I can’t believe I have been doing a movie quote a day for three years now! So much has happened in those three years. When I started this feature, I was living in the back of my parents’s house with a bunch of cats and a dinky television where I watched TCM 16 hours a day (I still have that television; it’s been with me since the year 2000!). Last year I was living in San Francisco, where I was for two years working towards my M.F.A. in film production at the Academy of Art University (I still have a semester left) and now I am living in North Hollywood and I work for the Warner Archive Collection. It’s amazing the amount of change three years can hold. I hope y’all have enjoyed this feature as much as I have enjoyed posting it! You can see all 1086 quotes here on this handy dandy page I made for the feature. Under the cut are all the quotes from the last year. Enjoy!
At this point y’all should be pretty well-versed in Pre-Code Hollywood and all its glory. The Warner Archive is at it again, releasing Vol. 7 of the ever-popular Forbidden Hollywood series. This set features film that, while not the “best” films of the era, feature some of the most salacious scenarios that Hollywood had to offer at the time. These are the kind of morally “loose” films that caused the Catholic church to call the industry indecent. They’re also more sexually charged than most current Hollywood films. The films included in this set are: William A. Wellman’s The Hatchet Man, Edgar Selwyn’s Skyscraper Souls, Roy Del Ruth’s Employees’ Entrance and Robert Florey’s Ex-Lady.
The Forbidden Hollywood collections have been bringing us some of the greatest pre-code films to DVD for the first time for almost a decade. Originally released through the TCM Vault Collection, the last few editions have come from the Warner Archive Collection. Vol. 6 has been out for a few weeks now, but I was finally able to sit down and watch the four films included: The Wet Parade, Downstairs, Mandalay and Massacre. It’s a pretty great collection – all of films I hadn’t heard of before. Vol. 7 will be coming out shortly (and I will hopefully report on that collection as well). After the cut, I’ll briefly discuss the four films that are included in this excellent manufactured on demand set.
The Warner Archive recently released a triple feature – all on one disc – of some rare Boris Karloff films from the 1930s. While these may not be the greatest films, they are definitely must-haves for Karloff enthusiasts and are interesting in that they feature Karloff in non-horror films. The set includes two films directed by John Farrow: West of Shanghai (1937) and The Invisible Menace (1938), as well as William Clemens’s Devil’s Island (1939).
I was pretty happy with last year’s Holiday Gift Guide, so I thought I’d do it again this year. This year gifts range from $5 books to $250 dollar box sets. I’ve scoured Amazon for the best box sets, as well as added some films and books that have made my year pretty great. I think there’s a little something for everyone here. Treat yourself. Treat the movie lover in your life. Treat your favorite film blogger. Everything you need can be found in this handy, dandy guide. I upped this year’s list from 15 to 20 items because there were just so many great new Blu and box set releases this year!
The Warner Archive recently released a newly remastered DVD of the six-time Oscar nominated 1953 film Lili starring Leslie Caron and Mel Ferrer. This is a film I had been meaning to watch for years and I am so glad I finally got to see it. It’s a simple film and a sweet one, yet somehow it is never saccharine. It’s almost like a children’s book come to life, except that there are a few scenes – especially at the beginning – that are quite dark. I think this is a film that could have fallen into an overly melodramatic trap, but Walters tackles the subject with such a light touch, the result is nothing short of magical.
When I saw that the Warner Archive was releasing Red Dust on DVD – and newly resmastered to boot – I literally shouted with joy (you can ask my roommate about that). This is my second favorite Harlow film (narrowly behind Personal Property). It has never been on DVD before and when the Warner Archive released the Harlow collection last year, I was pretty bummed that Victor Fleming’s pre-code masterpiece wasn’t part of it. Now we can all rejoice and our Harlow collections are almost complete (so many of her films on DVD now, it is amazing!) If I had to pick one actress to call my favorite (and please don’t make me!), there would be a strong case for Harlow taking that top spot. I just love her so much, and she is at the top of her game opposite Clark Gable in this steamy tale of lust, class, love and deception.
If you follow me on Tumblr, y’all know how much I love westerns, so I was really excited to find out about these two newly remastered films from the Warner Archive. The first is a Zapata spaghetti western Un esercito di cinque uomini aka The Five Man Army, from producer/director Italo Zingarelli with a screenplay co-written by master of Italian horror Dario Argento (who also co-wrote Once Upon a Time in the West). A Zapata spaghetti western, fyi, is an Italian western from the late-1960s/early-1970s that is set in Mexico and usually they have political (i.e. dealing with the revolution, etc.) themes. The second film is 1972’s The Wrath of God directed by Ralph Nelson (not to be confused with Werner Herzog’s similarly named film, which also came out in 1972).
This newly remastered release of Battle Circus, an early film from director Richard Brooks, is a must for fans of Bogart and as well as those who love Robert Altman’s 1970 Best Picture nominee M*A*S*H. The Korean War still had another few months before it was officially over when this film was first released and actual footage from the war is featured in it. The title comes from a MASH (Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) unit’s ability to pick up and move itself and its surgical tents as swiftly as a traditional circus. Much like Altman’s later film, it also features the interconnectivity of the personal lives of the nurses, doctors and soldiers alike.
Recently remastered and released by the Warner Archive, Born to Be Bad is an early, but important effort from landmark director Nicholas Ray. The film was released three months after Ray’s breakthrough masterpiece In A Lonely Place, starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame. While this film seems a lesser effort in comparison, I think much of the fault lies with the studio; Born To Be Bad had five writers and it feels like it. That said, this remaster is beautifully done and the disc comes with the original theatrical trailer, as well as a newly found and restored alternate ending. More on that after the cut.