World War II Morocco springs to life in Michael Curtiz's classic love story. Colourful characters abound in "Casablanca", a waiting room for Europeans trying to escape Hitler's war-torn Europe.
Of all Fritz Lang’s creations, none have been more innovative or influential than M, the film that launched German cinema into the sound era with stunning sophistication and mesmerising artistry. A spate of child killings has stricken a terrified Berlin. Peter Lorre gives a legendary performance as the murderer Hans Beckert, who soon finds himself chased by all levels of society.From cinema’s first serial killer hunt, Lang pulls back to encompass social tapestry, police procedural, and underworld conspiracies in an astonishingly multi-faceted and level-headed look at a deeply incendiary topic. One of the greatest psychological thrillers of all time, M remains as fresh and startling 80 years on. Special Features: Restored high-definition transfer in the correct 1.19:1 aspect ratio [1080p on Blu-ray] Two audio commentaries: one by German film scholars Anton Kaes and Eric Rentschler; the other featuring film restoration expert Martin Koerber, filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich, historian Torsten Kaiser and excerpts from Bogdanovich’s 1965 interviews with Lang The original 1932 British release version of M, presented in its entirety, recently rediscovered, featuring different actors, alternate takes, and Peter Lorre’s first performance in English, courtesy of the BFI National Archive [1080p on Blu-ray, 93 mins] Zum Beispiel Fritz Lang, a 1968 documentary by Erwin Leiser with Fritz Lang discussing his career in German cinema [480p, 21 minutes] 48-Page Booklet including writing by Fritz Lang, historian Robert Fischer, details of a missing scene, behind-the-scenes stills, and production drawings
Of all Fritz Lang's creations none have been more innovative or influential than M the film that launched German cinema into the sound era with stunning sophistication and mesmerising artistry. A spate of child killings has stricken a terrified Berlin. Peter Lorre gives a legendary performance as the murderer Hans Beckert who soon finds himself chased by all levels of society. From cinema's first serial killer hunt Lang pulls back to encompass social tapestry police procedural and underworld conspiracies in an astonishingly multi-faceted and level-headed look at a deeply incendiary topic. One of the greatest psychological thrillers of all time M remains as fresh and startling almost 80 years on.
The swashbuckler genre bumped into science fiction in 1954 for one of Hollywood's great entertainments, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The Jules Verne story of adventure under the sea was Walt Disney's magnificent debut into live-action films. A professor (Paul Lukas) seeks the truth about a legendary sea monster in the years just after the Civil War. When his ship is sunk, he, his aide (Peter Lorre), and a harpoon master (Kirk Douglas) survive to discover that the monster is actually a metal submarine run by Captain Nemo (James Mason). Along with the rollicking adventure, it's fun to see the future technology that Verne dreamed up in his novel, including diving equipment and sea farming. The film's physical prowess is anchored by the Nautilus, an impressive full-scale gothic submarine complete with red carpet and pipe organ. In the era of big sets, 20,000 Leagues set a precedent for films shot on the water and deservedly won Oscars for art direction and special effects. Lost in the inventiveness of the film and great set pieces including a giant squid attack are two great performances. Mason is the perfect Nemo, taut and private, clothed in dark fabric that counters the Technicolor dreamboat that is the beaming red-and-white-stripe-shirted Kirk Douglas as the heroic Ned Land. The film works as peerless family adventure nearly half a century later. --Doug Thomas
From the Merchant of Menace, Vincent Price, and the King of the Bs, Roger Corman, come Six Gothic tales inspired by the pen of Edgar Allan Poe. In The Fall of the House of Usher, a young man learns of a family curse that threatens his happiness with his bride-to-be. In The Pit and the Pendulum, a brother investigates the untimely death of sister, played by Barbara Steele. Tales of Terror adapts three Poe classics, Morella, The Black Cat and The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, each starring a horror icon. The Raven is a comic take on the famous poem concerning three rival magicians. In The Haunted Palace, a newcomer in a New England town is suspected of being a warlock. And in The Tomb of Ligeia, filmed in Norfolk and at Stonehenge, a widower's upcoming marriage plans are thwarted by his dead first wife. The six films boast a remarkable cast list: not just Price and Steele, but also Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Lon Chaney Jr, Basil and a very young Jack Nicholson. Adapted for the screen by Richard Matheson and Robert Towne, these Six Gothic Tales now rank as classic examples of sixties horror cinema. SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS: High Definition Blu-ray presentation of all six features Original uncompressed mono PCM Audio for all films Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for all films Trailers for each film Reversible sleeves featuring original and newly commissioned artwork for all films THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER Audio commentary with director and producer Roger Corman An interview with director Joe Dante Interview with author Jonathan Rigby Video essay by critic and filmmaker David Cairns examining Corman s film in relation to Poe's story Archival interview with Vincent Price THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM Audio commentary with director and producer Roger Corman Audio commentary by critic Tim Lucas A new making of documentary featuring Roger Corman, star Barbara Steele, Victoria Price and more! Shot in 1968 to pad out the film for the longer TV time slot, this scene features star Luana Anders Price reads a selection of Poe's classic stories before a live audience TALES OF TERROR An hour-long documentary on Roger Corman featuring contributions from James Cameron, Martin Scorsese and Ron Howard Critic and novelist Anne Billson discusses the contributions of our feline friends to genre cinema The Black Cat, a 1993 short film adaptation of Poe's classic tale directed by Rob Green (The Bunker) THE RAVEN Peter Lorre: The Double Face, Harun Farocki s 1984 documentary, subtitled in English for the first time An interview with the legendary novelist and screenwriter Richard Matheson An interview with Roger Corman about making The Raven The Trick, a short film about rival magicians by Rob Green (The Bunker) Promotional Record Stills and Poster Gallery THE HAUNTED PALACE Audio commentary by Vincent Price s biographer David Del Valle and Ron Chaney, grandson of Lon Chaney, Jr Kim Newman on H.P. Lovecraft An interview with Roger Corman Stills and Poster Gallery THE TOMB OF LIGEIA Audio commentary by director and producer Roger Corman Audio commentary by star Elizabeth Shepherd All-new interviews with cast and crew
A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family.
Dive into Irwin Allen's breathtaking motion picture masterpiece - now even more spectacular in stunning Blu-ray high definition! Walter Pidgeon leads an exciting all-star cast including Joan Fontaine Barbara Eden and Peter Lorre in this timeless undersea adventure filled with dazzling visual effects and gripping suspense. During the maiden voyage of a nuclear submarine the crew is suddenly thrust into a race to save mankind from global catastrophe. But in order to succeed they must fend off enemy sub attacks a simmering on-board mutiny and an incredible array of wondrous - and dangerous - ocean creatures!
One of Alfred Hitchcock's finest pre-Hollywood films, the 1936 Secret Agent stars a young John Gielgud as a British spy whose death is faked by his intelligence superiors. Reinvented with a new identity and outfitted with a wife (Madeleine Carroll), Gielgud's character is sent on assignment with a cold-blooded accomplice (Peter Lorre) to assassinate a German agent. En route, the counterfeit couple keeps company with an affable American (Robert Young), who turns out to be more than he seems after the wrong man is murdered by Gielgud and Lorre. Dense with interwoven ideas about false names and real identities, about appearances as lies and the brutality of the hidden, and about the complicity of those who watch the anarchy that others do, Secret Agent declared that Alfred Hitchcock was well along the road to mastery as a filmmaker and, more importantly, knew what it was he wanted to say for the rest of his career. --Tom Keogh
From Jacques Tourneur director of numerous horror classics including Cat People I Walked with a Zombie and Night of the Demon comes The Comedy of Terrors – a gleefully macabre tale which brings together genre greats Vincent Price Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff. Price plays Waldo Trumbull a perpetually inebriated down-on-his-luck undertaker who has struck on an interesting way to boost business – by hastening the deaths of those whom he buries. When landlord Mr. Black (Basil Rathbone) threatens to put him out on the street for falling behind with the rent Trumbull together with his reluctant and bumbling assistant Felix Gillie (Lorre) hatches an ill-advised plan to “kill two birds with one stone” so to speak… The penultimate directorial effort from Tourneur The Comedy of Terrors bears many of the hallmarks of the master filmmaker’s earlier works whilst adding a healthy dash of humour to the proceedings. Careful – you might just die laughing!
Alfred Hitchcock himself called this 1934 British edition of his famous kidnapping story "the work of a talented amateur", while his 1956 Hollywood remake was the consummate act of a professional director. Be that as it may, this earlier movie still has its intense admirers who prefer it over the Jimmy Stewart--Doris Day version, and for some sound reasons. Tighter, wittier, more visually outrageous (back-screen projections of Swiss mountains, a whirly-facsimile of a fainting spell), the film even has a female protagonist (Edna Best in the mom part) unafraid to go after the bad guys herself with a gun. (Did Doris Day do that that? Uh-uh.) While the 1956 film has an intriguing undercurrent of unspoken tensions in nuclear family politics, the 1934 original has a crisp air of British optimism glummed up a bit when a married couple (Best and Leslie Banks) witness the murder of a spy and discover their daughter stolen away by the culprits. The chase leads to London and ultimately to the site of one of Hitch's most extraordinary pieces of suspense (though on this count, it must be said, the later version is superior). Take away distracting comparisons to the remake, and this Man Who Knew Too Much is a milestone in Hitchcock's early career. Peter Lorre makes his British debut as a scarred, scary villain. --Tom Keogh
The Maltese Falcon is still the tightest, sharpest, and most cynical of Hollywood's official deathless classics, bracingly tough even by post-Tarantino standards. Humphrey Bogart is Dashiell Hammett's definitive private eye, Sam Spade, struggling to keep his hard-boiled cool as the double-crosses pile up around his ankles. The plot, which dances all around the stolen Middle Eastern statuette of the title, is too baroque to try to follow, and it doesn't make a bit of difference. The dialogue, much of it lifted straight from Hammett, is delivered with whip-crack speed and sneering ferocity, as Bogie faces off against Peter Lorre and Sidney Greenstreet, fends off the duplicitous advances of Mary Astor, and roughs up a cringing "gunsel" played by Elisha Cook Jr. It's an action movie of sorts, at least by implication: the characters always seem keyed up, right on the verge of erupting into violence. This is a turning-point picture in several respects: John Huston (The African Queen) made his directorial debut here in 1941, and Bogart, who had mostly played bad guys, was a last-minute substitution for George Raft, who must have been kicking himself for years afterward. This is the role that made Bogart a star and established his trend-setting (and still influential) antihero persona. --David Chute END
Fritz Lang's first sound movie, the serial-killer film M, has often been voted the best German film of all time, but, until now, most of us have never seen it properly. What we have seen is a heavily cut 1950s re-edit with extra sound and music patched in, where Lang was deliberately economical with the new technology. This new "Ultimate Edition" is dominated by a marvellous restoration which is true to his intentions and oft-voiced complaints about what had been done to his best film. The young Peter Lorre is terrifyingly ordinary as the child-murderer whom police and criminals hunt down in what is still one of the best forensic police procedurals ever made, while Gustaf Grundgens has effortless charisma as the chief gangster. Lorre's Hollywood exile and decay, and Grundgens' betrayal of old friends and principles under the Nazis, merely add a layer of irony to all this. Lang's ironic cuts--a gangster's gesture is completed by his police equivalent--and dark, studio-bound cinematography make this one of the great precursors of American film noir. Simply, seen without cracks and pops and lines running down the screen, M is revealed as a true classic--a film that shames everything made in its genre since. On the DVD: M on disc has a great deal of documentary material featuring scholars and technicians telling us just how clever they have been in preparing this splendid restoration. The film also comes with a detailed commentary into which has been spliced interview material with Lang talking in English about specific sequences. There is a German-language film interview with Lang in which he talks through his career and re-enacts the interview with Goebbels that led to his exile; an audio interview with Peter Bogdanovich; and an intelligent video critical essay by film historian R Dixon Smith. The restored film is shown in its correct, unusual visual aspect ratio of 1.90:1 and has vivid cleaned-up digital mono sound: the murderer's whistling of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" has never sounded so chilling. --Roz Kaveney
Once Upon a Midnight Dreary... Although The Raven is one of Edgar Allan Poe's most famous poems the lack of a narrative hook initially stumped screenwriting legend Richard Matheson (I Am Legend The Incredible Shrinking Man Duel) until he realised that the idea of adapting the poem was so ridiculous that he might as well make it a comedy. And what a comedy! Vincent Price Peter Lorre and Boris Karloff play rival magicians whose paths cross when Dr Craven (Price) hears Dr Bedlo tap-tap-tapping on his windowpane. For Bedlo has been turned into a raven by Dr Scarabus (Karloff) and when transformed back into his old self he naturally vows revenge. But the scripted rivalry is as nothing compared to three great horror masters relentlessly upstaging each other - even a young Jack Nicholson as Bedlo's son barely gets a look-in. If there's not much authentic Poe in these sorcery shenanigans the sets and cinematography more than compensate: director Roger Corman was by then a master of conjuring Gothic atmosphere on a very modest budget. Special Features: High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of the feature transferred from original film elements by MGM Original uncompressed Mono PCM Audio Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing Peter Lorre: The Double Face Harun Farocki's 1984 documentary subtitled in English for the first time Richard Matheson: Storyteller an interview with the legendary novelist and screenwriter Corman's Comedy of Poe an interview with Roger Corman about making The Raven The Trick a short film about rival magicians by Rob Green (The Bunker) Promotional Record Stills and Poster Gallery Original Theatrical Trailer Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Vladimir Zimakov Collector's booklet featuring new writing by Vic Pratt and Rob Green illustrated with original stills and artwork
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea gets a dose of On the Beach in Irwin Allen's visually impressive but scientifically silly Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. While the Seaview, the world's most advanced experimental submarine, maneuvers under the North Pole, the Van Allen radiation belt catches fire, giving the concept "global warming" an entirely new dimension. As the Earth broils in temperatures approaching 170 degrees F, Walter Pidgeon's maniacally driven Admiral Nelson hijacks the Seaview and plays tag with the world's combined naval forces on a race to the South Pacific, where he plans to extinguish the interstellar fire with a well-placed nuclear missile. But first he has to fight a mutinous crew, an alarmingly effective saboteur, not one but two giant squid attacks, and a host of design flaws that nearly cripple the mission (note to Nelson: think backup generators). Barbara Eden shimmies to Frankie Avalon's trumpet solos in the most formfitting naval uniform you've ever seen, fish-loving Peter Lorre plays in the shark tank, gloomy religious fanatic Michael Ansara preaches Armageddon, and Joan Fontaine looks very uncomfortable playing an armchair psychoanalyst. It's all pretty absurd, but Allen pumps it up with larger-than-life spectacle and lovely miniature work. --Sean Axmaker
Tales of Terror is a trio of Edgar Allen Poe stories, starring three of horror's greats--Vincent Price, Basil Rathbone and Peter Lorre--and produced and directed by the immortal Roger Corman. The first story, "Morella", involves a girl (Debra Paget) who returns to her isolated, spooky family home to see her estranged father (Price) for the first time in 26 years. He's let the housekeeping slide a bit--cobwebs abound and, oh, yes, his dead wife is still upstairs. Peter Lorre joins the fun for "The Black Cat", a piece with comic flavour that allows Price to show his rarely seen silly side, and then it's Basil Rathbone's turn to be creepy in "The Case of M Valdemar", the tale of a mesmerist who decides to experiment with the unknown (bad idea). The movie is well paced, and makes good use of comedy without undercutting its chills. It's a rare treat to see this many masters of the genre working together and so clearly enjoying themselves. --Ali Davis
20 000 Leagues Under The Sea (Dir. Richard Fleischer 1955): An adventure based on Jules Verne's prophetic novel.... Climb aboard the Nautilus and into a strange undersea world of spellbinding adventure! Kirk Douglas Paul Lukas and Peter Lorre star as shipwrecked survivors taken captive by the mysterious Captain Nemo brilliantly portrayed by James Mason. Wavering between genius and madness Nemo has launched a deadly crusade across the seven seas. But can the captive crew expose his evil plan before he destroys the world? Disney's brilliant Academy Award-winning (1955) adaptation of Jules Verne's gripping tale makes 20 000 Leagues Under The Sea a truly mesmerizing masterpiece! Swiss Family Robinson (Dir. Ken Annakin 1960): A family fleeing from the despotic regime of Napoleon is chased off course by a band of pirates. They are then shipwrecked on a tropical island where they begin a new and adventurous life. Based on the book by Johann Wyss. One Of Our Dinosaurs (Dir. Robert Stevenson 1975): It's Nanny Hettie to the rescue when British Intelligence Agent Lord Southmere is captured by Chinese agent Hnup Wan. Hettie is the only one who knows Southmere's secret: he has stolen a piece of top-secret microfilm from a Chinese warlord and hidden it in the skeleton of a dinosaur in a London museum. Aided by a small army of fellow nannies Hettie saves the day by foiling Wan and his gang.
When a landlord is forced to pay a year's back rent ASAP he has to maintain a high turnover of tenants. To do this he has to be creative in 'disposing' of clients...
'Beat The Devil' is a wacky comedy that's played as straight as any film noir and is even funnier as a result. Five men (Bogart Lorre Morley Barnard and Tulli) are out to garner control over East African land which they believe contains a rich uranium ore lode. Billy Dannreuther (Bogart) is married to Maria (Gina Lollobrigida) the other four are their ""business associates"" and Jones and Underdown are added to the mix for some interesting diversification. As the boat leaves from
One of the most sublimely silly products to emanate from Roger Corman's studio, The Raven has the very loosest of connections with the Edgar Allen Poe poem that gives it its title and which Vincent Price intones sepulchrally at the beginning. A retiring magician, Craven (Price) has opted out of the power struggles of peers such as Dr Scarabus (Boris Karloff) to brood on his dead wife and bring up his daughter. The arrival of Bledlo (Peter Lorre), an incompetent drunk whom Scarabus has turned into the raven of the title, involves him in everything he had renounced--life is complicated further by the arrival of Bledlo's son Rexford, played by a staggeringly young Jack Nicholson. The special effects are almost perfunctory, yet the culminating magical duel between Price and Karloff is inventive and charming; this is one of those films that looks as if the actors enjoyed making it; while the script by Richard Matheson has a blithe awareness of its own shortcomings that makes it hard to dislike. On the DVD: The Raven comes to DVD with very boxy remastered mono sound, but is presented in its original widescreen 2.35:1 ratio, formatted for 16:9 TVs. The only extra is the original theatrical trailer. --Roz Kaveney
Reprising his role as Stanley the bellboy Jerry Lewis returns in The Patsy. When a star comedian dies unexpectedly the team behind the man decide to train an unknown to fill the shoes of the late comedian for a TV show. Undeniably absurd but extremely funny the film centres on the disastrous attempts by Stanley to fulfil the requirements to pass himself off as the comedian. As Stanley's big debut approaches his abilities deteriorate rapidly into a melting-pot of mayhem and slap
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