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The Sword in the Stone (Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection) [VHS]

The Sword in the Stone (Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection) [VHS] Lowest new price: $6.85
Lowest used price: $1.73
List price: $12.99

King Arthur as a child

Based upon T.H. White's beloved novel, this Disney-fied version chronicles the tutoring of the Once and Future King, Arthur, as handled by the magician Merlin. Sword was a portent of things to come, with slapstick upbraiding storytelling, and cultural in-jokes substituting for wonder. But there's much to enjoy here as Merlin shows Newt, the young Arthur, things that will help him become the ruler of the Britons. The transformation sequences, where the boy is turned into a fish, a bird, and a squirrel are vintage Disney. The oft-repeated scene of Merlin battling it out with the mean old Madame Mim still is worth a few chuckles, but it belies the problem with most of the film--the scenes are only there for the chuckles. References by Merlin to television and other items of modern life also mar the generally innocuous landscape. Children will like it, but they won't cherish it. --Keith Simanton

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Hazel-A Double Holiday Dose of [VHS]

Hazel-A Double Holiday Dose of [VHS] Lowest new price: $34.89
Lowest used price: $22.60
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Shirley Booth as Hazel. Enjoy the raucous holiday hi-jinks of America's favorite maid.

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Pinocchio (Gold Classic Collection) [VHS]

Pinocchio (Gold Classic Collection) [VHS] Lowest new price: $4.00
Lowest used price: $0.01
List price: $11.99

Count the number of truly classic animated films and the list would begin with Walt Disney's PINOCCHIO. C. Collodi's brilliant story of a little puppet who dreams of being a real boy unfolds as a shining example of vivid, rich, detailed Disney animation at its finest! An unforgettable cast of characters includes the spry Jiminy Cricket; kindly old Geppetto; the sneaky J. Worthington Foulfellow; a terrifying whale named Monstro; and, of course, the little puppet made of wood, Pinocchio. Coupled with the haunting theme song "When You Wish Upon A Star," you have a timeless, unparalleled film adventure for anyone who has a dream in their heart.

This Disney masterpiece from 1940 will hold up forever precisely because it doesn't restrain or temper the most elementalemotions and themes germane to its story. Based on the Collodi tale about a wooden puppet who wants to become a real boy, Pinocchio is among the most magical, mythical, and frightening films to come from the studio in its long history. A number of scenes make permanent impressions on young minds (just ask Steven Spielberg, who quoted the film more than once in Close Encounters of the Third Kind), and the songs ("When You Wish upon a Star") can't be beat. --Tom Keogh

Features:

  • Pinocchio, Walt Disney, Disney, 60th Anniversary Edition

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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Disney Mini Classics) [VHS]

Lowest new price: $22.97
Lowest used price: $9.94
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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Disney Mini Classics VHS

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In the Heat of the Night [VHS]

In the Heat of the Night [VHS] Lowest new price: $2.90
Lowest used price: $1.88
List price: $14.95

This 1967 film took home lots of Oscars for its fascinating drama about a Philadelphia detective (Sidney Poitier) who assists a redneck Southern sheriff (Rod Steiger) in solving a murder. A study in racism that ebbs a bit through the collective and shared need between a black man and a white man who don't want to be working together, the film continues to strike a chord today. Steiger is a mass of snarling danger, Poitier a bundle of nerves covered in class. Norman Jewison (Moonstruck) directs with a keen feeling for the cultural and social atmosphere of the setting. --Tom Keogh

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Boys Town [VHS]

Boys Town [VHS] Lowest new price: $3.90
Lowest used price: $0.99
List price: $8.66

Spencer Tracy won an Oscar for his portrayal of Father Flanagan, who opens Boys Town and dedicates himself to helping juvenile delinquents go straight. Mickey Rooney plays one of the tougher kids, figuring out early on that Flanagan is nobody's fool. Warmhearted and inspiring, the film's inevitable sentimentality is nicely cut by Tracy's performance and a smart script by Eleanore Griffin and Dore Schary (who also won Oscars). A good film for all ages, directed by Norman Taurog (Adventures of Tom Sawyer). --Tom Keogh


Miracle on 34th Street [VHS]

Miracle on 34th Street [VHS] Lowest new price: $1.25
Lowest used price: $0.93
List price: $6.98

The holiday season is in full swing when a cultured gentlemen with twinkling eyes, and ample belly, and a snowy beard is hired as Macy's department store Santa. He claims his name is Kris Kringle, and soon fills everyone with Christmas spirit - except for his boss, Doris Walker, who's raising her daughter Susan to not believe in Santa but when Kris is declared insane and put on trail everyone's faith is put to the test as old and young alike face the age old question: Do you believe in Santa Claus?

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Sesame Street - The Best of Kermit on Sesame Street [VHS]

Lowest new price: $49.99
Lowest used price: $29.99
List price: $9.98

As Grover prepares to bestow the Frog of the Year award upon everyone's favorite amphibian Muppet, viewers are treated to some of the highlights of Kermit's Sesame Street appearances. From his on-the-street reports of nursery rhymes gone awry to his classic warbling ("It's Not Easy Being Green," "Caribbean Amphibian"), Kermit's sweet, befuddled nature shines in this series of clips. Meanwhile, mischievous pigs and a hungry wolf are causing trouble behind the scenes of the award show. Will Kermit get his prize or will his prize get him? Viewers ages 2 and older will undoubtedly stay tuned through the delightful 33 minutes to find out. --Kimberly Heinrichs

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Ghost of Frankenstein [VHS]

Ghost of Frankenstein [VHS] Lowest new price: $9.50
Lowest used price: $3.98
List price: $9.50

The monster lives! Again! Picking up where Son of Frankenstein left off, Bela Lugosi's gnarled Ygor survives yet another rampage by angry, torch-carrying villagers and frees the monster (The Wolf Man himself, Lon Chaney Jr., taking over from Boris Karloff) from his sulfur grave. The latest cinematic Frankenstein scion, brain surgeon Ludwig (Cedric Hardwicke), wants to dissect the creature, but the ghost of his father convinces him to save it by giving it a new, "good" brain. Ygor has his own devious plan and enlists Ludwig's shady assistant (Lionel Atwill) in a brain-switching scheme.

Ably directed by the pedestrian Erle C. Kenton, The Ghost of Frankenstein gives up the gothic mood and moral quandaries of the original films for the busy, action-packed plots that defined Universal horror films of the 1940s. The human characters are all rather dull (except for Lugosi's animated, eye-rolling performance), and Chaney has none of Karloff's pathos or subtlety under the make-up, but the film opens with a spectacular bang as the villagers dynamite the castle, and skips from one inspired scene to another. The monster rejuvenates himself during an electrical storm with a jolt of lightning, mutely undergoes a courtroom cross-examination (by a ridiculously intent Ralph Bellamy), and finally goes on a blind rampage in the fiery climax. Frankenstein's monster returns (this time with Lugosi as the creature) in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man. --Sean Axmaker

Features:

  • classic movies horror

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The McConnell Story [VHS]

The McConnell Story [VHS] Lowest new price: $7.00
Lowest used price: $3.99

Fictional biography of a Korean war hero returned home who becomes a jet test pilot despite his wife's reservations.


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