1966s Cast a Giant Shadow is based on Ted Berkmans biography of Colonel "Mickey" Marcus, the American soldier who served as an adviser in the fight to establish the state of Israel in 1948. It stars Kirk Douglas as the likeable "stiffneck" and WWII veteran persuaded to take up the cause. Israel back then was depicted as a negligible military force under threat of extinction at the hands of its Arab neighbours, hamstrung by a UN embargo on arms supplies. It takes Douglas at his most square-jawed to see off the Egyptian military and defy a blockade to beat a path through to Jerusalem. This is not cinema verité but Hollywood. Marcus dilemma--to settle into peacetime in America or follow his more natural, combative instincts abroad--is symbolised by a love triangle, involving wife Angie Dickinson and Santa Berger as Magda, the soldier whom he falls for in Palestine. Although lavish and spectacular, especially in the war scenes--filmed in the actual Middle Eastern locations in which they occurred--Cast a Giant Shadow is not entirely authentic (for a start, theyre driving 1950s vehicles in the 40s). Moreover, in the light of later troubles in the region, not everyone will be heart warmed by this depiction of plucky little Israel coping against Arab foes who are barely depicted as human throughout the film, merely as tanks and gunfire. Still, its an impressive enough relic of epic 1960s cinema, with cameos from Yul Brynner, John Wayne as Marcus wartime general, and Frank Sinatra as a pilot scattering the enemy by dropping soda dispensers on them. On the DVD: Cast a Giant Shadows restoration here is visually immaculate. The mono sound, however, is often indistinct, with a good deal of sibilant hiss. Disappointingly, the only extra is the original trailer.--David Stubbs
The musical biopic of jazz great Red Nichols features a healthy dose of melodrama along with the melodies. As the famed Dixieland cornetist he runs into opposition to his sound but breaks through to success. He marries a warm patient woman (Bel Geddes) and even finds time to raise a family. Then tragedy strikes when their daughter contracts polio. The jazzman puts down his horn to stand by her. Among the musical cameos is a hot turn by Armstrong in a duet with Kaye.
An American lawyer travels to Naples to settle the estate of his recently deceased expatriate brother. When he arrives he discovers that his sister-in-law was also killed in the accident leaving their son Marrietto in the guardianship of an aunt he hardly knows. The mutual suspicion of the two towards one another eventually turns to attraction.
This Academy Award-nominated film has the legendary Cary Grant as a government attorney who can't seem to shake his bad fortune. Living on a houseboat widowed and left with three unruly kids Tom Winters (Grant) hires Cinzia (Sophia Loren) as a governess only for her to turn his life upside down!
You'd be hard-pressed to find a bigger family film than this chaotic comedy starring Lucille Ball and Academy Award-winner Henry Fonda as the parents of eighteen (Yes, eighteen!) children. Based on a true story and co-starring Van Johnson and Tom Bosley, Yours, Mine And Ours keeps the laughs coming thick and fast!This population explosion occurs when widowed Navy nurse Helen North (Ball) meets handsome Naval officer and widower Frank Beardsley (Fonda). They have much in common - too much in fact - she has eight kids and he has ten, and when they tie the knot, anarchy reigns in the Beardsley-North merger. The opposing camps of step-siblings do all they can to sabotage each other and their parents' union. But, through it all, mother lovingly cares for her troops, while father patiently coaches his coming-of-age kids in more delicate matters, and resentment soon gives way to respect and something bigger than anyone could have imagined!
Eddie Foy a vaudeville entertainer marries Madeleine a ballerina and soon their family grows... Eddie realises that his children could help him out of a tight spot....
You'd be hard-pressed to find a bigger family film than this chaotic comedy starring Lucille Ball and Academy Award-winner Henry Fonda as the parents of eighteen (Yes eighteen!) children. Based on a true story and co-starring Van Johnson and Tom Bosley Yours Mine And Ours keeps the laughs coming thick and fast! This population explosion occurs when widowed Navy nurse Helen North (Ball) meets handsome Naval officer and widower Frank Beardsley (Fonda). They have much in commo
The Alamo (Dir. John Wayne 1960): In 1836 General Santa Anna and the Mexican Army is sweeping across Texas. To be able to stop him General Sam Huston needs time to get his main force into shape. To buy that time he orders Colonel William Travis to defend a small mission on the Mexican's route at all costs. Travis' small troop is swelled by groups accompanying Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett but as the situation becomes ever more desperate Travis makes it clear that there will be no shame if they leave while they can. The Horse Soldiers (Dir. John Ford 1959):: A Union Calvary outfit is sent behind confederate lines in strength to destroy a rail / supply centre. Along with them is sent a doctor who causes instant antipathy between him and the commander. The scret plan for the mission is overheard by a southern belle who must be taken along to ensure her silence. The Union officers each have different reason for wanting to be on the mission. Brannigan (Dir. Douglas Hickox 1975): The story of Brannigan a tough unconventional Chicago cop who trails an international racketeer to London where he finds his methods contrast sharply with those of the stiff-upper-lipped British...The Horse Soldiers Cast a Giant Shadow (Dir. Melville Shavelson 1966): After a brilliant career with the U.S. army WWII hero and Jewish American Mickey Marcus (Kirk Douglas) is called to the new state of Israel to build an army capable of withstanding its Arab foes. Against the wishes of his wife (Angie Dickinson) Mickey makes the journey and begins transforming a rag-tag underground army into a first-class fighting machine. But as the threat of war looms Mickey must also confront his growing attraction to beautiful activist Magda Simon (Senta Berger).
A Breath Of Scandal: Drawn from Sidney Howard's successful Broadway Americanization of the Molnar farce Olympia, and adapted by a then-blacklisted and uncredited Walter Bernstein, the film opens in the Austrian countryside of 1907. The widowed Princess Olympia (Loren) is living a lush, if dull, exile from the court of Frances Joseph I, banished as a result of vaguely-referenced indiscretions that have caused the royal family embarrassment. She's desperate for distraction, wh...
Rudolph Valentino was the first male sexual icon of the modern media world. For 5 years from 1921 until 1926 other men watched with envy as Valentino the quintessential Latin screen lover made women swoon over the mere thought of his embrace. This romanticised film covers the career of Valentino from his arrival in Hollywood in 1917 and his emergence in 1921 as American cinema's first great lover.
The Burns And Allen Show: This disc contains two episodes from the first season 'The Wedding' and 'The Tax Assessor' they reflect the transition of Burns and Allen from burlesque through radio to television. Recorded in front of a live audience George Burns often interrupting a sketch to do a stand up routine smoking that eternal cigar. Added to this is the surreal humour and manic confusion created by his terminally naive partner Gracie Allen. Abbott And Costello Live:
The fashion industry and Paris provide the sophisticated background for a comedy of wrong impressions. Joanne Woodward is mistaken as a high-priced call girl. Paul Newman is the journalist interviewing her for insights on her profession...
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