‘Misery,’ ‘Silence of the Lambs’ on 4K Among Discs Coming From Kino In October

Misery and The Silence of the Lambs on 4K Ultra HD, several TV horror and thriller classics, and a slew of other classic films are among the discs coming from Kino Lorber in October.

Due Oct. 12 on 4K Ultra HD disc is Misery (1990), based on the Stephen King novel. The psychological thriller won the Academy Award for the performance by Kathy Bates (Dolores Claiborne). In the film, after his car crashes in the mountains during a blinding snowstorm, famous novelist Paul Sheldon (James Caan, Thief) is “rescued” from a car crash by Annie Wilkes (Bates), a fan obsessed with the main character in his series of novels. But when Wilkes reads his latest book — and learns he has killed her favorite character — she teaches Sheldon the real meaning of Misery. Injured and isolated far from help, Sheldon engages in a desperate battle of wits with Wilkes as she becomes ever more deranged and violent. Director Rob Reiner (The Princess Bride, A Few Good Men) and screenwriter William Goldman (Marathon Man, All the President’s Men) deliver a white-knuckle suspense tale that features Frances Sternhagen (The Mist), Richard Farnsworth (The Grey Fox) and Lauren Bacall (The Big Sleep).

Coming Oct. 19 is The Silence of the Lambs (1991) on 4K Ultra HD. Screen legends Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins deliver Oscar-winning performances in the thriller based on the bestselling novel by Thomas Harris (Red Dragon, Hannibal). In the film, a psychopath nicknamed Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine, Heat) is murdering women across the Midwest. Believing it takes one to know one, the FBI sends trainee Clarice Starling (Foster, The Accused) to interview a demented prisoner who may provide clues to the killer’s actions. That prisoner is psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins, Nixon), a brilliant, diabolical cannibal who agrees to help Starling only if she’ll feed his morbid curiosity with details of her own complicated life.  The also co-stars Scott Glenn (The Challenge) and garnered five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Jonathan Demme (Philadelphia) and Best Adapted Screenplay for Ted Tally (Before and After), in addition to the acting honors, only the third film in history to sweep these five categories.

Available Oct. 5 is a Bette Davis classic Scream, Pretty Peggy (1973) on DVD and Blu-ray Disc. Davis (All About Eve, Burnt Offerings) stars in the made-for-TV creepfest. In the movie, college student and aspiring artist Peggy (Sian Barbara Allen, Billy Two Hats) takes a housekeeping job at a mansion where sculptor Jeffrey (Ted Bessell, TV’s “That Girl”) lives with his elderly mother (Davis). Things get strange when Peggy discovers a third resident: Jeffrey’s hopelessly insane sister. Horror maven Gordon Hessler (The Oblong Box, Scream and Scream Again) directed this atmospheric shocker, co-written by Jimmy Sangster (Horror of Dracula, Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?) and co-starring Charles Drake (Back Street) and Allan Arbus (TV’s “M*A*S*H”).

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From the mind of Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451, TV’s “The Martian Chronicles”) comes the 1972 made-for-television chiller The Screaming Woman (1972), starring Olivia de Havilland (The Snake Pit, Not as a Stranger) as a wealthy former mental patient who goes home to her estate to rest and recuperate. The movie is coming Oct. 5 on DVD and Blu-ray Disc. In the movie, while walking the grounds one day she hears the screams of a woman coming from underneath the ground. Her family, however, refuses to believe her story, and sees the incident as an opportunity to prove the woman’s mind has snapped so they can take control of her money. Jack Smight (Harper) directed this screamingly good thriller from a script by Merwin Gerard (TV’s “The Victim”) based on a Bradbury short story. Ed Nelson (Airport 1975), Laraine Stephens (Hellfighters), Joseph Cotten (Portrait of Jennie) and Walter Pidgeon (Harry in Your Pocket) lead the supporting cast, with costumes by Edith Head (The Sting) and theme music by John Williams (Jaws).

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Elizabeth Montgomery (TV’s “Bewitched,” The Legend of Lizzie Borden) stars in the made-for-TV thriller The Victim (1972), coming to Blu-ray and DVD Oct. 5. In the story, well-to-do San Franciscan Kate (Montgomery) travels to her sister Susan’s remote home only to find Susan missing. As a fierce storm rages outside, Kate’s night of terror begins. Eileen Heckart (The Bad Seed), Sue Anne Langdon (Frankie and Johnny) and George Maharis (The Satan Bug) co-star in this suspenseful tale of a dark and stormy night, orchestrated by veteran television director Herschel Daugherty (“Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “Star Trek: The Original Series”) and written by Merwin Gerard (TV’s “The Screaming Woman”) from a short story by McKnight Malmar.

Due Oct. 12 on Blu-ray is “Kolchak: The Night Stalker” (1974-75), the uniquely eerie mystery series that paved the way for “The X-Files,” with all 20 episodes digitally restored. Emmy nominee Darren McGavin reprises his role from the popular television movies The Night Stalker (1972) and The Night Strangler (1973) as Carl Kolchak, a headstrong investigative reporter on the trail of the paranormal: zombies, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, succubi and even aliens. No matter how unnatural or unbelievable, Kolchak is there to uncover the truth. Guest stars include Scatman Crothers, Antonio Fargas, Tom Skerritt, Dick Van Patten, Jamie Farr, Phil Silvers, Jim Backus, William Smith, Julie Adams, Cathy Lee Crosby, Carolyn Jones, Tom Bosley and many more. “Kolchak: The Night Stalker” co-starred Simon Oakland (Bullitt) and Ruth McDevitt (The Birds).

Also on the October slate are Vera Cruz, starring Gary Cooper and Charles Bronson, on Blu-ray  Oct. 12; The Last Sunset, starring Rock Hudson and Kirk Douglas, on Blu-ray Oct. 12; Come September, starring Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida, on Blu-ray Oct. 19; Change of Habit, starring Elvis Presley and Mary Tyler Moore, on Blu-ray Oct. 19; The Cheat, starring Tallulah Bankhead, on Blu-ray Oct. 26; Devil and the Deep, with Bankhead and Gary Cooper, on Blu-ray Oct. 26; Hot Saturday, with Cary Grant, on Blu-ray Oct. 26; Torch Singer, with Claudette Colbert, on Blu-ray Oct. 26; The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper, with Robert Duvall, on Blu-ray Oct. 26; For Love or Money, with Michael J. Fox, on Blu-ray Oct. 26; Fritz the Cat and The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat on Blu-ray Oct. 26; Trick or Treats, with David Carradine, on Blu-ray Oct. 5; and The Hound of the Baskervilles, with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, on Blu-ray Oct. 12.


Kino Classics to Release 1916 Silent Film ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ in New 4K Restoration From Universal Pictures

Kino Lorber has announced the July 28 release, on Blu-ray Disc and DVD, of the 1916 silent version of Jules Verne’s classic novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in a new 4K restoration. The Blu-ray ($29.95) and DVD ($19.95) are part of the Kino Classics edition, and include a musical score by Orlando Perez Rosso and feature audio commentary by silent film historian Anthony Slide.

The film’s restoration is from a 35mm nitrate print provided by the UCLA Film & Television Archive and restoration services provided by NBCUniversal StudioPost.

Directed by Stuart Paton and produced by Universal Pictures, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was a groundbreaking production for its time, gaining much acclaim for its pioneering use of the underwater photography process developed by Ernest and George Williamson, making it one of the big-budget special effects epics of its day and a screen classic that has endured over the century since it was first released.

Shot on location in the Bahamas, Allen Holubar stars as the domineering Captain Nemo, who rescues the passengers of an American naval vessel after ramming them with his ironclad, steampunk submarine The Nautilus. Incorporating material from Verne’s The Mysterious Island, the film also follows the adventures of a group of Civil War soldiers whose hot-air balloon crash-lands on an exotic island, where they encounter the untamed “Child of Nature” (Jane Gail).

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Calling itself “The First Submarine Photoplay Ever Filmed,” the film is highlighted by underwater photography (engineered by Ernest and George Williamson), including an underwater funeral and a diver’s battle with a giant cephalopod. In honor of the film’s extraordinary technical and artistic achievement, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was added to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2016.

Kino Unveils ‘Mo’ Better Blues,’ ‘Jungle Fever’ and Other Spike Lee Classics on Blu-ray

Kino Lorber Studio Classics has released on Blu-ray five films by director Spike Lee, Mo’ Better BluesJungle Fever, Crooklyn, Clockers and Summer of Sam.

Summer of Sam is also available on DVD.

Each Blu-ray includes optional English subtitles as well as the theatrical trailer for the film. CrooklynClockers and Summer of Sam all include 5.1 Surround and 2.0 Lossless Stereo audio options. Mo’ Better Blues and Clockers both include a new audio commentary by film critic Kameron Austin Collins. Summer of Sam also includes “Fear City,” a new interview with John Leguizamo, and audio commentary by Lee and Leguizamo.

Mo’ Better Blues (1990) follows talented trumpeter Bleek Gilliam (Denzel Washington) who’s obsessed by his music and indecisive about his two girlfriends (Joie Lee and Cynda Williams). But when he has to come to the aid of his manager and childhood friend (Lee), Bleek finds his world more fragile than he ever imagined. The cast also includes Wesley Snipes, Giancarlo Esposito, Robin Harris, Bill Nunn, John Turturro, Nicholas Turturro, Samuel L. Jackson, Charlie Murphy, Abbey Lincoln and Rubén Blades.

Jungle Fever (1991) explores the provocative consequences of interracial relationships. African American architect Flipper Purify (Wesley Snipes) begins an affair with his working-class Italian American secretary, Angie Tucci (Annabella Sciorra), which causes them to be scrutinized by their friends, cast out from their families and shunned by their neighbors. The film also stars Lee, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Anthony Quinn, John Turturro, Samuel L. Jackson, Halle Berry, Tim Robbins, Lonette McKee, Frank Vincent, Brad Dourif, Nicholas Turturro, Michael Imperioli, Michael Badalucco, Debi Mazar, Theresa Randle, Rick Aiello, Miguel Sandoval and Charlie Murphy. It features music by Stevie Wonder.

Crooklyn (1994) is a semi-autobiographical portrait of a schoolteacher, her stubborn jazz musician husband and their five kids living in Brooklyn in 1973. The film follows the Carmichael family as they experience one very special summer in their Brooklyn neighborhood that they’ve affectionately nicknamed Crooklyn. Lee fashions a bold, flavorful picture of family life starring the wonderful Alfre Woodard as Carolyn, a loving, but fiercely independent mother who, along with her musician husband Woody (Delroy Lindo), struggles to raise their family in difficult but often wonderful circumstances. The supporting cast includes Lee, David Patrick Kelly, Zelda Harris, Isaiah Washington, José Zúñiga and Vondie Curtis-Hall.

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Clockers (1995) is a crime-drama based on a book by Richard Price (The Wanderers), who co-wrote the screenplay with Lee. A “clocker” is a 24-hour drug dealer, and Strike (Mekhi Phifer) is the hardest-working one on the streets. But for Strike, time is running out. When the local drug kingpin tips Strike off about an opportunity for advancement, a rival dealer ends up dead, and Strike suddenly finds himself caught between two homicide detectives. One is Mazilli (John Turturro), who’s only looking for an easy bust. The other is Rocco (Harvey Keitel), who’s looking for something much harder to find-the truth-and when Strike’s law-abiding brother confesses to the murder, Rocco vows not to rest until he’s sure the real shooter is behind bars. The film also includes performances by Delroy Lindo, Keith David, Isaiah Washington, Regina Taylor and Michael Imperioli.

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Summer of Sam (1999) is Lee’s take on the “Son of Sam” murders in New York City during the summer of 1977, centering on the residents of an Italian-American Bronx neighborhood who live in fear and distrust of one another. The heat is soaring to record highs, blackouts are filling the streets with looters and the murders of a man who calls himself the Son of Sam are gripping the city in fear. As friends in a small Bronx community become obsessed with the idea that the Son of Sam is someone nearby, the madman’s fearsome plague of terror becomes the catalyst that prompts relationships to fall apart and trust to disintegrate into dread. The film stars John Leguizamo, Adrien Brody, Mira Sorvino, Jennifer Esposito, Michael Rispoli, Bebe Neuwirth, Patti LuPone, Mike Starr, Anthony LaPaglia and Ben Gazzara.

Glorifying the American Girl


Kino Lorber;
$19.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray;
Not Rated.
Stars Mary Eaton, Eddie Cantor, Helen Morgan, Rudy Vallee.

Other than a blink-and-you’ll-miss-him shot of Flo Ziegfeld himself from what appears to be something like a newsreel source, the legendary impresario had little to do with Florenz Ziegfeld’s Glorifying the American Girl other than to lend his name, lend the movie his own title slogan and pick up a paycheck. This last he probably needed because by the time the film was finally released three or four years after it had been presumed that cameras were about to roll, the 1929 Stock Market crash, which had occurred only five weeks earlier, had buried Ziegfeld’s shirt in the rubble.

The economic meltdown further jinxed a movie whose production woes and revolving scripts-of-the week were known by those even beyond industry insiders and junkies — at a time when backstage musicals had flooded the market. What’s more, MGM’s The Broadway Melody had taken the second Best Picture Oscar earlier the same year, setting a standard that Girl’s terrible reviews (on top of everything else) weren’t going to overcome. Yet matters aren’t always that pat as the film begins closing in on the century mark, and the picture — seen here via UCLA’s Film & Television Archives’s 35mm restoration and not Alpha Video’s DVD eyesore — is a somewhat surprising mix of the inevitably clunky and, yes, innovative. Many of the clunks, however, also have their compensations.

For one thing, the final script is unflinchingly tough in its portrayal of an equally pretty and talented hoofer (Mary Eaton) pushed into exhaustive chorine labors as well as co-dependence with a lecherous partner (Dan Healy) who likes taking advantage of randy life on the road. Kino Classics’ new Blu-ray of the restoration has a slow, halting but rather effective commentary by Richard Barrios, author of A Song in the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film (again, there were so many early-talkie musicals that one could write an entire book on them). In it, he gives the impression that he’s really thinking before speaking so as to make his points with full force, and one he keeps returning to over and over again deals with Girl being a New York production (as part of Paramount’s East Coast operation), which set the table for some seaminess that a more rose-colored “L.A.” treatment might have given it. This is one more thing that might have turned critics and audiences against the picture but makes it seem contemporary in ways other than cinematic style. And it does so as we approach the theatrical release of Bombshell, in which the leering eyes belong to the late Roger Ailes.

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For an added alternative and comparably chaste romantic dimension, Girl introduces Eaton’s character working as a music store song plugger hawking sheet music by delivering singing samples as her piano accompanist (played by Edward Crandall) dreams of marriage. Meanwhile, he is a yen target himself of a second employee (Gloria Shea, whose real-life brother was the lawyer for whom Shea Stadium was named). She’s pretty herself but seems to be out of the running in this hotbed of comeliness — a situation altered after a Long Island picnic when Eaton gets a chance to strut her professional stuff by performing outside and on the grass with a troupe of traveling vaudevillians. These include so-called seasoned pro Healy.

This is a remarkable extended sequence and the movie’s best — offering a remarkable contrast to the standard Lights of New York (or to offer a fictional example, Singin’ in the Rain) view of early talkies suffering from microphones hidden in flowerpots or other stationary objects that hindered movement and the blocking of performers. There’s none of that here, and if someone had asked, I’d pegged this scene as having been filmed at least a couple years later. Eaton, a bonafide real-life Ziegfeld vet that he kept in the wings in case his top female star (Marilyn Miller) got out of hand, is seen to exceptional advantage — though other scenes, alas, are in the primitively cinematic mode we’d expect. This said, the No. 1 culprit would seem to be the script — which, for all of its rewrites, is a patchwork affair particularly in the manner it shoehorns in a budding relationship between Crandall and Shea.

These prelims kill time as we await what was intended to be the movie’s big payoff. This is a) inserted shots of — talking about shoehorning — show biz luminaries of the day plus New York bad-boy mayor Jimmy Walker (whose wife looks nothing like Vera Miles of the Bob Hope Walker biopic Beau James) entering the New Amsterdam Theater to see Ziegfeld’s revue. Plus b) three specialty numbers offering ’20s star power (Rudy Vallee, Helen Morgan and Eddie Cantor) plus a couple production numbers in surviving two-color Technicolor that feature glorified girls. These scenes suggest what a Busby Berkeley set piece might have looked like had the female participants been decked out in costumes so diaphanous that they appear to be naked. Thus, when Girl briefly showed up on local TV showings after Paramount sold its 1929-49 library to MCA in 1958, these titillaters, which at that point lacked even un-restored color, were excised by station censors (I worked for years in high school and college at a CBS affiliate that owned this Paramount package, and this kind of thing used to go on all the time to placate all the Mayberry burgs in the viewing area).

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Though Vallée ended up qualifying in the ’40s for MVP awards as a comical actor in both The Palm Beach Story and The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, his status as a onetime singing idol was mystifying to me even as a kid — something akin to, say, the target female audience getting its thighs all aquiver over, say, William H. Macy. The Vallee phenomenon is similarly inexplicable here, though Morgan is always worth seeing, and though her “What Wouldn’t I Do for That Man?” number isn’t at all imaginatively staged by director Millard Webb, the set’s visual is strikingly dramatic: white piano against an inky black background. BTW, Morgan had just been at Paramount’s East Coast Astoria studio filming Rouben Mamoulian’s Applause, an official “history-book” classic from the transition to sound that still has a little juice. Morgan does not (surprise, surprise) look at all like Ann Blyth, who played her in a 1957 Warner biopic, which was only co-star Paul Newman’s fourth feature.

This leaves Cantor, whose concluding skit set in a haberdashery might be funny if it didn’t seem to run longer than the 287-minute director’s cut of Wim Wenders’ Until the End of the World Criterion just released. I’ve never seen him so thin, which figures because it’s the earliest I’ve ever seen him, though he looks more than a quarter-century younger than the Cantor I watched a lot on NBC-TV’s “The Colgate Comedy Hour” in the early ’50s. If you can get over the fact that he was still doing blackface on national television in 1952 (whew), Cantor was, ironically, a progressive who wiped sweat from Sammy Davis Jr.’s brow on live TV from around the same time and took a verbal swipe at Joe McCarthy sooner than any celebrity I know. I am probably one of six people who actually paid money to see my ever-unctuous fellow Ohioan Keefe Brasselle portray him in Christmas ’53’s The Eddie Cantor Story, but I was only six and didn’t know what Brasselle would bring to the party, which was always something along the lines of Lake Erie carp.

The length of Cantor’s skit in Girl deadens the finale, but there’s a lot of real-life subtext here that makes the movie interesting. We see, at the very beginning, a moving graphic of young women marching to New York from all over the company to be glorified by Flo. But what we know, both from actuarial odds and a reading of Nathaniel West’s L.A.-based The Day of the Locust, is that most of these women will be mangled and discarded by the system. Lead Eaton, whose one other screen role of note had just been with The Marx Brothers’ Astoria-shot The Coconuts, got dumped by the biz and died of cirrhosis at 47 (she also had a performing sister who became victim of an unsolved murder). Her story reminds me of Peggy Shannon’s, who met a similarly tragic conclusion but with even more squalor thrown in, despite having proven herself both in the looks and acting department just after Eaton’s brief screen heyday.

In addition to the Barrios commentary, there’s a short featurette giving us a brief outdoor glance at movie star homes, a Hearst Metrotone News excerpt of Ziegfeld in rehearsal and 1934’s Oscar-winning La Cucuracha. The last was the first live-action short subject to employ the new three-strip Technicolor process that Disney cartoons showcased — sandwiched in history between some individual feature-film sequences and 1935’s Becky Sharp, which was the first full-length feature to go all the way with it. Every print I’ve ever seen of La Cucuracha (even on laserdisc) has looked spectacular, and the one here is no exception. This package’s transcendent value, though, is to give us a better than usual feeling for what vaudeville must have been like, even as it found itself under an oxygen tent thanks to thanks to the double whammy or radio and the Depression.

Mike’s Picks: ‘Glorifying the American Girl’ and ‘Great Day in the Morning’

Bend of the River


Kino Lorber;
$29.95 Blu-ray;
Not rated.
Stars James Stewart, Arthur Kennedy, Julia Adams, Rock Hudson.

This second of the five revered James Stewart-Anthony Mann Westerns consistently gets high marks on rank-them-in-order lists, but leaving aside 1955’s perfectly respectable but unexceptional The Far Country (a ’54 release in England), you can shuffle your specific preferences in just about any order without anyone calling you crazy. I myself prefer Winchester ’73, The Naked Spur and The Man From Laramie — but on the other hand, ranking 1952’s Bend of the River fourth just doesn’t quite send the right signal. (For that matter, I could use an update viewing on Country if long-promised Blu-rays ever materialize.)

Certainly, River has the “elements”: two great lead actors playing characters who are alternately friendly and adversarial with each other; a supporting cast of young screen players who were getting early career breaks on the way to expanding their fan bases; older character actors (sub-category: Western) who are not anyone’s pretty faces; and excellent Technicolor locales once we get by a shoddy-looking set-bound exterior during some an early nocturnal combat between white settlers and Shoshones. The picture was largely filmed way, way up in the Mt. Hood area of Oregon, and it’s been said that Stewart regarded it as the most physically demanding role of his career.

For a star-director quintet that proved quite popular with the public yet was relegated to functional bread-and-butter status by critics, a lot of screen ink has been expended in subsequent years on the ways in which these movies toughened up Stewart’s screen image and played a little to that persona’s occasional neurotic dimension — as in what for me are the actor’s two greatest performances (earlier on in It’s a Wonderful Life and a bit later in Vertigo). In River, Stewart keeps his emotions remarkably in check amid all sorts of narrative mayhem but finally lets it out all out late in the game when co-star Arthur Kennedy (as Stewart’s erratic sidekick) reveals his true character, which we’ve seen hinted at from the beginning.

Which is to say that the two meet when Kennedy has a rope around his neck as one about to be lynched for horse thievery — a vigilante group-vs.-individual act to which Stewart responds negatively on general principles, resulting in the former’s unambiguous rescue. Subsequently riding together, the two soon become aware that they know each other by reputation — though this mutual rep is as former “raiders” from the Civil War era, which doesn’t go down too well in postwar society. As a result, the screenplay — by Red River’s Borden Chase from a Bill Gulick novel — somewhat enters future Budd Boetticher territory in that the good guy and the bad guy have more in common than they do with, in this case, wagon train settlers. Though Stewart is trying.

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As my favorite character actor ever, Kennedy predictably delivers the standout supporting performance, but the movie also gives pretty good indication of the young contract players Universal-International was “pushing” in those days. Julie Adams (here still billed as Juli-a) is the young settler who takes an arrow in her shoulder, a la Joanne Dru in Red River, and seems as confused in her choice of men as Hope Hicks. There’s also Adams’ fellow “Creature” lust object Lori Nelson, in her screen debut as the closest thing to a bobbysoxer that the wagon train has to offer — plus Rock Hudson is a gambler named “Trey Wilson.” This said, and by virtue of being played by Rock, the guy looks nothing like the prematurely deceased comic actor from Raising Arizona and Bull Durham — though it was an appealing early role for the actor in terms of his seemingly effortless (which it wasn’t) screen magnetism. Hudson is mostly on hand to show off his professional gambler’s garb and to lend a hand during fatal shoot-outs — some of which take place in the formerly civilized Portland, which goes all crazy when someone discovers gold.

Also around — and Blu-ray commentator Toby Roan bios them all practically down to the number of times they hit the men’s room each day — are familiar Western types like Chubby Johnson, Harry Morgan, Royal Dano, Jack Lambert and Howard Petrie. Not so familiar by 1952, due to the already wincingly retro nature of his act, was Stepin Fetchit, who was making his first appearance in a Hollywood film (as opposed to a so-called “race picture” of the era) in about 20 years; he plays the 40-year companion here to boat captain Johnson, which means, I guess, that the two have managed to work out their relationship. Also among the settlers eventually faced with potential starvation (and with winter approaching) is Frances Bavier. As Bing didn’t sing on his Decca recording, other than in my imagination, it’s looking like “Twilight on the Trail” for Aunt Bea. If that is, Stewart and Kennedy (who’s beginning to make it clear that he may be in it for just himself), can’t get their bought-and-paid-for supplies back from money-hungry Petrie.

Ultimately, River lacks that final “oomph” that pushes it out of the high side of decent into something more, an assessment that applies to the print here as well. The movie was shot in three-strip Technicolor, so its genes are obviously tops, but it looks as if an older master was used here, which is a crucial decision when it comes to this kind of outing. Predictably, it’s stronger in the closeups, though if you went on location in the mountains, you would instead be indulging in long shots, right? Fortunately, the inherent visual material gives River certain advantages, something that’s doubly or even triply so in its choice of protagonists. Kennedy’s character is posted as one who’s smiley, easygoing and wry most of the time (as well as generally dependable in the clutch), and no one was ever better at putting this conflicted demeanor over than the actor U-I chose for the role. Kennedy came through in a similar kind of role in The Man From Laramie, too, which (from Twilight Time and in contrast) is one of the best Blu-ray presentations of a movie from this era that I’ve ever seen.

Mike’s Picks: ‘Bend of the River’ and ‘Melvin and Howard’

Kino Lorber Releasing ‘Hannibal’ on UHD Blu-ray

Kino Lorber will release Hannibal on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray through its Classics line April 30, marking the first 4K release for the indie distributor.

Kino made the announcement Feb. 6 via its @KLStudioClassic Twitter feed.

The 2001 film, a sequel to 1991’s Silence of the Lambs, was directed by Ridley Scott and features Anthony Hopkins reprising his role as serial killer Hannibal Lecter. Julianne Moore takes over the role of FBI agent Clarice Starling, originally played by Jodie Foster. Based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Harris, the story involves Hannibal’s attempts to evade capture while a former victim seeks his own form of revenge.

The disc will include a new 4K restoration, plus HDR and SDR color-graded by cinematographer John Mathieson. Extras include an audio commentary by Scott and three hours of bonus materials that were previously available with MGM’s 2001 DVD release of the film but were not included in subsequent Blu-rays released in the United States. International Blu-rays have been released that included the bonus material.

Kino Lorber Announces February 2019 Classics Slate

Kino Lorber has announced its February 2019 slate of Blu-rays and DVDs in its Studio Classics imprint.

Due Feb. 5:

  • Zacariah (1971), on Blu-ray and DVD with a new HD master from a 4K scan of the original camera negative. Firepower meets flower power in this outrageous western about two thrill-seeking cowboys who rock the range, starring John Rubinstein, Don Johnson and Dick Van Patten. Extras include a new interview with Rubinstein, a new commentary by film historians Howard S. Berger and Nathaniel Thompson, and the original theatrical trailer.


  • Kotch (1971), on Blu-ray and DVD with a new HD master from a 4K scan of the original camera negative. Jack Lemmon directs Walter Matthau, who plays a kindly if occasionally exasperating widower who has worn out his welcome with his son, daughter-in-law and grandson. Extras include a new audio commentary by film historians Lee Gambin and Emma Westwood, and a promotional trailer with Matthau and Lemmon.


  • Charly (1968), on Blu-ray and DVD with a new 2K master. Adapted from the classic Daniel Keyes novel Flowers for Algernon and featuring an Academy Award-winning leading performance by Cliff Robertson. Extras include commentary by film historians Howard S. Berger and Nathaniel Thompson.


  • Diamonds for Breakfast (1968), on Blu-ray and DVD with a new 2K master. Four thieves try to steal the Imperial Jewels of Russia


Due Feb. 12:


  • The Group (1966), on Blu-ray and DVD. Sidney Lumet directs an ensemble film based on the novel by Mary McCarthy about a group of eight young women, recent college graduates facing the pressures of society. The cast includes Candice Bergen in her film debut.


  • Summer Lovers (1982), on Blu-ray and DVD. Peter Gallagher and Daryl Hannah unite in a story of love, lust and obsession from director Randal Kleiser. Extras include commentary by Kleiser and “The Making of Summer Lovers.”


  • The Real McCoy (1993), on Blu-ray and DVD. A crime boss (Terence Stamp) forces a recently out of prison criminal (Kim Basinger) to attempt a bank heist with the help of an eager thief (Val Kilmer). Includes commentary by director Russell Mulcahy.


  • Youngblood (1986), on Blu-ray and DVD. A rookie hockey player (Rob Lowe) gets the chance to lead the team when the top scorer (Patrick Swayze) gets knocked out. The cast also includes Keanu Reeves, Cynthia Gibb, Ed Lauter, Jim Youngs and Fionnula Flanagan. Includes a new audio commentary by director Peter Markle.


Due Feb. 19:


  • Broadway Bound (1992 TV Movie), on DVD. Neil Simon’s coming-of-age trilogy that began with Biloxi Blues and Brighton Beach Memoirs concludes with an all-star cast that includes Anne Bancroft, Hume Cronyn, Jerry Orbach, Jonathan Silverman, Michele Lee, Corey Parker, Pat McCormick and Jack Carter. This special edition includes both the original 90-minute cut and the 94-minute extended cut.


  • The Siege at Ruby Ridge (1996 TV Movie), on DVD. Laura Dern, Randy Quaid, Kirsten Dunst, Joe Don Baker, Diane Ladd, Bradley Pierce, Bob Gunton and G.W. Bailey star in the story of a 1992 government raid on a cabin in Idaho that resulted in an 11-day standoff with separatists.


  • Desert Fury (1947), on Blu-ray and DVD. Lewis Allen directed this classic film noir in Technicolor, starring Lizabeth Scott, Burt Lancaster, John Hodiak, Mary Astor and Wendell Corey, in the story of gangsters looking to get involved in gambling operations near Reno, Nevada. Includes a new audio commentary by film historian Imogen Sara Smith.


Due Feb. 26:


  • The Midnight Man (1974), on Blu-ray and DVD. Burt Lancaster stars as Jim Slade, a former Chicago policeman just out of prison who takes a job as a campus night watchman and starts an unauthorized investigation into a murdered coed. Includes commentary by film historians Howard S. Berger and Nathaniel Thompson.


  • A Bill of Divorcement (1940), known as Never to Love in the U.K., on Blu-ray and DVD with a new 2K master. After 15 years in a mental asylum, Hilary Fairfield (Adolphe Menjou) has suddenly regained his sanity, escaped from the institution and come home. But a few things have changed in his absence.


  • The Rover (1967), on Blu-ray and DVD. After a wide-ranging life of piracy and adventure, Peyrol (Anthony Quinn) comes ashore in the port of Toulon during the bloody aftermath of the French Revolution to deliver a message to the Port Commander. Wanted by authorities in nearly every port in the European world, Peyrol barely escapes arrest and flees to an isolated spot near the coast. While searching for a way to return to the open sea, he rescues a deranged girl, Arlette (Rosanna Schiaffino) from a mob of revolutionary “blood-drinkers.” Includes audio commentary by film historian Lee Gambin and Dr. Eloise Ross.