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  1. Top News Stories

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    • The Hands of Orlac - The 1924 Original German Expressionist Thriller

    • The general consensus, for many decades running, is that though The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) is a cinema-history landmark, and the seminal ship that launched the thematic fleet of German Expressionism (which remained the world's coolest and most influential film movement for a decade), and that the credit for the film's pioneering abstruse stylization and invention went not to the director, Robert Wiene, but to the film's team of writers, producers and theater-trained designers. (And, to a degree, the performances by Werner Krauss and Conrad Veidt.) In fact, Wiene has always been short-shrifted, if only because so little of his other work has been available for viewing. (He'd made 18 movies prior to 1920, most of them lost, and worked steadily until his death in 1938.) The Hands of Orlac (1924) is a case in point, long written about but rarely seen, and never available before on home video, but a vivid, throbbing demonstration of the visual fire Wiene had to offer, with or without Caligari's set painters.

      It's become a classic tale, from a 1920 novel by neglected French speculative-fictionist Maurice Renard, and it's been filmed twice since, once in Hollywood as Mad Love (1935), directed by emigre cinematographer and longtime Wiene associate Karl Freund, and once in France as The Hands of Orlac (1960). Certainly, Renard's subjective-nightmare yarn was made to order for the German Expressionists, coming fully stocked as it did with intimations of madness, hallucinatory dream sequences, macabre set-pieces, the capacity for looming and shadowy interiors, and a central premise that teetered on a razor's edge between supernaturalia and the protagonist's insanity. Still, Orlac is not a German film technically, but Austrian, shot in Vienna, at a time when the Austrian film industry still struggled in the wake of the post-WWI breakup of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. In fact, most of the great artists that made the German industry so powerful in the '20s emigrated to Germany from the empire's shattered remains, including Freund, Fritz Lang, G.W. Pabst, Carl Mayer, Willi Forst, Karl Grune and Hans Janowitz. Vienna was, of course, also the early-century hotbed of high culture and of Freudian psychoanalysis, both of which feed into and collide in Wiene's film with lurid anxiety.

      Very simply, famed concert pianist Orlac (Veidt) is the victim of a train wreck, in which both of his hands were severed (off-screen); simultaneously, a psychotic killer is being put to death. Family and doctors decide to transplant the killer's hands onto the pianist – a scenario that afterwards quickly sends the convalescing Orlac on an obsessive tear, learning more and more about the killer's story as he becomes increasingly estranged with his own appendages. Eventually, of course, Orlac becomes convinced – or is it true? – that the hands are acting under their own volition, and he may become compelled to murder. It's an ingenious piece of Euro-pulp (the concept of which, varying from body part to body part, has been reworked many times, including in recent films like The Eye), but Wiene's film dominates its more sophisticated and expensive sound remakes by virtue of visual ingenuity.

      Orlac is an eye-catching movie from the first scenes, in which Wiene shoots a car driving in a panic at night, from another car, using only a single nervous spotlight; news of the train crash hits town with an on-screen typographic cry of "Un Accident!"; and the site of the wreck itself is a muscular, high-contrast dose of chaos. Ironically, the look that Wiene achieved in of Orlac owes less to stylized sets than to a mastery of lighting (whereas, famously, the lighting on Caligari was suggested almost entirely by painted shadows). Wiene uses backlighting and harsh compositions to suggest a Kokoschka-angled universe, artificially distending the already ominous rooms around Orlac into infinite darkness; often, there're no ceilings or walls around Orlac's bed or parlor furniture, just black, and the characters are dwarfed by the unknowable space. (In one moment that forecasts a popular David Lynch trope, Orlac stalks into the impossible shadows, and vanishes.) To capture Orlac's dissolving consciousness, Wiene uses double exposures in profoundly creepy ways – faces appear in the sky-high darkness above our cowering hero, and during one dream a giant fist and arm cuts diagonally across the abnormal blackness, from upper right toward Orlac's tiny bed, in lower left, until its knuckles press against the sleeper – who then awakes.

      But the greatest special effect might be Veidt, who turns his whole body into an Expressionist design, contorted by body horror and walking around in a tortured swoon as if his hands are huge, ravenous, paralyzing spiders he cannot disconnect from his body. Looking quite like Udo Kier at his thinnest and most frenzied, Veidt delivers a performance here that's half interpretive dance, half agonized psychosomatic seizure, and it's safe to say that, as with Caligari's Cesare, no one anywhere had the baroque physicality to match it.

      It's a deeply strange film that just gets stranger, as Orlac also becomes the victim of an extortion plot (hinging on the notion of the killer's guillotined head being reattached, Frankenstein-style, to its body, which then threatens with mechanical hands), and the troubling matter of how the Orlacs – Alexandra Sorina, as Mrs. Orlac, remains in a state of lemur-eyed terror throughout the whole film – are supposed to pay their bills if the pianist's hands would rather grope for murder weapons than play Chopin. (This arm of the plot, so to speak, leads them to Orlac pere for a handout, but he's a hermited nutcase as well, living in a hulking castle set that looks left over from Lang'sDie Nibelungen, made the same year in Berlin.) If German Expressionism has any relevance today – and the success of Tim Burton and the Batman suggests it does – then Wiene deserves reexamination, and Orlac a spot on the movement's top shelf.

      For more information about The Hands of Orlac, visit Kino International. To order The Hands of Orlac, go to TCM Shopping

      by Michael Atkinson

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  1. New Books

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    • Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood


    • As screen icon Kirk Douglas approaches his 100th birthday, he and his wife of 62 years, Anne Buydens, share secrets to longevity in life and love told through candid commentary and priceless correspondence between each other and famous friends from celebrities to world leaders, spanning almost a century.

      Part of Turner Classic Movies' publishing program, this book is the story of film legend and centenarian Kirk Douglas and his wife of nearly sixty-three years, Anne. Their stories of enduring love and a lifetime led on the world stage unfold through the couple's own candid commentary and priceless letters from their personal archives. Carefully maintained by Anne over the course of more than six decades and never before made public, the correspondence includes details of their courtship and marriage, set against the backdrop of Kirk's screen triumphs in films ranging from Lust For Life to Paths of Glory and Spartacus.

      Through the letters themselves and Kirk and Anne's words, never-before-told stories emerge about the legendary figures they knew so well, including Lauren Bacall, Frank Sinatra, Burt Lancaster, Elizabeth Taylor, John Wayne, the Kennedys, and the Reagans; fascinating first-hand accounts of film sets and star-studded dinner parties; and tales of travel to over forty countries as goodwill ambassadors. Complemented by previously unpublished photos, Kirk and Anne candidly details the adventurous, oftentimes comic, and poignant reality behind the glamour of a Hollywood life, as only a couple of sixty-two years (and counting) could tell it.


      Kirk Douglas, a living legend at age 100, has distinguished himself as an actor, producer, philanthropist, and author. His numerous recognitions for achievements both on and off screen include an Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and France's Legion of Honor. Over a career spanning seventy years, he starred in some eighty films.

      Anne Buydens Douglas built her career in the film industry as a publicist. She met Kirk Douglas during the making of Act of Love (1953) and they married soon after. Anne would become his closest advisor and eventually take the reins as president of their independent production company, Bryna Productions.

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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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    • 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 & George Feltenstein Salute Tracy/Hepburn, Scott/McCrea Hits!

    • DICK DINMAN & GEORGE FELTENSTEIN SALUTE TRACY/HEPBURN, SCOTT/McCREA HITS!: Warner Home Video's popular Senior Vice President of Classic and Theatrical Marketing George Feltenstein rejoins producer/host Dick Dinman as both salute the Blu-ray release of George Stevens' WOMAN OF THE YEAR which teamed Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn for the very first time (and which together with Criterion's astounding Blu-ray incarnation of Michelangelo Antonioni's countercultural masterpiece BLOW-UP continues Warner Home Video's highly acclaimed association with the prestigious Criterion Collection) as well as the spectacular looking Warner Archive Blu-ray release of Sam Peckinpah's legendary masterwork RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY in which iconic western stars Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea unite for the first and only time.
      PLUS: The underrated Glenn Ford/Henry Fonda contemporary western comedy THE ROUNDERS, Henry Fonda in SPENCER'S MOUNTAIN, the Sci-Fi hits WORLD WITHOUT END, WHEN DINOSAURS RULED THE EARTH and much in demand cult classic FROM HELL IT CAME in which a marauding and perpetually scowling tree terrorizes even more wooden thespians.

      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.

      COMING SOON: JAMES CAGNEY RULES IN BILLY WILDER'S ONE, TWO, THREE!

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    • Dick Dinman & George Feltenstein Salute Kelly & Astaire Musicals!

    • DICK DINMAN & GEORGE FELTENSTEIN SALUTE KELLY & ASTAIRE MUSICALS: Warner Home Video and it's Warner Archive continue their celebrated tradition of releasing the greatest musicals of dancing legends Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire in pristine Blu-ray quality with the respective Blu-ray releases of Kelly's IT'S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER and Astaire's FINIAN'S RAINBOW and producer/host Dick Dinman welcomes back Warner Home Video's Sr, Vp. of Classic and Theatrical Marketing George Feltenstein as both explore the immense challenges and difficulties both films faced during each of their production periods and the myriad of reasons that both films are far more popular today than they were in their initial releases.

      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.

      COMING SOON: TRACY & HEPBURN! SCOTT & McCREA!! TABONGA!!!

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    • Dick Dinman Salutes Undervalued Star Van Johnson!

    • DICK DINMAN SALUTES UNDERVALUED STAR VAN JOHNSON: Kino Lorber's KL Studio Classics division has just released on Blu-ray a sparkling brand new 4K restoration of the riveting suspense thriller 23 PACES TO BAKER STREET and producer/host Dick Dinman welcomes noted author and classic film aficionado John McElwee to the show as both pay tribute to the versatile and undervalued 23 PACES TO BAKER STREET star Van Johnson.

      PLUS: "Dick's Picks" salutes KL Studio Classics Blu-ray releases of I WAKE UP SCREAMING, Elia Kazan's BOOMERANG, THE HOUSE ON 92nd STREET, THE LODGER, Preston Sturges' BEAUTIFUL BLONDE FROM BASHFUL BEND, Fritz Lang's WESTERN UNION, Henry King's DAVID & BATHSHEBA and PRINCE OF FOXES, NO HIGHWAY IN THE SKY, THE SICILIAN CLAN and BOY ON A DOLPHIN (stunning new 4K restoration!).

      EXTRA!
      DICK DINMAN SALUTES COHEN'S CHABROL COLLECTION!


      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 & William Wellman Jr. Salute BATTLEGROUND!

    • DICK DINMAN & WILLIAM WELLMAN JR. SALUTE "BATTLEGROUND!": BATTLEGROUND remains producer/host Dick Dinman's all-time favorite WW2 film and distinguished actor, writer and producer William Wellman Jr. rejoins Dick as both salute William Wellman's Oscar-winning once in a lifetime epic military drama which has just been beautifully remastered on Blu-ray by the Warner Archive.

      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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    • Alec Baldwin to Host TCM's THE ESSENTIALS


    • Legendary Late Night Host David Letterman, Emmy and Golden Globe® Winner Tina Fey and Oscar-Winning Director William Friedkin Set to Join as Special Guests Throughout the Season.

      Premieres May 6 & Airs Saturdays at 8 p.m.



      Turner Classic Movies announced that Emmy® winner and Oscar® nominee Alec Baldwin will host The Essentials, TCM's popular franchise showcasing "must see" classic films. Joining Baldwin each week throughout the season will be one of three special guests: late-night television icon David Letterman, acclaimed actress, writer and comedian Tina Fey and legendary filmmaker William Friedkin. Together, Baldwin and his guests will introduce a hand-picked classic and offer color commentary on its cultural significance, its influence on other films, behind-the-scenes stories and their own personal reflections. The new season of The Essentials, which airs every Saturday night, premieres May 6 at 8 p.m. (ET).

      The Essentials will kick off with special guest David Letterman joining Baldwin to discuss a plethora of poplar classics including:
      • The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) - airing May 6
      • East of Eden (1955) - airing on May 13
      • No Time for Sergeants (1958) - airing on May 27
      • The Big Sleep (1946) - airing on June 16

      Tina Fey will make her guest appearance starting on June 24 to discuss her favorite classic films including:
      • Rear Window (1954) - airing June 24
      • The Lady Eve (1941) - airing on July 1
      • The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) - airing on July 8
      • Singin' in the Rain (1952) - airing on August 5

      Rounding out the entertaining new season, William Friedkin will join Baldwin to highlight another round of notable films such as:
      • The Quiet Man (1952) - airing on Aug. 12
      • The Manchurian Candidate (1962) - airing on Aug. 19
      • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) - airing on Sept. 2
      • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) - airing on Sept. 23

      Baldwin takes over The Essential's hosting duties following the death of his close friend and colleague, Robert Osborne, who hosted the franchise from 2006 to 2015. A longtime friend of TCM and supporter of classic films, Baldwin has appeared frequently on the network, including as co-host of The Essentials with Robert Osborne from 2009 to 2011. He demonstrated his skill as an interviewer in 2008, when he joined one of his idols, Gene Wilder, for an hour-long discussion at Wilder's home in the special Role Model: Gene Wilder. Baldwin turned the tables on Osborne in 2015 by interviewing the longtime TCM host for Private Screenings: Robert Osborne, a one-hour special that premiered as part of TCM's 20th Anniversary celebration. This past October, Baldwin was the on-air host for a month-long look at the world's greatest and most influential documentaries for TCM's Spotlight showcase.

      "I have some big shoes to fill hosting The Essentials, and I plan on doing Bob proud with this new season of The Essentials," said Baldwin. "Dave, Tina and Billy each bring a unique perspective to the movies in our lineup, and they have some fascinating, and even surprising, insights to share as we shine a spotlight on some of our favorite 'must-see' films from over a century of epic moviemaking."

      Additionally, select titles from The Essentials will also be available at 30,000 feet through Delta Studio, Delta Air Lines' industry-leading, free in-flight entertainment collection. Delta operates the world's largest in-flight entertainment-equipped fleet, offering up to 300 movies, 750 TV shows, 100 foreign film titles, 2,400 songs, 18 channels of live satellite TV on select aircraft and a selection of games on aircraft with seat-back entertainment systems.

      To view a promo and for more information including a complete schedule, bios, images and film information, please visit tcm.com/essentials.

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Sabrina (1954) DVD
$5.45
was $8.98
Some Like It Hot DVD
$11.21
was $14.98
The Randolph Scott Round-Up: Volume 2 DVD
$11.21
was $14.98
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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