Agatha Christie Classic Mystery Collection (DVD 8-Pack)


Who slipped poison into the cocktail of kindly old Rev. Babbington?... Why is a mysterious brown-suited stranger trailing a young woman through exotic lands?...
What is the secret behind the malevolent deeds at palatial Stonygates? Discover the answers and much more in this star-packed collection of murder most foul, mystery most fun. All eight movies are on DVD for the first time. And all are from novels by the mistress of mystery, Agatha Christie. It'd be a crime to miss them!

The grande dame of teacake murder mysteries, Agatha Christie, has kept generations of readers--and viewers--in her thrall, and this magnificent boxed set is a must for any Christie fan, rabid or casual. The collection includes eight films made for British TV in the '80s, most starring the first lady of the American theater, Helen Hayes, as Miss Marple, and the inimitable Peter Ustinov as Poirot. It would be hard to imagine more acting talent packed into compact TV mysteries.

The three Hayes tales (also available as a separate set) are Murder Is Easy costarring Bill Bixby, a still-radiant Olivia de Havilland, and a young Jonathan Pryce; A Caribbean Mystery, with Barnard Hughes and Swoosie Kurtz; and the grande-dame-duet Murder with Mirrors, with Hayes playing opposite her onetime real-life nemesis, Bette Davis. Mirrors alone is worth the price of the set, as Hayes is in fine form, completely un-vain and sweetly droll. As she heads toward a country manor to visit her "dear friend" Carrie Louise, played by Bette Davis. Davis, in one of her last film performances, plays a woman who may--or may not--be being slowly poisoned to death, but regardless is frail and slightly incoherent. Davis looks quite frail herself, and her line delivery seems a bit uncertain--perhaps extremely effective Method acting, or perhaps she was indeed as frail as she looks; either way, film fans won't want to miss this.

In the three Ustinov films (also available as a separate set), Thirteen for Dinner features Ustinov's Poirot trying to solve the murder of one Lord Edgeware, investigating, among others, the lovely mystery woman played by a witchy Faye Dunaway. (And in a fun bit of foreshadowing, David Suchet, who would go on to play a formidable, more metrosexual Poirot himself, appears here in the role of Poirot's sidekick Japp.) Dead Man's Folly finds Poirot and an old friend, a mystery writer played by Jean Stapleton, at a "murder hunt" party at which the dead body really does turn up dead. Murder in Three Acts finds Poirot far afield in sunny Acapulco, at a glorious villa belonging to a suave actor played by Tony Curtis. A random death-by-martini at a posh party opens the door to the possibility of murder--handy that Poirot is there to help the local constables. The supporting cast features top '80s TV actors like Emma Samms as the actor's arm candy, and Diana Muldaur (the wicked Rosalind Shays on L.A. Law). The production values are also topnotch--with gorgeous location shots in Mexico adding romance but also unnerving isolation to the proceedings.

The two non-Marple and -Poirot films (and thus not included on those individual DVD sets) are Sparkling Cyanide, starring Anthony Andrews and Harry Morgan as officers investigating serial poisonings, and The Man in the Brown Suit, a zippy yarn of international intrigue, with Stephanie Zimbalist as a tourist in Cairo caught in a nightmare of stolen diamonds and death. Supporting roles by Rue McClanahan, Tony Randall, and Edward Woodward add texture to the mysterious proceedings. Never has murder most foul been so deliciously entertaining. --A.T. Hurley

Cast: Tony Curtis, Bette Davis, Faye Dunaway, Peter Ustinov, Olivia De Havilland, Jean Stapleton, David Suchet, Lesley-Anne Down, Tony Randall

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Christmas in Connecticut (1992) (DVD) $14.97

Dyan Cannon, Kris Kristofferson, Tony Curtis.  The public doesn't know that Elizabeth can't cook-even though she's the star of a successful TV cooking show-or that she doesn't own her own home.
So how will she keep up the facade when her boss invites a local hero over to her house for a live-broadcast Christmas dinner?  A wonderful remake of the 1945 classic! 1992/color/93 min/NR/fullscreen.
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The Great Race (DVD) $19.98

At the turn of the 20th century a host of colorful characters set out on a 20,000-mile auto race from New York to Paris, and hilarity ensues. (1965)
Director Blake Edwards, fresh from the success of the first two Pink Panther movies, indulged his love of classic slapstick comedy with this long free-for-all, which throws in everything but Laurel and Hardy's kitchen sink. The film reunites Some Like It Hot stars Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, ably aided by a spunky Natalie Wood. The subject is a New-York-to-Paris auto race in the early years of the 20th century, pitting the Great Leslie (Curtis), a goody-goody dressed all in white--even his teeth sparkle--against the malevolent Professor Fate (Lemmon), whose coal-black heart is reflected in his handlebar mustache. He looks like a bill collector from a silent- movie melodrama. Lemmon does double duty, also playing the pampered, drunken king of a small European country, whose laugh sounds like the wail of a cat in heat. The film may be too long for its own good, and you really have to love Jack Lemmon to put up with his over-the-top performance, but it's side-splitting in spots. It's one of those movies, if seen in childhood, that stays in your mind for years afterward. Some of the bigger routines, such as a pie fight of epic proportions, don't work as well as the simple chemistry between the perpetually exasperated Professor Fate and his much-abused assistant, Max (a terrific Peter Falk). Push the button, Max. --Robert Horton

1965/color/147 min/NR/widescreen.

Cast: Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Peter Falk, Keenan Wynn, Arthur O'Connell, Vivian Vance, Dorothy Provine, Larry Storch, Ross Martin

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Houdini (DVD) $14.98

Tony Curtis gives a winning efficiency as the great Houdini, the struggling circus performer who became the world s most fascinating magician and escape artist. From his starts as a wild man carnival act to the globally popular accomplishment of escaping from a locked trunk in an ice-jammed river, Houdini effectively records the fantastic life and nerve of this interesting guy. Stars the beautiful Janet Leigh as Houdini s supportive other half who adoringly stood by his side throughout his legendary profession.

Tony Curtis will surprise and overwhelm you with one of his best efficiencies as Harry Houdini, "the guy of 10,000 techniques." Houdini has nothing up its sleeve, however the charming Curtis and Janet Leigh ("Hollywood's Most Exciting Young Lovers," announces the movie's original trailer, the sole perk function on this disc), as Houdini's partner, Bess, levitate this conventional, albeit tremendously amusing 1953 biopic that follows the fabulous magician and escape artist from his days as a sideshow destination to international stardom. Houdini dedicates his life to providing audiences "larger and larger delights," and the film's best scenes recreate Houdini's act and death-defying escapes, consisting of a harrowing plunge into the frozen Detroit River while locked in a trunk. Houdini's fate is popular, and while the movie plays loose with the truths, it does conjure up an eerie foreboding by the time he takes the stage for his final, unfortunate Halloween efficiency. After Houdini's first strait-jacket escape, a senior magician urges him, "It's isn't a trick. Drop it. It will make you famous, however it will kill you." At long last offered on DVD, Houdini is old fashioned motion picture magic that's all treat and no trick.

Cast (in credits order) verified as complete

  • Tony Curtis as Harry Houdini
  • Janet Leigh as Bess Houdini
  • Torin Thatcher as Otto
  • Angela Clarke as Harry's Mother
  • Stefan Schnabel as German Prosecuting Attorney
  • Ian Wolfe as Malue
  • Sig Ruman as Schultz
  • Michael Pate as Dooley
  • Connie Gilchrist as Mrs. Shultz
  • Malcolm Lee Beggs as British Jail Warden
  • Frank Orth as Mr. Hunter
  • Barry Bernard as Insp. Marlick
  • Douglas Spencer as Simms

Rest of cast listed alphabetically:

  • Eric Alden as Sailor (uncredited)
  • Fred Aldrich as Waiter / Bouncer (uncredited)
  • Elsie Ames as Entertainer (uncredited)
  • Jan Arden as Shimmy Dancer (uncredited)
  • Nick Arno as Entertainer (uncredited)
  • Peter Baldwin as Fred - Bess' Escort (uncredited)
  • Bobby Barber as Comic Piano Player (uncredited)
  • Oliver Blake as Coney Island Barker (uncredited)
  • Billy Bletcher as Italian Basso (uncredited)
  • Cliff Clark as Barker (uncredited)
  • Edward Clark as Doorman (uncredited)
  • Jim Davies as Heckler (uncredited)
  • Louise De Carlo as Dance Girl (uncredited)
  • Daniel De Jonghe as Desk Clerk (uncredited)
  • Marion Dempsey as Sword Swallower (uncredited)
  • Don Dunning as Heckler (uncredited)
  • Norma Jean Eckart as Girl in Astor Guillotine Act (uncredited)
  • Fred Essler as Officious Man (uncredited)
  • Bess Flowers as Extra at Halloween Magician's Ball (uncredited)
  • Esther Garber as Esther's Girlfriend (uncredited)
  • Jon Gardner as Boy (uncredited)
  • Maxine Gates as Heavy Blonde Woman (uncredited)
  • Bill Gentry as Fred's Friend (uncredited)
  • Joanne Gilbert as Girl (uncredited)
  • Jody Gilbert as Fat Girl (uncredited)
  • Arthur Gould-Porter as Alhambra Manager (uncredited)
  • Kit Guard as 'Spirit' at Seance (uncredited)
  • Henry Guttman as Master of Ceremonies, Berlin Nightclub (uncredited)
  • Alec Harford as Assistant (uncredited)
  • Grace Hayle as Woman Who Screams (uncredited)
  • Len Hendry as Stagehand (uncredited)
  • Harry Hines as Barker (uncredited)
  • Jerry James as Reporter (uncredited)
  • Frank Jaquet as Mr. Brown - Foreman (uncredited)
  • Tor Johnson as Strongman (uncredited)
  • Frank Kreig as Stagehand (uncredited)
  • William W. Larsen as Guillotine Act (uncredited)
  • Lyle Latell as Calcott (uncredited)
  • Mike Mahoney as Bell Captain (uncredited)
  • Lewis Martin as Editor (uncredited)
  • William Meader as Reporter (uncredited)
  • Torben Meyer as Headwaiter (uncredited)
  • Mary Murphy as Girl (uncredited)
  • Hal Neiman as Barker (uncredited)
  • Tudor Owen as Blacksmith (uncredited)
  • Mabel Paige as Medium (uncredited)
  • Ralph Peters as Prisoner (uncredited)
  • Joe Ploski as Man in Audience Throwing Tomato (uncredited)
  • Luce Potter as Little Woman (uncredited)
  • A.J. Buster Resmondo as Little Man (uncredited)
  • Lawrence Ryle as German Judge (uncredited)
  • Richard Shannon as Miner (uncredited)
  • Ray Spiker as Stagehand (uncredited)
  • Bert Stevens as Maitre d' - Hotel Astor (uncredited)
  • Charles Sullivan as Audience Extra (uncredited)
  • Arthur Tovey as Audience Spectator (uncredited)
  • Ernö Verebes as Prof. Allegari (uncredited)
  • Anthony Warde as Master of Ceremonies (uncredited)
  • Gil Warren as Fire Chief (uncredited)
  • Audrey Washburn as Contortionist (uncredited)
  • Betty Yeaton as Contortionist (uncredited)

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Lepke (DVD) $19.99

Tony Curtis stars as Lepke, head of Murder Inc., the syndicate that spattered the headlines of the day with blood. From his rough-and-toumble East Side childhood to his rise in the drug trade to his 1944 execution at Sing Sing, Lepke depicts with brute force the criminal career of a man with more than 60 murders to his credit.

Cast in Credits Order:
Tony Curtis ... Louis 'Lepke' Buchalter
Anjanette Comer ... Bernice Meyer
Michael Callan ... Robert Kane
Warren Berlinger ... Gurrah Shapiro
Gianni Russo ... Albert Anastasia
Vic Tayback ... Lucky Luciano
Mary Charlotte Wilcox ... Marion
Milton Berle ... Mr. Meyer
Jack Ackerman ... Little Augie
Louis Guss ... Max Rubin
Vaughn Meader ... Walter Winchell
Lillian Adams ... Mama Meyer
Albert Cole ... Gross
Zitto Kazann ... Abe (Kid Twist) Reles
Johnny Silver ... Schwartz
J.S. Johnson ... Mendy Weiss
Simmy Bow ... Tannenbaum
John Durren ... Dutch Schultz
Barry Miller ... Young Lepke
John Ian Jacobs ... Big Hesh
Matt Greene ... Skinny
Richard C. Adams ... Thomas Dewey
Sam Solomon ... Butcher
Jeannine Brown ... Prostitute
Raymond Cavaleri ... Gino
Norman Pauker ... Rabbi
Zachary Berger ... Mr. Stern
Russ Grieve ... Judge
Buck Young ... Second Reporter
Ida Mae McKenzie ... Mrs. Shea
Jack Tesler ... Feldman
Joseph Kim ... Lin Phoo
Casey Morgan ... Young Gurrah Shapiro
Erwin Fuller ... J. Edgar Hoover
Ken Del Conte ... Lansing
Ben Freedman ... Newspaper Vendor
Richard Kennedy ... Desk Sergeant
Dick Winslow ... Piano Player
Wesley Lau ... First Detective
Jim Hayes ... Second Detective
Guy Christopher ... First Reporter
James D. Maloney ... Young Kane
Robin Chesler ... Sarah
Josef Behrens ... Violinist
Crane Jackson ... First Judge
Michael Masters ... Striker (as Mike Masters)
Marco Goldstein ... Cantor
T.J. Castronovo ... Policeman (as Tom Castronova)
Sy Kramer ... Sam Bernstein

Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Vincent Di Paolo ... Angelo
Deborah Romare ... Little Girl (as Deborah Blanchette)
Fred Fried ... Lepke's Henchman (uncredited)
Lowell Pass ... (uncredited)

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Little Miss Marker (DVD) $14.98

Synopsis: Bookie Sorrowful Jones receives a little girl as an IOU in the Damon Runyon tale.

A coldhearted bookie finds himself warming up to the little girl left with him as payment for a bet in this charming remake of the 1934 Shirley Temple film.

Cast: Walter Matthau, Julie Andrews, Sara Stimson, Tony Curtis, Bob Newhart, Lee Grant, Brian Dennehy, Kenneth McMillan, Andrew Rubin, Joshua Shelley

Format: DVD
Color: Color
Rating: PG
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 103
Year: 1980
Director: Walter Bernstein
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The Mummy Lives (DVD) $14.96

In the name of profits, the tomb is opened. In the name of vengeance, the curse springs alive. From ancient ashes and mummified wrappings a mysterious being arises and becomes flesh. "I am the protector of the dead," he intones. But he will do more than play Grim Reaper to mortals who defy the tomb's sanctity.
He wants to reclaim the woman he loves. Past and present converge with terrifying results in this gripping tale inspired by horror master Edgar Allan Poe's Some Words with a Mummy. Tony Curtis plays Dr. Mohassid, a reincarnated soul whose undying love has deadly consequences. Since his arrival, venemous serpents writhe, phantoms stalk and a certain young woman's nightmares erupt into even more frightful days. The tomb is open. Enter at your own risk!

Cast: Tony Curtis, Mohammad Bakri, Uri Gavriel, Yossi Graber

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Not With My Wife You Don't (DVD) $19.99

As soon as he sees those curves, Korean War flight commander Tank Martin (George C. Scott) is figuring the angles. All he needs to do is get rid of his equally blonde-crazy Air Force buddy Tom Ferris (Tony Curtis) and a certain gorgeous nurse named Julie (Virna Lisi) will be all his.
So whether he wants it or not, Tom is off to Japan for some "combat recuperation." And the two flyboys' long-running feud over the same woman will soar to untold heights. This romantic farce boasts gags galore (don't miss the Italian movie spoof), lots of wit (Tank's calls his cocktail mixture "Instant Motel") and fabulous vistas (London, Paris, Rome). And though Tom outfoxes Tank and weds Julie, the competition is just starting. Because Julie likes the idea of having two of everything!

You almost have to jump to Snakes on a Plane to find a title as much fun as 1966's Not with My Wife, You Don't. While the movie doesn't quite deliver on the promise of swinging, naughty ring-a-ding-ding, it's an entertaining example of the "mustn't, shouldn't, can't" school of sophisticated sex comedy. It's "anything goes" for Air Force pilots and best friends Tom (Tony Curtis) and Tank (George C. Scott) who vie for the affections of Juliettta (Virna Lisi), a nurse. Much like David Niven and Marlon Brando in Bedtime Story, which was released a year earlier, their reprehensible actions may try viewer sympathies. When Tank is shot down, Tom keeps the news that he survived a secret so he can marry Julietta. Fourteen years later, Tank picks up his pursuit by arranging for Tom to be shipped to the Arctic for survival training. Among the '60s touchstones include a Mancini-esque score by "Johnny" Williams (later of Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark fame), stylish graphics by Saul Bass, and a witty script co-written by Larry Gelbart. Curtis is in his element, but Scott labors a bit in a role that would have once been effortless for Cary Grant ("He doesn't have my charm," Tank disagrees when Julietta compares the two). Clever touches, including an animated prologue featuring "the green-eyed monster of jealousy" and a sequence in which Julietta fantasizes the trio acting out their romantic triangle in an Italian movie, elevate Wife beyond mere guilty pleasure. --Donald Liebenson

Cast: Tony Curtis, Virna Lisi, George C. Scott

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Operation Pettycoat (DVD)

Synopsis: Navy officers and crew patrol the South Pacific in a pink sub with five nurses. Directed by Blake Edwards.
Blake Edwards's delightful 1959 comedy stars Cary Grant as a World War II submarine captain whose preference for a by-the-book command reluctantly yields to certain realities. Chief among those is that Grant's first officer (Tony Curtis, who impersonated Grant that same year in Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot), a shameless hustler, is better than the navy at delivering whatever supplies the ship and crew need to keep going. But when Curtis sneaks a handful of Philippine refugees and several gorgeous nurses onto the all-male sub, the skipper not only has to cool down his crew but deal with an unexpected feminine influence on ship protocol. The film is a great deal of fun, sprinkled with the director's trademark sight gags (including one of Edwards's best, involving a torpedo and jeep), and graced with his unmistakable lilt. Grant is in great form, his comic brilliance almost impossibly effortless. --Tom Keogh

Cary Grant and Tony Curtis ship out for laughs and adventure in one of the most hilarious comedies to ever hit the high seas. Commander Matt Sherman (Grant) has his toughest assignment yet - to put a broken sardine can of a submarine back into action. Enter supply officer Nick Holden (Curtis), a master scavenger with the (illegal) means to get the Sea Tiger purring - or at least afloat. But after the rescue of five stranded (and beautiful) nurses, the grey, battle-scarred sub has suddenly transformed into a pink, party-ready hot tub. Now there's only one course of action Sherman and his men can take - surrender!

Cast: Cary Grant, Tony Curtis, Dina Merrill, Joan O'Brien, Arthur O'Connell, Gene Evans, Richard Sargent, Virginia Gregg, Robert F. Simon, Robert Gist

Format: DVD
Color: Color
Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 124 minutes
Year: 1959
Director: Blake Edwards

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Sex and the Single Girl (DVD) $19.98

A sex farce very loosely based on "Sex and the Single Girl" by Helen Gurley Brown.
Once upon a time there was a publishing phenomenon called Sex and the Single Girl, a book that opened the door to the sexual revolution in the 1960s. Sure enough, Hollywood noticed, and Helen Gurley Brown's advice volume was turned into a 1964 sex comedy with a newly invented plot. Natalie Wood plays Brown herself (well, a completely fictionalized person named Helen Brown), whose success as an author infuriates Tony Curtis, a writer for a Playboy-esque men's magazine. He pretends to need her help as a psychologist, a masquerade that leads to sparks. It's all vintage stuff, from Tony's swinging bachelor pad to the barrel-sized highballs slugged down by unhappy marrieds Henry Fonda and Lauren Bacall, who live next door to Curtis. Director Richard Quine (Bell Book and Candle) made some sharp comedies around this time, and there are some good sight gags along the way (check the scene, with Count Basie and his orchestra, of Fonda and Bacall doing the twist). Alas, the movie leans a little too easily on the bedroom-farce leer, which Curtis had perfected at this point, and it's clear that Gurley Brown's ideas about female independence are not taken terribly seriously here. The movie's got a nice performance by screwball-comedy stalwart Edward Everett Horton, and smokin' hot '60s songstress Fran Jeffries contributes a few songs (this was about the time she sashayed into The Pink Panther, too--she must have impressed Richard Quine, because they were married shortly thereafter). One intriguing credit: this is one of the few films partly scripted by Catch-22 author Joseph Heller. Try to find his voice, if you can. --Robert Horton

Cast: Henry Fonda, Tony Curtis, Lauren Bacall

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Some Like It Hot

Synopsis: To evade gangsters, two men don skirts and join an all-girl band with a sizzling lead singer. Directed by Billy Wilder.
Blu-Ray $19.99
Some Like It Hot starring Tony Curtis (Blu-Ray).
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DVD $14.98
Some Like It Hot starring Tony Curtis (DVD).
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DVD Collectors Edition$19.98
Some Like It Hot starring Tony Curtis (DVD).
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DVD Special Edition$14.98
Some Like It Hot starring Tony Curtis (DVD).
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When Chicago musicians Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) accidentally witness a gangland shooting, they quickly board a southbound train to Florida, disguised as Josephine and Daphne, the twonewestand homeliestmembers of an all-girl jazz band. Their cover is perfect...until a lovelorn singer (Marilyn Monroe) falls for Josephine, an ancient playboy (Joe E. Brown) falls for Daphne, and a mob boss (George Raft) refuses to fall for their hoax! Nominated* for 6 Academy Awards(r), Some Like It Hot is the quintessential madcap farce and one of the greatest of all film comedies (The Motion Picture Guide). *1959: Director, Actor (Lemmon), Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography (B&W), Art Direction (B&W), Costume Design (B&W, winner)

Maybe "nobody's perfect," as one character in this masterpiece suggests. But some movies are perfect, and Some Like It Hot is one of them. In Chicago, during the Prohibition era, two skirt-chasing musicians, Joe and Jerry (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon), inadvertently witness the St. Valentine's Day Massacre. In order to escape the wrath of gangland chief Spats Colombo (George Raft), the boys, in drag, join an all-woman band headed for Florida. They vie for the attention of the lead singer, Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe), a much-disappointed songbird who warbles "I'm Through with Love" but remains vulnerable to yet another unreliable saxophone player. (When Curtis courts her without his dress, he adopts the voice of Cary Grant--a spot-on impersonation.) The script by director Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond is beautifully measured; everything works, like a flawless clock. Aspiring screenwriters would be well advised to throw away the how-to books and simply study this film. The bulk of the slapstick is handled by an unhinged Lemmon and the razor-sharp Joe E. Brown, who plays a horny retiree smitten by Jerry's feminine charms. For all the gags, the film is also wonderfully romantic, as Wilder indulges in just the right amounts of moonlight and the lilting melody of "Park Avenue Fantasy." Some Like It Hot is so delightfully fizzy, it's hard to believe the shooting of the film was a headache, with an unhappy Monroe on her worst behavior. The results, however, are sublime. --Robert Horton

Cast: Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Marilyn Monroe, George Raft, Pat O'Brien, Joe E. Brown, Nehemiah Persoff, Joan Shawlee, Billy Gray, George E. Stone

Color: Black and White
Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Comedy
Runtime: 122 minutes
Year: 1959
Release Date: 1998-09-01
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The rebellious Thracian Spartacus, born and raised a slave, is sold to Gladiator trainer Batiatus. After weeks of being trained to kill for the arena, Spartacus turns on his owners and leads the other slaves in rebellion.

Blu-Ray $19.98
Spartacus starring Tony Curtis (Blu-Ray).
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DVD $19.98
Spartacus starring Tony Curtis (DVD).
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DVD The Criterion Collecton$49.95
Spartacus starring Tony Curtis (DVD).
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As the rebels move from town to town, their numbers swell as escaped slaves join their ranks. Under the leadership of Spartacus, they make their way to southern Italy, where they will cross the sea and return to their homes. Meanwhile, in Rome, the slave revolt has become a deciding factor in the power struggle between two senators: the republican Gracchus and the militarist Crassus, each of whom sees the fortunes of the rebellion as the key to his own rise to power or humiliating defeat. As the two statesmen attempt to aid, hinder and manipulate the rebels for their own benefit, Spartacus and his followers press on toward freedom.

Stanley Kubrick was only 31 years old when Kirk Douglas (star of Kubrick's classic Paths of Glory) recruited the young director to pilot this epic saga, in which the rebellious slave Spartacus (played by Douglas) leads a freedom revolt against the decadent Roman Empire. Kubrick would later disown the film because it was not a personal project--he was merely a director-for-hire--but Spartacus remains one of the best of Hollywood's grand historical epics. With an intelligent screenplay by then-blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo (from a novel by Howard Fast), its message of moral integrity and courageous conviction is still quite powerful, and the all-star cast (including Charles Laughton in full toga) is full of entertaining surprises. Fully restored in 1991 to include scenes deleted from the original 1960 release, the full-length Spartacus is a grand-scale cinematic marvel, offering some of the most awesome battles ever filmed and a central performance by Douglas that's as sensitively emotional as it is intensely heroic. Jean Simmons plays the slave woman who becomes Spartacus's wife, and Peter Ustinov steals the show with his frequently hilarious, Oscar-winning performance as a slave trader who shamelessly curries favor with his Roman superiors. The restored version also includes a formerly deleted bathhouse scene in which Laurence Olivier plays a bisexual Roman senator (with restored dialogue dubbed by Anthony Hopkins) who gets hot and bothered over a slave servant played by Tony Curtis. These and other restored scenes expand the film to just over three hours in length. Despite some forgivable lulls, this is a rousing and substantial drama that grabs and holds your attention. Breaking tradition with sophisticated themes and a downbeat (yet eminently noble) conclusion, Spartacus is a thinking person's epic, rising above mere spectacle with a story as impressive as its widescreen action and Oscar-winning sets. --Jeff Shannon

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Taras Bulba (DVD) $14.98

Synopsis: A Cossack chieftain makes war as his reckless son makes love to a young Polish noblewoman.

There is only one way to keep faith with a Pole. Put your faith in your sword and your sword in the Pole. So declaims Yul Brynner as Taras Bulba, the feisty Cossack leader who heads a revolt in 16th-century Poland, only to have his son (Tony Curtis) betray him by falling in love. Dynamic action saga, based on the Nikolai Gogol novel, co-stars Christine Kaufmann, Sam Wanamaker. 124 min. Widescreen; Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital stereo, Dolby Digital mono, Spanish Dolby Digital mono, French Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English, Spanish.

"I will kiss the devil before my son wears a Polish collar!" declares Cossack warrior Taras Bulba, thus laying down the fundamental conflict of this epic film, based on the classic book by Russian novelist Nikolai Gogol. After the Polish army and the Cossacks defeat the Turks, the Poles betray their fierce collaborators in order to claim the Cossacks' ancestral home, the Steppes. Scattered, the Cossacks bide their time, and Bulba (Yul Brynner) sends his son Andrei (Tony Curtis) to a Polish college to learn the secrets of their culture. Though Andrei faces cruelty and prejudice, he falls in love with a Polish noblewoman, Natalia (Christine Kaufmann, a lovely German actress in one of her few English-language roles). Andrei, torn by love and loyalty to his people, risks everything in a desperate attempt to win Christine, even if it pits him against his own father. Taras Bulba is far from a great film--there are some laughable special effects, the battle scenes are confused and sluggish, and Curtis never quite loses his Bronx accent. Despite that, Curtis' star power comes through, and Yul Brynner tears up the screen with his amazing physical presence and emotional intensity; the man was truly a unique and compelling actor, who found only a few roles that suited him--this was one. By the end, Gogol's muscular plot catches you in its grip. The hypnotically gripping final scenes overcome all the cheesiness that came before. --Bret Fetzer

Cast: Tony Curtis, Yul Brynner, Christine Kaufmann, Sam Wanamaker, Brad Dexter, Guy Rolfe, Perry Lopez, George Macready, Ilka Windish, Vladimir Sokoloff

Color: Color
Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Action
Runtime: 122
Year: 1962
Director: J. Lee Thompson

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Those Daring Young Men In Their Jaunty Jalopies (DVD) $14.95

Synopsis: Rival 1920s business partners join wacky international drivers in the 1500-mile Monte Carlo Rally.
Tony Curtis, Dudley Moore, Terry-Thomas, Peter Cook. An ensemble cast leads the pack in this hilarious, romantic, action-packed romp about a winner-take-all car rally in Monte Carlo. And you thought your commute was a rat race! 1969/color/125 min/G/widescreen.

Cast: Tony Curtis, Susan Hampshire, Terry-Thomas, Eric Sykes, Gert Frobe, Peer Schmidt, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Walter Chiari, Lando Buzzanca

Format: DVD
Color: Color
Rating: G
Genre: Comedy,br/> Runtime: 125
Year: 1969
Director: Ken Annakin
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Synopsis: Handsome, fun loving, private eye, Dan Tanna, drives around Las Vegas in his vintage Thunderbird solving private cases but is also on retainer to a wealthy casino owner to keep crime out of his hotels. He is helped by his smart and sexy assistant, a sexy and not too smart chorus girl who takes messages for him, and his enthusiastic, yet inept, legman.
First Season, Volume 1  $36.98
Vega$, Season 1, Volume 1 starring Tony Curtis.
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First Season, Volume 2  $36.98
Vega$, Season 1, Volume 2 starring Tony Curtis.
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Season One  $79.99
Vega$, Season 1 starring Tony Curtis.
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Second Season, Volume 1  $36.98
Vega$, Season 2, Volume 1
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Second Season, Volume 2  $36.98
Vega$, Season 2, Volume 2
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Season Two  $79.99
Vega$, Season 2 starring Tony Curtis.
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Third Season, Volume 1  $36.98
Vega$, Season 3, Volume 1
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Third Season, Volume 2  $36.98
Vega$, Season 3, Volume 2

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Vega$, The Complete Series $239.99
Vega$, The Complete Series.

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Cast: Robert Urich, Phyllis Davis, Bart Braverman, Tony Curtis, Naomi Stevens

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The Vikings (DVD) $14.98

Synopsis: Two Vikings clash over the throne and a Welsh princess, unaware they are half brothers.
Kirk Douglas produced the trendsetting barbarian epic The Vikings and took the showiest, most aggressive role: lusty Viking prince Einar, the "only son in wedlock" of King Ragnar (a cackling, wild-eyed Ernest Borgnine). With jagged scars down his face and a milky-white blind eye that almost glows in his skull, Douglas has a rowdy time battling defiant slave Tony Curtis (the long-lost heir to the British throne) for the hand of the beautiful princess Janet Leigh. It's pure Hollywood hokum, sure, but spectacular hokum: the great cinematographer Jack Cardiff turns his Norway locations into a lush Valhalla on earth. Faced with an absurd story, journeyman director Richard Fleischer goes for the gusto in brawling Viking parties, furious sieges, and clanging broadsword battles. An enormous hit, the film spawned a huge wave of Viking movies, some perhaps smarter but none as much fun. --Sean Axmaker

Cast: Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, Ernest Borgnine, James Donald, Alexander Knox, Frank Thring, Maxine Audley, Eileen Way, Edric Connor

Format: DVD
Color: Color
Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Adventure
Runtime: 116 minutes
Year: 1958
Director: Richard Fleischer

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