At eighteen the mother of four children and busy housewife Loretta Lynn (Sissy Spacek) still finds time to write and sing songs at small fairs and local honky-tonks. Recognizing her raw talent and huge potential her ambitious husband Mooney (Tommy Lee Jones) prods her into making a record and going to Nashville. After a performance at the Grand Ole Opry the record becomes a smash hit launching her career to super stardom and changing the sound and style of Country Music forever.
Reach for the Sky was a box-office hit in 1956 and rightly remains a fondly regarded classic of British cinema. Kenneth More is ideally cast as Douglas Bader, the gifted pilot who loses both legs in a pre-war air crash, only to play a major role in the Battle of Britain, rise to the rank of Group Captain and become a war hero. Based on Paul Brickhill's biography, this is an "official" history maybe, but Lewis Gilbert's screenplay and direction are historically accurate and informed by that very British humour, of which More was a natural. The film is graced by a decent supporting cast and a typically "widescreen" score from John Addison. On the DVD: Reach for the Sky is vividly reproduced in 16:9 anamorphic format and decent mono. There are subtitles for the hard of hearing and detailed biographies of More, Gilbert and Barder. The original theatrical trailer is included, but it would also have made sense to include an interview or documentary footage of Bader himself. --Richard Whitehouse
When the going gets tough the tough get going! In the blockbuster 'Romancing The Stone' novelist Joan Wilder (Turner) and wanderer Jack Colton (Douglas) went sailing off into the sunset together. In this thrill-packed sequel Ralph is back on their trail and they're back in the fast lane on a perilous trek through the fierce North African Desert with treacherous tribes deadly dungeons and seemingly endless villains to contend with!
Directed by Ralph Thomas, Above Us the Waves (1955) tells of a Royal Navy mission to sink the "invincible" German battleship Tirpitz, off the Norwegian coast. John Mills is calm and confident as the mission commander, with strong support from John Gregson and Donald Sinden--all treated by the German personnel as fellow gentlemen when captured. Despite stirring music from Arthur Benjamin, the action sequences are visually no more than adequate, and the film is only a partial success.--Richard Whitehouse
Hammer icon Barbara Shelley stars alongside cult actor Lee Patterson in a brilliantly taut and compelling thriller from the late '50s. Deadly Record is featured here in a brand-new transfer from the original film elements, in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio.When pilot Trevor Hamilton touches down at London Airport, his wife Jenny is not there to meet him. Their marriage is on the point of collapse, and when Jenny is found dead, Hamilton becomes Suspect Number One. With the police searching for enough evidence to arrest him, Hamilton desperately interviews everyone in Jenny's social circle to find the real murderer!SPECIAL FEATURE: Original Theatrical Trailer
In an attempt to reconstruct a murder case radio host Lionel Hulme advertises for information as to the whereabouts of ex-convict Arthur John Smithers who had served a seven-year prison sentence for the manslaughter of his partner. Between them they had perpetrated one of the most daring robberies of all time escaping with a large sum of money; Smithers was subsequently tried and convicted but the stolen notes were never recovered. It is with the ulterior motive of obtaining the money that Hulme is now investigating the case… Canadian Lee Patterson stars as the crime-show host tangling with real-life gangsters in this classic B-movie thriller directed by genre stalwart Montgomery Tully. Also featuring British players Hy Hazell Colin Gordon and Harold Kasket The Key Man (also known as Life at Stake) is featured here in a brand-new transfer from the original film elements in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio. Special Features: Original Theatrical Trailer Image Gallery PDF Material
Affable bright and breezy Kenneth More epitomised the traditional English virtues of fortitude and fun. At the height of his fame in the 1950s he was Britain's most popular film star and had appeared in a string of box office hits including Genevieve (1953) Doctor in the House (1954) Reach for the Sky (1956) and A Night to Remember (1958). Like many British actors he commuted between film and theatre and steadily became of or Britain's most treasured actors. This 8 disc collection celebrates some of his greatest work. Films include: Chance of a Lifetime (1950): The workers in a small plough factory take over the firm but when a large order falls through the old management come back to help out. Genevieve (1953): Two friends race their vintage cars on the annual London to Brighton rally. But once they place a 'friendly' wager on who will win the race the competitive juices start flowing! Genevieve is the name of one of the cars which like her competitor runs into one problem after another. A Night to Remember (1958): Based on the best selling book by Walter Lord this is the true story of the R.M.S. Titanic which struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Europe to New York in 1912. The Galloping Major (1951): An elderly pet shop owner who sets up a scheme to buy ""Montana Mist "" a race horse who promises to finish in the money. When the animals are switched at an auction his lifelong dream comes crashing down - unless the old glue horse he has purchased turns out to be more than meets the eye. North West Frontier (1959): Captain Scott (More) is sent by the British Governor in India to rescue a five year old Hindu prince and his American governess (Bacall) when a rebellion breaks out among the tribesmen. Pursued by the abductors the trio commandeer a derelict steam train to take them 300 miles through the mountains to safety... Reach for the Sky (1956): A story of one man's indomitable courage and endurance. As a young sports-loving Pilot Officer Douglas Bader loses both legs in a flying accident. Not only does he overcome his devastating disability; he goes on to become a Battle of Britain ace. Eventually Bader is shot down and imprisoned in Germany. In 1945 when three hundred aircraft fly in triumph over London led by a solitary Spitfire the honour of leading the fly-past goes to Douglas Bader. This is the story of one of the few to whom so many owed so much.
In this legendary tearjerker the world's most eligible bachelor (Cary Grant) is set to marry an heiress. But unfortunately for his bride-to-be while he's traveling alone on a luxury liner he meets Terry McKay (Deborah Kerr) and realizes he's engaged to the wrong woman--and she's engaged to the wrong man. They finally agree to spend six months apart; if they still love each other at the end of that time they will reunite at the top of the Empire State Building. But the path of true
This 1967 film took home lots of Oscars for its fascinating drama about a Philadelphia detective (Sidney Poitier) who assists a redneck Southern sheriff (Rod Steiger) in solving a murder. A study in racism that ebbs a bit through the collective and shared need between a black man and a white man who don't want to be working together, In the Heat of the Night continues to strike a chord today. Steiger is a mass of snarling danger, Poitier a bundle of nerves covered in class. Norman Jewison (Moonstruck) directs with a keen feeling for the cultural and social atmosphere of the setting. --Tom Keogh
Dissatisfied with the small profits shown by his petty crimes, Ronnie Cowan attempts to pull off the most sensational robbery of all time. He has learned that the Bank of Scotland periodically sends half a million pounds in one-pound notes to London for destruction, and the banknotes are transported on the famous passenger train, The Flying Scot. Cowan assembles a trusted transatlantic team and a brilliant, seemingly foolproof scheme is put into action...Lee Patterson is the man with the audacious plan and fellow Canadian Kay Callard his most glamorous accomplice in this taut heist thriller. Scripted by Carry On stalwart Norman Hudis and based on a story co-written by Danger Man creator Ralph Smart, The Flying Scot (also known as The Mail Bag Robbery) is presented here in a brand-new transfer from the original film elements in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio.SPECIAL FEATURE:Alternate Title Sequence
A classic high-tension thriller directed by Montgomery Tully, this rarely seen gem features an exceptional transatlantic cast including Zachary Scott (on magnificently sinister form as a brutal master-criminal), Mervyn Johns, noir heroine Peggie Castle, fan favourite Lee Patterson and British screen spiv Sydney Tafler. The Counterfeit Plan is featured here in a brand-new transfer from the original film elements, in its original theatrical aspect ratio.With the aid of his accomplices, convicted murderer Max Brandt escapes whilst being escorted to a French prison and flees across the Channel. Arriving in England he seeks out a wartime acquaintance, Louie. An expert forger, Louie has now turned his back on his criminal career but Brandt is determined to blackmail him into putting his formidable skills to use once more...SPECIAL FEATURES:Alternative Titles (mute)Original Theatrical TrailersImage GalleryOriginal Synopsis PDF
The 1960 children's feature The Three Worlds of Gulliver brings to life the first two sections of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels in a version which, while sanitised for youngsters, retains some of the satire and intelligence of the original. It also boasts excellent-for-the-time special effects by Ray Harryhausen, though the effects wizard keeps his trademark stop-motion animation to a minimum, featuring it only when Gulliver (Kerwin Mathews from 1958's The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad), has problems with an outsized crocodile and a foraging squirrel. Instead, Harryhausen concentrates on portraying the miniature Lilliputians and the giant Brobdingnagians, and the results still impress over 40 years on. This is a colourful, witty, charming film, though it is also heavily Americanised, the dialogue anachronistic and some of the accents decidedly trans-Atlantic. Mathews is a little stiff in the role of a British doctor, but English actress June Thorburn makes a spirited and beautiful Elizabeth, Gulliver's fiancée who in this version comes along for the journey. While the 1996 TV mini-series Gulliver's Travels comes much closer to Swift's intentions Harryhausen's version will delight younger viewers and has the advantage of a beguiling score from the great Bernard Herrmann. Some viewers may be startled to learn that in the 17th century there were Spanish mountains just outside London, and that Wapping was just a minute's walk from the beach. On the DVD: The Three Worlds of Gulliver on disc has good mono sound while the picture, which is anamorphically enhanced and presented at 1.77:1, is of variable quality. There are very distracting fleck marks where the emulsion has been damaged on the print in many shots featuring Gulliver against a bright blue sky. These really should have been restored before transfer to DVD. Although the packaging refers to "The Ray Harryhausen Chronicles" featurette, this is actually the same superb 57-minute TV documentary which has appeared on other Harryhausen titles. Everyone should have it in their collection once. "This is Dynamation" is a three-minute special effects promo for The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad. Also included is a five-minute original "making of" featurette and trailers for The Three Worlds of Gulliver (1.70:1 letterboxed), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (4:3) and Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1.77:1 anamorphic), as well as basic filmographies of Jack Sher, Arthur Ross, Ray Harryhausen and Kerwin Mathews. --Gary S Dalkin
Cult-favourite actor and B-Movie stalwart Lee Patterson stars as an insurance claims investigator with a nose for trouble in this late '50s noir thriller; notable as Michael Winner's first feature-length screenwriting credit Man with a Gun also features the combined talents of John le Mesurier Rona Anderson and director Montgomery Tully. The film is presented here in a brand-new digital transfer from original film elements in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio. A £20 000 insurance claim is lodged when a nightclub is destroyed by fire and claims investigator Mike Davies is assigned to get to the bottom of things. One suspect is Harry Drayson the club owner – but if he torched his own property for the insurance how safe are his other heavily insured properties..? Features: Original Theatrical Trailer Image Gallery Press Material PDFs
The First Ever Release of This Classic British Film on DVD.Paul Rotha well known for his socialist documentaries. He wrote and directed this 1958 British suspenseful thriller, an Anvil production.Based on a book by Michael Halliday, Ann Coltby, (Ann Sears) the daughter of a convicted, and executed killer believes she has murdered blackmailer (Hilton Edwards) who wants some diamonds that her father stole. She is befriended by fellow victim of the blackmailer and army deserter Rod Fenner, (Lee Paterson) whom is really after the diamonds.
Christmas wouldn't be the same without Eric and Ernie. Featuring: 'Christmas With Eric And Ernie' and 'Eric And Ernie's Christmas Show'.
Nuns On The Run (Dir. Jonathan Lynn 1990): Following in the great Carry On... tradition with a bit of Monty Python thrown in for good measure Nuns On The Run is a classic slice of slapstick comedy starring Eric Idle and Robbie Coltrane. Brian and Charlie work for a gangster. When the boss learns they want to leave he sets them up to be killed after they help rob the local Triads of their drug dealing profits. Brian and Charlie decide to steal the money for themselves but when their escape doesn't go to plan they have to seek refuge in a nuns' teacher training school. Disguised as nuns Brian and Charlie have to avoid their boss Triads police and Brian's girlfriend. There's also the problem of them being men disguised as nuns in an all women institution. Time Bandits (Dir. Terry Gilliam 1981): All the dreams you've ever had.... and not just the good ones. The first of three Terry Gilliam films collectively referred to as his Trilogy of the Imagination (along with 'Brazil' and 'The Adventures of Baron Munchausen') 'Time Bandits' is a wonderfully inventive fantasy with a massive cult following and universal appeal. A sleeper hit in 1981 the film grossed well over eight times its million budget. Co-written by Gilliam and fellow Monty Python veteran Michael Palin (who also appears in the film) 'Time Bandits' tells the story of Kevin (Craig Warnock) a young imaginative boy kidnapped by a band of mischievous dwarves who have stolen a map of the universe detailing the locations of holes in the space-time continuum from the Supreme Being (Ralph Richardson). The dwarves with Kevin in tow set off on a bizarre journey back and forth though time with the intention of looting the fortunes of history's rich and famous. Along the way they meet the likes of King Agamemnon (Sean Connery) Robin Hood (John Cleese) and Napoleon (Ian Holm) among others and even get to sail on the Titanic moments prior to its unfortunate encounter with an iceberg. Unknowingly the diminutive bandits are being watched by the spectre of Evil Genius (David Warner) who wants the map for his own typically wicked purposes...
Australian Don Sharp directed this Butcher's 1958 production.A young pop composer (Lee Patterson) and singer (Mary Steele) bankrolled by Aunt Sarah (Linda Gray) open a coffee bar. They are joined by budding singer Terry Dene as himself. Dene sings at the cafe and unable to get a record deal they start their own lucky charm record label.Featuring many musical acts and David Jacobs as himself.
A spellbinding ghost story unfolds when 12-year old Jane Stuart discovers that her mysterious father (Sam Waterston) whom the family has tried to convince her is dead resurfaces to reconcile his troubled past. She discovers a kind man genuinely interested in both her welfare and her mother's. With the assistance of a powerful mystic (Colleen Dewhurst) Jane resolves to reunite her parents despite the horrible forces that stand in her way!
Although crime-writer-turned-detective Jason King, as played by the deep-voiced Peter Wyngarde, was the star supporting character of the 1969-70 series Department S, he seemed rather diminished when given a show of his own, thus robbing him of the straight characters necessary to show off his flamboyance. Jason King also ditched the impossible mysteries of the parent series in favour of more ordinary puzzles that the Saint or any other two-fisted hero could have solved without having to spend so much on fabulous fashion gear. That said, Wyngarde is well-matched by his foils, the value-for-money hams Dennis Price and Ronald Lacey, as the government agents who forced Jason to catch villains for them by threatening to turn him in for failing to pay his back taxes on the earnings of his bestsellers. Jason King was also the only hero on television who would take any brutal beating from the bad guys and shrug it off, only to become quite agitated when they threatened to slice his suits to bits. Volume One includes: "Wanna Buy a Television Series", in which Jason pitches a series based on his books, with guest star Anna Palk; and "A Page Before Dying" wherein Jason's latest book gives away spy secrets, and he's kidnapped to East Germany. --Kim Newman
In 1959 screenwriter Rod Serling first opened the door to the "dimension of imagination" that is The Twilight Zone, a show quite unlike anything that had gone before, and better than much that has followed in its wake. This original and daring television series ran for a magnificent five seasons from 1959 to 1964 and still looks as fresh as ever, particularly on DVD. What distinguished the series (and still does) is the quality of the scripts, many of which were penned by Serling, but with significant contributions from veteran sci-fi authors and screenwriters such as Richard Matheson. Actors of the calibre of Robert Redford, Burgess Meredith, Lee Marvin and William Shatner gave some of their best small-screen performances, while an unforgettable main title theme by Bernard Herrmann and musical contributions from young turks such as Jerry Goldsmith underlined the show's attraction for great creative talent both behind and in front of the cameras. Volume 3 contains another selection of four episodes from across the series. "Steel" (episode 122) stars Lee Marvin in a futuristic Richard Matheson story concerning a penniless boxing manager who is forced into the ring when his robot boxer breaks down. Matheson is concerned to illustrate the lengths to which people are forced to go when desperate, but his moral is undermined a little by setting the story in the far future of 1974; Marvin, however, is a magnetic presence. In the tense and tautly written "A Game of Pool" (episode 70), Jack Klugman (The Odd Couple, Quincy) is a boastful pool player who challenges champion "Fats" Brown (Jonathan Winters) to a match in which the stakes are his life. "Walking Distance" is a slice of wistful, semi-autobiographical nostalgia from Serling in which a burned-out media exec returns to the town of his childhood (watch out for a very young Ron Howard as one of the kids). Bernard Herrmann's masterful score for this episode was composed not long after his music for Hitchcock's Vertigo, and has a similar tragi-romantic streak. Finally, "Kick the Can" (episode 86) is the story of the residents of a retirement home who discover (or rediscover) Peter Pan's secret for staying permanently young: it's easy to see why Steven Spielberg decided to adapt this episode for the 1983 movie. On the DVD: A neat animated menu with a winking eye guides the viewer "Inside the Twilight Zone", which consists of digests of background information on the individual episodes, as well as a general history of the show, season-by-season breakdown and a potted biography of Serling. --Mark Walker
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