By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
2 Bogie and Bacall classics have been released as Blu-ray upgrades
Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall star in the classic film noir "The Big Sleep" (1946), which is on Blu-ray for the first time. - photo by Chris Hicks
Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall co-star in The Big Sleep and Key Largo, two classic 1940s thrillers that have received Blu-ray upgrades from the online manufacture-on-demand site Warner Archive.

The Big Sleep (Warner Archive, 1946, b/w, 1945 alternate version, featurette, introduction, trailer). Howard Hawks adaptation of Raymond Chandlers mystery novel is a film noir masterpiece with Bogart perfectly cast as Philip Marlowe.

The private eye is summoned to meet a wealthy eccentric who asks him to look into gambling debts racked up by his wild younger daughter (Martha Vickers), and owed to a shady bookseller. But, of course, what it leads to is murder. Meanwhile, he finds himself drawn to his clients older daughter (Lauren Bacall).

The plot is a bit thick here and there, but the film moves at a brisk clip, the dialogue is fast and funny, and the chemistry between Bogie and Bacall is palpable. Lots of familiar character actors are in support, and watch for Dorothy Malone, who is great as a deceptively bookish bookstore owner.

Included is the directors early cut of the film with a couple of different actors, a couple of additional scenes and a more leisurely pace. (Available at

Key Largo (Warner Archive, 1948, b/w, trailer). John Hustons excellent thriller set against a raging hurricane in the upper Florida Keys boasts an all-star cast, with Bogart as an ex-GI visiting the widow (Bacall) and father (Lionel Barrymore) of his pal who died in World War II. They run a hotel with a bunch of seedy guests (including Claire Trevor as an alcoholic) and are battening down the hatches for the coming storm when a sadistic gangster (Edward G. Robinson) shows up and the games begin. (Available at

Strange Brew (Warner, 1983, PG, animated short, skit from SCTV, trailer). This broad, juvenile farce is based on the dimwitted, beer-guzzling, doughnut-munching Bob and Doug McKenzie characters from the 1970s-80s SCTV skit show, Canadas answer to Saturday Night Live. Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas (who also co-wrote and co-directed) are the dopey duo, here going up against evil beer brewer Max von Sydow, who has a plan to take over the world by using mind-control hops. Strictly for fans.

George OBrien Western Collection (Warner Archive, 1938-40, three discs, nine movies). These nine oaters, as Westerns are referred to in showbiz parlance, star B-movie cowboy king George OBrien, whose pictures made big money for RKO even as each hourlong feature played at the bottom of various double bills. Included here are Lawless Valley, Arizona Legion, Trouble in Sundown, Racketeers of the Range, Timber Stampede, The Fighting Gringo, Bullet Code, Prairie Law and Stage to Chino. (Available at

In the Beginning: The Bible Stories (Shout!, 1994-96, four discs, four movies). Four made-for-TV biblical epics are included in this collection, each taken from the Old Testament: Abraham, with Richard Harris in the title role, Barbara Hershey as Sarah and Maximilian Schell as Pharaoh; Jacob, played by Matthew Modine, with Sean Bean as Esau and Lara Flynn Boyle as Rachel; Moses, starring Ben Kingsley, with Christopher Lee as Ramses; and Joseph, played by Paul Mercurio, with Kingsley as Potiphar, Martin Landau as Jacob and Lesley Ann Warren as Potiphars wife. Theyre lavish, earnest shot-on-location productions, and each is three hours in length except for the 90-minute Jacob.

The Decline of Western Civilization (Shout!, 1981, not rated, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes).

The Decline of Western Civilization, Part II: The Metal Years (Shout!, 1988, rated R for language, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes). These two new-to-Blu-ray documentaries by Penelope Spheeris explore, respectively, the punk and metal musical genres with plenty of interviews to bolster arguments: X, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, etc., in the first; and Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Poison, Aerosmith, KISS, Motorhead, etc., in the second.

Invasion U.S.A. (Shout!, 1985, R for violence and language, audio commentary, featurettes, trailer, TV spot).

Braddock: Missing in Action III (Shout!, 1988, R for violence and language). These two Blu-ray upgrades star Chuck Norris, famous for high kicks and machine-gun violence against extremely nasty bad guys. Invasion has him taking on Russian-backed Cuban terrorists that are blowing up American malls during Christmas, while Braddock, as the title suggests, has Norris returning to Vietnam for a third rescue, this time in search of his wife, the son he didnt know he had and a passel of orphans.

Rage of Honor (Arrow, 1987, R for violence and language, featurette, trailers). Another 80s B-level action star, Sho Kosugi, gets a Blu-ray upgrade with this revenge yarn that has him playing a federal agent whose partner is killed, so he goes after the drug-running bad guys. Lots of action and not much else, though for fans, thats probably enough.
Sign up for our E-Newsletters