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James Stewart

  • Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection Box Set [Blu-ray] [1942][Region Free] Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection Box Set | Blu Ray | (12/11/2012) from £29.99  |  Saving you £100.00 (76.90%)  |  RRP £129.99

    The Ultimate Collection of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, including Psycho, Vertigo, Frenzy, Rear Window and The Birds come together on Blu-ray in perfect High-Definition picture and sound. With hours of bonus features.Saboteur: Aircraft factory worker Barry Kane goes on the run across the United States when he is wrongly accused of a fire that killed his best friend.Shadow of a Doubt: A young woman discovers her visiting Uncle Charlie may not be the man he initially seemed to be.Rope: Two young men strangle their classmate, hide his body in their apartment and invite his closest friends and family to a dinner party as a means to challenge the perfection of their crime.Rear Window: A wheelchair bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his window and becomes convinced one of them has committed a serious murder.The Trouble with Harry: The trouble with Harry is that everyone seems to have a different idea of what needs to be done with his body.The Man Who Knew Too Much: A family holidaying in Morocco stumble on to an assassination plot and the conspirators are determined to prevent them from interfering.Vertigo: A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the activities of an old friend's wife, whilst becoming dangerously obsessed with her.Psycho: A young woman steals $40,000 from her client and subsequently encounters a young motel proprietor who has been too long under the presence and domination of his mother.The Birds: A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a Northern California town that takes a bizarre turn when birds of all kinds begin to attack people in increasing numbers and with increasing viciousness.Marnie: Mark marries Marnie, although she is a thief and possesses serious psychological problems, Mark tries to help her confront and resolve the issues.Torn Curtain: An American scientist defects to East Germany as part of a cloak and dagger mission to find the solution for a formula resin and has to figure out a plan to escape back West.Topaz: A French intelligence agent becomes embroiled in Cold War politics first uncovering the events leading up to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and then back to France to break up a Russian spy ring.Frenzy: A serial killer is murdering women in London with a necktie, the police have a suspect but he isn't the correct man...Family Plot: Suspense film about a phony psychic/con artist and her taxi driver/private investigator boyfriend who encounter a pair of serial kidnappers while following a missing heir in California.

  • Alfred Hitchcock - Essential Collection [DVD] Alfred Hitchcock - Essential Collection | DVD | (05/09/2011) from £7.99  |  Saving you £2.00 (20.00%)  |  RRP £9.99

    Titles Comprise:Rear Window: When professional photographer J.B. Jeff Jeffries (James Stewart) is confined to a wheelchair with a broken leg, he becomes obsessed with watching the private dramas of his neighbours play out across the courtyard. When he suspects a salesman may have murdered his nagging wife, Jeffries enlists the help of his glamorous socialite girlfriend (Grace Kelly) to investigate the highly suspicious chain of events that lead to one of the most memorable and gripping endings in all of film history.The Birds: As beautiful blonde Melanie Daniels ('Tippi' Hedren) rolls into Bodega Bay in pursuit of eligible bachelor Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor), she is inexplicably attacked by a seagull. Suddenly thousands of birds areflocking into town, preying on school-children and residents in a terrifying series of attacks. Soon Mitch and Melanie are fighting for their lives against a deadly force that can't be explained and can't be stopped in one of Hollywood's most horrific films of nature gone berserk.Vertigo: Set in San Francisco, James Stewart portrays an acrophobic detective hired to trail a friend's suicidal wife (Kim Novak). After he successfully rescues her from a leap into the bay, he finds himself becoming obsessed with the beautifully troubled woman. One of cinema's most chilling romantic endeavours - this film is a must for collectors.Psycho: Anthony Perkins stars in Alfred Hitchcock's landmark masterpiece as the troubled Norman Bates whose old dark house and adjoining motel are not the place to spend a quiet evening. Janet Leigh plays Marion Crane, the ill-fated traveller whose journey ends in the notorious shower scene. Horror and suspense mount to a terrifying climax where the mysterious killer is finally revealed after both Marion's sister and a private detective search for her.

  • Rear Window [1954] Rear Window | DVD | (04/06/2007) from £5.39  |  Saving you £4.60 (46.00%)  |  RRP £9.99

    None of Hitchcock's films has ever given a clearer view of his genius for suspense than Rear Window. When professional photographer J.B. ""Jeff"" Jeffries (James Stewart) is confined to a wheelchair with a broken leg he becomes obsessed with watching the private dramas of his neighbours play out across the courtyard. When he suspects a salesman may have murdered his nagging wife Jeffries enlists the help of his glamorous socialite girlfriend (Grace Kelly) to investigate the highly suspicious chain of events... Events that ultimately lead to one of the most memorable and gripping endings in all of film history.

  • The Philadelphia Story [1940] The Philadelphia Story | DVD | (20/06/2005) from £4.39  |  Saving you £11.60 (72.50%)  |  RRP £15.99

    Witty sparkling and bright adaptation of Philip Barry's hit Broadway play about the rich upper class becoming blinded to the simple joys of life. The story centers around socialite Tracy Lord (Hepburn) and husband C. K. Dexter Haven (Grant) whom she's thrown out of their Main Line mansion. Tracy is on the verge of marrying a wealthy stuffed shirt much safer than Dex whom starts trying to win Tracy's heart again. Meanwhile Mike Connor (Stewart) a tabloid reporter also falls for Tr

  • The Glenn Miller Story [1953] The Glenn Miller Story | DVD | (04/06/2007) from £3.00  |  Saving you £6.99 (70.00%)  |  RRP £9.99

    The true story of an unassuming band leader and trombonist Glenn Miller (played by James Stewart) who got his first break playing his own arrangement of 'Everybody Loves My Baby' at an audition. He never looked back. He married his childhood sweetheart and everything he played became an instant hit...songs like 'Moonlight Serenade' 'String of Pearls' and 'Tuxedo Junction'. Hollywood beckoned and success piled upon success. But then came World War II. A war from which Glenn Miller never returned. He was on his way to Paris to entertain the American Forces when his plane disappeared. But the show had to go on...and Glenn Miller became a legend. The film features all of Glenn Miller's hits and there are many guest performances who make this film an all time classic. Winner of an Oscar for Best Sound in 1955.

  • The Man Who Knew Too Much [1955] The Man Who Knew Too Much | DVD | (17/10/2005) from £3.00  |  Saving you £6.99 (70.00%)  |  RRP £9.99

    Alfred Hitchcock's 1956 remake of his own 1934 spy thriller is an exciting event in its own right, with several justifiably famous sequences. James Stewart and Doris Day play American tourists who discover more than they wanted to know about an assassination plot. When their son is kidnapped to keep them quiet, they are caught between concern for him and the terrible secret they hold. When asked about the difference between this version of the story and the one he made 22 years earlier, Hitchcock always said the first was the work of a talented amateur while the second was the act of a seasoned professional. Indeed, several extraordinary moments in this update represent consummate film-making, particularly a relentlessly exciting Albert Hall scene, with a blaring symphony, an assassin's gun, and Doris Day's scream. Along with Hitchcock's other films from the mid-1950s to 1960 (including Vertigo, Rear Window, and Psycho), The Man Who Knew Too Much is the work of a master in his prime. --Tom Keogh, Amazon.com

  • The Flight of the Phoenix (1965) (Masters of Cinema) (Blu-ray) The Flight of the Phoenix (1965) (Masters of Cinema) (Blu-ray) | Blu Ray | (12/09/2016) from £10.29  |  Saving you £7.70 (42.80%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Eureka Entertainment to release THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX, Robert Aldrich's all time classic thriller starting James Stewart, Richard Attenborough and an international cast, as part of the Masters of Cinemas Series on Blu-ray for the first time in the UK on 12 September 2016. One of Hollywood's toughest and most idiosyncratic filmmakers, Robert Aldrich has on of his greatest and most cherished popular successes with the thrilling adventure classic The Flight of the Phoenix, headlined by an all-star cast including James Stewart, Richard Attenborough , Peter Finch, Ernest Borgnine and Hardy Kruger. A cargo plane carrying an assortment of oilmen and military personnel crashes in the Sahara Desert during a sandstorm. Realising they're too far off course to be found and rescued before food and water runs out, their only hope is to attempt to rebuild the aircraft amidst the unforgiving environment. An engrossing mix of intensely physical filmmaking an marvellous character turns across the board, The Flight of the Phoenix is a vivid chronicle of men pressure, with unsettling questions about the nature of leadership. The Masters of Cinema Series is proud to present a new Blu-ray special edition of the film.

  • Vertigo [1958] Vertigo | DVD | (17/10/2005) from £5.59  |  Saving you £4.40 (44.00%)  |  RRP £9.99

    Dreamlike and nightmarishly surreal, Vertigo is Hitchcock's most personal film because it confronts many of the convoluted psychological issues that haunted and fascinated the director. The psychological complexity and the stark truthfulness of their rampant emotions keeps these strangely obsessive characters alive on screen, and Hitchcock understood better than most their barely repressed sexual compulsions, their fascination with death and their almost overwhelming desire for transcendent love. James Stewart finds profound and disturbing new depths in his psyche as Scotty, the tortured acrophobic detective on the trail of a suicidal woman apparently possessed by the ghost of someone long dead. Kim Novak is the classical Hitchcockian blonde whose icy exterior conceals a churning, volcanic emotional core. The agonised romance of Bernard Herrmann's score accompanies the two actors as a third and vitally important character, moving the film along to its culmination in an ecstasy of Wagnerian tragedy. Of course Hitch lavished especial care on every aspect of the production, from designer Edith Head's costumes (he, like Scotty, was most insistent on the grey dress), to the specific colour scheme of each location, to the famous reverse zoom "Vertigo" effect (much imitated, never bettered). The result is Hitch's greatest work and an undisputed landmark of cinema history. On the DVD: This disc presents the superb restored print of this film in a wonderful widescreen (1.85:1) anamorphic transfer, with remastered Dolby digital soundtrack. There's a half-hour documentary made in 1996 about the painstaking two-year restoration process, plus an informative commentary from the restorers Robert Harris and James Katz, who are joined by original producer Herbert Coleman. There are also text features on the production, cast and crew, plus a trailer for the theatrical release of the restoration. This is an undeniably essential requirement for every DVD collection. --Mark Walker

  • James Stewart Westerns Box Set [7 DVD] James Stewart Westerns Box Set | DVD | (31/10/2005) from £13.99  |  Saving you £-1.99 (-16.60%)  |  RRP £12

    The Rare Breed:In the 1880s Englishwoman Martha Price (Maureen O'Hara) and her daughter Hilary (Juliet Mills) come to America to sell their prize Hereford bull. The women hire Burnett (James Stewart) to help them transport the animal to its new owner Bowen (Brian Keith).Shenandoah:A dramatic story of a man caught in a dilemma. James Stewart stars as a Virginia farmer during the Civil War. He refuses to support the Confederacy because he is opposed to slavery yet he will not support the Union because he is deeply opposed to war.Night Passage:When the local railroad becomes the constant target of a band of desperadoes led by Whitey Harbin (Dan Duryea) officials recruit Grant McLaine (Stewart) to guard the payroll from any more robberies. Trouble is the gang's most skilled and lethal gunslinger The Utica Kid (Audie Murphy) is Grant's kid brother.The Far Country:James Stewart and Walter Brennan are a loner and his sidekick who figure to get rich by selling a herd of cattle at a fancy price during the wild gold rush days. They are soon caught up in a conflict with the local lawman John McIntire and his henchmen.Bend Of The River:James Stewart guides a band of pioneers from Missouri over the Oregon Trail to a new life in the Columbia River Basin in this western adventure. When the settlers are cheated out of their supplies and cattle Stewart crosses rivers climbs mountains and out-guns hijackers to ensure their survival through the first winter.Winchester '73:Frontiersman Lin McAdam (Stewart) is attempting to track down both his father's murderer and his one-of-a-kind rifle the Winchester '73 as it passes among a diverse group of desperate characters including a crazed highwayman (Dan Duryea) an immoral gunrunner (John McIntire a savage young Indian chief (Rock Hudson) and McAdam's own murderous brother (Stephen McNally)Destry Rides Again:As Destry a mild-mannered deputy who doesn't like guns Stewart is called to restore order to the frontier town of Bottleneck. He reluctantly takes the task after meeting French (Dietrich) an alluring saloon girl who belts out unforgettable show-stoppers while winning the hero's heart.

  • Anatomy Of A Murder [1959] Anatomy Of A Murder | DVD | (20/08/2001) from £4.78  |  Saving you £15.21 (76.10%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Anatomy of a Murder, Otto Preminger's 1959 film of the novel by Robert Traver (a pen name for a Michigan Supreme Court Justice), was controversial in its day for making frank on-screen use of then-unheard words such as "panties", "rape" and "spermatogenesis"--and it remains a trenchant, bitter, tough, witty dissection of the American legal system. With its striking Saul Bass title design and jazzy Duke Ellington score, Anatomy of a Murder takes a sophisticated approach unusual for a Hollywood film of its vintage. Most radically, it refuses to show the murder or any of the private scenes recounted in court, leaving it up to us to decide along with the jury whether the grumpy and unconcerned Lieutenant Frederick Manion (Ben Gazzara) was or was not subject to an "irresistible impulse" tantamount to insanity when he shot dead Barney Quill, the bear-like bar owner alleged to have raped Manion's teasing trailer-trash wife Laura (Lee Remick in unfeasibly tight trousers). James Stewart plays Paul "Polly" Biegler a former District Attorney keen to get back into court to clash with the political dullard who replaced him in office. Biegler is supported by the skills of his snide secretary (Eve Arden) and boozy-but-brilliant research partner (Arthur O'Connell). For the prosecution, the befuddled local DA hauls in Dancer (George C Scott), a prissy legal eagle from the local big city whose sharp-suited, sly elegance makes an interesting clash with Biegler's "aw-shucks" jimmy-stewartian conniving. This is simply the best trial movie ever made, with a real understanding of the way lawyers have to be not only great actors but stars, assuming personalities that exaggerate their inner selves and weighing every outburst and objection for the effect it has on the poor saps in the jury box. On the DVD: The print is letterboxed to 1.85:1, but it's a bit of a cheat since that seems to involve trimming the top and bottom of the image (losing the steps under and the clouds above the Columbia lady in the opening titles), though the film isn't seriously hurt by a tighter look at the action. Also included are: an Ellington-scored photo montage, soundtracks in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish with subtitles in ten languages, filmographies for director and principal cast, original advertising (highlighting Saul Bass' poster designs, a trailer and more trailers for more Columbia Jimmy Stewart or courtroom films. --Kim Newman

  • Harvey [1950] Harvey | DVD | (04/06/2007) from £5.59  |  Saving you £4.40 (44.00%)  |  RRP £9.99

    This classic stage production gets a Hollywood make-over. James Stewart plays the title role as Elwood P. Dowd who befriends a human-sized rabbit by the name of Harvey: the trouble is only he can see him.

  • Airport Airport | DVD | (24/04/2006) from £10.29  |  Saving you £9.70 (48.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Airport (Dir. George Seaton 1970): Take a non-stop flight with an all-star cast to a world of tension-filled human drama in this trend-setting box office blockbuster. Based on Arthur Hailey's runaway best seller the emotion-charged adventure stars Burt Lancaster as the manager of a glamorous international airport who must juggle personal crisis with professional responsibilities as he attempts to keep his blizzard torn facility open to rescue a bomb-damaged jetliner. The la

  • Rear Window [1954] Rear Window | DVD | (17/10/2005) from £5.00  |  Saving you £6.99 (58.30%)  |  RRP £11.99

    Like the Greenwich Village courtyard view from its titular portal, Alfred Hitchcock's classic Rear Window is both confined and multileveled: its story and visual perspective are dictated by its protagonist's imprisonment in his apartment, convalescing in a wheelchair, from which both he and the audience observe the lives of his neighbours. Cheerful voyeurism, as well as the behaviour glimpsed among the various tenants, affords a droll comic atmosphere that gradually darkens when he sees clues to what may be a murder. Photographer LB "Jeff" Jeffries (James Stewart) is, in fact, a voyeur by trade, a professional photographer sidelined by an accident while on assignment. His immersion in the human drama (and comedy) visible from his window is a by-product of boredom, underlined by the disapproval of his girlfriend, Lisa (Grace Kelly), and a wisecracking visiting nurse (Thelma Ritter). Yet when the invalid wife of Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr) disappears, Jeff enlists the two women to help him to determine whether she's really left town, as Thorwald insists, or been murdered. Hitchcock scholar Donald Spoto convincingly argues that the crime at the centre of this mystery is the MacGuffin--a mere pretext--in a film that's more interested in the implications of Jeff's sentinel perspective. We actually learn more about the lives of the other neighbours (given generic names by Jeff, even as he's drawn into their lives) he, and we, watch undetected than we do the putative murderer and his victim. Jeff's evident fear of intimacy and commitment with the elegant, adoring Lisa provides the other vital thread to the script, one woven not only into the couple's own relationship, but reflected and even commented upon through the various neighbours' lives. At a minimum, Hitchcock's skill at making us accomplices to Jeff's spying, coupled with an ingenious escalation of suspense as the teasingly vague evidence coalesces into ominous proof, deliver a superb thriller spiked with droll humour, right up to its nail-biting, nightmarish climax. At deeper levels, however, Rear Window plumbs issues of moral responsibility and emotional honesty, while offering further proof (were any needed) of the director's brilliance as a visual storyteller. -- Sam Sutherland, Amazon.com

  • Rear Window - 60th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray] [1954] [Region Free] Rear Window - 60th Anniversary Edition | Blu Ray | (04/08/2014) from £8.39  |  Saving you £9.60 (53.40%)  |  RRP £17.99

    Like the Greenwich Village courtyard view from its titular portal, Alfred Hitchcock's classic Rear Window is both confined and multileveled: both its story and visual perspective are dictated by its protagonist's imprisonment in his apartment, convalescing in a wheelchair, from which both he and the audience observe the lives of his neighbors. Cheerful voyeurism, as well as the behavior glimpsed among the various tenants, affords a droll comic atmosphere that gradually darkens when he sees clues to what may be a murder. Photographer L.B. "Jeff" Jeffries (James Stewart) is, in fact, a voyeur by trade, a professional photographer sidelined by an accident while on assignment. His immersion in the human drama (and comedy) visible from his window is a by-product of boredom, underlined by the disapproval of his girlfriend, Lisa (Grace Kelly), and a wisecracking visiting nurse (Thelma Ritter). Yet when the invalid wife of Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr) disappears, Jeff enlists the two women to help him to determine whether she's really left town, as Thorwald insists, or been murdered. Hitchcock scholar Donald Spoto convincingly argues that the crime at the center of this mystery is the MacGuffin--a mere pretext--in a film that's more interested in the implications of Jeff's sentinel perspective. We actually learn more about the lives of the other neighbors (given generic names by Jeff, even as he's drawn into their lives) he, and we, watch undetected than we do the putative murderer and his victim. Jeff's evident fear of intimacy and commitment with the elegant, adoring Lisa provides the other vital thread to the script, one woven not only into the couple's own relationship, but reflected and even commented upon through the various neighbours' lives. At minimum, Hitchcock's skill at making us accomplices to Jeff's spying, coupled with an ingenious escalation of suspense as the teasingly vague evidence coalesces into ominous proof, deliver a superb thriller spiked with droll humour, right up to its nail-biting, nightmarish climax. At deeper levels, however, Rear Window plumbs issues of moral responsibility and emotional honesty, while offering further proof (were any needed) of the director's brilliance as a visual storyteller. --Sam Sutherland

  • It's A Wonderful Life [DVD] [2016] It's A Wonderful Life | DVD | (07/11/2016) from £6.09  |  Saving you £1.90 (23.80%)  |  RRP £7.99

    Now perhaps the most beloved American film, It's a Wonderful Life was largely forgotten for years, due to a copyright quirk. Only in the late 1970s did it find its audience through repeated TV showings. Frank Capra's masterwork deserves its status as a feel-good communal event, but it is also one of the most fascinating films in the American cinema, a multilayered work of Dickensian density. George Bailey (played superbly by James Stewart) grows up in the small town of Bedford Falls, dreaming dreams of adventure and travel, but circumstances conspire to keep him enslaved to his home turf. Frustrated by his life, and haunted by an impending scandal, George prepares to commit suicide on Christmas Eve. A heavenly messenger (Henry Travers) arrives to show him a vision: what the world would have been like if George had never been born. The sequence is a vivid depiction of the American Dream gone bad, and probably the wildest thing Capra ever shot (the director's optimistic vision may have darkened during his experiences making military films in World War II). Capra's triumph is to acknowledge the difficulties and disappointments of life, while affirming--in the teary-eyed final reel--his cherished values of friendship and individual achievement. It's a Wonderful Life was not a big hit on its initial release, and it won no Oscars (Capra and Stewart were nominated); but it continues to weave a special magic. --Robert Horton

  • The Philadelphia Story [The Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray] [1998] The Philadelphia Story | Blu Ray | (13/11/2017) from £14.99  |  Saving you £N/A (N/A%)  |  RRP £N/A

    James Stewart, Cary Grant, and the unstoppable Katharine Hepburn star in Hollywood's greatest romantic comedy With this furiously witty comedy of manners, KATHARINE HEPBURN (Woman of the Year) revitalized her career and cemented her status as the era's most iconic leading lady thanks in great part to her own shrewd orchestrations. While starring in the PHILIP BARRY stage play The Philadelphia Story, Hepburn snapped up the screen rights, handpicking her friend GEORGE CUKOR (Adam's Rib) to direct. The intoxicating screenplay by DONALD OGDEN STEWART (Holiday) pits the formidable Philadelphia socialite Tracy Lord (Hepburn, at her most luminous) against various romantic foils, chief among them her charismatic exhusband (His Girl Friday's CARY GRANT), who disrupts her imminent marriage by paying her family estate a visit, accompanied by a tabloid reporter on assignment to cover the wedding of the year (JAMES STEWART, in his only Academy Award®winning performance). A fast-talking screwball comedy as well as a tale of regrets and reconciliation, this convergence of golden-age talent is one of the greatest American films of all time. BONUS FEATURES SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack Audio commentary from 2005 featuring film scholar Jeanine Basinger New introduction to actor Katharine Hepburn's role in the development of the film by documentarians David Heeley and Joan Kramer In Search of Tracy Lord, a new documentary about the origin of the character and her social milieu Two full episodes of The Dick Cavett Show from 1973, featuring rare interviews with Hepburn, plus an excerpt of a 1978 interview from that show with director George Cukor Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of the film from 1943, featuring an introduction by filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille Restoration demonstration PLUS: An essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme

  • The Big Sleep [1977] The Big Sleep | DVD | (11/06/2007) from £4.79  |  Saving you £5.20 (52.10%)  |  RRP £9.99

    Raymond Chandler's hard boiled novel is brought to the screen with sleuth Phillip Marlowe finding himself involved with murder blackmail and violence when hired to protect a General's young daughter.

  • Harvey [Blu-ray][Region Free] Harvey | Blu Ray | (10/09/2012) from £7.99  |  Saving you £7.00 (46.70%)  |  RRP £14.99

    James Stewart gives one of his finest performances in this lighthearted film, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Stewart stars as the good-natured Elwood P. Dowd, whose constant companion is Harvey, a six-foot tall rabbit that only he can see.To his sister, Veta Louise, Elwood's obsession with harvey has been a thorn in the side of her plans to marry off her daughter. But when Veta Louise decides to put Elwood in a mental hospital, a hilarious mix-up occurs and she finds herself committed instead. It's up to Elwood to straighten out the mess with his kindly philosophy, and his imaginary friend, in this popular classic that features a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award winning performance by Joesphine Hull

  • Rope [1948] Rope | DVD | (17/10/2005) from £5.95  |  Saving you £-5.61 (-112.40%)  |  RRP £4.99

    An experimental film masquerading as a standard Hollywood thriller. The plot of Rope is simple and based on a successful stage play: two young men (John Dall and Farley Granger) commit murder, more or less as an intellectual exercise. They hide the body in their large apartment, then throw a dinner party. Will the body be discovered? Director Alfred Hitchcock, fascinated by the possibilities of the long-take style, decided to shoot this story as though it were happening in one long, uninterrupted shot. Since the camera can only hold one 10-minute reel at a time, Hitchcock had to be creative when it came time to change reels, disguising the switches as the camera passed behind someone's back or moved behind a lamp. In later years Hitchcock wrote off the approach as misguided, and Rope may not be one of Hitchcock's top movies, but it's still a nail-biter. They don't call him the Master of Suspense for nothing. James Stewart, as a suspicious professor, marks his first starring role for Hitchcock, a collaboration that would lead to the masterpieces Rear Window and Vertigo. --Robert Horton, Amazon.com

  • It's A Wonderful Life [Blu-ray] [2016] It's A Wonderful Life | Blu Ray | (07/11/2016) from £9.09  |  Saving you £1.90 (17.30%)  |  RRP £10.99

    Now perhaps the most beloved American film, It's a Wonderful Life was largely forgotten for years, due to a copyright quirk. Only in the late 1970s did it find its audience through repeated TV showings. Frank Capra's masterwork deserves its status as a feel-good communal event, but it is also one of the most fascinating films in the American cinema, a multilayered work of Dickensian density. George Bailey (played superbly by James Stewart) grows up in the small town of Bedford Falls, dreaming dreams of adventure and travel, but circumstances conspire to keep him enslaved to his home turf. Frustrated by his life, and haunted by an impending scandal, George prepares to commit suicide on Christmas Eve. A heavenly messenger (Henry Travers) arrives to show him a vision: what the world would have been like if George had never been born. The sequence is a vivid depiction of the American Dream gone bad, and probably the wildest thing Capra ever shot (the director's optimistic vision may have darkened during his experiences making military films in World War II). Capra's triumph is to acknowledge the difficulties and disappointments of life, while affirming--in the teary-eyed final reel--his cherished values of friendship and individual achievement. It's a Wonderful Life was not a big hit on its initial release, and it won no Oscars (Capra and Stewart were nominated); but it continues to weave a special magic. --Robert Horton

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