Mike’s Picks: ‘Irma La Douce’ and ‘Strait-Jacket’

Irma La Douce

Kino Lorber, Comedy, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Lou Jacobi.
1963. As both the most commercially successful movie Billy Wilder ever enjoyed and, paradoxically, the last box office hit of his career, Irma La Douce seems like something of a benchmark oddity when viewed from 55 years of perspective.
Extras: The Blu-ray includes two excellent commentaries, one by ‘A’-team film historian Joseph McBride and another from Brit film historian Kat Ellinger.
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Strait-Jacket

Shout! Factory; Horror; $22.99 Blu-ray; NR.
Stars Joan Crawford, Diane Baker, Leif Erickson, George Kennedy.
1964.  The pairing of Joan Crawford with William Castle was always destined to be a marriage made in a burg you wouldn’t want to be in — no matter how much you might be willing enough to give any movie that exploited the point a shot in theaters.
Extras: The supplements are fun even beyond a laugh-a-minute bonus commentary by Steve Haberman and David J. Show, which is just what you want with Castle’s kind of exploitation fare: jokey and knowledgeable. So in addition, we get screen tests and a fun “making-of” documentary carried over from a long-ago DVD but also a pair of juicy new featurettes.
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