The funeral business gets a giant raspberry in this wickedly wacky, resplendently ridiculous farce based on Evelyn Waugh’s macabre comic masterpiece and directed with inspired verve by Tony Richardson (Tom Jones). But the American way of death isn’t the film’s only target: sex, greed, religion and mother love are also in the crosshairs of its satirical shots. Robert Morse plays a bemused would-be poet who gets entangled with an unctuous cemetery entrepreneur (Jonathan Winters), a mom-obsessed mortician (Rod Steiger) and other bizarre characters played by such adept farceurs as John Gielgud, Robert Morley, Tab Hunter, Milton Berle, James Coburn and Liberace. If The Loved One doesn’t make you laugh, call the undertaker!
Her eyes shine as brightly as the diamonds at her slender throat and the countless candles that turn the Palace of Versailles into a light-drenched fantasy world. She is Marie Antoinette, Queen of France: beautiful, imperious, headstrong…and doomed. With an opulence exemplifying Hollywood’s Golden Era at its most glamorous, the grandeur and revolutionary fervor of 18th-century France sweeps across the screen. Norma Shearer stars in the decades-spanning title role, Tyrone Power plays her ardent beloved, John Barrymore is crafty Louis XV and debuting Robert Morley portrays timid Louis XVI. From ballroom to boudoir to guillotine, Marie Antoinette is regal romantic adventure.
Follow the misadventures of America’s original teen-age sensation, Andy Hardy, from his humble beginnings in A Family Affair through his girl-crazed college coming-of-age to his bittersweet return to his beloved hometown of Carvel as a grown man in this concluding volume of the complete series collection starring Mickey Rooney. Includes: A Family Affair (1937) ? Judge Hardy’s Children (1938) ? Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938) ? The Hardys Ride High (1939) ? Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever (1939) ? The Courtship of Andy Hardy (1942) ? Andy Hardy’s Double Life (1942) ? Andy Hardy’s Blonde Trouble (1944) ? Love Laughs at Andy Hardy (1946) ? Andy Hardy Comes Home (1958)
Who will be the next Mrs. Corbett? Will it be the chic designer? The Miss Montana Pageant hopeful? The headstrong lady across the hall? It’s a big decision for any boy to make for his recently widowed dad! Like father, like son. You’ll like’em both when renowned child actor and future Oscar winner* Ronny Howard portrays Eddie and Glenn Ford is his dad. Vincente Minnelli (Gigi) directs, using his flair for vivid colors and balancing the film’s humor with the real sense of loss a family feels over a loved one’s passing. Shirley Jones, Dina Merrill and Stella Stevens portray the prospects under Eddie’s self-appointed scrutiny.
Lisa Hartman avenges the death of the man she loved in this fiery tale of passion and hate, costarring Bruce Dern, Betty Buckley and Howard Duff and based on the bestselling novel by Jonell Lawson. When her beloved husband dies in a mine explosion, Autumn McAvin (Hartman) vows to destroy the man she holds responsible: coal baron Douglas Osborne (Dern). Sleeping her way to position and power, McAvin blackmails Osborne into a loveless marriage, making herself heir to his mines. When he dies unexpectedly and the police suspect her of murder, McAvin’s motives come back to haunt her; she’s arrested and tried for the crime. A two-part miniseries originally broadcast in May 1977, Roses Are for the Rich is a powerful portrait of a woman who had everything, but sacrificed it all for love.
HBO premieres a four-part showcase for some of the comedy-club circuits most outrageous R-rated comics, hosted by the foremost practitioner of “cringe comedy” and co-star of the HBO series Lucky Louie Jim Norton. Each half-hour edition features an opening routine from Norton, who then introduces 2-3 comics per show, with each show ending with a top club headliner like Artie Lange, Andrew “Dice” Clay, Bill Burr and Patrice Oneal. The series deejay is Lemmy, beloved by fans of heavy metal as the hard-partying singer/bassist for Mot?rhead.
She loses her dance-hall job before she even sets foot on stage, she’s down to her last 15 cents, then she’s thrown into the hoosegow on a false charge of lifting a wallet. Welcome to Big Horn, Wyoming, ma’am. And welcome to the big screen for the enthusiastically received series about wisecracking, level-headed, big-hearted showgirl Maisie Ravier. In the role forever associated with her, Ann Sothern stars in this debut adventure that has her finding work as a maid at Bar-O-Ranch, getting caught up in the troubled marriage of two visitors (Ian Hunter and Ruth Hussey) and rescuing the ranch boss (Robert Young) from a trumped-up murder rap while lassoing his heart. Yes, Maisie is one busy and ever-able heroine, a character who would win fans in all her exploits to come. Cliff Edwards – one year before he voiced Pinocchio’s beloved conscience-in-spats, Jiminy Cricket – plays amiable ranchhand Shorty.
The arrival of gunrunners in the jungle can mean only one thing for Tarzan: trouble, and plenty of it! Armed with rifles acquired in exchange for gems, the warlike Yorongan people overwhelm the proud, peaceful Ashuba tribe and its beloved queen (Dorothy Dandridge). The loin-clothed Lord of the Apes plunges into action to restore order in an adventure that has him swooping from tree to tree; plunging over a waterfall; confronting a giant, flesh-eating plant; liberating captives and taking on the Yorongan king in a knife-edged death match. Lex Barker portrays the legendary Ape-Man (the star’s third of five vine-swinging roles) in this matinee rouser that, rare for the series, includes scenes shot on location in Africa.
John Wesley “Jay” Grobart (Burt Reynolds), is a former Army Captain who has recently been released from prison, where he served time for killing the three men who had murdered his Native American wife, Cat Dancing. With the help of an Indian friend, Charlie (Jay Varela), and two lowlife thieves, Billy Bowan (Bo Hopkins) and Coleman Dawes (Jack Warden), Jay robs a train, hoping that he can use his share of the ill-gotten money to ransom his two children from Iron Knife (Larry Littlebird), Cat Dancing’s brother and the children’s foster father. Complicating the proceedings is Mrs. Catherine Crocker (Sarah Miles), a aristocratic woman running away from her abusive husband, who has chosen the same time and place to flag down the train. She ends up a hostage of the train robbers and through the course of their adventures eventually falls in love with Grobart. The posse trailing the thieves is led by Harvey Lapchance (Lee J. Cobb), a Wells Fargo agent deputized to capture Grobart, and Willard Crocker (George Hamilton), Catherine’s husband.
Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Porky, Darla, Mickey, Waldo and Froggy have long been names to conjure with in the annals of screen comedy. They’re fun-loving members of Our Gang, one of the most beloved bunches of movie kids ever. And with this fabulous 5-Disc Collection of 52 Theatrical Shorts, you’ve struck the mother lode of laughter from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Popularized on television for generations following their run in theatres, these rib-tickling short subjects showcased an ensemble of groundbreakingly diverse youngsters, many of whom were skilled at song as well as slapstick. If you belong to the legions of this mischievous gang’s fans, this compilation (covering the years 1938-1944) of mirthful memories and lasting laughter belongs in your home collection.
Academy Award winner Joan Crawford stars as the beautiful woman loved by two brothers–one good, the other evil–when the three are caught in a shipboard mutiny during a passage Across to Singapore.Deckhand Joel Shore (Ramon Novarro) and Priscilla Crowninshield (Joan Crawford) have been in love since they were children, but Joel’s cruel brother, ship’s captain Mark (Ernest Torrence), tricks Priscilla into an unhappy marriage with him. As the three make the passage to Singapore, Mark’s crew mutinies and takes Priscilla hostage. Now, one of the two brothers is going to have to sacrifice his life for the woman they both love.
Death has come for Gramps Northrup. But Gramps has important work to do: raising his orphaned grandson. So he uses a bit of magic to trap Death in the branches of an apple tree. Clever work, Gramps! Or is it? With Death on hiatus, other folks whose time has come – folks who are worn out, ill and in pain – can’t be released from their earthly suffering. And Gramps begins to wonder if he’s done the right thing.From the beloved Paul Osborn play, this endearing fantasy of family, love and mortality moves effortlessly from rollicking to whimsical to tragic. Lionel Barrymore plays Gramps, leading a sterling cast of character stars, including Beulah Bondi, Una Merkel, Henry Travers and, as a most wry and gentlemanly Grim Reaper, Sir Cedric Hardwicke
Among the most masterful matchups of actor and role in screen history is this stirring film of Robert E. Sherwood’s beloved play taking a thoroughly human look at the early years of our 16th President, with all his frailties and strength of character. Best Actor Oscar nominee* Raymond Massey (who originated the role on stage) wonderfully plays the future Great Emancipator in a chronicle of his backwoods childhood through his first romance with Ann Rutledge (Mary Howard) to his phenomenal rise to President Elect, besting the great orator Stephen Douglas (Gene Lockhart). Ruth Gordon also does memorable work as driven, ambitious Mary Todd Lincoln, whose vision of Abe’s leadership destiny will not be denied by anyone – including her often reticent husband. There’s also no denying the enduring emotional power of this simple, magnificent movie.
Joel McCrea stars as an outlaw who escapes from jail to try one last, big heist in the Colorado Territory. Wes McQueen (McCrea–Sullivan’s Travels, The Palm Beach Story) has a plan to stage a job that will net enough cash to lead an honest life. When things go bad, he flees into Colorado’s Rocky Mountains with dance hall girl Colorado Carson (Virginia Mayo–The Best Years of Our Lives), a woman with her own past to escape and the one person who has ever loved him. But the two are chased into the high country by a posse determined to bring them to justice.
What cops in their right minds would arrest a big-time racketeer on an indecent exposure charge because he zipped up his fly? The answer is none. The answer’s also Freebie Waters and Benito “the Bean” Vasquez, assuredly not in their right minds. James Caan and Academy Award winner* Alan Arkin are Freebie and Bean, mismatched San Francisco cops who bird-dog a notorious mobster as if auditioning for a demolition derby, cutting loose with bullets and wisecracks all the way. Directed by Richard Rush (The Stunt Man), this rough-and-ready early buddy-cop caper follows in the skidmarks of Bullitt and The French Connection – but it’s a burning-rubber classic itself, with four major chases scenes and more than 100 car crashes. Fully loaded with humor and firepower, Freebie and the Bean is one beloved smash hit.
In 1935, Greta Garbo starred in one of her finest and best-loved talkies, Anna Karenina. In 1927, she starred in this loosely adapted silent version of Leo Tolstoy’s novel, a film that today provides an intriguing opportunity for a before-and-after comparison of the actress in the same role and remains an intriguing film in its own right. Love captures Garbo near the start of her career – a mere 22 and already celebrated as both a gifted artist and screen goddess. She plays Anna, wife of a Russian nobleman, who surrenders her virtue, her security and her child for the love of a gallant and impetuous officer (John Gilbert, Garbo’s off-screen amour). The film’s original ads say everything a Garbo devotee needs to hear: “Garbo and Gilbert in Love.”
After the The Jazz Singer, movie fans and Hollywood honchos knew what they wanted: more songs, more sentiment.more Al Jolson. So The Jazz Singer star became The Singing Fool in the heartfelt rags-to-riches-to-rags saga of Al Stone, a singing waiter who becomes a sensation, then loses everything when his two-timing wife walks out – and takes Al’s beloved little boy with her. Along the way, Jolson belts out It All Depends on You, Sittin’ on Top of the World and Sonny Boy, the tearjerker that became the star’s signature song. Audiences ate it up. “Until the arrival in 1939 of Gone with the Wind, the most financially successful sound picture in Hollywood’s history was The Singing Fool” (The Hollywood Musical).
One day in 1872, Susie Graham is making beds at her mother’s Leaping Rock, Nevada, boarding house. The next day, she’s a millionaire’s wife. That millionaire is Major Augustus Parkington, a dashing financial buccaneer who sweeps Susie away to a 5th Avenue mansion and a life of privilege and power.Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon mark the fourth of their eight beloved film pairings with this grand chronicle (featuring sharp Oscar-nominated* performances from Garson and Agnes Moorehead) that begins with Susie as the 84-year-old family matriarch and flashes back to decades of passion, breakups, reconciliations, losses, laughs, schemes and sacrifices. Epic romance, epic adventure: Mrs. Parkington invites you to share her remarkable life.
To be near the fella she loves, an English bareback rider dons dungarees and cap to pass as a boy, stows away to America, gets caught, marries someone else.and finally ends up in the warm embrace of her beloved. Such fluffy foolishness is the plot of Sunny, the Broadway smash brought to screen life by the irresistible Marilyn Miller, recreating her stage success in the title role. The sparkling Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II-Otto Harbach score includes Who? and the title tune. And the lovely Miller socks ’em over with her winning voice, exhilarating dancing skills and infectious good cheer. If this is your first encounter with Marilyn Miller, prepare to be a fan.
Meet the original Man Behind the Eight Ball, regularly put upon, ever frustrated, constantly aspiring, forever misfiring – and always the beloved butt of a cosmic joke. Joe McDoakes is the Everyman of Warner Bros.’ series of one-reelers about a guy whose approach to everyday challenges or self-improvement made moviegoers howl from 1942 to 1956 (written and directed by Richard Bare). He was splendidly played by George O’Hanlon, later immortalized as the voice of another iconic frustrated character (albeit centuries in the future): George Jetson. From first (So You Want to Give Up Smoking) through 3 Academy Award? nominees* (1947’s So You Want to Be in Pictures, 1948’s So You Want to Be on the Radio and 1949’s So You Think You’re Not Guilty) to last (So Your Wife Wants to Work), you can cheer Joe on – and he’ll cheer you for sure – in this Complete 6-Disc Collection of All 63 Theatrical Shorts.