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New on Disc: 'Oliver!' and more …

16 Dec, 2013 By: Mike Clark

Oliver! (Blu-ray)

Available at www.ScreenArchives.com
Twilight Time, Musical, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Ron Moody, Mark Lester, Shani Wallis, Jack Wild, Oliver Reed.
Still a feel-great musical despite always being mindful of the Dickensian squalor at its source, Carol Reed’s brief comeback blockbuster has been aggressively back-bitten over the years for winning the Best Picture Oscar the year Stanley Kubrick’s visionary 2001: A Space Odyssey came out (though 2001 wasn’t even nominated in the category). Running 153 minutes without even a hint of any pacing lags, Oliver! looks terrific on Blu-ray in a Sony/Twilight Time rendering, despite the fact that much of it takes place in something less than House Beautiful indoor settings with limited light (two expansive set-piece numbers are exceptions). Blu-ray is an ideal format for this kind of movie, in which colors tend to bleed when seen in a lesser home format.
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Turn Back the Clock

Available via Warner Archive
Warner, Drama, $18.95 DVD, NR.
Stars Lee Tracy, Mae Clarke, Otto Kruger.
You can’t watch this Depression-influenced sleeper without thinking of It’s a Wonderful Life, though the premise here could have served as well for, say, a “Twilight Zone” episode — long enough, that is, to sustain the story’s march through economic and political history predating World War I.
Lee Tracy plays a cigar-store owner who is projected back to his youth where he can court an old squeeze, enabling her well-heeled father to jumpstart his career in finance, all with knowledge of future events at his disposal. There’s almost no way you can like time travel movies in general and fail to enjoy this one at least to some extent, especially once things begin falling apart catastrophically for a protagonist who thinks he’s been blessed with a second chance.
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