Manufacturer: Warner Home Video
Good Earth, The (DVD)First came marriage, an arranged union of peasant farmer Wang Lung (Paul Muni) and kitchen slave O-Lan (Luise Rainer). Then, through poverty and wealth, family and betrayal, and war and pestilence, came love. From Pearl S. Buck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Good Earth combines Wang and O-Lan's story with a sweeping saga of China in upheaval. Muni and Rainer had both won 1936 Academy AwardsÂ®*, and Rainer repeated here with another Best Actress OscarÂ®*. The film also won for Best Cinematography â€“ with camerawork most powerfully on display in the astonishing locust-plague sequence. Producer Irving Thalberg, known for combining literary prestige with commercial success, died during the production, and the film is dedicated to him.]]> MGM's status as the "class" studio was fully engaged when production chief Irving Thalberg took on this expensive, serious adaptation of Pearl Buck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. A smooth entertainment with a stiff portion of this-is-good-for-you seriousness, The Good Earth epitomizes Thalberg's idea of Art, which was also the prevailing idea of the period he dominated in Hollywood. The story follows Wang Lung (Paul Muni), a humble farmer, who makes an arranged marriage to a slave, O-Lan (Luise Rainer). The couple's great struggle is to procure--and then, against withering odds, keep--a piece of land, ownership of which makes the difference between self-determination and near-slavery. The film's physical production is truly eye-filling, with location shooting in China providing exterior shots and backdrops (and blending seamlessly with the footage shot in the U.S.). No wonder the great cinematographer Karl Freund won an Oscar for the photography, which includes an awesomely staged locust plague. Also copping an Oscar was Luise Rainer for best actress--her second consecutive award, after The Great Ziegfeld. Rainer's underplayed portrait of self-effacing stoicism is a contrast to Muni's broader performance, although in some odd way he's exactly ri...
The Mel Brooks Collection (Blazing Saddles / Young Frankenstein / Silent Movie / Robin Hood: Men in Tights / To Be or Not to Be / History of the World, Part 1 / The Twelve Chairs / High Anxiety)
Manufacturer: 20th Century Fox
INCLUDES: SILENT MOVIE, ROBIN HOOD-MEN IN TIGHTS, BLAZING SADDLES, HIGH ANXIETY, HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART 1, TO BE OR NOT TO BE, TWELVE CHAIRS, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. There are plenty of belly laughs in The Mel Brooks Collection, an eight-disc set of most of the director-writer-actor's best-known films. Four of them--Silent Movie, High Anxiety, To Be or Not to Be, and Robin Hood: Men with Tights--are making their debut on DVD, while a fifth, The Twelve Chairs, was briefly available as a non-anamorphic DVD from Image Entertainment (all the DVDs in this set are anamorphically enhanced for widescreen TVs). That means you can sample a 23-year stretch of Brooks's outrageous and affectionate spoofing of everything from movies to popular legends to movies to historical figures to, hey! more movies. The earliest film, The Twelve Chairs (1970), is the least known, but is one of the funniest, helped greatly by a good story (adapted from a 1920s Russian tale) and the casting of Ron Moody and Frank Langella as treasure hunters. Young Frankenstein and Blazing Saddles followed in 1974. The former, a spoof of horror films, is easily one of the top two or three funniest movies of all time, and the latter is justly famous for its often-tasteless send-up of Western cliches. Silent Movie (1976) is just what the title describes, with its only word of dialogue spoken from the least-likely source, and High Anxiety (1977) pays tribute to the work of Alfred Hitchcock. History of the World, Part 1 (1981) mocks historical events and epics, and To Be or Not to Be (1983) is a remake of Ernst Lubitsch's 1942 classic of the same name (it's also the only film in the set for which Brooks didn't receive writing and directing credit). By this time, Brooks was more actively taking the leading roles himself (rather than the bit parts), and unfortunately relying less on his topnotch ensemble of recurring players, which included Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Harvey Korman, and Dom DeLuise. But he does use a new ensemble (including Cary ...
Manufacturer: 20th Century Fox
Brand: 20 Century Fox
This visual and musical masterpiece features Yul Brynner's Academy Award(r) winning performance, an inforgettable Rodgers and Hammerstein(r) score, and brilliant choreography by Jerome Robbins. It tells the true story of an Englishwoman, Anna Leonowens (Deborah Kerr), who comes o Siam as schoolteacher to the royal court in the 1860's. Though she soon finds herself at odds with the stubborn monarch (Brynner), over time, Anna and the King stop trying to change each other and begin to understand one another.
The Rodgers & Hammerstein Collection (The Sound of Music / The King and I / Oklahoma! / South Pacific / State Fair / Carousel)
Manufacturer: 20th Century Fox
Brand: 20TH Century Fox
Disc 1: Carousel Special Edition Disc 2: Carousel Special Edition-Bonus Disc Disc 3: King and I Special Edition Disc 4: King and I Special Edition-Bonus Disc Disc 5: South Pacific Special Edition Disc 6: South Pacific Special Edition-Bonus Disc Disc 7: Sound of Music Special Edition Disc 8: Sound of Music Special Edition-Bonus Disc Disc 9: State Fair Special Edition Disc 10: State Fair Special Edition-Bonus Disc Disc 11: Oklahoma Special Edition Disc 12: Oklahoma Special Edition-Bonus Disc The Rodgers & Hammerstein Collection contains film versions of the five major works by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, who helped define the American musical landscape and rewrite the direction of musical theater. After enjoying extremely successful careers working with others, Rodgers and Hammerstein first teamed up in 1943 for the prairie tale Oklahoma!, with songs including "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" and "People Will Say We're in Love." The subsequent 1955 film starred Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones, who teamed up again for 1956's Carousel. While that film's dark nature made it less popular than its predecessor, the score ("If I Loved You," "You'll Never Walk Alone") was Rodgers's favorite. The King and I (also 1956) featured stage star Yul Brynner as the King of Siam and Deborah Kerr as schoolteacher Anna Leonowens, who must learn Asian customs even as she tries to instill some of her Western ones. The somewhat bloated version of South Pacific (1958) follows two couples during World War II and features standards such as "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair" and "Some Enchanted Evening" from stars Mitzi Gaynor and Rossano Brazzi. The last film, The Sound of Music (1965), proved to be the most popular, with Julie Andrews winning the hearts of seven children and their father with her blissful songs. And if the perhaps saccharine music and plot may test the patience of some, there's no doubt that songs such as "My Favorite Things" and "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" have charmed audiences around the world for deca...
Frankie & Annette MGM Movie Legends Collection (Beach Blanket Bingo / How to Stuff a Wild Bikini / Beach Party / Bikini Beach / Fireball 500 / Thunder Alley / Muscle Beach Party / Ski Party)
Manufacturer: 20th Century Fox
Brand: 20TH Century Fox
Disc 1 Side A: Beach Blanket Bingo Disc 1 Side B: How To Stuff a Wild Bikini Disc 2 Side A: Beach Party Disc 2 Side B: Bikini Beach Disc 3 Side A: Fireball 500 Disc 3 Side B: Thunder Alley Disc 4 Side A: Muscle Beach Party Disc 4 Side B: Ski Party The sun will never set on Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, The recording star from Philadelphia and the former Mouseketeer give a master class in chemistry in five Beach Party films that make up the bulk of this swinging eight-film box set. Beach Party (1963) helped to usher in a new wave of teen exploitation films that were far more fun and frolicsome than the rock and roll and juvenile delinquent films that preceded it. Frankie rents a beach house for himself and Annette's Dolores. He is stunned to learn that she has gotten cold feet and allowed the whole gang to hang out there. So Frankie decides to "dig somebody else," and Delores takes up with Robert Cummings, an anthropologist studying the sex lives of teens. All ends happily, and chastely. Harvey Lembeck, whose credits include Billy Wilder's Stalag 17, introduced his recurring series role as bumbling biker Eric Von Zipper. Surf guitar god Dick Dale provides accompaniment. Vincent Price pops up as Big Daddy to say, "Bring me my pendulum, kiddies. I feel like swinging." Beach Blanket Bingo (1965) is the magnum Party opus as Frankie goes sky-diving, Bonehead (Jody McCrea) falls in love with a mermaid, Linda Evans sings, Paul Lynde is snide, Don Rickles insults, and Frankie and Annette sing their classic, "I Think, You Think." Bikini Beach (1964) takes a swipe at the upstart Beatles with Frankie in a dual role as British pop star Potato Bug. Muscle Beach Party (1964) was Stevie Wonder's first film, and Peter Lorre's last. How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965) marks the end of an era, with Frankie, off in the Naval Reserves, getting help from witch doctor Buster Keaton in keeping interloper Dwayne Hickman away from Annette. Annette's absence is keenly felt in Ski Party, but James Brown performs, "I Feel Good" and...
Susan Hayward, Thelma Ritter. Badly injured in a plane crash, a singer tries to make a comeback-and to sort out her romantic troubles-in this compelling drama based on the life of Jane Froman. 1952/color/117 min/NR/fullscreen. From radio star to wartime inspiration, the life of singer Jane Froman (the incomparable Susan Hayward) was made for the silver screen. The opening titles proclaim it "The story of a girl and the story of a voice. The girl is Jane Froman, the voice is her own" (Froman provided Hayward's vocals). Born in Missouri, the contralto finds fame in Cincinnati before conquering Chicago, New York--and songwriter Don Ross (David Wayne), her first husband. When her plane crashes en route to a USO engagement, Froman risks losing her legs, and fears she'll never perform again. In the hospital, she bonds with Pilot John Burn (Rory Calhoun) and wise-cracking nurse Clancy (All About Eve's Thelma Ritter). In the process, she falls for Burn and returns to the stage. With a Song in My Heart follows the basic biopic template--rise, fall, and resurrection--but Technicolor maestro Walter Lang (The King and I) throws in a few surprises, like narration by the supporting cast and an appearance by a handsome young Robert Wagner as a shell-shocked paratrooper. He also showcases an array of glittering gowns and a myriad of musical numbers, including Rodgers and Hart's stirring title track. Two featurettes and an interview with Burn reveal that Froman's life was even more difficult than that of her fictional counterpart. Though she marks an exception among Hayward's edgy on-screen personas--notably her Academy Award-winning convict in I Want to Live!--the auburn-haired actress invests the vocalist with innate decency and persuasive talent. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Disc 1 (96 minutes) -HELP! Theatrical Movie -Digitally restored and newly created 5.1 soundtrack. Disc 2 (57 minutes) The Beatles in Help! 30 minute documentary about the making of the film with Richard Lester, the cast and crew. Includes exclusive behind the scenes footage of The Beatles on set. - A Missing Scene Featuring Wendy Richard - The Restoration of Help! An in depth look at the restoration process - Memories of Help! The cast and crew reminisce - Theatrical Trailers 2 US trailers and 1 Spanish trailer - 1965 US Radio Spots - Hidden in disc menus
Manufacturer: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Brand: Columbia Tri Star
No experience quite matches the thrill of a live Broadway spectacular seen up close and in person. Now, this stunning performance shot in High Definition puts you in the front row as the smash hit RENT brings down the curtain on its history-making, 12-year run! You've never had seats this great...never seen and heard each character so intimately...never shared every emotion in such a personal way! After winning four Tony AwardsÂ® and the Pulitzer Prize, Jonathan Larson's powerhouse musical tour de force entered the record books as the 7th-longest-running show in all Broadway history. In this unforgettable theatrical experience - made possible by special arrangement with the Broadway producers and Actors Equity Association - take an intimate journey through a single year in the lives of a small circle of friends and artists living their dreams, battling their demons and celebrating life on the streets of New York City's East Village. Meet would-be filmmaker Mark, sweet transvestite Angel For passionate fans of Rent--the popular Broadway rock musical that updated La Boheme with electric guitars, steel drums, strippers, and drag queens--Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway is a must-have.Written and composed by Jonathan Larson (who died suddenly of an aortic aneurysm just before the show premiered), Rent follows an absurdly clean-cut gaggle of hipster artists who, after having been squatting in a run-down building for a year, are now being told they have to pay that rent by the building's owner, a former friend. At least, that's the plot point that launches everything; really, the musical is about modern romance, grappling with AIDS, and celebrating the creative spirit. This film documents the last performance of the Broadway production, which ran for 12 years. Though the aggressive camera moves and sometimes frenetic editing seem intended to make the film feel less stagebound, this Rent first and foremost captures the stage experience. The production's raw set and self-conscious theatricality (which highfalutin' theater...
Manufacturer: NEW VIDEO GROUP
Brand: CINEDIGM - UNI DIST CORP
This EmmyÂ®-winning phenomenon, a hilarious scifi musical starring Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother), comes to Blu-Ray packed with over 90 minutes of bonus material. Conceived as an "online miniseries event" during the 2008 writers' strike, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is a 42-minute musical romp that bears the distinctive stamp of Joss Whedon. Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) plays the title character, who video-blogs about his twin goals to join the Evil League of Evil and to woo the fair Penny (Felicia Day, of Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Web series The Guild), a woman he met at the local laundromat. Dr. Horrible is foiled on both fronts, however, by his arch-nemesis, the self-absorbed superhero Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion, Whedon's Firefly).Dr. Horrible was written by Whedon, his brothers Zack and Jed, and Jed's fiancee Maurissa Tancharoen, and the songs were written by Joss and Jed (who also produced, orchestrated, played, etc.) with some lyrics by Tancharoen. (Jed and Tancharoen have backup singing roles.) The offbeat, off-the-cuff humor is laugh-out-loud funny, and just like Dr. Horrible wants to take over the world, the songs will take over your head: they're engaging ("My Freeze Ray"), stirring ("My Eyes"), and sweet ("Penny's Song"). "So They Say" is particularly evocative of Jonathan Larson's Rent, but as with Joss Whedon's musical episode of Buffy, "Once More with Feeling," the influences are diverse. It's hard to imagine a better cast. Harris, who's sung Sondheim on Broadway, is a great lead and clearly the best singer, Day is completely charming, and who better than Captain Tightpants to play the pompous superhero? One could argue about the ending, and the independent budget shows, but Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is a complete hoot for people who enjoy musicals with quirky humor. Plan on watching it multiple times. --David Horiuchi On the Blu-ray discEven if you've already watched or downloaded Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, a number of bonus features mig...