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New on Disc: 1960 World Series Game 7 and more …

3 Jan, 2011 By: Mike Clark

Baseball’s Greatest Games: 1960 World Series Game 7

A&E, Sports, $29.95 two-DVD set, NR.
Yogi Berra always says it isn’t over ’til its over, but guess what? This time it was over when Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Bill Mazeroski led off the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 7 of the 1960 World Series with a home run, bringing to an instant end one of the more improbable World Series in baseball history with a victory over the New York Yankees. As with the DVD of Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series that MLB/A&E released in a 2009 Yankees boxed set, watching this is game is almost a supernatural experience. I’ve probably read at least 30 books that deal with it on some level but certainly never thought I’d get a chance to see it, given how few games exist on tape (or the earlier and more primitive kinescope) from before the early 1970s. Nearly 50 years after the fact, all but unimaginably, the Bing Crosby family’s archivist found a kinescope of it in the wine cellar of the singer, who was a co-owner of the Pirates.
Extras: The set includes the official 1960 World Series film (with the familiar faded color) along with theatrical newsreels that chronicled the series, interviews with some of the players and two broadcast tracks.
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True Grit (Blu-ray)

Paramount, Western, $24.99 Blu-ray, ‘G.’
Stars John Wayne, Glen Campbell, Kim Darby, Robert Duvall.
Just because the Coens’ fresh take makes for a better movie than John Wayne’s Oscar showcase of four decades’ past, it doesn’t mean the original is without merit or fails to retain some of the charm that made it so popular at the time. Wayne doesn’t show up until about 13 minutes into True Grit, and it’s a fairly grim time of it waiting for the movie to get in gear outside of Elmer Bernstein’s music and the postcard perfection of the great Lucien Ballard’s cinematography. The Blu-ray does look exactly as the movie did in 1969, when I saw it five times in its first-run engagement.
Extras: The bonus extras, carried over from the 2007 DVD, are short but venture in directions both desirously expected and surprising. One Western historian has a lot of fun talking about how one of the keys to being a successful outlaw was to carry the right moniker.
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Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

MPI/IFC, Documentary, B.O. $2.9 million, $27.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray, ‘R’ for language and sexual humor.
Like Joan Rivers herself, this well-received documentary by Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg isn’t afraid to go in some discomforting or even icky directions, and, as such, it ranks as one of the more honest portrayals of … well, if not the show biz underbelly, at least its unforgiving nature. There’s nothing like reaching 75 and having to worry about what is or isn’t a good career move. It appears that the filmmakers got handed a documentarian’s dream in that their saga begins with Rivers’ career on the downside before her ultimate first-place selection on “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
Extras: The DVD and Blu-ray both feature outtakes that are, indeed, weaker than the release print, plus a decent Q&A that took place at a Sundance Festival showing.
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Susan Slept Here

Available via WBshop.com’s Warner Archive
Warner, Comedy, $19.95 DVD, NR.
Stars Dick Powell, Debbie Reynolds, Anne Francis.
The great Dick Powell’s final movie as an actor is one of the first movies I can ever recall that was regarded as “racy.” I still like the idea of seeing Powell at about 47 playing a 35-year-old screenwriter who marries Debbie Reynolds (then 21 but cast as a 17-year-old). It keeps the blood flowing.
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