15 July 2008

It's Your Duty To Vote

Thanks to the good folks at Turner Classic Movies, film aficionados have an opportunity to vote for films they'd like to see made available on DVD. A great frustration for folks like us is the number of highly regarded films still not on DVD. To vote go to http://www.tcm.com/top/notondvd/

Don't bother voting for either Notorious (1946) or Rebecca (1940) as they will be released in October, both separately and as part of a yet another outstanding collection of Hitchcock films that will include Lifeboat (1944), The Lodger (1927), The Paradine Case (1947), Sabotage (1936) and Spellbound (1945).

The African Queen (1951) is certainly the most beloved film on the list. Others that I'd recommend include the seldom seen The Mortal Storm (1940) starring Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan.  Directed by Frank Borzagethis story of a happy family living in the German Alps who, along with others in their community, are torn apart by the rise of Hitler's Nazi party.

I Married a Witch (1942) starring Veronica Lake and Fredric March, Bachelor Mother (1939) starring Ginger Rogers and David Niven, and Topper (1937) starring Cary Grant and Constance Bennett are three delightful screwball comedies that film fans deserve to be able to rent or buy on DVD.

Another great comedy is George Washington Slept Here (1942) starring Jack Benny and one of my great loves, Ann Sheridan. I know I'm in a small minority in saying this but I prefer it to the very similar Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948) with Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. Both involve city dwellers trying to start afresh by fixing up a home in the country. A colorful cast of characters and hilarious mishaps highlight each film.

Speaking of Grant, his 1943 film, Mr. Lucky, is also on the list. His co-star and love interest is played by Laraine Day. It was a perfect rallying cry for the home front during WWII. Grant was a gambler out to swindle do-gooder society dames who instead finds himself falling for Day.

One of the great films of all time – and certainly one of the the greatest silent films – Greed (1925) also deserves a vote. Erich von Stroheim's opus is a classic tale of how money and the deadly sin of greed can ruin lives.

Another silent classic and first-ever winner of Oscar's best picture, Wings (1927) also needs your vote. It has only recently appeared on TCM. William Wellman's story of two WWI flying aces and the woman they both love is one of the first great aviation films and still one of the best.

The film I'd most like to see on DVD is Red Dust (1932) starring Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Gene Raymond and Mary Astor. I have too many good things to say about Red Dust so will devote an entry blog entry to it at another time.

Enough campaigning from me. Vote for your favorites and encourage others to do likewise. It is your sacred duty.

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