The Big Heat (1953) - Encore Edition It's back. The Fritz Lang-directed classic was issued on Blu-ray by Twilight Time back in 2012 and promptly sold out. This "encore edition" of the classic 1953 film noir sports cool new cover art, but more significantly it includes several special features not found on the previous edition.
The last version only had an isolated score track (Henry Vars). That's carried over here, but we now have audio commentary by film historians Lem Dobbs, Julie Kirgo, and Nick Redman. There's also interview segments with Michael Mann and Martin Scorsese (separate featurettes), each director weighing in on the importance of The Big Heat.
La bambola di Satana (The Doll of Satan) (1969) Who'd have thought director Ferruccio Casapinta's Italian horror schlock-fest would not only make it to Blu-ray, but in such good shape? Though it shows its age, this is generally a solid presentation of a long forgotten cult film. Toss in lossless DTS-HD MA audio (the original mono; you didn't expect an 5.1 remix with something like this, right?) that makes the most of what was very limited sound design to begin with, and it's a winner for genre fans.
The included isolated score (by Franco Potenza) tracks is, however, presented in sterling DTS-HD 2.0 stereo. There's also an audio commentary track by film historians David Del Valle and Derek Botelho.
Support Your Local Sheriff (1969) and Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971) A vintage comedy double feature! From the TT press notes: "Director Burt Kennedy’s Western parody, Support Your Local Sheriff, stars the delightful James Garner as a sheriff who pops up out of nowhere to shape up a rowdy frontier town (villainized by Bruce Dern, of course), aided and abetted by a scruffy local (Jack Elam).
The film’s 1971 follow-up, Support Your Local Gunfighter, reunites Garner and Elam for further adventures in absurdity. Distaff humor is provided by Joan Hackett (Sheriff) and Suzanne Pleshette (Gunfighter), and veteran character actors are here in abundance, including Harry Morgan, Walter Brennan, John Dehner, Marie Windsor, and Joan Blondell."
Each film includes an isolated score track. Sheriff features an audio commentary by film historians Lee Pfeiffer and Paul Scrabo.
The Hawaiians (1970) The sequel to Hawaii (1966; a January 2016 Twilight Time release) may not have the critical reputation of its predecessor, but it does have Charlton Heston (which generally counts for quite a bit). Again, let's turn to TT's notes: "Beginning 40 years after the events depicted in Hawaii, The Hawaiians offers new generations of Hawaiians, Americans, and newly arrived Asians, all dealing with the rapidly changing world of their island paradise. Chief among these are Whip Hoxworth (Charlton Heston), a renegade plantation owner who introduces the pineapple to the island economy and has a complicated personal life; and Nyuk Tsin (Tina Chen) and Mun Ki (Mako), Chinese indentured servants who must face a series of terrible tribulations. Directed by Tom Gries (Will Penny) and gorgeously photographed by Lucien Ballard and Phillip H. Lathrop.
More specific details to follow separately, but spot checking the disc reveals what appears to be a beautiful 1080p transfer. Henry Mancini's score is presented as an isolated track.
Cowboy (1958) This very simply-titled Western is directed by the esteemed Delmer Daves (3:10 To Yuma) and was Oscar-nominated for Best Film Editing (it lost to Gigi). Cowboy "tells the tale of a young Chicago hotel clerk (Jack Lemmon) who heads out on a cattle drive under the strict tutelage of a tough veteran (Glenn Ford). Featuring wonderful character turns by the likes of Brian Donlevy, Dick York, Richard Jaeckel, and Strother Martin."
In addition to an isolated track of George Duning's score, TT's Blu-ray includes and audio commentary track with film historians Julie Kirgo, Paul Seydor, and Nick Redman.
Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950) We began by mentioning The Big Heat, we'll end by mentioning Otto Preminger's vital film noir Where the Sidewalk Ends. "The superlative director Otto Preminger reunites Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney - stars of his earlier smash, Laura (1944) - in Where the Sidewalk Ends, a film noir about a brutal cop (Andrews) who accidentally kills a man, then gets in even more deeply when he tries to cover up his crime. Also starring Gary Merrill, Karl Malden, and Bert Freed, and moodily shot by the veteran Joseph LaShelle."
Bonus features include an isolated score track (Cyril Mockridge) and audio commentary with film historian Eddie Mueller.
More title specific review info to come, plus a preview of TT's March offerings! Visit Screen Archives for ordering information, or Twilight Time's official site.