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.
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.
Directed by Sam Peckinpah
Starring Steve McQueen, Robert Preston, Ida Lupino, Joe Don Baker, Barbara Leigh, Ben Johnson, Dub Taylor
Sam Peckinpah’s Junior Bonner (1972) is a wonderful movie, plain and simple. And Kino Lorber’s bringing it to Blu-Ray this summer. Its previous DVD releases weren’t anamorphic, so this will be a huge leap forward.
If you haven’t seen it, you’re in for a real treat. I can’t recommend this one highly enough. Thanks to Paula for the photo of McQueen and Ben Johnson.
More Peckinpah Blu-Ray news — Criterion has announced Straw Dogs (1971) for June.
Directed by Phil Karlson
Starring Joe Don Baker, Conny Van Dyke, Gabriel Dell, John Marley, Brock Peters, John Larch, Paul Mantee, Walter Brooke
Kino Lorber has announced that early next year, they’ll release Phil Karlson’s Framed (1975) on Blu-Ray. (Legend Films released it on DVD a few years ago.)
Karlson’s last picture, Framed is a revenge story not unlike his Walking Tall (1973), which also starred Joe Don Baker. That film was a runaway hit — it cost $500,000 and grossed $23 million in the US alone — and Karlson made a fortune off of it. If anything, Framed is even more brutal and violent than Walking Tall, which is really saying something.
Phil Karlson is a terrific, but underrated, director. His Westerns (such as Gunman’s Walk) and crime films (like 5 Against The House) of the Fifties are well worth seeking out. His next-to-last film was Walking Tall (1973), a mammoth hit that made him a rich man. It stars Joe Don Baker and a big piece of wood as real-life Louisiana lawman Buford Pusser. It was shot by the great Jack Marta, who worked on everything from Roy Rogers movies to Steven Spielberg’s Duel (1971).
It’s playing at Raleigh’s Colony Theater on August 13th, 8:00pm.