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The Latest Classic Blu-Ray Releases

We're spotlighting Orson Welles, Elizabeth Taylor and a French film featuring costumes by one of the world's most iconic designers.

Van Johnson and Elizabeth Taylor
Van Johnson and Elizabeth Taylor in 1954's "The Last Time I Saw Paris."

Looking to update your collection with films that combine great stories, great stars and fabulous fashion? Here's a look at the latest:

The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954)

Warner Archive Collection

Starring Elizabeth Taylor, Van Johnson and Donna Reed

Directed by Richard Brooks

Costumes by Helen Rose

Available 7/25/23

List price: $21.99 on Blu-ray, at Amazon

Why You Should Add It to Your Collection: Make no mistake, this is an ultra-schmaltzy love story that includes love at first sight, money troubles, instant riches and tragedy, and mostly told in flashback to boot. That also makes it a fantastic guilty-pleasure film, with the bonus of Elizabeth Taylor at the height of her beauty, dressed in costumes by Helen Rose. Walter Pidgeon plays the family patriarch, and at the moment some long-dormant oil wells finally pay off, the change to the family coffers is quickly seen in Rose's upgrade to the costumes — especially Taylor's, of course, with gowns that exhibit an undeniable Christian Dior vibe.

Special Features Include: a new 4K restoration from the original Technicolor camera negatives and the original theatrical trailer.

The Rules of the Game (1939)

Criterion Collection

Starring Marcel Dalio, Nora Gregor and Paulette Dubost

Directed by Jean Renoir

Costumes by Coco Chanel

Available 6/06/23

List price: $49.95 on 4K UHD+Blu-ray Combo, at Amazon

Why You Should Add It to Your Collection: Two words: Coco Chanel. The legendary couturier surrounded herself with the notable artists of the day, from Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali to director Jean Renoir, son of Impressionist painter Pierre Auguste. Roundly agreed to be among Jean Renoir's best films, this story that blends the French elite and their servants over a weekend at a French chateau should be on the must-watch list for anyone who loves Gosford Park or Downton Abbey — also because Chanel's costumes for Gregor, Dubost and others are simply impeccable.

Special Features Include: a new 4K restoration, introduction to the film by director Jean Renoir, an audio commentary written by film scholar Alexander Sesonske and read by filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich, comparison of the film's two endings, and selected-scene analysis by Renoir historian Chris Faulkner.

The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

Kino Lorber Studio Classics

Starring Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles and Everett Sloane

Directed by Orson Welles

Costumes by Jean Louis

Available 1/31/23

List price: $24.95 on Blu-ray Special Edition, at Amazon

Why You Should Add It to Your Collection: This crazy film noir tells the story of sailor Michael O'Hara (Welles), who signs on for a yachting cruise, but finds himself in too deep when he falls for the yacht owner's wife, played by Hayworth, who was married to Welles at the time; they would divorce the same year The Lady from Shanghai was released. Key to the film's lore was the insistence by Welles that Hayworth change her signature auburn tresses to a short, platinum-blonde hairstyle that would make her appear harder and more dangerous; what he didn't count on, however, was the reaction either from the audience or Columbia Pictures studio head Harry Cohn — neither was pleased. The costumes from longtime Hayworth collaborator Jean Louis, meanwhile, are fantastic.

Special Features Include: a new audio commentary by film historian Imogen Sara Smith, new audio commentary by novelist and critic Tim Lucas, audio commentary by Peter Bogdanovich, as well as a 2000 interview with the filmmaker, comments by film historian Eddie Muller, and the original theatrical trailer.


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