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New on Disc: 'Treasure of the Sierra Madre,' 'Monster-A-Go Go,' 'Tropic of Cancer' and more …

25 Oct, 2010 By: Mike Clark

Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Blu-ray)

Warner, Drama, $24.98 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt.
Walter Huston got the supporting Oscar here for one of those performances whose perfection is so slam-dunk obvious from the second it’s first shown that you go, “let’s just have the Oscarcast now because this race is over.” The actor’s own son (John) directed his way to an Oscar as well, and there’s also great work by Humphrey Bogart and very sturdy contribution by co-star Tim Holt. Like Warner’s Blu-ray of Casablanca, this release brings archival standards to your home as you reach for some wine. Seeing this staple of American cinema on Blu-ray is like seeing it for the first time — which is, come to think, the illusion that Blu-ray at its best is designed to give.
Extras: The Blu-ray replicates the content of the 2003 Treasure DVD, which was one of those whoop-de-doo affairs of a classic title that Warner brings out a few times a year. This means the new release also includes an excellent John Huston documentary and a 49-minute grabber about the movie’s production.
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Tropic of Cancer

Street 10/28
Olive, Drama, $24.95 DVD, ‘NC-17.’
Stars Rip Torn, Phil Brown, James Callahan, Ellen Burstyn, David Bauer.
The picture is a curio and even gets off to a most promising start when American expatriate Henry (Rip Torn) is paid a too-brief Parisian visit by wife Mona (Ellen Burstyn, still going by Ellen McRae but just on the brink of belated stardom). Whatever its undeniable limitations, it’s a must for fans of Torn and Burstyn. Writer-director Joseph Strick developed a kind of cottage industry in his later career trying to adapt unfilmmable novels.
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Monster A-Go Go: Special Collector’s Edition

Synergy, Horror, $9.99 DVD, NR.
Stars June Travis, Peter Thompson.
We know we are in good hands almost from the beginning of this movie, which “Mystery Science Theater 3000” once called the worst of all time, when there’s a long, arduous-to-endure conversation in a sitting car partially obscured by tree branches that nobody thought to remove. The result looks a lot like one of those screen images we’ve all experienced in which dirt gets trapped on the prodigiously magnifying lens of the projector, and the projectionist is too busy reading the racing form or the latest Hustler to notice or remove it.
Extras: For those who love to collect hall-of-fame baddies — a not insignificant demographic that is likely the only one for this release — Synergy has provided two color short subjects that are more entertaining than the main movie.
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Stranger on the 3rd Floor

Available via WBshop.com’s Warner Archive
Warner, Drama, $24.95 DVD, NR.
Stars Peter Lorre, John McGuire, Margaret Tallichet.
Peter Lorre is the name-brand star here, but his part is small, even if he does play the title stranger. The thrust of the story involves a young newspaper reporter (John McGuire) who’d like to marry his girlfriend (Margaret Tallichet). He’s also the star witness at a murder trial whose testimony could send the accused (Elisha Cook Jr.) to the electric chair. Director Boris Ingster only made a couple more features after this promising beginning.
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