Log in


New on Disc: 'Black Narcissus' and more …

19 Jul, 2010 By: Mike Clark

Black Narcissus

Street 7/20
Criterion, Drama, $39.95 DVD or Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Deborah Kerr, David Farrar, Sabu, Jean Simmons.
Thanks to an unusual story stirringly told plus apt and imaginative casting, the high-Fahrenheit film version of Rumer Godden’s novel played well even when shown in black-and-white in early TV showings decades ago. The Blu-ray pretty well equals the impressive theatrical print of this Technicolor psychological drama with religious overtones that dramatized the challenge of British Anglican nuns to bring a sense of order to what is at least physical paradise in the Himalayas, which merits serious consideration as one of the 10 most beautiful color movies of all time.
Extras: A booklet contains magnificent color stills and an essay by Kent Jones, plus several more supplements (some that carried over from a 2001 DVD) that relay a lot of information about the production.
Read the Full Review

White House Revealed

Street 7/20
Infinity, Documentary, $14.98 DVD, NR.
Narrated by Martin Sheen.
You have to believe that no one ever says “it’s just a job” when it comes to the 95 resident staffers in the White House detail, who begin and end their day (which can last up to 20 hours if a state dinner is on the calendar) serving the leader of the free world, family members and a dog or two. Martin Sheen (an apt choice considering his role on “The West Wing”) narrates this 50-minute history, which frequently cuts to the senior George Bush and first lady Barbara for warm recollections.
Read the Full Review

New York Confidential

VCI, Drama, $19.99 DVD, NR.
Stars Broderick Crawford, Richard Conte, Anne Bancroft, Mike Mazurki.
If you don’t expect too much beyond grown-up subject matter and actors who can carry the show, there’s a hefty body count to be enjoyed from what the DVD box art refers to as “the Holy Grail of missing noir films.” Seen by relatively few at the time and fondly remembered by a few, the movie basically fell off the face of the earth until a recent well-received public showing at the American Cinematheque’s annual noir festival in Los Angeles.
Extras: On the commentary by Alan K. Bode and Kim Morgan — one of the most entertaining and certainly the funniest I’ve heard in a while — the film is not unjustly described as “roots” of The Godfather.
Read the Full Review


Available via WBshop.com’s Warner Archive
Warner, Drama, $24.95 DVD, NR.
Stars Dick Kallman, James Best, Susan Cummings, Tom Pittman.
Fans of writer-director Samuel Fuller will let him get away with anything and even relish the nerviness of his conceits. How many movies do you know that feature Beethoven’s Fifth on the soundtrack, followed by the voice of an unbilled Paul Anka singing the title tune? Fuller’s extensive combat experiences in World War II no doubt colored this rather raw ‘B’-pic (or close) about a conquering G.I. (James Best, later of the filmmaker’s quintessential 1963 Shock Corridor) who is cared for in a rubble-surrounded house by an anti-Nazi fraulein (Susan Cummings). Best so specialized in playing good ol’ boys that he later ended up as Sheriff Roscoe in TV’s “The Dukes of Hazzard,” and there’s a little of that here.
Read the Full Review

Add Comment