Late last year, Turner Classic Movies and Universal Studios Home Entertainment teamed up to offer classic movie fans made-to-order DVDs of rare vintage films. These digitally re-mastered titles (never available before on DVD) include features from the TCM archives. New titles will become available each quarter, and three of the latest picks are early Cary Grant vehicles!
The films that become available on DVD can be purchased by request via TCM.com. Particularly interesting (for selected titles) is the added bonus of introductions provided by TCM host Robert Osborne and additional supplemental materials compiled by the TCM archives, such as still galleries, behind-the-scenes photos, never-before-seen interview segments, original movie trailers, trivia, biographies, and more. Exclusive TCM premieres will air as each movie becomes available.
TCM primetime host, Robert Osborne, is enthusiastic about the collaborative effort. “Many terrific films have been unavailable on home video for far too long,” Osborne said. “It’s wonderful that today’s movie fans will be able to enjoy these rare movies. TCM and Universal have worked hard to restore them digitally and provide historical context, bonus content and behind-the-scenes information, something DVD collectors are sure to appreciate. I’m proud to be part of this great project with TCM and Universal.”
For Universal, the agreement is a new and exciting way to reach avid classic film fans. “Universal is very proud of its prestigious collection of Hollywood screen gems,” said Craig Kornblau, President of Universal Studios Home Entertainment. “Like us, TCM is deeply dedicated to honoring Hollywood’s golden age. This collaboration presents the perfect opportunity to share Universal’s rich cinematic legacy and celebrate vintage works with classic film fans.”
The Cary Grant Collection (also available individually) includes three of the idol’s lesser-known dramas, The Eagle and the Hawk, The Devil and the Deep, and The Last Outpost. The first film is a 1933 World War I saga starring Frederic March as a disillusioned but fearless squadron leader and Grant as his bullied gunner-observer. It co-stars Carole Lombard and Jack Oakie, and features some outstanding aerial dogfights. The second title is one of Grant’s rare turns in a melodrama. The Devil and the Deep (1932) stars Tallulah Bankhead, who deceives husband Charles Laughton (in his first American film) by splitting her time between Gary Cooper and Grant. And the third film, The Last Outpost (1935) casts Grant as a British officer saved from a Kurdish tribe by fellow officer Claude Rains, only to have Grant unknowingly fall in love with Rains’ wife. Surely these films will be a most treasured find for the Cary Grant enthusiast.
In the coming months, it will certainly be interesting to see what other titles roll out on DVD. Universal already has plans for the films of Fred MacMurray, Claudette Colbert, Deanna Durbin, director Douglas Sirk and many more. Hopefully, with the success of Universal’s effort, other studios will follow suit and make available many vintage films beloved by the avid classic movie fan. For me, just keep those Cary Grant films coming and I’ll be very, very happy.