKS)
SUNDAY IN THE COUNTRY (1984)
SWORD OF SHERWOOD FOREST (1960)
TALK RADIO (1988)
TALL MEN (1955)
TRUE STORY OF JESSE JAMES (1957)
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO AUNT ALICE?