December 22, 2021
Kino Lorber on Jan. 4 will release three vintage mysteries from the 1930s under its Kino Lorber Studio Classics banner.
Rich and Strange (1931), one of Alfred Hitchcock’s earliest films, will be available on both DVD and Blu-ray Disc. Also known as East of Shanghai, the film is a product of Hitchcock’s early directorial endeavors in the pre-World War II British film industry. Fred Hill (Henry Kendall) and his wife Emily (Joan Barry) lead a boring existence in the London suburbs. When the Hills come into an inheritance from a wealthy uncle, Fred quits his mundane job and they embark on a world cruise to get a taste of the high life. But all does not go as planned as the couple’s voyage becomes fraught with treacherous romantic duplicities.
Bonus features include a 4K restoration by Studio Canal, a new audio commentary by film historian Troy Howarth, and clips of audio interviews with Hitchcock conducted in the early 1960s by film critic and French New Wave director François Truffaut.
Crime of the Century (1933) gets a Blu-ray Disc-only release on Jan. 4. Directed by William Beaudine, this classic whodunit centers around Dr. Emil Brandt, a hypnotist who bursts into a police station and confesses to a murder. The only problem is, the murder he’s confessed to hasn’t happened yet — although stolen money and dead bodies soon turn up. The film’s star-studded cast includes Jean Hersholt (13 Washington Square, Heidi), Wynne Gibson (Night After Night, Her Bodyguard), Stuart Erwin (Before Dawn, Our Town) and Frances Dee (Little Women, I Walked with a Zombie).
The Kino Lorber Studio Classics Blu-ray features a new commentary by author and film historian Lee Gambin and costume historian Elissa McKechnie.
The third film Kino Lorber is releasing Jan. 4 is another Blu-ray Disc exclusive, Double Door, from 1934. Directed by Charles Vidor (Gilda, A Farewell to Arms), this gothic chiller has Mary Morris reprising her acclaimed Broadway role as one of the most dastardly villains of all time, Victoria Van Brett. In a spooky New York City mansion, the Van Brett matriarch rules her clan with an iron hand. The sinister spinster schemes to ruin any chance her siblings might have for happiness. Evil lurks around every corner of this old dark house, and especially in a secret room behind a certain double door.
Bonus features include two new audio commentary tracks, one by film historian Tom Weaver and the other by film historians David Del Valle and Stan Shaffer.