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Cinema

Frank Sidebottom The Home of the Retrospective

ON DVD & BLU-RAY

No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1948) Blu Ray (Indicator)

This adaptation of James Hadley Chase's novel of the same name was controversial in its day but can now be seen for what it is: a bad pastiche of Hollywood film noir and gangster movies, albeit with some good visual design. Starring Jack La Rue, Lindon Travers and a pre-Carry On Sid James.

No Orchids for Miss Blandish (1948)

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Dragonwyck (1946) starring Gene Tierney Blu Ray (Indicator)

Vincent Price is the undoubted highlight of this stylishly sumptuous gothic drama which was adapted by Joseph L. Mankiewicz from a novel by Anya Seton. It also stars Gene Tierney, Walter Huston, Glenn Langan and Jessica Tandy.

Dragonwyck (1946)

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One, Two, Three (1961) dir: Billy Wilder Blu Ray (Eureka!)

James Cagney plays a Coca-Cola executive stationed in Cold War-era Berlin who lands in hot water while looking after his boss's unruly teenage daughter Scarlett (Pamela Tiffin). The result is an underrated, rapid-fire farce. Also starring Horst Buchholz and Arlene Francis.

One, Two, Three (1961) directed by Billy Wilder

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The Virgin Soldiers (1969) starring Lynn Redgrave Blu Ray (Indicator)

Hywel Bennett plays a young British soldier on National Service in Singapore in 1951. While the threat of being killed in action hangs over him, he would clearly rather spend his time getting laid with Ms. Redgrave. A surprisingly effective mixture of ribald comedy and anti-war parable.

The Virgin Soldiers (1969)

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Irma La Douce (1963) dir: Billy Wilder Blu Ray (Eureka!)

A love affair between a highly-reputed Parisian prostitute (Shirley MacLaine) and an ill-starred police officer (Jack Lemmon) results in farcical complications. It may not be amongst Wilder's absolute best but it's still a lot more enjoyable than its reputation suggests.

Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine in Irma La Douce

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A Severed Head (1970) starring Ian Holm Blu Ray (Indicator)

This absurdist game of musical beds is strange without being particularly interesting or funny. The talented cast tries hard but only Claire Bloom manages to make a truly memorable impression. Also starring Lee Remick, Richard Attenborough and Ian Holm.

Claire Bloom and Ian Holm in A Severed Head (1970)

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Take a Girl Like You (1970) Blu Ray (Indicator)

This rarely funny romantic comedy displays attitudes which seem hopelessly dated when seen in this #MeToo generation. Hayley Mills and Oliver Reed give better performances than the material deserves. Also starring Noel Harrison, John Bird, Sheila Hancock and Penelope Keith.

Hayley Mills in Take a Girl Like You

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Picnic (1955) starring William Holden Blu Ray (Eureka!)

This rather dated and overly melodramatic adaptation of William Inge's Pulitzer Prize-winning play is redeemed by some beautiful cinematography and Susan Strasberg's turn as a shrewd, brattish tomboy. Also starring Kim Novak and William Holden.

William Holden and Kim Novak in Picnic

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Yanks (1979) dir: John Schlesinger Blu Ray & DVD (Eureka!)

This absorbing WWII drama features a trio of romances between American soldiers and British ladies. However, it's the attention to background details and cultural differences which provide the real meat here, rather than these couplings. Starring Richard Gere, Lisa Eichhorn, Vanessa Redgrave and William Devane.

Yanks (1979)

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Jake Speed (1986) starring Wayne Crawford Blu Ray (Arrow)

This semi-parodic homage to archetypal paperback heroes and Indiana Jones-style adventures has some neat touches but suffers from weak execution and a lack of likeable characters. John Hurt has fun as the villain but, for the most part, Jake Plod would have been a more apt title.

Karen Kopins and Wayne Crawford in Jake Speed

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More DVDs and Blu Rays

CLICK HERE for a guide to the best independent DVD / Blu Ray companies in the UK.

CINEMA

ARTICLES

Vampyres directed by José Larraz

RETRO

Erik the Conqueror directed by Mario Bava

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