Directed by John Frankenheimer
Starring Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March, Ava Gardner, Edmond O’Brien, Martin Balsam
Warner Archive has announced a summer Blu-Ray release of the John Frankenheimer suspense/paranoia classic Seven Days In May (1964) — with Burt Lancaster as a general leading a plot to overthrow the President (whose talks of disarmament has some in the military fearing a Russian attack). The cast is outstanding — Fredric March (as the President), Kirk Douglas (as a general who uncovers the plot), Ava Gardner, Edmond O’Brien, Martin Balsam, Andrew Duggan and on and on. Rod Serling’s script is a masterpiece — this is an idea that remains topical and will probably never be handled better.
Black and white really looks terrific in high definition, and director of photography Ellsworth Fredricks’ work here certainly deserves the boost in clarity. Good stuff.
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.
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.
Of The Marx Brothers’ five Paramounts, Duck Soup (1933) is widely considered the best. My favorite’s Monkey Business (1931), for the simple reason that it makes me laugh the most. The other three are The Cocoanuts (1929), Animal Crackers (1930) and Horse Feathers (1932). Their MGM pictures are more polished — but as I see it, polish and the Marx Brothers make an odd match.
Universal’s put together a Blu-ray set of these classics, which have been available in a terrific DVD collection for years. Called The Mark Brothers Silver Screen Blu-ray Collection, it’ll be out in October. Dear God, these are funny movies.