Burnt Offerings: MOD DVD
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 12:00

Burnt Offerings For March 4, 2014

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Lots of good MOD releases this week, including five Joan Crawford classics from Warner Archive and the latest wave of titles in the Sony Choice Collection. We’ll get to those in a second but first, here’s an exciting Blu-ray sneak preview. Amazon is currently taking pre-orders for Warner Archive’s Blu-ray releases of Arthur Hiller’s The Americanization Of Emily with James Garner and Julie Andrews and the 1970 mind-bender Performance starring Mick Jagger, from directors Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg. Neither title has been officially announced by the studio yet and no street date is available, but we’ll keep you posted. I’m particularly excited about Performance, a very weird and underrated movie that deserves a bigger audience.  [Read on here...]

Now let’s take a look at this week’s offerings. As always, Warner Archive’s discs are available through their own online shop. The Sony Choice Collection is available from Amazon or from Warner Archive. Look for the WAC banner on this page and click on through to the other side to spend some money.

Purchase titles from Warner Archive and support The Bits!


The Bride Wore Red (1937) – Joan Crawford stars as a poor street-smart girl set up as a society dame by Count George Zucco to prove his theory that the only thing separating rich and poor is the luck of the draw. Crawford then battles for the romantic affections of aristocrat Robert Young and poverty-stricken Franchot Tone. Directed by Dorothy Arzner, Hollywood’s first (and, for too long a time, only) female director.

I Live My Life (1935) – Crawford plays another socialite, a real one this time, who falls for dashing archaeologist Brian Aherne while on vacation in Greece. This may be fairly routine but it boasts a stellar supporting cast of character actors, including Frank Morgan, Eric Blore, Arthur Treacher, Sterling Holloway and Lionel Stander.

The Last Of Mrs. Cheyney (1937) – Crawford plays the title character, a wealthy widow who sets up house in London with her butler, William Powell. Crawford becomes the belle of high society but she and Powell are really jewel thieves plotting their next heist. A remake of (and, according to some sources, an improvement on) a 1929 film with Norma Shearer.

Montana Moon (1930) – Crawford’s in her patented high society flapper mode again, falling in love with cowboy Johnny Mack Brown and moving with him back to his Montana ranch. I wonder if fish-out-of-water wackiness ensues?

Our Blushing Brides (1930) – One last look at Joan in her flapper stage. This time, she, Anita Page and Dorothy Sebastian are three department store employees on the make for rich husbands.



Adventure In Sahara (1938) – Sam Fuller wrote the story for this Foreign Legion adventure, previously released in The Samuel Fuller Collection box set from Sony and The Film Foundation.

And So They Were Married (1936) – Melvyn Douglas and Mary Astor are single parents, both widowed, snowed in at a resort hotel. They begin to fall for each other but their kids are determined to keep them apart.

The Boy From Stalingrad (1943) – A group of Russian children are all that stand between Stalingrad and the invading Nazi forces. One of a small handful of pro-Soviet propaganda movies made by Hollywood during World War II.

The Burglar (1957) – Dan Duryea and Jayne Mansfield star in this odd little crime movie, previously released in the now out-of-print box set Columbia Pictures Film Noir Classics III from TCM.

Mr. Soft Touch (1949) – Glenn Ford must choose between taking revenge on a mobster and helping social worker Evelyn Keyes in this Christmas-set crime movie. Previously released in the box set Glenn Ford: Undercover Crimes from TCM.

Passion Flower (1986) – Bruce Boxleitner and Barbara Hershey star in what looks like an erotic thriller but was made for TV, so how erotic can it get? Co-stars Nicol Williamson as a rich industrialist and John Waters as Hershey’s husband. Not the John Waters who directed Pink Flamingos, sad to say, as that would automatically elevate this movie to a whole new level of awesome weirdness.

The White Squaw (1956) – May Wynn plays a white woman living among the Sioux in this Western programmer.

- Adam Jahnke


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