|Column #5 (June 25th - 29th, 2012)
This week we've had both the Warner Archive active as usual and some news from Sony's Columbia Classics MOD program about later summer-time releases.
The Warner Archive MOD This Week
For the June 26th, 2012 release date, the Archive is focusing on the remainder of MGM's Maisie pictures.
The Maisie Collection, Volume 2 (1942 - 1947). She's back! Ann Sothern's signature role, the amazing Maisie Ravier, leads the way through a second collection of her celluloid misadventures. The response to Maisie's first volume was so overwhelming, the Archive pulled out all the stops to make sure that Miss Ravier would be an integral part of your summer fun. This second volume enjoys a slight change of pace as Maisie, like the rest of the country, girds up for war-time. Although she trades-in her floral chapeaus for a Rosie the Riveter headkerchief and settles down in one spot for the duration, don't you worry! Plenty of trouble (and plenty a handsome fella) still finds Maisie! Sit back and watch Ann Sothern knock 'em flat as Maisie shakes it through five films from the factory floor to the not-so-friendly skies and eventually lands behind a badge, as a lady cop with all the curves.
This remastered set will include:
Maisie Gets Her Man (1942). Red Skelton co-headlines in this team of MGM comedy titans that sees Maisie coming to the aid of an owner of a bankrupt office building for show people (Allen Jenkins). When Skelton's wannabe clown is undone by a calamitous case of stage fright, enterprising Maisie lands him a gig moving mineral water. Or is it?
Swing Shift Maisie (1943). War-time sees Maisie giving up the dog show for work at an aeronautical factory where she must save a test pilot from her own seductive roomie. With James Craig.
Maisie Goes to Reno (1944). When her factory job gives her conniptions, Maisie is ordered to rest. But being Maisie, rest means taking a song and dance job in Reno and getting involved in romantic intrigue. With John Hodiak and featuring Ava Gardner in one of her first roles.
Up Goes Maisie (1946). Postwar Maisie decides it's time to lay down roots and trades in her dancing shoes for a steno pad. But the new, demure Maisie ends up flying a helicycle built for two when she starts to fall for her aero-inventor bossman (George Murphy).
Undercover Maisie (1947). After Maisie gets taken - and how - by a conniving con-gal, she ends up getting recruited by the LAPD for one dizzy and dangerous undercover assignment. But song-and-dance Maisie has got the guts to get the job done, even when faced with murderous foes. Also stars Barry Nelson and featuring the return of giant Maisie hats!
New Sony MOD Releases
For Release on August 7th:
The Crooked Web (1955, Frank Lovejoy, Richard Denning). Government agent tries to trick a suspect into returning to Germany, the scene of his crimes. Directed by Nathan Juran.
The Heat's On (1943, Mae West, Victor Moore). Turn on the fun! A heat wave of beautiful girls, gags, rhythm, and romance. Directed by Gregory Ratoff.
The Looking Glass War (1969, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Jones). From the John le Carre novel about a British spy who sends a Polish defector to East Germany to verify missile sites. Directed by Frank Pierson.
Lord Jim (1965, Peter O'Toole, James Mason). After being discredited as a coward, a 19th century seaman (O'Toole) lives for only one purpose: to redeem himself. Based on Joseph Conrad's novel written in 1900. Directed by Richard Brooks.
The Nebraskan (1953, Philip Carey, Roberta Haynes). Trying to make peace with the Nebraska Sioux leads frontier scout Wade Harper (Carey) through many perils. Directed by Fred F. Sears.
Oklahoma Crude (1973, George C. Scott, Faye Dunaway). It's oil boom time in Oklahoma and Lena Doyle (Dunaway), a hard-bitten, cyncial feminist has a fight on her hands: the big oil companies don't like the fact that she's working a potentially profitable wildcat rig. Directed by Stanley Kramer.
Time Out for Rhythm (1941, Rudy Vallee, Ann Miller). Kitty Brown (Miller), the maid of Frances Lewis (Rosemary Brown), a nightclub star, gets after Frances' fiancÚ. With the Three Stooges in support. Director by Sidney Salkow.
A Tornado in the Saddle (1942, Russell Hayden, Dub Taylor). Cannonball (Taylor) has to reveal the location to outlaws when he loses gold nuggets of a golf mine he discovered. Directed by William Berke.
The World Was His Jury (1958, Edmond O'Brien, Mona Freeman). Defense Attorney (O'Brien) has a lot of work to clear his naval client. Directed by Fred F. Sears.
Wyoming Renegades (1954, Philip Carey, Gene Evans). Brady Sutton returns from three years in prison and tries to go straight. Directed by Fred F. Sears.
For Release on September 4th:
Among the Missing (1934, Richard Cromwell). Story of an old woman who is fed up with her family, so she leaves them and becomes a cook in the home of a respectable dealer of antiques who also happens to be the local jewel thief. Directed by Albert Rogell.
And Baby Makes Three (1949, Barbara Hale). Family comedy has Barbara Hale about to be married a second time when things begin to get complicated. Directed by Henry Levin.
The Golden Decade of Baseball - Part 1, Part 2
The Old Dark House (1963, Tom Poston, Robert Morley). An American who sells cars in England receives a mysterious invitation from an old, excentric millionaire to visit his house in which he lives with his twin brother. Directed by William Castle.
Safari (1956, Victor Mature, Janet Leigh). Victor Mature's safari takes on a new and fierce dimension when his son is killed. Add to this an irritating millionaire who, together with his wife comes to Africa to hunt lions, and seeks out Mature to be his guide. Directed by Terence Young.
Zotz! (1962, Tom Poston, Jim Backus). Jonathan Jones (Poston) a professor of ancient languages, comes into possession of an ancient coin. He translates its inscription, which gives him three powers: to inflict pain, slow down time or kill. Soon, he's pursued by enemy spies who have learned about the magic coin. Directed by William Castle.
Well, once again, that's our latest edition of the Classic Hollywood MOD column for the week here on The Digital Bits. I'll be back again this coming Friday.