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New on Disc: 'Drums Along the Mohawk' and more …

30 Sep, 2013 By: Mike Clark

Drums Along the Mohawk (Blu-ray)

Available at ScreenArchives.com
Twilight Time, Drama, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Claudette Colbert, Henry Fonda, Edna May Oliver.
Just getting a Blu-ray of John Ford’s first feature in color would be a treat in itself, but this Twilight Time release goes several extra miles by including Nick Redman’s authoritative documentary Becoming John Ford, which was previously only available on a couple of boxed sets. Among the remarkably few Hollywood films to deal with the Revolutionary War, Drums was Ford’s third in a trio of major achievements released in 1939, following Stagecoach and Young Mr. Lincoln. As Julie Kirgo suggests in the TT liner notes, this is a movie of superb shots and scenes as opposed to an arcing narrative flow — or such is the movie’s rep and rap. It’s all true enough, at least when compared to Stagecoach and Lincoln, but the print here is so gorgeous that I’ve never enjoyed Drums as much as I did this time around.
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The Big Combo

Olive, Drama, $19.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Cornel Wilde, Richard Conte, Brian Donlevy, Jean Wallace.
As gold standards go, Jean Wallace comes pretty close to filling the bill as noir’s definitive “silky” blonde in a Joseph H. Lewis classic ‘B’-pic (or shaky-’A’) about cop obsessions — one that, over the years, has come to be as highly regarded as the director’s all-timer Gun Crazy. The Combo storyline claims to fame are a degree of brutality that was way out of the norm for 1955 (and still elicits a reaction today), and, assuming you have the kind of mind that interprets what director Lewis intended, the first Hollywood movie to suggest cunnilingus.
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