Blu-Ray News #202: The Return Of The Vampire (1944).

Directed by Lew Landers
Starring Bela Lugosi, Frieda Inescort, Nina Foch, Miles Mander, Matt Willis

The Return Of The Vampire (1944) was Bela Lugosi’s last starring role for a major studio (Columbia). It’s the closest he came to making a sequel to his 1931 Dracula, though you could make a strong case for Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948).

Lugosi’s Armand Tesla (pretty much Dracula with his name changed for copyright reasons), a vampire in London who’s awakened by a Nazi bomb (what a great plot point!). Accompanied by a werewolf sidekick, Tesla/Dracula is soon seeking revenge on those who staked him back in 1918.

Scream Factory has announced its February Blu-Ray release. Extras and stuff have not been disclosed as of yet.



Filed under Bela Lugosi, Columbia, DVD/Blu-ray News, Shout/Scream Factory

42 responses to “Blu-Ray News #202: The Return Of The Vampire (1944).

  1. john k

    Shout Factory are releasing Sci Fi/Horror films at such a clip that the H8
    is in danger of becoming a “Shout Factory Press Release Site”
    Good to see more Bela in high def,too bad he never lived to see the
    “cult” status he would achieve,or his back catalogue being released on
    Blu Ray. Toby makes a poignant point that RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE
    was Bela’s last starring role in a major studio movie.
    From a link on DVD Drive In I see there is a Hammer on Blu Ray Facebook
    page-which really,from a cursory look means Horror and Sci Fi on Blu Ray.
    One things for sure the cats who contribute (a) cannot wait to get new
    releases (b) go International (c) money is no object.
    I was most interested to see that they consider the very expensive
    German Anolis version of DRACULA HAS RISEN FROM THE GRAVE
    is superior to the Warner Bros release.
    I might add that I have the Warner version which I thought looked stellar.
    They are very pleased with Twilight Time’s recent SWORD OF SHERWOOD
    FOREST – excellent-far superior to TT’s PIRATES OF BLOOD RIVER
    which again I thought looked wonderful.
    I have not seen any screen grabs for “Sherwood” yet but the news on the
    street is that it looks wonderful,furthermore it might be a good film for
    Toby’s daughter , now thanks to Star Wars she seems to be on
    a Peter Cushing kick.
    Those were the days when I could afford Twilight Time releases.
    As mentioned before,money seems to be no object for Horror fans
    hence the huge number of these type of films getting released,and that
    seems to include anything with Hammer’s top guns Cushing and Lee.
    I’m looking forward to the Hammer Facebook crowd’s take on the
    German HERCULES IN THE HAUNTED WORLD (Lee) and am intrigued
    to know what the “bonus” film is included in the package.


  2. john k

    I might add if I had unlimited finances,which sadly I don’t,I would love
    to have a huge Hammer Blu Ray collection everything from THE
    QUATERMASS XPERIMENT onwards,including the Swashbucklers but
    excluding the comedies (never Hammer’s forte) and On The Buses
    TV spin off nonsense.
    Those Mill Creek double releases were fantastic and I do hope that
    they have not done with them yet.
    I do however have the prime Cushing/Lee classics and other greats
    like CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF,and hopefully other oddball projects
    like THE VIKING QUEEN will eventually turn up on Blu Ray.


  3. Texican

    Mill Creek has a Robin Hood collection of 5 films coming on DVD (not Blu).
    It includes SWORD OF SHERWOOD FOREST and the three others that have been out in the past separately from Sony. The fifth title in the package is not a Robin Hood movie–it’s THE BLACK ARROW, which was out previously as a Sony Archive MOD release.


  4. walter

    Texican, I think we should give a Shout Out! to SHOUT! FACTORY and MILL CREEK ENTERTAINMENT for releasing affordable DVD’S. SHOUT! FACTORY is placing extra features on some of their recent collections. As in the BILLY JACK and WALKING TALL collections.


  5. Bert Greene

    I watched “Return of the Vampire” not too terribly long ago. It’s a better little film than I remembered. I’d picked up the Sony dvd about a decade ago at a Big Lots store for only about three dollars. Can’t deny I’d like to upgrade to blu, but I’ll demure in this case, as it’s all a matter of pocketbook priorities. I have a hard time justifying upgrades from highly decent dvd’s to blu, unless it’s a major, major favorite. There are just so many slews of films I love which I only have copies of in either decades-old VHS off-air recordings, or muddy-looking bootleg dupes of scratchy old 16mm tv-prints. It’s these type of titles that I really crave to have upgraded on blu.

    I will spring for “The Mole People,” though, as I have a particularly strong nostalgic affection for it. Would also love to see “Curse of the Undead” (1959) make the Blu-ray grade, as it’s been absent far too long. Plus, as ridiculous as it is, I have an inordinate fondness for “The Thing That Couldn’t Die” (1958), and would also hope to see it make it to blu. The Universal Vault ‘mod’ of it looks awfully soft, as I recall. But while on the topic of late-50s Universals, something I’d really love to see again is “Damn Citizen” (1957). Saw it on a late-show back around 1978-79, and haven’t seen it since.


    • walter

      Bert, I hadn’t thought about DAMN CITIZEN in years. I don’t think I’ve seen it since the early 1970’s. I saw a lot of Universal-International movies on Channel 3 WREC-TV , Memphis, Tennessee back in the day. I remember liking it, because it was loosely based on a true story of Louisiana’s reform Governor Robert F. Kennon’s crack down on corruption in 1952. He appoints Lt. Colonel Francis C. Grevemberg(Keith Andes) to the position of superintendent of state police. Andes, portraying Grevemberg, wiped out corruption in the Louisiana State Police and then went after the rackets. Looking at the movie credits at IMDb, the screenplay was by the Academy Award and Golden Globe winning writer of IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT(1967) Stirling Silliphant.

      This has nothing to do with DAMN CITIZEN, but I remember that during the 1990’s, actor Keith Andes was interviewed on the phone by Ray Nielsen, host of THE GOOD TIMES PICTURE SHOW. Andes had co-starred with Marilyn Monroe in CLASH OF NIGHT(1952). There was always a murmur about them having a relationship. Nielsen actually asked Andes if they had an affair. Andes replied that they didn’t.


      • Bert Greene

        Yep, Keith Andes guested at one of the Memphis Film Festivals back in the mid-1990s, but it was a year I missed out on going. I think Ben Johnson and Gene Evans also showed up at that one. Plus, Richard Martin (from the Tim Holt films) and his wife. Hate that I missed it. I’ve long wanted to see a few more of Andes’ tv-series, “This Man Dawson,” a pretty tough, made-for-syndication crime series.


  6. walter

    John K, you brought up the HAMMER sword and sandal movie THE VIKING QUEEN(1967), which I haven’t seen since the 1970’s. It is a somewhat “oddball” movie. I first saw it on the ABC SUNDAY NIGHT MOVIE in 1972. I wasn’t used to seeing Don Murray in this type of movie and he was a long way FROM HELL TO TEXAS(1958). I have never seen the Finnish model Carita Jarvinen in any other movie since. Although, she had a small role in LADIES MAN(1962), which I have never seen. If my memory serves me right, Carita gave an adequate performance in a movie that didn’t have any Viking included in the whole movie! I guess HAMMER FILMS liked the title.


  7. john k

    Sort of off topic,but perhaps not as we’re talking Columbia B’s
    Arrow UK have announced for February two Joseph H Lewis Noirs
    making their high def debut next February.
    SO DARK THE NIGHT and MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS so impressed Columbia head honcho Harry Cohn that he promoted Lewis to A movies;
    the excellent Gothic Swashbuckler THE SWORDSMAN (which plays in
    part like a Scottish Western) and two features starring Columbia’s
    “homeboy” Glenn Ford.
    The two Arrow Blu Ray’s are released separately with many extras including
    Lewis profiles from The Nitrate Diva and Imogen Sara Smith-Walter please
    enlighten me.
    Both titles are shot by the always wonderful Burnett Guffey.
    As far as I’m concerned it’s always sublime to have vintage B Movies
    given loving restorations in high def,and furthermore being a domestic
    (for me) release I will not have to worry about the constant international
    sinking of the pound.


  8. walter

    John K, as of yet, I’ve not viewed SO DARK THE NIGHT(1946) and MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS(1945), but Laura has, over at her blog site. Also, she has a link to her review of MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS and a link to her friend Susan Doll’s review of the same movie.

    I am familiar with the writings of Imogen Sara Smith and Nora Fiore(The Nitrate Diva). Nora Fiore is a twentysomething Millennial, who actually loves black and white Classic movies. I first ran across her by reading a double feature write-up she did about Mary Carlisle, MURDER IN A PRIVATE CAR(1934) and ONE FRIGHTENED NIGHT(1935) and a review of a Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce Sherlock Holmes movie, THE SCARLET CLAW(1944). I enjoyed her take on these movies. I found her on Twitter and I enjoy the photo’s she posts from Classic movies. I ignore her political posts. She is a UX writer, content strategist, and researcher at Marketade in Pawlet, Vermont.

    Imogen Sara Smith is Executive Director of the Dance Heritage Coalition. Smith is based in Brooklyn a borough of New York City. She is the author of two books on film history, BUSTER KEATON: THE PERSISTENCE OF COMEDY(2008) and IN LONELY PLACES: FILM NOIR BEYOND THE CITY(2011). I first ran across her by reading her 2009 write-up, “Past Sunset: Noir in the West.” That led me to an earlier 2008 write-up about Nick Ray’s THE LUSTY MEN(1952).

    Imogen Sara Smith is a really good writer and she has written a lot for the CRITERION COLLECTION and several other publications. Here she is on YouTube.


  9. walter

    Toby, a comment I just sent didn’t get through, but it tells me that “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” So hopefully it will eventually get through.


  10. john k

    I hope Walter’s comment finally gets through…I’d sure hate to miss it.
    I think I mentioned this elsewhere sometime ago,Colin’s perhaps, that
    I’d love to see a Joseph H Lewis Columbia Blu Ray set.
    Apart from the two aforementioned Noirs it could also include
    THE SWORDSMAN and THE UNDERCOVER MAN as well as the two
    fine Randolph Scott Westerns A LAWLESS STREET and 7TH CAVALRY.
    I understand Lewis was none too pleased with the latter but the great man’s
    style never falters.
    To round off the set perhaps one of Lewis’ Columbia Wild Bill Elliott
    B Westerns.
    I do recall reading somewhere that Harry Cohn was due to see the
    rushes of Columbia’s A movies which were not ready so they showed him
    MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS to which Cohn replied I want to see his (Lewis’)
    rushes every day.
    At any rate it was not long before Lewis was promoted to bigger budgets.
    THE SWORDSMAN is a pretty big budget affair,after all Larry Parks was
    “hot” having just recently made mega smash THE JOLSON STORY;
    incidentally Lewis directed the production numbers on that picture.


  11. john k

    Walter….thanks so much for your reply,I just knew that you,of all people
    would have more information on Nora and Imogen.
    For me it’s wonderful that this new breed of hip, erudite American young
    women have this love for classic movies.
    Thanks so much for the links I enjoyed our friend Laura’s take on the two
    Lewis films and I will read Imogen’s lengthy articles tomorrow when I have
    more time.
    I have never seen SO DARK THE NIGHT and as Laura mentions the
    uninspired cast is something of a detraction,however I’m so glad that
    Laura gives Burnett Guffey his full dues.
    Regarding Nora,I must admit I’m bemused/intrigued by your comment
    “I ignore her political posts”
    Thanks again,Walter so much for taking the time and effort to enlighten
    me and for those great links that you have provided.
    Finally the fact that Nora and Imogen are involved in Arrow’s Lewis
    Blu Ray’s has made these now a “must have” purchase for me.


  12. walter

    John K, you’re so very much welcome. Like I said I haven’t seen these movies either. As you can probably tell, I like the writing of Imogen Sara Smith. I would like to read her IN LONELY PLACES: FILM NOIR BEYOND THE CITY(2011). Margot mentioned that she was reading the book, over on her DOWN THESE MEAN STREETS site back in August, when she was writing her ACE IN THE HOLE(1951) review. She borrowed the book through our interlibrary loan system, because it is expensive, for a paperback book. Imogen Sara Smith wrote a good article on poverty row movies and she likes DECOY(1946). So, you can tell what are her preferences. Where Nora is 28-years-old, Imogen is 40-years-old, sometimes a few years makes a difference, then again, sometimes not. With me it did, because I look at things different, as I have aged.

    I have always been a Classic Movies fan and always will be.


  13. john k

    Some of the following is re-cycled stuff I’ve mentioned before,certainly
    before Walter and myself started sharing views on these pages,and
    I find this new breed of female film commentators quiet engaging and
    certainly would certainly add Margot to the list as well.
    I’ve been an avid follower of trailblazing blogs by Laura and Kristina-
    there are others as well that I don’t follow on a regular basis.
    It all reminds me of the early 60’s when the UK spearheaded a new breed
    of young film commentators,like Raymond Durgnat and Chris Wicking who
    I later got to know. I always regarded Chris as a sort of mentor in
    developing my taste in film,despite the fact he was only three years
    older than myself.
    It was Chris,certainly who got me interested in Boetticher and oddly
    enough Lesley Selander-he was certainly ahead of the pack there.
    I found the early 60’s a very exciting time to be alive and of course
    there were still plenty of revival cinemas showing old movies.
    The legendary Tolmer Cinema at London’s Euston changed it’s
    program three times a week,had ultra cheap prices and a superb
    CinemaScope screen-unlike many London flea pits.
    The Tolmer was visited by many future film-makers in its time.
    The beloved flea pits have vanished but now we can enjoy films
    like MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS in high definition;something we never
    dreamed possible only a few years back.


  14. john k

    Walter,I don’t know if you saw my response a while back why I never
    included Phil Karlson and Gordon Douglas to my list of unheralded
    In retrospect and considering Colin’s recent review of GUNFIGHT AT
    DODGE CITY I should certainly have included Joseph M Newman
    as well.
    I hope the two forthcoming Arrow Lewis releases mean that we will
    get other Columbia Noirs on Blu Ray.
    A couple I would love to see in high-def are Gordon Douglas’
    I have seen the former and it’;s a knockout,but sadly I’ve never seen
    the latter;always wanted too.
    I hope eventually we get Lewis’ two Randolph Scott Westerns on Blu Ray
    and the icing on the cake would be a Toby Roan commentary on each.
    As Toby’s commentary roster continues to expand I do hope eventually
    we actually get to see him do a visual commentary-i.e. filmed,after all
    he is such a handsome fellow,and I’m sure his growing fan-base would
    like to know what he actually looks like.
    There’s something rather engaging about watching a film historian
    doing a visual commentary,it’s almost as if they are talking to you in
    your own living room.


    • What I like about commentaries (and blogs) is that I’m not seen.

      When Criterion made me the gracious offer to have me help out with One-Eyed Jacks, I was praying they wouldn’t want me onscreen! Luckily, it was just a VO.


  15. john k

    Fair enough!
    To go back to Glenn Erickson’s comment some so called “experts”
    allow their own egos to cloud their opinions-and I admit some visual
    commentaries make me wish you did not see the person involved-especially
    when they make ill informed statements.
    However when someone actually KNOWS what they are talking about;
    Julie Kirgo for instance,then its a rewarding experience.
    Toby,basically you are far to modest,but try as you may,eventually the
    video (filmed) offers will follow.
    Jeepers, you will still be able to go to Wal-Mart without being hassled. 🙂


  16. john k

    Walter-thanks so much for the link to Imogen Sara Smith’s monolithic
    essay “Past Sunset;Noir In The West” as you say she writes so well,
    her take on MAN WITH THE GUN a pretty unheralded movie,in my book
    is inspired to say the least.
    When time permits I’ll certainly check out more.
    Toby-I don’t recall anyone doing a lowdown on Pine Thomas “The Dollar
    Bills” I’m sure your take on those guys will be worth the price of the disc
    and then some.


    • If you went into detail on the 75+ movies they made, it’d be overwhelming. When you do an overview, you just realize that they were very smart. Make a deal with Paramount for X movies, go round up actors to be in a few of them at a time. By using the same people over and over, I’m sure they became really efficient.

      The most fun of the El Paso commentary, for me, was digging into the history of the Iverson ranch.


  17. walter

    John K, like you I enjoy the new breed of female film commentators, of which my own daughter may join in the future, when she finally finishes her masters thesis.

    We have conversed before about Christopher Wicking, concerning my enjoying his book THE AMERICAN VEIN: DIRECTORS AND DIRECTIONS IN TELEVISION(1979), which he wrote along with Tise Vahimagi. I read the book back in the 1980’s and I realized that I had finally found a book with views that had been formulating in my own head since about 1971. This book actually brought recognition to the unheralded filmmakers who worked diligently to make outstanding, average, or poor shows in episodic television. The book helped me in my personal research of the 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s television era that I grew up with.

    I have always liked the study of History and its stories about people doing things, whether it be good, bad, or ugly. So, because I also liked stories told visually, through movies and television, I became interested in the History of movies and television. At that time, there just wasn’t that much to read along those lines, where I lived. THE AMERICAN WEST OF JOHN FORD a documentary film, which aired on CBS Network TV on December 5, 1971, really put me on my way in the study of movies, especially Westerns. A week, or so later, I read an article in a magazine(for the life of me, I can’t remember the name) about the movies of John Ford. The magazine was in a barber shop.

    Well, my mind was off and running. I was having to do it my own way out in the middle border country of the hinterlands. Raymond Durgnat, when talking of establishments of culture in the USA, said that there is certainly the East Coast and the West Coast, and a lot of areas in between. He is right on the money, although the East and West Coast establishments don’t acknowledge anything of culture from the areas in between known as the fly over country. This is where I come from.


  18. walter

    John K, yes I read your response concerning Phil Karlson and Gordon Douglas. I agree about Joseph M. Newman and I especially like his 711 OCEAN DRIVE(1950) with Edmond O’Brien and Joanne Dru. This movie was one of the first to suggest that the modern mob was organizing itself along big business lines. The gangsters here are well dressed men who meet in boardrooms. They dress and act like big businessmen, not traditional movie crooks. Although, they are just as dangerous, probably more so, as traditional gangsters.

    I’m not a strict auteur theorist, because I think that movie making is a collaborative effort of many different people trying to do their best. Although, the director is not just standing over by the wall doing nothing. I could add another unheralded one in writer/producer/director Richard Wilson, who directed the Western MAN WITH A GUN(1955) with Robert Mitchum, Jan Sterling, Karen Sharpe, and Leo Gordon. In the past his claim to fame was as a chief assistant to Orson Welles during the 1930’s and ’40’s. I think Wilson did rather well on his own. He also directed AL CAPONE(1959) with Rod Steiger, Fay Spain, James Gregory, and Martin Balsam. Also, Lucien Ballard was director of photography.


    • I’m digging all this stuff about unsung directors. That’s one of my big things with these blogs — to remember the folks who shouldn’t have been forgotten in the first place. There are so many of them!

      Walter, I’m not a big subscriber to the auteur thing either, though there are some directors where it certainly seems to fit. I think my problem with it is the theory puts real intent onto something that doesn’t always have it. Some of the similar themes from a director came from the simple thought that “Director A did great with Genre B, let’s give him another one.” I mean, you wouldn’t think to hire Don Siegel to do Terms Of Endearment (though that would’ve sold at last one extra ticket – mine).


      • walter

        Amen. I’m with you regarding the auteur thing and I do agree that it does fit some movie directors. THE BEGUILED(1971) wasn’t your usual two-fisted action movie, but I think Don Siegel pulled it off.


      • The Beguiled is really good. I am constantly in awe when watching a Siegel film. He is able to pack so much into each scene, each shot. Charley Varrick is the one that comes to mind, with all the great stuff with Matthau and his wife. Some of the most touching and sad stuff I’ve ever seen in a movie — and he puts it in the middle of a getaway. (Don’t get me started on that movie, we’ll be here all day.)

        Back to the auteur thing — I think the studios, and the independents, want to protect their investments by using people who’ve already excelled on something similar. (You wouldn’t take your Volvo to a guy who’s never touched anything but Plymouths.) So a director becomes known as a certain type of director, and soon that’d the only kind of movies they get offered. That doesn’t make that director an auteur.


  19. walter

    Toby, I think you could carry off a visual commentary very well. I look forward to your work on EL PASO(1949) even though it is only a voice over. Yes, good old Iverson Ranch.


    • The El Paso commentary has some sadness to it, unfortunately. Gail Russell’s tragic story, the demise of The Iverson Ranch. I couldn’t bring myself to say that there are condos on the Iverson spot now, I just left it at “sold off.”

      However, I’ve been wanting to cover Gabby Hayes. Next, I get to do a few of my favorites — Julie Adams, Dan Duryea and Arthur Kennedy. Now if someone would get me to do Mole People so I can cover Nestor Paiva!


  20. walter

    Toby, Gail Russell’s tragic story makes me sad and it reminds me of some tragic lives wasted in my own family.

    I knew that about the Iverson Ranch, but it lives on in the movies. May THE MOLE PEOPLE live on and on.


    • Wish I knew someone at Shout Factory. I’d love to drone on and on about The Mole People.

      I’ve never been to the Iverson site. There is no place on this earth I want to visit more, not even Lone Pine or The Holy Land.


  21. john k

    Count me in as someone not too fond of the Auteur theory.
    I have a friend,an industry insider,in fact-he considers Raoul Walsh an
    Auteur but not Henry Hathaway…go figure.
    It also smacks of an elitist cultish sort of thing.
    Had Harold Schusters Noir Western JACK SLADE been directed by
    Joseph H Lewis or Sam Fuller it would,by now, be a “cult” classic.
    Schuster,sadly is not the sort of guy on the radar of most so called followers
    of the Auteur thing.
    Regarding Richard Wilson,he directed few films; I’ve never seen RAW
    WIND IN EDEN with Jeff Chandler and Esther Williams and would really
    like too;it’s yet another of those seemingly “lost” Universal International
    CinemaScope films.
    I have however,seen Wilson’s PAY OR DIE an excellent gangster film
    (also shot by Lucien Ballard) about the early days of the Mafia (The
    Black Hand).
    Regarding Toby’s voice overs A MAN ALONE literally just arrived through
    my letterbox so I will enjoy getting round to the commentary on that film.
    It would seem from Glenn Erickson’s review of LISBON there is a wealth
    of info regarding the final days of Republic from Toby-I hope the film
    reduces in price over time as I’d hate to miss that.
    Oddly enough with the weak pound against the dollar I was able to
    purchase the 1x Blu Ray 2x DVD German set of HERCULES IN THE
    HAUNTED WORLD for less than I paid for A MAN ALONE.
    There is a “guilty pleasure” thing going on over at Colin’s and Peplum,
    for me is certainly a guilty pleasure.
    With Peplum I can use the term without being snobby or elitist.
    Mario Bava’s striking visuals certainly raise the game of this film and the
    Blu Ray is quiet stunning,even superior to Arrow’s recent Blu Ray of
    ERIK THE CONQUERER which got rave reviews.
    The “bonus” film,sadly is an old British film that Bava shot and the two
    documentaries do not seem to have an English soundtrack.
    Also there is a most interesting looking booklet all about Peplum movies
    but again,sadly all in German.
    It’s a shame more Peplum movies are not available in high definition-
    I saw scores of them back in the 60’s and they were normally supported
    by a 50’s Western. When I saw Bava’s film at the cinema it was supported
    by 7TH CAVALRY. Most Peplum movies were floating releases i.e.
    not picked up by the major circuits therefore a life line to the struggling
    flea pits. Steve Reeves normally managed major circuit bookings due to
    the enormous success of HERCULES UNCHAINED.
    A typical major circuit release at the time was GOLD OF THE SEVEN
    SAINTS paired with Reeves’ THE WHITE WARRIOR.
    Finally I might mention Reeves sole Spaghetti Western A LONG RIDE
    FROM HELL is not half bad either.


    • Hercules In The Haunted World and 7th Cavalry? Man, what I wouldn’t give to go back in time for that one!

      Hope you enjoy A Man Alone. I have grown to really love that movie, thanks to the time that went into the commentary. A lot of Republic’s technical people were really on top of their game on that one. It’s beautiful to look at.


  22. john k

    It’s also interesting that Kino-Lorber seem to have struck a deal with
    the large European outfit Studio Canal.I don’t know at this point if
    that means Kino will gain access to the many Hammer titles Studio
    Canal own. Studio Canal have a raft of Hammer stuff that have yet to
    appear in high-def-the aforementioned THE VIKING QUEEN to name
    but one. Toby let loose on Hammer-now there’s a thought.
    I guess it’s only a matter of time before Kino strike a deal with Sony/
    Columbia the only major imprint that they now are not dealing with.
    With all this Don Siegel name dropping I do hope Toby finally gets
    around to viewing EDGE OF ETERNITY if for nothing else Siegel
    and Burnett Guffey’s jaw dropping use of CinemaScope.
    The Sony MOD was very very good.
    While titles like A MAN ALONE,THE LAST COMMAND and EL PASO
    are hard to resist; for the time being other USA releases are off the agenda
    until this Brexit debacle gets sorted out,if ever.
    This means that Queens of Outer Space,Dracula ’72 and other assorted
    Cyclops’ will have to wait until the truly battered pound recovers.
    Luckily there’s several German titles I have been eyeing and the two
    aforementioned domestic (UK) Lewis titles.
    It would seem that Kino Lorber and Warner Archive rarely delete titles.
    Those days when the pound was strong and I could afford Twilight Time
    releases are sadly long gone.


  23. Bert Greene

    I also got a copy of “The American Vein” back in the 1980s, and it was quite helpful in bringing a lot of filmmakers to my attention. There just weren’t many books back then covering that kind of territory. Never for a minute really bought into the auteur theory angle, but relished the info the book brought up. Oh, it was obvious to me over time that certain directors consistently seemed deliver the goods, like Andre de Toth in terms of action fare, and William Seiter in terms of breezy comedy fare. Over the years I’ve probably grown more apt to consider production teams, if one wants to observe and seek out actual patterns.

    Mostly, though, when it comes to vintage films, I just LOVE the minutia. The efforts surrounding the making of films, from procuring stories to casting to (especially) location work and tell-tale artifacts that comprise the mise-en-scene. The facts. The basic historic facts. What I have zero interest in is the utilizing of vintage film as a platform for exploring (and reading into) all sorts of hidden ‘subtexts’ from a decidedly modern, sociological worldview. At that point, I’m out the door. Not interested.


    • john k

      Wonderful last paragraph Bert……how very true!


    • walter

      Bert, I think you hit the nail on the head, for most of us. What you wrote in the above two paragraphs says volumes concerning today’s so-called film criticism, or for anything else. What is wrong with the good old basic Historic facts. I realize that everyone will see things differently and have their own opinions, but some are trying to change the Historic facts to meet their radical agendas. This is wrong.


      • I don’t like to be told what can be found in a movie. I’ll figure that out on my own, then MAYBE look to see what others have found.

        Another pet peeve is a really long synopsis. All I want it enough to remind which movie it is, if it’s something I’ve seen, or to let me know the basic gist of it’s something I haven’t seen.


  24. john k

    Hi,I’m Toby Roan…thanks for ridin’ along…..
    So go Toby’s dulcet tones on the commentary for A MAN ALONE.
    Boy,was that needed (a) to see a vintage Republic Trucolor Western given
    a beautiful 4K restoration (b) to hear Toby’s wonderful commentary,worth
    the price of the disc by itself.
    No wonder Cinesavant’s Glenn and DVD Beaver’s Gary are giving Toby
    rave reviews.
    I needed to watch (and hear) A MAN ALONE to escape the political
    turmoil that has engulfed our nation, (UK) more and more hot air from both
    sides…ENOUGH ALREADY!!!
    I know I often rib Toby at his sometimes non appearance on his own
    blogs but after hearing the wealth of detail on the A MAN ALONE
    commentary it’s small wonder he has time for anything else.
    No stone is left un-turned and there’s stacks of surprises in store; a superb
    account of Lee Van Cleef’s life a rather sad fact that many guys who were
    stars in their own right in the silent era now reduced to being extras in
    crowd scenes in 50’s Westerns.
    Even Colin’s favourite topic of “Redemption” is tossed into the heady mix 🙂
    Toby can be, for those of us who know him, predictable at times,we just
    know with Kim Spalding’s name in the cast IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE will be mentioned.
    When all is said and done Toby’s commentary is one that no lover of
    vintage movies will want to miss.
    Allan Dwan’s sublime SILVER LODE is mentioned and if ever a film
    needed a 4K restoration that’s it. A MAN ALONE is not as good as the
    similar SILVER LODE or in fact that other great Republic “town” Western
    ROAD TO DENVER but it’s still a great watch especially with the
    beautiful transfer Kino Lorber have given us.


    • Wow, John, thanks for saying/typing such nice things.

      Your comments about Kim Spalding and Silver Lode kinda reveal my master plan (which is probably pretty apparent). A friend in college was a real jazz freak. I knew nothing about it, and wanted to learn, but didn’t want to blow a ton of money on records I might not like — jazz is a wild, varied thing. He’d loan me stuff and I’d tell him which ones I liked — and based on that, he’d lend me more. He was a great guide and made it a lot of fun.

      All along, my goal with the blogs has been to do that with these old movies, starting with Westerns — to highlight the people who made and appear in all these things, to provide some context, and to draw some parallels between one picture and another. AND to promote the crap out of certain people and films I thing deserve the attention — such as, say, Fred F. Sears and Fury At Gunsight Pass. To be a guide the way my friend Bill the jazz freak was.

      A long-winded response, and I hope it makes some sense.


  25. john k

    It makes perfect sense to me.
    Another very interesting point you make in your commentary is
    if Republic had followed AIP’s example and focused on teen/exploitation/
    Sci Fi Horror fare perhaps that could have saved the studio; a very interesting thought.
    I love the way in your commentaries guys like Sears and Sam Katzman are
    brought into the mix-Sam certainly knew how to milk the exploitation market
    never one to miss a trick or a trend-I guess if Sam had run Republic it would
    have been a totally different story.
    There’s still so many great movies languishing in the vaults,that deserve
    to be far better known,some will surface over time others possibly sadly
    I simply cannot wait to hear your take on EL PASO,so much to cover there.
    John Payne’s profile has certainly risen over the years with some
    outstanding DVD and Blu Ray releases but having said that there are
    still outstanding Payne films like LARCENY,THE BOSS and HELL’S
    ISLAND that need to be seen.
    THE BOSS did get a very sub standard MOD release it’s another film
    that deserves a proper restoration. Dalton Trumbo’s allegorical tale of
    crime and corruption in “Anytown USA” is an unheralded gem with
    sensational set pieces and standout support from William Bishop and the
    lovely Doe Avedon who later married Don Siegel.


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