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DVD Reviews

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    Catching Up

    This is a momentous week for me: we’ve just finished the new edition of my annual paperback Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide—the 2011 Edition, to be specific. In this era of instant communication the process of writing, editing, and preparing a book seems quaint at best, and cumbers...

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    dvd review: Stagecoach

    (Criterion Collection)

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    The Italian Straw Hat

    How can a film that’s more than eighty years old seem fresh and modern? That’s the marvel of Rene Clair’s silent gem The Italian Straw Hat (1927), which has been lovingly restored by producer David Shepard for DVD release through Jeffery Masino’s Flicker Alley. If you’ve never seen the picture, you ...

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    DVD review: Hail, Hail Freedonia—And Leo McCarey

    Leo McCarey poses with ZaSu Pitts and Charles Laughton on the set of Ruggles of Red GapIf he had made only the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup, Leo McCarey would have a place in the pantheon of American comedy. He did much more, of course, from a superb series of silent two-reelers with Charley Chase and some of Laurel and Hardy’s finest comedy shorts to such great feature films as The Awful Truth and Love Affair. His name isn’t invoked as often as other giants of his era, perhaps because his later films became sentimental (Going My Way and The Bells of St. Mary’s, both giant hits with Bing Crosby) and then political (My Son John, Satan Never Sleeps...

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    Great Films You Can't Find on DVD

    With the long-awaited release of The African Queen on DVD this week, film buffs can check another prominent title off their want lists. That’s the good news…but there are still a surprising number of movies from every decade of the 20th century that aren’t commercially availabl...

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    DVD review: The African Queen

    If ever a movie was worth waiting for on DVD, it’s The African Queen. Because the film’s ownership was split among a handful of companies, on both sides of the Atlantic, and because it required an expensive restoration, it’s taken much longer than it should have to reach the marketplace…but now it’s...

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    dvd review—Forgotten Stars

    The Norma Talmadge Collection (Kino) The Constance Talmadge Collection (Kino)

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    dvd review: Bad Girls of Film Noir

    (Volumes 1 and 2)

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    Johnny Mercer: The Dream's On Me

    If you missed this documentary special on Turner Classic Movies, it’s a must-see for anyone who loves the Great American Songbook and the era in which it flourished. It’s now been released on DVD with a second disc of bonus material. Produced by Clint Eastwood (who first paid tribute to Mercer ...

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    North By Northwest

    Funny, I thought the last DVD release of this Alfred Hitchcock gem was definitive, with an excellent hour-long documentary hosted by its leading lady, Eva Marie Saint, and a commentary track by its articulate screenwriter, Ernest Lehman. How lucky for us that Warner Home Video decided that the ...

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