Mike’s Picks: “House by the River” and “Five Graves to Cairo”

House by the River

Kino Lorber, Drama, $19.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Louis Hayward, Lee Bowman, Jane Wyatt, Dorothy Patrick.
1950.
When a gothic late 19th-century murder melodrama is titled House by the River, it can really get off on the wrong foot if the river itself doesn’t look very sinister when it predictably provides the backdrop to the opening credits.
Extras: Australian academic Alexandra Heller-Nicholas provides a commentary.
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Les cinq secrets du desert (Five Graves to Cairo)

All-Region French Import
Elephant, Drama, $29.99 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Franchot Tone, Anne Baxter, Erich von Stroheim, Akim Tamiroff.
1943.
Set in slight flashback for in the time it was made against what looks to be one of the most geographically granular parts of Egypt, Five Graves to Cairo was just the second Hollywood movie that Billy Wilder directed.
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