Whilst we hope we get more hot Summer days, Arrow Academy is already looking ahead with October Blu-ray releases. The Autumn we have a pair of vintage classics to blow away the winter blues, each starring an Oscar-winning Hollywood legend.
First off in October is The Bells of St. Mary’s. After triumphing at the Academy Awards® with the 1944 box office smash Going My Way, director Leo McCarey and star Bing Crosby immediately collaborated on this equally successful follow-up, presented here in a heavenly 4K restoration. An instant crowd-pleaser on its release, the film remains just as affecting today, thanks to McCarey’s directorial light touch, Crosby’s laidback charisma and iconic singing voice, and actress Ingrid Bergman’s radiant charm, all of which earned them well-deserved Oscar® nominations.
Then there is Man of a Thousand Faces, where one screen legend pays homage to another, as Oscar-winning tough guy James Cagney (White Heat) giving a multifaceted portrayal of silent cinema legend Lon Chaney. This insightful film-portrait traces the trajectory of Chaney’s career: from impoverished vaudeville clown to Hollywood stardom, whilst also capturing the drama that surrounded his private life. The film is presented here for the first time in dazzling High Definition, with a selection of revealing extras, including a newly filmed look at Chaney and his legacy.
The Bells of St. Mary’s | Blu-ray | 7 October 2019
Father “Chuck” O’Malley (Bing Crosby) is sent to fix up an inner-city parochial school on its last legs, and his easy-going, unconventional demeanour instantly clashes with that of the firm, no-nonsense Sister Superior Mary Benedict (Ingrid Bergman), who is keeping the school open through sheer will and faith alone. Over the course of the school year, the pair bicker and ultimately bond over their differing visions on how to save the school – and the role a miserly businessman (Henry Travers) who wants the building condemned might play in doing so.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
• 4K restoration of the film from Paramount
• High Definition Blu-ray™ (1080p) presentation
• Original lossless mono audio
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Up to His Neck in Nuns, an all-new visual essay by David Cairns
• Analysing O’Malley, a newly filmed appreciation by chaplain and film academic Revd Dr Steve Nolan
• You Can Change The World, a 30-minute religious propaganda short film from 1949 directed by McCarey and featuring appearances from Crosby, Bob Hope, Irene Dunne, William Holden and Jack Benny, presented in High Definition
• Two Screen Guild Theater radio adaptations starring Crosby and Bergman, plus an additional radio featurette
• Re-release theatrical trailer
• Image gallery
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jennifer Dionisio
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Fully illustrated booklet containing new writing on the film by Ronald Bergen
USA | 1945 | U | 126 Mins | 1.37:1 | B&W | Drama, Musical | English
Man of a Thousand Faces |Blu-ray | 28 October 2019
In early horror classics such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Phantom of The Opera, Lon Chaney (played here by James Cagney) captivated audiences with his vivid personifications of grotesque and afflicted characters. His extraordinary make-up skills, and miraculous ability to completely transform into grisly yet sympathetic and tragic monsters, garnered him international acclaim and the famous moniker of this film’s title. Yet, despite his talent and success, Chaney led a life plagued by hardship and heartache, detailed in this enthralling biopic.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
• Brand new restoration from the original negative by Arrow Films
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
• Uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM audio soundtrack
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• New audio commentary by film scholar Tim Lucas
• The Man Behind a Thousand Faces, a newly filmed look at Lon Chaney and his legacy by the critic Kim Newman
• Image gallery
• Original trailer
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Fully Illustrated booklet with a newly commissioned essay by Vic Pratt of the BFI
USA | 1957 | PG | 98 Mins | 2.35:1 | B&W | Drama, Biography | English