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10 Films To Check Out In Amazon's New 'Never Before On DVD' Section

by Cain Rodriguez
May 27, 2012 10:15 AM
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6. "Blue Collar" (1978)
Remarkably, the directorial debut of Paul Schrader has never before been available on DVD, but is now exclusive to Amazon. The film stars Richard Pryor (in one of his best dramatic roles), Yaphet Kotto and Harvey Keitel as three Detroit auto workers who decide to rob their union. It's funny, acerbic and politically-charged stuff.

7. "Gabriel Over The White House" (1933)
Batshit-crazy political fable starring Walter Huston as a corrupt President who nearly dies in a car crash, and through divine intervention, has a change of heart, revoking the Constitution to become a leader with absolute power, able to execute his enemies at will. This is all posited as a good thing, making the film a rare American argument for fascism, essentially. Curiously entertaining for all of that.

8. "Freebie And The Bean" (1974)
Stanley Kubrick's favorite movie of 1974, this was something of a precursor to the buddy cop movie, starring James Caan and Alan Arkin (in perhaps his best role) as two nutjob cops trying to take down a San Francisco mobster. Genuinely funny with great chemistry between the leads, and featuring a terrific car chase.

9. "The Landlord" (1970)
The directorial debut of the great Hal Ashby, this is perhaps the most underrated film by the chronically underrated director: a social satire starring Beau Bridges as a privileged white boy who gradually comes to understand his new African-American tenants. it's got a brace of terrific comic performances, an amazing score by Al Kooper, and a nuanced, complex take on '70s race relations.

10. "Brewster McCloud" (1970)
Robert Altman's follow-up to giant hit "M*A*S*H," the film was a disaster when it was first released but has grown in status as the years have gone by. It's a deeply odd fable starring Bud Cort as a young man who lives under the Houston Astrodome who tries to build wings so he can fly while people are murdered around him and his fairy godmother forbids sex. Basically like nothing you've ever seen before.

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  • Jim Tushinski | May 29, 2012 4:53 PMReply

    As others have said, a bunch of these are or were on DVD. I have commercial DVDs of Obsession and Brewster McCloud. Leave it to Amazon to "sort of" tell the truth. And speaking of Freebie and the Bean - it has one of the most homophobic endings in a Hollywood film for the time and is called out as a prime example of "queer equals murderous non-human freak" Hollywood syndrome in both the book and film version of The Celluloid Closet. It's really difficult to watch now since it's sort of played for laughs. It ruined the film for me when I saw it years ago.

  • ry | May 28, 2012 11:47 PMReply

    weird, i've had a dvd copy of 'blue collar' for years - glad to see it get some attention anyway. can't wait to see 'the landlord' and 'freebie and the bean'.

  • Christopher Bell | May 28, 2012 1:14 AMReply

    Love the Landlord and Blue Collar. I completely forgot about "Freebie and the Bean"... I think that came up post-Green Lantern for some reason?

  • sp | May 27, 2012 9:00 PMReply

    " The Landlord" (1970) is my most favorite Hal Ashby film. This timeless movie is a true classic. It is clever, witty, soulful , and edgy without being sappy.

  • Head Buckaroo | May 27, 2012 12:02 PMReply

    The Landlord and Brewster McCloud were both available previously. In fact, The Landlord was just put out a few years ago.

  • jknola | May 27, 2012 11:28 AMReply

    Obsession is available on a nice Region Free blu-ray:

  • Saaaay Jim! | May 27, 2012 11:17 AMReply

    "Remarkably, the directorial debut of Paul Schrader has never before been available on DVD"

    Uh... tell that to my copy that I bought 10 years ago at Media Play. It even has a Paul Schrader commentary track.

  • JD | May 27, 2012 11:03 PM

    Obsession also came out on region 1 DVD many years ago -- with a pretty good documentary by Laurent Bouzereau:

  • Suburban Voodoo | May 27, 2012 11:36 AM

    SAAAAY JIM is correct. Blue Collar has been available on DVD before for a short period of time. It might have been an old Anchor Bay release.

    Still, this is good to know about the Amazon deal...

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