Paramount Home Entertainment is collecting some of the classic collectible films in a new line of Blu-ray Discs. Each of them is remastered with new bonus content featuring discussions with filmmakers, which add to the background of the actors, directors and the films themselves.
First up in this batch is the Alfred Hitchcock classic “To Catch a Thief” starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. This is the 65th anniversary of the release of this memorable film that has something for everyone. Grant gives his usual amazing performance that combines wit with drama, and Kelly is equally charming. There is a marvelous supporting cast in this film, and as usual, the brief cameo by Hitchcock.
The story of a former jewel thief who is framed for a rash of burglaries on the French Riviera is entertaining from start to finish. As movie critic and film historian Leonard Maltin says in his bonus feature, there are three stars in the film: Grant, Kelly and the French Riviera.
Maltin says Hitchcock was at his “creative peak” in the 1950s, and this film proves it. He also describes the two stars as “possibly the most gorgeous screen couple to exist.”
This is “pure entertainment,” according to Maltin -- and almost everyone who has seen the film. He describes it as “a picture postcard of a movie” with a who-done-it aspect. And no one knows who the thief is until the end.
The film was shot in VistaVision, which Maltin explores, as well as the fact that Hitchcock was the first mainstream director to use storyboarding prior to filming.
There is an older bonus that looks at the history of Grant and Kelly, but Maltin’s feature with his insights are wonderful to hear and he imparts a lot of facts and background about this classic film.
The second film in this batch of “Paramount Presents” Blu-rays is the 1958 Elvis drama “King Creole.” This was shot in black and white to purposely add to the drama of the movie.
Elvis proves his acting chops in this remastered film. Yes, he does sing but the songs are incorporated into the movie because he plays a singer in the film. Elvis is looking to leave his troubled past behind and make it as a professional singer, but a mobster, played by Walter Matthau, might derail his plans.
Leonard Maltin again adds plenty of insight into the movie, which was directed by Michael Curtiz who directed many films including the classic “Casablanca” and the musical “White Christmas,” among others.
Maltin says Curtiz directed Presley to “underplay the role” which made the character believable for the viewers. It was filmed on location in New Orleans, which adds to the enjoyment of the story. According to Maltin, this was the time of the “early untamed Elvis.” There is “a lot of energy in the movie,” and a wonderful cast.
A tidbit Maltin imparts is that Barbra Streisand had thought about casting Elvis in her remake of “A Star is Born” but Elvis’ manager Colonel Parker did not want to change his image that was cultivated after “King Creole” in which Elvis was a light-hearted singing actor. “King Creole” was a great success among fans and critics.
The third film in this group of “Paramount Presents” Blu-rays is “Fatal Attraction.” This story has Michael Douglas playing a married man who has an affair with Glenn Close. She wants more than a one-night-stand and stalks his family as well as causes a lot of chaos for everyone.
Director Adrian Lyne provides his favorite memories and moments from making this movie. He was pleased with the way it was remastered and how it all came out -- even the bunny scene! Besides Lyne’s feature, there is an alternate ending included on the disc.
The films in the “Paramount Presents” collection are presented in a collectible box.