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Home Movies/Out on Digital: May 28

May. 28, 2014
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■ “Cimarron Strip: The Complete Series”

The 1960s were the last time westerns dominated TV programming. “Cimarron Strip” (1967-1968) was one of the better examples of the genre from that period. It stared iron-faced Stuart Whitman as a U.S. Marshal in a frontier town, holding the line against psychotics and hardened criminals, and acting more like a hard-fisted detective in a contemporary big city cop drama. At 90 minutes in length, the episodes had more time than usual to develop their stories.

Great Expectations

Pip is a plucky lad dreaming of life beyond the confines of rural England. He wants to be a gentleman—and is suddenly elevated to that status in Charles Dickens’ enduring satire. Shot by director Mike Newell as if each frame were a beautifully composed photograph in an elegant portfolio, the 2012 Great Expectations features a top-drawer British cast, including Ralph Fiennes, Robbie Coltrane and Helena Bonham Carter in fright-wig mode as Miss Havisham.

Death Occurred Last Night

Known for spaghetti westerns, Italian director Duccio Tessari also helmed this well-done, modestly budgeted 1970 crime thriller (out on Blu-ray). An outwardly cynical police inspector helps a father whose 25-year-old mentally disabled daughter has gone missing—a case the authorities have deemed hopeless. With his shaggy-haired young sidekick, the inspector descends into Milan’s sex-trade underworld for clues. Death Occurred Last Night is an efficiently told drama casting a philosophical eye on the human condition.

The Revengers

The Indians in The Revengers are so low down, they kill a man’s dog when his back is turned. After they slaughter his family, that man (a time-worn William Holden) embarks on a vengeance quest for the white outlaw who led the Indian raid. Out on DVD, this 1972 western follows the trail blazed by a better film, The Searchers, but has its strong point in landscape photography that reduces the human actors to insignificance.


The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear the case to determine if Wisconsin Republicans’ redistricting maps are too partisan. Do you believe the U.S. Supreme Court will order Wisconsin to redraw our legislative maps so the majority of legislative districts are competitive and voters will actually have a real choice between a Democrat and Republican?

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