5 Classic things worth your time this week:
To Kill a Mockingbird is released in 3 different packages for the movie’s 50th anniversary: there’s a DVD, a Blu-ray + DVD set, and an ultimate collectors’ edition Blu-ray + book) + digital copy (as seen in the second pic. Each version offers various combinations of features, including Gregory Peck’s Oscar speech, an interview with Mary “Scout” Badham, a restoration documentary & many more befitting this essential classic.
Two completely different picks on Thursday, two major personal favorites, two movies that were box office hits and Oscar nominated or won, both with fabulous casts, two movies you owe it to yourself to see, two essentials if ever any films deserve such a title, and both are prime examples of the oft-repeated “they don’t make ‘em like they used to”.
Early Thursday (4:30am) you should catch the romantic classic THE VALLEY OF DECISION brings together maid Greer Garson and rich boy Gregory Peck. Though they fall in love, their families are on opposite sides of a dispute and divided by resentments arising from the operations at the Peck family steel mill. The warm and regal Greer Garson had by this time already made her mark as MRS. MINIVER and made some other lasting sentimental classics, RANDOM HARVEST and GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS, while Gregory Peck was young, impossibly handsome and just at the start of his career, but even as a relative newcomer he brings a lot of depth to his role. VALLEY OF DECISION’s cast also includes greats like Donald Crisp, Lionel Barrymore, Preston Foster and Jessica Tandy.
Thursday night at 8 you should see THE PROFESSIONALS if you haven’t already, it’s simply one of the greatest westerns ever made, in the vein of The Wild Bunch or The Magnificent Seven. Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan, Woody Strode star in the Richard Brooks directed story of a millionaire (Ralph Bellamy) whose wife (Claudia Cardinale, Once Upon a Time in the West) is kidnapped by Jack Palance; Bellamy then hires the aforementioned “Professionals,” each with his own area of expertise, to get her back. Action, adventure, buddy moments and explosions ensue.
Last week’s releases included the early WW1 fighter pilot epic Wings on DVD & Blu-ray with more extras (3 featurettes) than the standard. Charles “Buddy” Rogers, Gary Cooper, Richard Arlen and Clara Bow.
Finally, James Farentino died Jan 24 at age 73; over his 40 year career he was much seen on TV, from Dynasty to Blue Thunder, to playing George Clooney’s father on ER. His movies included The Final Countdown.