Mike’s Picks: ‘Sammy Davis, Jr. — I’ve Gotta Be Me’ and ‘Beat the Devil’

American Masters: Sammy Davis, Jr. — I’ve Gotta Be Me

Street Date 2/19/19
PBS, Documentary, $24.99 DVD, NR.
Featuring Kim Novak, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Norman Lear, Jerry Lewis.
2019.
Neatly dividing its subject’s life into chapters that reflected the dimensions of his career (singer, dancer, social progressive, social regressive, etc.), Sam Pollard’s documentary hits the expected bases we remember from past print biographies, press coverage and, in some cases, scandal sheets of the day.
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Beat the Devil

Available via ScreenArchives.com
Twilight Time, Drama, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones, Gina Lollobrigida, Robert Morley.
1953. As one of screen history’s most ticklish of answers to that oft-asked question, “What did you do on your vacation?”, John Huston’s artfully ramshackle Beat the Devil is propelled by one its era’s most memorable displays of loopy ensemble acting.
Extras: It’s poignant hearing bonus-section commentator and Twilight Time co-founder Nick Redman talking here of Humphrey Bogart’s final days, given that Redman himself succumbed to cancer on Jan 17.
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