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New on Disc: 'Champion' and more …

27 May, 2013 By: Mike Clark


Olive, Drama, $19.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Kirk Douglas, Arthur Kennedy, Ruth Roman, Marilyn Maxwell.
Kirk Douglas’ breakthrough performance in this boxing-pic landmark is still dynamic. It jump-started his superstardom and earned him his first Oscar nomination — one of six the film received, including a win for Harry Gerstad’s editing. On his way to the top in what is persuasively portrayed as a crummy racket where self-protection is a must, Douglas’ Midge Kelly goes fatally over the brink by stabbing so many backs that his physically handicapped brother (Arthur Kennedy) wonders when it’s going to be his turn. The no-frills Blu-ray is a keen rendering of Frank (aka Franz) Planer’s Oscar-nominated cinematography.
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Sons and Lovers

Manufactured on demand via online retailers
Fox, Drama, $19.98 DVD, NR.
Stars Trevor Howard, Dean Stockwell, Wendy Hiller, Mary Ure, Heather Sears.
This Jerry Wald production tied with The Apartment for the year’s top honors in New York Film Critics Circle voting; got seven Oscar nominations, including one for best picture and a win for Freddie Francis’ black-and-white cinematography; was chosen year’s best by the National Board of Review; earned a Best Director nod to Jack Cardiff from the Golden Globes; and so on. Telescoping a long novel into 103 minutes that only at the end feel arguably rushed, the basic conflict is laid out in a matter of minutes. We’re dealing with the plight of an artistically bent youth born into a working class household defined by grunt work — where mom is the protector and dad feels discomfort with anything above his station.
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