Monday, September 2, 2013

Lillian Gish, Bette Davis, Helen Hayes ~ Arsenic and Old Lace (1969) & The Whales of August (1987)


Lillian Gish & Helen Hayes ~ Arsenic & Old Lace (1969) Bob Crane & Fred Gwynne
co-starring Billy De Wolfe, Richard Deacon, Bob Dishy, Jack Gilford, Sue Lyon, Elaine Harper & David Wayne

Aired: April 2nd, 1969 - ABC Movie of the Week
Director: Robert Scheerer
Writers: Luther Davis, Joseph Kesselring (play)

NOTE: The original aired in Color. This DVD is from a Black and White 16mm master -- 16mm screening print for advertisers, television stations, etc. It resembles the 1944 version more than one could imagine because of that. Complete, un-cut ~ perfect!

“It's hard, if not impossible, to remake a classic. Since its theatrical release in 1944 only one attempt has been made to remake Frank Capra's ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ and the fact that it came in the form of a "made for TV" movie made it seem, at first glance, even greater sacrilege.

The production is, nonetheless, first class. Bob Crane (Hogan's Heroes) just shines as the befuddled newlywed Mortimer Brewster, suddenly confronted with the fact that his gene pool was more like a fetid DNA swamp of psychotic chromosomes.

Careful updating of the original play only served to make it perhaps more appealing to contemporary audiences without detracting from the perfection of its predecessor. Casting was beyond reproach.

Who could possibly protest Lillian Gish and Helen Hayes (Academy Award Winners) as the sweet, dotty albeit homicidal aunts or Fred Gwynne (The Munsters) as the ominous brother Jonathan. This version is seldom if ever shown but if you ever get a chance to see it, do. It is an updated interpretation of the original and every bit as good.”

The Whales of August (1987)

Two of the greatest motion picture actresses of all time - Bette Davis and Lillian Gish - unite their legendary talents in this beautifully photographed, intensely emotional drama that offers "unexpected and quite marvelous rewards!" (The New York Times)

Libby (Bette Davis) and Sarah (Lillian Gish) are widowed siblings who have vacationed for half a century at a seaside cottage in Maine. Now in their eighties, the sisters have unexpectedly arrived at an impasse: While Sarah embraces change and the possibility of romance with a courtly Russian suitor (Vincent Price), the stubbornly bitter Libby rages at the inevitability of death. As the summer months wane, can Libby and Sarah rediscover the powerful bonds of memory, family and love?

Starring: Bette Davis, Lillian Gish, Vincent Price, Ann Sothern
Director: Lindsay Anderson
Rating: PG Format: DVD Screen Format: Full Frame
Run Time (in minutes): 91 minutes Language: English

2 films - 2 DVDs
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In DVD/CD sleeves, photo labels.
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1 DVD in DVD/CD sleeve, photo label. Guaranteed, replaced with same title.
During checkout, type name of DVD in Notes.

Pay here (CLICK link below for $9.99 DVDs (USA & International) 2 DVDs in DVD/CD sleeves, photo label. Guaranteed, replaced with same title. 

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During checkout, type Arsenic & Whales in NOTEs.