A few new releases from our colleagues over at the Warner Archive Collection have come our way, plus to be honest one that we forgot we had. These are the standard Archive releases, without extra features or chapters. And also again, some of these are for completists only but others in better days would have merited a standard retail release.
Gilda Live! (1980)
Gilda Live!, perhaps oddly, is my least favorite of the three. Although a fan of the earlier casts of SNL I never got Gilda- much to my loss I suppose. She does some of her famous routines, including Lisa Loopner, Judy Miller, Candy Slice, and of course Roseanne Roseannadanna. If you are a fan this is a must for you as it contains some SNL related characters and a few surprises too. Like all the Archives releases it’s a niche release and well placed here.
The Boy with Green Hair (1948)
The Boy with Green Hair seems a bit trite today, but given the time of it’s making puts it in a different light. Dean Stockwell plays an orphan (orphaned through WWII) who is passed around until one day he wakes up with green hair. Of course in 2010 green hair wouldn’t cause more than an askew glance but in the late 1940s….a different story. It gets a bit sappy with the theme of tolerance and the like, and surely hard to believe that director Losey was blacklisted as a result.
The Canterville Ghost (1944)
The Canterville Ghost is the best of these three films, although a strong cast bolsters a fairly fluffy storyline. Charles Laughton plays the Ghost who has been condemned to haunt his family estate until a family member performs an act of bravery. During WWII a group of GIs is billeted at the estate and one (played by a very young Robert Young) is a distant member of the family. With D-Day around the corner, acts of bravery aren’t hard to come by.
These are all pretty standard Archives releases but the transfers are good considering the age of the original elements and the lack of extensive remastering. The older titles may have had some basic cleaning but not alot. My advice would be to take the usual stance on these titles. There are a few hidden gems in here, but the pricing makes them attractive usually only for those who either already are a fan of the feature itself or one of the principals.