Category Archives: 1953

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)

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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

Blu-Ray News #120: Cease Fire (1953).

Directed by Owen Crump
Starring Roy Thompson Jr., Henry Goszkowski, Richard Karl Elliott

Here’s one I’ve always wanted to see. Cease Fire (1953) was shot on location in Korea, during the war, using real GIs, in 3-D. That’s quite a thing.

Kino Lorber and The 3-D Film Archive are bringing it to Blu-Ray this summer.

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Filed under 1953, 3-D, DVD/Blu-ray News, Kino Lorber, Paramount

Blu-Ray News #86: The Mad Magician (1954) With Spooks And Pardon My Backfire (1953).

mad-magician-hs

Directed by John Brahm
Starring Vincent Price, Mary Murphy, Eva Gabor, John Emery, Donald Randolph, Lenita Lane

Here’s a perfect announcement for Halloween. Twilight Time has announced a January Blu-Ray release for Columbia’s The Mad Magician (1954) in 3-D and 2-D — with the added bonus of the two 3-D Three Stooges shorts, Spooks and Pardon My Backfire (both 1953).

spooks-ad

All three are goofy fun. The Mad Magician is very much a ripoff of House Of Wax (1953), but that’s not a complaint. It’s terrific, with Vincent “Mr. 3-D” Price at his best. The Stooges shorts are exactly what you’d expect — some of the pies and stuff are thrown at you this time around. All come highly recommended, whether you have a 3-D rig or not.

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Filed under 1953, 1954, 3-D, Columbia, The Three Stooges, Twilight Time, Vincent Price

Blu-ray News #77: It Came From Outer Space (1953).

it-came-from-outer-space LC

Directed by Jack Arnold
Starring Richard Carlson, Barbara Rush, Charles Drake, Russell Johnson, Kathleen Hughes, Joe Sawyer

Universal has announced the October 4 release of Jack Arnold’s great It Came From Outer Space (1953). The Region-Free disc will offer up both a 3-D and 2-D hi-def transfer of the film as a Best Buy exclusive.

The 3-D has been meticulously restored, along with the original stereo mix! This was one of the first pictures to boast stereophonic sound. And you can get it all for just 10 bucks!

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Filed under 1953, 3-D, DVD/Blu-ray News, Jack Arnold, Russell Johnson, Universal (-International)

Blu-ray News #58: The Magnetic Monster (1953).

The Magnetic Monster poster

Directed by Curt Siodmak
Starring Richard Carlson, King Donovan, Jean Byron, Harry Ellerbe, Leo Britt

Kino Lorber has announced a June Blu-ray release for The Magnetic Monster (1953), a low-budget, high-quality (as I see it) sci-fi picture from Curt Siodmak. It stars the great Richard Carlson as a scientist warning us about the dangers of radiation. Nobody handles 50s pseudo-scientific dialogue as well as Carlson. Recommended.

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Filed under 1953, Curt Siodmak, DVD/Blu-ray News, Kino Lorber, Richarld Carlson, Uncategorized