DVD)/Dallas: The Complete
Second Season (new
series/2013/Warner DVD Set)/Dr.
Kildare Movie Collection
(1938 - 1960/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)/Dr.
Kildare: The Complete Second Season, Part One
+ Part Two (1962
- 1963/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)/House
Of Versace (2013/Lionsgate
Season 4 (2013/Lionsgate
C+/C/C+/C+/C/C+ Sound: C+/C+/C/C+/C/C+ Extras: C-/C/C/D/C+/C-
Main Programs: C+/C+/C+/C+/C/C-
DVD sets are only available from Warner Bros. through their Warner
Archive series and all can be ordered from their website link below.
are some TV releases including one that starts as a film series and
gives way to a TV show at least as successful...
start with director Mary Harron, whose work ranges from the
to missed like I
Shot Andy Warhol
Now she takes on a subject that has garnered more works than you
might think. In Anna
(2013), we get a mixed, but sometimes more interesting and
unintentionally funny cable movie biopic on the model and Playmate
turned near billionaire in a story that still has not totally been
told well. This variant has her brief early years with her single
mother (the underrated Virginia Madsen), which includes odd visions
of a Marilyn Monroe clone who calls herself Anna Nicole.
is the beginning of where the script goes awry, but every wacky turn
like that is countered with other interesting events like work with
Playboy Magazine, for Guess Jeans and leaves Larry Birkhead in one
scene. The coup here is casting Martin Landau as a dead-on J. Howard
Marshall, even topping the ever-capable Adam Goldberg as a rightly
creepy, opportunistic Howard K. Stern and Cary Elwes as Marshall's
son who immediately hates the adult Nicole, played very well by Agnes
just could not escape the feeling they needed more time and guts to
tell the whole story, yet this is good viewing and to Harron's
credit, Anna Nicole is never a joke here but a dignified woman who
becomes a victim of her background, circumstances and other's greed,
especially men in a man's world. This is more worth seeing than you
are the only extras, but you can read about an actual opera on the
late model/actress at this link:
no one would have thought of it years ago, Larry Hagman had become
more synonymous with J.R. Ewing than any of his other works, so when
bad health took him from us, who knew he would be part of a Dallas
revival and would pass as he brought the character back? Dallas:
The Complete Second Season
(2013) was in early production when he became so sick, then left us,
but he stayed in character all the way going out in style and on top
at his villainous best in the first episodes of what would be only 15
hour-long shows (versus 23 - 28 for the old series, which this writer
is still not used to).
makers handled the unexpected death well and the show manages to stay
on course in what it established in tis revival's debut season, yet
it is obvious the loss of Hagman is going to be a challenge for
future seasons, though the current cast (a mix of new and original
series actors) were established well enough that the writing and pace
are not as outright affected as they otherwise would be. Fans will
be happy and the makes can be proud they held the show together.
include the featurettes Memories
With Larry Hagman,
Last Conversation with Larry Hagman
Battle For Ewing Energies,
Deleted Scenes and an extended version of the J.R.'s
episode with optional audio commentary.
in 1938, MGM licensed the Max Brand novels featuring a likable doctor
and made 9 films until 1942, now all collected here in the Dr.
Kildare Movie Collection
with Lew Ayres in the title role and Barrymore as wheelchair-bound
mentor Dr. Gillespie. Made at a time when doctor's made house calls,
medical innovations were in a golden upswing and doctor's seemed
sometimes omnipotent, Kildare offered a human face to the men and
even some of the myths. MGM managed to meld some mystery and
melodrama siding with soapy women's film approaches in what became
one of the most successful non-mystery movie series of the pre-TV
era. The films include Young
(1939, with a young, unknown Lana Turner), The
Secret Of Doctor Kildare
(1939, which we reviewed elsewhere on this site as a Roan Group DVD
that does not look or sound as good as it does here), Doctor
Kildare's Strange Case
Kildare Goes Home
(1940, with Robert Young in an interesting role), The
People Vs. Doctor Kildare
(1941) and Doctor
(1942, where his wife suddenly disappears).
Skelton eventually turns up as an orderly in comical fashion, Alma
Kruger was regular Head Nurse Molly Byrd and Marie Blake as funny,
gossipy telephone operator/receptionist Sally Green. The makers
created a family of characters that gels well and make watching the
series as interesting as it was consistent. Later trailers had to
explain to audiences that a new film has been made, so MGM knew they
were following a formula to a good extent, but these films hold up
well enough and are worth revising, even when they get dated or
for all 9 films are the main extras, but Warner has also included the
half-hour 1960 pilot for a Kildare series with Lew Ayres that guest
stars Robert Redford, but was never sold or shown to the public. Dr.
Gillespie was not included, assumed dead.
MGM wasted no time when it did not sell and retooled the idea of a
series, hiring a young, then unknown Richard Chamberlain in the title
role and found themselves with an early medical drama hit.
Picking up on Dr.
Kildare: The Complete Second Season, Part One
- 1963), the show was a hit and bringing back Dr. Gillespie as played
by Raymond Massey did the trick. Warner Archive has issued the
season in two DVD sets covering all 34 hour-long shows.
of the regular characters from the movie series are gone, though Ruth
The Night Stalker)
shows up as a nurse in what should have been a more regular character
.like Ken Berry would be here. Like many early TV hits, we see some
great actors in early roles as well as some established ones. This
time out, they include Peter Falk, Carroll O'Connor, Bill Bixby, Mary
Astor, Robert Culp, Leonard Nimoy, John Cassavetes, Stanley Adams,
Harvey Korman, Theodore Bikel, Abraham Soafer, Carolyn Jones, Jack
Carter, Harry Guardino, Beverly Garland, Jeannie Cooper, Coleen Gray,
Inga Swenson, Ellen Colby, Steven Hill, Naomi Stevens, Suzanne
Pleshette, Eileen Heckart, Barbara Parkins, Alan Reed Jr., Ed Begley,
Joan Freeman, Ed Asner, Olympia Dukakis, Claire Trevor, Madge Blake,
Murray Hamilton, Diana Hyland, Majel Barrett, Fritz Weaver, Constance
Ford, James Caan, Barbara Barrie, Jeanette Nolan, James Franciscus,
Allan Melvin, Henry Silva, John Larch, Mariette Hartley, Dan
O'Herlihy, Jean Hagen, Vito Scotti, Polly Bergen, Harold Gould, Lee
Meriwether, Patrick O'Neal, John Fielder, Anna Lee, Greg Morris, J.
Pat O'Malley, Forrest Tucker, Ross Martin, Regis Toomey, Edgar
Buchanan, John Marley, Lois Smith, Richard Benjamin and Sorrell
the show fell out of syndication and favor as black and white TV
shows were shelved in favor of color productions and even
Chamberlain's later hits did not get the show seen enough, so having
these sets finally coming out fills a big gap in TV history and from
those guest stars alone, you can see some key work by key performers
have been on the shelves too long.
there are no extras.
Of Versace (2013)
wants to take us behind the inner workings of the ever-popular
fashion producer, but many already know that Gianni Versace was
killed by a lone gunman when he was caught off guard senselessly.
That is addressed, but this cable TV movie is more interested in
Donatella (Gina Gershon) helped make the clothes great and how she
survived the loss of her brother. Raquel
Welch is semi-unrecognizable as her mother and there area few amusing
moments here, but not enough in its 90 minutes.
worse, we really don't learn very much despite this being based on a
supposedly good book, but it was made for the Lifetime Network, so
the safeness and eventual generic results make sense despite some
good casting. Gershon does what she can, but cannot save this one.
are no extras.
we have Swamp
People: Season 4 (2013)
which is somehow continuing to be a hit for the A&E (or is that A
+ E) Network. Why? Because like Duck
it is a meandering so-called reality
show designed to amuse those who would never watch TV with any real
substance or challenge. So the guys here hunt alligators. And
then.... ? For fans only.
minutes of bonus footage is the only extra.
they are new productions, the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image
performance on Versace
and the Dallas
episodes are much softer than they should be and disappoint
throughout, leaving Swamp
looking better and Anna
looking a tad better than all of the releases in this presentation.
The 1.33 X 1 black and white presentations on the Kildare
theatrical films and TV episodes also look about as good as expected,
though an early Season
was shot in color (here in MetroColor) and used as an early
production to push color TV on NBC. It looks really good too.
lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Anna
should be the sonic champs here, but they tie for first place with
the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on Swamp
and lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on the Kildare
series episodes. That leaves the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo on
and lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono on the older Kildare
feature films sonically in second placed, but Versace
should be richer and warmer than this.
can order the Kildare
DVD sets above, plus the debut season we did not catch and more via
Warner Archive through this link for them and many more great
web-exclusive releases at: