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  1. Top News Stories

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    • Point Blank on DVD

    • Point Blank was made long after the official end of the noir era but exhibits several of its classic themes. Referred to as the movie about a Hit Man with a serious case of Antonioni-itis, it cleaned up in 1967 alongside Warners' other popular bloodbath, Bonnie & Clyde. It continued to play in frequent Los Angeles revivals and midnight shows for five or six years, where one could always detect a certain tobacco-like aroma ... the film's hazy LA dreamscape was perfect head-trip material.

      Synopsis: Fun-loving Walker (Lee Marvin) is shot and left for dead during a robbery by his wife Lynne (Sharon Acker) and his best friend Mal Reese (John Vernon). A year later, he turns up alive and well, guided by a man named Yost (Keenan Wynn) on a quest into the criminal underworld. Walker is after the 93 thousand dollars he's owed, and Yost wants a bunch of syndicate middlemen eliminated. Walker locates Lynne but eventually uses her sister Chris (Angie Dickinson) to track down Mal, Big John Stegman (Michael Strong), Fred Carter (Lloyd Bochner) and eventually the top man Brewster (Carrol O'Connor). Chris accuses Walker of being a monomaniacal zombie. The way he behaves, he indeed may be some kind of a ghost.

      The key image in Point Blank is massive Lee Marvin striding down the old LAX corridors like a robot on overdrive. This is inter-cut jarringly with intimate shots of Sharon Acker putting on her makeup, creating an indelible visual contrast. This essential LA gangster film was made by a UK director whose only previous feature was a musical about the Dave Clark Five. Yet he has a natural understanding of hardboiled intrigue and powerhouse action scenes. The most dynamic moments are frequently repeated in flashbacks, sometimes even in slow motion. Marvin's Walker crashes through a doorway to strong-arm his ex-wife and shoot big black holes in her empty bed: It plays like a ballet yet is one of the more violent actions in any movie of the 1960s. Surely Sam Peckinpah was watching...

      Point Blank is a simple revenge and payback story boiled down to its existential essence, and then pumped up with a visual treatment that resembles the work of Alain Resnais. It's interesting that just five or six years after something Last Year at Marienbad, ordinary American audiences would have no trouble following the time-fractured exploits of a (possibly) ghostly hit man. The moment of Walker's shooting in Alcatraz is repeated at least five times, and scene after scene unfolds in a weird limbo that co-exists with everyday Los Angeles reality (something LA residents have always understood). Jump cuts leap ahead in time exactly as would Kubrick's 2001 the next year.

      Rationally speaking, the story makes no sense, as Walker is twice shot point-blank in an Alcatraz cell. He then hobbles painfully into the currents of San Francisco Bay that routinely sweep even strong swimmers out to sea. But our Walker unaccountably turns up a year later with a variable wardrobe of undefined origin, to make short work of one mob functionary after another.

      After a classic crash-'em car ride with John Stegman, Walker works his way upward through the mob hierarchy, a faceless corporation of ruthless executives who carry no money but wield excessive power. There's great fun to be had watching Walker decimate their best killers. He suckers Lloyd Bochner's Carter, an unlikable bully, into stepping into his own death trap.

      Point Blank flirts with nudity as regards Angie Dickinson, who helps Walker but is frustrated by his lack of feeling. The second best image in the show is the sight of Dickinson losing her composure and hitting, slapping and slugging Marvin as hard as she can. He stands like an immovable rock until she collapses in exhaustion. It's an abstract illustration of relationship problems that would be worthy of Jacques Tati, if he made violent movies.

      Boorman frames a steady stream of bizarre visuals through Philip Lathrop's wide-angled Panavision lens. Perfumes and unguents mix in the bottom of a bathtub, another prophetic image from 2001. Images are diffracted through gratings and a disco nightclub uses a psychedelic light show as a wild setting for a brutal fistfight. The only visual cliché is one mannered shot of characters posed 'just so' in a shattered mirror.

      Marvin is a Golem with a magnum pistol, gray-haired and wearing a constant mask-like expression. John Vernon is a standout as the treacherous mobster, begging Walker to help him in a roomful of loud men. Carroll O'Connor and Keenan Wynn are also excellent as the top dogs that Walker can't seem to push around.

      Action movie fans have always been a bit disappointed by the oblique ending, in which a helicopter lands in the narrow confines of Fort Point under the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of a violent payoff, Boorman gives us deep-dish symbolism. When he accomplishes his goal, Walker appears to cease to exist, to dematerialize. Perhaps he's finally become conscious of the contradiction of his own existence, like a Luis Borges character. The miracle is that Boorman's artsy approach works at all - Point Blank is a conceptual original.

      Warners' DVD of Point Blank has a sharp enhanced transfer with almost no damage, carrying the careful color design intact from the big screen. The only odd shot is the special effects scene of a character falling from a skyscraper, which looks even more like a bad cut-out than it did in the theaters. The weird soundtrack is nicely turned out with the dialogue always easy to understand.

      There are two contemporary featurettes, both called The Rock which cover the filming on Alcatraz. On short has an old-time convict returning to his one-time home. The film's arresting trailer is present as well. But best of all is a commentary with director Boorman accompanied by Steven Soderbergh, who did a similar crime movie a few years back called The Limey. The younger director brings out the very best in Boorman as they talk about the picture's ambiguous elements; it's almost as good as Soderbergh's commentary with Mike Nichols on Catch-22.



      For more information about Point Blank, visit Warner Video. To order Point Blank, go to TCM Shopping.

      by Glenn Erickson

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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 & 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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    • Dick Dinman & Eddie Muller are ON DANGEROUS GROUND!

    • DICK DINMAN & EDDIE MULLER ARE "ON DANGEROUS GROUND": The Warner Archive has just released an astonishing looking (and sounding!) Blu-ray rendition of Nicholas Ray's dark yet hypnotically beautiful film noir ON DANGEROUS GROUND which features a steely yet sensitive performance from noir icon Robert Ryan that easily ranks up there with his finest efforts ever and producer/host Dick Dinman and his guest "Czar of Noir" Eddie Muller dissect the various qualities which make this film so captivatingly unique (including the plaintively emotional score by Bernard Herrmann which was one of his two favorites).

      PLUS: SHORT TAKES: Kino's Kl Classics' THE HOUSE ON 92nd STREET, DAISY KENYON and Cohen Film Collection's SUDDEN FEAR.

      COMING ATTRACTIONS: The Warner Archives' BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK and Twilight Time's KISS OF DEATH.

      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 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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  1. Press Release

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    • IT'S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER at NYC's Film Forum Celebrating Betty Comden's Centennial, 5/3

    • Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen's It's Always Fair Weather, starring Kelly, with music by AndrĂ© Previn and screenplay and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, will have a special screening at 8:15 pm at Film Forum on May 3, the 100th anniversary of Betty Comden's birth. The screening will be introduced by Green's daughter, actress, singer, and Tony-nominated lyricist/songwriter Amanda Green.

      Born Basya Cohen to Russian immigrants in Brooklyn on May 3, 1917, Betty Comden first attracted attention as part of the Revuers, a theater troupe comprised of herself, Judy Holliday, Leonard Bernstein, and Adolph Green, which performed to acclaim at the Village Vanguard in Greenwich Village. Her first Broadway show was 1944's On the Town with Green, Bernstein, and choreographer Jerome Robbins - besides writing the book and lyrics (including the iconic "New York, New York"), she and Green also co-starred in supporting roles.

      In the late 1940s, Comden and Green went Hollywood, where they wrote screenplays for classic films like Singin' in the Rain and The Band Wagon. Even after the move to Hollywood, the team continued to write lyrics for Broadway, teaming with many of American musical theater's most important composers, including Bernstein (Wonderful Town), Jule Styne (Bells Are Ringing, Subways Are Sleeping, Fade Out - Fade In, Hallelujah, Baby!), and Cy Coleman (On the Twentieth Century, The Will Rogers Follies). Her final public appearance was at Film Forum.

      35mm. Approx. 102 Min.

      For more information, links and showtimes, visit www.filmforum.org

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The Egg and I DVD
$8.55
was $14.98
Westward The Women DVD
$14.96
was $19.99
The Graduate (Criterion Collection) DVD
$23.35
was $29.95
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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