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Home Movies/Out on Digital: June 15, 2017

Jun. 13, 2017
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I Am Heath Ledger

According to Heath Ledger’s dad, movie stardom was always on his mind. The Australian was already on TV at age 17 and surfaced in an American indie film in 1999. Mentored by Mel Gibson (The Patriot, 2000), Ledger brought physicality, empathy and self-doubt to a succession of roles, culminating in his unforgettable turn as The Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. This documentary is compounded from home video, snapshots and interviews with family and friends.

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Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

Hugh Jackman was two years away from sprouting titanium claws and wolverine facial hair in the X-Men franchise when he starred in Oklahoma! The Royal National Theatre’s 1998 production, directed by British theater veteran Trevor Nunn, was filmed as if it was a movie, giving Blu-ray viewers perspectives impossible from even the best seats. Jackman attacked the familiar Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein numbers with zest and looks comfortable on stage amid the painted scenery.

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The World of Henry Orient

Two lonely girls at an exclusive school discover each other and “go adventuring” in The World of Henry Orient. The cinematography in this 1964 comedy by director George Roy Hill is exhilarating and captures the gossamer joy of adolescence as the cameras track their romps through Central Park and city streets in a gorgeous Manhattan autumn. Peter Sellers stars as an arrogant concert pianist whose affair with a married woman they continually manage to disrupt.

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Marjorie Morningstar

Rising star Natalie Wood stars in this 1958 Technicolor production as an 18-year-old ingénue resisting pressure from mother and boyfriend to get married. She stumbles into acting under the tutelage of a dancer-director-choreographer played by veteran Gene Kelly. Wood is endearing, as is Ed Wynn playing her wisdom-dispensing uncle, but Kelly infuses the screenplay with heart and soul. Marjorie Morningstar was directed by Hollywood veteran Irving Rapper (Now, Voyager) from Herman Wouk’s novel.

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