DVDBeaver Newsletter - June 16th, 2006


Hey! - I fear these newsletters are getting a little long-winded and hence I will try to précis the information in a more direct fashion. Only 14 new reviews this week highlighted by - 2 classic Hollywood boxsets, plus a riveting article,  some new Criterion listings...  and more.


ANTICIPATION - Amazon have a 30% Pre-Order discount for James Stewart - The Signature Collection which contains The Cheyenne Social Club / Firecreek / The FBI Story / The Naked Spur / The Spirit of St. Louis and The Stratton Story HERE. DVDBeaver are especially happy about the inclusion of Anthony Mann's The Naked Spur!


NEW ARTICLE: Jonathan Rosenbaum shares - A Dozen Eccentric Westerns with us.


Easiest way to catch up is simply read the new Newsletter Archive HERE.


UPCOMING: The Humphrey Bogart Signature Collection Volume 2 will include:
3-disc SE of The Maltese Falcon!
extra’s including previous versions The Maltese Falcon (1931) and Satan met a Lady (1936)
Across the Pacific (DVD Debut)
Action in the North Atlantic (DVD Debut)
All Through the Night (DVD Debut)
Passage to Marseille (DVD Debut)


The Sales:

The NoShame Films DVD sale appears to be over except for these two titles (still 50% off! - DON'T DELAY if you are considering purchasing):

The Desert of the Tartars and Massacre in Rome


Update Gallery:

Femme Fatales of Film Noir Gallery HERE - We added Marie Windsor...


BEAVER'S ALWAYS NEED HELP: If you will purchase more than 35 DVDs (or anything) in a 365 day period (and live in the Continental US) it makes excellent financial sense to subscribe to Amazon Prime! You will get Free 2-day shipping on your purchases!


WOW! - New Additions to the Release Calendar (PRE-ORDER!)

Manderlay (Lars von Trier, 2005) IFC Films

Pretty Poison (Noel Black, 1968) 20th Century Fox

Jigoku (Nobuo Nakagawa, 1960) Criterion Collection

The Return of Frank James (Fritz Lang, 1940) 20th Century Fox

Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967) Criterion Collection

Spirit of the Beehive (Victor Erice, 1973) Criterion Collection

Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954) Criterion Collection

James Stewart - The Signature Collection (The Cheyenne Social Club / Firecreek / The FBI Story / The Naked Spur / The Spirit of St. Louis / The Stratton Story) Warner Home Video

Syriana (Widescreen Edition) (Stephen Gaghan, 2005) Warner Home Video

The Cheyenne Social Club/Fire Creek (Gene Kelly, 1970) Warner Home Video

The Naked Spur (Anthony Mann , 1953) Warner Home Video

The Spirit of St. Louis (Billy Wilder, 1957) Warner Home Video

The Stratton Story (Sam Wood , 1949) Warner Home Video


RECOMMENDATIONS: If you don't buy anything else this month - get The John Ford Film Collection. Lots of pleasure there. Next - I was very impressed with The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada. This is a narrative western that may not be to all tastes, but it was to mine. Speaking of westerns - Terror in a Texas Town is the king of the B's of that genre and easily a must own for fans. Petulia - great film, great transfer, great price - avoid at your own peril. The Omen has great repeat viewing value - an intelligent classic with a unique horror style. Don't simply judge Nathalie... by the cover (Emmanuelle Béart as a stripper would certainly be enough of an enticement for many males) - the film has some good depth. Let's keep an eye on Anne Fontaine's work. The 6 films of the The Clark Gable Signature Collection are worthy of much more credit than I initially gave them - classic Hollywood at its most appealing.

AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE - I just get so fed up with wasting my money on releases like Manderlay. Trust me - a better version is on the horizon. Let's not support inferior production houses like TVA.             


New Reviews:


The Clark Gable Signature Collection - Clark Gable reigned supreme as a screen icon during the 1930's and 40's. As we had reviewed the first three, we complete with the final three of the Boxset - San Francisco, Wife vs Secretary, and Dancing Lady. DVD Release Date: June 20th, 2006

- Lars may have gone out of vogue quicker than Garfield finds lasagna but we still post a big warning to steer clear of the upcoming TVA release (out of Canada). Taken from an unconverted PAL source the image has inherent weaknesses that are not acceptable. August 8th, 2006 IFC will be releasing an edition of Manderlay that we hope will be a vast improvement over the TVA Films edition.
DVD Release Date: June 20th, 2006


The Loved One - Richardson's film was advertised as the movie with something to offend everyone, and although these days it looks pretty tame you can see how it would have had the censors up in arms 35 years ago. Morse is the Brit abroad who encounters all the worst aspects of the funeral business while attending to his uncle's burial in California - he falls for a cosmetologist, but has to compete with a grotesque embalmer (Steiger). With a disparate cast including Sir John Gielgud, Tab Hunter and Liberace, Richardson's film is an outrageously funny parody of southern California life, with Steiger at his most memorable. DVD Release Date: June 20th, 2006


The John Ford Film Collection includes The Informer, The Lost Patrol, Mary of Scotland, Cheyenne Autumn and Sergeant Rutledge. An incredibly impressive list for one boxset. All 5 are brand new to DVD, and all 5 are available only in this boxset. Sergeant Rutledge has always been a personal favorite but I think The Informer is the gem of the package.  DVD Release Date: June 6th, 2006

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
- As anyone familiar with the career of screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga (Amores Perros, 21 Grams) would expect, the initial ‘modern revenge Western’ premise is merely the framework for a subtle, involving exploration of friendship, loyalty, sex, death and forgiveness — all the good stuff. Arriaga’s fragmented style allows the audience to experience Melquiades’ (Julio Cedillo) life when he’s already dead, flavouring the warmth and charm of his scenes alongside best pal Pete (Jones himself, marvellous) with an underlying sadness and sense of fate. DVD Release Date: June 6th, 2006

The Omen
- In The Omen director Richard Donner gets a little heavy at times with close-ups and the bombastic score but it is perfectly fitting and timed to the mood of the particular scene - that's what makes it a horror. On the performances - there aren't many Peck films where I don't extol his efforts and I've been enamored with Lee Remick since The Long, Hot Summer (1958). Add to that some amazing support from Leo McKern, David Warner et all. So although all those pieces fit with adept cohesiveness - it's the David Seltzer, extensively researched, script that I would champion to the hilt. DVD Release Date: June 20th, 2006

- Lester, having left live television and America for a successful British career, returned once - to San Francisco - for a movie which straddles the Beatles era and his mature works such as Juggernaut and Robin and Marian. He retains some visual pyrotechnics and a liberal use of flashbacks (his great cameraman Nic Roeg has been credited with influence here). This is the story of the affair between Petulia and a recently divorced surgeon. Their passion is a reaction to his melancholy and her antipathy to a bullying, feeble husband. Set within a materialistic society for which Lester's antipathy shines through. DVD Release Date: June 20th, 2006

- Awash in juicy, erotic melodrama but bearing one all-too-obvious plot twist, Anne Fontaine's psychological drama nonetheless provides a glimpse of two generations of French actresses at the top of their game. To think of Nathalie... as 8 Women divided by four would be somewhat misleading: Though it stars two of the duplicitous principals from Francois Ozon's campy 2002 mystery, the tone of this pairing is deathly serious, which makes the script's erotic element all the more believable, but makes its so-what conclusion even more apparent. DVD Release Date: May 2nd, 2006

Moon Over Miami
- When a pair of likely looking lassies in a Texas open-air hamburger stand suddenly blossom forth with a small legacy and the announced intention of going to Miami to take their pick of millionaires, the audience can call the shots with boring accuracy. But partly through Walter Lang's direction, "Moon Over Miami" rarely lets you remember it's old hat. DVD Release Date: June 13, 2006

Valley of the Dolls
- Of all the camp classics available for your derision and laughter, Valley of the Dolls is surely one of the campiest, the kind of movie whose promotional stills are reproduced on T-shirts for sale in your finer gay gift shops, the kind of movie that has close to 30 memorable quotes listed online, the kind of movie so delightfully absurd that even Roger Ebert (of all people) was moved to pen an even more campy farce of a sequel. DVD Release Date: June 13th, 2006

Terror in a Texas Town
- This low budget masterpiece achieves cult status with morally pigeon-holed, one dimensional characters and enough western conventions to approach a caricature parody... but it easily ranks as the greatest B-western of all time. The sparse exteriors were a function of the budgetary constraints but fit perfectly for the rigid and sparse stylistic composition.



Next 2 weeks on the Calendar:


Week of June 19th, 2006


Adventures of Superman - The Complete Third and Fourth Seasons (George Blair, 1952) Warner Home Video

Boom Town (Jack Conway, 1940) Warner Studios

Charlie Chan Collection, Vol. 1 - (Charlie Chan in Egypt / Charlie Chan in London / Charlie Chan in Paris / Charlie Chan in Shanghai / Eran Trece - The Spanish-language version of the lost film 'Charlie Chan Carries on') 20th Century Fox

China Seas (Tay Garnett , 1935) Warner Studios

Clark Gable - The Signature Collection (Dancing Lady / China Seas / San Francisco / Wife vs. Secretary / Boom Town / Mogambo) Warner

Dancing Lady (Robert Z. Leonard,1933) Warner Studios

Equinox (Jack Wood, 1970) 2-disc Criterion Collection

Faust (F.W. Murnau, 1926)- R2 UK - Eureka Masters of Cinema

A Fine Madness (Irvin Kershner , 1966) Warner Studios

The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight (James Goldstone,1971) Warner Studios

I Love You, Alice B. Toklas! (Hy Averback, 1968) Warner Studios

The Loved One (Tony Richardson, 1965) Warner Home Video

Ludwig (Luchino Visconti, 1972) R2 UK - 2-disc - Infinity Arthouse

Mogambo (John Ford, 1953) Warner Home Video

The Omen (2-Disc Collector's Edition) (Richard Donner, 1976) 20th Century Fox

Petulia (Richard Lester,1968) Warner Home Video

San Francisco (W.S. Van Dyke, 1936) Warner Studios

Syriana (Widescreen Edition) (Stephen Gaghan, 2005) Warner Home Video

Wife vs. Secretary (Clarence Brown, 1936) Warner Studios


Week of June 26th, 2006


Almanac of Fall (Béla Tarr, 1984) Facets Video

Cache (Hidden) (Michael Haneke, 2005) Sony Pictures

Columbo - The Complete Fifth Season (Various etc.,1971) Universal

Knights Of The Teutonic Order (Aleksander Ford, 1960) R2 UK SecondRun DVD

Masters of Horror: Lucky McKee - Sick Girl (2006) Anchor Bay

Music in Darkness (Bergman, Ingmar / 1948) [Tartan / R2 PAL / UK]
Prison (Bergman, Ingmar / 1949) [Tartan / R2 PAL / UK]


I'm running out of steam folks - I'll try my best to continue..



P.S. - Although the percentages keep juggling around you can still pick up some amazing deals at Amazon.UK!:

Laurel-Hardy 21-disc collection (42% off),  The Gospel According To St. Matthew (40% off), Jamon Jamon (60% off), Les Amants Du Pont-Neuf (65% off), Girl on the Bridge (70% off), Baise-Moi (56% off), The Seventh Seal (65% off), Central Station (68% off), Kes (62% off), The Adventures Of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert (2-disc) (70% off), Amelie (Two Disc Special Edition) [DTS] (72% 0ff), Pedro Almodovar Collection: Bad Education / Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down / Live Flesh / All About My Mother / Talk To Her (58% off), Visconti's Conversation Piece (61% off), The Fallen Idol (43% off), Sherlock Holmes - The Definitive Collection (54% off), Katherine Hepburn - 6-disc Screen Goddess Boxset (52% off), Rita Hayworth - 6-disc Screen Goddess Boxset (52% off), Barbara Stanwyck - 6-disc Screen Goddess Boxset (52% off), Sophia Loren - 6-disc Screen Goddess Collection (52% off), Marilyn Monroe - 6-disc Screen Goddess Boxset (52% off)