Warner Bros. has had countless milestones (as in a singular Lewis) … many people start The Jazz Singer. Bette Davis loved sharing her stories about Brothers Warner with us, but let’s let those lie in dark victory.
Warner Bros. “subsidiary,” the Warner Archive Collection, is celebrating its sixth anniversary.
We don’t know anyone with a more incredibly aggressive release schedule: To date, more than 2,500 titles have been released, beginning with up to 30 titles a week. George Feltenstein, who is Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s Senior Vice President of Theatrical Catalog, Marketing, has been there from Day One, and acknowledges that “a vast majority of our titles become profitable very quickly, and as we became more successful we worked with our Creative Services division and improved our packaging to make it indistinguishable from traditional DVD releases and we were able to eventually move to dual-layer discs which allow for a lot more content and that is what enabled us to make television series available. We expanded from just feature films to also include television movies and miniseries and animation collections.”
The DVDs are costly (they average $25 a film; Warner Bros. sends film critics several a month, and we have bought such films in used DVD/CD stores for $3, despite the fact that we notified WB at least two of the “critics” to whom they are sending DVDs are retired and not reviewing)! Warner Bros. makes lots of money in the process to make these film so quickly: They have been released on DVD through a manufacture-on-demand (MOD) process since 2009.
Here’s a look at some new ones, taken the the Warner Bros. press releases:
Behind the fanciful title of The Robin Hood of El Dorado, director William A. Wellman serves up a rousing and surprisingly thoughtful Hollywood Western hybrid unique in its time. Part biography, it’s based on the real-life story of Mexican farmer Joaquin Murrieta, driven to banditry in Gold Rush-era California after encroaching American gold-seekers and desperadoes cause the deaths of his wife and brother. Part indictment of prejudice and injustice, it quakes with the smoldering fury that energizes Wellman’s better-known Wild Boys of the Road and The Ox-Bow Incident. But it’s 100% compelling, filmedwith a invigorating sense of spectacle and the wide outdoors, and performed with zest and conviction by Warner Baxter as Murrieta, J. Carrol Naish as grisly badman Three-Fingered Jack, and Ann Loring and Margo as the two loves of Murrieta’s life. Viva Joaquin!
Confined to a mental institution for killing his wife, Alex Forrester (Stuart Whitman) learns from his doctor (Edward Mulhare) of an arcane law that guarantees escaped patients new trials. Believing he’s no longer insane, Alex breaks out of the asylum and hides in the home of Molly Thomas (Joanne Woodward), a married woman who lives nearby. So when her husband’s body is found in the woods and the police assume he’s the killer, Alex must find a way to prove he’s sane and innocent of the murder. An ingenious thriller packed with clever twists and turns, Signpost to Murder is based on the 1962 London stage play by Monte Doyle, which ran 419 performances and starred Margaret Lockwood as Molly.
Six years out of prison and Eddie Pedak (Alain Delon) has kept his nose clean, avoiding any contact with his brother (Jack Palance), the head of a criminal gang. Determined to live a normal life, he’s got steady work, a loving wife (Ann-Margret) and a sweet little daughter. Unfortunately, Eddie also has enemies, among them a vengeful police inspector (Van Heflin) whose harassment costs the ex-convict his job. In need of money to support his family, Eddie has no choice but to risk his future on one final heist in this “hard-bitten”(The New York Times) tale of a desperate man plagued by misfortune and fate. Tautly directed by Ralph Nelson (Lilies of the Field), Once a Thief was written by Zekial Marko, who based the film on his novel and appears on-screen as Eddie’s friend Luke.
The stars come out to play in the joyous World War ll-era Thank Your Lucky Stars. A breezy, behind-the-Hollywood-scenes story about young talents hoping for a big break glitters with specialty numbers featuring Golden Era greats. Highlights include Humphrey Bogart being out-tough-guyed by S.Z. “Cuddles” Sakall and singers ranging from the gifted (Dinah Shore, Dennis Morgan) to the good sports (Errol Flynn, John Garfield). And Bette Davis’ witty, wry, jitterbugging rendition of “They’re Either Too Young or Too Old” (which she dared to recorded on the 2003 CD Miss Bette Davis).