Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


OUT ON VIDEO

A wekly update of video releases

By David Sterritt / May 4, 1995



* BLUEBEARD'S EIGHTH WIFE -- Just before their wedding, Claudette Colbert learns that Gary Cooper has been married no fewer than seven times before. Spunky heroine that she is, she decides to marry him anyway, then give him such a hard time that he'll become a good husband at last. These shenanigans are far-fetched even by the loose standards of Hollywood screwball comedy, but excellent acting carries them off, especially in the early scenes, which are simply hilarious. Directed by Ernst Lubitsch, whose deftly comic ''Lubitsch touch'' was hugely popular with moviegoers of his day. From a screenplay by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett, the cassette includes a coming-attractions trailer from the original 1938 release. (Not rated; MCA Universal Home Video)

Skip to next paragraph

* JOHNNY GUITAR -- Jeered as a disaster when released in 1954, but claimed as a classic by progressive critics ever since, Nicholas Ray's overheated western takes place largely in Joan Crawford's saloon, where former gunslinger Sterling Hayden tries to save her from jealous Mercedes McCambridge and a mob of ill-tempered townspeople. Interpreted as everything from a Freudian fantasy to an allegory of the McCarthy era, the story is pitched so intensely that Martin Scorsese calls it ''operatic'' in his introduction on this cassette. Philip Yordan wrote the screenplay, and Harry Stradling Jr. photographed the action in Trucolor, a two-color process that Republic Pictures was fond of despite limitations only Ray could overcome so ingeniously. (Not rated; Republic Pictures Home Video)

* UP TO A CERTAIN POINT -- Oscar is a well-meaning filmmaker who wants to expose the macho attitudes of Cuban men in his new movie; but he gets distracted when he falls hopelessly in love with a female dockworker he's interviewing for research. This sly and serious comedy was directed by legendary Cuban filmmaker Tomas Gutierrez Alea in 1985, a decade before his ''Strawberry and Chocolate'' earned an Academy Award nomination. (Not rated; New Yorker Video)