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  1. Top News Stories

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    • Master of the House on DVD and Blu-ray

    • The theme of Master of the House, Carl Theodor Dreyer's 1925 screen adaptation of Svend Rindom's play Tyrannens fald, is better captured in the film's original Danish title Du skal √¶re din hustru: Thou Shalt Honor Thy Wife. Viktor Frandsen (Johannes Meyer), the master of the house himself, is indeed the central character of this domestic drama, but his journey is all about learning to appreciate his wife Ida (Astrid Holm), who he has driven to illness with his ill temper.

      While the opening intertitles of the film, a sentimental paean to the overlooked and underappreciated work of the mother and housewife, leave no ambiguity about the drama to come, Dreyer is far less obvious in his direction. The film opens with Ida's morning ritual, a routine that Dreyer observes with the patient care of a documentarian and the delicacy of a painter. Ida is never still as she makes breakfast, cares for the children, and sacrifices her own meager luxuries to give Viktor a little extra butter on his bread, but neither is she rushed or harried. There is a grace to her toil and a pride and satisfaction in the work she does. Her confidence and clarity unravels, however, when Viktor emerges for breakfast, complaining with his first steps into the room that coffee is no waiting for him on the table.

      Viktor is a tyrant from the outset, a rude, bullying, coldly demanding man who treats Ida like a paid servant and who can't say a word to her without leveraging a criticism into it. The easy flow and rhythm of Ida's sure movement becomes tangled in his demands and her anxiety and she becomes distracted and forgetful, yet she puts on a smile and simply tries harder. Dreyer shows tremendous trust in the audience to observe and understand without editorializing and to wait for their story to emerge as Ida defends Viktor to Mads (the delightfully worldly and wily Mathilde Nielsen), Victor's old wetnurse and Ida's friend. Viktor was an optometrist who lost his business and she won't abandon him in his times of trouble. This is, after all, the European depression after World War I, and his self-respect has surely taken a hit along with their economic troubles. "Deep down we know they still over each other," remarks Ida's mother (Alvilda Kryger) but we take that former happiness on faith and Dreyer counts on our faith to follow through on his redemption when the old women plot to get Ida out of the house for a rest and teach Viktor a lesson.

      The film takes place almost entirely in the family apartment, a set that Dreyer painstakingly constructed to match the plain simplicity of real-life homes, and the rhythms of everyday life within the home set the pace of the film. The care with which Ida doles out the meager stores of such luxuries as butter and carefully apportions out the butter and dutifully mends the kids' clothes tell us all about their hard economic times. All we know about Viktor's activity outside of the home is that he leaves every morning, returns at night, and can be seen frequenting a local tavern. If he has job, we don't see it. It's hard to have any sympathy for a man who takes out his resentment on his family while wasting his own days away. One of Dreyer's triumphs is slowly revealing the good man under the tyrant we first meet and suggesting the happy family that once was without a single flashback.

      Master of the House appears downright old-fashioned in the first two acts but those appearances are deceiving. Dreyer has a seemingly neutral style, favoring medium shots to watch the interactions of every character and the defining shifts in body language and expression through their exchanges. The simplicity of the set and the austerity of the furnishings sets the actors off even more. It could be a Scandinavian answer to D.W. Griffith's chamber dramas but Dreyer's direction is actually far more modern and sophisticated than first appears. His direction is patient and controlled and his actor's performances understated and naturalistic. He deftly creates a rich mix of domestic drama and family comedy, though the humor is satirical and pointed rather than slapstick and silly and even carries an undercurrent of social drama and potential tragedy. In fact, until the plainspoken Mads arrives and loosens her tart tongue on Viktor ("Well, there is the howler monkey," she comments as he shouts on the street on the way home) there is no comic undercurrent to diffuse the tensions in the household.

      After Ida leaves, a wry, low-key comedy emerges as the wily Mads punctures Viktor's arrogance and sense of entitlement. She assumes the same critical attitude that Viktor laid on Ida and refuses to indulge his comforts the way Ida always did. The dynamic of stern nanny and intimidated little boy replaces his dominance--he's no longer master of his house--but it's not about the loss of authority for Viktor. His loneliness grows along with a sense of shame and only then does Dreyer move his camera in to close-ups, isolating Viktor to focus in his reflections and show us the man he was before the collapse of his business. The intimacy is all the more powerful for it and it gives the last act a tender beauty and emotional payoff that is earned by the characters.

      Master of the House is a handsome drama directed with elegance and care, a lovely portrait of middle-class life in Denmark during the depression of the 1920s with an undercurrent of comedy and a visual control that slowly brings us into the lives of these characters. A strong psychological depth arises from behind carefully restrained performances and the simple but evocative images. Dreyer's austerity took on a much more visually dramatic style with The Passion of Joan of Arc just a few years later. Master of the House finds its power in the grace of everyday lives and loves struggling through hard times.

      Criterion releases the film in two editions: a two-disc Blu-ray+DVD Combo and a single-disc DVD only edition. Both are mastered from a new 2K digital restoration of a duplicate negative (with a couple of scenes taken from other, lesser sources) and it's a handsome-looking edition with a largely clean image, rich blacks, good contrasts, and a fairly sharp image. The slight flicker is likely due to a mix of age and a slow projection speed (common with dramas of the era). It is accompanied by a compilation piano score reconstructed by Gillian Anderson from the opening night presentation in 1925 and performed by Sara Davis Buechner. There are two supplements, both produced for this release. Film historian David Bordwell contributes a 22-minute visual essay on Dreyer's stylistic innovations illustrated by film clips, and a video interview with Danish film historian Casper Tybjerg (about 15 minutes long) offers an overview of the film and of the career of the director. The 24-page booklet features a new essay on the film by film critic and historian Mark Le Fanu.

      by Sean Axmaker

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  1. New Books

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    • Elizabeth and Michael

    • By Donald Bogle

      One of the country's leading authorities on popular entertainment presents an eye-opening and unique biography of two larger-than-life legends--Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson--and their unlikely yet enduring friendship.

      From the moment Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson met, they were hooked on each other. He peered into her violet eyes and was transfixed; she, in turn, was dazzled by his talent, intrigued by his sweet-tempered childlike personality, and moved by the stories she had already heard about his troubled early life. Soon a deep friendship blossomed, unexpectedly unlike anything either had ever experienced. Through thick and thin, through their various emotional upheavals, through the peaks and valleys of their careers, through their personal traumas and heartaches, through the unending health issues and extreme physical pain that each experienced, and through the glare of the often merciless public spotlight, their bond held them together, and their love for each other endured.


      Donald Bogle skillfully recreates the moving narrative of Taylor and Jackson's experiences together and their intense emotional connection, without shying away from the controversies that swirled around them. Through interviews with friends and acquaintances of the two stars, as well as anonymous but credible sources, Elizabeth and Michael emerges as a tender, intimate look at this famous "odd couple" and a treasure to their millions of fans.

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    • Robert Wagner's I LOVED HER IN THE MOVIES: Memories of Hollywood's Legendary Actresses

    • By Robert Wagner and Scott Eyman

      In a career that has spanned over sixty years, Robert Wagner has witnessed the twilight of the Golden Age of Hollywood and the rise of television, becoming a beloved star in both film and TV. During this time, he became acquainted, both professionally and socially, with many of the greatest female screen personalities of all time. I LOVED HER IN THE MOVIES: Memories of Hollywood's Legendary Actresses (On-sale: 11/15/16) by Robert Wagner, with co-author Scott Eyman, provides an intimate and revealing account of the charisma of these women on film, why they became stars, and how their specific emotional and dramatic chemistries affected the choices they made both as actresses and as women.

      I LOVED HER IN THE MOVIES offers a privileged look behind the scenes at some of the most well-known women in show business. Among Wagner's subjects are Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Gloria Swanson, Norma Shearer, Loretta Young, Joan Blondell, Irene Dunne, Rosalind Russell, Dorothy Lamour, Debra Paget, Jean Peters, Linda Darnell, Betty Hutton, Raquel Welch, Glenn Close, and the two actresses whom he ultimately married, Natalie Wood and Jill St. John. In addition to offering perceptive commentary on these women, Wagner examines topics like the strange alchemy of the camera--how it can transform the attractive into the stunning, and vice-versa--and how the introduction of color brought a new erotic charge to movies--one that enabled these actresses to become aggressively sexual beings in a way that that black and white films had only hinted at.


      Robert Wagner is the star of such films as A Kiss Before Dying, The Longest Day, The Pink Panther, and most recently, the Austin Powers franchise. On television, he starred in It Takes a Thief (with Fred Astaire), Switch (with Eddie Albert and Sharon Gless), and Hart to Hart (with Stefanie Powers). He has recently appeared on Two and a Half Men and NCIS. He is married to actress Jill St. John.

      Scott Eyman is the author of eleven books about the movies, including Lion of Hollywood: The Life of Louis B. Mayer (which the Wall Street Journal called one of the five best books ever written about Hollywood), Empire of Dreams: The Epic Life of Cecil B. DeMille, and more recently, John Wayne: The Life and Legend.

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    • King of Jazz: Paul Whiteman's Technicolor Revue

    • King of Jazz: Paul Whiteman's Technicolor Revue tells the story of the making, release, and restoration of Universal's 1930 Technicolor extravaganza King of Jazz. Authors James Layton and David Pierce have uncovered original artwork, studio production files, behind-the-scenes photographs, personal papers, unpublished interviews, and a host of other previously unseen documentation. The book offers a richly illustrated narrative with broader context on the film's diverse musical and theatrical influences. The story concludes with an in-depth look at the challenges Universal overcame in restoring the film in 2016. Additionally, the book's appendix provides a comprehensive guide to all of the film's performers, music, alternate versions, and deleted scenes.

      King of Jazz was one of the most ambitious films ever to emerge from Hollywood. Just as movie musicals were being invented in 1929, Universal Pictures brought together Paul Whiteman, leader of the country's top dance orchestra; John Murray Anderson, director of spectacular Broadway revues; a top ensemble of dancers and singers; early Technicolor; and a near unlimited budget. The film's highlights include a dazzling interpretation of George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," which Whiteman had introduced to the public in 1924; Walter Lantz's "A Fable in Jazz," the first cartoon in Technicolor; and Anderson's grand finale "The Melting Pot of Music," a visualization of popular music's many influences and styles. The film is not only a unique document of Anderson's theatrical vision and Whiteman's band at its peak, but also of several of America's leading performers of the late 1920s, including Bing Crosby in his first screen appearance, and the Russell Markert Dancers, who would soon become Radio City Music Hall's famous Rockettes.


      James Layton is Manager of the Museum of Modern Art's Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Center. Prior to this he worked at George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, where he curated two gallery exhibitions and the website Technicolor 100. Layton has also acted as Cataloguer and Workflow Coordinator at the East Anglian Film Archive in Norwich, UK, and is co-author of the Image Permanence Institute's informational poster Knowing and Protecting Motion Picture Film (2009).

      David Pierce is an independent film historian and archivist. He was formerly the Head of Preservation and Curator of the National Film and Television Archive at the British Film Institute. His articles have appeared in numerous journals, and his report on the survival of American silent feature films was published by the Library of Congress in 2013. He founded the Media History Digital Library, providing free online access to millions of pages of motion picture magazines and books.

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    • THE ESSENTIALS: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter

    • By Jeremy Arnold
      Forward by Robert Osborne

      Since its inception on Turner Classic Movies in 2001, The Essentials has become the ultimate for movie lovers to expand their knowledge of must-see cinema and discover or revisit landmark films that have had a lasting impact on audiences everywhere.

      Based on the hit series, THE ESSENTIALS by Jeremy Arnold showcases 52 must-see movies from the silent era to modern times. Readers can enjoy one film per week, like on the show, for a year of great viewing, or indulge in a movie-watching binge-fest. Each film is profiled with entertaining discourse on why it's an Essential, and running commentary is provided by TCM's Robert Osborne and Essentials guest hosts past and present: Sally Field, Drew Barrymore, Alec Baldwin, Rose McGowan, Carrie Fisher, Molly Haskell, Peter Bogdanovich, Sydney Pollack, and Rob Reiner.

      Featuring full-color and black-and-white photography of the greatest stars in movie history throughout, THE ESSENTIALS is the ultimate curated guide to 52 films that define the meaning of the word "classic."


      Jeremy Arnold, a writer and film historian, is the author of Lawrence of Arabia: The 50th Anniversary, a coffee-table book companion to that film's Blu-ray release. In addition to his work for numerous film trade publications, he has written over five hundred programming articles for the Turner Classic Movies website and contributed audio commentaries and historical essays to the DVD and Blu-ray releases of classic films.

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  1. DVD Reviews

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    • Dick Dinman & Eddie Muller Explore THE ASPHALT JUNGLE!

    • DICK DINMAN & EDDIE MULLER EXPLORE "THE ASPHALT JUNGLE": Producer/host Dick Dinman welcomes back the "Czar of Noir" himself Eddie Muller as both celebrate the Criterion Collection's pristine release on Blu-ray of John Huston's THE ASPHALT JUNGLE which remains conceivably the greatest "heist/noir" masterwork ever committed to celluloid. (It's early in the year but its difficult to conceive that any home video outfit in the ensuing year will be able to top the astonishing "special features" included on this sensational disc.)

      PLUS: Show opener "Dick's Picks" salutes the Criterion Collection's recent Blu-ray releases of Robert Altman's McCABE & MRS. MILLER, Marlon Brando's ONE EYED JACKS and Howard Hawks' HIS GIRL FRIDAY.

      COMING SOON: DICK DINMAN & EDDIE MULLER ARE "ON DANGEROUS GROUND"!

      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

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    • Dick Dinman Salutes Air Hero Jimmy Stewart!

    • DICK DINMAN SALUTES WW2 AIR HERO JIMMY STEWART: The dual releases of Olive Films stunning Blu-ray incarnation of the James Stewart air power classic STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND as well as author Robert Matzen's awe inspiring book MISSION: JIMMY STEWART AND THE FIGHT FOR EUROPE, which for the first time ever reveals the truth about Stewart's dangerous bombing missions over Germany, give producer/host Dick Dinman ample motivation to salute the spectacular military career of screen icon Stewart and Dick is joined by returning guest Robert Matzen as they marvel at the courage, skill and fortitude of this certifiable American hero.

      The opening DICK'S PICKS segment salutes Olive Films and their latest Blu-ray releases of not only STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND but Orson Welles' MACBETH (two versions!), HOUDINI, THE PRIVATE AFFAIRS OF BEL AMI, VILLA RIDES. ONE OF OUR AIRCRAFT IS MISSING and two new 4k releases of THE QUIET MAN and JOHNNY GUITAR (first time in original widescreen format on home video!).

      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

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    • Dick Dinman & Eddie Muller Salute Ultra-Rare Noir Classics!

    • DICK DINMAN & EDDIE MULLER SALUTE ULTRA-RARE NOIR CLASSICS: Producer/host Dick Dinman and Film Noir Foundation's Czar of Noir Eddie Muller wax poetic about the first-rate Blu-ray releases of three rarely seen film noir gems: Flicker Alley's dark and deadly duo of two heretofore thought virtually lost noir thrillers TOO LATE FOR TEARS and WOMAN ON THE RUN and KL Studio Classics 99 RIVER STREET about which Dick and Eddie have a rare major disagreement regarding the validity of what some consider the most memorable two scenes in the film.

      PLUS: A preview of KL Studio Classics upcoming noir Blu-ray release CRY OF THE CITY.

      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

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    • Dick Dinman & Kathleen Hughes Return to 3-D "Outer Space!"

    • DICK DINMAN & KATHLEEN HUGHES RETURN TO 3-D "OUTER SPACE": Kathleen Hughes, whose breakout appearance in Universal-International's first 3-D blockbuster inspired the media to dub her the "first feminine sensation created by 3-D" rejoins producer/host Dick Dinman to salute Universal Pictures Home Entertainment's wonderfully immersive 3-D Blu-ray release of IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (immaculately restored by the 3-D Archive) and shares priceless memories about her career from her very first film ROAD HOUSE (just released on Blu-ray by Kino's KL Studio Classics) to her time as a contract star at Universal and 3-D Archive's Robert Furmanek chats about the challenges inherent in restoring this certifiable sci-fi classic to its current eye-poppingly spectacular 3-D grandeur.
      PLUS: OPENING "DICK PICKS" SEGMENT SALUTES UNIVERSAL'S "THE MARX BROTHERS SILVER SCREEN BLU-RAY COLLECTION." AND A PREVIEW OF THE UPCOMING KINO RELEASE OF THE 3-D ARCHIVE'S "THOSE REDHEADS FROM SEATTLE".

      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

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  1. Press Release

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    • TCM Remembers Robert Osborne - 3/18-19

    • Turner Classic Movies will dedicate two entire days to honor the legacy of longtime host Robert Osborne. Airing all day on Saturday, March 18 and Sunday, March 19, the 48-hour tribute will feature an extensive collection of the long-form interviews Osborne conducted during his 23 year tenure with the network, including:
      -Memorable installments of Private Screenings and Live from the TCM Classic Film Festival.
      -Special edition of Private Screenings where actor Alec Baldwin interviewed Osborne on the host's 20th anniversary at the network
      -Robert's first-film introduction for the network of Gone with the Wind
      -Among the Private Screenings specials featured during TCM's tribute to Osborne are his interviews with such legendary stars as Debbie Reynolds, Liza Minnelli, Betty Hutton and Ernest Borgnine.
      -Installments of TCM's annual Live from the TCM Classic Film Festival featured will include Robert's intimate interviews with screen legends such as Peter O'Toole, Eva Marie Saint, Kim Novak, Alan Arkin and Luise Rainer, who was 101 at the time of the interview and without her hearing aids, a situation Osborne graciously worked around by writing each question out on a noteptad for her to read.

      TCM's loving tribute to Osborne will showcase the qualities expressed in a message from TCM General Manager Jennifer Dorian, who wrote, "Robert was embraced by devoted fans who saw him as a trusted expert and friend. His calming presence, gentlemanly style, encyclopedic knowledge of film history, fervent support for film preservation and highly personal interviewing style all combined to make him a truly world-class host."

      The complete schedule for TCM's tribute to Robert Osborne is included below:

      TCM Remembers Robert Osborne

      Saturday, March 18
      6 a.m. - Private Screenings: Robert Osborne
      7:30 a.m. - Private Screenings: Norman Jewison
      9 a.m. - Robert Osborne's 20th Anniversary Tribute
      10:15 a.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Alan Arkin
      11:30 a.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Luise Rainer
      12:15 p.m. - Private Screeniings: Liza Minnnelli
      1:30 p.m. - Private Screenings: Robert Osborne
      3 p.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Eva Marie Saint
      4:15 p.m. - Robert Osborne's 20th Anniversary Tribute
      5:30 p.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Peter O'Toole
      6:45 p.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Kim Novak
      8 p.m. - Robert Osborne introduces Gone with the Wind in his first-ever on-air appearance as TCM's host
      8:05 p.m. - Private Screenings: Robert Osborne
      9:30 p.m. - Private Screenings: Debbie Reynolds
      10:30 p.m. - Private Screenings: Betty Hutton
      11:45 p.m. - Private Screenings: Liza Minnelli
      12:45 a.m. - Private Screenings: Robert Osborne
      2:15 a.m. - Private Screenings: Norman Jewison
      3:30 a.m. - Private Screenings: Ernest Borgnine
      4:45 a.m. - Robert Osborne's 20th Anniversary Tribute

      Sunday, March 19
      6 a.m. - Private Screenings: Liza Minnnelli
      7 a.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Eva Marie Saint
      8:15 a.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Kim Novak
      9:15 a.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Peter O'Toole
      10:30 a.m. - Private Screenings: Robert Osborne
      Noon - Robert Osborne's 20th Anniversary Tribute
      1 p.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Alan Arkin
      2:15 p.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Luise Rainer
      3 p.m. - Private Screenings: Ernest Borgnine
      4:15 p.m. - Private Screenings: Norman Jewison
      5:30 p.m. - Private Screenings: Robert Osborne
      7 p.m. - Private Screenings: Liza Minnelli
      8 p.m. - Robert Osborne's 20th Anniversary Tribute
      9 p.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Eva Marie Saint
      10:15 p.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Luise Rainer
      11 p.m. - Robert Osborne's 20th Anniversary Tribute
      Midnight - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Peter O'Toole
      1:15 a.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Kim Novak
      2:30 a.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Alan Arkin
      3:45 a.m. - Private Screenings: Robert Osborne
      5:15 a.m. - Live From the TCM Classic Film Festival: Luise Rainer

      (All times Eastern)

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Alan Ladd: The 1940s Collection DVD
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The Ghost and Mrs. Muir DVD
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Hard-boiled detective Sam Spade gets caught up in the murderous...
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  • Wednesday, March 20, 2011

  • Removed: 10:00pm Springfield Rifle
    12:00pm Casablanca
    Added: 1:00pm Virginia City
    12:15pm Casablanca
  •  
  • Wednesday, March 20, 2011

  • Removed: 10:00pm Springfield Rifle
    12:00pm Casablanca
    Added: 1:00pm Virginia City
    12:15pm Casablanca
  •  
  • Wednesday, March 20, 2011

  • Removed: 10:00pm Springfield Rifle
    12:00pm Casablanca
    Added: 1:00pm Virginia City
    12:15pm Casablanca