Walt Disney Inc.
What is, arguably, Disney's most romantic animated feature has made its Blu-ray debut, and a bevy of vintage titles arrive on Blu-ray and DVD for the first time this week.
"Lady and the Tramp" (Disney/Blu-ray + DVD, 1955, two discs, $39.99). Pampered cocker spaniel Lady meets up with the Tramp, a mongrel living on the streets, and after he rescues her from danger, love blossoms in this completely winning cartoon feature that can be enjoyed by young and old.
Funny, filled with delightful characters and comic action, this was one of Disney's biggest hits. And it's loaded with iconic moments, from the spaghetti dinner in an Italian restaurant to the Siamese cats taunting Lady while singing the film's most memorable song. (Actually, it's Peggy Lee singing, and she also co-wrote the songs).
This was Disney's 15th animated feature and the first to be shown in a widescreen process, CinemaScope, which the studio didn't decide to do until it was halfway complete. Some of that indecision shows around the edges but it doesn't detract from the film's pleasures.
Extras widescreen, Blu-ray and DVD versions, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes, music video, excerpts from "Disneyland" TV episodes, trailers (also on three-disc Blu-ray/DVD/Digital, $44.99, and single-disc DVD, $29.99)
"All Quiet on the Western Front" (Universal/Blu-ray, 1930, b/w, two discs, $39.98). Justifiably beloved anti-war film won the best-picture and best-director (Lewis Mileston) Oscars and remains the standard-bearer for this genre. Lew Ayres is excellent as the central focus of a group of German lads who become disillusioned while fighting World War I.
Notable as an early sound film that eschews music and pulls no punches in its depiction of the horrors of war and the changes it forces upon young soldiers. Still powerful stuff.
When sound was new and some theaters were not yet equipped for it, studios often printed a second silent version, and that is also included here, about a minute shorter, with ambient sound effects but title cards replacing dialogue — a wonderful bonus for silent-film fans.
Extras full frame, Blu-ray and DVD versions, silent version, introduction by TCM host Robert Osborne, featurettes, trailers; packaged with 40-page book (including an essay by film historian Leonard Maltin)
"Love Story" (Paramount/Blu-ray, 1970, PG, $22.99). Hugely popular boy-meets-girl story starring Ryan O'Neal and Ali MacGraw is sappy and sentimental, undoubtedly providing the template for the modern doomed romances of Nicolas Sparks — but darned if it isn't an entertaining tearjerker.
The famous line — "love means never having to say you're sorry — still makes no sense, but the leads are good, Francis Lai's score is engaging and young Tommy Lee Jones is on hand to lend support. This was the No. 1 box-office champ of 1970.
Extras widescreen, audio commentary, featurette, trailer
"It All Came True" (Warner Archive, 1940, b/w, $19.95). Humphrey Bogart is funny and charming (yet lethal) as a hood hiding from the cops in a rundown boarding house (a year before he hit it big with "High Sierra" and "The Maltese Falcon"). But Ann Sheridan gets over-the-title billing and she's fun in this offbeat mix of comedy, melodrama and music. Comic actress Zasu Pitts steals a few scenes along the way.
Extras full frame, trailer (available at www.WarnerArchive.com)
"Conflict" (Warner Archive, 1945, b/w, $19.95). Bogart is caught up in a love triangle here, plotting to kill his shrewish wife so he can marry her charming sister. But, as you might suspect, things go awry. Alexis Smith is the object of his affection and Sydney Greenstreet plays a family friend.
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