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New on Disc: 'Khartoum' and more …

24 Feb, 2014 By: Mike Clark


Available via ScreenArchives.com
Twilight Time, Drama, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, Richard Johnson, Nigel Green.
Even within the context of a not particularly distinguished movie year from half a century ago, this movie seemed like an unlikely commercial bet at least in the United States, where moviegoing minds at the time were concerned far less with the Middle East. Of course, this has all changed for modern audiences, a reality that adds at least a little charge to the struggle seen here between Brit Gen. Charles George “Chinese” Gordon (Charlton Heston) and Muhammad Ahmad (Laurence Olivier)  — two bigger-than-life characters who never actually had a one-on-one in real life but do so (twice) on screen for what are in fact, the resulting movie’s two high points. This is the conflict that gives a talky epic at least a little juice, especially since Heston gives one of his better-to-best performances (matching his esteemed co-star, in fact) during what was a pretty solid mid-decade run for him.
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The April Fools

Paramount, Comedy, $19.99 DVD, ‘PG.’
Stars Jack Lemmon, Catherine
Deneuve, Peter Lawford, Myrna Loy, Charles Boyer.
Excessively full of itself both in terms of whimsical overkill and employment of peripatetic zoom-lensing, this sweet-natured farce has nonetheless always grabbed me up to a point, though never when it’s televised or on VHS because pan-and-scan tinkering destroys its framing and star power. This is possibly one of the few times Fools has been seen the correct way since it opened on the Memorial Day weekend of what would prove to be a memorable summer.
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