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Man Out of Time

by B.A. Nilsson November 20, 2012


  The six-DVD set that Shout! Factory released last year was as wonderful a bounty of Ernie Kovacs material as you could desire, righting the wrong inflicted by an earlier collection that chopped his shows to ...

Bargain Bin

by Shawn Stone October 25, 2012

  There’s only one DVD in this edition, but it’s a terrific find: Walt Disney’s 1944 love letter to South America, The Three Caballeros. As the fun begins, it’s Donald Duck’s birthday. The irascible quacker receives a ...

The Other Gamine

by Shawn Stone October 25, 2012


  Audrey Hepburn personified the zeitgeist as the 1950s equivalent of today’s “pixie girl,” and generation after generation has continued to identify with her image. Yet the Dutch-born gamine did have rivals, and the best of ...

Steve Martin: The Television Stuff

by Shawn Stone September 26, 2012


  In the 1970s, Steve Martin was one of those guys who remade stand-up comedy. While Richard Pryor and George Carlin were changing comedy from the outside, tackling topics and using language previously reserved for comics ...


by Shawn Stone September 7, 2012


This is the most unexpected and delightful video release of the year. The Criterion Collection has rescued a lovely, generally unknown gem from the oblivion of archival and festival showings. Lonesome, which was made on ...

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by Shawn Stone September 7, 2012


In 1969, Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider lured the hippies and fellow travelers into America’s increasingly empty movie theaters with its rangy story of drugs, sex and the search for freedom on the road. It grossed ...

Centennial Summer

by Shawn Stone May 30, 2012


  Hollywood is old. Two of the earliest surviving studios, Paramount and Universal, turn 100 this year. Universal Home Video is promoting its parent’s centennial with film restorations and ballyhoo. The ballyhoo takes the form of wrapping ...


by Shawn Stone May 30, 2012


Back in the VHS era, Paramount’s editions of Wings and other silent films were very nice, but ultimately less impressive than MGM/UA’s editions of silent classics. Titles like King Vidor’s comic homage to Hollywood, Show ...

Wizards 35th Anniversary Edition

by Shawn Stone April 4, 2012


When Wizards was released in 1977, it turned Hollywood’s view of feature animation on its head. The film’s success proved that there was a market for more than children’s fairy tales (though Wizards was consciously ...

Bargain Bin

by Shawn Stone April 4, 2012

I was going to call this edition of the cutout column “Bargain Burt,” as it features two 1970s vehicles for then-superstar Burt Reynolds. But that wouldn’t be fair to Reynolds’ costar in both comedies, Jill ...

Blessed Event, Fast Workers

by Shawn Stone March 7, 2012


The talkies had been around for six years, but the movies had never seen a motor-mouthed monster quite like Lee Tracy when he exploded on the scene in 1932. That year the Georgia-born Tracy, who ...

Isle of Lost Souls

by Shawn Stone November 16, 2011


Melodrama doesn’t get much juicier than William A. Wellman’s precode sizzler Safe in Hell. We meet the heroine, a New Orleans hooker named Gilda, as she gets an outcall and dresses for work. She meets ...

A’s and B’s

by Shawn Stone October 6, 2011


The term “B picture” means something quite different today, but in the heyday of the studio system it meant a feature running less than 90 minutes, in a popular genre, made to fill the lower ...

Bargain Bin

by Shawn Stone August 25, 2011


Funny Face: The Centennial Collection How many times have Paramount Home Video repackaged their Audrey Hepburn titles? Well, they haven’t released Blu-ray editions yet of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sabrina, Roman Holiday, Paris When It Sizzles ...

Urban Fairy Tales

by Shawn Stone July 27, 2011


Jonathan Demme’s Something Wild is an adventurous romance that’s funny and dark, energizing and violent. It begins and ends in a multicultural New York City where identities and sexuality are fluid, a rainbow of groups ...

Crime On Demand

by Shawn Stone July 6, 2011


After a slow start, MGM’s manufactured-on-demand (MOD) disc program—which is administered, like their regular Blu-ray and DVD releases, by Twentieth Century Fox—suddenly became very active this year, with, most recently, 29 new releases in June. ...

Political Humour

by Shawn Stone April 20, 2011


The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer is a true oddity, the kind of deep-from-the-vault item Warner Archive is wont to dredge up. This 1970 flop brought together a host of great comic actors and ...

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All Angles Covered

by Shawn Stone March 9, 2011


(Criterion) Clifford Odets’ dialogue for Sweet Smell of Success plays like it was written with, to borrow a line from another movie, “a goose quill dipped in venom.” Smell is a tale of old Broadway ...