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 Warner Archive Collection
Bob Cashill
Posted: Mar 28 2012, 01:11 PM


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Now through 4/1 the Archive has a 25% off sale on certain titles at its revamped site.


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Marty McKee
Posted: Mar 28 2012, 09:40 PM


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Grrr. I still can't justify $60 for TARZAN, Season One.


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Mark Tinta
Posted: Apr 6 2012, 06:13 PM


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I was able to take a look at the two recent Eurocult releases from the Archive. HATE FOR HATE is an OK but insignificant spaghetti western, but THE CATS is a pretty loony gem that's worth a look. In-depth coverage at the link.


THE CATS and HATE FOR HATE


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Raymond Tucker
Posted: Apr 11 2012, 02:29 PM


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It looks like many of Warner Archive titles are marked down 25% at Oldies.com through the end of April.
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Wade Sowers
Posted: Apr 13 2012, 02:47 PM


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TRUCK BUSTERS (1943) - Another in the sub-genre of gangsters against independent truckers, but this one has a bit more of a political slant. It seems the Big Four Trucking Companies want to drive the independent owner operators out of business so they can take all of the increased shipping due to the need to supply military bases. They learn that in one week the U.S. Government will put a freeze on the sale of new trucks in order to supply the war effort with vehicles, consequently, the Big Four purchase a lending company holding notes on most of the independent trucks, put a mobster in charge, and try to foreclose on everyone using force, guns, you can imagine. Well, a trucker war erupts and the wholesale produce people become involved when they form a coop with the independents to try and keep them in business, and probably their own costs down. The profits will be shared among the members which, I suppose, indicates the leftist attitude of some of those Warner scripts of this period. This is, of course, a good plan, but the gangsters don't take this lying down. While it does lack the added power people like George Raft, Humphrey Bogart, Richard Conte and Lee J. Cobb could bring to other trucker movies, this one moves along at a nice clip - the entire film is over in 58 minutes. I also found the period setting a bit different and the idea that people were fighting over the profits to be made on the homefront during a war added an element missing from the other movies about truckers and gangsters - it did remind me of some of the stuff going on during the Iraq War and the vast profits that were made by contractors. Another of those finds as Warner digs deeper into their Archive. The MOD looks good for the most part with a few scratches here and there.

This post has been edited by Wade Sowers on Apr 13 2012, 03:10 PM
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Alan Maxwell
Posted: Apr 14 2012, 05:25 AM


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I recall the issue mentioned here with the initial W.A. release of NO BLADE OF GRASS, which was subsequently corrected. Having recently picked up a copy of it and not being that familiar with the movie (saw it once many years ago), can anyone tell me a quick way to spot if I have the botched version or the corrected one?
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Bob Cashill
Posted: Apr 14 2012, 06:17 AM


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If you got it through the Archive, there should be no problem. (And it was available so briefly I don't think too many bad copies could have made it out there.) I think it was Wade who spotted the errors.

The Archive is having a 3-for$33 dollar sale, which allowed me to snag some of its recent Jim Brown titles. I noticed, though, that THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE (75) is no longer available. Is there an issue with that one?

This post has been edited by Bob Cashill on Apr 14 2012, 06:26 AM


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Wade Sowers
Posted: Apr 14 2012, 11:12 AM


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QUOTE (Alan Maxwell @ Apr 14 2012, 05:25 AM)
I recall the issue mentioned here with the initial W.A. release of NO BLADE OF GRASS, which was subsequently corrected. Having recently picked up a copy of it and not being that familiar with the movie (saw it once many years ago), can anyone tell me a quick way to spot if I have the botched version or the corrected one?


This is my original post about the error: WA has since corrected it so, as Bob says, you should have no problems.

"I think there might be a problem with NO BLADE OF GRASS - I have never seen the film before today, and Wilde does a bit of flash-forward stuff here and there, but at around 37 minutes into the WA/MOD the three cars taking the family and friends from London drive into a village, then we are suddenly in a field, they have no cars, and one of the characters is talking about his wife being dead (she had been alive and fine in one of the cars). The characters then proceed on foot, they meet another group and join forces, then witness a military assault on a farm. Then (around 55 minutes) we are back with the family in their cars after leaving the village and we proceed until the fellow's wife dies, then we are back at the attack on the village and we move on in sequence until the end. It seems a reel is out of order."
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Bob Cashill
Posted: May 17 2012, 07:53 PM


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The Archive has announced a 3-for-$45 sale on 500 of its MGM and Sony titles through 5/20. That's a good deal on those. (It's also lowered its price on all its single disc items to $17.95.)

This post has been edited by Bob Cashill on May 17 2012, 07:54 PM


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Bill Picard
Posted: Jun 11 2012, 08:03 AM


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Late tomorrow night, TCM is showing the Archive release THE BRIBE (1949). It's got a great cast but lukewarm reviews on imdb, fwiw. Anyone here care to chime in on whether it's worth burning a disc of mine own for?
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Wade Sowers
Posted: Jun 11 2012, 11:05 AM


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With regard to THE BRIBE, Robert Taylor is often a bit of a problem for me, and MGM seldom did this sort of thing as well as low rent RKO, but the rest of the cast, Ava Gardner, Vincent Price, and particularly Charles Laughton - he made my skin crawl - was more than worth the WA purchase price and a repeat viewing.

This post has been edited by Wade Sowers on Jun 11 2012, 11:17 AM
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Bill Picard
Posted: Jun 18 2012, 12:44 PM


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Thanks, Wade! I taped, watched, and liked it, with some reservations. Laughton, as you state, is fantastic, and his sweaty, gimpy performance contributes greatly to the film's sense of exotic corruption and lawlessness. And Vincent Price is really good, too, his highlight being the scene in which he tries to smother one character with a pillow while repeatedly shouting, "You talked yourself to death!" Though it is distracting that his first scene with Taylor establishes his character as being a generation older than him [Taylor], even though both men were really born in 1911!

I'd have to disagree with you on Gardner, though, since I didn't think she adequately handles the complexity (and shifting loyalties) her role required. And Taylor is a pretty weak lead, partly a result of his consistent lack of expression and partly due to the weird second-person narration his character gives to himself in the first half. This may be director Leonard's fault, trying to make him into a tortured Bogart protagonist rather than an uptight Federal agent, which would have better suited his acting style, something Mann understood when casting him as an Indian in DEVIL'S DOORWAY.

But overall not a bad film, if not a legitimate south-of-the-border classic like THE BREAKING POINT. The exciting ending is definitely a highlight.
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Terry Barhorst, Jr.
Posted: Jun 18 2012, 01:07 PM


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QUOTE (Wade Sowers @ Jun 11 2012, 11:05 AM)
With regard to THE BRIBE, Robert Taylor is often a bit of a problem for me, and MGM seldom did this sort of thing as well as low rent RKO, but the rest of the cast, Ava Gardner, Vincent Price, and particularly Charles Laughton - he made my skin crawl - was more than worth the WA purchase price and a repeat viewing.

Is this one of the movies that shows up in DEAD MEN DON'T WEAR PLAID?


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Brian Camp
Posted: Jun 18 2012, 01:14 PM


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QUOTE (Terry Barhorst @ Jr.,Jun 18 2012, 01:07 PM)
Is this one of the movies that shows up in DEAD MEN DON'T WEAR PLAID?

Yes. Rather prominently, too, if I recall correctly.


This post has been edited by Brian Camp on Jun 18 2012, 01:15 PM


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Wade Sowers
Posted: Jun 18 2012, 03:17 PM


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QUOTE (Bill Picard @ Jun 18 2012, 12:44 PM)
I'd have to disagree with you on Gardner, though, since I didn't think she adequately handles the complexity (and shifting loyalties) her role required. And Taylor is a pretty weak lead, partly a result of his consistent lack of expression and partly due to the weird second-person narration his character gives to himself in the first half. This may be director Leonard's fault, trying to make him into a tortured Bogart protagonist rather than an uptight Federal agent, which would have better suited his acting style, something Mann understood when casting him as an Indian in DEVIL'S DOORWAY.

But overall not a bad film, if not a legitimate south-of-the-border classic like THE BREAKING POINT. The exciting ending is definitely a highlight.

Yes, DEVIL'S DOORWAY (1949), along with Nick Ray's PARTY GIRL (1958) are probably the two Taylor performances that bother me least - I suppose there might be some others . . . THE BREAKING POINT (1950) is/should be a classic - the finest of the film versions of Hemingway's novel, and talk about an ending! Ava, well, I will admit sometimes my judgement of her acting abilty gets lost as I watch her walk around, sit, smile . . . if you have never read it, there is a fine book about her -

http://www.amazon.com/Ava-Gardner-Love-Is-...love+is+nothing

This post has been edited by Wade Sowers on Jun 19 2012, 11:07 AM
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Bob Cashill
Posted: Jun 19 2012, 10:57 AM


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Today's "Negulesco Noir" includes a personal favorite, THREE STRANGERS (46), with Lorre and Greenstreet at their best and Geraldine Fitzgerald a match for them.

Funny, but I've come round to Taylor in recent years. He was the longest-serving actor under a studio contract (24 years with MGM, or 34-58) and if he didn't altogether improve with age he weathered into a reliable journeyman lead, in movies like the ones mentioned and THE LAST HUNT.


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Wade Sowers
Posted: Jun 19 2012, 02:52 PM


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Yes, you are right about Taylor in Brooks' THE LAST HUNT (1956) - I finally caught up with this one (although it turns out must have seen it in 1956 as the ending rang a bell) due to the WA release, that performance fints into my "there might be some others" remark . . . I am thrilled about the "Negulesco Noir" set as I have never seen any of them.

This post has been edited by Wade Sowers on Jun 19 2012, 02:55 PM
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Bob Cashill
Posted: Jun 21 2012, 08:54 PM


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Lee Server's books about Gardner and Robert Mitchum are great.


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Bob Cashill
Posted: Jul 21 2012, 06:37 AM


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Dave Kehr on the excellent CRIME DOES NOT PAY collection. Note to Wade: CAHN!


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Brian Camp
Posted: Jul 21 2012, 06:40 AM


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QUOTE (Bob Cashill @ Jun 21 2012, 08:54 PM)
Lee Server's books about Gardner and Robert Mitchum are great.

Yes, two of the best movie star bios I've ever read. It helps that the subjects led such wild and colorful lives, but also that the author appreciates and understands their film work as well.


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