POP CULTURE FLICKS & PICKS STREAMING ON SHOUT! FACTORY TV
WERNER HERZOG FILMS (16 acclaimed films spanning three decades)
A visionary creator unlike any other, with a passion for unveiling truths about nature and existence by blurring the line between reality and fiction, Werner Herzog is undoubtedly one of cinema’s most controversial and enigmatic figures. Audiences the world over have marveled at his uniquely moving, often disturbing, but always awe-inspiring stories, and his ever-growing body of work has inspired an untold number of filmmakers. He is, and continues to be, the most daring filmmaker of our time.
In celebration of this cinematic vanguard, 16 acclaimed films and documentaries by Werner Herzog are set to bow on Shout! Factory TV. Herzog has taken his camera to parts of the world no other director would dare go, and told stories in ways previously unconsidered. These sixteen masterpieces, which blur the line between “fiction” and “documentary,” illustrate why Werner Herzog is the most intrepid, creative, and dangerous filmmaker of our lifetime.
Werner Herzog films streaming on Shout! Factory TV beginning March 2
Aguirre, The Wrath Of God
Perhaps Herzog’s best-known film, Aguirre, The Wrath Of God, is viewed as a cinematic triumph, landing on Time Magazine’s prestigious list of “All Time 100 Best Films” and labeled by legendary film critic Roger Ebert as “one of the great haunting visions of the cinema.” Inspired by real events, but written entirely by Herzog as a fictitious story, Aguirre also marks a critical turning point in Herzog’s body of work, as it was the first collaboration between the director and his most frequent leading man, Klaus Kinski.
The film follows the doomed expedition of a group of conquistadors who brave the rainforest of Peru in search of the fabled golden city of El Dorado, ultimately becoming a gripping tale of madness in the face of failure and certain death. Incredibly, Herzog wrote the entire screenplay for Aguirre in just two and half days after reading historical accounts of adventurers in the Amazon. After writing the script, Herzog knew exactly who he wanted to play the role of Aguirre: a man he met when he was just thirteen — Klaus Kinski.
When the film opened in 1972, critics and audiences alike adored the picture. In the years since, it would garner a passionate international following.
Ballad Of The Little Soldier
A documentary portrait of child soldiers tragically caught up in the Miskito Indian resistance of Nicaragua.
Focusing on a group of Miskito Indians embroiled in a civil war against the Sandinistas they once called allies, Ballad Of The Little Soldier takes an intimate look at the conflict from the perspective of the children being used by the Miskito to form their resistance. At an armed encampment where many of these children recruits are trained to kill, Werner interviews these young soldiers, who appear in full uniform with automatic weapons at the ready, his camera deftly capturing glimpses of fear behind the cold, trained exteriors. It is this duality between the determination of the kids, most of whom have lost their entire families to the conflict, and their human fear which makes the film so hypnotic. At 45 minutes long, Ballad is technically a short, but its impact on critics and audiences since its release has gone a long way.
Little Dieter Needs to Fly
Herzog’s next documentary again focused on the effects of war, but this time brought the concept back down to where he does his best work—at the human level. The film follows Dieter Dengler, a German-American Navy pilot who was shot down over Vietnam in 1966, as he recounts his story of becoming a POW in a Vietnamese prison, tortured and starved until fear and desperation compelled him to make a daring escape, one of only seven men to successfully break out of the camps with their lives.
Traveling to Laos and Thailand to retrace Dengler’s amazing story of survival, Herzog puts the audience into the experience firsthand by hiring locals to reenact Dengler’s capture as the pilot talks through the events that led him to be chained to the floor of a bamboo cage. Allowing Dengler to visit these locations in person was a masterstroke of storytelling, as details pour from Dengler which might otherwise have been lost. His harrowing story would ultimately become the basis for Herzog’s 2007 film Rescue Dawn, but here, as told in by the man who lived it, there’s a truthfulness that both compels and frightens.
Critics and audiences agree that Herzog and Dengler make a captivating pair, the one reliving the greatest traumas of his life and the other guiding him through the process and turning every moment of raw emotion into gripping cinema.
Heart Of Glass
Herzog created one of the strangest and most compelling productions ever put to film, Heart Of Glass. In the late 18th century, a Bavarian village succumbs to madness as the townsfolk search for the secret to creating the unique ruby glass that is their lifeblood, lost to them when their master glassmaker dies. It’s not the story that makes the film so mesmerizing, however, but the manner in which Herzog used the production as a unique experimental look into the mind.
To tell his story of a town gone mad, Herzog conceived of a technique never before done on a set, at least to the degree he intended. He had the entire cast perform while hypnotized. Amazingly, the technique worked to incredible effect. Every actor in the film (besides Josef Bierbichler, in the role of the prophetic seer) learned their dialogue and filmed their scenes while under hypnosis, lending the entire film a bizarre, surreal atmosphere, and giving audiences an experience unlike anything they’d ever seen on the screen. The disaffected nature of the performances enhanced the story, the stilted and somnambulistic delivery of dialogue like something out of a dream.
Incredibly, while Heart Of Glass is regarded as one of Werner’s most famous works, it’s also arguably one of his least seen.
The Enigma Of Kasper Hauser
Using his incredible talent to examine human emotion through historical figures, Herzog created a film based on events so strange, it seems like a work of pure fiction!
The Enigma Of Kaspar Hauser follows the story of a man imprisoned in a basement dungeon for the first seventeen years of his life devoid of human contact until his captor suddenly dropped him off in the town of Nuremberg. Unable to talk, barely able to walk, Hauser frightens the townspeople with his strange behaviors until he’s rescued by a man whose attempts to teach and reintegrate him into society result in a fascinating look at the resilience of the human mind.
The film stays relatively true to the real account of Kaspar Hauser, using letters that Hauser wrote in his later life to inform the events of the story.
As he had with Lands of Silence and Darkness, Herzog avoided an analytical approach in the telling of this bizarre story and instead, focused on the sympathetic struggles of a man lost in the company of men. Upon its release, The Enigma Of Kaspar Hauser was a triumph with audiences and critics alike. The film won the Grand Jury Prize, the Critic’s Prize and the Ecumenical Prize at the 1975 Cannes Film Festival, and became one of Herzog’s most well-known and beloved films.
Nosferatu, the Vampyre
A homage to F.W. Murnau’s silent classic, this richly-drawn version of the Dracula tale is one of Herzog’s most beautiful and haunting films.
Filmed in 1979, Nosferatu the Vampyre follows the basic tale of Bram Stoker’s famous novel, Dracula, but keeps closer to Murnau’s film and the changes that were forced upon that earlier production due to copyright issues. Herzog has stated that he believes Vampyre is the greatest movie ever to come out of Germany, and he was very conscious about the ways in which he updated the story for the modern era while always maintaining a level of respect.
To make it his own, Herzog’s vision for the story was to put more emphasis on the vampire’s perspective, exploring what it truly means to be a creature of the night. In essence, he took the seed of the classic silent film and brought a new richness to the humanity of its characters. For the title role, he tapped Klaus Kinski, who would endure four hours of makeup every day to transform him into the bald, rat-toothed monster. Through Kinski’s performance as a vampire disgusted with his existence as a predator, the film was lifted up to become more than a remake, but a tribute, homage and modern classic all at once.
Where the Green Ants Dream
Where The Green Ants Dream appears to be a documentary but is, in actuality, a scripted mixture of fact and fiction. Inspired by a real court case between an aboriginal tribe and a mining company with eyes on ancestral land, the film portrays a similar conflict with the added notion that the land is a sacred place where native green ants come to dream, and disturbing these creatures will bring about the destruction of the aboriginal tribe, as well as the rest of the world.
As he did on previous films, Herzog employed the use of local non-actors to fill the roles of the film, lending realism to the story further enhanced by the beautiful, remote landscape. Though the myth about the ants was a fabrication based on a different aboriginal tradition, the struggle between the ancient and modern worlds is very real in a great many places around the globe, making this film not so much about this specific argument, but a universal one.
Even Dwarfs Started Small
Shot on the volcanic island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, Even Dwarfs Started Small tells the story of a revolt by a group of inmates at an island institution where they seize control and let chaos reign supreme. Not content in simply telling a linear narrative, Herzog instead set out to create a film defined by its intriguing and often disturbing set of gleefully chaotic imagery.
Additional Werner Herzog films launching on Shout! Factory TV beginning March 16
The film portrays the Herculean efforts of an Irish, would-be rubber baron determined to reach a territory rich in rubber resources deep in the forests of Peru by transporting an entire steamship over a mountain. Herzog developed the script from the historic events of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, whose name was unpronounceable to the natives who instead called him, “Fitzcarrald.” However, the real story of this endeavor is not the movie’s plot, but Herzog’s own Herculean effort to put the story to film.
While special effects would have been most directors’ choice to portray the struggle of hauling a 360-ton boat up a muddy 40-degree slope, Herzog wouldn’t have it. He was going to do it for real. The route over the mountain intended for the boat covered more than a mile, the gradient of the hill starting at 60% before leveling down to 40%. Despite warnings from engineers and native film technicians that it was just too dangerous, Herzog set out against all odds and managed to make the miracle happen, eventually leading him to dub himself, “Conquistador of the Useless.” The dangerous production became the subject of a documentary titled, Burden of Dreams, a fascinating look at Herzog’s process from the front lines.
Ultimately, Herzog’s struggles paid off. The film won the German Film Prize in Silver for Best Feature Film, and was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Film, the Palme d’Or award of the Cannes Film Festival, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Herzog himself won the award for Best Director at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival. The film was even selected as the West German entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 55th Academy Awards®, but was not accepted as a nominee.
Reuniting with his longtime leading man, Klaus Kinski, Herzog next turned his creative vision to a screen adaptation of Bruce Chatwin’s 1980 novel, The Viceroy of Ouidah. Cobra Verde tells the story of a Brazilian rancher-turned-outlaw who roams the countryside, until a wealthy sugar baron hires him to supervise the plantation’s slaves, but when the baron’s three daughters all end up pregnant by Cobra, the baron sends him to Africa to negotiate the prohibited slave trade.
My Best Fiend
The above quote tells a great deal about the decades-long relationship between Herzog and his most recurring leading man, Klaus Kinksi. So does the fact that the duo collaborated on five films, while no other director ever worked with Kinski more than once. It’s been said of the pair that Kinski represented unrestrained passion, and Herzog the cool-headed logic that kept him on track. Their friendship was volatile, their fights legendary, and My Best Fiend is an engrossing look at one of cinema’s most intriguing partnerships.
As Herzog delves into his history with Kinski in colorful and wonderfully entertaining detail, from the flat Kinski once shared with Herzog’s family to their misadventures on the various productions through the years, what makes the story so compelling is discovering how these two powerhouse figures in cinematic history both thrived on one another and at the same time remained at each other’s throats throughout their professional alliance.
Screened out of competition at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival, the documentary was an instant classic. Critics lauded the film, calling it “captivating” and “unforgettable.” Roger Ebert, perhaps, summed it best of all: “As a meditation by a director on an actor, it is unique; most show-biz docs involve the ritual exchange of compliments. My Best Fiend is about two men who both wanted to be dominant, who both had all the answers, who were inseparably bound together in love and hate, and who created extraordinary work – while all the time each resented the other’s contribution.”
Considered by many to be the quintessential masterpiece of Herzog’s early works, this film can best be described as an expressionist documentary. Consisting of three distinct parts, Fata Morgana — the apt title of which is the name of a type of mirage formed at the horizon — is an absorbing collection of images combined with poetic voiceover and music to create an ethereal viewing experience of an alien world that is actually our own. Non-narrative and compiled from footage shot over the span of two years, the film remains one of Herzog’s most identifiable works and an ingenious journey of discovery.
Amazingly, this haunting masterpiece wasn’t planned to be anything like the final film it became. According to Herzog, he first intended the film as a science-fiction piece, complete with a narrative story of a dying world called “Uxmal” and set against strange locations in the Sahara Desert, Kenya and the Canary Islands. When the storyline was later removed, only the vast landscapes and titular mirages were left, evoking a sense of strangeness. Herzog still describes Fata Morgana as a science-fiction film, however, with “windows into a different world…and all the buildings are taken away and only…the vision is left, and that’s what you see here: a mirage.”
Land of Silence and Darkness
The film follows Fini Straubinger, a woman who lost her hearing and sight as she travels to visit others without those two senses. Through her interactions and the incredible stories of the people she meets, Herzog provides the audience with a hypnotizing experience and a newfound appreciation of how communication touches our lives every day.
While many directors might have taken a scientific approach to the topic, Herzog instead focuses on the humanity of the film’s subjects and the emotion of their stories. He devised a specific set of guidelines for the production to follow which stripped away anything from the audio and visuals that would create a disconnect from their world. The camerawork was of critical importance in achieving this goal. Knowing a traditional tripod would create a look too static and removed, Herzog prohibited its use throughout filming, and also advised cinematographer Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein not to use zooms, but instead, physically move through crowds using his whole body. Utilizing this natural movement of the camera, Herzog created a beautiful, sensory experience that had rarely been seen on the screen before.
The film was a moving tribute to Fini and the deaf-blind community, allowing the world to better grasp the immense isolation of these individuals and doing so in a way that fostered respect and admiration. Herzog himself has said this film is particularly close to his heart, even going so far as to say, “I think the work we did on that film is some of the best I have ever done,” and adds, “of all my films, this is the one I want to be available to audiences the most.”
Lessons of Darkness
As the effects of the Gulf War raged across Kuwait in the early 1990s, Herzog’s passion for taking audiences to alien landscapes and presenting them with bizarre spectacle drew his directorial eye toward the flames. Lessons Of Darkness is a non-narrative documentary highlighting the horrors brought upon the people and countryside in the wake of the war.
Using telephoto lenses, helicopter shots and truck-mounted cameras, Herzog manages to capture the emotion of the spectacle without ever giving his audience any establishing shots that clearly show where they are. As he says, “the film has not a single frame that can be recognized as our planet, and yet we know it must have been shot here.” With sparse, almost poetic commentary provided by Herzog himself which never seeks to explain the reasons for these images existing, but only observe what’s being seen in the moment, the film becomes an apocalyptic look into an otherworldly circumstance.
Critics and audiences were taken by the film’s ethereal tone and shocking imagery from the moment it was released. The film won the Grand Prix Award at the Melbourne International Film Festival.
Herzog’s second and last collaboration with leading man Bruno S. took the pair from their homeland of Germany across the Atlantic to rural Wisconsin on a journey of self-discovery and new beginnings. Herzog wrote the screenplay for the film in just four days, and created the lead character specifically for Bruno S., whose own personal history helped inform a good deal of the character’s mental state and background.
Filmed mostly in Plainfield, Wisconsin (its name changed to the fictitious “Railroad Flats” in the film), the story follows the titular character, a prostitute named Eva and an elderly man named Scheitz as they flee Germany for what they believe will be the promised land. While the events of the film make it a road movie of sorts, it’s the relationship between these three characters as well as Stroszek’s unique perspective on the world around him that make the film classic Herzog.
Released in 1977, the film met with critical acclaim the world over.
Woyzeck tells the story of a real life 19th-century barber-turned-soldier named Johann Christian Woyzeck, who was executed after mysteriously killing the woman he loved. Based on an unfinished stage play by German playwright Georg Buchner in 1836, Herzog’s script follows the path of Woyzeck as he endures military experiments in a lab which ultimately turn him into a killing machine. The script deftly stitches together the plot from scenes Buchner crafted, although it’s impossible to know what order those scenes were originally meant to follow. However Buchner intended the story to go, in Herzog’s hands it became a masterpiece of human emotion and psychological struggle.
For the lead role of the film, Herzog initially intended to use Bruno S., but after completing the script, he realized there was only one man capable of portraying such hopeless madness—Klaus Kinski. Knowing full well that Kinski was exhausted after filming Nosferatu the Vampyre, which had only just finished shooting, Herzog thrust his leading man into the new role right away so the exhaustion would add extra layers to Kinski’s performance. Filming on Woyzeck began just five days after Nosferatu wrapped. Throughout the production, Herzog utilized a hands-off approach to directing, allowing his performers to take the reins on how their portrayals of these tragic characters would unfold. This decision gave his actors the freedom they needed to fully embrace the emotions of the story and led to some of the strongest performances in any of his films.
Upon its release in 1979, Woyzeck was met with critical acclaim for the incredible performances of the unleashed actors. Werner’s leading lady, Eva Mattes, won the Best Supporting Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival, and Kinski received many high marks for his inspired turn as the soldier-turned-killer. Werner was nominated for the Golden Palm, and two years later in 1981, the film would be awarded the Silver Guild Film Award from the Guild of German Art House Cinemas.
Pop-culture Defining Series and Movies Launching on Shout! Factory TV Beginning March 2
GERRY ANDERSON’S STINGRAY (featuring 6 hand-picked episodes)
Battle stations! Join the World Aquanaut Security Patrol in a riptide of retro TV when the sci-fi adventure series Stingray is released on Shout! Factory TV. Created by the television pioneers Gerry and Sylvia Anderson (Thunderbirds, Space: 1999), six hand-picked episodes of the Supermarionation classic are coming to the streaming service only for the month of March. Stingray’s appearance on Shout! Factory TV marks the start of a lineup of exciting limited engagements for Gerry Anderson Supermarionation series.
The flagship of the World Aquanaut Security Patrol (W.A.S.P.), Stingray is the world’s most highly sophisticated submarine, capable of speeds of over 600 knots and the ability to submerge anywhere on the Earth’s ocean floor. Under the command of the square-jawed and heroic Captain Troy Tempest, Stingray explores the most treacherous depths of our waters and protects the world from the perils that lurk undersea.
RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA
Before you venture out to theaters for the upcoming live-action Cinderella, stay home and catch up with the classic 1965 Rodgers and Hammerstein’s version starring Lesley Ann Warren. Only available for a month-long engagement, Cinderella comes to life in this edition of the most beloved fairy tale of all time. A sparkling fantasy of music, magic and romance, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella captivates from overture to finale with a delightful score and stunning performances from an all-star cast.
Academy Award® nominee Lesley Ann Warren is charming as the raggedy waif turned belle of the ball with Broadway star Stuart Damon (also well-known for his role on General Hospital) as the Prince. Also starring Oscar® nominee Walter Pidgeon and Academy Award® winners Ginger Rogers and Celeste Holm, Cinderella will waltz into the hearts of the entire family and live happily ever after as one of the most irresistible musicals ever made.
This 1965 remake of the original 1957 version (which starred Julie Andrews) is one of the most treasured interpretations of this classic fairy tale. Generations of fans who grew up watching this version have passed on their affection to future generations – and now the experience will be even greater as the quality is restored to its original sparkling color and sound.
MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000
This March, Shout! Factory TV presents two classic MST3K episodes available exclusively month-long!
Multiple Emmy®-nominated and Peabody Award-winning Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) is a true cult classic. Its high-camp rendition of B-movies from every genre to the small screen makes it one of the most memorable pop culture shows of our time. Brimming with laugh-out-loud commentaries from caustically hilarious space travelers Joel Robinson, Mike Nelson and their robot pals Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo, MST3K was a genuine phenomenon. Its popularity spawned an MST3K fan following that numbers over hundreds of thousands of fans world-wide.
MST3K: The Final Sacrifice
With the help of a mysterious map and a truck-driving drifter named Rowsdower, young Troy McGreggor sets out on a dark adventure across Alberta in search of the answers behind the hooded cult responsible for his father’s grisly murder.
MSTies have long believed they’d never see this Tjardus Greidanus–directed student-film-turned-MST3K masterpiece, but we’re proud to say they were wrong! Join Mike and the ’bots of the Satellite of Love as they skewer the beloved “cult” classic that became one of the most requested episodes in the history of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
MST3K: The Wild World of Bat Woman
In 1966 an understandable attempt to capitalize on the popularity of Batman went horribly, horribly, horribly wrong. The movie that emerged, The Wild World Of Batwoman, would have stood a better chance had it been written by Bob Kane’s dog.
There is a plot, of sorts, involving a masked babe, her team of dancing girls, a mad scientist, an atomic-powered hearing aid and an archvillain named Rat Fink. Don’t try to connect those dots. You’ll lose. Just enjoy the ample opportunities taken by Mike and his robot pals Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot to redeem the movie with barbs, cracks, digs, jabs and other assorted comic punishment.
THE GOODE FAMILY (All 13 episodes)
The Goode Family, from Executive Producers Mike Judge (King of the Hill, Beavis and Butt-head, Office Space) and John Altschuler & Dave Krinsky (King of the Hill, Blades of Glory), comes to Shout! Factory TV this March.
A hilarious skewering of our better natures, The Goode Family stars Mike Judge, Nancy Carell (The Office), Linda Cardellini (Freaks And Geeks) and Brian Doyle-Murray (Get A Life) with special guest stars Kevin Nealon, Bob Odenkirk, Andy Richter, Johnny Knoxville, Laraine Newman, Julia Sweeney, Elvis Costello, Alyson Hannigan, Dax Shepard and more!
Meet Gerald and Helen Goode, a couple who live by the motto WWAGD (“What Would Al Gore Do?”). Gerald, a college administrator, and Helen, a community activist, are determined to obliterate their carbon footprint on the planet: They’re zealous vegans, they drive a hybrid, and they recycle everything possible. Even the family dog, Che, is vegan. In the words of Helen, all the Goodes want to do is buy organic apples and call minorities by their politically correct names. But despite their best efforts, something always goes haywire with their plans. With standards always changing, no matter how hard you try to be good, it’s virtually impossible these days . . . especially for the Goode family.
Throughout the 13 episodes, the family adopts a bizarre animal named Gutterball, tags a clean park to experience the joy of cleaning up graffiti, take embarrassing pictures of at-risk kids that get them beat up by their gang-banger friends, get in a turf war with an Aryan prison work-gang while doing a highway cleanup, and much, much more.
K-9: THE COMPLETE SERIES (All 26 episodes)
Shout! Factory TV proudly presents K9: The Complete Series, including all 26 original episodes that feature one magnificent metallic mutt. Originally created for the 1977 ‘DOCTOR WHO’ episode ‘The Invisible Enemy’ by Bob Baker and Dave Martin, K9 has long been an iconic television character. But now K9 stars in his own brand-new adventure series!
Blasting back into action via a space time manipulator, everyone’s favorite robot dog arrives in late 21st-century London, now scarred by alien intrusion and government rule through their cybernetic police force. With the assistance of teenagers Jorjie, Darius, drifter Starkey and Professor Gryffen, K9 becomes Earth’s front-line defence against dangers threatening from any place – and anytime – in the galaxy! They will have a lot of fun, action, adventure, and some jolts along the way, saving the earth from alien creatures, scary monsters and more than a few nasty humans!
Mixing live action characters with stunning visual-effects, K9 is a sci-fi/adventure series combining comedy, action and suspense. Imagine a mash-up of X Files and Men in Black with a zany dash of Ghostbusters and then add one magnificent metallic mutt, and there you have K9!
I MARRIED A WITCH (Fredric March, Veronica Lake)
As she burns at the stake, a 17th century witch, Jennifer, places a curse on her accuser so from that day forward, all of his descendants will be unhappy in marriage. Centuries later, Wallace Wooley is a gubernatorial candidate, preparing to wed snooty socialite Estelle Masterson — the well-to-do daughter of a publisher who is backing him. A bolt of lightning strikes the tree where Jennifer had been executed three centuries earlier, thereby freeing the spirits of Jennifer and her warlock father, Daniel. Wallace meets Jennifer when she materializes in a burning building, obliging him to save her life. The revivified sorceress does everything in her power to induce Wallace to fall in love with her — even destroying the ceremony in which the wedding is supposed to take place. The attempts succeed, and the two marry, but on their wedding night, Wallace refuses to believe Jennifer’s claims that she is a witch. Frustrated, she attempts to convince him by doctoring the gubernatorial election — in his favor.
THE INSPECTOR GENERAL (Danny Kaye, Walter Slezak, Barbara Bates)
Danny Kaye shines as Georgi in this 1949 satirical musical comedy about a lovable buffoon who wanders into a town where he is mistaken for the Inspector General by its corrupt mayor. Fearing exposure, the mayor and his equally crooked councilors make attempts to assassinate him, but the kindly townspeople are on Georgi’s side.
Loosely based on the play by Nikolai Gogol, this Henry Koster gem ranks among Danny Kaye’s most celebrated movies.
KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE (Evan C. Kim, Bong Soo Han, Bill Bixby)
Directed by the legendary John Landis (Animal House, The Blues Brothers), The Kentucky Fried Movie features a lewd, loosely connected collection of skits that spoof blaxploitation films, news shows, TV commercials, kung fu flicks and more!
The original take-off cult classic from the highly successful team of David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker (Airplane, The Naked Gun), this “uproariously funny [film]” (TV Guide) launched a thousand laughs and serves as a precursor to the raunch-fests of the ‘80s and the blockbuster success of the Farrelly Brothers films.
Including well-known stars such as Bill Bixby, Donald Sutherland, Tony Dow, George Lazenby and Henry Gibson, this one-of-a-kind film features over 22 hilarious segments including “Cleopatra Schwartz,” “Catholic High School Girls In Trouble,” “A Fistful Of Yen” and more!
THE LONG VOYAGE HOME (John Wayne, Thomas Mitchell, Ian Hunter)
After a night of revelry in the West Indies, the crew of the S.S. Glencairn return to their tramp steamer and set sail for Baltimore. They’re a varied lot, from middle-aged Irishman Driscoll, to the young Swedish ex-farmer Ole Olsen, to the brooding Lord Jim-like Englishman Smitty. After the ship picks up a load of dynamite in Baltimore, the rough seas they encounter become especially nerve-racking to the crew, who are also concerned that Smitty might be a German spy.
ROOM AT THE TOP (Laurence Harvey, Simone Sigornet)
A ruthless young working-class Englishman takes a job in a North Country village controlled by a local millionaire. The young man resents the magnate’s class consciousness and vows to rise to the top by wooing the millionaire’s daughter, while having an affair with a Frenchwoman. Though he regards his lover as a mere self-gratifying conquest, she takes their romance seriously enough to kill herself when he impregnates the daughter. Only as he leaves the chapel after marrying the millionaire’s daughter does he realize that his “smart” marriage, coupled with the guarantee of a fabulous career, has been attained at the cost of his soul.
THE RULING CLASS (Peter O’Toole, Alastair Sim, Arthur Lowe, Coral Brown)
Following the death of the thirteenth Earl of Gurney, to the dismay of his family the title is passed to his son Jack, who has been locked away for eight years after claiming to be the second coming of Jesus. Mad but harmless, Jack is released to assume his seat. However, his embrace of Christianity proves incompatible with a position of power in “normal” society, where peace and love are considered weaknesses, and a somewhat unhinged psychiatrist is called to help him adjust. Meanwhile, Jack’s scheming uncle, Sir Charles, works on developing a complex scheme to trick Jack out of his position.
TO BE OR NOT TO BE (Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack)
In Warsaw at the beginning of WWII, Maria Tura and her husband Joseph perform anti-Nazi plays with their theater troupe until they are forced to switch to Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Lt. Stanislav Sobinski falls for Maria and meets up with her during Joseph’s famous “To Be or Not to Be” speech as Hamlet. When Stanislav is eventually dispatched for war, he implicates Maria with Professor Siletsky, who has a secret plan to destroy the Warsaw resistance. The Polish theater troupe is then forced to use their theatrical skills to ensure their survival. Eventually, they turn to impersonating Nazi officers — and even Hitler himself — in order to outwit the enemy and keep the resistance safe from spies.
THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL (Geraldine Page, John Heard, Carlin Glynn)
Adapted by Horton Foote from his own television play, A Trip to Bountiful is set in 1947 Houston. Forced by circumstances to live her loathsome son (John Heard) and daughter-in-law (Carlin Glynn), elderly Geraldine Page wants nothing more out of life than to return to her home town of Bountiful. Escaping from her family’s clutches, Page boards a bus to Bountiful, where she makes the acquaintance of young Rebecca DeMornay. The two women immediately hit it off, and their trip is a most pleasant one. Eventually, sheriff Richard Bradford, ordered to find Page and bring her back to her family, catches up with the old woman just 12 miles from Bountiful. Feeling sorry for Page, Bradford permits her to complete her sentimental journey, even though he knows full well that Bountiful is now a ghost town of empty ruins and dilapidated shacks. It doesn’t matter, though: Page sees Bountiful just as it was when she left it, and for the first time in years she is truly happy and at peace with herself. After several near-misses, Geraldine Page finally won an Academy Award for A Trip to Bountiful (incidentally, the original TV production, which still exists in kinescope form, starred Lillian Gish and Eva Marie Saint).
Other notable series and movies also streaming on Shout! Factory TV now include:
- THE MANY LOVES OF DOBIE GILLIS, Seasons 3-4 (Dwayne Hickman, Bob Denver)
- PETER GUNN Season One (Craig Stevens)
- ROUTE 66 TV series, Season 3 (Martin Milner, George Maharis)
- A ROOM WITH A VIEW (Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter, Judi Dench)
- Jeffrey Ross: No Offense – Live from New Jersey
- SHOPPING (Jude Law, Sadie Frost, Jonathan Pryce)
- STEVE MARTIN: ALL COMMERCIALS
- UPRIGHT CITIZENS BRIGADE: ASSSSCAT!