Log in


New on Disc: 'Genevieve,' 'The Incredible Shrinking Man' and more …

19 Sep, 2011 By: Mike Clark


VCI, Comedy, $19.99 DVD, $24.99 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Dinah Sheridan, Kenneth More, John Gregson, Kay Kendall.
More than halfway as essential, albeit more benignly, to the screen’s rich car-culture canon as Rebel Without a Cause and Two-Lane Blacktop, J. Arthur Rank’s international favorite and BAFTA winner also ranks among the glories of British Technicolor that cinematographer Jack Cardiff couldn’t claim. Written by that Missouri-born presence of British cinema William Rose, this remarkably civilized comedy compared to the crude bludgeonings of today may have a second built-in audience beyond auto enthusiasts. This would be … the sports widow. Except in this case, the sport is an annual London-to-Brighton trek on circa 1904 “wheels” when (even then) the cars in question were nearly half-a-century old. The comedy builds slowly and eventually finds its way to the realm of sheer delight.
Extras: Thanks to an unexpectedly vibrant transfer, VCI’s Blu-ray edition really pops my clutch — though as we learn on a look-back featurette that’s included, corporate Rank didn’t like the picture very much until it took the country by storm.
Read the Full Review

The Incredible Shrinking Man

Universal, Sci-Fi, $19.98 DVD, NR.
Stars Grant Williams, Randy Stuart, April Kent.
Of all the movies that took a gazillion years or at least a dozen to arrive on DVD, I’ve been puzzled by the MIA status of this Richard Matheson-Jack Arnold collaboration other than in a previously issued boxed set — filled with other sci-fi chillers from the Universal-International ‘50s stable (many fun but not many as first-rate). Given the fan base it has picked up over several decades — including the good folks at the Library of Congress who select all-timers for the National Film registry — Shrinking Man really merits a full-court-press edition with extras instead of this no-frills job, welcome as it is. At one point, its starving lead character is pleased to be munching on basement mousetrap bait, and I kind of feel the same way. Nuclear radiation is the story’s culprit, in this case, a mist that has passed over Grant Williams’ body. Within months, he is looking up at his wife, and it gets worse — and this is the beauty of the movie. Ultimately living in a kid’s dollhouse and later a matchbox, Williams sees ordinary household items we all take for granted become intimidating (pin cushion, paint can) while routine domestic creatures (a now-behemoth spider, housecat-turned-“Simba”) become objects of terror.
Read the Full Review

House of Women

Available via WBshop.com’s Warner Archive
Warner, Drama, $19.95 DVD, NR.
Stars Shirley Knight, Andrew Duggan, Constance Ford, Barbara Nichols.
This burn-on-demand obscurity often is lazily referred to as a remake of Caged, the definitive women’s prison movie, though its only real similarities are a sweet-faced innocent as heroine (Shirley Knight for Eleanor Parker) and Warner Bros. as its home studio. Women’s premise actually has some promise. It’s the only movie of its kind I can think of that exploits the mass maternal instincts of its inmates as a major plot point. This is because — until they’re old enough for adoption — a slew of convict toddlers reside in their own wing, even though a cuckolded male warden, played by Andrew Duggan (at that time, the hardest working man in Warner Bros. show business), is unambiguously vocal about his opposition. The other intriguing plot point is Duggan’s eventual employment of Knight’s character as a domestic in his home, where she may or may not be unwillingly sleeping with him. The movie is kind of cagey about this — though during the climax, she sure seems to know where in his bedroom he keeps a revolver.
Read the Full Review


Add Comment