Directed by Robert Fuest
Starring Ernest Borgnine, Eddie Albert, Ida Lupino, William Shatner, Keenan Wynn, Tom Skerritt
I was watching The Wild, Wild West one afternoon when the trailer for The Devil’s Rain (1975) came on. As with The Legend Of Hell House (1973) a couple years before, these commercials left me really wigged out. Pretty creepy stuff.
Severin has announced an upcoming Blu-Ray release for The Devil’s Rain. So now I can pull off a perfect hi-def movie night: this and Race With The Devil (1975, available from Shout Factory) with Peter Fonda and Warren Oates. Oh man, I can’t wait.
Directed by Andre de Toth
Starring Ernest Borgnine, Kerwin Matthews, Colleen Dewhurst
Ernest Borgnine stars in this 1960 spy picture based on the life (and autobiography, Ten Years A Counterspy) of Boris Morros, a Russian-born musical director in Hollywood (John Ford’s Stagecoach, 1939) who was first a Russian spy, then a counterspy for the FBI.
Man On A String is given a gritty, documentary-style treatment by director Andre de Toth, who focuses on the double-crosses that stack up like cordwood. It’s coming to DVD from Mill Creek Entertainment in a four-picture “Soviet Spies” set that also includes Anthony Mann’s last film, A Dandy In Aspic (1968). These two films are well worth the $14.98 price tag. It’s great to see de Toth’s work show up on DVD or Blu-Ray. Recommended.
Scream Factory has announced the upcoming releases of Daniel Mann’s Willard (1971) and Phil Karlson’s Ben (1972) this May. Willard, a story of a young man and the rats that have infested his rundown home, was a big creepy hit. The sequel, Ben, has the benefit of Phil Karlson in the director’s chair (and a song by Michael Jackson that I hate). Both films are effective.
I’m surprised it’s taken this long to get these pictures out there, and I’m sure Scream Factory will do a terrific job with them.
When my daughter was really little, she was all about McHale’s Navy on TV. (She loves Tim Conway.) We’re excited to have the chance to see the two color features next month — and in widescreen! So glad they’re in Shout Factory’s capable hands.
Directed by Richard Fleischer
Starring Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine, Janet Leigh, James Donald
Richard Fleischer’s The Vikings (1957) will land on Blu-ray in March of 2016. It’s probably not much for history, but for late-50s epic cool, this is about as good as it gets. Originally released in Technirama and Technicolor, I can’t wait to see what this’ll look like in hi-def.
Grab a life vest, a bowl of popcorn and a box of Raisinets. Because tonight, TCM is going down with the ships.
The Poseidon Adventure (1972) was a huge deal when I was growing up. I remember the TV spots and poster (“Hell, upside down”) hanging outside the theater in Thomasville, Georgia. I couldn’t wait to see it. It begins as a soap opera, then puts the entire cast through absolute hell. Movies don’t get much more entertaining than this one.
A Night To Remember (1958) did more on its modest budget more than the newer Titanic picture accomplished with an endless supply of cash. (Don’t get me started on that thing.) A Night To Remember masterfully combines history, social commentary, excitement, heartbreak and suspense — even though we know how it’s gonna end — and made me the Titanic geek I am today. There are so many incredible touches in this film, courtesy of Roy Ward Baker’s assured direction. For instance, the serving cart that appears throughout to illustrate the listing of the ship — it sails across the room and crashes into the wall just as all hell breaks loose among the passengers still on board. Of course, the events of April, 1912 are a great story — and this is a great example of storytelling on film. One of the most powerful movies I’ve ever seen. (The public library here in Raleigh had a gorgeous 16mm print of A Night To Remember that I checked out several times. Heard later that all those prints were pitched into the dumpster.)