Mike’s Picks: ‘The Apartment’ and ‘Captain From Castile’

The Apartment (Blu-ray)

MVD/Arrow, Comedy, $49.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Edie Adams.
1960. Though topicality can be a trap when gauging a movie’s effectiveness, it’s a real punch to the face to see how a once controversial comedy-drama from 58 years ago can be so spot-on about sexual harassment in the work place. This, of course, is an issue not likely to fall prey to topicality limitations, so when we take a fresh jaded look at the comical sleazeball execs who populate the story’s Manhattan-based insurance company — and with its big boss the worst offender of all — there’s simply no way anyone can deny that the movie is more potent than it even was at the time.
Extras: Bruce Block, who delivers an outstanding commentary carried over from the previous release, has a visual background — which, when combined with his massive research, makes for a wall-to-wall informative two hours. This Arrow version also adds a slew of featurettes that include a Billy Wilder archival interview where he speaks extensively and sweetly about Diamond and a sturdy booklet with critical writings more on the ball than some of the original reviews.
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Captain From Castile (Blu-ray)

Available via ScreenArchives.com
Twilight Time, Drama, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Tyrone Power, Jean Peters, Cesar Romero, Lee J. Cobb, Thomas Gomez.
1947. There’s no shortfall of goodies to carry Captain From Castile, and fairly easily at that, over the lumps you might expect from a 140-minute epic directed by Henry King.
Extras: Twilight Time’s familiar virtue of isolating the musical score of its Blu-ray releases takes on added significance here with Castile because we can now concentrate on how composer Alfred Newman specifically applied one of his foremost achievements to the action at hand. Adding to the musical emphasis is a commentary by music producer and Twilight Time guiding force Nick Redman and writer/producer/historian Jon Burlingame (who are all things to the history of movie music) and the ever-agreeable historian Rudy Behlmer.
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Mike’s Picks: ‘Gidget’ and ‘Junior Bonner’

Gidget (Blu-ray)

Available via ScreenArchives.com
Twilight Time, Comedy, $29.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Sandra Dee, Cliff Robertson, James Darren, Arthur O’Connell.
1959. The retro beach-time confection of Sandra Dee’s career-maker just gets by as a time-killer if you missed your beach time this summer.
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Junior Bonner

Kino Lorber, Drama, $19.99 DVD, $29.99 Blu-ray, ‘PG.’
Stars Steve McQueen, Robert Preston, Ida Lupino, Ben Johnson, Joe Don Baker.
1972. A lot of people revere Junior Bonner, which features a lovingly constructed Jeb Rosebrook screenplay that director Sam Peckinpah fleshes out with a couple of show-stopping extended set pieces, but it could have used an ad campaign that sold its maker’s most gentle movie as a family drama and not another of the rodeo sagas that were flooding the market at that time.
Extras: Offering the commentary are definitive Peckinpah experts Nick Redman, Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons and David Weddle, who long ago established themselves as the go-to crew on Sam-related voiceovers, no matter which distributor is behind the home release.
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