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  1. Top News Stories

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    • King of the Hill on Criterion Blu-ray

    • King of the Hill (1993) is the third feature from Steven Soderbergh, who jumped to the head of the American independent scene when sex, lies and videotape took the Audience Award at Sundance 1989 and went on to win the Palme d'Or at Cannes before getting a wide release in suburban multiplexes. His second film, Kafka (1991), wasn't a success but it revealed a serious filmmaker who wanted to explore different subjects and genres. King of the Hill continued that tradition in that is was yet again a complete change of style and subject matter for the director: an adaptation of the memoir by A.E. Hotchner about life as an adolescent during the Depression. It was also his first studio production, made for the fledgling Gramercy Pictures, and it gave him the biggest budget of his career. He was able to craft a rich recreation of early thirties St. Louis as seen through the eyes of a hopeful boy in an increasingly desperate situation.

      Jesse Bradford is Aaron, a smart, creative, generous high school kid who spins stories to hide the fact that his family is broke and living out of a hotel, where they are behind in the rent. To stay in his high school, a well-maintained school filled with affluent kids (Aaron is "a charity case," as one of his affluent classmates describes him), he and his kid brother Sullivan (Cameron Boyd) have to keep up the fiction that they reside in a nearby apartment house. His dad (Jeroen Krabbé) is a salesman hawking "wickless candles" that no one is buying while he waits for one of his many applications to pay off with a better job. Aaron picks up odd jobs as he can with the help of Lester (Adrian Brody in his first major role), an older kid who looks over Aaron like a big brother. Lester knows the angles and hustles his way to survival and his mentorship gives Aaron the skills and strength to survive when he's force to take care of himself.

      By the time of King of the Hill, or at least looking back in hindsight, you can pick out a theme emerging from Soderbergh's film, specifically an interest in characters isolated from the world around them. Aaron is in fact an engaged and engaging boy, liked by his teacher (Karen Allen) and by the girls his age (including young Katherine Heigl) alike, but he keeps a distance from his schoolmates simply because he's of a different world and constantly spinning stories to cover the truth. His connections are back in his neighborhood, a busy, lively place slipping into poverty and desperation, and that's where his world falls apart. His mom (Lisa Eichhorn) is in failing health and is soon checked into a sanitarium to recover. Sullivan is sent to live with relatives (one less mouth to feed while money is practically non-existent) and dad all but abandons him to take a job as a traveling salesman in a territory that takes him out of state. Dad isn't heartless, he's simply desperate, but the upshot is Aaron left broke and alone in a hotel with no safety net (despite his dad's best efforts otherwise) and a mercenary bellhop who takes personal pleasure in locking out debtor guests and locking up their belongings in storage, his own personal treasure room in the basement.

      King of the Hill rests on the shoulders of Jesse Bradford, who gives Aaron the strength, generosity, and intelligence to survive the increasingly dire situation. He keeps his eyes open and sees how the world works and Soderbergh keeps us to his perspective. When things are at their worst, with Aaron isolated and alone, a lone hold-out in siege against his fort, and getting delirious from lack of food, we share his hazy outlook. It's the scariest scene in a film that, despite the subject matter, offers a generally hopeful atmosphere and a young hero as self-possessed and resilient as Aaron. Soderbergh doesn't flinch from the hard realities he faces but presents it with a poetic quality, suggesting the worst rather than showing it, in an urban world painted in sepia colors and brightened by the summer sun (a little too sunny, perhaps, given the hard times it presents). With its mix of guardian angels, mercenary authority figures, eccentric neighbors, and colorful urban atmosphere, it's like a modern version of a thirties street drama painted in the colors of an Edward Hopper canvas.

      King of the Hill works because largely because of Bradford's strength and Soderbergh's detail. Most of the film plays out in the hotel or on the streets just outside, where a fat, pig-eyed bully of a cop terrorizes the kids and rousts the hobos in the Hooverville camped out across the square. The gentle but not entirely reliable Mr. Mungo (Spalding Gray) across the hall is a Wall Street victim drinking away the last of his wealth with the help of a hardcase of a hooker (Elizabeth McGovern) running up the room service tab. There are plenty of little character sketches and adventures strewn through the film but Aaron's odyssey, a different kind of coming-of-age story, is the backbone and Soderbergh seems to reward his resilience (and our emotional investment in him) with a small triumph that nonetheless feels like a great victory. Mostly because Aaron and Sullivan do it themselves, with no help from any of the adults. It's Aaron's real graduation.

      Criterion releases the film as a three-disc Blu-ray+DVD Combo and a two-disc DVD-only release, mastered from a 2K digital transfer from a Super 35mm interpositive approved by Soderbergh. The image is vibrant and sharp, with the colors both vivid and aged, a palette of browns and yellows and muted primary colors to suggest both yesteryear hues and the warm glow of memory.

      Both editions feature the same wealth of supplements and accompanying booklet. There is a new 20-minute interview with director Steven Soderbergh, who has an affection for the film and had a very good relationship with Gramercy Picture during the production, but is more critical than one might expect. He praises his cast and production staff but is pretty hard on himself for many of his directorial choices. There is also a 22-minute interview with author A.E. Hotchner and the video essay "Against Tyranny" by filmmaker :: kogonada that explores the film's hallucination sequence.

      The most unexpected supplement is Soderbergh's fourth feature The Underneath (1995), a remake of Criss Cross starring Peter Gallagher, Alison Elliott and William Fichtner. Which is, yes, yet another genre leap, this one a sleek, shadowy modern thriller with tone of nostalgia for old-Hollywood style. This one never really comes together but you can see him working out ideas that emerge fully formed in his later films Out of Sight and The Limey, and it effectively makes this release a double-feature. The booklet features an essay by critic Peter Tonguette, a 1993 interview with Soderbergh, and an excerpt from Hotchner's 1972 memoir.

      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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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