Many forgotten films worth checking out are somewhat new to DVD

Many forgotten films worth checking out are somewhat new to DVD

By Chris Hicks, Deseret News

Several old movies come back to DVD or Blu-ray for the very first time this week, headed by a 1966 Mexican western with a surprising authorship.

“Time to Die”(Film Movement, 1966, b/w, maybe not rated/probable PG-13, in Spanish with English subtitles, audio commentary, introduction; 16-page booklet). After spending 18 years in prison for murder, Juan Sayago (Jorge Martínez de Hoyos) returns home, only to be confronted by the revenge-minded sons of the guy he killed in a duel. This narrative of guilt, revenge and resolution stems from Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez (before he won the Nobel Prize for literature) in cooperation with renowned Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes. So it should come as no surprise that this yummy small western is quite literary in tone and much more thoughtful than many.

“Battle Cry”(Warner Archive, 1955, trailer). Marines go through boot camp, then are assigned to lowly mop-up duty prior to taking a part in the Battle of Saipan, headed by a no-nonsense major (Van Heflin). Compelling World War II examination of young guys (Aldo Ray, Tab Hunter, Fess Parker, L.Q. Jones) who yearn for combat before facing its unpleasant realities. This one gains from an intelligent script from Leon Uris, based on his book, and direction from veteran Raoul Walsh. Together with Anne Francis, Dorothy Malone and James Whitmore. (Blu-ray debut accessible at

“Glenda Farrell Triple Feature”(Warner Archive, 1936-37, b/w, three movies, trailers). Glenda Farrell has been a trustworthy stock-company routine who performed lead and supporting roles for dozens of (largely B-level) Warner Brothers movies during the whole decade of the 1930s. Both a reliable stunning actress and a skillful comedian, Farrell co-stars in these 3 samples: “The Law in Her Hands” is approximately two waitresses who become lawyers (Margaret Lindsay and Farrell) and get mixed up with gangsters; “Here Comes Carter” has Farrell billed over Anne Nagel, although Nagel gets the bigger part in this narrative of a radio gossipmonger (Ross Alexander) taunting a gangster; along with “Dance Charlie Dance” (that may have influenced Mel Brooks’“The Producers”) includes a rich rube (Stuart Erwin) financing a poor play that unexpectedly turns into a hit, using Jean Muir and Farrell and the ride. (Manufacture-on-demand DVD-R accessible at

“The Sissi Collection”(Film Movement, 1955-57, five disks, three movies, in German with English subtitles, featurette; 1962 condensed English-dubbed variant of the trilogy: “Forever My Love”; 20-page booklet). Austrian actress Romy Schneider became an worldwide star in such movies as “What’s New, Pussycat?” And also “Boccaccio 70,” but at the mid-1950s she starred, beginning at age 17, in this trilogy of movies about Austrian empress Elisabeth, known to her family from the titular nickname. Together, the movies –“Sissi” (1955), “Sissi: The Young Empress” (1956) and “Sissi: Fateful Years of a Empress” (1957) — are an romanticized, fictionalized biography, together with stunning locations that pop within this fresh Blu-ray variant.

“Summer of ’42”(Warner Archive, 1971, PG, trailer). Robert Mulligan (“To Kill a Mockingbird”) directed this coming-of-age comedy-drama based on screenwriter Herman Raucher’s adolescent experiences on Nantucket Island in the first years of World War II. Hermie (Gary Grimes) and two pals attempt to score by some regional women but Hermie is more enthusiastic about a adult woman (Jennifer O’Neill) whose husband has gone off to war, therefore he ingratiates herself into her lifestyle. Originally rated R because of its attempts to be equally sensitive and raunchy (even though it’s fairly tame by today’s standards), the movie was re-rated to PG, and turned into an early-’70s pop-culture phenomenon. (Blu-ray debut accessible at

“Scarecrow”(Warner Archive, 1973; R for language, nudity, gender; featurette, trailer). A hardened ex-con (Gene Hackman) and a naïve former sailor (Al Pacino) team up in California and head to Pittsburgh to begin a car wash collectively. However, to state the road ahead is rugged for both (and also for the audience) is a understatement. However, this downbeat personality study benefits from powerful lead performances and has assembled a passionate cult following. (Blu-ray debut accessible at

“The Incredible Shrinking Woman”(Shout Select, 1980, PG, deleted scene, featurettes, trailer, photo gallery). Lily Tomlin stars within this very broad, quite ridiculous action of Richard Matheson’s “Shrinking Man” while also trying to satirize Madison Avenue and America’s blind acceptance of poisonous household products. Charles Grodin and Ned Beatty co-star; Tomlin’s longtime partner Jane Wagner wrote the screenplay.

Chris Hicks is the author of “Has Hollywood Lost Its Mind? A Parent’s Guide to Movie Ratings.” In addition, he writes in and could be contacted in

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