Oct 11, 2007

Upcoming Spy DVDs

Executive Action

Somehow I missed this title when it was announced, but that makes it all the sweeter now, because it's just around the corner! Warner Bros. will release the well-regarded but previously hard-to-see 1973 Burt Lancaster conspiracy thriller Executive Action on October 23, the same day The Company and the first volume of The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones (which is what they're now officially calling The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles) come out. That's shaping up to be a huge day for spy discs! Executive Action focuses on the Kennedy assassination and presents a plausible alternative to the official Warren Commission account. Retail will be $19.99.

Help! Is On The Way!

EMI have pushed back the long-awaited DVD premiere The Beatles' spy parody Help! by one week. The highly-anticipated double-disc set will now debut on November 6, 2007. I've updated my original story to reflect the new date.

The Name's Hope. Bob Hope.

Bob Hope is not really a name one readily associates with spy movies, but MGM's upcoming Bob Hope MGM Movie Legends Collection actually contains quite a few movies of interest to spy fans. In They've Got Me Covered (1943), Hope plays a reporter trying to crack a Nazi spy ring in Washington, D.C. Dorothy Lamour plays his girlfriend. Reading the plot description, I suddenly realized that I've seen this. I loved this movie as a kid, and have sometimes recalled scenes and tried in vain to remember what movie they were from. I guess I'll have my chance come December 4! (I hope it lives up to those memories...) The Road To Hong Kong finds frequent travelling companions Hope and Bing Crosby as vaudevillian con men caught up with Cold War spies. This last (and many would argue least) of the Road To movies was made in 1962, and predates the epic Sixties spy craze ushered in by 007 that same year. (Even at the bottom of their game, Hope and Crosby were ahead of the curve!) Spy stars Peter Sellers, Joan Collins, Robert Morley and Walter Gotell also appear. Boy, Did I Get the Wrong Number (1966, available on DVD for the first time ever in this set) co-stars sultry spy siren Elke Sommer as a European actress (quite a stretch!) famous for her bubble bath scenes who's grown sick of Hollywood. The Bob Hope MGM Movie Legends Collection will contain seven films total and retail for just $39.99.

1 comment:

David Foster said...

You're right Bob Hope is not a name that you think of when you think about spy movies. But his contribution to the genre is pretty considerable I'd guess.

Of course, there the infamous Call Me Bwana, produced by EON, and the poster showcased in From Russia With Love (but you knew that). Then there's The Iron Petticoat, where Katherine Hepburn plays a Russian defector. He plays through Spies Like Us (golf joke). And finally, Bob had a role in an episode of Get Smart.

If you add these titles to the ones you mentioned, then Hopes spy film output is right up there with Connery or Caine. He's a giant.

Maybe it's time for a critical appraisal of Bob's contribution to the spy genre?