Twilight Time Sale Recommendations – 20th Century Fox

In yesterday’s post I picked 12 Essentials from the Twilight Time sale and I happened to included a few of the 20th Century Fox catalog titles. I won’t repeat those in today’s list because 1) you’ve already heard me wax effusive about them and 2) I get to pick more movies that I like. Therefore, in today’s post I definitely won’t mention Stormy Weather, Two for the Road, The Bravados, or Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? other than to say that you should most definitely stop what you’re doing and place an order that includes Stormy Weather, Two for the Road, The Bravados, and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? 

I should also mention that none of us know for sure what Disney will do with the 20th Century Fox catalog titles. I wrote about my thoughts in this post, but we’re all playing a wait and see game. It would surprise no one if these titles never appeared on another form of physical media. For anyone that rightly distrusts those gatekeepers promising “everything available all the time” this is no doubt disconcerting because their “everything” does not consist of the mid-century classics that make up 90% of the Twilight Time catalog.

Remember sale prices are ongoing through the month of September and most titles are available at both and Twilight Time — but some are only available at

Keep in mind that I’m just one guy and I haven’t seen all of the 20th Century Fox movies in this catalog — so I’m likely missing some gems. If you have a surefire recommendation leave it in the comments or hit me up at @007hertzrumble on Twitter and I’ll broadcast it to the Twatterverse.

12 (more) 20th Century Fox Titles Worth Picking Up from the Twilight Time sale


dragonwyck twilight timeDragonwyck (1946)

A dream blends into nightmarish reality as Miranda Wells (Gene Tierney) movies to New York to live with her rich cousin. The Tierney and Vincent Price combination doesn’t sound natural on paper, but handsome 1940’s Vincent Price has charm, pizazz, and an undercurrent of something nefarious. This is gothic fare of the highest order and reminds immediately of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca. Who needs soft focus when you have Gene Tierney?

snake pit twilight timeThe Snake Pit (1948)

Also available on an Indicator series Blu-ray in the UK. You might call her Queen O. Or Her Highness Livvy of Havilland. It doesn’t much matter how you worship, but worship you shall. Olivia de Havilland’s a force of nature as a disoriented woman who finds herself in a mental hospital with no explanation and no memory of her new husband. Dr. Kik works with her to unlock memories through electro-shock therapy. The suppressed memories come trickling out, building suspense and keeping the viewer guessing. A potent time capsule of our unfortunate views on mental illness.

inferno twlight timeInferno 3D/2D (1953)

An alcoholic millionaire (Robert Ryan) breaks his leg falling off his horse and is left to die by his philandering wife (Rhonda Fleming) and her lover (William Lundigan). Ryan’s at the peak of his powers. This story about survival against the odds takes place amidst immaculate desert landscapes and Rhonda Fleming’s highly articulate eyebrows. If you have the ways and means, view the 3D version, but if you don’t the 2D will do just fine.

dont bother to knock twilight timeDon’t Bother to Knock (1954)

And speaking of Roy Ward Baker… I caught Don’t Bother to Knock on TCM last year expecting a silly little one-note thriller notable for being an early dramatic vehicle for Marilyn Monroe. This hotel-bound melodrama gripped me from reel one. Richard Widmark plays Jed, a skeezy airline pilot (Widmark can’t not skeeze) trying to get some rest in a hotel when a young woman catches his eye — she’s babysitting for a wealthy couple, but he’s not so sure she’s exactly capable. Monroe shows great range, the film always feels off-kilter, and you won’t worry about predicting where it’ll end up.

warlock twilight timeWarlock (1959)

I could try to sell with the story or Edward Dmytryk or 2.35 : 1 Deluxe color cinematography — but instead I’ll just list the cast and let you ponder things. Richard Widmark (again!). Henry Fonda. Anthony Quinn. Dorothy Malone. Deforest Kelly. Richard Arlen. Frank Gorshin. You want to see this movie now, don’t you? Naysayers would call this a generic genre film, I’d call this an old-fashioned star-fueled Western saga about a weary town turning to hired guns for salvation — a year before the release of The Magnificent Seven.

morituri twilight timeMorituri (1965)

I chose this spy-oriented thriller over the (at times overly) languid The Quiller Memorandum because this is a movie that not even genre aficionados have heard about. And truth be told, I only watched this because someone pestered me for a month. Director Bernhard Wicki’s (The Longest Day) Morituri features surprisingly layered performances from Marlon Brando and Yul Brynner and Conrad Hall B&W cinematography. When you think the movie’s going to ride the standard wartime narrative, it becomes something more interesting — a character study aboard a grim, claustrophobic merchant ship that manipulates its inhabitants like a puppetmaster.

bedazzled twilight timeBedazzled (1967)

The story of the hapless schmuck who sells his soul to the devil for seven wishes he uses to woo the beautiful Raquel Welch. This Dudley Moore / Peter Cook classic necessitates viewing on Blu. Who knew this film could look so vibrant? (Though Adam Tyner at raised questions about a possible stretching situation.) Bedazzled remains an essential — albeit one constructed more like a sketch-show than a cohesive feature film. The schtick works for the old comedy team of Moore and Cook and this is one Twilight Time disc fans of British comedy shouldn’t be without.

incident twilight timeThe Incident (1967)

The tagline for Larry Peerce’s subway-bound thriller is “Hits like a switchblade knife!” — which causes me to think about West Side Story gangs throwing switchblades jabs in between jetes. Then of course there’s the reality of this gritty psychological drama about two thugs terrorizing a subway train. Martin Sheen makes his screen debut as one of the two hellraisers aiming to make your blood boil — and boil it will.

pretty poison twilight timePretty Poison (1968)

Only in the 1960s did studios dare to release a pop-art rom-com psychological thriller that’s as much Psycho as it is Bye Bye Birdie. Anthony Perkins convinces a smalltown girl (a radiant Tuesday Weld) that he’s a secret agent. He’s not, of course, and that sets this movie off in all kinds of surprising directions.

next stop greenwich village twilight timeNext Stop Greenwich Village (1976)

Paul Mazursky doesn’t always get the love he deserves because he directs low-key dramedies about fully formed human characters. His movies feel nostalgic and ponderous about the crazy human condition. Speaking of craziness, this story about an aspiring Jewish actor that moves to bohemian Greenwich Village in 1953 features Shelley Winters, Christopher Walken, Bill Murray, Lois Smith, and Jeff Goldblum among many other familiars. A wonderful card to have in your back pocket for “Six Degrees.”

black widow twilight timeBlack Widow (1987)

You might have expected the 1954 Film Noir Black Widow, but no! That’s a fine but unexceptional entry in the canon. Meanwhile this Black Widow from 1987 boasts Debra Winger and Theresa Russell playing a wicked game of cat and mouse — plus appearances by Dennis Hopper, Nicol Williamson, and Lois Smith (again!). Starts slow and probably needed a stronger finale — and yet this oh-so-80’s entry entertains due to the strength and screen presence of its two female leads.

rapid fire twilight timeRapid Fire (1992)

Sure — this is just another 1990s actioner, but it’s the final Brandon Lee actioner before an on-set accident on The Crow cut his life tragically short. Rapid Fire dispenses with downtime and just serves martial arts and shoot-em-up set pieces. This movie is pure disposable fun — and Power Boothe villainy! — and I’m still shocked someone had the wherewithal to release this gem on Blu-ray. Hopefully Brandon Lee’s oeuvre gets another wave of appreciation.

20th century fox

The master list of EVERY Fox-distributed Twilight Time title currently in print!

(Italics denotes titles on my short list for my highest recommendation. Titles listed in order of Twilight Time release.)

Violent Saturday (1955) – DVD
Woman Obsessed (1959) – DVD
Beloved Infidel (1959)
Royal Flash (1975)
Che! (1969)
The Vanishing (1993)
Flaming Star (1960)
Stormy Weather (1943)
April Love (1957)
The Best of Everything (1959)
Black Widow (1987)
Broken Lance (1954)
The Detective (1968)
From the Terrace (1960)
Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950)
Julia (1977)
Garden of Evil (1954)
Panic in Needle Park (1971)
The Gang’s All Here (1943)
Tony Rome / Lady in Cement (1967 / 1968)
Pretty Poison (1968)
The Keys of the Kingdom (1944)
Two for the Road (1967)
Kiss of Death (1947)
Peyton Place (1957)
How to Steal a Million (1966)
Inferno 3D/2D (1953)
Hell and High Water (1954)
State Fair (1962)
The Long, Hot Summer (1958)
Beneath the 12-Mile Reef (1953)
Captain From Castille (1947)
Doctor Doolittle (1967)
Forever Amber (1947)
My Cousin Rachel (1952)
Dragonwyck (1946)
The Incident (1967)
The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972)
The Seven-Ups (1973)
Don’t Bother to Knock (1952)
No Down Payment (1957)
Blue Denim (1959)
Next Stop Greenwich Village (1976)
Hilda Crane (1956)
My Gal Sal (1942)
Let’s Make Love (1960)
The Revolt of Mamie Stover (1956)
Cinderella Liberty (1973)
Rapid Fire (1992)
The Hot Rock (1972)
The Other Side of Midnight (1977)
The Bravados (1958)
Black Widow (1954)
The Adventures of Hajji Baba (1954)
The True Story of Jesse James (1957)
Satan Never Sleeps (1962)
A Man Called Peter (1955)
Untamed (1955)
Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957)
Bedazzled (1967)
The River’s Edge
The Quiller Memorandum (1966)
Three Coins in the Fountain (1954)
Stagecoach (1966)
The Snake Pit (1948)
Warlock (1959)
Morituri (1965)
Bandolero! (1968)
Pin Up Girl (1944)
Mother Wore Tights (1947)
Hello, Frisco, Hello (1943)
Ten North Frederick (1958)
The President’s Lady (1953)
The Chairman (1969)
Whirlpool (1949)
Wild in the Country (1961)
The Tall Men (1955)


30Hz Bl-g Cinema

Gene’s Picks, Netflix, and the War on Physical Media

I’ve been thinking about the war on physical media lately. And usually that’s trouble. I’ve been writing blog posts based on Netflix DVD arrivals. These are posts I’d have written normally, but because I feel indebted to physical media in some capacity I make sure to point out that I held the movie I watched in my hand before placing it in my region-free Blu-ray player and viewing it on my television.

Netflix and DVD and the war on physical media


I’ve taken part in their push to maintain physical media relevancy in 2018 at the age of 20. I’ve indulged in their nostalgia and tried to get into the headspace of the 27-year-old me who made The Lake House (2006) his first ever Netflix DVD-by-mail rental. (Who am I kidding? I liked it. No guilt. It’s gonzo romance starring two of my favorite beautiful humans.)

the lake house netflix

I can’t help but think that they’re mocking me, however, with that ‘Nice choice!” crack. I see you Netflix. I know what you’re doing. I’ll see your smarmy judgment and order the movie on I’ve got extra credits I can spare on statement purchases. I’m not bluffing! Here’s proof.

Still, I couldn’t have recalled that information on my own. The Lake House came as a bit of shock. I would have guessed Series 2 of Red Dwarf, something that would have predated 2006.

Red Dwarf is something you should rent, maybe from Netflix.

As I was saying before The Lake House derailed logical thought (as it tends to do because it’s about a magic mailbox!), I’ve been thinking about the necessity of physical media in this digital age. How the shifting methods of viewing movies have ushered in a world where otherwise sane humans find it perfectly normal to watch entire movies on their phone… when they’re not even on an airplane or at the gym! They choose this method.

Physical Media

The war on physical media is part of a systemic degradation of the film viewing experience — from the cheapening of theatrical exhibition to the general unavailability of films made before 2000 on streaming media. (FilmStruck excepted, of course.)

Dozens of streaming services have popped up, hooking viewers with the promise of unlimited entertainment at their fingertips. Netflix streaming, in fact, would probably have to stand up as the most prominent perpetuator of this myth. And the “everything available all the time” promise of streaming is indeed a myth. You could subscribe to every service imaginable — Netflix, FilmStruck, Shudder, HBOGo, Hulu, etc, etc. — and still barely scratch the service.

Check out the info graphic below and see if you can come out of that experience sober.

The demise of the brick and mortar video store (likely by the hand of Netflix DVD delivery, so that’s a little slice of irony for this meditation) has left a kind of void for moviewatchers of a certain age, those of us old enough to remember the unlimited possibility of the video store.

heroes in the war on physical media
Seattle’s still-thriving Scarecrow Video, a hero in the war on physical media

Gene’s Picks

Streaming services, by and large, require pre-existing notions from viewers. Netflix streaming likes to tell us “Because you watched Glow,” here are twenty other Netflix shows you’ll want to watch. It’s the algorithmic replacement for “Gene’s picks” at our local video store, only Gene didn’t have a financial stake in the number of eyes that watched Weekend at Bernie’s II. Gene placed Weekend at Bernie’s II on that shelf because he liked Weekend at Bernie’s II. Full stop.

When I walked into my local video store, I often didn’t have any idea what I wanted to rent. Sure I had ideas, but I certainly couldn’t guarantee any of those dreams would be in stock. You had no idea what kind of movie would walk out of that video store with you. I browsed the new releases and then wandered the shelves. Some of my most profoundly affecting movie experiences happened as a result of chance rentals.

My first viewing of Suspiria, for example, was inspired by an impulse viewing after seeing the VHS cover at my video store. I rented movies based on VHS covers. I rented movies because “how the hell did this get made?” and because I was there, and they were there, and because what else was I going to do?

heroes in the war on physical media
Gene’s still alright by me, also a hero in the war on physical media.

It was the golden age of discovery, the video store culture, Gene’s picks, chatting up folks who worked as local programmers, tossing rarities on TV/VCR combos behind the counter. It was the age of absurd home video artwork slapped on top of low-budget, direct-to-video offerings clamoring for your attention. We’ve lost all this and for a not insignificant number of movie fans, the near extinction of the local video store felt like a death in the family.

(A vivid memory is the week my wife and I became obsessed with Freaks & Geeks right when it hit first DVD and trying three different video stores to find the third disc because there was a “short wait” from Netflix. I will not wait, thank you very much!)

The “Long Wait” and “Very Long Wait” clocks are indeed very distressing.

The Future of Physical Media

Mail-to-home DVD services might have been the beginning of the end of mom-and-pop video, but it wasn’t until the proliferation of streaming services that people decided, once and for all, that it was just easier to stay in their pajamas and watch whatever was digitally available — whatever the gatekeepers chose to make available at that particular moment in time.

Some of this gatekeeping took place during the video store-era when Blockbuster made it store policy to not stock unrated or NC-17 films to preserve their family-friendly pretense. This resulted in a de facto censorship practice that prevented many innocent films from finding an audience, undermined the relevance of NC-17 and unfairly discriminated against non-pornographic sexual content. But I digress.

The common and wrongheaded idea that the method of watching movies is not important has made life for physical media increasingly difficult in 2018. The quality of streaming differs wildly and is based on factors far outside the control of the original filmmakers. Pixellation, compressed audio. When studios determine that it’s fiscally prudent to eliminate physical media based on your closely tracked digital moviewatching habits, DVDs will go the way of the Laserdisc.

Go ahead. Watch that on your phone. I’m sure it’s the same experience.

I don’t intend to state the obvious, but some people need to hear it, The impact of watching Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 on your phone is not the same was viewing it in 70mm on an IMAX screen. People have said this very thing to me. My argument isn’t based on opinion. It’s 100% fact that your emotional and psychological proximity to the screen is less distant when there are no distractions and the screen extends beyond your standard field of vision. You can say you’ve watched a movie on your phone, but you won’t have felt that film. You won’t have identified with that film on any level beyond the activity of holding your phone and being a click away from your next Snapchat session.

As far as home video is concerned, physical media such as DVDs and Blu-rays and UHDs provide the best experience and broadest catalog of available films. Due to the nature of film rights and distribution, no streaming service could ever compare. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy how streaming can supplement my ever-increasing home library, but it will never be my main source of entertainment. My stand in the war on physical media will end when you pry these cases out of my cold dead hands.

dvd library
A slice of my library.

This is why it’s still important to support physical media in all of its forms, whether its through a Netflix DVD-by-mail service, by renting locally (if you’re lucky enough to have such a store still available to you) or by purchasing new Blu-rays and DVDs from distributors that give a goddamn. Special mention goes out to the fine folks at Criterion, Warner Archive, Kino Lorber, Twilight Time, Olive Films, Arrow, Shout Factory, and Mondo Macabro and Eureka and Indicator in the UK among many others who still restore and release important films for purchase.

I can have this beloved copy of Little Murders (1971). I can hold it in my hand and put it on my shelf to view whenever the need arises. (Side note: Watch Alan Arkin’s Little Murders.)

little murders

So even though I wish Netflix expanded their available catalog (it stops well short of including releases from many of the above-mentioned niche distributors), it’s still a service worth supporting because they are, by sending out thousands of little red envelopes, fighting on the side of good in the war on physical media.

James David Patrick is a writer. He’s written just about everything at some point or another. Follow his blog at and find him on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

Disclaimer: I earn rewards from, which has thousands of movies to choose from, many that you won’t find on streaming services. I do this because the availability of physical media is important. The popular streaming notion of “everything available all the time” is a myth. We are always our own best curators. #PhysicalMedia #DVDNation #ad