Mike’s Picks: ‘Days of Wine and Roses’ and ‘Charley Varrick’

Days of Wine and Roses 

Available via Warner Archive
Warner, Drama, $21.99 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Jack Lemmon, Lee Remick, Charles Bickford, Jack Klugman.
1962.
In terms of his overall career, this harrowing warning shot about how alcohol can destroy lives, livelihoods and families seems to have been a highly unusual project for Blake Edwards, and there are a couple set pieces in the second half that give you a Lemmon that audiences hadn’t previously seen and really didn’t again.
Extras: The unusually vintage Edwards commentary may put off some, but I found it fascinating.
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Charley Varrick

Kino Lorber, Drama, $29.95 Blu-ray, ‘R.’
Stars Walter Matthau, Joe Don Baker, Andy Robinson, Felicia Farr.
1973.
Don Siegel’s much-deserved newfound glory as a full-fledged ‘A’ director was put to use in a slightly eccentric way for his first picture after Dirty Harry turned into a worldwide phenomenon. Though it’s as mean, lean and pepperishly cast as Siegel’s previous pictures, Charley Varrick has always seemed a little off-center, serving up what was always the closest we ever got to “Walter Matthau — Action Hero.”
Extras: Film historian Toby Roan provides a voiceover commentary, and there’s a 72-minute production documentary, which has a lot of stuff on the movie’s standout stunt work.
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