John Garfield was a terrific actor, and one of the screen's great anti-heroes. He was part of New York's famous Group Theater before heading for Hollywood to star in movies. Garfield was known as an actor who brought power and realism to his performances. Two of his finest films are now available through the Warner Archive Collection. Each film retails for $19.98.
"Tortilla Flat" -- Garfield stars with Spencer Tracy, Hedy Lamarr and Frank Morgan in Victor Fleming's adaptation of the John Steinbeck novel depicting the lives of a small California fishing community.
"The Breaking Point" -- Available for the first time on DVD, this film is an adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's "To Have and Have Not." Garfield plays a fishing boat captain who is talked into carrying dangerous cargo on behalf of a shady lawyer.
"Chicago: Live in Concert"
The group Chicago released their first album in 1969 under the name Chicago Transit Authority. They have sold millions of records with 18 gold records, and they have the distinction of making the charts in five consecutive decades.
This concert was originally broadcast for television in 1993 and includes the songs "If You Leave Me Now," "Make Me Smile," "Saturday in the Park," "You're the Inspiration," "Beginnings" and many more.
"Spine Tingler: The William Castle Story"
William Castle worked many jobs on Broadway as a teenager, but he really wanted to be a director. In fact, he directed his first film at 29 and was an assistant to Orson Welles. He helmed a number of films and then moved on to television before finding his niche in horror and gimmick films.
Castle was a showman, and he came up with many ways to scare people -- including buzzers under theater seats. He was an admired filmmaker, and Jeffrey Schwarz's documentary is fun to watch. There are interviews with Roger Corman, John Landis, Joe Dante, John Waters, Stuart Gordon and others.
"The Thorn Birds Collector's Edition"
The original "Thorn Birds" was the second most watched miniseries of all time behind "Roots." The well-acted series, based on a novel by Colleen McCullough, was broadcast in 1983. The story took place in Australia and starred Richard Chamberlain as a Catholic priest who tries to fight his feelings for a beautiful young woman. This is the first time that you can own the complete collection, which includes "The Thorn Birds 2 -- The Missing Years."
Available next week
"An Inconvenient Tax"
"Bad Company: Live at Wembley"
"Doobie Brothers Live"
"Four Daughters Movie Series Collection"
"Gettysburg/Gods and Generals"
"Michael Flatley: Lord of the Dance"