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New Classic Movies on Blu-ray

Releases for March 2013

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In March, several lesser known films by great directors and one cult classic will be released on Blu-ray. Among those making the jump are a sci-fi classic about a killer blob; an adaptation of a Graham Greene novel by Fritz Lang; a rare Western comedy starring John Wayne; Elia Kazan's thriller about a runaway virus; and John Ford's personal favorite. As always, all make great gifts for ardent collectors and casual fans alike.

1. ‘The Blob’ – 1958

Criterion Collection
Finally making its Blu-ray debut, this sci-fi cult classic starring Steve McQueen will be released by the always classy Criterion Collection this month. McQueen stars as a small town teen who tries to warn his fellow residents of an amoeba-like invader from outer space that devours everyone in sight and grows in size after every meal. Always perfect to watch in the late night hours, The Blob release features a substantially improved video remaster, audio commentaries from producer Jack H. Harris and director Irvin S. Yeathworth, Jr., and the original theatrical trailer.

Releases March 12th

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2. ‘Ministry of Fear’ – 1944

Criterion Collection
Another release from Criterion, Fritz Lang’s lesser know film noir Ministry of Fear will be released for the first time on Blu-ray. Based on Graham Greene’s 1943 novel, the film starred 1945’s Best Actor Ray Milland as a man recently released from a mental institution who is pulled into an international spy ring after accidentally coming into possession of a microfilm. With a new 2K digital restoration and crisp monaural soundtrack, the release will also contain an interview with Fritz Lang scholar Joe McElhaney, an essay by film critic Glenn Kenny and the original theatrical trailer.

Releases March 13th

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3. ‘McLintock!’ – 1963

Olive Films
Seems like every month there’s a new Western classic starring John Wayne being released and this March is no exception. In one of his rare comedic Westerns, Wayne stars as a cattle baron and owner of the largest ranch who finds himself growing older while battling corrupt government agents and his estranged wife (Maureen O’Hara), who has returned after two years of walking out on him in order to finish off their divorce and lay claim to their only daughter (Stefanie Powers). Since this one’s being released by the always stingy Olive Films, there’s little in the way of extras being offered.

Releases March 26th

4. ‘Panic in the Streets’ – 1950

20th Century Fox
One of the rare thrillers to be directed by Elia Kazan, Panic in the Streets will make its debut bow on Blu-ray in March. The film starred Richard Widmark as a physician from the U.S. Health Service who partners with a by-the-book police captain (Paul Douglas) in New Orleans in order to track down a killer (Jack Palance) infected with the bubonic plague before an epidemic breaks out. A taut, semi-documentary thriller that features one of Widmark’s all-time great performances, Panic in the Streets will be released by 20th Century Fox and features commentaries from authors and historians James Ursini and Alain Silver, and the original theatrical trailer.

Releases March 26th

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5. ‘The Sun Shines Bright’ – 1953

Olive Films
Another release lacking in extras from Olive Films, this rarely seen small town drama is sure to find a new audience with its debut Blu-ray release. One of the director John Ford’s personal favorites, The Sun Shines Bright starred Charles Winninger as a no-nonsense judge who has rubbed his fellow Kentuckians the wrong way with his brusk approach and finds himself challenged by an upstart Northerner for his re-election bid. Despite an unfortunately stereotyped performance from African-American comedian Stepin Fetchit, Ford’s otherwise winning film should be appreciated on the merits of its endearing charm.

Releases March 26th

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