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1. The Egg and I
$149.99 list($14.98)
2. Ruggles of Red Gap
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3. Dangerous
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4. Atom Man vs. Superman [Serial]
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5. King of the Rocket Men [Serial]
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6. The Talk of the Town
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7. The Merry Widow
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8. Who Killed Doc Robbin?
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9. Wake of the Red Witch
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10. The Son of Kong
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11. You're Telling Me
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12. The Blue Gardenia
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13. Little Nellie Kelly
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14. The Son of Rusty
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15. Homesteaders of Paradise Valley
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16. Three Smart Girls
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17. Caught in the Draft
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19. Man Made Monster
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20. Son of Zorro [Serial]

1. The Egg and I
Director: Chester Erskine
list price: $14.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: 630310374X
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 1721
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Lots of good old fashioned laughs and fun down on the farm
This film has always been a favourite of mine. Claudette Colbert, a superb commedianne always stated that the corn ball humour of this film was not really to her liking after appearing in such sophisticated fare as "Midnight", "The Palm Beach Story" and "Skylark". In reality Claudette has never been better than in this her last really successful film after a brilliant collection of both dramas and comedys during the 30's and 40's.
Some people might call the humour "corn ball" or "un sophisticated" but it is a lot of fun and the great cast carry it off wonderfully.
The film has many funny moments, Betty and Bob (Fred McMurray) meeting the unstoppable Ma and Pa Kettle (Marjorie Main, a superb and totally underated actress, in an Oscar nominated role...she should definately have won!) for the first time, Betty's hilarious "initiation" to Kettle table manners during her first visit to Ma and Pa's for lunch complete with children to numerous to count (even Ma doesn't know all their names!!). I also love the dance sequence when Claudette gets dumped with the oddest array of local yokels as dance partners. It still gets me laughing every time.
I strongly recommend this film to those of you who like old fashioned humour. I certainly have a soft spot for it, not only because of the excellent cast and the great acting by all but because my own mother was alot like Claudette Colbert in this film, she was a sophisticated city gal who moved to the country encountering many strange and funny instances along the way in her introduction to country life. Enjoy this film!! and to quote Ma, " sit back and don't stand on no ceremony!!"

5-0 out of 5 stars Meet Ma and Pa Kettle in their first appearance.
Hop in the old truck with Bob (Fred MacMurray) and Betty (Claudette Colbert) and head for the hills of rural Washington State. Betty is unprepared for what awaits her--life on a chicken farm! Bob is gungho for the idea, but Betty has never gone near the kitchen to cook, much less to "put up all those canned goods" that Bob expects her to do! Down the road apiece live Ma and Pa Kettle and their hard-to-count-how-many children. Ma is an expert quilter and Pa is an expert borrower! You will experience life along with them going to the county fair, the weekly dances, planting a garden, everything right down to slopping the hogs. This movie is great fun to watch. I read the book, too. Try to get a copy, if you can. It is Betty's real life story. The movie is based on the book. I am sure you will be well entertained by them both.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Funny Movie Based on a Hilarious Book
"The Egg & I", a movie based on the book of the same title, is entertaining, clean( you can let the kids watch this one), and funny. It's not quite as funny as the book, though.
Claudette Colbert is perfectly cast as Betty, the convenience-loving city girl who gets much more than she bargains for when she marries Bob, who is bent on pursuing his dream of owning a chicken ranch.
The ranch turns out to be isolated and primitive even by chicken ranch standards.
Poor Betty is forced to adjust quickly, and does so reluctantly and clumsily.
Those who read the book before seeing the movie may be a little puzzled by the appearance of "the other woman", who is absent from the book.
My suggestion: Read the book, then buy the movie, but don't expect the latter to be exactly like the former.
Both are VERY worthwhile buys, though.
If you have to choose between the movie and the book, I'd suggest going for the book.
The movie is very worthwhile, especially if you want a film that the whole family can enjoy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good clean fun... recommended!
A genuinely funny, old-school comedy, featuring Fred MacMurray as a city slicker gone country boy, a white collar executive who decides to chuck it all in and become a chicken farmer, somewhere deep in the boonies, and Claudette Colbert as his long-suffering, stand-by-her-man, newlywed wife. Both actors have superb comic timing, and their chemistry together-- he blithely missing her every disatisfaction, she gulping back her exasperation -- is quite good. This was also the first movie to feature the iconic "hick" couple, Ma & Pa Kettle, a Lil Abner-ish pair who went on to make several films together after this debut. I suspect this film, however, is the best of the lot. Recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars This is very funny!
Hi. I'm Aaron ... . Not only video game expert, but movie expert. Thank you, thank you. I couldn't laugh hard enough. Betty dances with all kinds of men, meets interresting people, falls in mud, gets ditched by her husband (or so she thinks), allows people to chatter her ears off, makes mistakes all the time, watches people act like pigs, lives around lunatics (and bears it), faints in the middle of crowds, bases her life around chickens, and bears all of it. Ma and Pa Kettle are part of this movie. You should watch it! ... Read more


2. Ruggles of Red Gap
Director: Leo McCarey
list price: $14.98
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Asin: 6300987523
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 3338
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great, boisterous comedy
Charles Laughton is magnificent in this priceless comedic role as a proper English butler who is won over by the egalitarianism and joyfulness of American life. The actor's subtlety and reserve, and flawless comic timing make this one a winner. Yay, Charles Laughton!

5-0 out of 5 stars improbably profound
On first viewing this seems an unlikely choice for a conservative film list. Charles Laughton plays Marmaduke Ruggles, a proper British butler
whose dipsomaniacal master (Roland Young) loses him in a Paris poker game to a couple of social-climbing American rubes, Effie and Egbert
Floud. Mrs. Floud expects Ruggles to instruct her husband in proper manners and appropriate dress, but Mr. Floud sees him mostly as a partner in
crime, insisting that Ruggles sit and drink with him. For whatever reason, Laughton plays Ruggles with a kind of bug-eyed vacancy, staring off at
some point in space, perhaps to convey the sense that as a manservant he's not entitled to look anyone in the eyes, as if he were their equal. But
when the three travel back to Red Gap, Washington, Ruggles is greeted by the locals with democratic bonhomie and soon begins to think about
leaving service. Predictable zaniness and madcappery follow before Ruggles proves himself a worthy American and the equal of any man.

This is all handled with the typical, sometimes delightful, gusto of Hollywood's Golden Age but hardly seems remarkable. Then comes a scene that
is so absurdly moving that it's nearly embarrassing. Sitting around the local saloon, Mr. Floud, his mother, and the other patrons try remembering the
words of the Gettysburg Address but are unable to do so. Then, quietly at first, but with mounting intensity, as all attention focuses on him, Ruggles
recites the speech from memory to a hushed and obviously transported room. Laughton imbues Lincoln's words with such feeling and such hope that
it's like hearing them for the first time. The realization that this menial, who has only arrived in America by sheerest chance, has been nurturing a
quintessentially American dream of freedom is improbably but profoundly touching and elevates a pretty good film into a classic.

GRADE : A

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favorites
Ruggles Of Red Gap is a film I have seen many times and look forward to viewing again many more. It really holds up to the passing years. In its own way it is the most patriotic of movies -- much more than Sands of Iwo Jima, etc. Ruggles undergoes a slow transformation from servant-class Brit, fearful of his new life "in a land of slavery" to an American enteprenuer, running the "Anglo-American Grill" in the boomtown he is taken to. In the process he discovers confidence, egalitarianism, and a bit of working class romance. A lovely comedy of manners, poking fun at class pretensions among the newly-rich and the enui of the upper crust.

Laughton is delightful in a multi-layered characterization of a stone-faced gentleman's gentleman with a secret inner life that just begins to emerge with the encouragement of his new American friends. His quiet recitation of the Gettysburg Address is a truly magic moment in the history of American cinema.

There is so much more to this film than the average 1930's comedy. It has its screwball element, yes, but there is a real heart to it. The dialogue is tops -- so many memorable lines -- and the acting is as good as it gets.

If this film isn't a classic, nothing is.

5-0 out of 5 stars Charles Laughton is Fabulous as RUGGLES OF RED GAP
Whether you are a fan of Laughton's or not is of no consequence--you will enjoy RUGGLES OF RED GAP. His transformation from subservient valet to independent man is as engrossing and entertaining as it gets. I admit, I wasn't too sure I could imagine him in a comedic role, but he plays Ruggles superbly! His supporting cast shines as he does: Mary Boland, Zasu Pitts, and Charles Ruggles are terrific! The way Ruggles recites the Gettysberg Address at the end of the movie is unforgetable, and when all the patrons of his diner begin to sing "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow," and tears fill up in his eyes, well...it just doesn't get any better than this! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

5-0 out of 5 stars Mary Boland at Her Best; Most Gifted Comedienne of All
This film has about the best ever cast of character actors in a single film, topped by the fabulous Mary Boland, probably the most gifted comedienne of alltime ... Read more


3. Dangerous
Director: Alfred E. Green
list price: $19.98
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Asin: 6301967496
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 7596
Average Customer Review: 4.23 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (13)

4-0 out of 5 stars VINTAGE DAVIS
Bette Davis gives a stunning performance as Joyce Heath, an alcoholic stage star with a self-destructive complex. Joyce Heath is a vitally tempestuous creature who has ruined her reputation as an actress and has come to be regarded in her profession as something of a jinx. Theatrically blacklisted, she has become an alcoholic in the depths of her own self-destruction. One night, while drinking herself into a hole in a seedy bar, she is noticed by wealthy architect Don Bellows (Franchot Tone); Heath has been idolized by Bellows ever since he saw her play Juliet years before. Don takes Heath under his wing, bringing her to his house in the country and a inevitable love affair ensues. The character of Joyce Heath gave Davis an oppurtunity to convey all of the most instense emotions of which she was capable, from anxiety to zealousness, including liberal amounts of her famous screen bitchiness. The script is rather weak and mawkish at times and the film is almost totally carried by Davis, who uses all her well-known acting tricks to make her character come alive. Alison Skipworth is amusing as Mrs.Williams, Bellows cook who tells Franchot confidentially that Davis is indeed "dangerous". Ernest Haller's photography is justly praised; in the middle of the film, Davis is beautifully photographed, and her scenes with Tone (playing cards and eating homemade toffee) are incredibly spontaneous and realistic. Margaret Lindsay plays socialite Gail Armitage to whom Bellows is engaged (and eventually marries) and she gives a typical "stock" performance. Davis gives an Oscar worthy performance yet she is the only thing this movie has going for it; the character of Gordon Heath is unbelievably lame and the ending is unsatisfactory and banal to say the least. DANGEROUS was a success at the box office and it was one of Warner's biggest money-makers for 1935.

4-0 out of 5 stars HIGH VOLTAGE BETTE.
It has been widely implied that the Academy Award given to Bette Davis for her performance in this mediocre film was actually a consolation prize for her electrifying performance as Mildred Rogers in OF HUMAN BONDAGE - which was filmed the year before. Although this 1935 film reeks of soap & has a really corny ending, you can get fixated watching LaDavis - still in her blonde period - act everyone off the screen. For her performance alone, DANGEROUS is worth sitting through: otherwise it would be considered a hackeneyed, mawkish piece of vintage trash. Bette plays Joyce Heath, a once-esteemed theatre actress who's drifted into the seedy life of alcholism and self-pity. One night, while drinking cheap gin in a dive, she's recognised by a young, promising architect named Don Bellows, who takes her under his wing and encourages the once-great actress to make a come-back... Davis is astonishingly electrifying in her playing: one can see why she was a fascination to 1935 moviegoers! Mind you, not everyone was a Davis devotee, but her highly charged, energetic personality was nigh impossible to ignore once seen on the silver screen. The middle of the film contains the best scenes, and there's a genuine - if somewhat unusual - chemistry between Davis and Tone. Margaret Lindsay does well enough as classy Gail Armitage who tells Bellows that "a secret's a secret". Franchot Tone isn't as bad as other reviewers have stated; he certainly had a fine speaking voice. As the almost unbearably mealy Gordon Heath, one wants to slap John Eldredge's face: an unbelievable entry in the cut-my-arm-off-if-it-will-help-you martyr sweepstakes. As a trivial footnote, the final working title of the film (after about seven inadequate ones) was HARD LUCK DAME. It was Davis herself who came up with naming the film DANGEROUS. Forgettably remade in 1941 - again by Warners - as SINGAPORE WOMAN with Brenda Marshall & directed by the later esteemed Jean Negulesco.

3-0 out of 5 stars A BITTER BETTE STEALS THE SHOW...
Bette Davis won an Oscar for her deft portrayal of Joyce Heath, a former Broadway star who made a meteoric rise to the top and, just as quickly, hit bottom. Believed to be a jinx by a superstitious theatre crowd, Heath is bad news, a sloppy, bitter drunk who drowns her sorrows in gin soaked jags of self pity. The former brightest star on Broadway is now a bottom feeder, living on the skids.

Enter Don Bellows, played with earnest sincerity by Franchot Tone, a fan of Heath when she was at her peak. He claims that a performance of hers, which he saw, forever changed his life, allowing him to become the architect he always dreamed of being, rather than a stockbroker. One day, he sees Ms. Heath in a gin joint, totally in her cups. Sending his friend and his fiancee, Gail, home, he returns to the gin joint and takes Joyce Heath to his country home to rehabilitate her in repayment for the tremendous difference that she had, unknowingly, made in his life. What he does not count on is falling in love with her.

The bitter Joyce initially resists his attempts to get her back on the road to recovery, but ultimately responds to his nurturing and concern for her welfare. Recovered, she finds that she has fallen in love with him and he with her. His passion for her causes him to break off his engagement with Gail, his socially prominent fiancee.

Wanting to help Joyce regain the stardom that she previously had and that her thespian talent demands, Don backs a broadway show that he believes will allow her to regain her rightful place on Broadway. He does this, despite her protestations that she has brought only ruin to those men who had the misfortune to fall in love with her. He also insists that she marry him. His simple, though insistent, marriage proposal sets into motion a sequence of events that he could not possibly have envisioned. Enter Gordon Heath, a blast from Joyce's secret past, who must be dealt with, if Joyce is to find any happiness with Don. How she deals with him, however, sets her down a path out of one's worst nightmare. Subsequent events later make Don realize that Joyce is truly "dangerous".

Bette Davis is dazzling in her role. She runs the gamut of human emotions in playing the role of Ms. Heath and, deservedly, won what was to be the first of two Academy Awards for Best Actress. Franchot Tone is fine in his role, but what on earth the studio saw in him, I cannot fathom. He is certainly no heartthrob and is not even particularly charismatic. The role of Gordon Heath, played with simpering masochism by John Eldridge, makes the viewer marvel at the restraint Joyce had in dealing with him, as Eldridge's portrayal makes the viewer's fingers itch with the urge to slap him numerous times.

Unfortunately, the sizzle in the movie fizzles, when the film gives in towards the end to utter sanctimonious banality. It is too bad, given the performance by Ms. Davis, as it could have been a great movie. Still, this is a must see film for all Davis fans.

4-0 out of 5 stars Early Davis shines in pre stardom Oscar winning role
Made during her "apprenticeship", at Warner Bros, when she was forced to appear in many highly forgettable film roles, "Dangerous", was definately the standout in so far as it provided the young and driven Bette Davis with a character worthy of her dramatic efforts. As Davis herself stated about this film "I saw potential in the role of Joyce Heath, realised the pot holes in the story and had to work like ten dogs to stop it from getting bogged down in treacle!". Work she did, and very well indeed, being rewarded for her efforts with the 1935 Best Actress Academy Award.

Viewed today "Dangerous", while highly entertaining and featuring a terrific performance by Bette Davis, is very obvious in its weaknesses and contains alot of situations and dialogue that really dont ring true. Nevertheless it is an important film in the career of Davis in that it revealed what she was capable of achieving when time and effort was spent on preparing her films a little better than previously.It tells the story of acclaimed actress Joyce Heath who finds herself a jinx on both the people in her life and in any production she is involved in. Going from being the shining light of Broadway she finds herself in the alchoholic gutter with no friends and no career. A chance encounter with rich architect Don Bellows (Franchot Tone in a good but poorly written role) changes her circumstances as Bellows is immediately attracted to her and becomes her champion in all things. Despite being engaged to be married to lovely socialite Gail Armitage (Margaret Lindsay)he determines to restore Joyce's life as once, she (unknowingly), inspired him to better himself and explore his artistic side in the field of architecture. Taken by Don to sober up at his country estate Joyce, a chronic drinker first resents and verbally attacks Don however as she sees the importance he places on getting her life back in order she responds and finds herself falling in love with him despite warning him of her jinx on men and that she will always be "dangerous", to any person who comes close to her. Don decides to bank roll her return to Broadway and on the eve of the first night it seems that the jinx is again at work when it is discovered that Joyce actually is married and cannot obtain a divorce after Don asks her to marry him after the first night of the play. In an insane rage Joyce tries to kill her sickly devoted husband Gordon (John Eldredge) after he refuses to divorce her and thus jeopardizes the production due to open. It's only after this diseaster and when Don has gone and finally married Gail that Joyce realises that others are important and then attempts to right the terrible wrong she has done to both her now crippled husband and the many peope in the Broadway comunity that had faith in her.

Vintage soap opera? Maybe, but acted with a conviction by Bette Davis that does make us believe the improbable situations occuring. The supporting cast also score great acting points in their various roles. Franchot Tone who never really settled into the Hollywood acting situation has a difficult role to play here as on one side of things he must be a capable business type who is obviously an astute individual while on the reverse having to play a character that really wouldn't probably get involved in the situation he finds himself in. He does well playing Bellows but alot of his situation fails to really ring true. Margaret Lindsay is delightful as Don's spurned fiance but once again her character as written is perhaps a little too excepting of the situation with Joyce to be regarded as totally realistic. Veteran character actress Alison Skipworth as Mrs. Williams, Don's house keeper really scores as a crusty individual who really stands up to Joyce's drunken ravings and helps put her on the course back to respectability. The look of the production has a rich other worldly feel about it as was typical of movie making in the 1930's. It reveals an almost too glamourous world of smart cars, beautiful clothes, palatial country houses and city apartments. Just the tonic for depression weary movie goers in 1935.

I personally love this early performance by Bette Davis a few years before her great period of stardom began. Her great commanding star presence is very obvious even here. I regard "Dangerous", as vital to include in any Bette Davis collection and what you see is raw vital talent that within a few years would be refined in a number of unforgettable performances that are as vivid today as they were 60 years ago. Unrealistic as it may be at times "Dangerous", is highly entertaining viewing and shouldn't be missed when exploring the formidable collection of work by the legendary Bette Davis.

3-0 out of 5 stars Obvious Melodrama
Bette Davis stars in this melodrama as Joyce Heath, an actress that has been labeled a jinx due to the hard luck that befalls the men in her life and the productions she is associated with. Once considered that brightest, rarest talent of her generation, she is reduced to an embarrassed alcoholic, unable to get work. She is rescued by Franchot Tone, an architect and fan who wants to rehabilitate. He's engaged to society girl Margaret Lindsay, who knows nothing of his "humanitarian" deeds. Needless to say, Tone falls for Davis, and he begins to discover why his housekeeper Alison Skipworth has warned him against her ... she is dangerous. You can't say Davis doesn't go for it with this performance. She chews the scenery in her drunk and bitter scenes. She is more subdued and effective in the quieter scenes, when she reveals her character's vulnerability. Tone is alright, not really making much of an impression, while Lindsay is boring in a badly written role that she does nothing with. The screenplay is weak and obvious, and the melodrama came on too strong for my tastes. I never really felt that these were real people, but rather just plot devices to keep the story moving along. But Davis does help to keep it watchable. You sort of get the impression she knew how bad this was, so she did whatever she could to salvage the film. ... Read more


4. Atom Man vs. Superman [Serial]
Director: Spencer Gordon Bennet
list price: $19.99
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Asin: 6301536797
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 22956
Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
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Description

Criminal genius Lex Luthor has Metropolis at his mercy. Can he crush Superman with his fiendish inventions? Find out as this live-action, 15 chapter serial whisks you breathlessly along. Kirk Alyn stars. Year: 1950 Director: Spencer Gordon Bennet Starring:Kirk Alyn, Tommy Bond, Noel Neill ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Super Exciting
Okay, with the Superman movies and Smallville this seems a little cheesy. The special effects are a little cheesy, Kirk Alyn is a little cheesy Superman with a goofy smile, but a pretty good Clark Kent. Then why did I give this five stars, because it is very entertaining. The 40's Superman is not the one I know, but good story telling and cliff hangers make this worth wild. Second all, this may be the best incarnation (at least pre-crisis) Lex Luthor ever one on screen. A great buy!

4-0 out of 5 stars A serial sequel that's better than the first
ATOM MAN VS. SUPERMAN (1950), the second of two 15-chapter Superman serials, is far superior to its predecessor, SUPERMAN (1948). For one thing, it drops the ridiculous Spider Lady idea and gives Superman a formidable comic book-style villain in his familiar archnemesis, Lex Luthor (well-played by Lyle Talbot). Luthor keeps Superman and the Daily Planet constantly on their toes, coming up with inventive new threats in every episode. If it isn't a "directional cyclotron" causing earthquakes in one, it's an atomic missile headed for Metropolis in another. And Superman gets to do a lot more Superman-like feats of derring-do in this serial. In an ingenious touch, the makers incorporate all sorts of actual disaster footage into the action--flood, fire, earthquake, bridge collapse--and have Superman plunge in to rescue victims.

As in the previous serial, the super effects are created using cartoon animation, so whenever Superman takes off to fly he becomes a cartoon figure. This animation is used more imaginatively and in a wider set of actions than in the first one. In one spectacular moment, an animated Superman picks up a live-action miniature truck from a raging flood. And there's one jaw-dropping sequence in outer space that relies on animation.

The same actors return to play Superman/Clark Kent (Kirk Alyn), Lois Lane (Noel Neill), Jimmy Olsen (Tommy Bond) and Perry White (Pierre Watkin). Unlike the first serial, the spunky Lois gets some costume changes this time around. She also goes to work at a Metropolis TV station at one point, serving as on-camera talent doing man-on-the-street interviews in the early days of the medium! Overall, it's so filled with clever and imaginative touches that it ranks not only as one of the finest serials this reviewer's ever seen, but as one of the best examples of filmed Superman ever.

4-0 out of 5 stars ATOM MAN VS. SUPERMAN
A good action serial with the KING of super heroes, SUPERMAN! The second of two Superman serials with KIRK ALYN as Supes, wearing a costume reminiscent of the later TV George Reeves'. The title being that of the RADIO show's story that in many ways is better than this serial or ANY screen work of Superman. The Atom Man in the RADIO story was a kryptonite powered Nazi who could create kryptonite lightning from his hand, nearly killing Superman several times. In THIS SERIAL, he's LEX LUTHOR who has a teleportation machine, that smacks of STAR TREK in a way, YEARS BEFORE Trek was thought of! NOT that people ' glitter ' when they teleport in or out in this movie. The criminals use this ability to escape Superman. There's super feats here too. FLYING is shown as a satisfactorily cartooned figure for long shots that some think is garbage and others like myself think is COOL. Think of this serial as a long 50's TV Reeves episode with similar level effects. The theme music is cool too. Alyn looked more like Superman than any screen actor one except for Christopher Reeve, the blockbuster movie guy. If you just want modern COLOR and blockbuster effects, this is'nt for you. It's a gem though and no one should miss KIRK ALYN as Superman, the FIRST actor in the role. Lois Lane is played by NOEL NIEL who was TV's main Lois later and she plays it even more as a weak, girl in trouble who could'nt rip her way out of a wet paper bag than she did in the TV series! Other reviews here probably tell you who else was in it, so I won't repeat it here.

5-0 out of 5 stars SUPERMAN FANS MUST SEE THIS FILM!
One of the greatest of the classic serial films, ATOM MAN VS SUPERMAN has it all: space ships, evil criminals, action packed cliffhangers, and "the empty Doom" weapon. This movie shows the Man of Steel against Lex Luthor in a top notch adventure. Kirk Alyn is the best as Superman(next to Christopher Reeve)and Lyle Talbot steals the show as the mad genius-Lex Luthor. My only complaint is that the title villain never actually fights Superman, he just appears in a couple scenes. However, this classic is a valuable addition to any Man of Steel fan's collection.

4-0 out of 5 stars WELL WORTH OWNING
400% BETTER THAN THE FIRST SUPERMAN SERIAL. IF THE SPECIAL EFFECTS WERN'T SO CHEESY, THIS WOULD BE 5 STARS. LYLE TALBOT AS LUTHOR STEALS THE SHOW. AFTER HEARING KIRK ALYN SAY "THIS LOOKS LIKE A JOB FOR SOOOOOPERMAN" A FEW TIMES YOU'LL REALIZE WHY GEORGE REEVES IS THE DEFINITIVE SUPERMAN. ... Read more


5. King of the Rocket Men [Serial]
Director: Fred C. Brannon
list price: $19.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6300210014
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 32784
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

3-0 out of 5 stars The Original Rocketeer
Republic loved to have kings in its movies (Roy Rogers, the king of the cowboys) and serials (King of the Texas Rangers, King of the Forest Rangers, King of the Rocket Men), usually because the serial hero has that last name (as with Rocket Men, Jeff King). Maybe it started when the studio did the serial version of "King of the Royal Mounted." The studio used the same excellent flying effects by the Lydecker brothers that had been used in its earlier "Captain Marvel" serial. Rocket Man's flying suit and jet pack proved such an enduring image that Republic used it again in two unrelated serials ("Radar Men from the Moon" and "Flying Disc Man from Mars," each featuring a different actor and character, not to mention a short-lived "Commando Cody" TV series) -- so much so that the relatively-recent "Rocketeer" movie did it for a new generation. But the original is still the most fun.

5-0 out of 5 stars The original Rocketeer is a blast for serial fans
Tristram Coffin (in an unusual heroic role) dons a cutting-edge flying suit to become crime-busting Rocket Man. Whenever the power-hungry criminal strikes, the ubiquitous Rocket Man is there. (There's really only ONE Rocket Man in this 1949 serial; his surname happens to be King.) The action is impressively staged: when Rocket Man soars across the skies and leaps into a moving truck, for example, the effect is dazzling. The serial plays like a live-action comic book, and this is one cliffhanger in which the villain actually succeeds in carrying out his master plan (find out for yourself how much he gets away with!). Action fans will get a big kick out of this.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
It cost me 19.95 and it was worth it! A uprising plot, great fight scences and oh-yeah Rocketman!Awesome special effects too, Would reccomend to complete strangers on a street corner! And unlike many serials it is not all that long, only about 2 1/2 hours and I can watch it in one afternoon again.. and again.. and again... ... Read more


6. The Talk of the Town
Director: George Stevens
list price: $19.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6302806348
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 11256
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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The screwball comedy was the definitive genre of the Depression, but as America edged toward war in the early '40s, it suffered some strange and wonderful mutations--none stranger than The Talk of the Town, directed by George Stevens from a script by novelist Irwin Shaw and frequent Capra collaborator (and future blacklist victim) Sidney Buchman. Cary Grant, awkwardly cast, is a small-town political agitator who is framed for the burning of a local factory; he takes refuge in the attic of a country cottage that landlady Jean Arthur is preparing to rent out to a celebrated law professor (silver-tongued Ronald Colman, perhaps the only actor in Hollywood who could make Grant look like a proletarian). Stevens, suspended between his light '30s style (Swing Time) and his heavy postwar manner (A Place in the Sun), struggles to balance a charming, surprisingly suspenseful romantic triangle with the heavy, debating-society tone of the screenplay, which pits Grant, the representative of a compassionate, emotional sense of justice, against the cool, abstract application of the law advocated by Colman. Caught between these two highly verbal characters, Jean Arthur doesn't have much to do but be adorable and provide the occasional quizzical reaction shot--two things she does with exquisite skill. Stevens and Arthur teamed up again one year later for another strange-bedfellows farce, the marvelous The More the Merrier; in 1953 Arthur made her final film appearance in Stevens's Shane. --Dave Kehr ... Read more

Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty good mix of a serious topic and comedy...
Sometimes I am tempted to describe this movie as having split personality disorder. On one level, it seems to be a lighthearted comedy with a love triangle between Cary Grant, Ronald Coleman, and Jean Arthur. And on another level, it aims to deal with deeper issues like the role of the law in society, etc, etc. But, actually, I think a more accurate way to describe this movie would be as a late screwball comedy. During the WWII years, screwball comedy, which had been so carefree in the depression, began to take on more serious issues, leading to movies like this one - strange mixes of the screwball spirit and deeper concerns.

Regardless of its strange synthesis of screwball and serious issues, however, The Talk of the Town is a classic, and a great movie! Essentially, it is about a small town rebel (Cary Grant, in an uncharacteristic role) who escapes from prision after being wrongly accused of arson and murder. He comes across a former friend (Jean Arthur) and stays with her, posing as the gardener when a law professor (Ronald Coleman) comes to rent her house. There are many hilarious situations in the house, but the movie also discussed the role of the law in society and whether law should be interpreted coldly and to the letter or have a more personal application.

The acting is very good. Cary Grant, though in a strange role, proves his talent as a more dramatic actor (and also shows off his incredible comedic skills). Even though he was ignored by the Oscars for years, Grant really was a spectacular actor - he just wasn't given enough credit because he tended to make it all look so easy. Ronald Coleman is also good as his urbane, cold rival, and Jean Arthur is great - her reactions steal scene after scene!

Anyhow, this movie is very good. Although it is somewhat of a strange mix, it is quite enjoyable and typical of the semi-screwball comedies from the war years. Get this and enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars VINTAGE HOLLYWOOD COMEDY
THE TALK OF THE TOWN manages with equal ease to deal with love and law. As the principal object of love, Jean Arthur unexpectedly finds herself hiding an escaped arsonist in her attic. As the principal object of the law, Cary Grant plays the alleged arsonist. On neutral ground, at the start, stands Ronald Colman as a distinguished dean of a law school. But before the film is over, the dean loses his detatched academic attitude towards both love and law, and even gets involved with a blonde manicurist. Grant meets his comeuppance throught his peculiar taste for a Polish soup made with eggs and beets. Jean Arthur had the unique distinction of playing her final love scenes in the U.S. Supreme Court Building! Bright and literate, this Columbia comedy from 1942 has its head in the clouds & its feet on the ground. According to a 1942 report done in VARIETY, Grade "A" movies were beating box-office records since 1927. This was partly due to the fact that better movies were now being made and a natural wartime desire for escapist entertainment (in the thirties, the reason being the Great Depression, naturally). Most of Hollywood's extra profits, however, were going up the river in extra war taxes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Stars, Great movie!
This movie includes three of my very favourite movie stars, Cary Grant, Jean Arthur and Ronald Colman.

The basic story is that Cary Grant is an innocent prisoner who escapes from prison. He hides out at his friends house (Jean Arthur) because he has been hurt from his escape. He then has to hide from Ronald Colman who is renting the house for the summer. Colman is a Supreme Court candidate. Cary wants to prove his innocence, but instead of hiding away from Colman forever, he pretends he is the gardener. I wont give away the rest.

It really is a fantastic movie. One of the best. The acting is brilliant and with three top stars like these, you couldnt ask for much more. But you do get more! Its directed by one of the greatest, George Stevens.

The print on this DVD is nice too and it has very clear sound throughout the film.

A perfect combination of stars here, and a really great story. Well directed, well written, and one you can watch over and over again.

Highly recommended to anybody who has any taste in movies at all. Brilliant!

PLEASE NOTE: Owner of the Region 2 DVD. However, this one appears to be no different.

4-0 out of 5 stars I would have given it five, but for one little detail...
If you don't want to know the ending, read no further.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, at least the first hour and fifty-seven minutes of it. The last minute was the most tragic thing I've seen since A Tale of Two Cities. Why, why, why did Nora go off with a loser like Dilg? Obviously, he was not a man to settle down and behave himself. He didn't even have a vision or dream that made his strangeness admirable. I thought he looked very dark and sinister most of the time and there was absolutely nothing about him that made me want her to end up with him.

Ronald, on the other hand, was everything she needed, and if she was smart, she would have snapped him up. I certainly would have. He was intelligent, stable, and madly in love with her.

Anyway, you get the idea of my feelings about the two main fellers - Nora Shelley was cute, if a little silly at times (and very idiotic in the last couple minutes of the film).

As for the film itself: It was full of great moments. The egg-falling-on-the-newspaper scene was hilarious. The borscht with egg in it was also amusing. It was over all good story, filmed well, told well. I also enjoyed the part when Lightcap was trying to get information out of Miss Bush. He was so artless about it, as well he might be - he probably never went out with a woman before in his life. Which is why he was an awfully stiff dancer, too.

So anyway, I'm sure by now you've figured the little detail that cost my rating of this film one star - JEAN WENT OFF WITH THE WRONG MAN IN THE END!!

I expect this probably isn't the best review ever and that I'll receive lots of flak from Cary Grant fans, and that is O-K. I still like Ronnie better.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Talk of The Town!
I saw this movie on TCM, it was on very late and I wound up staying up really late to watch it. It is a good movie and I think Cary Grant, Ronald Colman and Jean Arthur were very good. The Talk of the Town is definitely a classic movie I could buy for my DVD collection and I highly recommend it to any fans of these actors! ... Read more


7. The Merry Widow
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
list price: $14.95
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Asin: 6301973380
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 6322
Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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Ernst Lubitsch's last musical teamed him with his two favorite performers, Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald. It proved to be his last picture with either of the stars. Working with screenwriter Samson Raphaelson, he transformed the operetta that Erich von Stroheim had made in 1925 as a lavish silent melodrama into a frothy farce with wit, understatement, and a modicum of sexual innuendo. Chevalier stars as Danilo, the playboy captain of the guards sent to Paris to woo back the wealthy widow Sonia (MacDonald), whose purse strings control the kingdom's economy and could ruin it if she marries one of her doting French suitors. A merry game of mistaken identities, sparring romantics, and the teasing of would-be lovers lands Danilo in jail for treason and with true love his only hope. Chevalier plays his role with good cheer, gusto, and an ear-to-ear grin that wins over every lady on the screen, and MacDonald is at her sassy, sexy best, before her all-American image took hold in the Nelson Eddy musicals. From the opening shot, where a magnifying glass is brought to a map of Europe to pick out the tiny Kingdom of Marshovia, Lubitsch is in fine if somewhat restrained form, toning down his driest humor for the more stolid but luxurious MGM style. But he still sneaks in a couple of precode zingers: "Have you ever had diplomatic relations with a woman?" asks Ambassador Edward Everett Horton. Chevalier's sly smile is all the answer needed. --Sean Axmaker ... Read more

Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Jeanette MacDonald in her greatest role
THE MERRY WIDOW is arguably Jeanette MacDonald's finest film, and is still regarded as one of the greatest musicals ever made by MGM.

The story concerns one widow, Sonia (Jeanette MacDonald), a beautiful young woman who owns 52% of the small kingdom of Marshovia. Sonia lives a life consisting of black dresses, black shoes, black corsets and black veils...even a black dog. Sonia decides to flee to the gay city of Paris, and swaps her dull attire for a new wardrobe, and a new outlook.

The King of Marshovia (Edward Everett Horton) and his flirtatious Queen (Una Merkel) decide to dispatch the handsome Count Danilo (Maurice Chevalier) to Paris in order to woo Sonia and her millions back into Marshovia...but Sonia has a few tricks up her own sleeves!

Filled with the timeless music of Franz Lehar's score, THE MERRY WIDOW is joyously directed by legendary Ernst Lubitsch, and Jeanette MacDonald literally sparkles in designer Adrian's lavish costumes.

Later re-made starring Lana Turner, Fernando Lamas and Una Merkel (refer to my review for this).

5-0 out of 5 stars VILIA AND OTHER DELIGHTS.
A bankrupt king orders a nobleman to court a wealthy American widow. For lovers of vintage operettas, this 1934 film is one to cherish. The Franz Lehar masterpiece began life in Vienna in 1905 and it was an instant smash hit. It was first brought to the American stage in 1907, made into a lost silent with Alma Reubens and Wallace Reid in 1912, and brought true stardom to the eccentric Mae Murray in Erich Von Stoheim's 1925 version which co-starred John Gilbert. Grace Moore was originally to play Sonia, but she wouldn't accept second billing to Maurice Chevalier. This sparkling, frothy, funny and tuneful movie is a delight, and MacDonald shows a fine flair for comedy: she snaps off her lines with Lombard-like aplomb and expertise. Chevalier was a huge star at the time, and although he was never too crazy about Jeanette, their pairing here is near perfection.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Cinematic Delight
In spite of what's been said of the mutual dislike felt by both stars in real life, Chevalier and MacDonald's chemistry onscreen is absolutely undeniable, and certainly here, they're in top form as Count Danilo and Sonia, the not-so-merry-widow of the title. This is the best filmed version of a romantic "Graustarkian" or "Ruritanian" Operetta (which in this case takes place in the Kingdom of "Marshovia") that I've ever seen, thanks mainly to the "Lubitsch touch". Great dialogue, perfectly paced, expertly cast and with some very funny pre-code risqué situations (most notably the scene, at the beginning of the film, between the king, the queen and Count Danilo, in the formers' bedroom, delightful!). Great supporting cast, especially Edward Everett Horton as the ambassador, George Barbier, as the king, and Una Merkel, what a sexy and flirtatious queen!. MacDonald wears some stunning outfits by Adrian. A must for vintage musical lovers.

4-0 out of 5 stars "Are You Pretty, or Beautiful?"
What a line to run by a woman! Wow, that Maurice Chevalier was something else. Jeanette McDonald would have to be made of ice not to melt under his charms, and of course, she succumbs without much of a fight after all.

She's the not-so-merry widow at the outset of our story, the richest widow in this mythical kingdom. Then she bolts and leaves the country for gay Paree (where we see her at her merriest and gayly clad), so a secret diplomatic mission is underway: Captain Danilo must woo her and wed her to keep her millions in the country! Lots of playful intrigue as both he and she pretend to be different people at different times having different feelings than they do, before (sniff!) feelings get hurt and Widow Sonia rejects her suitor. But this is a comedy, so checkmate at last.

Visually a beautiful film, "The Merry Widow" disappointed me musically. I thought Jeanette did not do justice to her songs, although the bits that Maurice had were handled with charm and swagger. It's his picture, really. Having only seen him as an old man in "Gigi", I had no idea what sex appeal he possessed in his youth. I think every man who wishes to be an operator has got to check out this ultra charming man--I'd love to be deceived by him!

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the last, great Pre-Code musical comedy gems
This utterly delightful film stands as the ultimate condemnation for the shameful censorship that the Hays office would soon inflict on the movies. THE MERRY WIDOW was one of the very last Pre-Code films to be released before Hollywood was forced to mute all sexuality, prove in every film that crime didn't pay, and purify all on screen language of all improprieties. After 1934, all sex was decidedly nonsexual, married couples always slept in twin beds (full sized beds were banned as being too suggestive), criminals died or were arrested by the end of each gangster film, and all forms of naughtiness were ejected from the movies.

THE MERRY WIDOW would never have passed muster for the Hays office. Edward Everett Horton and Maurice Chevalier embrace and are assumed to be a gay couple by a police officer. One of the most important scenes in the film takes place in a brothel (Maxim's), and Jeanette MacDonald pretends to be a courtesan. The movie is laced with suggestive jokes and sexual interplay. And not only is there a king sized bed in the king and queen's bedroom, Chevalier and MacDonald make out on a day bed reserved for trysts between prostitutes and customers in Maxim's.

None of this would, however, rise above merely sociological interest except for the deft direction of Ernst Lubitsch. Like many of his best films, THE MERRY WIDOW is very nearly a textbook on how to construct a movie. Lubitsch did so many things so well, that it is difficult to focus on any one aspect of his virtuosity. No other comedic director in the history of cinema possessed his mastery of filmmaking. One could argue, in fact, that he and Hitchcock were the greatest masters of cinematic technique in the history of American cinema. There is an unbelievable tightness to his films, and this is especially true of THE MERRY WIDOW. His ability to transition from one scene to another is frequently breathtaking. He does so many things with so little apparent effort, that his mastery is sometimes easy to overlook. And whether working with a supporting cast of hundreds, with music, with huge sets, or with intimate comedy, Lubitsch was always in control of every aspect of the film.

One of Lubitsch's greatest gifts as a director of great comedy was his ability to surprise his viewers over and over. For instance, the king discovers that Maurice Chevalier has been romancing the queen. Instead of being an outraged and jealous husband, he is concerned that the servants not be aware of the scandal. The conversations that ensue are some of the most delightful that you could ever hope to find in the movies. Unfortunately, had this film been made in 1935 instead of 1934, the Hays office would probably have eliminated most of the dialog.

This movie is a must see for anyone who loves the history of film, who appreciates the work of one of cinemas greatest masters, and who loves a great film. But most of all, it should be seen by anyone who loves a delightful, funny, and just a tad risqué musical comedy. ... Read more


8. Who Killed Doc Robbin?
Director: Bernard Carr
list price: $4.99
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Asin: 6304979983
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 33882
Average Customer Review: 1 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

1-0 out of 5 stars Hal Roach drops a bomb
A few years after M-G-M dropped the "Our Gang" series, producer Hal Roach made a half-hearted attempt to revive the format, with a new cast. "Who Killed Doc Robbin" is the second (and last) of these lame efforts, and one star is just about one too many for this piece of junk. If you are expecting to see anything even vaguely resembling "Our Gang", forget it. In "Who Killed Doc Robbin", a woefully untalented cast muddles its way through one of the most boring screenplays ever concocted, with the whole thing filmed in poor-quality color. It doesn't appear to be a comedy, because it isn't funny at all. Perhaps it was intended to be a mystery, but the only real mystery here is how a top-notch producer like Hal Roach could have become involved in this wretched piece of tripe. This film is not just bad, it's virtually unwatchable. ... Read more


9. Wake of the Red Witch
Director: Edward Ludwig
list price: $14.98
our price: $14.98
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Asin: 6302689376
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 28929
Average Customer Review: 3.22 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (9)

3-0 out of 5 stars An old sea yarn
This tale is narrated from the perspective of the first mate of "The Red Witch" when the incidents at the beginning of the film occur. Of all the characters in this tale, the narrator seems to have the most dignity. None of the characters are lacking in pride, and all but the women are greedy.

For a sea yarn set in the late 1800s, the sea captain has to be a bit of a rogue and a rascal, but still possess heart. This is difficult, in my opinion, for John Wayne. I have seen him in too many movies where he is the gallant working to save the day here. In this movie, he is trying to play a conniving sea captain, and I can't get past my image of him. This will make it difficult to understand his character.

To look at the story, the box is a little off. It places the focus where the movie does not focus its attention. The attention is on the relationship between Captain Ralls (Wayne) and Sidneye (Adler). Both are greedy, but have to have the other to give life some meaning. Parts of the story seem add a love story to bring in a wider audience, but it really doesn't flow, nor does it fit the story.

I would not go out of my way to see this movie, but if it happened to be on, I would give it a view.

2-0 out of 5 stars Widescreen????
People are wondering why this movie is presented in Full-Screen format. The answer is simple...Widescreen movies weren't made until 1953. This movie was made in 1949. All movies made until 1953 were filmed in the 4:3 ratio. When TV came along, and used the same ratio for picture tubes, the movie execs came up with a wide format to lure back moviegoers.

So, if you see a movie release on DVD, and it was made before 1953, don't look for it in wide screen...

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Duke, good DVD, but are we missing wider format?
Here's a Duke movie to like. This DVD, which has been previoulsy released, is full screen. Whether or not widescreen was in regular use, it seens obvious to me there's more information on the sides. I saw a wider version on, I think, TCM, also colorized. I don't think it's just a matter of chopping the top and bottom off the full screen version and making it look wider. I think there is more information out there. So given the excellent movie at its heart, it would be nice to have whatever extra picture there is. This is a story that can take advantage of wideness. Apart from that, it's a Duke DVD for every collection, a good story, nice effects and the video transfer and sound are very good. You'll like it. But watch for the wider, colorized version to be broadcast and tape it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good John Wayne
It's in full screen instead of widescreen. As a result this good, fun movie loses some of its visual spendor. Also, it's the original BW version. Still, right now it's the only version available. The picture and sound are fine on DVD but look elsewhere for the widescreen and the computer colorized version, which shows up on satellite TV now and then.

4-0 out of 5 stars The DUKE and Gail, together again!
After the classic "Angel and the Badman", DUKE and Gail Russell paired again for this effort, "Wake of the Red Witch".

A tale of the effects revenge, greed, and bittnerness can have on people, the story traces the duel of words and intrigue between two men; Captain Ralls (The DUKE), and shipping magnate Mayrant Sidneye.

DUKE skippers Sidneye's prize ship, the Red Witch, and purposely wrecks her in a plan to cheat Sidneye out of a cargo of gold. Turns out that Sidneye had plotted to steal away DUKE's girl, Angelique Desaix (played by the lovely and angelic Gail Russell).

Tricking DUKE into a fatal confrontation with the girl's father, Sidneye is able to marry Angelique before The DUKE can set things right. This leads to her unhappiness, and The DUKE takes revenge on Sidneye by wrecking the Red Witch.

A wonderful study of greed, revenge, and redmption, we see the tale through the eyes of a young seaman (Gig Young), who Ralls sees as his younger self.

Familiar faces in the cast include Paul Fix, Henry Daniell, Jeff Corey, Erskine Sanford, and Grant Withers.

Gail is gorgeous, as usual. ... Read more


10. The Son of Kong
Director: Ernest B. Schoedsack
list price: $19.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6302025060
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 14746
Average Customer Review: 3.12 out of 5 stars
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Description

In this sequel to "King Kong," Kongchr(39)s exhibitor takes off on a cruise, ends up back on Kongchr(39)s island, and make friends with the adorable Little Kong. ... Read more

Reviews (17)

3-0 out of 5 stars Is this a sequal to "King Kong"?
"King Kong" was one of the greatest cinema experiences of all time. After seeing Kong, I heard that there was a sequal to it called "Son of Kong". I could never find it on video and some 4 years later, I had given up on it.

Halloween on AMC, the movie was shown, I was very upset by it. I thought Kong's son would be a MONSTER like his father, but he's like cute plush doll. He plays nicey nice with Robert Armstrong and Helen Mack as he battles diffrent dinosaurs as he's helping the 2 humans find the treasure of Skull Island. He plays just like Minya ( Godzilla's son ) or Jar Jar Binks ( "Star Wars: Episode 1" ) as he accidently shoots himself with Denham's gun or when he shrugs his shoulders after fighting the giant dinosaur creature. The story isn't half bad though and Willis O'Brien's effects are even better than the original film ( dumping the idea for the life size close up head like in the original "King Kong" was a great idea for the sequal, instead using the stop motion model for close ups ). The one part I always felt bad about was that the way he died at the end of the movie, I guess he isn't all bad... it seems like he has a heart of gold. This film is very entertaning in alot of diffrent ways though even though I just said that it stunk.... sorry for that Kong. My biggest question is why is Kong's son white?

4-0 out of 5 stars SON OF KONG
The sequel to KING KONG, while is by no means a fantastic film like its predecessor, is still mainly a kid's movie. Many people compare it to the legendary KING KONG, but it was never meant to be compared to it, nothing can be compared to KONG. I must admit, the film is a bit too short and rushed. The plot should have been given more time to develop, but is okay. Denham, sued by half of New York for Kong's damage flees civilization with the skipper and thugs for a crew. Later, they meet Hellstrom, the man who gave Denham the map of Skull Island, and Hilda, who's father was murdered by Hellstrom (Hilda loves Denham). Hellstrom tells Denham of the treasure of Skull Island. Hoping to restore his lost fortune. Hilda and Denham find a 12 foot albino gorilla, dubbed Kong's son, trapped in quicksand. Once the humans rescue Little Kong, he becomes their friend. Kong shows them the treasure, fights off monsters( which are shrunken down from the predecessor,but animated quite well! )but the volcanoes of the island erupt and the island slowly sinks. I won't spoil the ending- it's pretty touching. Slow in the beginning and rushed in the end, SON OF KONG is still a cute entertaining movie, which you should see if you get the chance.

4-0 out of 5 stars The only creditable sequal to King Kong....
Well Son of Kong was made on a lower budget and as a result the film tended to be more light hearted in it's story. But it's a still a good movie. Robert Armstrong returns as Carl Denham, this time looking for redemption after his capture of Kong resulted in thousands of dollars in damage and the deaths of innocent people. However he finds a new life and new love in the form of Helda (played by Helen Mack), and a return to Skull island where they find more dinosaurs and the Son of Kong.
It is actually a very touching film in many places. The romance between Denham and Helda is an honnest one and never goes over the top. Wills O'Brien's effects work is still good and Max Steiner again scored good music for the movie. All in all, a worthy sequal to King Kong, and better then all the cheap ape monster movies that followed.

4-0 out of 5 stars A FUN SECOND TRIP TO SKULL ISLAND!
"Son of Kong" was a hurried sequel to "King Kong" made the same year. While it cannot dramatically compete with "Kong" it certainly has alot to like about it. Star Robert Armstrong once said he liked playing Denham in "Son" because his character was more dimensional with "swell love scenes", as he put it. Helen Mack is no Fay Wray, and her brunette bob contrasts nicely with Little Kong's white fur. The animation is actually better in places than in "Kong", specifically with the elimination of the unwanted movements of the ape's fur due to the animator's fingerprints left on the models. Despite these achievements, animator Willis O'Brien never liked to talk about the sequel in his later years and resented the tongue in cheek approach to the material.

4-0 out of 5 stars A fine sequel to King Kong
The Son of Kong is no King Kong. But it tries to be just as good. The film does not feature as many dinosaurs. But, except for the brontosaurus, none of them were seen in King Kong. The only sad thing is that they don't come until the last quarter. For an hour we are treated to a subplot involving love, murder and mutiny. But once the action begins, it never lets up.

If the film's producers had just had some more money, they could have made a sequel to rival the original (Though that would have been impossible).But it is still worth watching for fans of the original. It is also, in my opinion, better than most of the Kong remakes and rip offs, from King Kong V.S Godzilla to King Kong 1976. ... Read more


11. You're Telling Me
Director: Erle C. Kenton
list price: $14.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0783228333
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 5325
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars WC Fields - What More Do You Need To Know?
Though not without flaw (what is Buster Crabbe DOING here??), YOU'RE TELLING ME! has many hilarious setpieces and equally choice throwaway bits of business. Then again, you'd expect that from William Claude: what might surprise you is his delicate touch when pathos and tenderness are called for. The scene on the train where a despondent Fields, playing struggling eccentric inventor Sam Bisbee, accidentally meets a travelling Princess and tries to talk her out of 'suicide' (she had no such plans...but HE did, in a moment of despair) is quite unexpectedly moving. It's not so much the scene as written that affects the viewer as it is Fields' flawless playing of it. Plot contrivance it may be, but the easy, simple grace he brings to his line readings - the small, near-imperceptible shadings of wistfulness and regret in his voice, facial expressions & body language - all give testimony to this brilliant comic actor's mastery of craft, and his ability to draw water from the well of his own loneliness. Don't misunderstand; this is a side-splitting comedy. Much of the comedy is purely visual; all of it is unforgettable. But never make the error of short-counting WC Fields, or confuse him with an impressionist's caricature. Where other clowns tried their damndest to make you laugh till it hurts, Fields knew his gift was to create a character forever set-upon and assaulted by a blithe, uncaring parade determined to pass him by - a man who hurt till all you can do is laugh. You'll laugh often throughout this 65-minute model of construction and economy, but watching Fields trampled underfoot again - warily rising to his feet with no higher expectation than a brief, sweet respite before his next inevitable shellacking from the fates and furies - you might just get an idea of why they called him 'The Great Man'. Go on, spend the money and get this.

4-0 out of 5 stars W.C. Fields and Crystal Springs society.
"You're Telling Me" is amusing nonsense from one of the great film comedians. We see Fields' screen persona begin to take shape in Sam Bisbee. Sam is an inventor of such peculiar devices as the "nose lifter-upper," the "murder chair" (for catching burglars), and his puncture-proof tire. Sam also drinks. He stumbles home at midnight, and tries to persuade his long-suffering wife that it's only 8:30. In this opening segment, we observe Fields' comic timing and his juggler training as he fumbles with his shoes and his straw hat. A running theme in Fields' movies is the debunking of upper crust snobbery and phony middle class morality. His modest home includes some very pretentious draperies around the living room doorway. Tipsy Sam finds he can't pass the draperies without becoming entangled in the cumbersome sash. Fields stresses physical humor, sight gags, and his trademark hilarious "asides." He chronically has trouble finding his own head with his hat, and anyone unexpectedly coming at him constantly startle him. After he fails to sell his puncture-proof tire in the big city, Sam befriends a mysterious woman on the train trip home. This sets up an hilarious plot twist that has Sam fraternizing with polite society. The mayor asks Sam to tee-off the first ball at the town's new golf course. This gives Fields the ideal chance to do his classic "golf game" routine, complete with a dim-witted caddy. The movie looks dated in places, but it has been restored nicely. Repeated viewing doesn't diminish the laughs. ;-)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good But Not Great Fields
I enjoyed this movie as I do all of Fields' films but it can't hold a candle to his best work. The really wonderful thing about W.C. Fields' movies is that the supporting cast usually is very funny as well and gets some hilarious lines (as opposed to most of his comedy legend rivals who almost never let the secondary and bit players shine.) Fields' plays a born loser, widely disliked in his hick smalltown, who spends his time trying to concoct inventions. On a return train trip from an unsuccessful sales pitch in the big city, he befriends a princess mistakenly believing she is a suicidal shopgirl. Touched by his concern, the princess decides to visit him in his small town with great fanfare, which makes him a hero to his neighbors (although Fields believes the princess is still a shopgirl pulling a "fast one").
The supporting female cast is particularly good. It's wonderful to see Adrienne Ames (as the princess) and Joan Marsh (Fields' daughter) on video - they were the leading ladies in scores of 1930's films but never big stars and are sadly forgotten today. Kathleen Howard, Fields' wife in several other films, here plays the snooty queen bee from the better side of the tracks who is horrified her son is engaged to Fields' daughter. Best of all is Nora Cecil, an elderly character actress who played bits in several Fields' movies and scores of other 1930's movies as an old bat who sees Fields and the princess together on the train in suspicious circumstances and starts a tidal wave of smalltown gossip that Fields was messing around with some big city floozy while away. Every person who hears the story embelishes it to their own dramatic satisfaction! I especially loved the scene where old Miss Cecil is listening into to the latest fictional spin of the story with relish, knowing fully of course that the story has been changed from her original tale! (Shortly after this the princess arrives in town and the whole Fields' adultery legend is totally dropped from storyline as is Nora Cecil who of course would recognize the princess as "that woman". It is hard to believe the townspeople would so quickly abandon such a juicy story or that busy body Nora wouldn't want to be among the hoardes who wanted a looked at this famous princess.) The storyline is quite thin, accounting for the film's running time of barely an hour and this with Fields' doing his classic "golf routine" that has absolutely nothing to do with the main plot.

4-0 out of 5 stars A LESSER-KNOWN FIELDS GEM.
A remake of Field's 1926 silent SO'S YOUR OLD MAN has W.C. playing Sam Bisbee, a drunk and an unsuccessful inventor who resides in the small town of Crystal Springs. His daughter Pauline (Joan Marsh) hopes to marry Bob (Larry "Buster" Crabbe), the son of the well-to-do haughty Murchisons. Mrs. Murchison is livid about her son's association with Pauline - until she finds that Mrs. Bisbee's maiden name was Warren: she's a descendant of a prominent Virginia family. Amusing comical antics ensue...The title of the picture comes from an inside line: Sam tells Marie (the lovely Adrienne Ames) "We certainly put that Princess stuff over, didn't we"? To which Marie replies: "You're telling me"!. Field's golf sketch was first used in the ZIEGFELD FOLLIES OF 1915 on Broadway. Later, Fields reprised the routine in THE SPECIALIST an early talkie short from 193O. As a piece of genuine trivia, the character Robert McKenzie plays - Charlie Bogle - was the real-life pseudonym Field used as a screenwriter for various films

4-0 out of 5 stars W.C. Fields Strikes Again!
As the film opens, it's late at night and we see an inebriated W.C. Fields slowly making his way up the walkway to his front door; as he moves along, he staggers off the path and has an encounter with a tree limb that raises havoc with his straw hat and knocks it off, which gives Fields-- the all-time master of physical comedy-- a field upon which to ply his craft to the fullest. He makes the simple task of refitting chapeau to pate engagingly hilarious. And once he makes it into the house (shoes in hand, of course, but too late!-- the little woman is waiting for him), it's more of the same, beginning with an encounter with some draperies, this time. It's classic Fields schtick, and what a great way to kick off one of his lesser known, but vibrantly funny films, "You're Telling Me," directed by Erle C. Kenton.

Pauline Bisbee (Joan Marsh) and Bob Murchison (Buster Crabbe) are in love, and want to be married; but there's a snag: The Bisbee house is located on the "wrong" side of the tracks, and the union is meeting strong resistance from Bob's mother, Mrs. Edward Quimby Murchison (Kathleen Howard), who is ever discerning of the Murchison's place in society. And Pauline's father, Sam (Fields), is of little help. An inveterate dreamer, Sam is an inventor, and though he knows it's only a matter of time before the world beats a path to his door, his time, unfortunately, has not yet come, which leaves him in the quagmire of anonymity, and his family still on the wrong side of the tracks.

All of that is about to change, however, because Sam has at last invented something that will assure him fortune and fame: A 1000% puncture-proof automobile tire. He has an appointment in the city with a tire company, and once they see his demonstration, he knows his future will be made, Pauline will be able to marry Bob, and all will be well.

Alas, the demonstration goes awry, and the hapless Sam, dejected, disgraced and alone, boards a train for home. He thinks it's the end; but on the train, he befriends a beautiful young woman, unaware that she is a foreign dignitary, the Princess Lescaboura (Adrienne Ames), currently on a goodwill tour of America. And it turns out to be an auspicious encounter, as Sam's kindness to her is about to be repaid in a way that will change his life forever.

This film is vintage W.C. Fields, featuring all of the trademark elements that make him (and his films) so endearing and enduring, even today: The sight gags, presented in that unique Fields' way; Fields as the underdog; the innate cynicism Fields honed into a veritable art form; Fields as the hen-pecked husband (a role he played often, and perfected in "It's A Gift," made this same year-- 1934-- with Kathleen Howard as his wife); the witty retorts; and, of course, the genuine humor. In one respect, however, this film differs from most of his others, in that, as Sam, Fields displays a gentler side of his usually caustic nature. The acerbity is present, to be sure, but toned down; and Sam, perhaps more than any character Fields ever created, is genuinely likable.

As Bob Murchison, Buster Crabbe's performance leaves something to be desired, but that charismatic spark that would make him a matinee idol later in the Sci-fi serials "Flash Gordon" and "Buck Rogers," and later in numerous "Billy the Kid" and "Billy Carson" westerns, is evident, and most importantly, he does well enough to set the stage for the antics of the film's star.

In only her second film, Kathleen Howard is a delight in the role of Mrs. Murchison, who is something of a prototype for many who would come later in other films, such as Eulalie Mackechnie Shinn of Meredith Willson's "The Music Man." As Bob's domineering mother, she affects an aloofness that strikes just the right chord and makes her the perfect foil for the down-to-earth Sam Bisbee.

The supporting cast includes Louise Carter (Bessie Bisbee), Tammany Young (Caddy), Dell Henderson (Mayor), James B. "Pop" Kenton (Doc Beebe), Robert McKenzie (Charlie Bogle), Nora Cecil (Mrs. Price), George Irving (Mr. Robins) and Frederick Sullivan (Mr. Edward Quimby Murchison). Comparatively short (at 66 minutes), "You're Telling Me" is nevertheless something of a minor classic and pure Fields from start to finish. Thoroughly enjoyable and highly entertaining, It even gives the inimitable W.C. a chance to perform a bit of his famous "golf" routine. A funny, and often downright hilarious film, it's a showcase for one of cinema's premiere funny men, and in the end, more than anything else, one thing is certain: It's going to make you laugh. And that's the magic of the movies. ... Read more


12. The Blue Gardenia
Director: Fritz Lang
list price: $19.95
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Asin: 6305226199
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 25040
Average Customer Review: 3.91 out of 5 stars
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With its title inspired by the notorious Black Dahlia murder case,The Blue Gardenia throws a twist into the story by making the mystery woman not the victim but the suspect in a lurid murder case. Anne Baxter, playing a virginal blonde with almost breathless innocence, impulsively accepts a blind date after receiving a "Dear Jane" letter from her boyfriend in Korea. Raymond Burr oozes slime as the lothario who plots his seduction with cynical calculation ("For drinks, Polynesian Pearl Divers, and don't spare the rum!") and the naive Baxter is easy prey, until she fights back against his advances with a fireplace poker and stumbles home. Waking up thenext morning with the past evening a veritable blank, she discovers herself the prime suspect in a murder case trumpeted into a sensationalistic headline story by calculating columnist Richard Conte. Fritz Lang transforms the rather conventional low-budget thriller into a paranoid nightmare, his cheap sets and flat backdrops creating a tawdry world peopled by cynics and opportunists preying on the guileless, and Baxter makes every guilt-ridden moment palpable. Like in many film noir thrillers, the pat conclusion seems wholly arbitrary, the product of the Hollywoodhappy-ending machine. However, Lang's film isn't about the mystery, but the experience of an innocent whose single, desperate transgression turns her world upside down. --Sean Axmaker ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars THE THREE BLONDE SISTERS
In my opinion, a film noir DVD library never would be complete without the movies directed by german director Fritz Lang in Hollywood in the 1940-1950 period. They simply have to be in it. THE BLUE GARDENIA is the first of these Fritz Lang movies to hit the DVD market thanks to Image. Starring Richard Conte, Anne Baxter, Raymond Burr and Ann Sothern, THE BLUE GARDENIA is about murder, trust and guilt.

Anne Baxter thinks she has killed Raymond Burr, the police knows she has killed him because a lot of evidences have been found on the scene of the murder and we know that she's guilty because we have seen the scene with our very eyes. So what ? Where's the suspense ? Nowhere, because there isn't suspense in THE BLUE GARDENIA. Fritz Lang is more interested in describing the behaviour of Anne Baxter who really doesn't act as if she doesn't want to be rediscovered. The director has read the complete works of Freud and is playing with his heroine tortured by guilt.

No extra features with this Image presentation except for a scene access. Too bad.

A DVD for your library.

3-0 out of 5 stars Fritz Lang Lite -- more murder mystery than noir
No doubt hoping that a title reminiscent of the Alan Ladd/Veronica Lake hit The Blue Dahlia (itself a knockoff of the notorious 1946 Black Dahlia murder in L.A.), the minds behind this movie set Fritz Lang to directing Anne Baxter, Raymond Burr and Ann Sothern in this tame but stylish and watchable thriller. Baxter, on the rebound, agrees to date the boorish Burr. Having drunk lagoons of Zombies at the Polynesian palace that gives the film its name, Baxter tries to fend off Burr. When he's found dead, she remembers nothing.... Fans who know how shocking Lang's The Big Heat still is will find this entry rather tepid, but it's an effective murder story, with half a dozen moments of stunning noir photography and, better yet, with Ann Sothern as Baxter's roommate, smoking a cigarette with rubber gloves while she scrubs the dishes.

3-0 out of 5 stars "Sudden death sells papers."
In "The Blue Gardenia" Norah Larkin (Anne Baxter) is a naive telephone operator who sits at home most evenings. Her fiance is stationed in Korea, so while Norah's two roommates enjoy their social lives, Norah turns down offers and stays home to read letters from Korea. Artist/playboy Harry Prebble (Raymond Burr) telephones one evening--he thinks he's calling one of Norah's roommates, but he gets a distraught Norah instead. Norah accepts Prebble's invitation to meet for dinner at the Blue Gardenia. After downing half a dozen Polynesian Pearl Divers, a very inebriated Norah accompanies Prebble to his home. The next day, Norah can't remember a thing, but newspaper headlines announce Prebble's murder--and a hunt begins for the mysterious blonde murderess now known as "the Blue Gardenia."

"The Blue Gardenia"--directed by Fritz Lang--is film noir, but it is also considered an entry in the sub-genre of newspaper noir. A great deal of the plot focuses on newspaperman Casey Mayo's unethical attempts to contact the murderess and get an exclusive story. Mayo (Richard Conte) will stop at nothing to sell the paper, and he capitalizes on sensationalism and the sleazy aspects of the murder. "The Blue Gardenia" is an interesting film as it has a few twists on some familiar themes--for example, the killer is a woman, and a male offers comfort (although it's a false offer). Plus Norah's reputation is at risk by even admitting she's stepped into a man's apartment--anyone who downs 6 Polynesian Pearl Divers is a real floozy in everyone's eyes. There's also an appearance of Nat King Cole singing Blue Gardenia. The initial set-up with Norah and her roommates was refreshingly original, and Anne Baxter gave a credible performance as the naive Norah. Unfortunately the plot denouement was contrived, hasty and far too simplistic. Film noir fans will enjoy the film for its novelties, but it's not one of the greats--displacedhuman

4-0 out of 5 stars Classic Film Noir With A Feminine Twist
The acting by both Anne Baxter and Raymond Burr is exceptional and elevates this to one of my favorite film noirs. Baxter is the young innocent Norah Larkin who is crushed when she receives a 'Dear Jane' letter from her boyfriend in Korea. Devastated and alone, she is easy prey for the slimey Harry Prebble portrayed by Raymond Burr in his pre-Perry Mason period. After a drunken night, Norah can't remember anything except that she was fighting off advances from Prebble. The newspapers are filled with the story of his murder and the mysterious blonde who left a blue gardenia behind. Viewers watch Norah slip deeper and deeper into paraonia as she frantically tries to conceal her involvement yet remember the details of her ill-fated night. Adding to the outstanding cast are Ann Sothern and Jeff Donnell as her roommates and Richard Conte as the newspaper reporter who makes an open appeal for the Blue Gardenia killer to come forward and trust him. As the police web (led by TV's Superman George Reeves) tightens around her, Norah turns to the reporter to help her, but....suffice it to say the happy-ever-after ending is a little too quick and easy. However, this is definitely worth watching and as an added plus you will be treated to the melodic voice of Nat "King" Cole singing the title song throughout the movie.

2-0 out of 5 stars Be Forewarned.
Having seen and enjoyed most of Fritz Lang's movies from his Berlin period, I bought this highly recommended DVD sight unseen. It was a great disappointment. Where to begin? The story is weak and predictable; the dialogue is very cliched; the acting--excepting Raymond Burr's wonderful performance as a sleazy artist--is unconvincing. Don't expect what the DVD label tells you--this is no "noir thriller" and it doesn't do anything to expose McCarthyism, despite Lang's pretentious comments. One nice touch: there is a brief 5 minute scene with Nat King Cole singing "Blue Gardenia" in what was becoming a new trend in early 1950's America: a Chinese restaurant. As a period piece, this film has some merit, but don't expect a well crafted noir film like the "Maltese Falcon", "Sunset Boulevard", or even "M" or "Dr Mabuse". ... Read more


13. Little Nellie Kelly
Director: Norman Taurog
list price: $19.98
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Asin: 6302341116
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 29450
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Why is this film so hard to find? It's great! --And a BUY!
Judy Garland worked very hard to play both mother Nellie Kelly and daughter Little Nellie Kelly in this movie-and it shows! Her performance is both flawless and a treat for Garland fans. She dances, acts and sings very well. (Look for a brief "Singing in the Rain" by Garland toward the end of the picture; this movie was adapted from a play by George M. Cohan.) I honestly don't understand why the movie is out of print and not yet on DVD!

This movie has the only death scene Garland ever performed in the movies. A tearjerker! The mother Nellie Kelly dies just after giving birth to her daughter.

The movie tells the story of the Kelly family beginning in Ireland circa 1900. Nellie has fallen in love with her beau and they marry much to the chagrin of Nellie's stubborn father played by Charles Winninger. (His acting is extremely convincing, too.) They travel to America and the story continues with a fine view of the Irish immigrant experience. The Saint Patrick's Day parade scene positively shines!

There is also a good deal of time spent fleshing out the relationships between the members of this small family. The father of the first Nellie fights stubbornly with his son-in-law through the years. (He doesn't mind mooching off them, however, with never a thank you whatsoever.)

Overall, I recommend this movie for any Garland fan as well as fans of the M-G-M musicals. The detail of the family relationships and the immigrant experience make this a very noteworthy movie, especially when added to Judy Garland's incredible flair for acting so convincingly, singing and dancing!

5-0 out of 5 stars Judy Garland Shines in one of her Greatest Films!
Little Nellie Kelly is a wonderful example of how talented Judy Garland was. She was just 18 years old when she starred as a Young Irish beauty who falls in love with George Murphy, marries and dies in Child Birth. Then Garland plays her own 16 year old daughter Little Nellie and she did it brilliantly. One of the most lavish numbers in this film is "Nellie Kelly I Love You". Garland sings "Singin' In The Rain" just 12 years before Gene Kelly and her version is dynamite. As Wife Nellie She gets her first kiss and as child Nellie struggles to understand why her father (Murphy) and Grandfather (Charles Winninger) don't get along. This film proves that Dorothy was capable of enchanting an audinence as an adult movie Actress.
If you have only seen one film of Judy Garland then you have to see this one. You will fall in love with Judy while she falls in love on screen.
Little Nellie Kelly is a charmer in the Grand tradition. Based on a 1920's Broadway Musical this MGM hit features music by George M. Cohen.
Kimberly Loeffler, Forever a Judy Fan!

3-0 out of 5 stars Mild Entertainment
Judy Garland was a sensation in THE WIZARD OF OZ and BABES IN ARMS--but by 1940 she was eighteen years old, and LITTLE NELLY KELLY finds her in transition between the child star she was and the adult star she would become. Based on a George M. Cohan play, the film offers Garland a double role: first as Irish-born Nelly Kelly and later as her teenage daughter, "Little" Nelly Kelly. The storyline is sentimental. Against father Charles Winninger's wishes, Garland marries George Murphy and leaves Ireland for America--with her stubborn and ill-tempered father in tow. After becoming an American citizen, she dies in childbirth (Garland's only death scene, and she plays it very well), leaving possessive grandfather and police officer husband to wangle over her surviving child.

The first portion of the film is the weakest, with neither Garland nor Murphy entirely at home with their Irish accents; another flaw is the fact that Winninger's irrascable grandfather eventually becomes a shade too obnoxious to fully engage our sympathies and Murphy is none-too-convincing in old-age make-up. Although not a musical per se, the real highlight of the film are Garland's few songs, which include "A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow," "A Great Day for the Irish," and an elaborate staging of "Singin' In The Rain." Although she still shows traces of the affectations forced upon her in previous films by director Busby Berkley, she performs both her numbers and her scenes with a playfulness and sincerity that is quite charming.

Although expertly made, LITTLE NELLY KELLY is essentially an inexpensive programmer designed to test Garland's potential as an adult actress--a test which she clearly passes. But the film is so greatly overshadowed by both her earlier and later achievements that it is negligable in both her cannon and the musical genre as a whole, and as such will be of interests more to Garland completists than to casual viewers. Recommended for hardcore fans only.

5-0 out of 5 stars Vintage Garland
They don't make 'em like this any more, arguably with good reason. However, Garland is luscious and joyful in this film, which pre-dates her quirky gestures and throbbing vocals. Here she is all sweetness and light, especially in the sublime "Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow" and "Singing in the Rain" numbers. God was she an original! Her luminous screen presence is what makes this film work. ... Read more


14. The Son of Rusty
Director: Lew Landers
list price: $11.95
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Asin: 6303355919
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 83514
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Boy-and-his-dog story aimed at kids, but heavy on the civics
Columbia's "Rusty" series of the late 1940s were small-town dramas centering around Danny (Ted Donaldson, one of the better juvenile actors) and his German shepherd Rusty (a handsome animal). This entry has Danny and his pals encountering a mysterious, uncommunicative stranger in town, and running afoul of the man who owns the land where their clubhouse is. Youngsters will enjoy Rusty (and Rusty's girlfriend, Barb), but some of this plays like an instructional film; the morality-play script spreads the civics lesson mighty thick as the kids learn about good citizenship. The film is well made, like most Columbia's "B" pictures, and the print is gorgeous. A technical note: some copies of this title are in the extended-play mode and may not track properly on all machines. ... Read more


15. Homesteaders of Paradise Valley
Director: R.G. Springsteen
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Asin: 6304014422
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 83795
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16. Three Smart Girls
Director: Henry Koster
list price: $19.98
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Asin: 6303328164
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 19716
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Universal wasted no time in exploiting 14-year-old Deanna Durbin's star power; after screening the dailies from her feature debut, Three Smart Girls, studio execs expanded Durbin's supporting role and doubled the budget. Their investment paid off: this breezy comedy-musical, about a young singer determined to reunite her parents, earned a then-extraordinary $2 million and three Oscar nominations (including Best Picture).

Durbin's charm, good songs, and a solid supporting cast (including Alice Brady, Mischa Auer, and Charles Winninger) make Girls a delight many decades later.It's also a notch above the affable sequel, Three Smart Girls Grow Up. --Steven Smith ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Simple Charmer
Although she is little known today, Deanna Durbin was one of the most popular stars of the 1930s, a pretty teenager with a perky personality and a much-admired operatic singing voice. This 1937 was her first major film, and it proved a box-office bonanza for beleaguered Universal Studios.

THREE SMART GIRLS concerns three daughters of a divorced couple who rush to their long-unseen father when their still-faithful mother reveals he may soon remarry--with the firm intention of undermining his gold-digger girlfriend and returning him to their mother. Although the story is slight, the script is witty and the expert cast plays it with a neat screwball touch. Durbin has a pleasing voice and appealing personality, and such enjoyable character actors as Charles Winninger, Alice Brady, Lucile Watson, and Mischa Auer round out the cast. A an ultra-light amusement for fans of 1930s film.

5-0 out of 5 stars Deanna Durbin is a treasure
Deanna Durbin is a treasure not well known to today's generation but was well loved in her time. If you enjoy movies like Parent Trap you will love the original take on children trying to get their parents together. This hilarious movie includes the fabulous singing voice of Deanna that makes it the tops with me. A definate 'must see' if you enjoy comedy and music. If you like this one you will adore the sequal Three Smart Grow Up. ... Read more


17. Caught in the Draft
Director: David Butler
list price: $14.98
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Asin: 6302744555
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 20865
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

2-0 out of 5 stars +1/2 Lightweight pre-war military comedy
Eddie Bracken and Dorothy Lamour star, respectively, as Bob Hope's comedic and romantic foils in this lightweight military comedy. Bob plays Don Bolton, a pampered, smartaleck-y movie star who latches onto marrying Lamour as a way to to avoid the draft ("I'm not a coward," he says, "I'm just allergic to bullets.") The trouble is his would-be wife is also the daughter of a bristly old-school Army Colonel, and she shares daddy's distaste for shirkers. Their love-hate relationship slowly tilts towards love, and eventually he proves himself worthy of her hand. The sketch-oriented script has episodic laughs, but is pretty predictable and sluggish: it might have been funnier at a time when universal conscription was becoming a reality, and civilian America was ramping up to meet a total war economy. In that regard, it's an interesting cultural relic.

3-0 out of 5 stars Pleasing wartime Bob Hope effort
"Caught In The Draft" is an amusing film not well known today and certainly it is not one of Bob Hope's more frequently seen films. I believe the reason for this was that it was definately a product of its time, as America was preparing to move into the Second World War and was just feeling its way about such issues as conscription and compulsory training of soldiers.

Adapted as a vechicle for Bob Hope's very unique style of comedy acting it is a pleasant and at times very amusing film. While not up there in my opinion with such Hope classics as "The Cat And The Canary", "The Ghost Breakers" or "My Favourite Blonde" it is still an amusing way to pass an hour and a half. Bob Hope was one of Paramount's biggest stars in 1941 when "Caught In The Draft" was filmed. In his solo comedies and in his memorable work as a team with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour in the "Road" films he had become an icon for American comedy. In this outing he is joined as his leading lady by Dorothy Lamour and the two, despite Lamour's limitations both with her role here, and her acting in general, have a real screen chemistry that plays very well.

Bob Hope plays Hollywood movie star and big shot Don Bolton an actor who definately believes his own publicity and who wants to avoid the draft for army service at any cost since it will interfer with his career and his endless womanising. Falling for Lamour playing an army colonel's daughter he seeks to impress her by pretending to enlist in the army only to find that through a chain of circumstances he has indeed actually enlisted in the toughest regiment there is!! What develops then is an amusing series of incidents as Hope adjusts to life in the army and finds himself constantly getting into trouble much to the chargin of Colonel Fairbanks, just the man he needs to impress as he is the father of his love interest Antoinette "Tony" (Dorothy Lamour). His mishaps involve, attempting to parachute out of a plane without his parachute attached properly, gun practice even though he is mortally afraid of even the sound of a gun going off, attempting to drive a tank across terrain without being able to see where he is going (the most hilarious sequence in the film by far!) which results in him crashing into the Colonel's vechicle. Among the most memorable scenes is when Bob is pulled in to doing guard juty when he is dressed only in his underwear under his coat. What develops is a very funny sequence of events as Bob's two buddies Steve and Burt (Lynne Overman and Eddie Bracken in stand out performances)try to get his clothes to him under the eye of Colonel Fairbanks who is visiting the hospital at that moment. It contains some of Hope's most hilarious work as he ducks out windows, jumps into beds and receives the unwelcome attentions of a concerned nurse armed with a castor oil bottle.

While not his best work "Caught In The Draft" shows Bob Hope in his familiar guise of the loveable coward right at the time his illustrious career was at a peak. It's an enjoyable farce and and even though it's Hope's vechicle all the way, Dorothy Lamour given the limited role she has to work with, makes the most of it and the superb Edith Head fashions she wears are superb and most flattering and go a long way to explaining why Lamour was considered one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood in the early 1940's. Enjoy this story set in a period which is now part of our history.

4-0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!
This is one of Bob Hope's least known and least appreciated films, but it's a gem. Bob gives his patented "dumb, naive" characterization, and it will have you in stitches. The scene where Hope tries to drive a tank while his sight is obstructed will have you on the floor laughing hysterically.

If you are a fan of Bob Hope, movies of the World War II era, and if you just like to be entertained, this movie is for you. ... Read more


18. Stagecoach to Denver
Director: R.G. Springsteen
list price: $4.98
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Asin: 1578751314
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 46244
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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5-0 out of 5 stars Solid, action-filled Republic B-western!
Although Allan "Rocky" Lane's Red Ryder is usually considered inferior to Bill Elliot's portrayal, I actually prefer him. He not only looks the part better, but his presence perfectly fits the comic book cowpoke.

STAGECOACH is one of the best Ryder films. It has a good, workable plot; it moves remarkably fast; the spunky cowgirl and little kid are great; and Roy Barcroft is an even slimier villian than usual.

Saddle up? You betchum! AL ... Read more


19. Man Made Monster
Director: George Waggner
list price: $14.98
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Asin: 6303129145
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 10404
Average Customer Review: 3.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars A True Horror Classic
Chaney plays a man who is immune to electricity. He is turned into a monster by a mad doctor and goes on a rampage escaping from prison and killing the Doctor and the prison wardon. A great movie for halloween

3-0 out of 5 stars Classic 1940s horror/thriller
Man Made Monster is an excellent example of Universal Studios' work during the 1940s. This neat little B picture has great mood and art design, some good special effects, and excellent performances by Lon Chaney Jr. in another of his sympathetic parts, and Lionel Atwill playing another of his (almost) over-the-top mad doctor roles. Highly recommended.

3-0 out of 5 stars Super black & white chiller from a master monster creator
Lon Chaney, Jr's role will evoke sympathy. Some light hearted moments as well. Though not as campy as "Indestructable Man" (another Chaney film from the same era)to this viewer this film has the same "feel" to it. The ending is awesome. ... Read more


20. Son of Zorro [Serial]
Director: Spencer Gordon Bennet, Fred C. Brannon
list price: $19.98
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Asin: 630121627X
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 3630
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars Not the worst, but the dullest
This isn't the worst serial I've ever seen (WINNERS OF THE WEST gets that honor), but this is easily the dullest. Even the mountains of stock footage from earlier (and much better) Zorro serials can't alleviate the sheer tedium of George Turner, the world's most non-descript Masked Avenger. Opt for ZORRO'S BLACK WHIP, ZORRO RIDES AGAIN or ZORRO'S FIGHTING LEGION instead. And hey, Artisan, where's the DVD releases of the Republic serials????????

5-0 out of 5 stars Thrills and Spills!
This l947 Republic actioner moves at jet-speed pace, thanks mainly to great performances by Peggy Stewart, as Postmistress "Kate," and her co-star George Turner. This is basically a standard westerner but the epidode endings are wonderfully inventive--especially the one where Kate and zorro are trapped in a cave with a wall of water racing toward them. Peggy is the perfect serial heroine: feisty, gutsy, and she looks great in her cowgirl outfit and does most of her own stunt work. She began making westerns in l937 with "Wells Fargo" and has appeared recently in "Seinfeld" and often guest-starred on the old Gunsmoke series. This can't compare with Republic's greatest serial: "Spy Smasher" but then few can. Still, this one is worth your money and terrific performances of Peggy, George and the others. ... Read more


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