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Vertigo

17 October 2017 9:00 PM, PDT

Hitchcock’s masterpiece to date and one of the four or five most profound and beautiful films the cinema has yet given us”. That was critic Robin Wood’s astute 1968 evaluation ten years after Alfred Hitchcock’s final collaboration with James Stewart had been released to indifferent box office and unappreciative reviews. Tragic, obsessive and backed by an unforgettable Bernard Herrmann score, it’s one of the director’s most mesmerizing accomplishments. It knocked Citizen Kane off its nearly 50 year perch as the #1 picture of all time in the 2012 Sight and Sound decade poll of critics and filmmakers.

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- TFH Team

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Othello

17 October 2017 11:09 AM, PDT

Othello

Blu-ray

Criterion

1952 / Black and White / 1:33 / Street Date October 10, 2017

Starring Orson Welles, Suzanne Cloutier, Micheál MacLiammóir

Cinematography by G.R. Aldo, Anchise Brizzi, George Fanto, Alberto Fusi, Oberdan Troiani

Written by William Shakespeare (Adapted by Orson Welles)

Edited by Jenö Csepreghy, Renzo Lucidi, William Morton, Jean Sacha

Produced by Orson Welles, Julien Derode

Directed by Orson Welles

Shakespeare didn’t invent Orson Welles but he did define him; it can be said that if any one director took arms against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, it was the man behind Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil and Chimes at Midnight. The 1952 production of Othello is exhibit A.

Filmed over a turbulent three year period in and around Morocco, Venice and Rome, Welles was bedeviled by an ever-changing cast and crew resulting in reshoots by five different cinematographers and assembled by four different editors. The sound recording was a joke. »

- Charlie Largent

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Topper

17 October 2017 7:01 AM, PDT

They’re non-corporeal cut-ups, rich ghosts on the town with nothing better to do than spice up the love life of Roland Young’s harried, henpecked bank president. Hal Roach’s screwball hit did good things for everybody concerned, especially star Cary Grant and bit player Arthur Lake. But the show’s nostalgic heart is Billie Burke, of the tinkly-glass voice. Also starring platinum blonde Constance Bennett, Alan Mowbray and Eugene Pallette.

 

Topper

Blu-ray

Vci

1937 / B&W / 1:37 flat full frame / 97 min. / Street Date October, 2017 / 20.99

Starring: Constance Bennett, Cary Grant, Roland Young, Billie Burke, Alan Mowbray, Eugene Pallette, Arthur Lake, Hedda Hopper, Virginia Sale, Theodore von Eltz, J. Farrell MacDonald, Elaine Shepard, Ward Bond, Hoagy Carmichael, Lana Turner, Russell Wade, Claire Windsor.

Cinematography: Norbert Brodine

Film Editor: William Terhune

Art Director: William Stevens

Original Music: Marvin Hatley

Written by Jack Jevne, Eric Hatch, Eddie Moran from a novel by Thorne Smith »

- Glenn Erickson

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Junior Bonner

17 October 2017 6:57 AM, PDT

Sam Peckinpah was a fine director of actors when the material was right, and his first collaboration with Steve McQueen is an shaded character study about a rodeo family dealing with changing times. Joe Don Baker and Ben Johnson shine, but the movie belongs to Ida Lupino and Robert Preston.

Junior Bonner

Blu-ray

Kl Studio Classics

1972 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 100 min. / Special Edition / Street Date October 31, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95

Starring: Steve McQueen, Robert Preston, Ida Lupino, Joe Don Baker, Ben Johnson, Mary Murphy, Dub Taylor, Don ‘Red’ Barry, Bill McKinney.

Cinematography: Lucien Ballard

Film Editors: Frank Santillo, Robert L. Wolfe

Second Unit Director: Frank Kowalski

Bud Hurlbud: Special Effects

Original Music: Jerry Fielding

Written by Jeb Rosebrook

Produced by Joe Wizan

Directed by Sam Peckinpah

 

I suppose there were plenty of successful rodeo-themed westerns back in the day, perhaps the kind interrupted by a cowboy song every ten minutes or so. »

- Glenn Erickson

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The Shop Around the Corner

15 October 2017 9:00 PM, PDT

Two bickering shop attendants each find solace in the romantic letters they receive from secret admirers. Of course those unknown admirers are themselves and thereby hangs the plot of  Ernst Lubitsch’s gently comic masterpiece starring Margaret SullavanJames Stewart and Frank Morgan. Movies don’t get more transparently soulful, touching or funny as this 1940 film. It’s practically perfect.

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- Charlie Largent

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