On Mar. 31, Olive Films will be offering 28 reasons for film fans to celebrate … that is the number of DVD and Blu-ray SKUs being released on that date. They are an eclectic mix to be sure.
Where does one begin? How about with the DVD and Blu-ray release of director Thom Eberhardt’s 1988 Sherlock Holmes comedy, Without a Clue, starring Ben Kingsley as Dr. Watson and Michael Caine as his bumbling, drunken assistant, Sherlock Holmes.
What great fun to see the traditional roles flipped as Watson has created a fictional Holmes by using an actor (with a bit of a drinking problem) as the master detective. When their latest case involves the infamous Prof. Moriarty (played by Paul Freeman), it could be a bit of a sticky wicket for the British Empire.
Bob Hope teams with Lucille Ball in writer/director Melvin Frank’s 1960 comedy, The Facts of Life. Nominated for five Oscars, with a win for Best Costume Design, Bob and Lucy find themselves married and in love … there’s just one little problem, they are not married to each other.
Also on the comedy front is director Robert Scheere’s 1980 film release of How to Beat the High Cost of Living. Three friends, Elaine (Jane Curtain), Jane (Susan Saint James) and Louise (Jessica Lange) are struggling to make ends meet when they decide to turn to a heist of cash from a local mall’s “cash ball” promotion. The results are disastrous!!!
There are a trio of cult film gems included in the Mar. 31 release mix … they are very different in nature, but very much off the beaten path just the same. The three are director Charles F. Haas’ 1959 gritty crime thriller, The Beat Generation, starring Steve Cochran and Mamie Van Doren, with Ray Danton as a particularly nasty serial rapist; director Arthur Penn’s 1969 film adaptation of Arlo Guthrie’s song, Alice’s Restaurant (Penn was nominated Best Director for his work here) and director Gary Nelson’s 1986 film, Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold, which gets the cult nod because of Richard Chamberlain’s co-star, Sharon Stone (yes, Sharon Stone, who reprises the role of Jesse Huston from King Solomon’s Mines … a surprise hit the previous year).
There are two Westerns on the calendar, Quiet Gun (1957, with Forrest Tucker, Jim Davis and Lee Van Cleef) and famed serial filmmaking legend William Witney’s 1956 Western, Stranger at My Door (with Macdonald Carey, Skip Homeier and Patricia Medina).
Rounding out the Mar. 31 release package from Olive Films are Night Game (1989, Roy Scheider and Karen Young), Shanghai Story (1954, Edmond O’Brien, Richard Jaeckel and Ruth Roman co-star), filmmaker Robert Siodmak’s little-seen 1945 film noir, The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry (with George Sanders, Geraldine Fitzgerald and Ella Raines), Behind the Enemy Lines (starring Thomas Ian Griffith and Chris Mulky) and director Blake Edwards’ 1966 war comedy, What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?