VCI Entertainment will open the New Year with some interesting DVD treats for film fans, collectors and those that are just plain curious.
During the Christmas holidays of 1939 Max Fleischer delivered the animated feature, Gulliver’s Travels (nominated for two Oscars) … it was a box office smash.
One of the key characters was Gabby (voiced by Pinto Colvig, who also served as the voice of Goofy for Disney), the town crier who discovered the giant (Gulliver) in the forest on the outskirts of Lilliput. Gabby was so popular that during October of the following year a series of eight Technicolor theatrical cartoons (animated short films) were launched (running through the summer of 1941).
On Jan. 13, VCI Entertainment will deliver the complete series of all eight animated theatrical cartoons in the DVD release titled Max Fleischer's Gabby Cartoons Collection. Included in the collection are Gabby Goes Fishing, Swing Cleaning, King for a Day, All's Well, Two for the Zoo, It's a Hap-Hap-Happy Day, Fire Cheese and The Constable … plus as a special bonus, Gulliver's Travels is also included in the package.
Also getting a Jan. 13 DVD release date is actor-turned-filmmaker (director and producer) Paul Henreid’s debut directorial effort, The Tall Lie (aka: For Men Only).
He rose to fame in 1942 with Now, Voyager (opposite Bette Davis) and as Victor Laszlo in the Oscar-winning Casablanca. After the war he continued to act, but the desire to both produce films (Hollow Triumph) and to direct beginning here with this dramatic tale about a college professor (yes, played by Henreid) who begins to suspect that the death of an underclassman named Tod Palmer (Robert Sherman) was no accident, but the result of some vicious fraternity hazing.
Of note, most of Henreid’s directorial work that followed was in the TV series arena (Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Third Man, etc.), but he did reunite with Bette Davis in 1964 for Dead Ringer (he directed and she starred along with Karl Malden and Peter Lawford).
Also on the release schedule in January from VCI Entertainment is Mexican filmmaker Benito Alazraki’s 1952 film adaptation of W.W. Jacobs’ short story, “The Monkey’s Paw.” Released theatrically in 1962 as Espiritismo, and starring Nora Veryán as the woman who makes a tragic deal with … the Devil!
Presented in Spanish with English subtitles.
And lastly, Jan. 6 also marks the release date for a DVD edition of director Veljko Bulajic’s 1977 theatrical release (English dubbed version) of The Day That Shook the World, starring Christopher Plummer as Archduke Ferdinand.