Mike’s Picks: ‘Running Wild’ and ‘Great Balls of Fire!’

Running Wild

Kino Lorber, Comedy, $19.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars W.C. Fields, Marie Shotwell, Mary Brian, Barnett Raskin.
1927. Director Gregory La Cava’s silent-era crowd-pleaser is funnier than expected given that W.C. Fields is without his vocal deliveries, but he was such a physical performer, and La Cava such a deft viual director, that little is missed here.
Extras: Includes a commentary track by historian/author James L. Niebur (The W.C. Fields Films).
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Great Balls of Fire!

Olive, Drama, $24.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray, ‘PG-13.’
Stars Dennis Quaid, Winona Ryder, Alec Baldwin, Trey Wilson.
1989. Nearly two hours of sheer burlesque, this cartoonish Jerry Lee Lewis biopic is a pastiche of everything that was happening in the musical/pop culture scene in the 1950s. Curio seekers may want to be reminded that Alec Baldwin plays evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, the real-life cousin of rockdom’s self-ordained “Killer.” The high point here is probably Winona Ryder as Lewis’s 13-year-old first cousin (removed) Myra, whose marriage to him as wife No. 3 did not amount to a crackerjack career move in late 1957.
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