Today: April 19, 2024

Monroe, Stewart and Widmark on Blu-ray

From the lovely folks at Signal One Entertainment comes three more underappreciated classics joining their range of Dual Format (Blu-ray + DVD) releases. Whether you’re looking for a timeless romcom, a compelling Western, or a gritty war film, there’s something for everyone in these three titles.

LET’S MAKE LOVE

This hidden Marilyn Monroe gem offers her final musical performance in a film released just one year after her unforgettable turn in Some Like it Hot. Despite a somewhat doomed production – unhappy stars, production shutdowns due to strikes, and a leading man (Yves Montand) who couldn’t speak English and struggled to learn his lines – the result is still a surprisingly charming little film. Despite Monroe herself commenting before her death that it was her worst role and Arthur Miller saying that his efforts to improve the script were “like putting plaster on a peg leg”, Let’s Make Love is an essential watch for fans of the blonde bombshell.

Synopsis

Multi-millionaire Jean-Marc Clement (Yves Montand) is rich in money but lacking in love. As he seeks someone who will adore him for his personality as opposed to his fortune, he discovers that he is going to be the subject of a satirical play. Clement, unrecognised at the play’s set, is offered the role as himself by the show’s unknowing producers. He accepts the role to be close to the beautiful and down-to-earth actress Amanda Dell (Monroe).

Extras

  • Trailer
  • Subtitles
  • Video essay
  • Stills Gallery

THE RARE BREED

Perhaps most notable for being one of the first major productions to be scored by John Williams (humorously credited as “Johnny Williams”), The Rare Breed is a magnificent comedy Western that makes up for its generic story with winning performances from Jimmy Stewart and Maureen O’Hara in the leads. This is a charming slice of cinematic distraction that doesn’t offer anything particularly memorable but is thoroughly entertaining throughout. At the end of the day, you just can’t go wrong with Jimmy Stewart.

Synopsis

After her husband dies en-route to America, Martha Price (O’Hara) and her daughter Hilary (Juliet Mills) are left to fulfil his dream: introducing Hereford cattle in the American West. They enlist Sam “Bulldog” Burnett (Stewart) in their efforts to transport their lone bull, a Hereford named Vindicator, to a breeder in Texas. The trail, however, is a dangerous one, and even Burnett doubts the survival potential of this “rare breed.”

Extras

  • Trailer
  • Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary
  • Stills Gallery

HALLS OF MONTEZUMA

This 1951 WWII drama from filmmaker Lewis Milestone (All Quiet on the Western Front) offers a raw and powerful look at U.S. Marines fighting on a Japanese-held island. While it does often veer toward propaganda – look no further than the film’s tagline, ‘the everlasting story of the everlasting glory of the United States Marines’, and the fact that a full company of Marine recruits were even sworn in at the film’s premiere – this is a truly compelling drama fronted by an excellent performance from Richard Widmark. While it’s certainly not the finest film in the war genre, there’s a lot to enjoy in this underappreciated gem.

Synopsis

During World War II, a band of Marines are ordered to capture Japanese troops so they can be interrogated for information about a new weapons base. As Lieutenant Anderson (Widmark) leads the team through enemy-infested jungles, the mission proves more difficult than expected.

Extras

  • Video essay
  • Trailer
  • Subtitles
  • Stills Gallery

 

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