Category Archives: 1953

Blu-Ray News #296: The War Of The Worlds (1953).

Directed by Byron Haskin
Starring Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, Les Tremayne, Jack Kruschen, Henry Brandon

The Criterion Collection has announced that they’ll unleash a Blu-Ray of the 4K restoration of George Pal’s The War Of The Worlds (1953) in July. In typical Criterion fashion, it’ll be piled high with extras.

Saw this in a re-release in the late 70s, paired with When Worlds Collide (1951). The War Of The Worlds was terrific — one of the best science fiction films of the 50s (hell, ever!), and they were both beautiful to look at. Can’t wait to see how that incredible Technicolor will look after a 4K touch-up. Absolutely essential.

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Filed under 1953, Criterion Collection, DVD/Blu-ray News, Gene Barry, George Pal, Paramount

Blu-Ray News #286: The War Of The Worlds (1953).

Directed by Byron Haskin
Starring Gene Barry, Ann Robinson, Les Tremayne, Jack Kruschen, Henry Brandon

Here’s one we’ve all been waiting for. The Australian label Imprint has announced a brand new 4K restoration of The War Of The Worlds (1953), coming to Blu-Ray on May 27.

This is one of the films caught up in the widescreen push of 1953-54. Wonder how it’ll be presented? Sounds like it’ll be piled high with extras. Not sure about its Region status, but this will be essential.

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Filed under 1953, DVD/Blu-ray News, Gene Barry, George Pal, Imprint Films, Paramount, Uncategorized

DVD News #273: The Jungle Jim Movie Collection.

Boy, am I stoked about this! Umbrella Entertainment in Australia has put together a six-movie/three-DVD set, The Jungle Jim Movie Collection, something Sam Katzman fans have been screaming for for years. It includes:

Jungle Jim (1948)
Directed by William Berke
Starring Johnny Weissmuller, Virginia Grey, George Reeves, Lita Baron

Voodoo Tiger (1952)
Directed by Spencer G. Bennet
Starring Johnny Weissmuller, James Seay, Jean Byron

Savage Mutiny (1953)
Directed by Spencer G. Bennet
Starring Johnny Weissmuller, Angela Stevens, Lester Matthews, Nelson Leigh

Jungle Man-Eaters (1954)
Directed by Lee Sholem
Starring Johnny Weissmuller, Karin Booth, Richard Stapley

Cannibal Attack (1954)
Directed by Lee Sholem
Starring Johnny Weissmuller, Judy Walsh, David Bruce

Devil Goddess (1955)
Directed by Spencer G. Bennet
Starring Johnny Weissmuller, Angela Stevens, Selmer Jackson

The six pictures in the set range from the first to the last of the 16 Jungle Jim movies. Every indication is that this is Region Free. This is the kind of stuff that will make 2020 a very good year!

Thanks to Graham Carter for the news.

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Filed under 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, Angela Stevens, Columbia, DVD/Blu-ray News, George Reeves, Johnny Weissmuller, Jungle Jim, Lee Sholem, Sam Katzman, Spencer Gordon Bennet, Virginia Grey

Happy Birthday, Jimmy Stewart.

James Maitland Stewart
(May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997)

Jimmy Stewart, surely one of the greatest movie actors of all time, was born 111 years ago today.

Having just finished a commentary for Kino Lorber’s upcoming Blu-Ray of Anthony Mann’s Thunder Bay (1953), and Bend Of The River before that, I’ve been marveling at Stewart’s craft — over and over again. Nobody underplays quite like he does, and nobody uses their own personal quirks to such a huge advantage.

But, of course, it doesn’t stop at the movies. Stewart also flew in the Air Force during World War II and beyond — something he rarely spoke about, and never waved around to bring attention to himself. They guy was a real national treasure.

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Filed under 1953, Anthony Mann, Dan Duryea, Harry Morgan, James Stewart, Kino Lorber

Blu-Ray News #196-A: Thunder Bay (1953).

Directed by Anthony Mann
Starring James Stewart, Joanne Dru, Gilbert Roland, Dan Duryea

Always liked Thunder Bay (1953), and I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that all its technical stuff is where a lot of my enthusiasm comes from. It was shot for 1.37, but Universal-International made it their first widescreen film — cropping it to 1.85, giving it stereophonic sound and making a very big deal about it all.

It’s turned up on DVD in various parts of the world in both 1.37 and widescreen. Not sure how the upcoming Kino Lorber Blu-Ray will be presented, but one thing’s for sure — I’m working a commentary for it. They’ve got it listed as an “early 2019” release.

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Filed under 1953, Anthony Mann, Dan Duryea, DVD/Blu-ray News, James Stewart, Kino Lorber, Universal (-International)

Blu-Ray News #196.

From The New York Daily News, May 15, 1953.

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Filed under 1953, Anthony Mann, Dan Duryea, DVD/Blu-ray News, James Stewart

Blu-Ray News #177: Sangaree (1953) In 3-D.

Directed by Edward Ludwig
Starring Fernando Lamas, Arlene Dahl, Patricia Medina, Francis L. Sullivan, Charles Korvin

Kino Lorber Studio Classics and the 3-D Film Archive have announced the upcoming 3-D Blu-Ray release of Sangaree (1953).

Sangaree was to be another Pine-Thomas picture, but Paramount picked it to be their first 3-D production. Shooting was underway when the 3-D decision was made, so some scenes had to be re-shot. Be sure to read all about it here and watch for the Blu-Ray in September.

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Filed under 1953, 3-D, DVD/Blu-ray News, Edward Ludwig, Kino Lorber, Paramount, Pine-Thomas

Blu-Ray News #157: The Maze (1953).

Directed by William Cameron Menzies
Starring Richard Carlson, Veronica Hurst, Hillary Brooke, Michael Pate

Kino Lorber has announced the upcoming release of The Maze (1953) on Blu-Ray in 3-D, “restored… in 4K from original stereoscopic left/right 35mm archival elements by Kino Lorber Studio Classics and the 3D Film Archive.”

The Maze is an atmospheric Gothic horror movie with a great cast: Richard Carlson (fresh from It Came From Outer Space and about to meet up with The Creature From The Black Lagoon), Hillary Brooke (so great in The Abbott & Costello Show on TV) and Michael Pate (who would soon appear with a 3-D John Wayne in Hondo). William Cameron Menzies’ visual style — he layered things to accentuate the depth — made him an ideal director for 3-D.

This is gonna be a great one, folks!

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Filed under 1953, 3-D, DVD/Blu-ray News, Kino Lorber, Monogram/Allied Artists, Richard Carlson

DVD/Blu-Ray Rumor #145: I, The Jury (1953).

Directed by Harry Essex
Starring Biff Elliot, Preston Foster, Peggie Castle, Margaret Sheridan, John Qualen, Elisha Cook, Jr.

It’s the first film based on a Mickey Spillane/Mike Hammer book. It was in 3-D, shot by the great John Alton. And it’s got a terrific cast: Peggie Castle, Margaret Sheridan (so great in The Thing), Elisha Cook, Jr.

The word on the street is that it’s being prepped for a Blu-Ray release. That’s great news. Wonder if they’ve found the stereo tracks?

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Filed under 1953, 3-D, DVD/Blu-ray News, Elisha Cook, Jr., Peggie Castle

Blu-Ray Review: Money From Home (1953).

Directed by George Marshall
Produced by Hal B. Wallis
Screenplay by Hal Kanter
Adapted by James Allardice and Hal Kanter
From a story by Damon Runyon
Director Of Photography: Daniel L. Fapp

Cast: Dean Martin (Honey Talk Nelson), Jerry Lewis (Virgil Yokum), Marjie Millar (Phyllis Leigh), Pat Crowley (Autumn Claypool), Richard Haydn (Bertie Searles), Robert Strauss (Seldom Seen Kid), Gerald Mohr (Marshall Preston), Sheldon Leonard (Jumbo Schneider), Jack Kruschen (Short Boy)

__________

From a technical standpoint, Money From Home (1953) was a real landmark for Martin and Lewis. It was their first picture in color — and in some theaters it played in 3-D (and stereo), too. It was one of only two (if memory servces) films shot in both three-strip Technicolor and 3-D, which meant six (!) strips of negative were going through the camera at once.

This was the first Martin and Lewis picture I ever saw, catching it on TV as a kid. I loved it. So while I think the pair made better films (Artists And Models gets my vote for their best), I have a real soft spot for this one.

It’s the 20s. Dean’s a gambler named Honey Talk Nelson who owes a small fortune to bookmaker Jumbo Schneider (Sheldon Leonard). Jumbo will forgive Honey Talk’s stack of IOUs if Dean can keep a certain horse from winning a certain race — with the alternative being a pair of cement boots. So Honey Talk drafts his animal-loving, vet tech cousin Virgil (Lewis) and off they go. This paves the way for the typical crooning and romancing from Martin — of course, he falls for the owner of the horse he’s trying to fix (Marjie Millar), along with the prerequisite stupidity from Lewis — doing the dance of the seven veils, impersonating an English jockey, letting his ant farm loose at a cocktail party, etc. There’s a lot of funny stuff in here, most of it dependent on your personal preference and/or tolerance for Jerry Lewis.

Paramount surrounded Martin and Lewis with some great character actors in this one. Richard Haydn is funny as the drunk jockey Bertie Searles), and Robert Strauss, Sheldon Leonard and Jack Kruschen are great as the mobsters. Oh, and be sure to look for Mara Corday as a waitress.

Dean in front of the Dynoptic camera rig, Jerry with his (16mm?) home movie camera.

Olive Films has gives us a nice, if bare-bones, Blu-Ray of Money From Home. There’s been a lot of squawking about why they didn’t go all out with 3-D, which overlooks just how nice this Blu-Ray really is. (And besides, this isn’t the kinda movie that needs 3-D to work.) It’s sharp as a tack, with near-perfect contrast and color — allowing for some of the inconsistencies you see in a lot of old Technicolor material. That isn’t a complaint at all — it looks every bit like what it is, a polished Paramount studio picture from the early 50s. The audio is nice and clean — it’s a shame the stereo tracks have been lost.

Money From Home is a funny picture, and Olive Films has it looking seriously splendid. It’s easy to recommend this.

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Filed under 1953, 3-D, Dean Martin, DVD/Blu-ray Reviews, George Marshall, Jerry Lewis, Mara Corday, Olive Films, Paramount