Tagged: movie

Scarface Comes to Blu-ray in Style

scarface-beauty-shot-rendering_mps_rev-300x235-4222185Coming in September is the Blu-ray debut of the classic Al Pacino film Scarface on September 6. Universal Home Entertainment is sparing nothing to make certain this becomes quite the event. There have been art contests and now there’s the imminent arrival of the Scarface-themed humidor.

For the ultimate collector and cigar enthusiast, an elegantly hand-crafted Scarface-themed humidor will be made available in an exclusive, never-before-available, limited edition, along with the new Scarface Special Limited Edition Blu-ray.

Created by the renowned Daniel Marshall, the humidor’s exterior is hand painted and polished with the Marshall’s trademark “1000 coat brilliant finish.”  The interior – made with untreated Spanish cedar – will properly condition and age approximately 100 cigars at optimal humidity levels. Limited to 1,000 worldwide, each individually numbered humidor comes embellished with custom medallions inspired by the iconic film and includes a certificate of authenticity.

As seen in the photo above, The Scarface Special Limited Edition Blu-ray also includes art cards from the “Scarface Kingpins of Design” fan art contest where fans had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to design Scarface-inspired artwork using classic Tony Montana images from the film. (more…)

Jurassic Park Trilogy Comes to Blu-ray

We’re still savoring the goodness found in the Superman and Lord of the Rings treasure chests but now we have something to put on our Christmas list. Coming in October is a Blu-ray box set of the three Jurassic Park films and there’s something to recommend in all three. Here’s the formal release:

Universal City, California, June 27, 2011 – The wait is finally over to experience one of the most anticipated motion-picture trilogies of all time like never before when Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III debut as a trilogy set on Blu-ray™ October 25, 2011 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Acclaimed filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s award-winning cinematic franchise, based on the best-selling book by  Michael Crichton, generated nearly $2 billion combined at the worldwide box office and featured groundbreaking visual effects that changed the art of movie-making forever. Now, all three epic films have been digitally restored and remastered in flawless high definition for the ultimate viewing experience. Additionally, the films’ visceral sound effects and the unforgettable music from legendary composer John Williams can now be heard in pristine 7.1 surround sound. Arriving in stores just in time for holiday gift giving, this collectible three-movie set also features hours of bonus features, including an all-new, six-part documentary and digital copies of all three films that can be viewed on an array of electronic and portable devices anytime, anywhere.  The Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy is also available on DVD, as well as in a spectacular Limited Edition Blu-ray Trilogy Gift Set which includes a custom T-rex dinosaur statue. (more…)

Sucker Punch

We have come to love Zack Snyder’s visual style, attention to detail, and ability to adapt comics to the silver screen. But, we don’t really have a sense of what he can do on his, without someone else’s work to rely on for inspiration. That is, until this March when he unveiled Sucker Punch, a personal project that had been gestating in his mind for years and he finally was given the opportunity to make it a reality.

Some reality. The mind-bending storyline is a visually and aural feast but is somewhat soulless and cold, not just from the over-reliance on CGI for background and texture but for the total lack of attention to characterization. Like the computer backgrounds, everything is on the surface, giving the cast little to work with, turning them into two-dimensional players on his digital chessboard. Most of that explains why the film fizzled both critically and commercially. In case you missed it, the movie is coming to DVD on Tuesday from Warner Home Video and packs a lot of meat into what feels like a snack.

The story, what there is of it, spotlights 20-year-old “Babydoll” (Emily Browning), confined to a mental institution in the 1960s by her abusive step-father (Gerard Plunkett). She’s locked away because she refused to submit to his unwanted sexual advances, although he claims she was responsible for the death of her younger sister. He exacts revenge by paying off the corrupt attendant Blue Jones (Oscar Isaac) to have her lobotomized, allowing him to solely inherit Babydoll’s inheritance.

The remainder of the film watches Babydoll plot an escape, while befriending fellow inmates — Amber (Jamie Chung), Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens), Rocket (Jena Malone), and Rocket’s older sister, Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish) — who are being taught sexually provocative dances by the lead psychiatrist Dr. Gorski (Carla Gugino). Babydoll convinces them to help her plan their escape and she mesmerizes people with her own dances and each time she and the audience segue into an action-packed dream sequence. We never see Babydoll dance but there’s plenty of compelling visuals to occupy us while the girls steal the tools needed to enact the plan. Her dreams are directed by a Wise Man (Scott Glenn impersonating David Carradine). (more…)


Universal Pictures
Directed by Frederick Stephani
Produced by Henry MacRae
Written by Basil Dickey, Ella O’Neill, George H. Plympton
Based on the comic strip by Alex Raymond
Say whatever you want about The Internet.  It’s done all right by me so far.  It’s a never ending source of delight to me that I can find and rediscover movies, books, comics and old TV shows that I thought I’d never see or experience again.  But it’s all out there and thanks to the wonderful technology we now have, it’s a joy to be able to relive some of my childhood pleasures.  This is one of ‘em.
Set The Wayback Machine for pre-Netflix days, Sherman. (I’m talking about the 70’s and 80’s, folks) when the only way I could see cliffhanger serials from the 30’s and 40’s was to either borrow them from the library and hope the VHS tape hadn’t been dubbed from a poor copy or wait until they were shown on PBS.  Usually during the summer PBS would have a Saturday night marathon showing of “Spy Smasher” “Perils of Nyoka” “The Masked Marvel” or “Manhunt of Mystery Island” in their original form.  Much more common were the edited versions of cliffhangers that Channel 9 or Channel 11 here in New York would show on Saturday afternoons.  15 chapters were edited down into 90 minutes.  It gave you a good flavor of what cliffhangers were like but that was all.
But now we’ve got Netflix and it was while accidentally finding they had “King of The Rocketmen” available, I hunted up some other serials as well.  Including what is probably the best known and best loved cliffhanger serial of all; FLASH GORDON starring Larry “Buster” Crabbe.   The man was known as The King of The Serials due to his playing in serials arguably the three most popular comic strip heroes at that time: Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon and Tarzan.  Talk about your hat tricks.
But there’s a reason why Mr. Crabbe got to play such heroes.  The cat looks like a hero.   He had the genuine square chin, steely eyes and a build most guys would give ten years off their life for.  But I think that Buster Crabbe’s real appeal in this serial lay in his Everyman quality.  His Flash Gordon isn’t the smartest guy in the room.  And he’s okay with that.  He’s more than happy to let Dr. Zarkov be the brains of the outfit while he does the dirty work.   He’s clever and resourceful.  He’s got morals and compassion for the little guy.  And when it comes to kicking ass all over Mongo, just step back and give Flash some fightin’ room.
By now, the story is legend.  The planet Mongo is hurtling toward Earth on what appears to be a collision course.  Earth’s weather is going crazy as well as the populace.  Flash Gordon is on one of the last cross country flights as he wishes to be with his scientist father when the end comes.  Also on the plane is Dale Arden (Jean Rogers).  Due to the severity of the weather, Flash and Dale are forced to bail out by parachute and happen to land right near the spaceship of Dr. Hans Zarkov (Frank Shannon) who talks them into a suicide mission to fly through space to the planet Mongo and somehow stop it from crashing into Earth.
Flash and Dale agree to go along and our intrepid heroes successfully make it to Mongo where they are promptly captured by Captain Torch (Earl Askam) who takes them to his Emperor: Ming The Merciless (Charles Middleton) who rules Mongo by fear and terror.  Ming and Flash take an instant dislike to each other.  However, Ming’s daughter Princess Aura (Priscilla Lawson) falls immediately in love with Flash and tries to save him when her daddy throws Flash in the Arena of Death with three brutal ape men.  Now mind you, this is just the first chapter and I didn’t even describe half of what happens.
The next 12 chapters are a goofy blizzard of classic space opera pulp adventure as Flash and his friends are chased, captured, enslaved, escape, battle and struggle against Ming while making friends and allies with Vultan (John Lipson) King of The Hawkmen, Prince Barin (Richard Alexander) the rightful ruler of Mongo and Prince Thun (James Pierce) of The Lionmen.
First off let me say up front that you have to have a love of this kind of thing from Jump Street or at least be curious to learn more about this genre.  This entire serial was made for less than a million bucks which today wouldn’t even pay for the catering for some of today’s movie.  So we’re talking about production values that are downright laughable by today’s standards.  The acting is nothing to brag about.  But it is sincere.  Buster Crabbe sells it with all his heart.  When he’s up there on screen he convinces you that he’s in the deadliest of peril even while fighting the most obvious rubber octopus in the history of movies.  And the rest of the cast follow suit.  Especially John Lipson as Vultan who I was afraid would belly laugh himself a hernia, that’s how much he’s enjoying playing the Falstaffian King of The Hawkmen.
Jean Rogers as Dale Arden is kinda blah, even for this material.  She mostly just stands around looking gorgeous in her flowing, gossamer robes.  Mongo must really be hard up for women since everybody who meets Dale wants to marry her.  Her contribution to the story consists of either fainting or screaming at least once every chapter.  I gotta give her props, though.  Not many actresses even today could give so many inflections to one line; “What have you done with Flash?” which is usually all she gets to say.
Princess Aura is much more fun to watch as she’s the real woman of action here.  She’s always pulling a ray gun on someone, even on her own father to rescue Flash.  Something she does a surprising number of times.  There’s even a scene where Aura tells Dale that if Dale really cared about Flash, she’d do something and not just stand there cramming her fist in her mouth to hold back yet another scream.  Whenever she hears Flash has been captured yet again, Aura grabs  the nearest ray gun, holds up her dress so as not to trip and runs off in her marvelously high heels to save him.
Frank Shannon is amazing as Dr. Hans Zarkov, one of the greatest Mad Scientists in fiction.  There’s a scene in the spaceship that made me laugh out loud:  Our Heroes are heading for Mongo when Flash asks Zarkov if he’s ever done this before.  Zarkov admits that he hasn’t but he’s tested with models.  “What happened to them?” Flash asks.  “They never came back,” Zarkov sheepishly admits.  If you watch this serial, check out the expression on Flash’s face.  Priceless.
And while I’m sure that Mr. Crabbe didn’t mind having to wear shorts through the whole production, I would think Frank Shannon and Richard Alexander did since they don’t have the legs to pull that look off.  At least Charles Middleton didn’t have to.  He doesn’t have the fabulous wardrobe Max Von Sydow sported in the 1980 movie but he does have the sufficient gravitas to make us take Ming seriously.  Flash Gordon vs Ming The Merciless is one of the most celebrated hero/villain pairings in heroic fiction and I believe it’s largely due to the work Mr. Crabbe and Mr. Middleton do in this serial as well as the two sequels.  They are never less than convincing and in their best moments they make us forget the cheapness of the production.
So should you see the 1936 serial version of FLASH GORDON?  It depends.  Are you just looking for a casual Friday or Saturday night movie? Then  go Netflix the 1980 version starring Sam J. Jones as Flash and Max Von Sydow as Ming with the absolutely kickass Queen soundtrack.
But if you consider yourself a student of pulp fiction, of heroic fiction in film, of the cliffhanger serial or of the science fiction movie genre or of just plain movies then I say that there is no way you can call yourself a student of any/all those genres and not watch the 1936 FLASH GORDON at least once.  It’s the great-grandfather of 90% of filmic space opera that came after it and need I remind you that the major reason George Lucas created “Star Wars” is because he couldn’t get the rights to do FLASH GORDON, which is really what he wanted to do.  If things had turned out different we might have been watching Flash Gordon, Prince Thun and Prince Barin wielding those lightsabers.
Ideally you should do it the right way and watch one chapter a week on Saturday to get the real effect of watching Saturday morning cliffhangers but I’m a greedy bastard and watched it all in one day with 15 minutes breaks in between.  No, it’s not the same but I kinda think that after the first two of three chapters, you’re gonna keep watching.
Taken as a cultural artifact it is a superior example of a style of film storytelling that isn’t done anymore.  As a gateway drug into pulp in general and as cliffhanger serials in particular, there are few better examples than FLASH GORDON.  Load it up on Netflix and enjoy.
FLASH GORDON has no rating but be advised that it is a culturally and racial insensitive movie by our standard today.  If you’re willing to overlook that and understand it was made in a less socially enlightened time, fine.  If not, give it a pass.
245 minutes (13 Episodes)

Spy Kids Adds a Fourth Dimension

Well, just over a year after Avatar encouraged the Hollywood machine to overhype 3-D movies to the point where the fad is already fading fast, the hunt is on for the next great thing. Dimension Films thinks they have the solution, announcing that this summer’s fourth installment of the Spy Kids franchise will introduce the fourth dimension with Aromascope.

Of course, adding smells to movie (as opposed to movies that just smell) is nothing new, dating back to 1906 when canny filmmakers scented cotton wool and placed them in front of ventilators. Much as is happening now, after 3-D faded in the 1950s, people sought new gimmicks ot keep people away from the television and flocking to the theater. Italian director Carlo Lizzani called his process “AromaRama” and used it to screen Behind the Great Wall, a travelogue through China.

Hans Laube created Smell-O-Vision used in 1960’s Scent of Mystery. Thirty different odors were released at key points during this thriller.

And there was John Waters weho had people scratch and sniff in the 1980s.

So really, everything that’s old is new again.

For the curious, here’s the Dimension release:

New York, NY, June 24, 2011 – Dimension Films announced today that SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD is taking moviegoers to a whole new dimension in 4D with Aromascope.

Cutting edge filmmaker and director of the highly popular SPY KIDS franchise, Robert Rodriguez, was one of the first to re-introduce audiences to 3D since its inception in the 1950s.  After many years away from the cultural mindset Rodriguez brought back a whole new wave and rebirth of 3D into mainstream cinema in 2003 with SPY KIDS 3-D: GAME OVER.   The film impressed and entertained audiences and went on to gross close to $200 million. (more…)

Are These the Top 10 Ninja Movies?

Coming this week is the home video release of The Warrior’s Way and 20th Century Home Entertainment thought it might be a good time to examine the ninja film genre and determine which are the ten best. Their hope is that audiences will want to add the film starring  Geoffrey Rush (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides), Kate Bosworth (Superman Returns), Danny Huston (Clash of the Titans) and introducing to American fans international sensation Jang Dong Gun. Our review will appear soon and you can always judge for yourself.

Meantime, here are 20th’s Top 10. Did they get it right or miss one?

shogun-assassin-300x200-6370012 SHOGUN ASSASIN

A story of honor, disgrace, vengeance, massacre and “the greatest team in the history of mass slaughter,” Shogun Assasin is by far a ninja movie classic. The swords swing and slice into action when a shogun’s wife is murdered and is forced into exile after being framed. He gives his infant son a choice between a ball, to represent freeing death and a sword, representing a life of threat and danger. His son chooses the sword and which marks the beginning of a violent struggle to survive in a sea of assassins. Of course, ComicMix fans also know this is adapted from the classic Lone Wolf & Cub manga first brought to the states by First Comics, with great Frank Miller cover.


From Akira Kurosawa, Seven Samurai tells the story of a group of samurai that turned their backs on fame and wealth to fight to protect a village of oppressed farmers. In what is easily one of the most epicninja-samurai films of all time, Seven Samurai weaves the violent genre with human emotion, courage and hope.


When demons wipe out an entire village with a mysterious plague, a wandering ninja, Jubei, teams up with the femme fatal, Kagero, to defeat the evil forces. With its mix of samurai action and supernatural fantasy, Ninja Scroll is the one of the most popular animated ninja movies around. Ninja Scroll is definitely an animated ninja tale meant for grown-ups!


In this martial arts action film, Revenge of the Ninja, a former ninja assassin begins a new life in America after his family is killed by other ninjas.  He ends up working for drug traffickers that he gets caught up in a face off. Revenge of the Ninja is known for having one of the most memorable fight scenes in ninja movie history.

ninja-assassin-300x193-5766482NINJA ASSASIN

With its release in 2009, this ninja tale about a trained assassin has recently won its spot in top ninja movies. Raizo waits the day he can get his revenge on a secret society for killing his child-hood best friend. Raizo ends up being hunted down through the streets of Europe in what is one of the most action and bloody-packed ninja movies around.


Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill may not be an honorary ninja classic, but does play homage to earlier ninja films with its revenge-drama style plot. The story follows a former female assasin, ‘The Bride’, left for dead by her ex-fiancee, Bill, and his entrourage of assasins, as she seeks revenge until killing every last one of them.  The two part bloody-action flick has one of the greatest sword action scenes to date when The Bride, alone, takes on 88 ninja assasins called The ‘Crazy 88’s’.

kill-bill-300x198-5048107ENTER THE NINJA

Famous from his array of Spaghetti Westerns and Euro Crimes films, Franco Nero, made his ninja debut in Enter the Ninja. While visiting a friend in the Phillipines, Cole is a approaced by villain Charlies Venerius, and propositions him to kill his friend. Cole refuses which sparks a  fest of ninja battles and one of a kind stunt choreaphy. Definitely one for the Ninjas!


A Martial Arts drifter with little respect for authority gets sentenced to an enlistment in an American Army base in The Philippines. After his platoon is attacked by a group of rebels during a Convoy mission, the colonel’s daughter, Patricia, is kidnapped and his entire platoon is killed. Joe has to rely on his street wits and ninja training in order to survive and save Patricia before it’s too late.


The main slayer in this ninja flick isAzumi, a female ninja expert, which only adds to its cool factor.Azumi is a young orphan girl trained by a Samurai to be an assassin. After being forced to fight her best friend to the death, Azumijoins a group of killer assassins that go after warlords that threaten to unleash chaos on Japan.


The least likely ninja flick makes the list with its story about four small turtles in New York City. After coming in contact with a strange substance called Ooze, they mutate into giant turtles with human mannerisms. A rat named Splinter becomes their mentor and trains them to be ninjas. The four pizza-loving turtles become super heroes in New York City.



June 17, 2011

Get Your First Digital Download from RadioArchives.com for Just 99 Cents!

* Download Detective Adventures with Philip Marlowe
* Just Released: Orson Welles in The Lives of Harry Lime, Volume 3
* Now Available: Doc Savage in Python Isle Audiobook
* In the Treasure Chest This Week
* New in Pulp Fiction: Doc Savage Volume 48 and The Shadow Volume 49
* New: Hollywood Classics in The Lux Radio Theatre, Volume 2

Download Detective Adventures with Philip Marlowe

His name is synonymous with classic detective fiction. Whether on the silver screen or on the air, Philip Marlowe personifies everything we know and love about the gumshoes of the 1940s: the snap brim fedora, the seedy office, the mean streets of Los Angeles, and a hard working detective just trying to make an honest living without getting punched or shot down in cold blood.

“The Adventures of Philip Marlowe” is a classic in the grand tradition of dramatic radio entertainment – and now, to introduce you to the New Digital Downloads available from RadioArchives.com, twelve of Marlowe’s most exciting cases can be yours to download – for Just 99 Cents!

Visit RadioArchives.com today and, to the right on our home page, look for the graphic that will take you directly to “The Adventures of Philip Marlowe, Volume 3”. Place your order, pay Just 99 Cents and, within minutes, you’ll be enjoying edge of your seat thrills from this detective classic, playable on your home computer or on your favorite portable device.

In the weeks to come, be sure to visit the Digital Downloads page at RadioArchives.com often to see what’s new. Whether it’s detective action with Philip Marlowe, the star-studded motion picture classics of “The Lux Radio Theatre”, or “The Adventures of Doc Savage”, you’ll find great audio entertainment waiting for you with Digital Downloads from RadioArchives.com!Just Released: Orson Welles in The Lives of Harry Lime, Volume 3

For film buffs, it’s a memorable image: Harry Lime – criminal, thief, and black market racketeer – has been killed by a runaway car in the ravaged streets of postwar Vienna. But suddenly, out of the darkness of a moonlit night, a stray spotlight happens upon a doorway – and there he is: Harry Lime, in the flesh, alive…and smiling.

“The Third Man” is a film noir classic, combining a stellar cast, an intriguing story, and images of a once glamorous European city damaged by war, greed, and intrigue. Though brief, Orson Welles performance as Harry Lime remains one of the most memorable characterizations in his long and varied career. Luckily, for fans of audio entertainment, Welles revisited his role in “The Lives of Harry Lime”, a radio series that recounted the adventures of this memorable scoundrel in a series of tongue in cheek adventures that remain some of the best and most imaginative programs ever produced for radio.

In “The Lives of Harry Lime, Volume 3”, RadioArchives.com brings you ten more light-hearted and colorful tales of crime and criminals starring the legendary Orson Welles. Available as a five-CD audio collection for just $14.98 or a five-hour digital download for just $9.98, these fascinating programs have been transferred directly from original transcriptions and fully restored for sparkling audio fidelity. Visit RadioArchives.com and pick up your copy right away!

Python Isle Audiobook

Now Available: Doc Savage in
For over eighty years, the name Doc Savage has meant thrills and excitement to millions of readers worldwide. Now, for the very first time, the Man of Bronze comes to vivid life in “Python Isle”, the first audiobook adventure from RadioArchives.com!

In “Python Isle”, a long-lost pioneer flyer returns to civilization accompanied by an exotic woman who speaks in a lost tongue. From his towering skyscraper headquarters in New York, through a dangerous Zeppelin journey to Cape Town, climaxing on a serpent-haunted island in the forbidden reaches of the Indian Ocean, Doc Savage and his iron comrades race to untangle a weird puzzle so deep that the only clues can be found in the Bible!

Written by Will Murray and produced and directed by Roger Rittner – the same team that brought you “The Adventures of Doc Savage” radio series – “Python Isle” features dramatic narration by Michael McConnohie, cover art by Joe DeVito, and two exclusive interviews with Will Murray on the history of Doc Savage and the discovery of author Lester Dent’s long lost manuscripts.

“Python Isle”, the first in a new series of unabridged audiobooks from RadioArchives.com, is available now as an eight audio CD set, priced at just $25.98, or as a digital download for just $17.98. In the weeks to come, be sure to visit RadioArchives.com often for more exciting audiobook adventures featuring the top heroes of pulp fiction, including The Spider, Secret Agent X, and many, many more. If you’re looking for adventure, excitement, and suspense, you’ll find it on “Python Isle”, available now from RadioArchives.com!

In the Treasure Chest This Week

If you subscribe to our newsletter, you’re certainly familiar with the Treasure Chest Bonus deals that are available to you every day at RadioArchives.com. But what you may not know is that, each week, from Friday thru Monday, you’ll find our newest compact disc collection offered at an amazingly low bargain price. That’s right: our brand new collection of classic radio shows, priced so low that you’ll find it almost impossible to resist. Of course, for fans of pulp fiction, books, or other entertainment, the Treasure Chest offers you great deals as well – and, since these deals change on a regular basis, you’ll want to visit RadioArchives.com often and see what’s waiting for you. Here, for example, are the bargains you’ll find waiting for you this week:* Today through Monday June 20th, you can get our newest CD set – “The Lives of Harry Lime, Volume 3”, a $14.98 value – for Just 99 Cents when you submit an order of $35.00 or more.

* On Tuesday June 21st, pulp fiction’s legendary Knight of Darkness returns in “The Shadow Volume 14”, featuring two classic stories from pulp fiction’s Golden Age: The Grove of Doom” and “The Masked Lady”. This beautifully reformatted double-novel reprint is normally priced at $12.95 – but you can enjoy these two exciting adventures for Just 99 Cents when you submit an order of $35.00 or more.

* On Wednesday June 22nd and Thursday June 23rd, Richard Kollmar stars in “Boston Blackie, Volume 1”, a ten-CD collection featuring twenty exciting detective adventures. This audio compact disc collection normally sells for $29.98 – but, for one day only, it can be yours for Just 99 Cents when you submit an order of $35.00 or more.Make it a habit to visit RadioArchives.com often and see what’s waiting for you in the Treasure Chest. You’ll find a deal we know you won’t want to miss!
New in Pulp Fiction: Doc Savage Volume 48 and The Shadow Volume 49
If you just can’t get enough of the page-turning adventures of the great pulp heroes, stop by RadioArchives.com today for two new double novel pulp reprints:In “Doc Savage Volume 48”, priced at just $14.95, you’ll thrill to the classic adventures of the Man of Bronze in two original novels by Lester Dent, writing as Kenneth Robeson. First, what is the bizarre connection between the appearance of “Red Snow” and the disappearance of a United States senator? Our national security may depend on Doc Savage’s discovery of the sinister secret! Then, in “Death Had Yellow Eyes”, Monk Mayfair is abducted while the Man of Bronze is framed for bank robbery and murder. This classic pulp reprint is available in two editions: one features the original color pulp covers by Walter M. Baumhofer and Modest Stein, while the alternate edition features an impressive painting by Bantam artist James Bama. Both feature Paul Orban’s classic interior illustrations and historical commentary by historian Will Murray.

Next, the radio origins of the Knight of Darkness are showcased in “The Shadow Volume 49”, priced at just $14.95 and featuring two classic pulp novels by Walter Gibson, writing as Maxwell Grant. First, the Dark Avenger teams with Secret Service agent Vic Marquette to investigate a far-reaching counterfeiting ring in “The Shadow Laughs!”, the landmark novel that introduced the real Lamont Cranston. Then, how can The Shadow prove that an innocent man is not a murderer when several witnesses have identified the young man as the “Voice of Death”? This instant collector’s item features the original color pulp covers by Jerome Rozen and Graves Gladney, classic interior illustrations by Tom Lovell and Edd Cartier, and commentary by popular-culture historians Will Murray and Anthony Tollin.

There’s nothing like the action and excitement you’ll get from a great pulp fiction adventure story. Visit RadioArchives.com and browse our extensive array of pulp classics right away.New: Hollywood Classics in The Lux Radio Theatre, Volume 2

During radio’s Golden Age, many dramatic programs capitalized on the tinsel and glamour of Hollywood – but none was more successful or legendary than “The Lux Radio Theatre”. Hosted by pioneer director Cecil B. DeMille, the show was a weekly habit for millions of avid listeners who tuned in to hear their favorite screen stars in hour-long adaptations of their recent film successes.

Star studded and lavishly produced, “The Lux Radio Theatre” remains a stylish part of both radio and motion picture entertainment – and, in a second collection of original programs, RadioArchives.com brings you six fully restored broadcasts featuring such superstars as Errol Flynn, Miriam Hopkins, Leslie Howard, and Olivia DeHavilland. Hearing them is just like taking a trip back to the 1930s and spending an evening at a glittering movie palace.

If you’re a movie or radio buff, you’ll love “The Lux Radio Theatre, Volume 2”. Available as a six audio CD set for just $17.98 or as a digital download for just $11.98, be sure to stop by RadioArchives.com and order your copy right away!

We’d love to hear from you! Send an e-mail to wlmailhtml:{644E46D6-5320-46BA-B54B-03E16FFA582F}mid://00000118/!x-usc:mailto:Service@RadioArchives.com or call us toll free at 800-886-0551 with your comments, questions, or suggestions.

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Review: ‘Dark of the Sun’

Given the unrest across Africa today, it’s easy to forget that there was similar troubles as country after country gained their independence from colonization in the 1950s and 1960s. The Congo crisis, in particular, lasted from 1960-66 as it struggled to establish itself after Belgian rule. Over 100,000 people died during the ordeal and it inspired a 1965 novel, [[[The Dark of the Sun]]], by Wilbur Smith.

The novel, rather than the actual events, led to the 1968 MGM film adaptation which is finally available on DVD from Warner Archive. The film has been a favorite of directors including Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino who lifted some of the score, and its lead Rod Taylor, for use in last year’s [[[Inglorious Basterds]]].

Taylor plays mercenary Bruce Curry who is hired by the iron-fisted president Ubi (Calvin Lockhart) to retrieve $50 million in diamonds from the northern country. Accompanied by his Congolese friend Ruffo (Jim Brown), Curry extracts a fat pay day and agrees to rescue the “unfortunate Europeans” stuck in a town about to be assaulted by the rebel Simbas. Curry and Ruffo are longtime allies and their equal partnership is a rarity in its day and about the only good thing to come from the flat script by Ranald MacDougall (as Quentin Werty) and Adrien Spies.

In the hands of the acclaimed cinematographer turned director Jack Cardiff, the movie has a roughhewn feel, matching the African land (although it was shot in Jamaica). Unfortunately, the script and performances don’t live up to the potential. Curry is a dull hero and every obstacle in his path feels perfunctory. There are complications from the former Nazi Henlein (Peter Carsten) who wants the diamonds for himself and chafes under Curry’s orders, a safe on a timer, UN peacekeeper fire, and reluctant-to-flee nuns.

Even Jacques Loussier’s score feels familiar. One of the first acts Curry performs is rescuing Claire (Yvette Mimieux) from her burned out home, but then there’s nothing for her to do but look pretty and concerned for the rest of the film. There’s also the alcoholic Doctor Wreid (Kenneth More) who gets his one moment to shine and that’s it.

The best moments, although they feel forced watching it today, as the conversations about race and life between Curry and Ruffo about midway through the movie before the action ignites and remains a relentless presence until the end credits. Much was made of the violence when the film was released because such brutality had rarely been seen on the screen at the time. Beyond the usual shoot ‘em up stuff, the Simbas invade the town, raping and pillaging with wild abandon. It’s perhaps the truest depiction of what must have happened across the land and continues to this day.

The 101 minutes plod along until we get a fairly predictable ending.  The transfer holds up and film students will probably enjoy studying this. The rest of you have to be truly interested in the subject matter or cast to bother sitting through this.