Monday, December 29, 2008

2009 Unreleased DVD Wishlist

When asked by the young Reverend Billy Graham if he’d pray with him, President Harry S. Truman reportedly replied: “Well, it can’t hurt.” Now I’m not praying for these movies to be released on DVD in 2009, but wishing for them certainly couldn’t hurt. My list is far from comprehensive, but these are the ones that lead the pack:

A Bill of Divorcement (1932) John Barrymore, Katharine Hepburn. Kate's feature-film debut; who wouldn't want that? Directed by perennial favorite George Cukor.

Fast Company (1938) Melvyn Douglas, Florence Rice. Joel and Garda Sloane, rare book dealers turned husband & wife detectives.

Fast and Loose (1939) Robert Montgomery, Rosalind Russell. Same characters, another murder mystery; my favorite casting combination of the three-film series, though not my favorite film in the series.

What a Couple: Robert Montgomery & Rosalind Russell in what will likely be the cover to a DVD release of 1939's Fast and Loose.

Fast and Furious (1939) Franchot Tone, Ann Sothern. Here's the favorite! Yet another incarnation of Joel and Garda Sloane. Ann Sothern is incredibly cute--and gorgeous.

She Moves Me: Ann Sothern plays Garda Sloane in 1939's Fast and Furious.

Vivacious Lady (1938) James Stewart, Ginger Rogers. A slap-happy good time of a film, with nightclub singer Ginger falling in love with engaged small-town teacher Stewart.

The Ex-Mrs. Bradford (1936) William Powell, Jean Arthur. A trifle compared to the other 1936 releases that starred William Powell, this husband and (ex)wife detective team movie has always amused me.

Skyscraper Souls (1932) Warren William, Maureen O’Sullivan. Pre-Code naughtiness in a film that would appear to be a commentary on the Empire State Building. Beautiful Deco sets and a delightfully debauched scene with Maureen O’Sullivan being plied with booze.

Johnny Eager (1942) Robert Taylor, Lana Turner, Van Heflin. The film that proved to me that Taylor could act. He plays a gangster who falls in love with the district attorney’s daughter (Turner). Van Heflin won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar as Taylor’s alcoholic pal.

World Weary: Robert Mitchum as Philip Marlowe in 1975's Farewell, My Lovely.

Farewell, My Lovely (1975) Robert Mitchum, Charlotte Rampling. The movie I've been waiting the longest for on DVD. It needs to be done right, unlike the cruddy pan-and-scan edition pictured above. Farewell, My Lovely is also one of my favorite novels of all time. As for the film, I prefer it to the infinitely more famous Chinatown. At least David Shire’s excellent music score is available.

So now it's wait and see time. It'll be interesting to see how many--if any--of these movies will make it to DVD in the coming year.


  1. Dex,
    That's a swell list! Where do I sign the petition?

  2. Hi, Jonas! The releasing companies love to empty their vaults, so unless there are any liscensing issues involved, I'm optimistic that some of these will come out in 2009. The "Fast" series in particular would make a nice boxed set and Warner Brothers could do it, since they control the MGM back catalog.

  3. I left a comment and it disappeared!

    Do you participate in the voting on TCM's website? I use all my e-mail addresses to vote for my favorite movies to show up on DVD. My main one is Bachelor Mother (1939) which is currently #17 in ranking. Woohoo!

  4. Raquelle: I don't why, but lately comments have had trouble getting published (including this one!). Maybe I should deactivate comment moderation...

    As for TCM voting: Yes, yes I do! BTW, I like Bachelor Mother, but when I first saw the movie, I kept yelling at the screen: "Get a blood test! Get a blood test!" ;)

  5. A "Fast" box set would be way cool! Johnny Eager as well - I believe the powers that be released that on VHS at one point.

  6. Nice list! Johnny Eager's been on my list, mostly because I've always wanted to see Van Heflin in that one.

  7. This is a wonderful list. I would love to have the Sloans on DVD...for that matter I'd love it if Warners also released some of their fun "B" mysteries & procedurals like KID GLOVE KILLER and GRAND CENTRAL MURDER.

    The Ginger Rogers film I most want on DVD is BACHELOR MOTHER...I think my daughter is wearing out the copy I taped from TCM. :)

    I've become a big fan of Robert Taylor over the last year and would especially like not only JOHNNY EAGER but WESTWARD THE WOMEN and ROGUE COP to make it to DVD.

    Best wishes,

  8. DKoren: Heflin certainly earned his Oscar for "Eager"; he gives a sympathetic performance and comes off as both pathetic and wise.

    Laura: Thanks, and welcome! I'd snap up Bachelor Mother in a heartbeat! Any "solo" Ginger from this period is gold. BTW, TCM has "Rafter Romance" out on a limited ed. DVD!

  9. Excellent list! I am right there with you for Vivacious Lady. I think there needs to be a decent Ginger Rogers box set put out. Perhaps containing Vivacious Lady, Bachelor Mother, Once Upon a Honeymoon,and Tom,Dick, and Harry?? There are so few of her non-Fred Astaire movies out on DVD.

  10. I've added 1932's "A Bill of Divorcement" to the wishlist. Seeing excerpts on two documentaries whets my appetite for this film.

  11. I wish they'd bring out some of the older westerns

  12. Archavist: I agree. Here's hoping "Blood On the Moon" (1948) gets released this year.

    And welcome!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.