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1. West Side Story
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2. Emperor of the North
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3. Bullitt
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4. The Brothers Karamazov
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5. I Want to Live!
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6. Follow That Dream
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7. West Side Story
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11. The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond
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12. Follow That Dream
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20. Psycho (Widescreen Edition)

1. West Side Story
Director: Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins
list price: $9.94
our price: $9.94
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Asin: 0792837614
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 491
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (195)

5-0 out of 5 stars Here Come THE JETS!
WEST SIDE STORY remains unique...to the point of astounding...in status among most accomplished classics in cinema history. Legendary director Robert Wise[whose eclectic mastery of film ranges from "lost" mythology epic, HELEN OF TROY to sci-fi milestones-THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL and STAR TREK:The Movie]perfectly renders a film of passion;tragedy;humor and ultimate celebration of youthful humanity. Leonard Bernstein's score is peerless Americana: classic ART and popular entertainment.Jerome Robbins'choreography is electrifying;Steven Sondheim's "libretto lyrics" are ensconded in popular music immortality.

West Side Story's ensemble cast is likewise peerless.
Natalie Wood is superb as American JULIET, Maria. Richard Beymer's Tony/Romeo charcterization wonderfuly combines heroic "tough guy" with star-crossed lover. George Chakris(Bernardo)and Russ Tamblyn (Riff)jive; fight and dance their rival gangs into legend. My favorite is Rita Moreno.Her performance as earth mother/eternal woman figure, ANITA is remarkable. Her ferocious sexual brio;lioness-Queen humor("if you can fight in/for AMERICA!");home girl insouciance, and passionate GRACE are archetypal.WEST SIDE STORY thematically equals--if not surpasses--its SHAKESPEAREAN progenitor.It is America's SOUND OF MUSIC.The ten Academy Awards could be justly re-awarded.

[When I learned "my" homies back in Massachusetts'Pelham Regional High School...citadel/incubator of so-called 5-college professoriate and University of Mass'PC satrapy centered in Amherst...BANNED WEST SIDE STORY as Racist(this year the school is featuring VAGINA MONOLOGUES)I wondered: "WHERE ARE THE JETS when you need them?"]...

Certainly WSS was never conceived--as Mel Gibsons's THE PASSION OF CHRIST--to stir Culture War and rally believers. WEST SIDE STORY is,"unsimply",American film making at its finest and cinema art of world class caliber. It is movie ICON,which,as The JETS challenge, remains at-the-ready: "to beat every last f.....'gang on the whole f.....'street!"(10 Stars)

5-0 out of 5 stars powerful,realistic , the finest musical drama I have seen
This ia a very intense, fast moving story in which many of the scenes easily could have happened in real life in New York at that time.

The quality of the music and lyrics blends beautifully with the action, and the choreographed dances are breathtaking.The actors fit their parts to such perfection that I could not imagine anyone else than Natalie Wood playing Maria, or George Chakiris as Bernardo, and on and on for the rest of the Jets and Sharks. My favorite musicals are those from 1950-1970 and of all the great ones like Oklahoma, South Pacific, and the Sound of Music, West Side Story impresses me as the most exciting dramatic musical of all time. It is hard to find a boring moment in this movie. When I think about this movie, the ballet numbers, choreography, and excitement stand out the most in my mind. For a fast moving drama this is a classic against which to compare other musical drama. Who would have thought that a mere conflict between two gangs could have been portrayed into such a dynamic movie. The producers certainly succeeded in bringing up to date the Romeo and Juliet saga. The romance and tragedy of Tony and Maria will always be indelibly impressed in my mind.

5-0 out of 5 stars Magnificent adaptation of Romeo & Juliet!
Robert Wise made his masterpiece with this film mixing the essential spirit of the shakesperian mood , recreating it in the modern times as a racial conflict.
Wise mixed the drama with a credible plot . The coreography is towering and the music ( Oh what kind of inspiration was in the mind of Leonard Bernstein , acquire buy also the soundtrack; Maria became a classic ), Rita Moreno won a deserved Academy Award and this became a personal triumph for Natalie Wood one of the most beautiful faces ever seen in the cinema story .
The sequence fights between the bunchs is perfect articulated , there is a fine balance between drama and music.
Enjoyable film and of course for all a generation of teenagers in that age , who actaully are grandparents , still remember with nosthalgie that unforgettable jewel picture .

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Musical
West Side Story is one of my favorite musicals. The music and the choreography is incredible. Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer make a perfect Maria and Tony. Now that it is on the 2 Disc Special Limited Edition, it is even better. You can have the original intermission music if you wish and there is a great documentary called West Side Memories which shows how this amazing musical was made. Along with the special edition you get a book that contains the original screenplay, a timeline of the show from when the idea was first thought of and to when it came to the screen, a pamphlet you could of bought in the theaters when it first opened in 1961, and newspaper clippings of what critics thought of the show. Even if you didn't get the special edition this show is still worth owning. The songs are incredible. My favorites are "Maria", "America", and "I Feel So Pretty" which a ninety minute instrumental version is used for the intermission.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best movie Ever
This movie is a must anyone who loves musicals, it's a total classic. If you thought you knew a lot about the movie, think again, because with all the extra fetures will provide you with more knowledge that you than think about.

The movie has definatley got some of the best dance seguences ever made for a musical. ... Read more


2. Emperor of the North
Director: Robert Aldrich
list price: $19.98
our price: $17.99
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Asin: B00000JBJK
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 154
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars An all time classic !
This movie is simply one of my favorite movies of all time. I did'nt realize it could be bought anywhere on Earth. I have been looking for it for years since tv stations stopped running it years ago. I hav'nt seen it in over 10 years and am ordering my copy now. I would suggest that anyone else who loves railroad movies do the same before it disappears from production. Hands down the best rail movie ever.Excellent.

This movie takes place in the Salem-Eugene area of Oregon during the great depression. It involves the sadistic engineer of the #19 named Shack (played by Ernest Borgnine) and the hobo who tries to ride his train (Lee Marvin). I was in Salem Oregon recently and was glad to finally see for myself the beautiful countryside first brought to me by this movie. A must have movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great movie!
This is one of those good movies that don't need a lot of words to describe why it's great. "Lee Marvin vs. Ernest Borgnine on a train" should be enough. This is also one of those movies that cries out for a major DVD release, what with the rugged scenery, vivid action and great dialogue. As "A.No. 1" tells Cigarette in one of my all-time favorite lines: "You could be a meat eater, kid, and I mean people, not their garbage!" But while you're waiting for the DVD release (which, incidentally, I hear is to be timed to coincide with the freezing over of hell) snag this VHS release while you can. This film has only been released once on video and it's famous for being one of the hardest to find films of all time.

5-0 out of 5 stars even some of us women love this flick.......
a lot of great acting here. ernie as the cruel train bull/enforcer. Lee Marvin as the old seasoned depression era Hobo. Keith Carridine as the young punk newbie. Simon Oakland as the rail yard cop who strays into the hobo's camp and is lucky to come back out. and the poor engine driver and Borgnine's flunkey who has to keep his eyes out for any bo's trying to board Shack's train. I love this picture because of the trains, the scenery and the music. Marty Robbins' "a man and a Train" seems to have been written for this film. It is a realistic and very graphic film for the years in which it was made. you feel for all the parties involved in this tale. The near miss with the other freight train is a nail biter for sure. Not for the bleeding hearts, but if you like any of these actors, trains and american history I recommend this film for a little eye opener on what our parents or grandparents might have seen or gone through in the depression days of the us of a...... A++++

5-0 out of 5 stars Get the facts straight....
Too bad Shack IS NOT a conductor. He is a Bull, law enforcement of the railroad. And that's what Bulls did in those days. Keep hobos off.

Great movie. I wish they had it in DVD form too.

3-0 out of 5 stars good hobo movie
this is an entertaining enough 'bo movie,with a nice gritty sense of realism initially,then a fairly exciting action end to it.i wont bother with going over the plot in too much detail,basically a hobo wants to ride a train,which the train conductor says specifically NO HOBOS.he has a sign and everything....well,not really.but it is a great hobo movie,see "hobos christmas" for how NOT to make a hobo movie.3 out of 5,hardly a classic but good fun all the same. ... Read more


3. Bullitt
Director: Peter Yates
list price: $14.95
our price: $13.99
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Asin: 0790733897
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 253
Average Customer Review: 4.23 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential video

Peter Yates's 1968 cop drama has its existentialist pretensions, but there is something seductive about its strained seriousness and Steve McQueen's intentionally stoic performance as a San Francisco police detective on the trail of a murderer. A couple of key action sequences boost the film's stature, the most memorable of which is a vertiginous car chase that Yates almost approaches as a dance. Jacqueline Bisset provides window dressing as Bullitt's girlfriend--worried about how much his job strips away his humanity--and Robert Vaughan is almost reptilian as an opportunistic politician. --Tom Keogh ... Read more

Reviews (104)

4-0 out of 5 stars Bullitt Hits The Mark
1968's Bullitt is best known for its classic car chase scene that is still considered by many to the best of all time. The movie is worth watching for that scene alone as Steve McQueen's fastback Mustang chases down a Dodge Charger for a tense ten minutes through the streets of San Francisco. Even without that memorable scene, Bullitt is a classic 60's film. Mr. McQueen's performance as steely police detective Frank Bullitt is one of his best and the forerunner of the anti-heroes that would dominate films of the 70's. The plot revolves around a seemingly routine job for Bullitt and his men to protect a mob informant (Pat Renella) who is set to testify before a Senate subcommittee. When two hitmen break into the safe house and fatally wound the informant and injury another detective, Bullitt begins to have questions and takes up investigating the case on his own with the help of fellow detective Delgetti (Don Gordon). Fighting them at every turn is ruthless and ambitious senator Chalmers played with unctuous smarm by Robert Vaughan. Jacqueline Bissett co-stars in one of her first roles as Bullitt's girlfriend and Robert Duvall has a bit part as a cabbie. Director Peter Yates crafts a gritty look to the film and editor Frank Keller won the Academy Award for his superb work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Steve McQueen scorches the streets of San Francisco
Arguably the best crime film of 1968, and certainly one of the most influential films of the genre...."Bullitt" established new directions in the mood and style of crime thrillers, and firmly established McQueen as one of the key anti-hero stars of the 60's. Based on the gritty novel "Mute Witness" by Robert L. Pike, this was the first, and only, time McQueen portrayed a police officer (albeit a maverick one) in his movie career. In 1968 Steve was then riding high on the success of his previous crime film, "The Thomas Crown Affair", and "Bullitt" just propelled his star even higher into the heavens !

The plot is tight, economical and well crafted....taciturn, moody Detective Frank Bullitt (McQueen) is charged with the protection of a key witness vital to an upcoming trial involving Mafia connections. Whilst hidden away in a supposed secure location, the witness and his police guard are brutally gunned down by unknown assailants. The heat is turned up on Bullitt by his tough Captain (Simon Oakland) and the manipulative, opportunistic politician Walter Chalmers (Robert Vaughn) to come up with the right answers fast ! Between the draining investigation, Bullitt struggles to maintain his relationship with his cultured, sensitive girlfriend, Cathy (Jacqueline Bisset)

Primarily coming from a TV series background, Englishman Peter Yates (directing his fourth movie) did a commendable job as director on "Bullitt"...producing a complex, intense crime thriller with a unique style that would ultimately influence many other films. Yates would later to go onto direct Robert Mitchum in the excellent "sleeper" crime film "The Friends of Eddie Coyle" !

And of course "Bullitt" is reknowned for it's now legendary car chase between Frank Bullitt's 390 GT Mustang and the two hitmen in their black, Dodge Charger 440 Magnum barrelling through the city streets and highways of San Francisco....just don't pay too much attention to how many times they pass that slow-moving, green VW Beetle !!

The DVD transfer is excellent in both sound and picture quality, and the Limited Edition Set with the extra goodies (Single sheet poster, shooting draft, lobby cards etc.) is a real bonus for keen film fans !!

One of my favourite cop thrillers....McQueen sizzles on screen !!

4-0 out of 5 stars Put on a Sweater
This detective drama aimed to be the essence of cool, and succeeded, in fact it's a little too cool, can somebody turn up the thermostat? Barely anybody in the picture is allowed to show any genuine emotion, although one of the hoods looks a little upset before he's shotgunned. Director Peter Yates apparently planned to tell the whole story with action and came up with a near-classic. In fact his spectacular staging of McQueen's car pursuit of two Mob assassins is usually blamed for the countless imitation car chases that have blighted American movies ever since. It's certainly one of McQueen's signature roles, but why give him a hokey name like Bullitt?

5-0 out of 5 stars McQUEEN COOL!
Ignore the paisley pajamas, Steve McQueen was an icon of cool and BULLITT is the proof. Peter Yates has a smart thinking man's cop drama, bolstered by (yes) the best chase scene on film. Great locations in San Francisco. Superior acting by McQueen, Robert Vaughn as a sinister U.S. Senator and Don Gordon, as McQueen's partner. Why didn't Don Gordon become a bigger star?

3-0 out of 5 stars The good, the bad, and the pretty
"Bullitt" is highly regarded by many for either "the chase", or the drama.

The good and the bad: True, there is a high-speed car chase in part through the hilly streets of San Francisco. Is it "the best ever" chase? Depends on how you look at it. Plus - It was very high speed. Plus - It had a cool-looking Mustang fastback vs a big GTO. Negative - They pass the same VW 4 times, and another car 2 times (why? if not intentional, then very poor continuity) Negative - double-shifting or not, there are about 97 too many gear changes, and some of those are at top speed on the flat stretch near the end. Neg - the bad guys lose too many hubcaps. Still, it's fairly exciting. However, though not car vs car, I think the chase in "The French Connection" is as good if not better.

As for the drama, some of it seemed a bit drawn out. Lt. Frank Bullitt is supposed to protect the state's witness "Ross" against the Chicago "Organization". Ross and one cop are shot, and Ross is later killed in the hospital, where Bullitt is hanging out. Bullitt does not want the prosecutor who gave him the assignment (Robert Vaughan) to know Ross died, so he will have time to find the killers. Turns out Ross may not be who the cops think he is, and this leads to a good foot-chase across the airport runways and the airport itself.

Some of the police procedure as portrayed in the movie is rather shoddy - such as handling a lot of evidence, then asking for it to be fingerprinted, etc.

The pretty: Bullitt has a girlfriend played by Jaqueline Bisset, who gives him grief for his callous attitude. This sets up the final scene of the movie where Bullitt ambiguously questions his existence. Otherwise, her appearance in the movie is useless.

Good acting by McQueen and Vaughan. Look for Robert Duval, Georg Sanford Brown, Norman fell, Simon Oakland and a few other names.

The jazzy score by Lalo Schifrin sounds like a bad TV movie. Wide-screen movie has decent picture and sound quality. DVD extras include a short behind the scenes documentary, text-based cast/crew/location info, list of awards, and a trailer.

In short - Not the best cop movie, not the best McQueen movie, and not the best chase. Watchable but not a stand out. ... Read more


4. The Brothers Karamazov
Director: Richard Brooks
list price: $24.99
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Asin: 6301967712
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 4532
Average Customer Review: 3.27 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars It's a Movie - of course the book's better!
One of my all-time favorite novels, and now one of my favorite videos. Of course the book is better. A movie could never approach the philosophical breadth that Dostoyevsky does in his classic novel, nor could it develop the characters as fully and as masterfully. Lament that the "Grand Inquisitor" does not make an appearance in the film, and that the character of Father Zossima (a very significant figure in the novel) is not developed at all. But, for a movie, it's quite well done and worth the watch. Even my kids enjoyed it (my 10 yr-old daughter figured out the murder mystery before it was revealed). Yul Brynner is very concvincing and, I'm no "trekie," but Shatner rules! I liked it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Pale version of the novel
This was fair as a movie, but an extremely poor adaptation of one of the finest novels ever written. It would be comparable to a cartoon version of Hamlet. Cobb is outstanding as Fyodor and Brynner is quite good as Dmitri, but they are hamstrung by a phenomenally flat script. Shatner is a disaster as Alyosha and the other characters are not particularly memorable. If you have not read the book, this is a decently enjoyable film. The original story is pared down and the ending changed, but still OK for a light viewing. If you have read the novel, however, this film will be neither entertaining not elucidating.

3-0 out of 5 stars The Brothers Whats?..av
This movie doesn't go along with the book, but what movie about a book goes along with it? This movie is your typical movie about a book and kinda twisting the books details. But it is pretty funny.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excesses of Every Description
THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV is a movie about a dysfunctional nineteenth century Russian family headed by a domineering father (Lee J. Cobb). He and his strong-willed son (Yul Brynner) compete for the same woman (Maria Schell). The family which also has three other sons is torn apart by excesses of every description and some of the characters seem much larger than life - especially Brynner and Cobb. The thoroughly competent supporting cast includes Claire Bloom, Richard Basehart and William Shatner.

The film was based on a novel by Feodor Dostoevsky. It received one Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor (Lee J. Cobb). The main competition for Oscars in 1958 came from GIGI.

Richard Brooks also directed ELMER GANTRY.

3-0 out of 5 stars Yul Brynner HOT as usual
Interesting how one of the greatest novels of all time can play like a pretty good episode of General Hospital on the big screen, when placed in the right(?) hands. See it for YB, God rest his soul, and some interesting family intrigue. You will be entertained, but if you want more than that, READ the book! ... Read more


5. I Want to Live!
Director: Robert Wise
list price: $14.95
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Asin: 630430840X
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 6063
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars fantastic drama, a tour-de-force by Hayward
I WANT TO LIVE is a stunning film starring the amazing Susan Hayward in her Oscar-winning triumph. Director Robert Wise (THE SOUND OF MUSIC, THE SAND PEBBLES, STAR!) gives us an unforgettable film noir classic.

The film tells the true story of convicted murderess Barbara Graham (Susan Hayward - TAP ROOTS, VALLEY OF THE DOLLS) who was sentenced to the gas chamber for her part in the robbery and murder of an elderly lady. Professing her innocence right up to the end, Barbara is a sly, sardonic but always-likable woman who wins the heart of the audience. Hayward's tour-de-force performance as Graham is vastly rewarding. Her multi-faceted portrayal of Graham is truly amazing.

Highly recommended.

The DVD includes the trailer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent fare written to showcase the lovely Miss Hayward
Susan Hayward was one of the best actresses ever. I just love to watch her. The only real talent to come after her was Faye Dunaway. Anyway, "I Want to Live!" was Hollywood's scathing indictment of the death penalty and is the film for which Susan Hayward is best remembered. It is her Oscar-winning performance. Frankly, I liked her a lot better in "I'll Cry Tomorrow" "Smash Up: The Story of a Woman" and "With a Song in My Heart." I thought she was much better in those, but the Oscar had eluded her, so they wrote this screenplay full of plenty of dramatic scenes to get her the Oscar she rightfully deserved. It worked.

The dialog and plot are excellent and her scenes as the condemned woman hours from execution are still extremely powerful today. In some ways, Susan Hayward was at her very best, and with the perfect script, a rare combination. You still sit there rooting for her to get that stay of execution in the movie, the movie grabs you that much. I've watched this film about 10 times, she never gets the stay, but the situations are so real, you root for one every time.

The only thing that to me does not make this Miss Hayward's best role (apart from maybe a handful of scenes) is that Barbara Graham, the real-life death-row inmate portrayed here, was a low-budget, crude, herion addict who got along by using men, doing petty thefts and sometimes being a prostitute, and I don't mean the $100 an hour ones that come to your hotel room. We're talking low-class street woman. Miss Hayward is nothing of the kind, she doesn't have that look or manner. Though the prison and death penalty scenes and themes are excellently and realistically portrayed here, you feel like you're watching a wrongfully-convicted society woman, nun, or school teacher getting the gas chamber, not a two-bit street prostitute/heroine junkie/thief. I don't think this necessarily takes away from the movie much or how it grips you, but for this reason, I'm not sure I would rate this the best of Susan Hayward. The Oscar was righting previous wrongs, in my opinion.

I highly recommend this film, and if you like it, try some of Susan Hayward's other films. She was really outstanding!

5-0 out of 5 stars The film that changed my attitude!
I feel that many cold-blooded criminals that're in jail probably deserve the death penalty, but when we can't prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they actually did the crime, then it's time to admit a mistake & let the falsely accused go free! This is a prime example of criminal justice gone wrong. The heartbreaking true story of Barbara Graham, who was wrongfully executed for a grisly murder she didn't commit. I knew the story before watching this, yet up to the very end I kept on hoping that Barbara, brilliantly played by Susan Hayward, would be granted another trial to prove her innocence. The tension is almost as unbearable for the viewer as it is for poor Barbara as she counts the hours & finally minutes before her execution. I'll admit, early in the movie it's difficult to sympathize with someone so amoral, but by the time she's pleading for her life we all feel terrible about her situation. I haven't seen many of Susan Hayward's movies, but her performance in this (which won her an oscar) is equal to anything Bette Davis or Joan Crawford ever did (& that's saying a lot!). If you're looking for a great Susan Hayward film, you've found it! This powerful film convinced me that the death penalty is not the best way to deal out justice. Consider Charles Manson: Now of course he deserves to die, but don't you also think he deserves to rot in jail the rest of his life? Whatever your current opinion about the death penalty, I gurantee this movie will make you think twice!

5-0 out of 5 stars Hayward Masterpiece!
Maybe I'm a bit partial, being an avid Susan Hayward fan, but "I Want to Live!" must rank as the perfect example of how to meld great story and super talent. Susan rightfully deserved her Oscar for her portrayal of Barbara Graham, a woman convicted and executed for a murder she denied to the end. All the key element of sophisticated film making come together to make this a treasure. They don't make them like this any more.

4-0 out of 5 stars I WANT AN OSCAR!...
A memorable film from the 50's based allegedly on the true story of a woman named Barbara Graham who went to the gas chamber for a murder she swore she didn't commit. As played by Susan Hayward (who won an Oscar), Graham is a party girl and sometime thief/prostitute involved with some very shady small time crooks. An old woman is robbed and killed in the process and the crooks let Graham take the rap. Graham is also the mother of a small child---an angle played up in the press as she waves her son's toy tiger at the cameras. What sticks in your mind, though, are the scenes where she's back and forth from her death row cell to the gas chamber as she waits anxiously for a stay from the governor. These scenes are nerve-racking and make me cry when I watch this movie. Hayward is vivid and believable in these scenes as she is throughout the movie. I recommend this film for people who like watching stellar performances in off-beat films. A fine b&w case study of crime, psychodrama and powerful acting. Don't pass this one up. ... Read more


6. Follow That Dream
Director: Gordon Douglas
list price: $9.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6304479719
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 2468
Average Customer Review: 3.73 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (26)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous movie; why no wide screen?
A non-typical "Elvis Movie" with charming story line, terrific acting by The King, great supporting cast with Authur O'Connell, Joanna Moore (Tatum O'Neil's mom), Simon Oakland and Roland Winters (who Elvis movie fans will remember as Elvis' father in "Blue Hawaii"). This movie could have been the pilot for the Beverly Hillbillies with Elvis as a Jethro Bodean meets Peter Sellers "Chauncy The Gardener" from Being There character. Elvis fans will love his performance, particulary as the family's lawyer in the courtroom scene near the end of the film. Very tourching performance.

Great bit of rock trivia from this movie: Florida native Tom Petty met Elvis on the set of this movie when he was a kid and was inspired to pursue a career in music. Also, Bruce Springsteen often referenced this movie from the stage during his 1985 Born In The USA Tour and performed his own version of the title track, "Follow That Dream".

I've waited several years for this movie to come out on DVD and have seen it before on Turner Classics in wide screen; it was wonderful. Why on earth MGM is releasing the DVD in full screen format is a complete mystery. What a disappointment. Great movie, lousy format.

5-0 out of 5 stars Elvis delivers a great comedy performance! One of his best !
Elvis is in great form in "Follow That Dream",and this film shows just how wonderful his acting can be when given a good script to work with! The songs: "What A Wonderful Life", "I'm Not The Marrying Kind", "Sound Advice", "Follow That Dream" and "Angel" are among some of Elvis' best movie songs! Another song called "A Whistling Tune" was recorded for this movie, but was dropped before the film's release. It was re-recorded and included in Elvis' next film "Kid Galahad".I was very pleased to see "Follow That Dream" coming out on DVD...however, you guys at Amazon need to correct the technical details above concerning the DVD release! You have it listed as being available in Full-Frame only, when it is actually both Full-Frame AND Widescreen! I was very dissapointed when I first read this information here, and didn't realize that it was ALSO in widescreen until I saw a copy at the store! A great film with wonderful performances by the entire cast, which includes Arthur O'Connell, Ann Helm and Simon Oakland!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Fun
There are only three Elvis films that I enjoy: King Creole, Jailhouse Rock, and Follow That Dream. While the first two are great musical dramas from when Elvis still had the air of rebellion about him, Follow That Dream is a piece of comedic fluff like most of his later films, but one which avoids being as formulaic or sickly sweet or filled with terrible music as are most of those later films.

In this one Elvis plays a true innocent who is somehow still ignorant about the ways of the world despite being a vet. He and his family (including some orphans they are looking after) build a homestead on government land which happens to be prime real estate and find themselves in the position to legally obtain ownership of this land. As a result they become the targets of organized crime and feds (who can tell them apart?) who want the land. Elvis also finds himself the target of a crackpot social worker looking into the welfare of the orphans who seeks revenge after he innocently spurns her advances. Elvis gives a really fun performance as a naive character who is so positive in his outlook that when somebody shoots at him he automatically assumes it was an error.

The film pokes great fun at bureaucracy and greed, but it maintains the optimistic outlook that good guys will win in the end. Such an innocent perspective tends to turn off many fans of social satire who find such things too escapist, but what most cynical viewers miss is that much of the innocence is tongue in cheek, and I personally see nothing wrong with optimism so long as it doesn't interfere with realism. If you enjoy, e.g., the film Harvey, then this might be your cup of tea.

2-0 out of 5 stars Only 2 stars because it's not Anamorphic
There are a lot of complaints from people who thought this DVD would not be widescreen, however,no one has mentioned it is not Enhanced For Widescreen T.V.'s. MGM is releasing a lot of films this way to save money. If this bothers you as it does me then send an email to MGM.
I really like this movie but am very disappointed with the format. When you have a widescreen T.V. in the future you'll curse MGM.

5-0 out of 5 stars I made a mistake in a early Review of this Release.
This Version of Follow that Dream DOES contain the letterbox transfer as well as the full screen version. I withdraw my earlier review, which was in response to others on this board that insisted the movie was being released in Full Frame only - This is very much incorrect. 5 Stars. Joe has left the building. ... Read more


7. West Side Story
Director: Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins
list price: $19.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00000FZYW
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 21655
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

8. Psycho
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
list price: $14.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6300181251
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 6279
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com essential video

For all the slasher pictures that have ripped off Psycho (and particularly its classic set piece, the "shower scene"), nothing has ever matched the impact of the real thing. More than just a first-rate shocker full of thrills and suspense, Psycho is also an engrossing character study in which director Alfred Hitchcock skillfully seduces you into identifying with the main characters--then pulls the rug (or the bathmat) out from under you. Anthony Perkins is unforgettable as Norman Bates, the mama's boy proprietor of the Bates Motel; and so is Janet Leigh as Marion Crane, who makes an impulsive decision and becomes a fugitive from the law, hiding out at Norman's roadside inn for one fateful night. --Jim Emerson ... Read more

Reviews (319)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hitchcock's Finest Film
Its amazing how still to this day, a movie made 40 years ago can continue to still scare you every time you view it. But thats exactly what Psycho does. The film never has a dull moment, and all its infamous scenes are just as startling as they were back in 1960. The story revolves around Marion Crane, searching to leave the big city, and live the american dream, she steals 40,000 dollars and travels to the outskirts of California. Along the way, she starts going a little paranoid after her boss sees her leaving the city, and she is chased by a local police officer. Overwhelmed by these feelings and the weather, she stops at the Bates Motel. The hotel, run by young Norman (Anthony Perkins in his finest role) has 12 open rooms. From here, the story starts to pick up. If you have never seen any scenes from Psycho, than the suprise you have will be amazing. There are plenty of plot twists and edge-of-your-seat moments. Hitchcocks directing is a high note. Just look at the scene between Marion and Norman in his parlor. The dialoug is great, directing is great and the acting is great. A all around great movie, and Hitchcocks best.

4-0 out of 5 stars Don't Go Psycho after Watching "Psycho"
Director Alfred Hitchcock's movie, "Psycho" kept me at the edge of my seat throughout this classic thriller. Although the movie is in black and white, Hitchcock uses other special effects to add excitement. Not only that, but his wise choice of actors made the film that much more enjoyable. They portrayed the characters just as Hitchcock wanted them to. At the beginning of the movie, the plot is shifted in many directions. Hitchcock did an extraordinary job adding many twists into the story. "Psycho" is a famous, classical horror movie that will be a popular movie for many years to come.
Hitchcock knew what he was doing when he chose the characters that he did. Anthony Perkins, who played Norman Bates, used the perfect facial expressions and tone of voice to keep you guessing his innocence or guilt. When the investigator comes to his tiny, in-the-middle-of-nowhere hotel looking for Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), Perkins is nervous and stutters a lot. This suspicion leads you to believe he might have something to do with the disappearance of Marion, but in your head you're portraying Perkins as this nice, innocent hotel owner with great hospitality. Throughout the movie in many different scenes, Perkins uses very meaningful, evil, and friendly facial expressions that especially play out Bates' character. When Bates' is watching Marion through the window, you get the feeling that Bates' has something evil planned, but murder is not what jumped to my head right away.
Janet Leigh was another great actress for Hitchcock's film. She is a petite, vulnerable character that is marvelous for the role of a devious, suspicious blonde on the run with $40,000. I think Hitchcock knew what he was doing when he asked Leigh to be in his movie. It adds a whole other twist to the storyline.
The special effects make the movie outstanding all by themselves. One thing that really stands out in my mind is the soundtrack. The music adds to the horror and suspense of it all. Hitchcock selected music that terrifies you even if you weren't even looking at the screen. It really draws you into the scene like you're witnessing things firsthand.
Throughout the movie, the lighting and camera angles draw you in even more. Hitchcock uses outstanding shadows on the faces of the characters, and adds a dark, eerie glow to the dark nights at Bates' Motel. I especially liked the camera angles during the shower scene. Hitchcock zooms in really close, once again inviting the audience to be a part of the scene.
At the beginning of the movie, Marion Crane is with her boyfriend Sam, at a cheap motel over their lunch break. Unable to get married because Sam is still paying alimony to his ex-wife, Marion is drawn in to the perfect opportunity: She is trusted with $40,000 in which her boss orders her to take it to the bank at the end of the day. Instead, Marion flees the town to Sam's home in another town.
Tired from driving almost all through the night in a heavy rainstorm, Marion sees a hotel off the main highway and decides to stop. Here, she meets Norman Bates, the owner of the hotel. Being the nice hotel clerk that he appears to be, Norman offers Marion a late supper. She complies, and patiently waits for his return. In the meantime, she overhears Norman in an argument with his mother. This adds yet another twist in Hitchcock's film. After dinner, Marion tells Norman she wants to get cleaned up and get a good night's sleep, so he leaves, only to return later, leaving the audience in total shock after what comes next....
I think "Psycho" is an excellent horror film that will scare many viewers right out of the shower after watching it. Its constant mysteries and plot twists keep you thinking all the time. Although it may be quite gruesome, Hitchcock's film remains on my list for scariest movies of all time!

4-0 out of 5 stars Not his BEST, but FULL of exciting scenes
I`ve seen this film numerous times and I have always found it a bit cold, made without passion. Sure the shower-scene in particular is a mind-blower, but Hitchcock was much better off in the suspense-genre... This story simply isn`t interesting enough. It reason may be that it always had a GREAT reputation and everyone who ever saw it knew if by heart and thus destroyed the first viewing of others... Another factor is that Janet Leigh is much 2 pretty and ladylike for her role. When I saw Anne Heche in the 1998 movie I realised that H E R Marion was indeed a low-life, tramp - sort of - who jumped at the chance of doing something stupid 2 her employer. Janet Leigh`s Marion is never at any moment stupid... Alas, Anne was much more satisfying, as were Viggo Mortensen and Julianne Moore.

John Gavin and Vera Miles are lifeless - cardboard stereotypes and that leaves us only with Martin Balsam and the great Anthony Perkins. THEY breath life into their characters and are the main reason I like this version. William Macy and Vince Vaughn repeated their roles, but eh..... hehehehe???????? Let there be silence. In 1983, Perkins reprised his role as Norman Bates to even better effect in the splendid PSYCHO II.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mother says, "Watch this movie, or else!"
I don't know why it took me so long to review this film. Perhaps I've been extremely busy, but this creepy and memorable piece of cinema came into my mind a few days ago, and I haven't seen it in YEARS! Unsurprisingly though, I remember everything about it, as if I saw it yesterday. That's one of the many impacts PSYCHO has, no matter how many times it's viewed. (Just for the record, mine is three so far, which includes a USC screening with Hitchcock's own daughter and granddaughter providing a Q&A afterward.)

The master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock has outdone himself with this brilliant masterpiece. It's a taut, suspenseful little tale that paved the way for other thrillers and provided many firsts in cinema-

1) It was the first slasher film, EVER! Without PSYCHO, there would be no BLACK CHRISTMAS, no HALLOWEEN, no FRIDAY THE 13th, no SCREAM, etc. That's right folks, PSYCHO is the granddaddy of the slasher pic.

2) It was the first movie to show a woman (Janet Leigh) in just a bra and slip, an aspect used very cleverly by Hitchcock. In the opening scene, Marion Crane is wearing a white bra because Alfred Hitchcock wanted to show her as being "angelic". After she has taken the money, the following scene has her in a black bra because now she has done something wrong and evil. Similarly, before she steals the money, she has a white purse; after she's stolen the money, she carries a black one.

3) It was the first movie to show a flushing toilet on camera. This is a must know for any film buff.

Yup, PSYCHO did all those first. Learn it, live it, love it.

Anyway....Alfred Hitchcock anonymously bought the rights to Robert Bloch's great novel, for just $9,000. He then bought up as many copies of the novel as he could to keep the ending a secret. That's one of many things that made him so great. Hitchcock did take liberties when having the novel (which was more graphic) adapted, but they all work well. In Bloch's novel, Norman Bates is short, fat, older, and very dislikable. It was Hitchcock who decided to have him be young, handsome, and sympathetic. Norman is also more of a main character in the novel. The story opens with him and Mother fighting rather than following Marion from the start. I think that's one of the many reasons PSYCHO works so well. It also shocked audiences when Janet Leigh, who was advertized as the star, bit the dust a mere 50 minutes into the film. (SCREAM used this tactic by offing Drew Barrymore less than 15 minutes into the picture.)

The picture is filmed in black and white because Alfred Hitchcock believed the movie would be too gory for color. That adds to the creepiness and makes the film more effective, as the horrible colored remake proved.

A brilliant and much duplicated score by Hermann Bernard adds to the atmosphere and builds the suspense. Hitchcock originally envisioned the shower sequence as completely silent, but Bernard Herrmann went ahead and scored it anyway and Hitch immediately changed his mind. I couldn't imagine the movie any other way.

However, what makes PSYCHO truly immortal, when so many films are already half-forgotten, is that it connects directly with our innermost fears: Our fears that we might impulsively commit a crime, our fears of the police, our fears of becoming the victim of a madman, and of course our fears of disappointing our mothers.

Speaking of mothers, you wouldn't want to disappoint Norma Bates would you? I thought not, so see the film, before you make mother really angry....

5-0 out of 5 stars Psycho (1960)
Alfred Hitchcock is definitely the most legendery film director of all time. His work is beyond amazing, without a doubt. Psycho is among the many greats of Alfred Hitchcock and will remain a classic.

Starting off in Phoenix, Arizona on Friday, December 11th, 1960. The beautiful MARION CRANE (played by Janet Leigh) has rented a posh hotel room with her boyfriend, SAM LOOMIS (played by John Gavin), during her lunchbreak. Marion has to get back to work, while Sam has to get back to Fairvelle. Marion gets back to work a little late, but lucks out in knowing that her boss, GEORGE LOWERY (played by Vaughn Taylor) is late himself, for he is in a meeting. In comes George Lowery, following a businessman named, Tom Cassidy (played by Frank Albertson). He walks over to Marion and begins telling her about his 18-year old daughter tying the knot. He hands Marion $40,000, the money Mr. Cassidy will be using to buy his daughter a house as a wedding present. George invites Tom into his office and tells Marion to bank the $40,000 until the following Monday. Marion asks George for permission to take the rest of the day off because of her supposed headache and goes on her way.

While in her bedroom, Marion packs a suitcase and changes clothes. She so temptingly stares at the $40,000 and tries to restrain herself, but not for long, for, in one quick movement, she steals the $40,000 and heads out to her car. Seems as though that Marion is on her way to Fairvelle to see Sam. While at a red light, she notices George crossing in front of her. Unfortunately, he notices Marion, but Marion, as worried as she is about having being noticed, continues on her way. She drives into dusk until pulling over to sleep. The next morning, Marion is awakened by a suspicious cop. She nervously talks to the cop and goes on her way, as the cop follows her. She pulls into a dealership and requests to trade in her car for another. She makes her decision rather quickly and pays for it with her car, plus $700.

She drives on her through the morning, afternoon, and into dusk. Suddenly, it's starts to storm. She gets off a main road and finds The Bates Motel sitting quietly off the highway as if it were hidden from it. She gets out and sees nobody in the office. She looks up and finds a sinister looking house and notices, through a window, an elderly woman walking about. She beeps her car horn until someone comes running out. He finally comes to Marion's aide and takes her inside. The man who took Marion inside the office is NORMAN BATES (played by Anthony Perkins), a seemingly-sweet young man, who owns both the house and motel. He checks Marion in to cabin No. 1 because 'it's closer in case you want anything'. Marion says she wants sleep more than anything, except maybe some food. Norman invites her to the house for some sandwiches. As he goes off to make the sandwiches, Marion hears a woman, viciously yelling at Norman. The woman is the elderly woman Marion saw and it turns out that the woman is Norman's mother. Norman yells back and comes back into Marion's room. The two have supper in Norman's polar, which is located in the back of the office. The polar is decorated with stuffed birds. Turns out that Norman's hobby is taxidermy. They have a brief conversation, leading to Marion wanting to get some sleep. She goes off into her cabin and gets ready to take a shower. She steps in and begins washing herself. While in the middle of her shower, the curtain opens to reveal a dark figure of an elderly woman. Marion turns around and screams in fright as she is murdered in cold blood. The woman disappears and Norman comes in to erase the crime.

A week later, a young woman runs into Sam Loomis' store and demands to talk to Sam. Sam comes out and walks over to the young woman. The young woman is LILA CRANE (played by Vera Miles), Marion's curious sister. She tells Sam what Marion had done the Friday before. As Sam and Lila are talking about it, a private investigator by the name of MILTON ARBOGAST (played by Martin Balsam) comes in and begins talking to Sam and Lila about Marion. He goes off to investigate and comes across Norman and The Bates Motel. He questions Norman, but claims that Marion stayed overnight and left early the next morning. Arbogast then sees Norman's mother and asks to question her, but Norman refuses. Arbogast calls Lila and Sam, gives them the news and goes into the house to question Norman's mother, only to be killed by her.

Lila and Sam have been waiting for Arbogast to return for three hours. Sam drives up there, but finds no Arbogast, but only Norman's mother. He drives back to Lila and they visit SHERIFF AL CHAMBERS (played by John McIntire). Al and his wife, ELIZA CHAMBERS listen to Lila and Sam's story of Marion's disappearance and of Arbogast's disappearance. Sam says that when he went up there, he too noticed Norman's mother. Both Al and Eliza make them aware of the death of Norman's mother that happened ten years earlier. Sam is certain of seeing Norman's mother in the house. The next morning, Lila and Sam drive up to the motel and decide to check in as man and wife, in order to search the motel. They are checked in by Norman. They settle in and begin searching Cabin No.1 and find that it was occupied by Marion. Sam tells Lila to take the job of questioning Mrs. Bates, while he distracts Norman. Lila enters Norman's fruitcellar, only to see that Mrs. Bates is dead, as the real killer is finally revealed. If you're wise, you'll take showers with the curtains open forever. ... Read more


9. Psycho
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
list price: $14.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0783235607
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 22190
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Amazon.com essential video

For all the slasher pictures that have ripped off Psycho (and particularly its classic set piece, the "shower scene"), nothing has ever matched the impact of the real thing. More than just a first-rate shocker full of thrills and suspense, Psycho is also an engrossing character study in which director Alfred Hitchcock skillfully seduces you into identifying with the main characters--then pulls the rug (or the bathmat) out from under you. Anthony Perkins is unforgettable as Norman Bates, the mama's boy proprietor of the Bates Motel; and so is Janet Leigh as Marion Crane, who makes an impulsive decision and becomes a fugitive from the law, hiding out at Norman's roadside inn for one fateful night. --Jim Emerson ... Read more

Reviews (319)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hitchcock's Finest Film
Its amazing how still to this day, a movie made 40 years ago can continue to still scare you every time you view it. But thats exactly what Psycho does. The film never has a dull moment, and all its infamous scenes are just as startling as they were back in 1960. The story revolves around Marion Crane, searching to leave the big city, and live the american dream, she steals 40,000 dollars and travels to the outskirts of California. Along the way, she starts going a little paranoid after her boss sees her leaving the city, and she is chased by a local police officer. Overwhelmed by these feelings and the weather, she stops at the Bates Motel. The hotel, run by young Norman (Anthony Perkins in his finest role) has 12 open rooms. From here, the story starts to pick up. If you have never seen any scenes from Psycho, than the suprise you have will be amazing. There are plenty of plot twists and edge-of-your-seat moments. Hitchcocks directing is a high note. Just look at the scene between Marion and Norman in his parlor. The dialoug is great, directing is great and the acting is great. A all around great movie, and Hitchcocks best.

4-0 out of 5 stars Don't Go Psycho after Watching "Psycho"
Director Alfred Hitchcock's movie, "Psycho" kept me at the edge of my seat throughout this classic thriller. Although the movie is in black and white, Hitchcock uses other special effects to add excitement. Not only that, but his wise choice of actors made the film that much more enjoyable. They portrayed the characters just as Hitchcock wanted them to. At the beginning of the movie, the plot is shifted in many directions. Hitchcock did an extraordinary job adding many twists into the story. "Psycho" is a famous, classical horror movie that will be a popular movie for many years to come.
Hitchcock knew what he was doing when he chose the characters that he did. Anthony Perkins, who played Norman Bates, used the perfect facial expressions and tone of voice to keep you guessing his innocence or guilt. When the investigator comes to his tiny, in-the-middle-of-nowhere hotel looking for Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), Perkins is nervous and stutters a lot. This suspicion leads you to believe he might have something to do with the disappearance of Marion, but in your head you're portraying Perkins as this nice, innocent hotel owner with great hospitality. Throughout the movie in many different scenes, Perkins uses very meaningful, evil, and friendly facial expressions that especially play out Bates' character. When Bates' is watching Marion through the window, you get the feeling that Bates' has something evil planned, but murder is not what jumped to my head right away.
Janet Leigh was another great actress for Hitchcock's film. She is a petite, vulnerable character that is marvelous for the role of a devious, suspicious blonde on the run with $40,000. I think Hitchcock knew what he was doing when he asked Leigh to be in his movie. It adds a whole other twist to the storyline.
The special effects make the movie outstanding all by themselves. One thing that really stands out in my mind is the soundtrack. The music adds to the horror and suspense of it all. Hitchcock selected music that terrifies you even if you weren't even looking at the screen. It really draws you into the scene like you're witnessing things firsthand.
Throughout the movie, the lighting and camera angles draw you in even more. Hitchcock uses outstanding shadows on the faces of the characters, and adds a dark, eerie glow to the dark nights at Bates' Motel. I especially liked the camera angles during the shower scene. Hitchcock zooms in really close, once again inviting the audience to be a part of the scene.
At the beginning of the movie, Marion Crane is with her boyfriend Sam, at a cheap motel over their lunch break. Unable to get married because Sam is still paying alimony to his ex-wife, Marion is drawn in to the perfect opportunity: She is trusted with $40,000 in which her boss orders her to take it to the bank at the end of the day. Instead, Marion flees the town to Sam's home in another town.
Tired from driving almost all through the night in a heavy rainstorm, Marion sees a hotel off the main highway and decides to stop. Here, she meets Norman Bates, the owner of the hotel. Being the nice hotel clerk that he appears to be, Norman offers Marion a late supper. She complies, and patiently waits for his return. In the meantime, she overhears Norman in an argument with his mother. This adds yet another twist in Hitchcock's film. After dinner, Marion tells Norman she wants to get cleaned up and get a good night's sleep, so he leaves, only to return later, leaving the audience in total shock after what comes next....
I think "Psycho" is an excellent horror film that will scare many viewers right out of the shower after watching it. Its constant mysteries and plot twists keep you thinking all the time. Although it may be quite gruesome, Hitchcock's film remains on my list for scariest movies of all time!

4-0 out of 5 stars Not his BEST, but FULL of exciting scenes
I`ve seen this film numerous times and I have always found it a bit cold, made without passion. Sure the shower-scene in particular is a mind-blower, but Hitchcock was much better off in the suspense-genre... This story simply isn`t interesting enough. It reason may be that it always had a GREAT reputation and everyone who ever saw it knew if by heart and thus destroyed the first viewing of others... Another factor is that Janet Leigh is much 2 pretty and ladylike for her role. When I saw Anne Heche in the 1998 movie I realised that H E R Marion was indeed a low-life, tramp - sort of - who jumped at the chance of doing something stupid 2 her employer. Janet Leigh`s Marion is never at any moment stupid... Alas, Anne was much more satisfying, as were Viggo Mortensen and Julianne Moore.

John Gavin and Vera Miles are lifeless - cardboard stereotypes and that leaves us only with Martin Balsam and the great Anthony Perkins. THEY breath life into their characters and are the main reason I like this version. William Macy and Vince Vaughn repeated their roles, but eh..... hehehehe???????? Let there be silence. In 1983, Perkins reprised his role as Norman Bates to even better effect in the splendid PSYCHO II.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mother says, "Watch this movie, or else!"
I don't know why it took me so long to review this film. Perhaps I've been extremely busy, but this creepy and memorable piece of cinema came into my mind a few days ago, and I haven't seen it in YEARS! Unsurprisingly though, I remember everything about it, as if I saw it yesterday. That's one of the many impacts PSYCHO has, no matter how many times it's viewed. (Just for the record, mine is three so far, which includes a USC screening with Hitchcock's own daughter and granddaughter providing a Q&A afterward.)

The master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock has outdone himself with this brilliant masterpiece. It's a taut, suspenseful little tale that paved the way for other thrillers and provided many firsts in cinema-

1) It was the first slasher film, EVER! Without PSYCHO, there would be no BLACK CHRISTMAS, no HALLOWEEN, no FRIDAY THE 13th, no SCREAM, etc. That's right folks, PSYCHO is the granddaddy of the slasher pic.

2) It was the first movie to show a woman (Janet Leigh) in just a bra and slip, an aspect used very cleverly by Hitchcock. In the opening scene, Marion Crane is wearing a white bra because Alfred Hitchcock wanted to show her as being "angelic". After she has taken the money, the following scene has her in a black bra because now she has done something wrong and evil. Similarly, before she steals the money, she has a white purse; after she's stolen the money, she carries a black one.

3) It was the first movie to show a flushing toilet on camera. This is a must know for any film buff.

Yup, PSYCHO did all those first. Learn it, live it, love it.

Anyway....Alfred Hitchcock anonymously bought the rights to Robert Bloch's great novel, for just $9,000. He then bought up as many copies of the novel as he could to keep the ending a secret. That's one of many things that made him so great. Hitchcock did take liberties when having the novel (which was more graphic) adapted, but they all work well. In Bloch's novel, Norman Bates is short, fat, older, and very dislikable. It was Hitchcock who decided to have him be young, handsome, and sympathetic. Norman is also more of a main character in the novel. The story opens with him and Mother fighting rather than following Marion from the start. I think that's one of the many reasons PSYCHO works so well. It also shocked audiences when Janet Leigh, who was advertized as the star, bit the dust a mere 50 minutes into the film. (SCREAM used this tactic by offing Drew Barrymore less than 15 minutes into the picture.)

The picture is filmed in black and white because Alfred Hitchcock believed the movie would be too gory for color. That adds to the creepiness and makes the film more effective, as the horrible colored remake proved.

A brilliant and much duplicated score by Hermann Bernard adds to the atmosphere and builds the suspense. Hitchcock originally envisioned the shower sequence as completely silent, but Bernard Herrmann went ahead and scored it anyway and Hitch immediately changed his mind. I couldn't imagine the movie any other way.

However, what makes PSYCHO truly immortal, when so many films are already half-forgotten, is that it connects directly with our innermost fears: Our fears that we might impulsively commit a crime, our fears of the police, our fears of becoming the victim of a madman, and of course our fears of disappointing our mothers.

Speaking of mothers, you wouldn't want to disappoint Norma Bates would you? I thought not, so see the film, before you make mother really angry....

5-0 out of 5 stars Psycho (1960)
Alfred Hitchcock is definitely the most legendery film director of all time. His work is beyond amazing, without a doubt. Psycho is among the many greats of Alfred Hitchcock and will remain a classic.

Starting off in Phoenix, Arizona on Friday, December 11th, 1960. The beautiful MARION CRANE (played by Janet Leigh) has rented a posh hotel room with her boyfriend, SAM LOOMIS (played by John Gavin), during her lunchbreak. Marion has to get back to work, while Sam has to get back to Fairvelle. Marion gets back to work a little late, but lucks out in knowing that her boss, GEORGE LOWERY (played by Vaughn Taylor) is late himself, for he is in a meeting. In comes George Lowery, following a businessman named, Tom Cassidy (played by Frank Albertson). He walks over to Marion and begins telling her about his 18-year old daughter tying the knot. He hands Marion $40,000, the money Mr. Cassidy will be using to buy his daughter a house as a wedding present. George invites Tom into his office and tells Marion to bank the $40,000 until the following Monday. Marion asks George for permission to take the rest of the day off because of her supposed headache and goes on her way.

While in her bedroom, Marion packs a suitcase and changes clothes. She so temptingly stares at the $40,000 and tries to restrain herself, but not for long, for, in one quick movement, she steals the $40,000 and heads out to her car. Seems as though that Marion is on her way to Fairvelle to see Sam. While at a red light, she notices George crossing in front of her. Unfortunately, he notices Marion, but Marion, as worried as she is about having being noticed, continues on her way. She drives into dusk until pulling over to sleep. The next morning, Marion is awakened by a suspicious cop. She nervously talks to the cop and goes on her way, as the cop follows her. She pulls into a dealership and requests to trade in her car for another. She makes her decision rather quickly and pays for it with her car, plus $700.

She drives on her through the morning, afternoon, and into dusk. Suddenly, it's starts to storm. She gets off a main road and finds The Bates Motel sitting quietly off the highway as if it were hidden from it. She gets out and sees nobody in the office. She looks up and finds a sinister looking house and notices, through a window, an elderly woman walking about. She beeps her car horn until someone comes running out. He finally comes to Marion's aide and takes her inside. The man who took Marion inside the office is NORMAN BATES (played by Anthony Perkins), a seemingly-sweet young man, who owns both the house and motel. He checks Marion in to cabin No. 1 because 'it's closer in case you want anything'. Marion says she wants sleep more than anything, except maybe some food. Norman invites her to the house for some sandwiches. As he goes off to make the sandwiches, Marion hears a woman, viciously yelling at Norman. The woman is the elderly woman Marion saw and it turns out that the woman is Norman's mother. Norman yells back and comes back into Marion's room. The two have supper in Norman's polar, which is located in the back of the office. The polar is decorated with stuffed birds. Turns out that Norman's hobby is taxidermy. They have a brief conversation, leading to Marion wanting to get some sleep. She goes off into her cabin and gets ready to take a shower. She steps in and begins washing herself. While in the middle of her shower, the curtain opens to reveal a dark figure of an elderly woman. Marion turns around and screams in fright as she is murdered in cold blood. The woman disappears and Norman comes in to erase the crime.

A week later, a young woman runs into Sam Loomis' store and demands to talk to Sam. Sam comes out and walks over to the young woman. The young woman is LILA CRANE (played by Vera Miles), Marion's curious sister. She tells Sam what Marion had done the Friday before. As Sam and Lila are talking about it, a private investigator by the name of MILTON ARBOGAST (played by Martin Balsam) comes in and begins talking to Sam and Lila about Marion. He goes off to investigate and comes across Norman and The Bates Motel. He questions Norman, but claims that Marion stayed overnight and left early the next morning. Arbogast then sees Norman's mother and asks to question her, but Norman refuses. Arbogast calls Lila and Sam, gives them the news and goes into the house to question Norman's mother, only to be killed by her.

Lila and Sam have been waiting for Arbogast to return for three hours. Sam drives up there, but finds no Arbogast, but only Norman's mother. He drives back to Lila and they visit SHERIFF AL CHAMBERS (played by John McIntire). Al and his wife, ELIZA CHAMBERS listen to Lila and Sam's story of Marion's disappearance and of Arbogast's disappearance. Sam says that when he went up there, he too noticed Norman's mother. Both Al and Eliza make them aware of the death of Norman's mother that happened ten years earlier. Sam is certain of seeing Norman's mother in the house. The next morning, Lila and Sam drive up to the motel and decide to check in as man and wife, in order to search the motel. They are checked in by Norman. They settle in and begin searching Cabin No.1 and find that it was occupied by Marion. Sam tells Lila to take the job of questioning Mrs. Bates, while he distracts Norman. Lila enters Norman's fruitcellar, only to see that Mrs. Bates is dead, as the real killer is finally revealed. If you're wise, you'll take showers with the curtains open forever. ... Read more


10. The Satan Bug
Director: John Sturges
list price: $19.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6304411413
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 35049
Average Customer Review: 4.43 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Reviews (7)

3-0 out of 5 stars George Maharis: The Hunter Not Home From The Hill
A 1965 release, The Satan Bug falls firmly into the B-film category of sixties cinema, and will find a comfortable place alongside other Hollywood science-fiction and adventure movies of that era such as Marooned, Tarzan & The Valley of Gold, Planet of the Apes, Valley of Gwangi, Mackenna's Gold, and Fantastic Voyage--pop culture genre thrillers all. Despite claims to the contrary, The Satan Bug is not a serious film or an A-list production like The Birds, Failsafe, Seconds, The Manchurian Candidate, or 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The story of a fatal, artificially-created super toxin stolen from a secret American science facility by parties unknown, The Satan Bug appears cheaply made (viewers hear about but do not see the evacuation of Los Angeles; to avoid scenes of Washington, D.C. and extra cast, stalwart Dana Andrews steps in to singularly represent the entire U.S. government), the sets are limited to a few awkward interiors and a lot of desert, much of the acting by the supporting cast is just short of caricature, the script is composed of a series of confusing ellipses which defeat its mystery and 'whodunit' approach, and director John Sturges doesn't seem to know what kind of film he's making or wants to make.

From the early scene when Ed Asner walks out of the desert compound like a very suspicious cardboard zombie without any of the security staff noticing, it's clear Sturges doesn't have as tight a reign on the film as he might. Star and brooding protagonist George Maharis is repeatedly required to fire upon men carrying flimsy flasks of lethal toxin for which there is no known antidote and which is capable of destroying all life on earth; the vials are tossed about haphazardly from hand to hand to hand throughout the film, from villain to hero to villain, like bottom-heavy frisbees of no consequence. At times, The Satan Bug seems almost like a parody, an episode of Get Smart, Police Squad, or an early entry into the Naked Gun series.

That said, the film is great fun, only charmingly dated, and will be a satisfying viewing pleasure to fans of science fiction, action, and suspense films and of American sixties cinema and television generally.

The film's largest strength is the subtle, nuanced performance by George Maharis as an ex-government troubleshooter called in to find the perpetrators and track down the missing toxin before the world can be blackmailed and destroyed. Maharis performs as if in a serious film and an A-list production (as it may have initially been), and makes a credible, serious-minded, and unflinching protagonist. This was an imperfect role for cat-eyed Maharis, who usually cast a semi-veiled, slightly antisocial, restlessly hungry, and somewhat isolated persona on the screen; Maharis faired better in more naturalistic films, such as 1969's The Land Raiders, where his character's dual objectives of justice and revenge, under the blazing southwestern sun, allowed him the opportunity to sweat, snarl, and engage himself full-bloodedly in his role. Here, his more disciplined, finessed character-note the continually perfect part in his hair--repeatedly foresees and intuits what the other characters do not, piecing together the puzzle with a keen, restrained intelligence that seems to accurately reflect Maharis's own. Confident and capable, Maharis is consistently believable, even though required to deliver absurd, convoluted dialogue to further the plot and enact scenes that stretch all credibility.

The Satan Bug did not make theater-trained Maharis an action-adventure star (an ambition he probably didn't aspire to in any case), but if his performance here fell in the way of that, it is due to its strengths and not its weaknesses; Maharis was made for stronger material and a finer production than this, and delivers a performance that stands above the rest of the film. In fact, Maharis, of Greek heritage, rightfully belongs in the tradition of European actors that also came to prominence in the sixties like Alain Delon and Jean-Paul Belmondo, who, while convincingly poised, urbane, and sophisticated when required to be, also simultaneously and spontaneously emitted a moody, sensual ferality (In Maharis's case, this impression is strengthened by the fact that, whenever speaking, only the bottom row of his teeth are visible).

A slightly more robust, extroverted, and ham-fisted actor like Rod Taylor may have been what the filmmakers had in mind; but Maharis expertly captures the urgency and contained anxiety needed to make his character seem situationally vulnerable, blindly dedicated, and resigned to all possible outcomes. Viewers will want to watch for an early scene in which Maharis, with blank existentialist resolve, voluntarily offers to investigate the potentially contaminated 'hot zone,' his beautiful face an unreadable tabula rasa as he proceeds.

The Satan Bug is surprisingly suspenseful if taken within its own limits, a purely entertaining time capsule, and a showcase for the versatile, chameleon-like Maharis, much of whose film work is unfortunately currently unavailable on DVD and video.

2 stars for general audiences; 3 for fans of the genre.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Cast reads like a "Who's Who" of 60's Television
OK, you've got George Maharis of "Route 66," Richard Basehart and Richard Bull from "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea," "Honey West's" own Anne Francis, Frank Sutton ("Sgt. Carter" of "Gomer Pyle"), Hari Rhodes of "Daktari", and in if one looks fast, "Star Trek's" James Doohan ("Scotty") in a bit part. Rounding out the actors are such television stalwarts as Henry Beckman, Harold Gould, John Larkin, John Anderson, Simon Oakland (later to be featured in the 70's "Night Stalker"), and Ed Asner in a pre-Lou Grant role. 40's movie star Dana Andrews is a part of the on-screen happenings.

Oh, between all the "star-gazing" hides a pretty neat thriller!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Unique Mystry Action Thriller
In this suspenseful tale of the CIA versus criminals, what intrigued me was the fact that all the characters in this hunt for the deadly virus are smart including the female lead. They never argue amongst themselves, they just want to get the job done. With a strong cast of great character actors supported by an equally strong script this yarn will keep all viewers clued to their seats. And listen to that great score by Jerry Goldsmith. His best next to "Planet of the Apes". I became a George Maharis fan just because of this one movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars ONE MOVING THRILLER
Before OUTBREAK there was THE SATAN BUG. With a top-notch cast and one of the best film directors in the business in control, this movie is a science-fiction winner.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Thriller That Shook Up People In The Midst Of The Cold War
When "The Satan Bug" was released in 1964 it came as a shock to most audiences whose fear was of atomic warfare. Chemical warfare was known from World War I but "The Satan Bug" introduced the terrifying idea of biological warfare to most people. With a fine cast, intelligent no wasted word script and crisp direction the film is a thriller that holds your attention to the end. From the chilling opening sequence with Jerry Goldsmith's unsettling music to its climax over the skies of Los Angeles this film manages to both entertain and leave you with a chilling after thought of what might be. In 1964 it was borderline science fiction but at century's end it is a possible reality. ... Read more


11. The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond
Director: Budd Boetticher
list price: $19.99
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Asin: 6302066875
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 13165
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Description

A fictionalized bio-pic of New York mobster Jack "Legs" Diamond. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Masterful story telling of Prohibition mobster !!
Talented director / screenwriter Budd Boetticher brought to life the violent story of infamous gangster, Jack "Legs" Diamond in this often overlooked, but high quality addition to the crime genre. The filming of this production in harsh black and white tones adds further realism to this gritty tale of illegal activities, shadowy ambushes and executions !

Ray Danton is superb in the lead role as the treacherous and manipulative small time hoodlum who arrive's in New York and immediately sets about muscling in on everyone elses racket to build his own empire. A very young Warren Oates plays Danton's sickly brother, Eddie Diamond, in a low key yet interesting performance. Simon Oakland is the aggressive and determined Lt. Moody hounding Diamond every step of the way...and Robert Lowerey portrays Prohibition kingpin Arnold Rothstein.

Boetticher's direction is fluid and crisp and he keeps this film noir gem tightly paced and holding your interest all the way through. Although Danton was never a major star, he simply shines in this film and his oily nature and good looks made him the perfect choice to play "the clay pidgeon" of the Prohibition era underworld.

An engaging and stimulating film that will be enjoyed by fans of film noir underworld drama !

FOOTNOTE: Diamond was known as "the clay pidgeon" of the underworld because of his repeated ability to survive assassination attempts...until he was betrayed and caught asleep one night and shot 6 times in the head ! And Diamond was not actually nicknamed "Legs" because of his dancing abilities, but rather for his habit on running out on his friends ! ... Read more


12. Follow That Dream
Director: Gordon Douglas
list price: $14.99
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Asin: 6301969596
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 57508
Average Customer Review: 3.73 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (26)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous movie; why no wide screen?
A non-typical "Elvis Movie" with charming story line, terrific acting by The King, great supporting cast with Authur O'Connell, Joanna Moore (Tatum O'Neil's mom), Simon Oakland and Roland Winters (who Elvis movie fans will remember as Elvis' father in "Blue Hawaii"). This movie could have been the pilot for the Beverly Hillbillies with Elvis as a Jethro Bodean meets Peter Sellers "Chauncy The Gardener" from Being There character. Elvis fans will love his performance, particulary as the family's lawyer in the courtroom scene near the end of the film. Very tourching performance.

Great bit of rock trivia from this movie: Florida native Tom Petty met Elvis on the set of this movie when he was a kid and was inspired to pursue a career in music. Also, Bruce Springsteen often referenced this movie from the stage during his 1985 Born In The USA Tour and performed his own version of the title track, "Follow That Dream".

I've waited several years for this movie to come out on DVD and have seen it before on Turner Classics in wide screen; it was wonderful. Why on earth MGM is releasing the DVD in full screen format is a complete mystery. What a disappointment. Great movie, lousy format.

5-0 out of 5 stars Elvis delivers a great comedy performance! One of his best !
Elvis is in great form in "Follow That Dream",and this film shows just how wonderful his acting can be when given a good script to work with! The songs: "What A Wonderful Life", "I'm Not The Marrying Kind", "Sound Advice", "Follow That Dream" and "Angel" are among some of Elvis' best movie songs! Another song called "A Whistling Tune" was recorded for this movie, but was dropped before the film's release. It was re-recorded and included in Elvis' next film "Kid Galahad".I was very pleased to see "Follow That Dream" coming out on DVD...however, you guys at Amazon need to correct the technical details above concerning the DVD release! You have it listed as being available in Full-Frame only, when it is actually both Full-Frame AND Widescreen! I was very dissapointed when I first read this information here, and didn't realize that it was ALSO in widescreen until I saw a copy at the store! A great film with wonderful performances by the entire cast, which includes Arthur O'Connell, Ann Helm and Simon Oakland!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Fun
There are only three Elvis films that I enjoy: King Creole, Jailhouse Rock, and Follow That Dream. While the first two are great musical dramas from when Elvis still had the air of rebellion about him, Follow That Dream is a piece of comedic fluff like most of his later films, but one which avoids being as formulaic or sickly sweet or filled with terrible music as are most of those later films.

In this one Elvis plays a true innocent who is somehow still ignorant about the ways of the world despite being a vet. He and his family (including some orphans they are looking after) build a homestead on government land which happens to be prime real estate and find themselves in the position to legally obtain ownership of this land. As a result they become the targets of organized crime and feds (who can tell them apart?) who want the land. Elvis also finds himself the target of a crackpot social worker looking into the welfare of the orphans who seeks revenge after he innocently spurns her advances. Elvis gives a really fun performance as a naive character who is so positive in his outlook that when somebody shoots at him he automatically assumes it was an error.

The film pokes great fun at bureaucracy and greed, but it maintains the optimistic outlook that good guys will win in the end. Such an innocent perspective tends to turn off many fans of social satire who find such things too escapist, but what most cynical viewers miss is that much of the innocence is tongue in cheek, and I personally see nothing wrong with optimism so long as it doesn't interfere with realism. If you enjoy, e.g., the film Harvey, then this might be your cup of tea.

2-0 out of 5 stars Only 2 stars because it's not Anamorphic
There are a lot of complaints from people who thought this DVD would not be widescreen, however,no one has mentioned it is not Enhanced For Widescreen T.V.'s. MGM is releasing a lot of films this way to save money. If this bothers you as it does me then send an email to MGM.
I really like this movie but am very disappointed with the format. When you have a widescreen T.V. in the future you'll curse MGM.

5-0 out of 5 stars I made a mistake in a early Review of this Release.
This Version of Follow that Dream DOES contain the letterbox transfer as well as the full screen version. I withdraw my earlier review, which was in response to others on this board that insisted the movie was being released in Full Frame only - This is very much incorrect. 5 Stars. Joe has left the building. ... Read more


13. The Nightstalker
Director: Allen Baron, Don McDougall, Gordon Hessler, Robert Scheerer, Seymour Robbie, Bruce Kessler, Michael Caffey, Vincent McEveety, Alexander Grasshoff, Gene Levitt, Don Weis
list price: $14.98
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Asin: 6300182991
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 25419
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Loved Kolchak
I remember enjoying the show when it was on. It scared me to death. Then in it's repeat later, I enjoyed it again. I had been waiting a long time for it to come out on vhs and maybe, I've missed it, but now I'm glad I've found it. I don't own it yet, but you can be sure I will own it shortly.

I also have a comment about the certain "federal agent". I can't help it. I adore Mulder. And it shows a compliment to the creaters of Kolchak that an unknown writer, (Chris Carter) would use the ideas and put a twist on it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Kolchak is the man !
The " Night Stalker" ( as Kolchak is known to many of us who watched the series as children, ) is much more entertaining, endearing, and human than a certain 'federal agent ' of recent near- cultism. Vincenzo ( The editor ) is always on our hero's back, only to be frustrated to his wit's end when Kolchak comes through, despite the obstacles faced him.

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT only words to describe it!
Darren Mcgavin is awesome in the night stalker possibly the best 70s original show this tape is 2 of the best episodes fans get a real treat listening to Mcgavins wit and humour as well as his serious side fantastic series.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Video - Horror & Comedy Combined
Hmmm, I suspect this is the episodes "The Ripper" and "The Vampire" combined together. They're not the absolute best of the 20 Kolchak episodes produced in 1974-75, but they're definitely in the top 10. The Night Stalker is a series that combines horror and comedy - reporter Carl Kolchak is a bit of a bumbler, and is as likely to run in terror from the approaching monster than confront it. Darren McGavin carries the show, capturing the many facets of Kolchak from buffoon to fast-talker to reluctant hero. ... Read more


14. I Want to Live!
Director: Robert Wise
list price: $19.98
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Asin: B00008FEC4
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 31135
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars fantastic drama, a tour-de-force by Hayward
I WANT TO LIVE is a stunning film starring the amazing Susan Hayward in her Oscar-winning triumph. Director Robert Wise (THE SOUND OF MUSIC, THE SAND PEBBLES, STAR!) gives us an unforgettable film noir classic.

The film tells the true story of convicted murderess Barbara Graham (Susan Hayward - TAP ROOTS, VALLEY OF THE DOLLS) who was sentenced to the gas chamber for her part in the robbery and murder of an elderly lady. Professing her innocence right up to the end, Barbara is a sly, sardonic but always-likable woman who wins the heart of the audience. Hayward's tour-de-force performance as Graham is vastly rewarding. Her multi-faceted portrayal of Graham is truly amazing.

Highly recommended.

The DVD includes the trailer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent fare written to showcase the lovely Miss Hayward
Susan Hayward was one of the best actresses ever. I just love to watch her. The only real talent to come after her was Faye Dunaway. Anyway, "I Want to Live!" was Hollywood's scathing indictment of the death penalty and is the film for which Susan Hayward is best remembered. It is her Oscar-winning performance. Frankly, I liked her a lot better in "I'll Cry Tomorrow" "Smash Up: The Story of a Woman" and "With a Song in My Heart." I thought she was much better in those, but the Oscar had eluded her, so they wrote this screenplay full of plenty of dramatic scenes to get her the Oscar she rightfully deserved. It worked.

The dialog and plot are excellent and her scenes as the condemned woman hours from execution are still extremely powerful today. In some ways, Susan Hayward was at her very best, and with the perfect script, a rare combination. You still sit there rooting for her to get that stay of execution in the movie, the movie grabs you that much. I've watched this film about 10 times, she never gets the stay, but the situations are so real, you root for one every time.

The only thing that to me does not make this Miss Hayward's best role (apart from maybe a handful of scenes) is that Barbara Graham, the real-life death-row inmate portrayed here, was a low-budget, crude, herion addict who got along by using men, doing petty thefts and sometimes being a prostitute, and I don't mean the $100 an hour ones that come to your hotel room. We're talking low-class street woman. Miss Hayward is nothing of the kind, she doesn't have that look or manner. Though the prison and death penalty scenes and themes are excellently and realistically portrayed here, you feel like you're watching a wrongfully-convicted society woman, nun, or school teacher getting the gas chamber, not a two-bit street prostitute/heroine junkie/thief. I don't think this necessarily takes away from the movie much or how it grips you, but for this reason, I'm not sure I would rate this the best of Susan Hayward. The Oscar was righting previous wrongs, in my opinion.

I highly recommend this film, and if you like it, try some of Susan Hayward's other films. She was really outstanding!

5-0 out of 5 stars The film that changed my attitude!
I feel that many cold-blooded criminals that're in jail probably deserve the death penalty, but when we can't prove beyond a reasonable doubt that they actually did the crime, then it's time to admit a mistake & let the falsely accused go free! This is a prime example of criminal justice gone wrong. The heartbreaking true story of Barbara Graham, who was wrongfully executed for a grisly murder she didn't commit. I knew the story before watching this, yet up to the very end I kept on hoping that Barbara, brilliantly played by Susan Hayward, would be granted another trial to prove her innocence. The tension is almost as unbearable for the viewer as it is for poor Barbara as she counts the hours & finally minutes before her execution. I'll admit, early in the movie it's difficult to sympathize with someone so amoral, but by the time she's pleading for her life we all feel terrible about her situation. I haven't seen many of Susan Hayward's movies, but her performance in this (which won her an oscar) is equal to anything Bette Davis or Joan Crawford ever did (& that's saying a lot!). If you're looking for a great Susan Hayward film, you've found it! This powerful film convinced me that the death penalty is not the best way to deal out justice. Consider Charles Manson: Now of course he deserves to die, but don't you also think he deserves to rot in jail the rest of his life? Whatever your current opinion about the death penalty, I gurantee this movie will make you think twice!

5-0 out of 5 stars Hayward Masterpiece!
Maybe I'm a bit partial, being an avid Susan Hayward fan, but "I Want to Live!" must rank as the perfect example of how to meld great story and super talent. Susan rightfully deserved her Oscar for her portrayal of Barbara Graham, a woman convicted and executed for a murder she denied to the end. All the key element of sophisticated film making come together to make this a treasure. They don't make them like this any more.

4-0 out of 5 stars I WANT AN OSCAR!...
A memorable film from the 50's based allegedly on the true story of a woman named Barbara Graham who went to the gas chamber for a murder she swore she didn't commit. As played by Susan Hayward (who won an Oscar), Graham is a party girl and sometime thief/prostitute involved with some very shady small time crooks. An old woman is robbed and killed in the process and the crooks let Graham take the rap. Graham is also the mother of a small child---an angle played up in the press as she waves her son's toy tiger at the cameras. What sticks in your mind, though, are the scenes where she's back and forth from her death row cell to the gas chamber as she waits anxiously for a stay from the governor. These scenes are nerve-racking and make me cry when I watch this movie. Hayward is vivid and believable in these scenes as she is throughout the movie. I recommend this film for people who like watching stellar performances in off-beat films. A fine b&w case study of crime, psychodrama and powerful acting. Don't pass this one up. ... Read more


15. On a Clear Day You Can See Forever
Director: Vincente Minnelli
list price: $14.95
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Asin: 6300216187
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 10776
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

When a psychiatrist (Yves Montand) begins talking to a young woman (Barbra Streisand), he realizes that she can recall a past life while under hypnosis. Although this brash New Yorker is thoroughly modern and somewhat abrasive, he becomes fascinated by the 19th-century English woman who speaks through her. This oddball musical flicks back and forth between period flashbacks and modern times, which may be one reason it never builds up much power in either realm. On a Clear Day You Can See Forever failed at the box office in 1970, one of a number of glossy musicals that could not find an audience in the post-Easy Rider movie world. In fact, one of the film's out-of-place costars is Jack Nicholson, a symbol of the new movies that were making old-fashioned musicals a thing of the past. It didn't help that Paramount severely cut On a Clear Day before releasing it. For all that, the picture is enjoyable and--at the end--really quite touching. Director Vincente Minnelli (Meet Me in St. Louis), then near the close of a fabulous career, maintains his usual careful eye for color and design, and keeps Streisand relatively restrained--for Streisand, that is. --Robert Horton ... Read more

Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Movie the Whole Family Can Enjoy!
This has always been one of my favorite Barbra movies. ESP and reincarnation might be old hat now, but back in 1970 they were hot topics and you could count on controversy when they were discussed. I don't care much for Yves Montand, but the guy that plays Robert is very fine, even as a fine young dandy from 200 years ago! I've heard all about this movie from different sources over the years, and I think it's wonderful that Barbra was pregnant during the filming (you'd never know), that she was allowed to keep the clothes, that she played the part at cost instead of an increased fee (just after Funny Girl), and that she wasn't even the person the film was written for, but Audrey Hepburn. Again, this is an enjoyable film--remember it's a musical and the songs are very catching, don't be surprised if you find yourself humming one of the songs after you've seen the movie!

3-0 out of 5 stars Barbra's Fabulous....the movie's not
Get this movie to enjoy Barbra...see Barbra being gloriously Brooklyn-ese...see Barbra dressed to the nines in the flashback sequences...see Barbra do hilarious comedic schtick...hear Barbra sing some really wonderful songs ("Hurry, It's Lovely" and "He Isn't You" as well as the famous title song.) But, if you're looking for a well-crafted musical tale, this movie falls short. What with Minnelli directing you'd think they would've gotten a better script! Maybe it's because of all the cuts Leonare Maltin speaks of...But the story really falls short. And on top of that, Yves Montand grates on my nerves. There is no chemistry between him and Babs. In fact, Yves's best chemistry is with that desk he plants himself behind half the movie! We LOVE Barbra, and forgive this movie. She's very good. The movie is not.

5-0 out of 5 stars WIDESCREEN DVD PLEEEEESE !!!!!
This beautiful little gem needs to be on DVD period. The color is absolutely fabulous, the costumes beautiful. It's a colorfull cleaned up snip-et of 60's style. My favorite Barbra Striesand musical. And for those of who believe in re-incarnation or even just like to toy with the concept it is enjoyable fun.

5-0 out of 5 stars Barbara is simply Marvy! Damn the pretentious Frenchman!
A great movie directed by a fantastic director. All this and more made in spite of Paramount's choice for one of the century's most horrid leading actors. Two words..."Yves Montand" I would certainly like to know who was responsible for telling Yves that he could act. Luckily for us, Barbara's comedic timimg and on screen presence distracts us from Yves witty droll and cardboard persona. Much of the films salvation has to be given to the credit of Vincente Minnelli, who has directed many wonderful & memorable movies such as "Meet me in St Louis" It is also a wonderful treat to see a young and handsome (yes I said handsome.. if you can believe that) Jack Nicholson who plays one of Daisy's neighbors. What's most intresting about Jack's character, is that there was a sense of ambiguity about his sexual orientation. A definite first for the Jackster! I give this movie 5 stars even though Yves is in it. The story, art direction and musical numbers are just fabulous. Besides we all know that anyone who buys this movie, certainly isn't purchasing it on account of the leading man. Now when is Paramount going to release this on DVD? Hello? Paramount? Are you listening? Hello? Is anyone awake over there?....

4-0 out of 5 stars "Is anything else comin' off?"
This was one of the very last of the lavish screen musicals to be made in the classic mode, and, by the time of it's early 1970 theatrical release, it already seemed tired and dated. This is why it is somewhat shocking that, when viewed today, ON A CLEAR DAY is not only tremendously entertaining, but that it's also possibly the most underrated film of both director Vincent Minnelli and star Barbra Streisand. The film's reincarnation theme was pretty cutting-edge back in the early-seventies, and it still feels unique even today. The film received fair-to-negative reviews from critics at the time, and even though it proved to be a modest hit at the box office, it has been long forgotten by the general public, and it even goes unlisted on many of Streisand's selected filmographies. This is a shame, for Streisand's highly impressive dual performance may prove to be a revelation for some of her admirers and critics alike.

Like the film itself, Streisand is at her very best in the film's frequent flashbacks. Not only does she look absolutely beautiful as Melinda in Cecil DeVille's many elaborate costumes, but her Regency- era poise and accent are completely flawless. However, the film isn't absolutely perfect. Though Streisand's gives one of her most likable performances as kooky Daisy (her character's present-day incarnation), her "modern-day" wardrobe is a little too extreme. I realize that the costume designers wanted to draw a sharp contrast between Daisy and Melinda, but they went a little too far and ended up making Daisy look too buffoonish. They didn't need to go to such lengths with her garish "contemporary" wardrobe - Streisand's convincing performance alone is enough to make the contrast believable. Yves Montad is acceptable in his role - I don't believe he really deserved all of the criticism that he's received over the years, yet I do find his performance to rather stiff, and am convinced that many other actors could have done more with the part. Jack Nicholson, Bob Newhart, and John Richardson appear in small supporting roles, but they all feel rather underused.

However, there's something about the Streisand-Minnelli pairing that seems to have brought out the best in the two legendary talents. The flashback segments in particular provide the perfect showcase for Minnelli's imaginative visuals, and these are also the very scenes that allow Streisand to stretch the most as an actress. In particular, the "Love And All The Trimmings" sequence is easily one of the best moments that Minnelli ever captured on film, and Streisand has rarely been more intensely seductive than in this one sequence. Score-wise, the soaring title song is the only real classic of the eight Lenner-Lowe compositions, but a few of the others (the comic "Go To Sleep," the gorgeous "He Isn't You") are nearly as great. Bottom line: ON A CLEAR DAY is a film that's usually funny, sometimes touching, and always inventive and enjoyable. It's undervalued gem if there ever was one. ... Read more


16. The Sand Pebbles
Director: Robert Wise
list price: $12.98
our price: $12.98
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Asin: B000059HGZ
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 4153
Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (43)

5-0 out of 5 stars What happened....
I started to watch this movie a long time ago, and finally got the chance to finish it. I am glad that I did! This is a very good movie, and I would highly recommend watching it. It is three hours long, so be prepared!

The movie is set in the late 1920s in China. Revolution is in the air, and America is merely showing its presence with the San Pueblo (affectionately called the Sand Pebble by the sailors). Jake Holman (Steve McQueen) has just been transferred to the boat. All he wants is a position where the officers will let him do his job, which is working on the engine.

As the movie progresses, different characters will try to impose their way of thinking onto the picture. Revolution fits in no one's view. The captain (played by Richard Crenna) wants to do all for the flag. Everything should look great and fit his military view of things. Another sailor (played by Richard Attenborough) just wants to be with his love. All these characters are thwarted in their goal as China rolls towards revolution and casts out the foreign influence.

None of the characters can see this from his limited point of view. Things go from routine to chaos, and no one can explain with his personal world. Why did it suddenly happen this way? As Holman cries, "What the ... happened?"

I would highly recommend seeing this movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great treatment of America's Asia Experience
The Sand Pebbles is an extremely well made movie. The ensemble cast is exceptional but the standouts are Steve McQueen and RIchard Crenna.

McQueen is outstanding as a Machinest Mate who is devoted to his machinery and has extremely limited ability to interact with his fellow crewmembers. He is perceived as an outsider by the crew of the San Pablo and a potential troublemaker by the captain of the ship. At this time in Naval history, a good man could and would stay in a single ship for years at a strectch. One who moved frequently was considered to be a problem Sailor.

Richard Crenna is excellent as a commanding officer at the this distant end of America's Naval reach. His task is to keep his men motivated to the mission at hand which is to represent American power in Asia. At the same time knowing that the missionaries in the area dislike them and the businessmen tolerate them as a required evil.

Coupled with the smallest ship being the fartherst into China, is the local unrest as various warlords are establishing local control, Communist forces are making in attempt to influence events and student unrest boils up. Is it any wonder that the crew is confused as to what thier missions are. But rather than worry, they head for the local saloons and leave the bigger decisions to the officers.

This film tells the story of not just a single man, it tells the story of generations of men who served in China. Some came and stayed when their Navy careers were over. SOme came and never left and are buried there. Others came and left and have never forgotten their time there. They did their duty and that was all the America asked of them, or at least the diplomats. I'm sure that in the 20s, very few, if any, Americans ever realized that there were hundreds of US Sailors patrolling thousands of miles of rivers and coasts to preserve America's rights in China.

The Sand Pebbles is a comprehensive movie that shows the Asisatic Sailors at their best and worst. It should be a must see movie for anyone intersted in America and China and how our present relationship developed.

5-0 out of 5 stars A timeless classic of the time of Old China's awakening.
This film, along with The Great Escape, established Steve McQueen as a major star, but it is much more than a vehicle for McQueen. This is a wonderful story of the intersection between Western culture and Old China, in the period when China was seeking to emerge as a modern nation.

This is the story of one Jake Holman, a sailor in the American gunboat navy in China. The Navy's mission is to protect American/Western missionaries, businessmen, their lives and property. Holman serves on the USS San Pablo, known to her crew as the "Sand Pebble." Holman has a passion for engines, and sought to serve on the Sand Pebble on the notion that his engineering expertise would make him valuable and autonomous aboard. Instead, he learns that each American sailor has a Chinese servant who actually performs all of that sailor's routine duties. Holman is thus effectively prevented from performing his engineering role. Nor are the Chinese, untrained in engineering and acting by wrote, able to safely handle the ship's power plant. An undercurrent to the story is Holman's struggle to get control of the management of the ship's antiquated but essential engines.

Holman's struggles to establish his place on the ship take place against the panorama of a China seeking to throw off foreign domination and become a modern nation-state. This is the larger story, effectively presented in this excellent film.

This film is a reasonably faithful adaptation of the bestselling novel of the same name. The cinamatography is superb, and the DVD appears to be a pretty good transfer from the original film. Recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Damn your flag, damn all flags!"
Steve McQueen is the classic American loner, as one observer puts it, "As long as he obeys orders the Navy takes care of him, its a life that appeals to a certain kind of man." It is not so much the Navy that appeals to McQueen's character, Jake Holman, as it is the solitude of the ships engine room, where he is the master and commander. Upon arrival on his new ship, the San Paulo, nicknamed the "Sand Pebble", Holman is in for a surprise. In keeping with the traditions of the 1920's South China Seas US Navy, locals have been brought aboard to do all the work, including in the engine room (South China Sea vets say all with this film is accurate save that key point, the engine room would have been off limits in most cases). The world is changing in many ways. Jake tries to keep his personal world from crashing by helping a fellow sailor who has fallen for a local girl, even though he should know better, and by trying to resist his own temptations to a fresh faced young missionary in the person of Candace Bergen. Richard Crenna is excellent as a prima donna Captain who sees Holman as a threat to his system even before he comes aboard. The political world is also in flux. With the Russian Civil War at an end, revolution is spreading to China as Communists and Nationalists both try to wrest China out of the grip of warlords and foreign powers. The acting by even the most bit players is believable in every nuance and there are simply too many stand-out performances to mention, from Simon Oakland's bullying ship-board nemisis to McQueen to Larry Gates as a frustratingly idealistic missionary. From Action to Romance this movie hits the bullseye every time.

This is simply a classic of movie-making regardless of genre, era, or actors. It is top-notch in every respect. Thank goodness for wide-screen DVD, the ONLY way to watch this film. Nowhere is the non wide-screen, "pan and scan" technique more strongly indicted than in "The Sand Pebbles", I've sat through numerous viewings in that format where characters engaged in conversations can't even be seen! Widescreen DVD is the only way to go on this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Utterly Serious and Genuine
Steve McQueen, in one of his best performances, plays Jake Holman, an independent, outspoken, and proudly misfitting sailor with great engineering skills, who is assigned to the American Navy gunboat San Pablo, patrolling the Yangtzee River on the eve of the Chinese revolution. The Communists actively oppose the American presence, and Chiang Kai-Shek's Nationalists give a cold welcome, at best. All parties are fighting for power. Meanwhile, Holman falls in love with a young teacher, played in a surprisingly low-key way by Candice Bergen. Holman runs against the grain of the hierarchy amongst the Chinese laborers and trains a young man, played by Mako, as an assistant. Holman also butts heads with his inexperienced, spit-and-polish, by-the-book captain, played superbly by Richard Crenna.

This is an anti-war movie that does not shout at you. With its intertwining plots, repeated tragedies, and epic scope, it leaves you wondering why America was there, what was the goal, and what was the effect. This is a quietly intense, slow-paced drama loaded with meaning. It is not for the impatient viewer, nor for the faint-of-heart. It is worth owning and watching closely. ... Read more


17. Run Stranger, Run
Director: Darren McGavin
list price: $59.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6300137341
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 41653
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Strange Runner
Originally titled "Happy Mother's Day, Love George", this very intriguing tale stars Ron Howard as John. John's problem is he has just arrived to a quiet fishing village to find the family that abandoned him and does find a mother who refuses to tell him about his father. He also finds himself at unexplained odds with the town sherrif and the lustful target of the daughter to an overbearing and mysterious woman (played by real life mother and daughter Patricia Neal and Tessa Dahl). To top it off, bodies start to pop up everywhere on his arrival.
This film marked the directing debut of Darren McGavin and features beautiful Nova Scotia locations and a tight storyline. This coupled by some fabulous acting, including Cloris Leachman as John's mother, Bobby Darin (his last role) as her boyfriend and Simon Oakland as the sherrif.
The video version is very hard to find, but suggestions run high that a way is found to obtain this film. Picking up the clues and sorting out the red herrings may require several viewings. This may not be a masterpiece, but it sure comes close. ... Read more


18. Chato's Land
Director: Michael Winner
list price: $9.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0792839145
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 45945
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Conan of the West
Without Charles Bronson, this would be a three star movie at best. The plot is simple, like a slasher movie in the Old West. Bronson, ever effective as an Indian (remember Drumbeat as Captain Jack?), kills off a posse one by one. The posse is filled with well-known character actors and of these, Jack Palance stands out. Palance is the leader of the group in name only, and his relations with the others is the most interesting. He was certainly an under-used actor as he matured, but this was a good role for him.
Bronson gets to display probably the best over 50 physique in the world (maybe under 50 too, for that matter). It may have been Frank Frazetta who said that the perfect actor for the role of Conan would be a 6'5" Charles Bronson. With little if any character development for Chato, his impressive physique is necessary to establish him as a force of nature, being more in his element as the land becomes harsher and more unforgiving.
For Bronson fans, this is just what we want: a man of few words, but lots of muscle, whuppin' up on an unjust world.

4-0 out of 5 stars `Back off, Lawman.'
With those three words of unheeded warning (possibly the longest continuous sentence Bronson has in this picture), the Mimbreno Apache Chato(Charles Bronson) begins an elusive flight from a motley posse of citizens led by an ex-Confederate captain (Jack Palance) seeking to punish him for the killing of a white man into the barren wilderness of the Arizona desert.

This is a great minimalist western with a fine cast (particularly the three villainous Hooker brothers - Simon `the psychologist from Psycho' Oakland, John `Papa Walton' Waite, and Richard `Duncan Idaho of Dune' Jordan). Bronson here is less of a character than a force of nature who, when pursued to his limits (and after giving his hunters ample chances to turn back, slitting their waterskins, running off their horses, and generally discouraging them), turns on the posse and starts eliminating them one at a time.

The strength of this western is the writing. All of the posse members, though most of them are unlikable, are well-fleshed out. The three over-sexed, bickering brothers (whose familial loyalty ultimately leads to their destruction), the silent but apt Mexican tracker, and the two foreigners who are among the first to realize this vengeance quest has spiraled well beyond its origin (`For God's sake, don't call it justice...' says Roddy McMillian's Scottish farmer and `We don't belong here, Gavin,' says Paul Young's Irishman). Palance is a standout as the Confederate captain who seems at first to take pleasure in the hunt and leading men again, but who gradually loses control of his subordinates.

As stated, Bronson is more of a cunning force to be feared when he is shown at all, but he does bring a concrete humanity to his Apache fugitive, particularly in the scene where he is reunited with his family in their desert stronghold. He exudes strength, and his physique and countenance seem to have been cut from the sandstone all around. He seems absolutely inscrutable (as the land is to the white men), but when he dispenses death, there is a cold certainty in his expressions.

Good locations - abandoned wickiups, empty desert, jumbled stone and cavernous arroyos all the washed out color of a bone long in the sun makes it seem as if these men have ridden right into hell (but then this `hell' is Chato's land). There's a great line where Palance observes that `white men see a land where nothing grows...they call it hell and give it no further thought. But to the Apache, this land speaks to him, whispers to him. He expects nothing from it...' (paraphrasing). The tried and true `hunters become the hunted formula' with a meaningful undertone that sets it above the usual fare. Great film with a memorable open ending. Does he or doesn't he? Recommended for Bronson fans. This is one of his better flicks.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must have for Bronson fans
Excellent Bronson flic. It's not hard to see how Bronson and Winner moved onto the Death Wish story line with a plot like this.

It's an amusing game to spot parallels between scenes in Bruce Lee films and Bronson's. Lee was a huge Bronson fan and copied moves and even clothing from many of Bronson's movies.

4-0 out of 5 stars It is indeed, Chato's Land
Excellent western which follows a posse on the trail of an Apache halfbreed (Bronson). While he is an omnipresent aspect of the story, Bronson has few lines, and is not on-screen for more than a few minutes in the entire film. The story is primarily about the posse, a mixed bag of local citizens, civil war veterans, and sadistic racists. Their steady deterioration into basal chaos is the real crux of the movie. There are both good and bad men among them, and their interactions make the film compelling, in spite of a few flaws. The skilled cast includes Jack Palance, Simon Oakland, Richard Basehart, Ralph Waite, Victor French, Richard Jordan and James Whitmore. Strongly recommended for fans of gritty action and well-drawn characters. ... Read more


19. The Sand Pebbles
Director: Robert Wise
list price: $29.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 6300246965
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 14447
Average Customer Review: 4.63 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (43)

5-0 out of 5 stars What happened....
I started to watch this movie a long time ago, and finally got the chance to finish it. I am glad that I did! This is a very good movie, and I would highly recommend watching it. It is three hours long, so be prepared!

The movie is set in the late 1920s in China. Revolution is in the air, and America is merely showing its presence with the San Pueblo (affectionately called the Sand Pebble by the sailors). Jake Holman (Steve McQueen) has just been transferred to the boat. All he wants is a position where the officers will let him do his job, which is working on the engine.

As the movie progresses, different characters will try to impose their way of thinking onto the picture. Revolution fits in no one's view. The captain (played by Richard Crenna) wants to do all for the flag. Everything should look great and fit his military view of things. Another sailor (played by Richard Attenborough) just wants to be with his love. All these characters are thwarted in their goal as China rolls towards revolution and casts out the foreign influence.

None of the characters can see this from his limited point of view. Things go from routine to chaos, and no one can explain with his personal world. Why did it suddenly happen this way? As Holman cries, "What the ... happened?"

I would highly recommend seeing this movie.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great treatment of America's Asia Experience
The Sand Pebbles is an extremely well made movie. The ensemble cast is exceptional but the standouts are Steve McQueen and RIchard Crenna.

McQueen is outstanding as a Machinest Mate who is devoted to his machinery and has extremely limited ability to interact with his fellow crewmembers. He is perceived as an outsider by the crew of the San Pablo and a potential troublemaker by the captain of the ship. At this time in Naval history, a good man could and would stay in a single ship for years at a strectch. One who moved frequently was considered to be a problem Sailor.

Richard Crenna is excellent as a commanding officer at the this distant end of America's Naval reach. His task is to keep his men motivated to the mission at hand which is to represent American power in Asia. At the same time knowing that the missionaries in the area dislike them and the businessmen tolerate them as a required evil.

Coupled with the smallest ship being the fartherst into China, is the local unrest as various warlords are establishing local control, Communist forces are making in attempt to influence events and student unrest boils up. Is it any wonder that the crew is confused as to what thier missions are. But rather than worry, they head for the local saloons and leave the bigger decisions to the officers.

This film tells the story of not just a single man, it tells the story of generations of men who served in China. Some came and stayed when their Navy careers were over. SOme came and never left and are buried there. Others came and left and have never forgotten their time there. They did their duty and that was all the America asked of them, or at least the diplomats. I'm sure that in the 20s, very few, if any, Americans ever realized that there were hundreds of US Sailors patrolling thousands of miles of rivers and coasts to preserve America's rights in China.

The Sand Pebbles is a comprehensive movie that shows the Asisatic Sailors at their best and worst. It should be a must see movie for anyone intersted in America and China and how our present relationship developed.

5-0 out of 5 stars A timeless classic of the time of Old China's awakening.
This film, along with The Great Escape, established Steve McQueen as a major star, but it is much more than a vehicle for McQueen. This is a wonderful story of the intersection between Western culture and Old China, in the period when China was seeking to emerge as a modern nation.

This is the story of one Jake Holman, a sailor in the American gunboat navy in China. The Navy's mission is to protect American/Western missionaries, businessmen, their lives and property. Holman serves on the USS San Pablo, known to her crew as the "Sand Pebble." Holman has a passion for engines, and sought to serve on the Sand Pebble on the notion that his engineering expertise would make him valuable and autonomous aboard. Instead, he learns that each American sailor has a Chinese servant who actually performs all of that sailor's routine duties. Holman is thus effectively prevented from performing his engineering role. Nor are the Chinese, untrained in engineering and acting by wrote, able to safely handle the ship's power plant. An undercurrent to the story is Holman's struggle to get control of the management of the ship's antiquated but essential engines.

Holman's struggles to establish his place on the ship take place against the panorama of a China seeking to throw off foreign domination and become a modern nation-state. This is the larger story, effectively presented in this excellent film.

This film is a reasonably faithful adaptation of the bestselling novel of the same name. The cinamatography is superb, and the DVD appears to be a pretty good transfer from the original film. Recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars "Damn your flag, damn all flags!"
Steve McQueen is the classic American loner, as one observer puts it, "As long as he obeys orders the Navy takes care of him, its a life that appeals to a certain kind of man." It is not so much the Navy that appeals to McQueen's character, Jake Holman, as it is the solitude of the ships engine room, where he is the master and commander. Upon arrival on his new ship, the San Paulo, nicknamed the "Sand Pebble", Holman is in for a surprise. In keeping with the traditions of the 1920's South China Seas US Navy, locals have been brought aboard to do all the work, including in the engine room (South China Sea vets say all with this film is accurate save that key point, the engine room would have been off limits in most cases). The world is changing in many ways. Jake tries to keep his personal world from crashing by helping a fellow sailor who has fallen for a local girl, even though he should know better, and by trying to resist his own temptations to a fresh faced young missionary in the person of Candace Bergen. Richard Crenna is excellent as a prima donna Captain who sees Holman as a threat to his system even before he comes aboard. The political world is also in flux. With the Russian Civil War at an end, revolution is spreading to China as Communists and Nationalists both try to wrest China out of the grip of warlords and foreign powers. The acting by even the most bit players is believable in every nuance and there are simply too many stand-out performances to mention, from Simon Oakland's bullying ship-board nemisis to McQueen to Larry Gates as a frustratingly idealistic missionary. From Action to Romance this movie hits the bullseye every time.

This is simply a classic of movie-making regardless of genre, era, or actors. It is top-notch in every respect. Thank goodness for wide-screen DVD, the ONLY way to watch this film. Nowhere is the non wide-screen, "pan and scan" technique more strongly indicted than in "The Sand Pebbles", I've sat through numerous viewings in that format where characters engaged in conversations can't even be seen! Widescreen DVD is the only way to go on this one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Utterly Serious and Genuine
Steve McQueen, in one of his best performances, plays Jake Holman, an independent, outspoken, and proudly misfitting sailor with great engineering skills, who is assigned to the American Navy gunboat San Pablo, patrolling the Yangtzee River on the eve of the Chinese revolution. The Communists actively oppose the American presence, and Chiang Kai-Shek's Nationalists give a cold welcome, at best. All parties are fighting for power. Meanwhile, Holman falls in love with a young teacher, played in a surprisingly low-key way by Candice Bergen. Holman runs against the grain of the hierarchy amongst the Chinese laborers and trains a young man, played by Mako, as an assistant. Holman also butts heads with his inexperienced, spit-and-polish, by-the-book captain, played superbly by Richard Crenna.

This is an anti-war movie that does not shout at you. With its intertwining plots, repeated tragedies, and epic scope, it leaves you wondering why America was there, what was the goal, and what was the effect. This is a quietly intense, slow-paced drama loaded with meaning. It is not for the impatient viewer, nor for the faint-of-heart. It is worth owning and watching closely. ... Read more


20. Psycho (Widescreen Edition)
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
list price: $14.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0783223161
Catlog: Video
Sales Rank: 26002
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential video

For all the slasher pictures that have ripped off Psycho (and particularly its classic set piece, the "shower scene"), nothing has ever matched the impact of the real thing. More than just a first-rate shocker full of thrills and suspense, Psycho is also an engrossing character study in which director Alfred Hitchcock skillfully seduces you into identifying with the main characters--then pulls the rug (or the bathmat) out from under you. Anthony Perkins is unforgettable as Norman Bates, the mama's boy proprietor of the Bates Motel; and so is Janet Leigh as Marion Crane, who makes an impulsive decision and becomes a fugitive from the law, hiding out at Norman's roadside inn for one fateful night. --Jim Emerson ... Read more

Reviews (319)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hitchcock's Finest Film
Its amazing how still to this day, a movie made 40 years ago can continue to still scare you every time you view it. But thats exactly what Psycho does. The film never has a dull moment, and all its infamous scenes are just as startling as they were back in 1960. The story revolves around Marion Crane, searching to leave the big city, and live the american dream, she steals 40,000 dollars and travels to the outskirts of California. Along the way, she starts going a little paranoid after her boss sees her leaving the city, and she is chased by a local police officer. Overwhelmed by these feelings and the weather, she stops at the Bates Motel. The hotel, run by young Norman (Anthony Perkins in his finest role) has 12 open rooms. From here, the story starts to pick up. If you have never seen any scenes from Psycho, than the suprise you have will be amazing. There are plenty of plot twists and edge-of-your-seat moments. Hitchcocks directing is a high note. Just look at the scene between Marion and Norman in his parlor. The dialoug is great, directing is great and the acting is great. A all around great movie, and Hitchcocks best.

4-0 out of 5 stars Don't Go Psycho after Watching "Psycho"
Director Alfred Hitchcock's movie, "Psycho" kept me at the edge of my seat throughout this classic thriller. Although the movie is in black and white, Hitchcock uses other special effects to add excitement. Not only that, but his wise choice of actors made the film that much more enjoyable. They portrayed the characters just as Hitchcock wanted them to. At the beginning of the movie, the plot is shifted in many directions. Hitchcock did an extraordinary job adding many twists into the story. "Psycho" is a famous, classical horror movie that will be a popular movie for many years to come.
Hitchcock knew what he was doing when he chose the characters that he did. Anthony Perkins, who played Norman Bates, used the perfect facial expressions and tone of voice to keep you guessing his innocence or guilt. When the investigator comes to his tiny, in-the-middle-of-nowhere hotel looking for Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), Perkins is nervous and stutters a lot. This suspicion leads you to believe he might have something to do with the disappearance of Marion, but in your head you're portraying Perkins as this nice, innocent hotel owner with great hospitality. Throughout the movie in many different scenes, Perkins uses very meaningful, evil, and friendly facial expressions that especially play out Bates' character. When Bates' is watching Marion through the window, you get the feeling that Bates' has something evil planned, but murder is not what jumped to my head right away.
Janet Leigh was another great actress for Hitchcock's film. She is a petite, vulnerable character that is marvelous for the role of a devious, suspicious blonde on the run with $40,000. I think Hitchcock knew what he was doing when he asked Leigh to be in his movie. It adds a whole other twist to the storyline.
The special effects make the movie outstanding all by themselves. One thing that really stands out in my mind is the soundtrack. The music adds to the horror and suspense of it all. Hitchcock selected music that terrifies you even if you weren't even looking at the screen. It really draws you into the scene like you're witnessing things firsthand.
Throughout the movie, the lighting and camera angles draw you in even more. Hitchcock uses outstanding shadows on the faces of the characters, and adds a dark, eerie glow to the dark nights at Bates' Motel. I especially liked the camera angles during the shower scene. Hitchcock zooms in really close, once again inviting the audience to be a part of the scene.
At the beginning of the movie, Marion Crane is with her boyfriend Sam, at a cheap motel over their lunch break. Unable to get married because Sam is still paying alimony to his ex-wife, Marion is drawn in to the perfect opportunity: She is trusted with $40,000 in which her boss orders her to take it to the bank at the end of the day. Instead, Marion flees the town to Sam's home in another town.
Tired from driving almost all through the night in a heavy rainstorm, Marion sees a hotel off the main highway and decides to stop. Here, she meets Norman Bates, the owner of the hotel. Being the nice hotel clerk that he appears to be, Norman offers Marion a late supper. She complies, and patiently waits for his return. In the meantime, she overhears Norman in an argument with his mother. This adds yet another twist in Hitchcock's film. After dinner, Marion tells Norman she wants to get cleaned up and get a good night's sleep, so he leaves, only to return later, leaving the audience in total shock after what comes next....
I think "Psycho" is an excellent horror film that will scare many viewers right out of the shower after watching it. Its constant mysteries and plot twists keep you thinking all the time. Although it may be quite gruesome, Hitchcock's film remains on my list for scariest movies of all time!

4-0 out of 5 stars Not his BEST, but FULL of exciting scenes
I`ve seen this film numerous times and I have always found it a bit cold, made without passion. Sure the shower-scene in particular is a mind-blower, but Hitchcock was much better off in the suspense-genre... This story simply isn`t interesting enough. It reason may be that it always had a GREAT reputation and everyone who ever saw it knew if by heart and thus destroyed the first viewing of others... Another factor is that Janet Leigh is much 2 pretty and ladylike for her role. When I saw Anne Heche in the 1998 movie I realised that H E R Marion was indeed a low-life, tramp - sort of - who jumped at the chance of doing something stupid 2 her employer. Janet Leigh`s Marion is never at any moment stupid... Alas, Anne was much more satisfying, as were Viggo Mortensen and Julianne Moore.

John Gavin and Vera Miles are lifeless - cardboard stereotypes and that leaves us only with Martin Balsam and the great Anthony Perkins. THEY breath life into their characters and are the main reason I like this version. William Macy and Vince Vaughn repeated their roles, but eh..... hehehehe???????? Let there be silence. In 1983, Perkins reprised his role as Norman Bates to even better effect in the splendid PSYCHO II.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mother says, "Watch this movie, or else!"
I don't know why it took me so long to review this film. Perhaps I've been extremely busy, but this creepy and memorable piece of cinema came into my mind a few days ago, and I haven't seen it in YEARS! Unsurprisingly though, I remember everything about it, as if I saw it yesterday. That's one of the many impacts PSYCHO has, no matter how many times it's viewed. (Just for the record, mine is three so far, which includes a USC screening with Hitchcock's own daughter and granddaughter providing a Q&A afterward.)

The master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock has outdone himself with this brilliant masterpiece. It's a taut, suspenseful little tale that paved the way for other thrillers and provided many firsts in cinema-

1) It was the first slasher film, EVER! Without PSYCHO, there would be no BLACK CHRISTMAS, no HALLOWEEN, no FRIDAY THE 13th, no SCREAM, etc. That's right folks, PSYCHO is the granddaddy of the slasher pic.

2) It was the first movie to show a woman (Janet Leigh) in just a bra and slip, an aspect used very cleverly by Hitchcock. In the opening scene, Marion Crane is wearing a white bra because Alfred Hitchcock wanted to show her as being "angelic". After she has taken the money, the following scene has her in a black bra because now she has done something wrong and evil. Similarly, before she steals the money, she has a white purse; after she's stolen the money, she carries a black one.

3) It was the first movie to show a flushing toilet on camera. This is a must know for any film buff.

Yup, PSYCHO did all those first. Learn it, live it, love it.

Anyway....Alfred Hitchcock anonymously bought the rights to Robert Bloch's great novel, for just $9,000. He then bought up as many copies of the novel as he could to keep the ending a secret. That's one of many things that made him so great. Hitchcock did take liberties when having the novel (which was more graphic) adapted, but they all work well. In Bloch's novel, Norman Bates is short, fat, older, and very dislikable. It was Hitchcock who decided to have him be young, handsome, and sympathetic. Norman is also more of a main character in the novel. The story opens with him and Mother fighting rather than following Marion from the start. I think that's one of the many reasons PSYCHO works so well. It also shocked audiences when Janet Leigh, who was advertized as the star, bit the dust a mere 50 minutes into the film. (SCREAM used this tactic by offing Drew Barrymore less than 15 minutes into the picture.)

The picture is filmed in black and white because Alfred Hitchcock believed the movie would be too gory for color. That adds to the creepiness and makes the film more effective, as the horrible colored remake proved.

A brilliant and much duplicated score by Hermann Bernard adds to the atmosphere and builds the suspense. Hitchcock originally envisioned the shower sequence as completely silent, but Bernard Herrmann went ahead and scored it anyway and Hitch immediately changed his mind. I couldn't imagine the movie any other way.

However, what makes PSYCHO truly immortal, when so many films are already half-forgotten, is that it connects directly with our innermost fears: Our fears that we might impulsively commit a crime, our fears of the police, our fears of becoming the victim of a madman, and of course our fears of disappointing our mothers.

Speaking of mothers, you wouldn't want to disappoint Norma Bates would you? I thought not, so see the film, before you make mother really angry....

5-0 out of 5 stars Psycho (1960)
Alfred Hitchcock is definitely the most legendery film director of all time. His work is beyond amazing, without a doubt. Psycho is among the many greats of Alfred Hitchcock and will remain a classic.

Starting off in Phoenix, Arizona on Friday, December 11th, 1960. The beautiful MARION CRANE (played by Janet Leigh) has rented a posh hotel room with her boyfriend, SAM LOOMIS (played by John Gavin), during her lunchbreak. Marion has to get back to work, while Sam has to get back to Fairvelle. Marion gets back to work a little late, but lucks out in knowing that her boss, GEORGE LOWERY (played by Vaughn Taylor) is late himself, for he is in a meeting. In comes George Lowery, following a businessman named, Tom Cassidy (played by Frank Albertson). He walks over to Marion and begins telling her about his 18-year old daughter tying the knot. He hands Marion $40,000, the money Mr. Cassidy will be using to buy his daughter a house as a wedding present. George invites Tom into his office and tells Marion to bank the $40,000 until the following Monday. Marion asks George for permission to take the rest of the day off because of her supposed headache and goes on her way.

While in her bedroom, Marion packs a suitcase and changes clothes. She so temptingly stares at the $40,000 and tries to restrain herself, but not for long, for, in one quick movement, she steals the $40,000 and heads out to her car. Seems as though that Marion is on her way to Fairvelle to see Sam. While at a red light, she notices George crossing in front of her. Unfortunately, he notices Marion, but Marion, as worried as she is about having being noticed, continues on her way. She drives into dusk until pulling over to sleep. The next morning, Marion is awakened by a suspicious cop. She nervously talks to the cop and goes on her way, as the cop follows her. She pulls into a dealership and requests to trade in her car for another. She makes her decision rather quickly and pays for it with her car, plus $700.

She drives on her through the morning, afternoon, and into dusk. Suddenly, it's starts to storm. She gets off a main road and finds The Bates Motel sitting quietly off the highway as if it were hidden from it. She gets out and sees nobody in the office. She looks up and finds a sinister looking house and notices, through a window, an elderly woman walking about. She beeps her car horn until someone comes running out. He finally comes to Marion's aide and takes her inside. The man who took Marion inside the office is NORMAN BATES (played by Anthony Perkins), a seemingly-sweet young man, who owns both the house and motel. He checks Marion in to cabin No. 1 because 'it's closer in case you want anything'. Marion says she wants sleep more than anything, except maybe some food. Norman invites her to the house for some sandwiches. As he goes off to make the sandwiches, Marion hears a woman, viciously yelling at Norman. The woman is the elderly woman Marion saw and it turns out that the woman is Norman's mother. Norman yells back and comes back into Marion's room. The two have supper in Norman's polar, which is located in the back of the office. The polar is decorated with stuffed birds. Turns out that Norman's hobby is taxidermy. They have a brief conversation, leading to Marion wanting to get some sleep. She goes off into her cabin and gets ready to take a shower. She steps in and begins washing herself. While in the middle of her shower, the curtain opens to reveal a dark figure of an elderly woman. Marion turns around and screams in fright as she is murdered in cold blood. The woman disappears and Norman comes in to erase the crime.

A week later, a young woman runs into Sam Loomis' store and demands to talk to Sam. Sam comes out and walks over to the young woman. The young woman is LILA CRANE (played by Vera Miles), Marion's curious sister. She tells Sam what Marion had done the Friday before. As Sam and Lila are talking about it, a private investigator by the name of MILTON ARBOGAST (played by Martin Balsam) comes in and begins talking to Sam and Lila about Marion. He goes off to investigate and comes across Norman and The Bates Motel. He questions Norman, but claims that Marion stayed overnight and left early the next morning. Arbogast then sees Norman's mother and asks to question her, but Norman refuses. Arbogast calls Lila and Sam, gives them the news and goes into the house to question Norman's mother, only to be killed by her.

Lila and Sam have been waiting for Arbogast to return for three hours. Sam drives up there, but finds no Arbogast, but only Norman's mother. He drives back to Lila and they visit SHERIFF AL CHAMBERS (played by John McIntire). Al and his wife, ELIZA CHAMBERS listen to Lila and Sam's story of Marion's disappearance and of Arbogast's disappearance. Sam says that when he went up there, he too noticed Norman's mother. Both Al and Eliza make them aware of the death of Norman's mother that happened ten years earlier. Sam is certain of seeing Norman's mother in the house. The next morning, Lila and Sam drive up to the motel and decide to check in as man and wife, in order to search the motel. They are checked in by Norman. They settle in and begin searching Cabin No.1 and find that it was occupied by Marion. Sam tells Lila to take the job of questioning Mrs. Bates, while he distracts Norman. Lila enters Norman's fruitcellar, only to see that Mrs. Bates is dead, as the real killer is finally revealed. If you're wise, you'll take showers with the curtains open forever. ... Read more


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