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The Hanging Tree

“To really live, you must almost die,” sings Marty Robbins, a lesson learned by Austrian import star Maria Schell. Delmer Daves’ best western puts virtue and faithfulness to the test: Gary Cooper’s distrustful, manipulative doctor hides his dark secrets and punishes those that admire and love him. Yet the ultimate reckoning demonstrates that sins can be forgiven and goodness rewarded, even in a corrupt and lawless community. That’s a fairy tale I still want to believe in.

The Hanging Tree


Warner Archive Collection

1959 / Color / 1:78 widescreen / 107 min. / Street Date January 23, 2018 / available through the WBshop / 21.99

Starring: Gary Cooper, Maria Schell, Karl Malden, Ben Piazza, George C. Scott, Karl Swenson, Virginia Gregg, John Dierkes, King Donovan.

Cinematography: Ted McCord

Film Editor: Owen Marks

Original Music: Max Steiner

Written by Wendell Mayes, Halsted Welles from the novel by Dorothy M. Johnson

Produced by Martin Jurow, Richard Shepherd

Directed by Delmer
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Operation Petticoat

Tony Curtis grew up idolizing the suave and funny Cary Grant, emulated his romantic moves as an actor and then performed a brilliant impersonation of Grant for Billy Wilder. The next step had to be co-starring with the great man himself. Blake Edwards’ amiable, relaxed submarine movie allows Grant to play with ladies’ under-things, while Curtis wrestles with a pig.

Operation Petticoat


Olive Signature Edition

1959 / Color / 1:78 widescreen / 120 min. / Street Date July 1, 2014 / available through the Olive Films website / 39.95

Starring: Cary Grant, Tony Curtis, Joan O’Brien, Dina Merrill, Gene Evans, Dick Sargent, Virginia Gregg, Gavin MacLeod, Madlyn Rhue, Marion Ross, Arthur O’Connell.

Cinematography: Russell Harlan

Original Music: David Rose

Written by Paul King, Joseph Stone, Stanley Shapiro, Maurice Richlin

Produced by Robert Arthur

Directed by Blake Edwards

The latest in Olive Films’ Signature Selection special editions is Operation Petticoat, a light comedy war movie noted for teaming Cary Grant with Tony Curtis.
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From Silent Film Icon and His Women to Nazi Era's Frightening 'Common Folk': Lgbt Pride Movie Series (Final)

From Silent Film Icon and His Women to Nazi Era's Frightening 'Common Folk': Lgbt Pride Movie Series (Final)
(See previous post: “Gay Pride Movie Series Comes to a Close: From Heterosexual Angst to Indonesian Coup.”) Ken Russell's Valentino (1977) is notable for starring ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev as silent era icon Rudolph Valentino, whose sexual orientation, despite countless gay rumors, seems to have been, according to the available evidence, heterosexual. (Valentino's supposed affair with fellow “Latin LoverRamon Novarro has no basis in reality.) The female cast is also impressive: Veteran Leslie Caron (Lili, Gigi) as stage and screen star Alla Nazimova, ex-The Mamas & the Papas singer Michelle Phillips as Valentino wife and Nazimova protégée Natacha Rambova, Felicity Kendal as screenwriter/producer June Mathis (The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse), and Carol Kane – lately of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt fame. Bob Fosse's Cabaret (1972) is notable as one of the greatest musicals ever made. As a 1930s Cabaret presenter – and the Spirit of Germany – Joel Grey was the year's Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner. Liza Minnelli
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TCM goes to war on Memorial Day: But thorny issues mostly avoided

Submarine movie evening: Underwater war waged in TCM's Memorial Day films In the U.S., Turner Classic Movies has gone all red, white, and blue this 2017 Memorial Day weekend, presenting a few dozen Hollywood movies set during some of the numerous wars in which the U.S. has been involved around the globe during the last century or so. On Memorial Day proper, TCM is offering a submarine movie evening. More on that further below. But first it's good to remember that although war has, to put it mildly, serious consequences for all involved, it can be particularly brutal on civilians – whether male or female; young or old; saintly or devilish; no matter the nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other label used in order to, figuratively or literally, split apart human beings. Just this past Sunday, the Pentagon chief announced that civilian deaths should be anticipated as “a
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'Psycho': 25 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Hitchcock's Classic

Besides making people forever afraid of motel-room showers, Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" continues to have an incalculable impact on popular culture. Though it was released 55 years ago this week (on June 16, 1960), it continues to inspire filmmakers and TV producers. In just the last three years, we've seen the 2012 film "Hitchcock" (based on Stephen Rebello's book "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of 'Psycho,'" and starring Anthony Hopkins as the director and Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh) and the ongoing A&E TV prequel drama series, "Bates Motel."

Still, for all of the "Psycho" trivia revealed in "Hitchcock," the biopic barely scratches the surface of how the film got made, from the men who inspired the invention of Norman Bates, to the trickery Hitchcock used to tease the press while keeping the film's convention-shredding narrative twists a secret, to the film's unlikely connection to "Leave It to Beaver." Here,
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Mama’s Boy: The Top 10 Mother-Son Combos in Movies

For some of the oldsters out there they may recall the 1973 Gamble & Huff-produced R&B hit single “I’ll Always Love My Mama” by the musical group The Intruders. This musical anthem was certainly a lyrical tribute to caring mothers and how their sacrifices shaped our childhood and adulthood. This finger-snapping song definitely captured the spirit of motherly guidance.

Naturally film has had its share of depicting motherhood over the decades. In fact, mothers of all types are presented before our eyes in packages of being nurturing, notorious, nutty, naive and nonsensical. However, there is something so special about the mother-son relationship that rivals the father-daughter dynamic. We have our share of proud Mama’s boys out there roaming about in society.

In Mama’s Boy: The Top 10 Mother-Son Combos in Movies we will examine some of the big screen bonds that have been celebrated between the Mommy Dearests
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Beautiful, Lighthearted Fox Star Suffered Many Real-Life Tragedies

Jeanne Crain: Lighthearted movies vs. real life tragedies (photo: Madeleine Carroll and Jeanne Crain in ‘The Fan’) (See also: "Jeanne Crain: From ‘Pinky’ Inanity to ‘MargieMagic.") Unlike her characters in Margie, Home in Indiana, State Fair, Centennial Summer, The Fan, and Cheaper by the Dozen (and its sequel, Belles on Their Toes), or even in the more complex A Letter to Three Wives and People Will Talk, Jeanne Crain didn’t find a romantic Happy Ending in real life. In the mid-’50s, Crain accused her husband, former minor actor Paul Brooks aka Paul Brinkman, of infidelity, of living off her earnings, and of brutally beating her. The couple reportedly were never divorced because of their Catholic faith. (And at least in the ’60s, unlike the humanistic, progressive-thinking Margie, Crain was a “conservative” Republican who supported Richard Nixon.) In the early ’90s, she lost two of her
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Vera Farmiga to Lead Bates Motel

Vera Farmiga has landed a leading role on A&E's upcoming Psycho prequel television series, "Bates Motel." She'll play Norma Louise Bates, the mother of Norman Bates in the small screen project, officially described as follows: "Bates Motel" gives viewers an intimate understanding of how Norman Bates' psyche developed from his childhood through his teen years. Fans will have access to the dark, twisted backstory and learn first hand how his mother, Norma, and her love damaged Norman, helped forge the most well-known serial killing motel owner in history. Norma Bates was originally voiced by Virginia Gregg, Jeanette Nolan, and Paul Jasmin in Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 original film. Gregg reprised the voice role for Psycho II and Pyscho III and in...
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Warner Archive Digs Up Horror Classics and Sends Them to DVD

The Warner Archive Collection is a manufacture-on-demand (Mod) DVD series that specializes in putting previously unreleased films on DVD for the first time. Recently they dug deep into their vast history of classic horror and selected some winners to resurrect.

The Warner Archive Collection can make a wide array of films available because they don't actually create the DVD until it is ordered by a customer. This way, they are not taking a chance of getting stuck with a large amount of inventory if a selected title doesn't sell. You'll certainly recognize some of the horror films the Warner Archive Collection has added to its library, but there are a couple of really obscure ones in there as well. Take a look at the list of what's been made available and plan your shopping list now.

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973)

Although the recent remake featuring the suddenly single
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Friday Noir: ‘Crime in the Streets’ is melodrama at its best

Crime in the Streets

Directed by Don Siegel

Written by Reginald Rose

U.S.A, 1956

Magic can be created on a studio set. Today, in 2012, filmmakers, critics cans fans alike take great pleasure in watching films which are said to have been filmed on location. Said decision to shoot a picture in a real world surrounding naturally adds a layer of believability to the film’s aesthetics, helping the audience take in the information. In comparison, shooting on a studio lot, especially for scenes which are supposed to take place outdoors in the real world, which was the case for many older films, can be distracting, especially for modern audiences. Two things may be written in response to that criticism. First, if the director shoots the film well enough, the artificiality of the set can be used to an advantage. Second, if the story at its heart is strong enough,
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DVD Review: "Two On A Guillotine" Starring Connie Stevens, Dean Jones And Cesar Romero

  • CinemaRetro
By Lee Pfeiffer

Although often erroneously attributed to legendary producer William Castle, the 1965 chiller Two on a Guillotine certainly has all the hallmarks of one of his productions: a modestly-budgeted scarefest backed by an intense, sensational marketing campaign. In fact, the film was, perhaps improbably, produced and directed by William Conrad- that's right, the same character actor who originated the role of Matt Dillon on the Gunsmoke radio program and who would enjoy leading man status in the 1970s as the star of the popular Cannon detective series on TV. The off-beat story begins in the 1940s and finds Cesar Romero as 'Duke' Duquesne, the world's greatest magician and illusionist. Everyone is enamored of him except his wife Melinda (Connie Stevens), who is tired of being a beautiful prop in his act. On the eve of presenting his most ambitious stunt, which involves faking Melinda's beheading on a guillotine,
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The Herculoids – The Comlete Series

  • Comicmix
One of the more enduring concepts introduced on Saturday morning television in 1967 was Hanna-Barbera’s Herculoids. Some of this has to do with its fabulous Alex Toth design work and much of it has to do with the unusual assortment of people and creatures that band together to fight for survival in a hostile environment.

The series debuted on September 9 and CBS aired 18 original episodes before it vanished on September 6, 1969. Thanks to the miracle of on-demand DVD manufacture, Warner Archive has released the complete series on two DVDs this week. The eleven new episodes created in 1981 remain to be rediscovered.

The series was the brainchild of Toth but episodes were directed by Bill Perez, Paul Sommer, Ken Spears, Joe Ruby, and David Scott. Clearly Ruby and Spears were inspired by this because there’s a direct correlation between this and their Thundarr the Barbarian (also available from Warner Archive). The Herculoids
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Black Swan DVD & Blu-ray Release: Mothers only a mother could love…

Mothers are like bum holes – we’ve all got one. For the most part they are a routine fact of everyday life, occasionally embarrassing, sometimes funny and on the odd occasion down right horrific

This week sees the DVD and Blu-ray release of Darren Aronofsky’ s ballet opus Black Swan, a critical and commercial success that had audiences squirming in their seats with a unique blend of psychological horror and gory body shock. Out on 16th May Black Swan is genuinely a must see movie. Natalie Portman won the best actress Oscar for her role as Nina Sayers, a talented young ballerina feeling the pressure of the biggest role of her career, not helped by her overbearing and ever so creepy stage mum played by Barbara Hershey. Hershey’s great performance is integral to Portman’s onscreen melt down and so to celebrate the films DVD release Thn have been
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Psycho: 50th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Review

When the Lumiere brothers made “Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat” in 1896, audiences famously left the theater, afraid that a silent train might kill them. At least, that’s what the history books tell us. For modern audiences, a shot of a silent train in black and white would have no such weight. Such is partially the dilemma of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. On one hand it was the master at his subversive and transgressive best, on the other hand so much has changed in fifty years of cinema that it’s virtually impossible for an audience to find the film without knowing the big reveal or having a familiarity with its set pieces – if only from the pop culture unconsciousness. The shower scene from Psycho is so well known that it’s possible some people know it only from the parodies (done by The Simpsons, Jackass, etc.). In Psycho,
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Not Available on DVD: ‘Two on a Guillotine’

The guillotine was a device developed during the French Revolution and was used in carrying out thousands of executions. It consisted of an upright frame from which a sharp blade is suspended. The blade is raised with a rope and then allowed to drop, quickly severing the victim’s head from their body. In 1964, the Aurora plastics company, famous for their series of best-selling monster model kits, produced a 1/12th scale model of an actual working guillotine complete with a little victim whose head could be lopped off with the flick of a switch. Though tame compared with some items in popular culture today, parents groups at the time complained that it was warping the young minds of future baby boomers but the toy was cool and proved to be a hit. Warner Brothers studios jumped on the brief ‘Guillotine Craze’ bandwagon the next year with the juvenile horror film Two On A Guillotine,
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