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Chaplin—First, Last, And Always

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 13, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 4 Comments
For me, comedy begins with Charlie Chaplin. I know there were screen comedies before he came along, and I appreciate the work of everyone from Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Drew to Max Linder. But none of them created a persona as unique or indelible as the Little Tramp, and no one could match his worldwide impact.

Destino: Walt’s Dream, Then Roy's

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 2, 2010 2:45 AM
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  • 5 Comments
dvd reviewIt took sixty years for Salvador Dali’s unfinished Walt Disney project, Destino, to reach fruition. In comparison, the seven years it’s taken for a home video release doesn’t seem so bad, but the process has been frustrating. And even now, the opportunity to own the Oscar-nominated film comes with a hitch:

dvd review: Fantasia Revisited—And Revealed

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • December 2, 2010 2:30 AM
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  • 15 Comments
I have good news and bad news about the new DVD/Blu-Ray release of Walt Disney’s Fantasia. First, the good news. As someone who’s still lingering on the sidelines of the Blu-Ray revolution, I must tell you that the high-definition restoration of Walt Disney’s Fantasia looks breathtaking—even on standard DVD. Using the latest digital technology to scan the original nitrate negatives at 4K resolution has yielded a remarkable result. If you have a gigantic screen, or use a projector, you might detect a difference on Blu-Ray, but the plain ol’ DVD looks pretty great to my eyes.

dvd reviews: DISNEY DOCS FINALLY ON DVD

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • November 29, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Two significant Disney-related documentaries, Walt & El Grupo, the story of Walt Disney’s sojourn to South America in 1941, and The Boys, the life story of the songwriting Sherman Brothers, are being released on DVD tomorrow, along with the story of the animation department’s fall and rise and fall, Waking Sleeping Beauty. Even if you were lucky enough to see these films in their extremely limited theatrical release, the DVDs have bonus material that makes them a must for any Disney buff.

dvd review: John Ford: Hiding In Plain Sight

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • November 18, 2010 5:30 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Many people believed that John Ford was the finest American director of the 20th Century. In a perfect world, all of his films would be readily available for viewing but that is simply not the case.

Music Worth Hearing—And Seeing

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • September 21, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
I love music almost as much as I love movies. That’s why I start every morning with a visit to Tin Pan Alley at www.youtube.com/user/petermintunmusic, where the gifted pianist, singer and musicologist Peter Mintun offers “A Different Tune Each Day.” I’ve also had some wonderful experiences in recent months watching DVDs that celebrate a wide variety of music I happen to like. These documentaries and performance videos don’t have marketing muscle behind them, so they depend on loyal followers and word-of-mouth. That’s why I’m happy to recommend them here, in the hope that I can expand that audience just a bit.

Boris Karloff's Assurance

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • September 15, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments
dvd review: THRILLER: THE COMPLETE SERIES (Image Entertainment)

Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist And Rebel

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • September 2, 2010 2:39 AM
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  • 0 Comments
There are few people who can be credited with affecting real or lasting change in our culture. One of them is Hugh Hefner, an aspiring cartoonist who borrowed money to put out the first issue of a magazine called Playboy that became an overnight sensation back in the uptight 1950s. Hef became a celebrity, and used his success to promote his ideas and ideals; that’s the focus of Oscar-winning filmmaker Brigitte Berman’s new documentary, Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist, and Rebel.

review: Von Sternberg Dazzles On DVD

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • August 24, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 3 Comments
I am extremely happy because one of my all-time favorite films—The Last Command—has finally come to DVD, as part of a glorious boxed set from Criterion called 3 Silent Classics by Josef von Sternberg.

dvd review: Black Orpheus

  • By Leonard Maltin
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  • August 17, 2010 4:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
(Criterion Collection)

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