Films & TV We Grew Up With: April

Posted on April 11, 2011
Filed Under Culture, Films, Main, Television, TV | Leave a Comment

OK, kids. Time for another trip down memory lane. Here’s a smattering of some films and TV shows making their way to DVD this month — films and TV shows that were part of our cultural landscape and influenced us as we grew up.

So here’s to the start of a new monthly column.

Dirty Mary Crazy Larry/Race With the Devil Double Feature:
“Dirty Mary Crazy Larry” (1974) Peter Fonda, Susan George. Larry (Peter Fonda) is a former NASCAR racer looking to score some quick cash. Mary (Susan George) is a sexy dirty-harry.jpg groupie aching to take a fast ride. Together with mechanic Deke (Adam Roarke), they pull off a cold-blooded supermarket heist and hit the highway. Now there is a maniacal lawman (Vic Morrow) on their trail, an entire police force in pursuit and hundreds of miles of roadblocks between their ’69 Charger and freedom. Buckle up for the action classic that blows the doors off all other car chase films as it speeds toward one of the most jaw-dropping finales in movie history. Directed by John Hough (“The Legend Of Hell House,” “The Incubus”). Extras: Commentary by Director John Hough, “Ride the Wild Side” featurette, theatrical trailers, TV spots and radio spots.
“Race With the Devil” (1975) Peter Fonda, Lara Parker, Warren Oates. For old friends Roger (Fonda) and Frank (Warren Oates) and their wives (Lara Parker, Loretta Swit), it was supposed to be “the best damn vacation they ever had.” But their RV road trip takes a deadly detour at a secluded campsite when they accidentally witness a satanic sacrifice. Now horror hits the highway as the couples are pursued by satanic cultists through some of the most intense car chases and into one of the greatest twist endings in drive-in movie history. Directed by Jack Starrett (“The Losers,” “Cleopatra Jones”), who was also an actor and played the memorable role of the vicious Deputy Galt in “First Blood.”  Extras: Commentary by executive producer Paul Maslansky and actress Lara Parker, “Hell On Wheels” interview with Peter Fonda, theatrical trailers, TV spot and radio spots. (Shout! Factory).  Due April 12.

Dragnet 1970: Season Four(1969-70) Four-disc set with 26 episodes of “Dragnet 1970,” $34.93. (Shout! Factory). Airing on NBC, “Dragnet 1970” dragnet.jpgwas the second run of the highly popular “Dragnet” TV series. Spawned from the popular “Dragnet” radio program, “Dragnet 1970” would mark the end of an era as Jack Webb would retire his legendary onscreen persona Joe Friday, although he would continue to executive-produce the popular spin-offs “Adam-12” and “Emergency!” Bonus Features include Jack Webb and Harry Morgan’s appearance on “Jack Benny’s Second Farewell Special.”

Tracy and Hepburn: The Definitive Collection The first and only complete anthology of films starring Hollywood’s dream team. The collection includes all nine remastered favorites: “Woman of the Year” (1942), “Keeper of the Flame” (1942), “Without Love” (1945), “Sea of Grass” (1947), “State of the Union” (1948), “Adam’s Rib” (1949), “Pat and Mike” (1952), “Desk Set” (1957) and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967), plus a bonus disc featuring an intimate tribute to Spencer Tracy moderated by Katharine Hepburn; $59.92. “Keeper of the Flame,” directed by George Cukor, and “Sea of Grass,” are DVD debuts, and are both available separately for $19.97 each. (Warner). Due April 12.

Father Knows Best: Season Six (1959-60) Five-disc set with 31 episodes, $39.99. (Shout! Factory).  Robert Young stars as Jim Anderson in the final season of the television classic. Throughout the previous five seasons, we’ve watched Betty, Bud and Kathy grow up under the watchful eye of the best in the business. A lot has changed through the years, but the loving relationships are still much the same.  Due April 19.

Dementia 13 (1963) Dir.: Francis Ford Coppola; Luana Anders, William Campbell, Bart Patton, Eithne Dunne, Patrick Magee. Produced by celebrated B movie icon Roger Corman, this is considered to be Coppola’s first mainstream, “legitimate” directorial effort. The gothic psychological thriller — based on a story idea Corman penned in one night — was shot for a budget of $42,000. dementia.jpg Although Coppola promised “lots of sex and violence,” Corman later battled with Coppola and hired director Jack Hill to shoot additional scenes of carnage. For years, it was rumored that the film’s print had mysteriously disappeared. Now, “Dementia 13” is available, restored and in HD for the first time. The story: After inadvertently causing her husband’s fatal heart attack, Louise, a scheming young woman (Luana Anders),  attempts to have herself written into her wealthy mother-in-law’s will. Forging a letter from her deceased spouse to convince his family he’s away on business, Louise — determined to get into their good graces — pays a surprise visit to the ancestral home in Ireland. With other family members gathered at the foreboding castle, she joins in a morbid ritual to honor Kathleen, her sister-in-law who died mysteriously seven years earlier. When an axe-wielding lunatic begins murderously stalking the gatherers, her plans are permanently interrupted. But which one is the killer? Is Louise — or one of the other peculiar mourners, each with a dark motive — willing to do anything to gain fortune? Restored and in HD for the first time ever. Available in a special DVD/Blu-ray combo pack from Film Chest on the HD Cinema Classics and CULTRA labels (distributed by Virgil Films & Entertainment). Due April 26.

The Lucy Show: The Official Fourth Season (1965-66) Four-disc set with 26 episodes, $42.99. Extras: “Lucy: Behind the Scenes”, photo galleries, cast biographies, original network openings, Gale Gordon holiday messages (audio), excerpts from “Wonderful World of Burlesque” and “Magic of Broadcasting,” Beatrice Foods Presentation. $42.99. (CBS/Paramount).   Due April 26.

Don’t Know Much About History Dept.:

Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood (2010) Seven-episode original documentary on Hollywood from Turner Classic Movies, narrated by Christopher Plummer. The American movie business started as peepshows and grew into a near-mythical art form that used an exciting new technology to create drama, laughter and adventure literally bigger than life. Here is the whole story — the glamour and the sweat, the collaborations and the conflicts, the careers that skyrocketed and the dreams that crashed. Each one-hour segment focuses on a different era of American movie history, from the invention of the first pictures to the cutting-edge films of the 1960s. Each installment features clips and interviews with historians and major Hollywood figures: “Peepshow Pioneers” (1889-1907), “The Birth of Hollywood” (1907-1920), “The Dream Merchants” (1920-1928), “Brother, Can You Spare a Dream?” (1929-1941), “Warriors and Peacemakers” (1941-1950), “Attack of the Small Screens” (1950-1960), “Fade Out, Fade In” (1960-1969). Extras: Limited edition book with 40 pages of vintage photographs and insight about the people, power, and periods that created Hollywood. Three-disc set, $39.92. (Warner).   Due April 26.


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