Mike’s Picks: ‘The Naked Prey’ and ‘The Adventures of Hajji Baba’

The Naked Prey

Criterion, Drama, $39.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Cornel Wilde, Ken Gampu, Gert van den Bergh.

1966. Of his eight forays into directing, actor Cornel Wilde’s best known feature remains The Naked Prey, which, among other things, became a model of drive-in entertainment in the summer of its release, about a safari guide on the run from African natives when his drunken and transparently odious ivory-trader employer refuses on warped principle to come forth with minor trinkets as payment for hunting elephants on the natives’ lands.
Extras: This is basically an upgrade to Criterion’s 2007 DVD with the same extras: a commentary with film historian Steven Prince, soundtrack musical cues, a Wilde interview, Michael Atkinson essay and Paul Giamatti’s dramatic reading of a 1913 written record about North American trapper John Colter’s brush with death, an incident that inspired the movie.
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The Adventures of Hajji Baba

Available via ScreenArchives.com
Twilight Time, Drama, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars John Derek, Elaine Stewart, Amanda Blake, Thomas Gomez.
1954.
The movie becomes a cross between The Taming of the Shrew and It Happened One Night amid an assortment of desert adventures once the central princess escapes from her fancy digs in an attempt to run off with a womanizing prince who’s also a rival to her exasperated father.
Extras: In Twilight Time fashion, the Blu-ray contains an isolated audio track of Dimitri Tiomkin’s musical score.
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