A weekly update of video releases. Dates in paratheses indicate a previous review in the Monitor.


Capital punishment is no match for our hero, a brilliant scientist who's invented a gizmo for bringing dead people back to life. When the police interrupt his first experiment, performed on a student volunteer, he's charged with murdering the young man and promptly executed. But a loyal assistant resurrects him, allowing his now-twisted mind to concoct a nasty revenge on the judge and jury who condemned him. The great Boris Karloff stars in this 1939 melodrama, which kicked off a whole cycle of similar movies in the days when horror depended on sly suggestion rather than in-your-face explicitness. Nick Grinde was the director. (Columbia TriStar Home Video)


The legendary musical has been newly restored for this 30th-anniversary reissue, which retains the wide-screen format needed to appreciate director George Cukor's elegant visual compositions. Rex Harrison is relentlessly suave as Henry Higgins, the linguist who believes enunciation is the key to happiness, and Audrey Hepburn is fetching as his pupil, a flower girl who fools upper-crust London into thinking she's a royal socialite. And of course the Lerner and Loewe score is as sensational as ever. What's missing from the video edition is the sheer magnitude that movie spectacles like this are meant to have. With its talky humor and leisurely pace, the movie asks us to suspend our usual time-sense and sink into its artificial world; this isn't easy when the expansive pleasures of Super Panavision 70 are crammed into the confines of a too-small TV screen. (G, Fox Video/CBS Video)

* THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT! III This is the third installment in MGM's ongoing fit of self-congratulation for its long-vanished brilliance at making movie musicals. You might think the well would run dry by this time, but earnest archeology has unearthed another glittering batch of clips and excerpts, some quite rare. A real treat. (G, MGM/UA Home Video)

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