On April 19th 1949 HMS Amethyst a frigate of the Royal Navy left Shanghai for Woosung and passage up the great Yangtse river to the Chinese capital. On a peaceful mission the Amethyst was unexpectedly attacked by the Chinese People's Liberation Army on the north bank of the river. Taken by surprise the amethyst ran aground. Many of the crew were killed. With rescue attempts blocked by the Chinese communist army a skeleton crew refloat the ship but closely watched and covered by shore batteries they are prisoners. For a long time the situation remains in deadlock until finally lieutenant-commander John S. Kerans [Richard Todd] realizes he must make a dangerous decision - trust their captors to agree a deal or run the gauntlet of communist batteries down 140 miles of hostile territory.
Hitchcock's masterful film about intrigue and espionage is filled with suspense and excitement.
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.
The heartwarming scenes and uplifting songs of a timeless musical masterpiece meet the spectacular sound and picture quality ofBlu-ray for the first time ever to celebrate the film’s 40th Anniversary—bursting with hours of extras that will keep you entertained from sunrise to sunset! Nominated for eight Academy Awards including Best Picture Best Actor (Topol) and Directing (Norman Jewison) Fiddler on the Roof tells the life-affirming story of a poor Jewish milkman whose love pride and faith help him cope with the challenges of raising a family in czarist Russia.
Expertly directed by John Huston (The Maltese Falcon) from a screenplay by Pulitzer Prize winner Arthur Miller The Misfits is a 'probing exciting drama' (Film Daily) of honesty intensity and sheer poetic brilliance. Divorced and disillusioned Roslyn (Marilyn Monroe) befriends a group of 'misfits ' including an aging cowboy (Clark Gable) a heartbroken mechanic (Eli Wallach) and a worn-out rodeo rider (Montgomery Clift). Through their live-for-the-moment lifestyle Roslyn experiences her first taste of freedom exhilaration and passion. But when her innocent idealism clashes with their hard-edged practicality Roslyn must risk losing their friendship... and the only true love she's ever known.
"I'm not a drinker--I'm a drunk." These words, and the serious message behind them, were still potent enough in 1945 to shock audiences flocking to The Lost Weekend. The speaker is Don Birnam (Ray Milland), a handsome, talented, articulate alcoholic. The writing team of producer Charles Brackett and director Billy Wilder pull no punches in their depiction of Birnam's massive weekend bender, a tailspin that finds him reeling from his favorite watering hole to Bellevue Hospital. Location shooting in New York helps the street-level atmosphere, especially a sequence in which Birnam, a budding writer, tries to hock his typewriter for booze money. He desperately staggers past shuttered storefronts--it's Yom Kippur, and the pawnshops are closed. Milland, previously known as a lightweight leading man (he'd starred in Wilder's hilarious The Major and the Minor three years earlier), burrows convincingly under the skin of the character, whether waxing poetic about the escape of drinking or screaming his lungs out in the D.T.'s sequence. Wilder, having just made the ultra-noir Double Indemnity, brought a new kind of frankness and darkness to Hollywood's treatment of a social problem. At first the film may have seemed too bold; Paramount Pictures nearly killed the release of the picture after it tested poorly with preview audiences. But once in release, The Lost Weekend became a substantial hit, and won four Oscars: for picture, director, screenplay, and actor. --Robert Horton
THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD Dashing Errol Flynn triumphs in this lavish version of the Robin Hood saga. Olivia de Havilland (as Maid Marian), supreme villains Basil Rathbone and Claude Rains, and a boisterous who's who of character actors co-star. THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON General Custer (Flynn) and the famed 7th Cavalry ride to hell or to glory. CAPTAIN BLOOD Flynn skyrocketed to stardom as a 17th-century physician-turned-pirate after escaping unjust political imprisonment. Radiant Olivia de Havilland co-stars in the first of their eight films together. Michael Curtiz directs. THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX Flynn, Bette Davis and de Havilland in a royal showdown of passion and power.
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Under ROMAN POLANSKI's chilling direction, a classic thriller is born. Rosemary (MIA FARROW) and Guy Woodhouse (JOHN CASSAVETES) are newlyweds, but Rosemary has no idea that her wedded bliss is about to come to a horrific end. Her husband's ambition as a struggling actor is about to plunge her into an abyss of terror like she has never known. In exchange for a taste of fame, Guy makes a deal with the devil that puts his wife and soul in jeopardy. When Rosemary becomes pregnant, her husband b...
Spinning off from the incredibly popular 1960s sitcom and its BAFTA-winning 1970s sequel, James Bolam and Rodney Bewes star as Terry Collier and Bob Ferris, two life-long friends with vastly different outlooks on life! Written by comedy legends Dick Clement and Ian la Frenais - who would go on to further success with series like Porridge and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet - The Likely Lads is presented here as a brand-new High Definition transfer from the original film elements in its original theatrical aspect ratio. Thelma's continued annoyance at her husband Bob's disruptive friend shows no sign of abating. But when Terry lands himself a new girlfriend Thelma sees her chance to finally get Terry married off and out of her and Bob's life forever! Her solution of touring the north of England in a caravan, however, leaves a lot to be desired...
Journalist Sarah Jane Smith is impersonating her aunt virologist Lavinia Smith in order to gain access to a research centre where top scientists are being held in protective custody while UNIT investigates the disappearance of a number of their colleagues. The missing scientists have been kidnapped by a Sontaran Linx and taken back to medieval England where they are working under hypnosis to repair his crashed spaceship.
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Considered by many to be Federico Fellini's most beautiful and powerful film, La Strada was the first film to reveal the range of Guilietta Masina, whose poignant performance as the childlike Gelsomina recalls Chaplin's Little Tramp. The bubbly, waiflike Gelsomina is a simpleton sold to the gruff, bullying circus strongman Zampanò (Anthony Quinn) as a servant and assistant. Treated no better than an animal, Gelsomina nonetheless falls in love with the brute Zampano. When they join a small circus they meet Il Matto (Richard Basehart), a clown who enchants Gelsomina and relentlessly taunts Zampanograve;, whose inability to control his hatred of Il Matto (literally, "the Fool") leads to their expulsion from the circus and eventually to the film's fateful conclusion. Masina is heartbreaking as the wide-eyed innocent, whose generous spirit and love of life leads her to try to "save" Quinn's unfeeling, brutal Zampanò. Though the film resonates with mythic and biblical dimensions, Fellini never loses sight of his characters, lovingly painted in all their frailties and failings. Fellini's lyrical style reaches back to the simple beauty of his neorealist films and looks ahead to the impressionistic fantasies of later films, but at this unique period in Fellini's career, they combine to create a poetic, tragic masterpiece. --Sean Axmaker
The Young Ones: Nicky and his friends find their youth club threatened by a property tycoon who intends to buy it and tear it down. Determined not to be beaten they sing and dance to raise the money to save the club. After all 'young ones shouldn't be afraid to live and love while the flame is strong or they may not be young ones very long!' (Dir. Sidney J. Furie 1961) Summer Holiday: Borrowing a double decker bus for a mobile home four young mechanics search for fun in the sun from London to Athens. Bachelor Boy Cliff Richard dons his Dancing Shoes and brings a beat to the beach in the breeziest 'Summer Holiday' on record! (Dir. Peter Yates 1963) Wonderful Life: Frustrated by shooting a movie with a stuffy veteran director who's not hip to the scene Cliff and the Shadows conspire to make their own musical version! (Dir. Sidney J. Furie 1964)
When two musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all female band disguised as women, but further complications set in.
Strife-torn America wanted a meat-and-potatoes romance in the late 1960s, and the country embraced Erich Segal's slim, generic-sounding novel in a big way. It did so again for the film adaptation of Love Story in 1970, starring Ryan O'Neal as a law student who defies his rich and powerful father (Ray Milland) on every issue, including the former's love for a music student (Ali MacGraw). The two marry, start life together ... and then the Grim Reaper turns up at the door. Directed by Arthur Hiller (The In-Laws), the film ends up lacking the kind of stylistic boost that might have made it a must-see for the ages. But its faithfulness to the book's uncomplicated and, yes, moving intentions is pretty solid. O'Neal is convincing as a nice guy who's as bullheaded in his own way as his steely father (a nice job by Milland), and MacGraw has a way of getting under one's skin. A viewer just has to try not laughing at the refrain, "Love means never having to say you're sorry". --Tom Keogh
In 1955 this lavish production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway hit The King and I, starring Yul Brynner as the King of Siam and Deborah Kerr as the governess sent to look after his children, was the most expensive film ever mounted by 20th Century Fox. The 40 sets in ripe decors by Walter M Scott and Paul S Fox included a ballroom of black marble with jade and silk tapestries and a banqueting scene with a table that gives the impression of stretching to infinity. The costumes by Irene Sharaff, notably the hoop ballroom gown for Deborah Kerr and those for the ballet "The Small House of Uncle Thomas", dazzle the eye in their delineation of Western manners and Oriental splendour. Brynner remains impressive as the King but his pidgin dialogue, inherited from Hammerstein's book, with the dropping of the definite article takes some adjustment. Alfred Newman put his unique stamp on the music: the Overture offers an example of his luminous divided string sound, the climactic ballroom scene a full bodied orchestral reprise of "Shall We Dance?" as the camera pulls away to a high angle producing an exultant visual finish to this celebrated polka. On the DVD: To view The King and I in its original format (thanks to this DVD release) is a revelation. Over the years the production values of the film have been compromised through inadequate presentation on television and video. Now the eye can appreciate once more the novelty of the wide-screen process CinemaScope 55 which offers in-depth vision, breathtaking employment of Eastman colour and an enhanced sound system that ensures a well-upholstered backdrop for the sumptuous musical arrangements under conductor Alfred Newman. DVD supplements here include the original theatrical trailer, a Movietone news of the Oscar ceremony of 56-57 and three songs lifted from the movie itself. Marni Nixon overdubbed Deborah Kerr's vocals on screen--those moments where one voice takes over from another are more clearly delineated on the DVD with the result that there is some discrepancy between Kerr's spirited playing and Nixon's over careful (rather) twee enunciation of the lyrics. --Adrian Edwards
Barbra Streisand is a knockout as Dolly Levi, the woman who arranges things...like furniture and daffodils and lives. The famed plot concerns Dolly, a young widow and professional matchmaker who sets her sights on conquering tight-fisted Yonkers merchant, Horace Vandergeider, beautifully played by Walter Matthau. Over $20,000,000 was spent on DOLLY and you can see and hear every penny. The painstakingly re-created streetcars, shops, skyscrapers and town itself (circa 1900), the magnificent Harmonia Gardens set, Irene Sharoff's colour splashed costumes, Jerry Herman's hummingly tuneful direction. So, spend a magical evening with the incomparable Barbra - and see what great musicals are all about.
The Rescue: Arriving on the planet Dido in the late 25th Century the time travellers come upon a crashed spaceship from Earth. Its two occupants - a paralysed man named Bennett and a young girl Vicki - are living in fear of a creature called Koquillion a native whose people have apparently killed the other members of the human expedition. However the Doctor quickly deduces that Koquillion is in fact Bennett in disguise; it was he who killed the others in order to conceal an earlier murder he had committed on the ship. The Romans: The four time travellers are enjoying a rare holiday staying at a villa not far from Rome in the year 64 AD. The Doctor soon becomes restless and sets off to visit the city taking Vicki with him. In their absence Ian and Barbara are kidnapped by slave traders. Having been mistaken for the famous lyre player Maximus Pettulian and asked to perform at the Emperor Nero's Court the Doctor has to devise ever more elaborate schemes to avoid revealing that he cannot actually play the instrument. Ian meanwhile becomes a galley slave while Barbara is sold to Nero's slave buyer Tavius at an auction in Rome. Ian and a fellow slave named Delos escape from the galley when it is wrecked in a storm and make their way to Rome to try to find and rescue Barbara.
If you were to argue Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein ranks among the top-10 funniest movies of all time, nobody could reasonably dispute the claim. Spoofing classic horror in the way that Brooks' previous film Blazing Saddles sent up classic Westerns, the movie is both a loving tribute and a raucous, irreverent parody of Universal's classic horror films Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935). Filming in glorious black and white, Brooks recreated the Frankenstein laboratory using the equipment from the original Frankenstein (courtesy of designer Kenneth Strickfaden), and this loving attention to physical and stylistic detail creates a solid foundation for non-stop comedy. The story, of course, involves Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) and his effort to resume experiments in re-animation pioneered by his late father. (He's got some help, since dad left behind a book titled How I Did It.) Assisting him is the hapless hunchback Igor (Marty Feldman) and the buxom but none-too-bright maiden Inga (Teri Garr), and when Frankenstein succeeds in creating his monster (Peter Boyle), the stage is set for an outrageous revision of the Frankenstein legend. With comedy highlights too numerous to mention, Brooks guides his brilliant cast (also including Cloris Leachman, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars and Gene Hackman in a classic cameo role) through scene after scene of inspired hilarity. Indeed, Young Frankenstein is a charmed film, nothing less than a comedy classic, representing the finest work from everyone involved. Not one joke has lost its payoff, and none of the countless gags have lost their zany appeal. From a career that includes some of the best comedies ever made, this is the film for which Mel Brooks will be most fondly remembered. No video library should be without a copy of Young Frankenstein. And just remember--it's pronounced "Fronkensteen". --Jeff Shannon
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