John Carter, based on the John Carter of Mars series written by Edgar Rice Burroughs, was released last weekend with underwhelming box office results in North America. Expect a more enthusiastic reception for the Warner Archive’s release of the late ’60s television series Tarzan (season one, in two parts) in celebration of the Lord of the Apes’ 100th anniversary. Ron Ely stars, while guests include former Tarzan Jock Mahoney, Academy Award nominee Julie Harris (The Member of the Wedding), Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols, Woody Strode, Russ Tamblyn, Maurice Evans, Jack Elam, and Chips Rafferty.
Also coming out via the Warner Archive Collection are several lesser-known titles that should definitely be worth a look, especially considering the talent involved.
Released in a newly remastered print, the 1941 drama Rage in Heaven was directed by W.S. Van Dyke (aka "One-Take Woody"), and stars Ingrid Bergman, Robert Montgomery, and George Sanders. Christopher Isherwood contributed to the screenplay.
The World War II drama Joan of Paris (1942), directed by a pre-Disney Studios Robert Stevenson, stars Casablanca’s Paul Henreid and Michèle Morgan during her brief Hollywood foray in the early ’40s. Joan of Paris is also notable as the last film appearance of veteran May Robson (Academy Award-nominated for Frank Capra’s Lady for a Day) and as one of the first times audiences got to see (if they paid close attention) future Paramount star Alan Ladd.
Ann Sothern, a future Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee for Lindsay Anderson’s The Whales of August (1987), can be seen in two releases: the Broadway-set musical comedy Hooray for Love (1935), with Sothern’s frequent RKO co-star Gene Raymond, and the Cole Porter musical Panama Hattie (1942), directed by Vincente Minnelli, and co-starring Red Skelton.
And finally, two unusual entries: Stuart Hagmann’s The Strawberry Statement (1970), about the then-timely university student protests, and featuring Willard’s Bruce Davison, True Grit’s Kim Darby, and Harold and Maude’s Bud Cort, and Peter Collinson’s The Spiral Staircase (1975), a (generally panned) remake of Robert Siodmak’s 1946 classic starring Jacqueline Bisset in the old Dorothy McGuire role. Bisset’s co-stars are Barbarella’s John Phillip Law and the Globe Theatre’s Sam Wanamaker.