After the success of 1950's Destination Moon and 1951's When Worlds Collide, visionary producer George Pal brought the classic HG Wells story of a Martian invasion to the big screen, and it instantly became a science-fiction classic and winner of the 1953 Academy Award for Best Special Effects. It's a work of frightening imagination, with its manta-ray spaceships armed with cobra-like probes that shoot a white-hot disintegration ray. As formations of alien ships continue to wreak destruction around the globe, the military is helpless to stop this enemy while scientists race to find an effective weapon. Gene Barry and Ann Robinson play the hero and heroine roles that werede rigueur for movies like this in the 50s, and their encounter with one of the Martians is as creepy today as it was in 1953. It finally takes an unseen threat--simple Earth bacteria--to conquer the alien invaders, but not before War of the Worlds has provided a dazzling display of impressive visual and sound effects. This is a movie for the ages, the kind of spectacle that inspired little kids such as Steven Spielberg (not to mention Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin, whose Independence Day is a remake in all but name) and still packs a punch. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
Six of your favourite Western Classics in one box set! Disc One Geronimo! Chuck Connors stars in the title role as the Indian Chief who, having reluctantly surrendered to the US forces in return for food and land, finds the white man's promises broken as their land is revoked. He leads the Apache tribe in all-out war against the Americans, which they can never hope to win. However, as his tribe is depleted, Geronimo continues to hold his ground. Disc Two Hour of the Gun Guns don't stay in their holsters long when vigilantes Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday meet outlaws in the Wild West. With the dust settled at the OK Corral the notorious Clanton brothers unleash their revenge. One by one they gun down Wyatt Earp's brothers - but they won't have the last shot. Using his US Marshal's badge as his authority and Doc Holliday (Jason Robards) as his deputized right-hand man Earp (James Garner) begins a zealous pursuit of vengeance that the West will never forget. ...Hour of the Gun Disc Three Man of the East By his dying father's last wish Joe is sent to the Wild West to become a real guy. The dreamy young man despises guns and fights, likes poems and prefers bicycles to horses. Now his three teachers, footpads all of them, shall teach him otherwise. This doesn't work, until Joe has to defend himself against gunman Morton, who's jealous of Joe's love to rancher Ohlsen's beautiful daughter. Disc Four The Spikes Gang Will (Gary Grimes), Les (Ron Howard) and Tod (Charlie Martin Smith), teenage farm boys living near the Mexican border, stumble upon Harry Spikes (Lee Marvin), a local bandit near death in the middle of nowhere. After helping bring the aging man back to health, the trio decides to escape their humdrum lives by becoming outlaws themselves. Failing at their first attempt to rob a bank, the boys convince the gruff Spikes to teach them the ways of the desperado. Disc Five The Way West Senator William J. Tadlock (Kirk Douglas) enlists the help of veteran scout Dick Summers (Robert Mitchum) to lead a wagon train of settlers from Missouri to Oregon in this plodding, routine western. A scared settler accidently shoots an Indian boy who is mistaken for a wolf, prompting Summers to order newlywed triggerman Johnny Mack (Michael Witney) to be hanged to avoid an Indian attack. The highlight of the film is the expert cinematography. Watch for Sally Field in her first big-screen role as the slatternly Mercy McBee. Disc Six Comanche In 1875, near Durango, Mexico, Renegade Comanche leader Black Cloud (Henry Brandon) attacks a Mexican village and kidnaps the beautiful Margarita Alvarez (Linda Cristal). Fleeing to the United States, they come across a band of scalp hunters and are prevented from massacring them by the Comanche chief of the Antelope tribe, Quanah (Kent Smith). Despite the efforts of frontier scout Jim Read (Dana Andrews), turmoil erupts between the whites and the rebel Comanche, and Quanah and Read struggle to restore peace.
With The Searchers John Wayne and director John Ford forged an indelible saga of the frontier and the men and women who challenged it. Wayne plays Ethan Edwards an ex-Confederate who sets out to find his niece captured by Comanches who massacred his family. He won't surrender to hunger thirst the elements or loneliness. And in his obsessive quest Ethan finds something unexpected: his own humanity. One of the most influential movies ever made.
The Searchers: John Wayne plays Ethan Edwards an ex-Confederate who sets out to find his niece captured by Comanches who massacred his family. He won't surrender to hunger thirst the elements or loneliness. And in his obsessive quest Ethan finds something unexpected: his own humanity. One of the most influential movies ever made. Unforgiven: an exciting modern classic that rode off with four 1992 Academy Awards. Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman play retired down-on-their-luck outlaws who pick up their guns one last time to collect a bounty offered by the vengeful prostitutes of the remote Wyoming town of Big Whiskey: Richard Harris is an ill-fated interloper a colourful killer-for-hire called English Bob. Gene Hackman is the sly and brutal local sheriff whose brand of Law enforcement ranges from unconventional to ruthless. Big trouble is coming to Big Whiskey...
John Carpenter's Assault On Precinct 13 is a riveting low-budget thriller from 1976, in which a nearly abandoned police station is held under siege by a heavily armed gang called Street Thunder. Inside the station, cut off from contact and isolated, convicts heading for death row and the cops must now join forces or die. That's the basic plot, but what Carpenter does with it is remarkable. Drawing specific inspiration from the classic Howard Hawks Western Rio Bravo (which included a similar siege on disadvantaged heroes), Carpenter used his simple setting for a tense, tightly constructed series of action sequences, emphasising low-key character development and escalating tension. Few who've seen the film can forget the "ice cream cone" scene in which a young girl is caught up in the action by patronising a seemingly harmless ice cream van. It's here, and in other equally memorable scenes, that Carpenter demonstrates his knack for injecting terror into the mundane details of daily life, propelling this potent thriller to cult favourite status and long-standing critical acclaim. From this Carpenter went on to make the original Halloween, one of the most profitable independent films of all time. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
The West's most violent story... The West's most valiant hour! John Ford's criminally overlooked western (the first collaboration between Ford and James Stewart) finally makes its way to DVD for the first time! A group of children are held captive by the Indians. A Lieutenant enlists the help of a Texas Marshall in a rescue attempt. Based on the novel by Will Cook.
March of the Wooden Soldiers: The film s story takes place in Toyland which is inhabited by Mother Goose and other well known fairy tale characters. Stannie Dum and Ollie Dee (played by Laurel and Hardy) live in a shoe which is owned by the villainous Silas Barnaby who is looking to marry Bo Peep. Our heroes try to borrow money from their employer, the toymaker, to pay off the mortgage on the shoe and to keep Little Bo Peep from the clutches of the evil Barnaby. When that fails, they trick Barnaby into marrying Stannie Dum instead of Bo Peep. Enraged, Barnaby unleashes the bogeymen from their caverns to destroy Toyland. Stan and Ollie run and hide in the toy shop where they discover a box of darts to battle the Bogeymen. They empty the darts into a cannon but decide instead to unleash the toy soldiers on their enemy. Utopia: Heading for a newly inherited island, the boys are shipwrecked and marooned on an atoll which has just emerged from the sea. Along with their cook, a stowaway and a girl who is fleeing her fiancÃ©, they set up their own government on the atoll. All goes well until the singer s fiancee arrives to reveal that the new island is rich with uranium deposits. People from all over the world flock to the island, but soon the situation turns chaotic when a revolt seeks to overthrow and execute the island s original inhabitants. Before the execution, however, another storm strikes and submerges the island. Laurel and Hardy are rescued and finally arrive at the island Laurel inherited, only to have their land and supplies impounded for failure to pay back taxes! Flying Deuces: Stan and Ollie are holidaying in Paris. Ollie intends to remain in France to marry Georgette (Jean Parker), the innkeeper s daughter, but is heartbroken when he finds that she s fallen in love with and has married dashing Foreign Legion officer Francois (Reginald Gardiner). Ollie decides instead to jump into the Seine, along with Stan, but they are talked out of it by FranÃ§ois who suggests they join the Legion. When they try to leave after Ollie has recovered from being jilted they are charged with desertion and sentenced to a firing squad. They manage to escape in a stolen airplane but crash after a wild ride. Only Stan survives - but an earlier musing on reincarnation produces a bizarre postscript. Hustling for Health: Our down at heel hero Stan is befriended by a stranger at a train depot and brought back to the family home where his wife is having a suffragette meeting. None too pleased they cause mayhem dragging the neighbours into the argument as Stan throws rubbish into their award winning garden. Stan falls foul of them again when he steals their food to give to his new friends and is finally left outside in the yard mooning over the neighbours daughter in a downpour. One Too Many: This zippy and fun short from 1916 - the time when Charlie Chaplin and Fatty Arbuckle were the big names in comedy - features the young Oliver Hardy as a ne er-do-well who has to quickly impress his wealthy uncle by producing a wife and baby for his visit. Of course this does not go smoothly and soon there are rather more wives and babies than he can cope with; plus the mandatory chases and misunderstandings that are the hallmark of early movie slapstick. The Lucky Dog: The Lucky Dog is the first film to include both Laurel & Hardy although they play independently of each other and not as the famous duo they would later become. Stan plays the hapless hero, who after being thrown out onto the street for not paying his rent, is befriended by a stray dog.
A favourite film of some of the world's greatest filmmakers, including Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, John Ford's The Searchers has earned its place in the legacy of great American films for a variety of reasons. Perhaps most notably, it's the definitive role for John Wayne as an icon of the classic Western--the hero (or antihero) who must stand alone according to the unwritten code of The West. The story takes place in Texas in 1868; Wayne plays Ethan Edwards, a Confederate veteran who visits his brother and sister-in-law at their ranch and is horrified when they are killed by marauding Comanches. Ethan's search for a surviving niece (played by young Natalie Wood) becomes an all-consuming obsession. With the help of a family friend (Jeffrey Hunter) who is himself part-Cherokee, Ethan hits the trail on a five-year quest for revenge. At the peak of his masterful talent, director Ford crafts this classic tale as an embittered examination of racism and blind hatred, provoking Wayne to give one of the best performances of his career. As with many of Ford's classic Westerns, The Searchers must contend with revisionism in its stereotypical treatment of "savage" Native Americans, and the film's visual beauty (the final shot is one of the great images in all of Western culture) is compromised by some uneven performances and stilted dialogue. Still, this is undeniably one of the greatest Westerns ever made. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
Vera Cruz was only director Robert Aldrich's second Western (his first, made a few months earlier, was the revisionist, pro-Native-American Apache), but it's such an assured, stylish affair that he might have been roaming the sagebrush for decades. In the aftermath of the American Civil War two lone adventurers make their way south of the border, where Mexico is fighting a civil war of its own to rid the country of the French-imposed Emperor Maximilian. Neither the dour Benjamin Trane (Gary Cooper) nor the grinning, devil-may-care Joe Erin (Burt Lancaster) has much in the way of idealism, but Trane still retains a thin bitter edge of integrity, a quality quite alien to the cheerfully amoral Erin. In uneasy alliance, constantly looking to outwit or double-cross each other, the two find themselves escorting a beautiful French countess (Denise Darcel) and a shipment of gold across country. Cooper and Lancaster create a superb double-act, using their contrasted screen personas to point up the humour and the cynicism of the two mercenaries' relationship. Darcel makes less than she might of the femme fatale role, but there are relishable cameos from Cesar Romero as a suavely duplicitous aristo and Ernest Borgnine as another gringo with an exceptionally vicious streak. The script, according to Aldrich, was written on the run, "always finished about five minutes before we shot it", but you wouldn't guess it from the laconic wit of the dialogue. It looks great, too--Ernest Laszlo's widescreen photography makes the most of the handsome Mexican locations. With its irreverent take on the accepted moral conventions of the genre, Vera Cruz ushered in a new kind of Western, and its central love-hate relationship would be replayed in Sam Peckinpah's Ride the High Country (1962) and Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). On the DVD: Not much in the way of extras but the mono sound has been expertly remastered to the benefit of Hugo Friedhofer's spirited score. Above all, the film's presented in its full Superscope ratio (16:9), a blessed relief after all those years when it showed up panned-and-scanned on BBC1. If ever a movie needed widescreen, it's this one--if only to fit in all Burt's teeth. You can see why they called him "Crockery Joe". --Philip Kemp
The most lavish feature built around Laurel and Hardy, 1934's March of the Wooden Soldiers is also the most bizarre. Opening unpromisingly with one of several mawkish numbers derived from Victor Herbert's musical Babes in Toyland, the antics of toyshop labourers Stannie Dum and Ollie Dee are worked into a scenario midway between Lewis Carroll and The Brothers Grimm. Nursery-rhyme characters come and go in a surreal fantasy, with the evil Mr Barnaby threatening to evict Widow Peep from her shoe unless he receives her daughter Bo in marriage. The movie culminates in a full-scale invasion of Toyland by the yeti-ish Bogeymen and their defeat by the 100 six-foot wooden soldiers that Stan and Ollie have built by mistake. Henry Brandon gives a characterful performance, while 1930s child star Charlotte Henry is an appealing heroine. Directors Gus Meins and Charles R Rogers milk the slapstick to an increasingly unnerving degree. Reputedly Hardy's favourite among the double act's features, March of the Wooden Soldiers emerges now as their most audacious screen appearance. On the DVD: March of the Wooden Soldiers on disc reproduces the original black and white print in 4:3 ratio with pristine clarity; the mono soundtrack has similarly worn well. The potted biographies of Laurel and Hardy are too brief to be worthwhile, but the inclusion of the 1915 short Hustling for Health--among the earliest of Stan Laurel's film appearances--is a valuable bonus. --Richard Whitehouse
Dan Mathews (Joel McCrea) is a gritty cowboy drover toughened up by what he does. When he comes across wandering rich-boy Chester Graham Jr (Dean Stockwell), the son of a wealthy railroad executive, he is forced to teach him some hard lessons about life on the road. Accidentally left behind by his father's train, the sheltered heir isn't too happy about walking alongside Dan and his drovers to get home. Chester has to work as he goes, reluctantly learning the ropes of true cowboy life. As time goes on and the road to Santa Fe doesn't get any gentler, Chester slowly starts to prove his worth. It becomes clear he isn't so soft after all An all-star cast also includes Oscar winner Chill Wills (The Alamo).
Producer George Pal and director Byron Haskins' landmark adaptation of the H.G. Wells classic novel that focuses on the invasion of the earth by Martian war machines. It's a work of frightening imagination with its manta-ray spaceships armed with cobra-like probes that shoot a white-hot disintegration ray. As formations of alien ships continue to wreak destruction around the globe the military is helpless to stop this enemy while scientists race to find an effective weapon. It fi
Bogus Bandits Ollie and Stan play Olio and Stanlio a pair of incompetent bandits who are hired as servants to Fra Diavolo (The Devil's Brother) a real bandit played by Dennis King who in his other guise is known as the Marquis de San Marco an aristocrat who uses his position to discover the whereabouts of the treasures worn by the ladies in high society... March Of The Wooden Soldiers Stannie Dum (Stan Laurel) and Ollie Dee (Oliver hardy) are well-meaning but bra
In 1936 'The Garden Of Allah' was billed as Selznick's showcase for Technicolour. It turned out to be a visually stunning film with vibrant colour realism seldom seen in pictures. Bizarrely the film was not nominated for Best Picture Oscar as the Academy felt that 'its natural beauty would outpoint conventional product'. Now fully restored and digitally re-mastered it still looks wonderful even by today's standards Marlene Dietrich is Domini a young heiress who journeys to t
A selection of the comedy duo's films.... Lucky Dog (1921) Be Big (1931) March of the Wooden Soldiers (1934) Flying Deuces (1939) Utopia (1950) their appearance on This Is Your Life (1952) and Laurel and Hardy at the Movies.
THE SEARCHERS: (Languages:English French Italian:MONO Subtitles:English French Italian Dutch Arabic Spanish Portuguese German Romanian Bulgarian) Often acclaimed as John Ford's best film The Searchers is the saga of an ex-Confederate soldier named Ethan Edwards who embarks on a long obsessive search for his niece Debbie who was kidnapped by Comanche Indians. Accompanied by Martin Pawley a young man he had saved from Indians several years earlier Ethan searches throughout the West in vain. This DVD includes Jeffrey Hunter and Natalie Wood Interviews Two Trailers and featurettes. UNFORGIVEN: (Languages: English 5.1 SURROUND Subtitles: English Arabic) Clint Eastwood's film Unforgiven is an exciting modern classic that rode off with four 1992 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Director (Eastwood). Eastwood and Morgan Freeman play retired down-on-their-luck outlaws who pick up their guns one last time to collect a bounty offered by the vengeful prostitutes of the remote Wyoming town of Big Whiskey. Richard Harris is an ill-fated interloper a colorful killer-for-hire called English Bob. And Best Supporting Actor Oscar-winner Gene Hackman is the sly and brutal local sheriff whose brand of law enforcement ranges from unconventional to ruthless. Big trouble is coming to Big Whisky. Written by David Webb Peoples (12 Monkeys). WILD BUNCH: DIRECTOR'S CUT: (Languages: English 5.1 SURROUND Subtitles: English Arabic) By any standard director Sam Peckinpah's film The Wild Bunch a powerful tale of hang-dog desperados bound by a code of honour rates as one of the all-time greatest westerns perhaps one of the greatest of all films. This Original Director's Cut restores it to a complete pristine condition unseen since its July 1969 theatrical debut. The image is letterboxed the colour renewed the stereo soundtrack remixed and reintegrated - all to blood-and-thunder effect. This DVD also features (on side B) the home video debut of The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage the Acadaemy Award-nominated 1996 documentary by Paul Seydor and Nick Redman.
A four disc DVD set of classic detective films. With Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes; Peter Lorre as Mr Moto; Boris Karloff as Mr Wong and Ralph Byrd as Dick Tracy. Mr. Moto's Last Warning (Dir. Norman Foster 1939): A Japanese man claiming to be Mr Moto of the International Police is abducted and murdered soon after disembarking from a ship at Port Said in Egypt. The real Mr Moto is already in Port Said investigating a conspiracy against the British and French government
Stannie Dum (Stan Laurel) and Ollie Dee (Oliver hardy) are well-meaning but brainless toymakers in Toyland. They misinterpret an order from Santa Claus for 600 one foot high toy soldiers and come up instead with 100 6 foot high soldiers. But their toy army comes in handy when the evil Barnaby (Henry Brandon) and his furry Bogeymen invade Toyland and the boys end up as heroes when they save the Widow Peep's daughter Bo (Charlotte Henry) from his clutches. This priceless nine inch r
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