Happy Birthday, Boris Karloff.

Boris Karloff (William Henry Pratt)
(23 November 1887 – 2 February 1969)

Decided to forgo the usual Happy Thanksgiving thing to mark what would’ve been Boris Karloff’s 130th birthday. He’s seen here having a tea and cigarette break with Colin Clive on the set of Bride Of Frankenstein (1935).

On a day when we try to list the many things we have to be thankful for, a lot of us need to bring up Mr. Karloff. Where would us monster kids be without him?

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Blu-Ray News #151: Jack The Ripper (1958).

Directed by Robert Baker and Monty Berman
Starring Lee Patterson, Eddie Byrne, Betty McDowall

Our friends at Severin Films have put together a killer Blu-Ray edition of the 1959 exploitation classic Jack The Ripper (1959) — that includes three versions of the movie: the British Version from a 1080 telecine, the U.S. Version from a 2K scan of an archival print, and on a bonus DVD, the European Version pieced together from the British Version and the only known tape source of the racier/gorier scenes (the original film elements have evidently been lost).

There’s also a slew of extras. Oh, that bonus DVD is part of a limited (1,500 copies) Black Friday edition, so put down the Thanksgiving leftovers, stay away from the mall, and be sure to order one before they’re gone. David Gregory has been working on this title for quite a while, and it’s gonna be terrific.

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Filed under 1959, DVD/Blu-ray News, Paramount, Severin Films

Blu-Ray News #150: Irma La Duce (1963).

Directed by Billy Wilder
Written by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond
Starring Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Lou Jacobi

Kino Lorber has announced a Blu-Ray of Billy Wilder’s Irma La Duce (1963), from a recent 4K restoration. While I love Wilder and Jack Lemmon, and this is certainly a funny movie, I have to admit that I wanted to post something on it so I could mention the great Saul Bass, who did the poster.

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Filed under 1963, Billy Wilder, DVD/Blu-ray News, Jack Lemmon, Kino Lorber, Saul Bass, United Artists

Dear Santa.

Just saw that the original Robbie The Robot suit/custume/prop from Forbidden Planet (1956) will be auctioned off by Bonham’s next week.

Robby The Robot: “If you do not speak English, I am at your disposal with 187 other languages along with their various dialects and sub-tongues.”

The prop, built by MGM at a then-huge cost of $125,000, does not actually speak 188 languages. Keep that in mind as you consider a bid.

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Filed under 1956, MGM

Happy Veterans Day.

Raoul Walsh’s Objective Burma (1945) remains one of my favorite war movies. It’s a surprisingly hard-hitting picture, loosely based on the exploits of Merrill’s Marauders in the Burma Campaign — which also inspired the 1962 Sam Fuller picture, Merrill’s Marauders.

Raoul Walsh and Errol Flynn between takes.

It’s hard to imagine Errol Flynn as an Army paratrooper, but he pulls it off effortlessly (he tried to enlist but was declared unfit due to a medical condition). I always come away from this film and John Ford’s They Were Expendable (1945) with the same thought — that we a huge debt to the guys who gave so much during the Second World War. We may not have a clue who they are (and they probably like it that way), but we can never even begin to repay ’em.

So to all those who serve in our military, in wartime or peacetime, while I can never understand all you’ve gone through, I sure appreciate it.

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Filed under Errol Flynn, Raoul Walsh

RIP, Karin Dor.

Karin Dor
(February 22, 1938 – November 6, 2017)

I love You Only Live Twice (1967). And I hated to see that Karin Dor, seen above with Sean Connery, had passed away.

With Lex Barker in The Torture Chamber Of Dr. Sadism (1967).

Like so many of the Bond girls from the 60s, Ms. Dor appeared in a lot of other cool things. You’ll also find her in The Face Of Fu Manchu (1965) with Christopher Lee, Hitchcock’s Topaz (1969), and a number of German films co-starring Lex Barker — such as The Invisible Dr. Mabuse and The Treasure Of The Silver Lake (both 1962). From time to time, she even turns up in American TV shows like Ironside and The FBI.

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Filed under 1967, Alfred Hitchcock, Christopher Lee, James Bond, Sean Connery

Blu-Ray News #149: Charley Varrick (1973).

Directed by Don Siegel
Starring Walter Matthau, Joe Don Baker, Felicia Farr, Andy Robinson, Sheree North, Norman Fell, William Schallert, John Vernon, Bob Steele

I love the good old US of A, but there’s one thing where the rest of the world has us beat — outside the US, you can find a Blu-Ray of Don Siegel’s incredible Charley Varrick (1973). Still no hi-def release here, and our only DVD release was full-frame. No wonder the rest of the world hates us. I’ve proclaimed my undying love for this movie many times before, it’s one of my favorites, easy, from one of my favorite directors.

charley_varrick1

So when I saw it pop up on blu-ray.com, I was overjoyed. This time, Indicator/Powerhouse Films in the UK have announced Charley Varrick on Blu-Ray coming in January with a slew of terrific-sounding extras. The Indicator/Powerhouse release is limited to 3,000 copies. Essentially, this thing is essentially essential.

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Filed under 1973, Andy Robinson, Don Siegel, DVD/Blu-ray News, Joe Don Baker, Universal (-International), Walter Matthau, William Schallert