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Classics on Blu-Ray for November 2012

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Lots of great movies are being released on Blu-ray this November, just in time for holiday shopping. Among those making the transfer are a Billy Wilder classic; an underappreciated World War II action thriller starring Frank Sinatra; George C. Scott’s greatest performance; a sweeping David Lean epic; and an early 1980s remake of a film noir classic from 1946. As always, these films make great additions to both casual fans and ardent collectors alike. Enjoy!

1. ‘Sunset Boulevard’ – 1950

Paramount Pictures
Hard to believe, but Billy Wilder’s classic film noir starring William Holden makes its debut on the Blu-ray format this month. Holden starred as Joe Gillis, a struggling Hollywood screenwriter drawn into the cloistered world of former silent film star, Norma Desmond (Gloria Swason) to write her comeback vehicle, only to become a prisoner in her dark and depressing house. Released by Paramount Pictures, the single-disc set contains a host of extras, including featurettes on Holden, Swanson, and famed costume designer Edith Head; an in-depth look at Paramount in the 1950s; and commentary from Wilder biographer Ed Sikov.

Releases Nov. 6th

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2. ‘Von Ryan’s Express’ – 1965

20th Century Fox

Also making its first appearance on Blu-ray is this underrated wartime classic starring Frank Sinatra as an army colonel among 400 POWs being transported by the Nazis to an Austrian internment camp, who leads a hijacking attempt in order to escape to Switzerland. A non-stop action thriller that features good performances all around, the release will contain four featurettes, including Hollywood and Its War Films and Bringing Movies to Life: The Legacy of Jerry Goldsmith.

Releases Nov. 6th

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3. ‘Guys and Dolls’ – 1955

Warner Bros.
Another movie starring Sinatra, Guys and Dolls was directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and co-starred Marlon Brando in the actor’s one and only musical. Sinatra and Brando played two New York City gamblers who indulge in a bet on whether or not Brando can seduce a beautiful missionary (Jean Simmons). A lavish, entertaining romp, Guys and Dolls makes its Blu-ray debut this month, though Warner Bros. has yet to offer details on technical specs and included extras, though the release will be presented in Digibook packaging.

Releases Nov. 6th

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4. ‘Patton’ – 1970

20th Century Fox
While there have been too many biopics made by Hollywood to count, Patton most definitely ranks high on the list of all-time greats. And there were few historical figures more driven, complicated and misunderstood than General George S. Patton, played by Oscar-winner George C. Scott in the finest performance of the actor’s career. Though released a few times already on the format, including a limited 40th anniversary version in 2011, this two-disc remastered edition contains a number of goodies, including an introduction and commentary by Francis Ford Coppola, documentaries about the film and Patton himself, still galleries featuring Jerry Goldsmith’s musical score, and the original theatrical trailer.

Releases Nov. 6th

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5. ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ – 1962

Sony Pictures
Just in time to celebrate its 50th anniversary, David Lean’s classic epic about the life of British soldier T.E. Lawrence has stood the test of time and remains one of the greatest films ever made. Starring Peter O’Toole in the role that both made him a star and defined his career, Lawrence of Arabia is a must-have for any film lover’s collection. The four-disc set features too many extras to list here, but some of the choice ones include a fresh interview with O’Toole, a behind-the-scenes featurette with Steven Spielberg, never-before-released scenes, an interview with Martin Scorsese, and numerous archival interviews.

Releases Nov. 13th

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6. ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice’ – 1946 and 1981

Warner Bros.
Both the original 1946 version starring John Garfield and Lana Turner as well as the 1981 remake with Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange will be released for the first time on the Blu-ray format on the same day. Based on James M. Cain’s gritty and sexually charged 1934 novel, the films focused on a drifter (Garfield and Nicholson) who takes up with the sultry wife (Turner and Lange) and plot the murder of her husband. While the 1946 version is a classic film noir, the 1981 remake – which was written by David Mamet – was more notorious for its explicit scenes between Nicholson and Lange. Since this is another release from Warner Bros., technical specs and supplementary details remain a mystery.

Releases Nov. 13th

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