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Classic Coming Attractions by Barrie Maxwell

Back to Part Two

Barrie Maxwell - Main Page

The Christmas Column (continued)

Comments on the Rest of the Recent Releases... from Fox

What appears to be the last wave of Fox Studio Classics as the studio revamps its packaging of classic titles is an offering of three titles that are all worth getting (The Rains Came [1939], Orchestra Wives [1942], Two for the Road [1966] - all released on November 1st, 2005). For my taste, the key items are The Rains Came, a surprisingly effective drama with fine special effects starring the great Tyrone Power, and Orchestra Wives, a very likable musical with delightful Glenn Miller music. I know Two for the Road has its adherents, but it personally holds little charm for me. The transfers maintain the high standard we have come to expect from the Studio Classics series, although the supplements don't stretch much beyond audio commentaries. The latter for Two for the Road and The Rains Came are very good, but the one for Orchestra Wives (by stars Ann Rutherford and Fayard Nicholas and for which I had high hopes) was disappointing.

The second wave of Shirley Temple films (Baby Take a Bow [1934], Bright Eyes [1934], Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm [1938] - all released on November 22nd, 2005) follows the pattern of the first wave. Each film is available separately or as part of a box set, and each is presented in the original black and white as well as in a colourized version. As usual, the latter are to be avoided. As films, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and Bright Eyes are equally good with Baby Take a Bow (Temple's first starring picture) trailing somewhat. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm has the celebrated tap dancing sequence with Shirley and Bill Robinson. It also looks the best on disc with a nice crisp look and great image detail. The other two films are quite watchable, but exhibit more troubled source material and substantial grain at times. Overall, any of these titles offers fine family entertainment and all are worthy purchases particularly for Temple fans.

When Fox released its 40th anniversary two-disc edition of The Sound of Music (1965) [reviewed above] on November 15th, it also put out a two-disc 60th anniversary edition of State Fair (1945) and a two-disc 50th anniversary edition of Oklahoma! (1955). These were all previously issued by Fox and because of various concerns, fans have been hoping for an upgrade ever since. In the case of State Fair, the upgrade is a worthy one. Not only is the new transfer and the supplementary content superior to the old one, we also get the 1962 version of the film with Pat Boone. It's not as good a film nor does it look quite as vibrant, but it's nice to have it finally available for comparison and to have Boone's comments in an audio commentary. On the other hand, the new DVD release of Oklahoma! is a mixed blessing. Both the CinemaScope version (2.55:1) and the Todd-AO version (2.20:1) are provided in new anamorphic transfers. The former looks great, but the latter is terrible - ironic when one sees supplements on the disc trumpeting the virtues of Todd-AO.

Don't be tempted by The Mark of Zorro: Special Edition (1940) that Fox issued on October 18th, 2005. This is simply the Studio Classics release previously issued by Fox now put out on one side of a disc with a colourized version of the film placed on the flip side. I'm frankly appalled that Fox thinks so little of one of its great films that it would allow it to be bastardized in such a fashion. Don't encourage them!

I know many people like Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat (1944), released on DVD on October 18th. I don't dislike it, but it's always left me a little dissatisfied in comparison to some of Hitchcock's other masterpieces - perhaps the cramped confines of the action at work. Fox has chosen to highlight the film by issuing it as Special Edition rather than part of its Studio Classics series, despite the fact that the treatment is much the same as it would have been in that series - accompanied by an audio commentary (a very good one by Drew Casper), an average making-of documentary, and a photo gallery. The image is merely average.

... from Image

The second collection of shows from the first season of Tales of Tomorrow, a 1951 TV series, arrived on disc on November 1st, 2005. This may have been a pioneering science fiction series, but the episodes now look very creaky indeed. There are 13 of them included on two discs in this offering, but all are difficult to sit through due to predictable stories, mediocre acting, and suspect-looking sets. Not only that, their transfers are poor with fuzzy, ragged images and sound that appears to have been recorded in a deep well. The episodes also include interruptions for annoying commercials for something called Kreisler watches (although of course you can skip over them as they're separately chapter encoded).

Two 1936 outings comprise the most recent Image offering of Gene Autry westerns, released on October 25th, 2005. Both are Republic productions from very early in Gene's film career - Guns and Guitars and The Singing Cowboy. Guns and Guitars is the better of the two as Gene, part of a traveling medicine show, gets involved in trying to stop the movement of quarantined cattle. For a musical western, the blend of music and action is about right in this one. The young Gene is earnest but a bit stiff in his delivery while Smiley Burnette is not too objectionable. The Singing Cowboy is top-heavy with music as Gene tries to help a crippled girl by starting up a radio series. Image's discs follow the same pattern in regard to content as earlier offerings in the series. The image transfers here are somewhat soft - slightly-below to about-average for the series. Recommended for Autry fans, worth a rental for other western fans.

... from MPI

Based on the First Season's shows, it's somewhat surprising that The Doris Day Show (released on DVD by MPI on June 28th, 2005) survived for another four seasons before Doris herself pulled the plug on continuing further. The series' first season had Doris appearing as Doris Martin, a widowed mother with two young sons (Billy - Philip Brown, and Toby - Tod Starke) who has left the city to live on the Mill Valley, California farm of her father, Buck Webb (played by Denver Pyle). Also on hand are James Hampton as farm handyman Leroy B. Simpson and Lord Nelson, the family's loyal sheepdog. This bunch takes us through 28 episodes of innocuous and sanitized happenings that pretty well exhaust the possibilities for such a setting. It's all very pleasant and heart-warming, but there's no spark of innovation to make the series stand out. It was not surprising then that later seasons found Doris's character getting back into the workforce and eventually moving back to the city. Had she not done so, the series would have foundered early on instead of lasting as long as it did. Aside from the reliability of character actor, Denver Pyle, the series depends heavily on Doris Day for any spark it has. For the most part she delivers and her fans will no doubt be delighted with this first season package. Those who are not Day fans, however, will find little to hold their interest, as the material does not have the lasting entertainment value of other 1960s series available on DVD such as The Andy Griffith Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, or even Green Acres. MPI certainly has done a decent job of packaging the first season. The first three discs contain eight episodes each while the fourth contains the last four episodes plus the bonus features. The full frame transfers look very good. Colours are bright and natural looking while the image is quite sharp and virtually free of defects. The mono sound is clear and actually fairly dynamic, with Doris's occasional musical forays strongly projected. English subtitles are provided. The best of the bonus features comprises interviews with James Hampton (17 minutes) and Philip Brown (11 minutes). Both offer interesting comments on their experiences on being hired for their parts as well as during the shooting of the episodes. Other supplements include two appearances by Doris Day as a mystery guest on the TV show "What's My Line?", two short filmed greetings from her to sponsors and network affiliates, a brief message from her concerning her work with animals, a Season Two preview, and a trailer for Lover Come Back (1961, Doris Day and Rock Hudson).

... from New Line

2005 was quite a year for Steve McQueen fans as a number of his films saw new transfers come to or made their debuts on DVD. One of the most welcome offerings was Wanted: Dead or Alive - Season One, which New Line delivered on June 7th, 2005. All 36 episodes from the 1958-1959 season (the first of a three-season run) are included, presented unedited on four double-sided discs. In the series, McQueen plays bounty hunter Josh Randall who's definitely in it for the money, but is not above donating his takings to people more needy than himself. The Randall trademark was his sawed-off Winchester shotgun. The series episodes are sturdy little morality plays highlighted by a character a little out of the norm for 1950s TV westerns. The image transfers are virtually all solid in this set and we get some decent extras including a McQueen documentary, Life in the Fast Lane. Recommended.

... from Paramount

Belying its made-for-TV look, 1967's Warning Shot is a very entertaining, compact police thriller released on DVD by Paramount on November 1st, 2005. It stars the dependable David Janssen, here just recently finished running as TV's The Fugitive, as a police detective who looks likely to be sent up for allegedly murdering a suspect under surveillance. He has just days to prove his innocence. The story is tightly plotted and for once, a plethora of cameos from stars such as Lillian Gish, Walter Pidgeon, George Sanders, Steve Allen, Eleanor Parker, Keenan Wynn, Ed Begley, and Carroll O'Connor works very well. Paramount's anamorphic transfer is excellent. Recommended.

Perhaps emboldened by the Special Collector's Editions that it's been giving us for its Batjac film acquisitions, Paramount has given similar treatment to Lady Sings the Blues (1972) and The War of the Worlds (1953). Both discs were released on November 1st, 2005. Lady Sings the Blues is the story of singer Billie Holiday, superbly enacted by Diana Ross. The film looks great on the anamorphic transfer and the 5.1 track makes the most of the wonderful music. The War of the Worlds (from the H.G. Wells alien invasion novel) has been available on disc before, but this new transfer is superb, easily blowing the old one out of the water. The film itself is also superior to the recent Spielberg remake. Both offerings include useful supplements such as audio commentaries and new making-of documentaries, and both are easy recommendations.

... from Questar

I've always enjoyed books and pictures dealing with steam locomotives, but have never been the sort of fan that travels to see or ride restored engines in action or even make it my business to find out what sort of steam locomotive material is available on DVD for example. So I can't say whether Questar's November 8th, 2005 release of Extreme Steam is something novel or just adds to what is already a growing library of such material. That said, this offering seems to me to be a very appealing set. It consists of six discs (some 12 hours) of steam locomotives in action, with representation ranging from the Ohio Central to Norfolk and Western, the Santa Fe, Union Pacific, Canadian Pacific, and Canadian National. Most discs focus on a selection of trains, but one singles out 1998 as a year with numerous excursions while another presents a number of safety training and promotional films from the 1950s and 1970s from the Santa Fe archives. The image transfers are full frame and are all quite watchable. An easy recommendation for steam locomotive enthusiasts.

... from Rhino

One of the more fondly-remembered of the 1950s TV western series was The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp. It starred Hugh O'Brian as Earp and managed a six-season run beginning in 1955. Rhino Home Video has made a selection of 26 episodes from the entire run and packaged them unedited in a very attractive four-disc set that was released on October 27th, 2005. In terms of sophistication, these westerns lie somewhere between the early Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and Lone Ranger TV shows and the later Have Gun Will Travel and Gunsmoke series. O'Brian makes for an authoritative though overly sanitized Earp. The episodes in the set are organized chronologically to follow Earp's progress as town marshal from Ellsworth and Wichita to Dodge City and eventually Tombstone, culminating in five episodes that document the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Like New Line's Wanted: Dead or Alive, the image transfers offered here are very solid, making the series a pleasure to revisit despite its adult limitations. Recommended for Earp completists. Western fans may wish to try a rental.

... from Sony

Sony has pumped out a reasonably high number of classic titles of late (mainly through its MGM component), but aside from the war films reviewed above, none are really high-profile items or issues of desirable B series titles (like Boston Blackie, or Blondie, or The Whistler... hint, hint.).

MGM's recent disc of the 1946 film noir thriller The Spiral Staircase (released on October 4th, 2005) only needs to be considered if you don't have the previous Anchor Bay version. If you don't have the latter, which is now out of print and offers a somewhat superior transfer, the new MGM version is okay enough to warrant adding to your collection just because of the high caliber of the film itself.

Three generally lesser, in one case much lesser, Marlon Brando films arrived from MGM on November 8th, 2005 (The Fugitive Kind [1959], Burn! [1969], and The Missouri Breaks [1976]). The word "ludicrous" defines aspects of all these films to some extent. In The Fugitive Kind (based on Tennessee's Williams' "Orpheus Descending"), it's the extremely-melodramatic to the point of absurdly-overblown characters that abound while in Burn!, it's the general quality of the acting from the supporting players in the obviously politicized story (set on a Caribbean island, but paralleling Vietnam, with Britain filling in for the United States as the villain of the piece). As one might expect, Brando is the best thing in both these films, in each case offering a nicely understated performance. As for The Missouri Breaks, the whole film has that air of unreality that characterized so many revisionist westerns of the time made by a cast and crew that generally lacked any affinity for or experience with western traditions. It's all capped off by a ludicrously self-indulgent Brando performance that ultimately sinks a film that was already badly listing. None of the films offer transfers that are anything to cause celebration.

MGM previously released three Pam Grier films (Coffy [1973], Foxy Brown [1974], Sheba, Baby [1975]) in its Soul Cinema DVD series. Readers are encouraged to look at previous reviews of the films by Todd Doogan in the Reviews area of The Bits site. The films are mentioned here because MGM has now made the three available again, but in a box set entitled Fox in a Box that also includes a bonus disc. For fans of Pam Grier, the films themselves are enjoyable, lightweight fare nicely supplemented on disc by director audio commentaries on the first two films and original theatrical trailers on all. The bonus disc in the new set contains a couple of talking-head featurettes promoted by "Vibe" magazine that provide tribute to Pam Grier as well as looking at the influence of her films in today's hip-hop culture. If you don't already have these films and enjoy Pam Grier, this package is the way to go.

In addition to The Missouri Breaks mentioned above, western fans had other Sony offerings to consider over the past month or two. Spaghetti western fans were treated to a three-disc set called The Sabata Trilogy (Sabata [1969, with Lee Van Cleef], Adios, Sabata [1970, with Yul Brynner], Return of Sabata [1971, with Lee Van Cleef]) released by Sony's Columbia component on October 18th, 2005. The first of these tales about the steely-eyed gunfighter named Sabata is the best, but all are among the better pictures in the spaghetti western genre. Each has a very nice 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer. Recommended. From Columbia, we also got 1940's Arizona (released on December 6th, 2005) a somewhat slow-moving western but one that makes an effort to look and feel authentic. Both Jean Arthur and William Holden (in his first western) are very good, and are well supported by the likes of Warren William, Porter Hall, and Edgar Buchanan. The transfer is quite good despite less than stellar source material. Recommended. Sony also had three lesser western offerings, all released on December 6th. Belle of the Yukon (a 1944 International Pictures production released on DVD by MGM) is the most interesting of the lot, offering the always reliable Randolph Scott and a very nice Technicolor transfer. The story is rather muddled, however, and while it's nice to see Gypsy Rose Lee in the cast, she looks a little intimidated by the whole business. Worth a rental at best. Ride Beyond Vengeance (1965, with Chuck Connors in a made-for-TV effort) and Land Raiders (1969, with Telly Savalas) both arrived courtesy of Columbia, but each is strictly formula stuff without even inspiring performances from the main protagonists or interesting portrayals from the supporting casts to recommend them. Both films sport decent widescreen transfers (although only that of Land Raiders is anamorphic).

Elvis fans will be interested in Kid Galahad (1962, released on DVD by MGM on December 6th, 2005), I guess. It sports the usual Presley film formula with girls and music, and a smoothed-down retelling of the 1937 Robinson and Bogart film of the same title. I don't claim to have a great knowledge of the Presley film oeuvre, if one can call it that, but I can't imagine this is any better than an average entry in it. The songs are completely forgettable and at times seemingly inserted at random, but it is nice to see familiar faces like Charles Bronson, Gig Young, and Lola Albright in the cast. The anamorphic transfer is middling at best.

MGM has used the impending release of Steven Spielberg's new theatrical film about the massacre of the Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics as an excuse to release 21 Hours at Munich, a 1976 dramatization of the events, on DVD on December 20th, 2005. For the most part, it's a worthy release. The film is an accurate recreation of the incident as far as I know, with good use of the actual Munich locations. It's somewhat clinical in its treatment as we never really get inside the heads of any of the characters on either side, but it also is quite clear in its condemnation of how the whole matter was handled. There's good work by William Holden as the principal German police inspector, and from Franco Nero as the chief Arab terrorist. The disc's 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer is quite decent although somewhat tired-looking, as the colours appear accurate, but the image lacks real sharpness and shadow detail is merely average. Well worth a rental.

... from Universal

I managed to overlook Bedtime for Bonzo (1951) when it was first released on DVD by Universal back on May 31st, 2005. It's a film that gets little respect, mainly I suspect from people who have not actually seen it. After all, Ronald Reagan starring with a chimpanzee, that has to be bad, right? Actually the film is quite an amiable time-passer as Reagan plays a professor who rescues a chimp that he then tries to raise at home like a small child in order to prove that understanding the difference between right and wrong is learnt not inherited. Of course, there's a young woman involved too (appealingly played by Diana Lynn). Universal's DVD transfer is very good. Worth a rental.

Leave It to Beaver has finally come to DVD, with Universal releasing The Complete First Season on November 29th. All 39 episodes are presented unedited on three double-sided discs and they look great with sharp, nicely-detailed transfers sporting some modest grain. The only supplement is a welcome one, the series pilot called "It's a Small World". It features different actors portraying Ward and Wally, which almost makes it look like a Twilight Zone version of the well-known show - so used are we to seeing Hugh Beaumont and Tony Dow in those roles. I can't imagine that there are people who have has actually missed seeing the Leave It to Beaver shows, but their appeal is timeless despite the very 1950s nature of the Beaver's family. Recommended.

... from VCI

The Moon and Sixpence (1943), released on July 12th, 2005, is a welcome surprise. Loosely inspired by the life of painter Paul Gauguin, it tells the story of a London stockbroker (George Sanders) who abandons his work and family to become an artist, eventually settling in Tahiti. It's an interesting tale, well-acted by Sanders and Herbert Marshall (as the story's narrator), although it contains a insulting view of women not completely absolved by the story's context. The film is seldom seen and its availability courtesy of VCI is welcome. Unfortunately, the source material is not in great shape and the resulting transfer is workable at best. Some of the original film was shot in Technicolor but the DVD is black and white throughout. Well worth a rental.

VCI's most recent serial offering is Captain Video, Master of the Stratosphere, a 15-chapter 1951 Columbia serial that was released on DVD on August 30th, 2005. Coming in the waning days of the serial, this is a decidedly inferior effort as far as serials go. The plot has Captain Video and his sidekick Video Ranger facing a threat from Vultura, ruler of the planet Atoma, who has the assistance of a turncoat earth scientist Dr. Tobor. There's none of the sheer exhilaration of the Flash Gordon serials and the cheap sets and props are noticeably poorer efforts than in serials of just half a decade before. The cliffhangers at the end of each chapter are poorly resolved too. Boredom sets in about five minutes into the first chapter. The image transfer looks rather ragged and it annoyingly includes a VCI logo in the corner for excessive periods of time.

If anyone wondered what became of Zachary Scott after his brief run with Warner Bros. or Veronica Lake after her days with Paramount, both in the mid-to-late 1940s, here's part of the answer. They went to Mexico where in 1951 they made a costume drama set at the time of the Juarez-led Mexican Revolution. The picture - Stronghold, was released on DVD on July 12th, 2005. The film is a fairly conventional tale containing action and intrigue, but also with the suggestion of some insight into Mexican issues presumably due to the film's Mexican provenance. Overall an easy-going time-passer that does not overstay it welcome at 72 minutes in length. VCI's disc looks quite acceptable although there is some variation in sharpness and contrast evident. Worth a rental for Lake or Scott fans.

The Latest Classic Release Announcements

The end of the year always shows a bit of slowdown in release news, so pickings are a little slim this time out from everyone, with of course the exception of Warner Bros. I'm still concerned about Paramount and Universal's commitment to classics in 2006, but Fox, Warner Bros., and even Sony seem to be on track. The announcements are presented alphabetically by releasing studio and the Classic Coming Attractions Database has been updated accordingly.

Previous speculation that Criterion was going to offer new, improved releases of some of its Kurosawa titles (Seven Samurai, Sanjuro, Yojimbo) has now been confirmed by the company and it looks like it will happen in 2006. Criterion has also announced several new releases for March, including Orson Welles' The Complete Mr. Arkadin (1955, three discs), Marco Bellocchio's Fists in the Pocket 1965), and Louis Malle's Murmur of the Heart (1970) and Lacombe, Lucien (1974). The first two will be available on March 28th. The latter two will also be available with Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987) in the box set Three Films by Louis Malle and will appear on March 14th. Finally, note that John Ford's Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) has been delayed from January to February 14th.

Disney has finally announced the previously-delayed The Shaggy Dog: Wild and Woolly Edition (1959) and The Shaggy D.A.: The Canine Candidate Edition (1976) for a March 7th release.

Fox is apparently working on new single-disc releases of all of the classic Planet of the Apes movies. There are no details yet on remastering or supplementary content, but March 28th looks like the release date for at least Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973) and Conquest of Planet of the Apes (1972). Fox is likely to follow up its recent re-releases of its Rogers and Hammerstein films with new versions of Carousel, The King and I (both 50th anniversary efforts), and South Pacific in 2006. Let's hope there's no repetition of the Oklahoma! Todd-AO fiasco.

Image will issue the three-disc box set Watch the Skies! on February 21st. It will contain The Cosmic Man (1959), Stranger from Venus (1954), and The Flying Saucer (1950). More Gene Autry is coming on February 28th as Image debuts Rancho Grande and Ride, Tenderfoot, Ride. Both are 1940 films. Also coming on the same day are two 4-episode compilations from Image's previous season sets of Combat! - Best of Hanley and Best of Saunders.

Kino will offer Robert Benchley and the Knights of the Algonquin (11 short films made for Fox and Paramount from 1928-1941) on February 21st as well as Cavalcade of Comedy (16 Paramount comedy shorts from 1929-1935 - Burns and Allen, Jack Benny, Eddie Cantor, and others).

On February 7th, Lions Gate issues four new titles in its Zane Grey series: Arizona Raiders (1936, with Buster Crabbe), Code of the West (1947, with James Warren), Thunder Mountain (1947, with Tim Holt) and Under the Tonto Rim (1947, with Tim Holt). The titles will also be available as the set Zane Grey Western Classics Set 2. The first four Zane Grey titles previously released last September will also be available as Zane Grey Western Classics Set 1.

MPI has set The Beverly Hillbillies Ultimate Collection: Volume Two (27 episodes) for a February 28th release. Rifleman: Set Five is planned as an April 25th release.

The new three-disc version of Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments (1956) planned for a March 21st release will also include DeMille's 1923 silent version. On the same date, the Billy Wilder Collection will be released. It will include Sunset Boulevard, Stalag 17 and Sabrina - the version of Stalag 17 presumably being the new special edition of the film being released the same day too. In other Paramount news, the studio expects to begin issuing season sets of Mission Impossible, The Beverly Hillbillies, and The Phil Silvers Show, in addition to the previously anticipated Perry Mason and The Wild, Wild West ones (the latter already set for February 14th).

Sony (Columbia) apparently has plans to release in March the shorts that Buster Keaton made in the 1930s, along with appropriate bonus materials including a new documentary. The Sony MGM component will have the previously anticipated Midnight Cowboy: Collector's Edition (1969) on February 21st. This two-disc set will include an all-new anamorphic widescreen transfer, behind-the-scenes documentaries chronicling the film's production, a tribute to late director John Schlesinger, and new on-camera interviews with Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight.

On March 14th, Warner Bros. will release the Agatha Christie Miss Marple Movies Collection. It will include Murder Most Foul, Murder at the Gallop, Murder Ahoy, and Murder She Said - all from 1961-1965 and all starring Margaret Rutherford. The discs will be available as a four-disc set only. Also available separately on the same date will be Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians (1965, starring Hugh O'Brian). The long-anticipated Busby Berkeley Collection is coming on March 21st. It will contain the five features Gold Diggers of 1933, Footlight Parade, Dames, Gold Diggers of 1935 (all new to DVD), and 42nd Street (previously available). Each of the new-to-DVD films' discs will include a new featurette as well as a selection of vintage featurettes and cartoons. Only 42nd Street will be available separately. A sixth disc in the box set (also exclusive to it) will contain the three-hour compendium of Busby Berkeley musical numbers previously released on laserdisc. On March 28th, Warners will release on behalf of BBC Video Doctor Who: The Beginning Collection. The set will include the episodes An Unearthly Child, The Daleks, and The Edge of Destruction. In other news, it appears that Warners may now be targeting 2007 for its release of The Jazz Singer, which would mark it as an 80th anniversary release. The release would also showcase an appreciable amount of Vitaphone material including the surviving footage from Gold Diggers of Broadway (1929). On April 4th, Warners will release the previously-delayed The Nun's Story (1959, with Audrey Hepburn) and The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968, with Anthony Quinn) as well as The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima (1952, with Gilbert Roland). They will be available separately or as a box set entitled the Films of Faith Collection. Supplements will be mainly restricted to theatrical trailers. Then on April 18th, we will welcome TCM Archives: The Laurel and Hardy Collection from Warners. It will be a two-disc set featuring The Devil's Brother (1933) and Bonnie Scotland (1935) (both newly restored from original nitrate film elements) and a number of bonus features. The latter will include: the 2002 TCM feature-length documentary Added Attractions: The Hollywood Shorts Story, narrated by Chevy Chase and showcasing Laurel and Hardy, The Little Rascals, The Three Stooges and dozens of others; vintage Laurel and Hardy excerpts from feature films such as the magic act segment from The Hollywood Revue of 1929, a fragment from Rogue Song (1930), 2 segments from Hollywood Party (1934) including one with Lupe Velez, and 3 segments from Pick a Star (1937); and theatrical trailers.

Well, that about wraps it up for this outing and for 2005. Enjoy a great holiday season and I'll see you back here soon!

Barrie Maxwell

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