OUT ON VIDEO

A weekly update of video releases

* CLEOPATRA -- Claudette Colbert plays the seductive Egyptian queen in Cecil B. DeMille's overcooked yet frequently entertaining epic. Made in 1934, this is Hollywood orientalism at its most delirious, interrupting the story with so many show-stopping set pieces that it seems like an MGM musical. The cast includes Warren William as Julius Caesar and Henry Wilcoxon as Marc Antony, plus a zillion anonymous extras in the sort of ostentatious spectacle-scenes that were DeMille's most famous trademark. This cassette includes the coming-attractions trailer from a theatrical reissue of the movie. (Not Rated, MCA Universal Home Video)

* FORCE OF EVIL -- There's hardly a wasted shot in this morally and emotionally complex thriller, directed by Abraham Polonsky in 1948 just before Hollywood added him to its McCarthy-era blacklist. John Garfield stars as a mob-friendly lawyer trying to save his tormented brother from being ruined by a shady deal he's engineering; the screenplay's view of business and crime as almost interchangeable makes this one of the most socially provocative dramas ever to arise from the ''film noir'' genre. Martin Scorsese introduces the movie on this cassette. (Not Rated, Republic Pictures Home Video)

* FOUR JILLS IN A JEEP They're all famous faces from the Hollywood screen, playing themselves as they do their bit for the World War II effort. Kay Francis, Carole Landis, Martha Raye, and Mitzi Mayfair are the stars, re-creating big moments from an international tour they took in the early '40s to entertain troops near the battle lines. The movie alternates between half-baked dramatic scenes and reasonably lively musical numbers. We're supposed to think it's a patriotic gesture from Twentieth Century-Fox, which made the picture, but the studio seems mainly interested in plugging its stable of stars, whose names, faces, and talents are spotlighted as aggressively as any straight-out advertisement could do. Directed by William A. Seiter in 1944. (Not Rated, Fox Video)

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