The Film Detective has set ten new film restorations for release on DVD on Apr. 25, with director Joseph Henabery 1925 silent film adaptation of Martin Brown’s 1924 stage play, Cobra — starring the legendary Rudolph Valentino — leading the charge of new collectible film selections.
Valentino plays Italian Count Rodrigo Torriani, who is a “Count” in name only as his family fortunes have long since vanished. But things take a turn for the better as the film opens when his long time friend Jack Dorning (played by Casson Ferguson — Flame of the Desert, What's a Wife Worth?, Partners Three, etc.) scores him a prestigious position in New York City.
Rodrigo, however, has a major problem — women (e.g. “cobras”) — and that leads to tragedy when Jack’s wife, Elise (Nita Naldi — Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Blood and Sand, The Ten Commandments), tempts him with an affair that leads to her untimely death.
Also from the silent era is filmmaker Charlie Chaplin’s 1921 classic, The Kid, the great comedian’s first full-length feature film as a director, which also introduced future star Jackie Coogan to film audiences.
On the Western front this time around, The Film Detective delivers both director Bob Hill’s 1934 film, A Demon for Trouble, starring Bob Steele and Gloria Shea, as well as director Robert Bradbury’s 1935 Johnny Mack Brown gold theft mystery, The Courageous Avenger (both of which were filmed on location in Lone Pine, California).
Filmmaker Bob Hill returns with the 1938 release of Painted Trail, which stars Tom Keene as a U.S. Marshall who goes undercover as the notorious Pecos Kid in order to crack a smuggling operation … Eleanor Stewart (Waterloo Bridge, The Fighting Devil Dogs, etc.) co-stars.
Buster Crabbe teams with his sidekick Al “Fuzzy” St. John in director Sam Newfield’s 1944 film release of Oath of Vengeance and on the MOW front we find Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again, which showcases the talents of such screen greats as Walter Brennan, Andy Devine, Chill Wills, Fred Astaire and Edgar Buchanan … Lana Wood (sister of Natalie Wood and Bond Girl Plenty O’Toole in Diamonds are Forever the following year) has to contend with this cantankerous group!
Rounding out the Apr. 25 DVD release calendar from The Film Detective are Kept Husbands (1931, directed by Lloyd Bacon and starring Joel McCrea and Dorothy Mackaill), director William West’s 1940 arsonist thriller, The Last Alarm (with J. Farrell MacDonald, Warren Hull and Polly Ann Young) and director William Beaudine’s 1941 boxing flick, The Miracle Kid, which features a cast that includes Tom Neal, Vickie Lester, Betty Blythe, Ben Taggart and Carol Hughes.