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leonardmaltin
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Leonard Maltin

dvd review: Bad Girls of Film Noir

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • February 23, 2010 7:35 AM
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  • 4 Comments
(Volumes 1 and 2)

Johnny Mercer: The Dream's On Me

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 28, 2009 4:20 AM
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  • 1 Comment
If you missed this documentary special on Turner Classic Movies, it’s a must-see for anyone who loves the Great American Songbook and the era in which it flourished. It’s now been released on DVD with a second disc of bonus material. Produced by Clint Eastwood (who first paid tribute to Mercer in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which took place in the songwriter’s home town of Savannah, Georgia) and directed by Bruce Ricker, the program compresses...

North By Northwest

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 13, 2009 7:22 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Funny, I thought the last DVD release of this Alfred Hitchcock gem was definitive, with an excellent hour-long documentary hosted by its leading lady, Eva Marie Saint, and a commentary track by its articulate screenwriter, Ernest Lehman. How lucky for us that Warner Home Video decided that the movie’s 50th anniversary warranted the investment of returning...

The Three Stooges Collection, Vol. 7 – 1952-1954

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 13, 2009 4:46 AM
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  • 1 Comment

The Joe McDoakes Collection

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 13, 2009 2:50 AM
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  • 0 Comments
I never dreamed this would happen: a six-disc set collecting the entire Joe McDoakes series! (Or perhaps I should say oeuvre.) For the uninitiated, I should explain that these ten-minute shorts, made between 1942 and 1956, were a snappy blend of slapstick and situation comedy featuring George O’Hanlon (later famous as the voice of George Jetson) as an ordinary guy who always wound up “behind the 8-ball.” I first documented the series in my book The Great Movie Shorts, many years ago, and had a devil of a time tracking down prints. They weren’t shown on television, and while some were available in 16mm, finding them was hit-and-miss. I actually traveled to Washington, D.C. to screen some of them on a Steenbeck editing machine. I never knew if I’d have a chance to see some of them again.

The Samuel Fuller Collection

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 13, 2009 2:11 AM
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  • 0 Comments
There has never been a filmmaker quite like Sam Fuller: as director Curtis Hanson remarks in one of the interviews on this DVD set, he constituted his own genre. Fuller’s staccato, slap-in-the-face melodramas, war stories and genre pieces all bore his unique voice. As it happens only two of the films on this 7-disc set are bona fide Fuller productions, The Crimson Kimono (1959) and Underworld U.S.A. (1961). They may not be his best films but they’re significant contributions to...

The Robert Benchley Miniatures Collection

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 13, 2009 1:50 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Robert Benchley is one of my lifelong heroes. I first read his hilarious essays as an assignment for a humor project in junior high school English class. (I can’t imagine that happening today, although the thought of life without Benchley or his compatriot...

That Hamilton Woman

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 12, 2009 8:23 AM
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  • 0 Comments
I remember this movie being good, but I have to admit that I may have underrated it. What’s more, the commentary track and interview material on the new Criterion release add immeasurably to one’s enjoyment of the film and understanding of its place in history. As a piece of entertainment, it is exemplary, showcasing two great stars—who were still newlyweds at the time of the film’s release—at the height of their beauty and skill. Vivien Leigh (by this time a star to American audiences,...

Sita Sings the Blues

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 12, 2009 7:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments
I must confess I am very late in joining the parade of fans that filmmaker Nina Paley has attracted with her charming animated film. I just purchased a DVD from her website, where you can also download the feature and even purchase Sita merchandise. I wanted to support the independent filmmaker, who has taken to giving away her movie to protest...

Wagon Master

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 12, 2009 7:01 AM
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  • 1 Comment
One of John Ford’s personal favorites among his films, Wagon Master (1950) is a film of modest ambition and enormous charm. It afforded the director an opportunity to showcase two of his “discoveries,” wrangler-turned-actor Ben Johnson and Harry Carey, Jr., the son of his old friend and colleague from...

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