This week on DVD

A '70s ghetto-style classic, Spielberg and Leonardo's semi-satisfying romp, and seemingly every James Stewart and Maureen O'Hara western that you've forgotten about but was actually pretty good.


Salon Staff
May 7, 2003 12:00AM (UTC)

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"Bend of the River" (1952). Directed by Anthony Mann. Starring James Stewart, Rock Hudson, Julie Adams (Universal).

"Birth of the Blues" (1941). Directed by Victor Schertzinger. Starring Bing Crosby, Brian Donlevy, Mary Martin. Also: "Blue Skies" (1946), directed by Schertzinger. Starring Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Joan Caulfield. Double-feature DVD set (Universal).

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"Car Wash" (1976). Directed by Michael Schultz. Starring Ivan Dixon, Bill Duke, George Carlin, Irwin Corey, the Pointer Sisters, Richard Pryor (Universal). The original something-or-other. So cool it's beyond blaxploitation.

"Catch Me If You Can" (2002). Directed by Steven Spielberg. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Nathalie Baye, Martin Sheen, Amy Adams, Jennifer Garner, James Brolin. Extras: "Catch Me If You Can: Behind the Camera" featurette; "Cast Me If You Can: The Casting of the Film" with interviews with DiCaprio and Hanks as well as the film's supporting cast; "Frank Abagnale: Between Reality and Fiction," an in-depth look at the real Frank W. Abagnale Jr. that chronicles how, as a runaway teenager, without so much as a high school diploma, he managed to pass himself off as airline pilot, doctor, lawyer and college professor, all the while cashing millions of dollars in fraudulent checks; "The FBI Perspective," in which the film's FBI consultant gives an insider's view into the trials and tribulations of tracking bank fraud, forgeries, check kiting and elusive "paperhangers" (DreamWorks).

"Coal Miner's Daughter" (1980). Directed by Michael Apted. Starring Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones. Extras: Commentary by Spacek and Apted; "Tommy Lee Jones Remembers 'Coal Miner's Daughter,'" exclusive interview with Loretta Lynn and Apted (Universal). Yeah, it took a Brit to make the consummate country-western biopic. Really holds up two decades later.

"Come September" (1961). Directed by Robert Mulligan. Starring Rock Hudson, Gina Lollobrigida, Sandra Dee, Bobby Darin (Universal).

"Destry Rides Again" (1939). Directed by George Marshall. Starring James Stewart, Marlene Dietrich (Universal). Terrific western satire, featuring Dietrich's classic rendition of "See What the Boys in the Back Room Will Have."

"Detonator" (1993). Directed by David Jackson. Starring Pierce Brosnan, Christopher Lee, Ted Levine (New Line).

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"Dream With the Fishes" (1997). Directed by Finn Taylor. Starring David Arquette, Cathy Moriarty, Kathryn Erbe, Brad Hunt. Extras: Music video: "Sadness," by Greg Brown (Columbia TriStar).

"The Duel at Silver Creek" (1952). Directed by Don Siegel. Starring Audie Murphy, Lee Marvin (Universal). Not a well-known western at all.

"The Electric Horseman" (1979). Directed by Sydney Pollack. Starring Robert Redford, Jane Fonda (Universal). Kind of a flop at the time.

"The Emperor's Club" (2002). Directed by Michael Hoffman. Starring Kevin Kline, Emile Hirsch, Embeth Davidtz. Extras: Commentary by Hoffman, "The Making of 'The Emperor's Club'" featurette, deleted scenes (Universal).

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"The Far Country" (1954). Directed by Anthony Mann. Starring James Stewart, Walter Brennan, John McIntire, Ruth Roman (Universal). Great director, great cast. Nobody we know has seen it, but it's gotta be solid.

"Greatest '70s Cop Shows Compilation." Features the first episodes of "Charlie's Angels," "Starsky and Hutch," "S.W.A.T.," "Police Woman" and "The Rookies" (Columbia TriStar).

"The Incredible Hulk Collection." Two-disc set with two full-length Incredible Hulk TV films: "The Incredible Hulk Returns" and "The Trial of the Incredible Hulk," starring Lou Ferrigno and Bill Bixby. Extras: Interview with Ferrigno, "The Marvelous World of Stan Lee" featurette, "Stand Tall" Ferrigno documentary, poster and still gallery (Anchor Bay).

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"It Came From Beneath the Sea" (1955). Directed by Robert Gordon. Starring Kenneth Tobey, Faith Domergue, Donald Curtis. Extras: "The Harryhausen Chronicles," "This Is Dynamation" featurette (Columbia TriStar). Giant octopus trashes San Francisco. Cool Harryhausen effects.

"Jane White Is Sick & Twisted" (2002). Directed by David Michael Latt. Starring Kim Little, Wil Wheaton, Alley Mills, Danica McKellar, Colin Mochrie. Extras: Commentary by director Latt; commentary by Little and Hardwick; one-on-one cast interviews; deleted scenes; seven-minute featurette; party game information; behind-the-scenes featurette (MTI Home Video).

"King Rat" (1965). Directed by Bryan Forbes. Starring George Segal, Tom Courtenay, James Fox (Columbia TriStar). WWII Japanese POW camp, from James Clavell novel.

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"Law and Order" (1953). Directed by Nathan Juran. Starring Ronald Reagan, Dorothy Malone, Preston Foster (Universal). Not one of Ronnie's best; a routine western.

"Live Wire" (1992). Directed by Mark Roper. Starring Pierce Brosnan, Ron Silver, Ben Cross (New Line). Pre-007 Brosnan as FBI bomb expert.

"Love Is a Many Splendored Thing" (1955). Directed by Henry King. Starring William Holden, Jennifer Jones. Restored and remastered. Extras: William Holden A&E Biography, original MovieTone News footage, restoration comparison feature (Fox Studio Classics). Classic '50s soaper, not to be missed.

"Naked Lies" (1998). Directed by Ralph Portillo. Starring Shannon Tweed, Steven Bauer, Jay Baker, Fernando Allende (Columbia TriStar). We have no idea.

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"Night Passage" (1957). Directed by James Neilson. Starring James Stewart, Dan Duryea, Audie Murphy (Universal). Wide-screen western with shoot-'em-up conclusion.

"The People vs. Larry Flynt" (1996). Directed by Milos Forman. Starring Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love, Edward Norton. Extras: Commentary by Harrelson, Love, Norton; commentary by writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski; deleted scenes; two featurettes: "Free Speech or Porn?" and "Larry Flynt Exposed"; photo gallery (Columbia TriStar). Does it still seem as cool now? And what happened to Courtney Love, movie star?

"The Rare Breed" (1966). Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen. Starring Maureen O'Hara, Juliet Mills, Brian Keith, James Stewart. (Universal). Mid-'60s was almost the end of the line for decent westerns.

"The Redhead From Wyoming" (1953) Directed by Lee Sholem. Starring Maureen O'Hara, William Bishop, Alex Nicol (Universal). About a redhead from, um, yeah.

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"Sea of Love" (1989). Directed by Harold Becker. Starring Al Pacino, John Goodman, Ellen Barkin. Extras: Commentary by Becker, "The Creation of 'Sea of Love,'" deleted scenes (Universal). Arguably the beginning of Pacino's down slope.

"Shenandoah" (1965). Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen. Starring James Stewart, Doug McClure, Patrick Wayne (Universal). Another pretty decent western in a month crowded with them.

"Two Mules for Sister Sara" (1969). Directed by Don Siegel. Starring Clint Eastwood, Shirley MacLaine (Universal). I mean, how can you miss with that duo?

"The Way Home" ("Jibeuro," 1967) Directed by Jyong-Hyang Lee. Starring Kim Eul-Boon, Yoo Seung-Ho, Hyo-Hee Dong (Paramount).

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"Winchester '73" (1950) Directed by Anthony Mann. Starring James Stewart, Dan Duryea, John McIntire, Rock Hudson, Stephen McNally, Shelley Winters, Tony Curtis. Extras: Interview with James Stewart (Universal). An exceptionally good, rather dark western. One of Stewart's finest performances.


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