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Sarah Plain & Tall Trilogy: Sarah, Plain and Tall / Skylark / Winter's End [VHS]

Sarah Plain & Tall Trilogy:  Sarah, Plain and Tall / Skylark / Winter's End [VHS] Lowest used price: $13.99
List price: $29.98

A television treasure from the 1990s, the Sarah, Plain and Tall series stoked audience hunger for a simpler, more neighborly America during the early 20th century, and it did so without being cloying or preachy. Based on the novel Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan, the first feature--originally aired in 1991 on CBS to an enormous audience of 50 million--starred Christopher Walken as Kansas farmer Jacob Witting, a widower with two children. Seeing his newspaper advertisement seeking a bride, Sarah Wheaton (Glenn Close), a Maine schoolteacher, heads out to the heartland for a trial run as wife and stepmother. There are difficulties: Jacob has set ideas about the role of a woman in his house and he isn't emotionally ready for a new beginning. Meanwhile, the kids are dubious about anyone stepping into their mom's old job. But the strong-willed Sarah soon ushers love, energy, and a sense of possibility into the gloomy Witting home, and the resulting bond within this new family proves durable. The bond is tested, however, in the 1993 sequel, Skylark, in which Sarah heads back to Maine with the others when dangerous weather threatens the farm. Finally, 1999's Winter's End brings Jack Palance into the fold as Jacob's estranged father, who comes to make amends during a harsh winter season under the shadow of World War I and the influenza epidemic. It's not hard to see why this Hallmark trilogy means so much to so many, evoking as it does a perhaps mythical period of innocence and most certainly underscoring values of faith, loyalty, and family ties. Throughout, Walken and Close are absolutely first-rate, their chemistry quite special. All three films are suitable for family viewing yet are satisfying in virtually any situation. --Tom Keogh

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Elmo Saves Christmas [VHS]

Elmo Saves Christmas [VHS] Lowest new price: $4.90
Lowest used price: $1.50
List price: $9.98

The show opens on a Christmas scene, featuring Maya Angelou explaining to Muppet characters how Elmo once got his wish that every day could be Christmas--and soon regretted it. Charles Durning and Harvey Fierstein are also on board, and there's a new friend in Lightning the reindeer, plus lots of songs. The whooshing Christmas-season feel to the story is infectious. --Tom Keogh

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Three Amigos [VHS]

Three Amigos [VHS] Lowest new price: $3.99
Lowest used price: $1.95
List price: $11.00

Three Amigos

Three Western stars (Martin Short, Steve Martin, Chevy Chase) from Hollywood silent films go to Mexico for what they assume will be a publicity appearance, and find they've actually been summoned to fight a local bandit. John Landis directed this 1986 comedy with self-conscious artifice, and it's hard to get into his self-congratulatory joke. Even the three main stars, brilliant comics all, can't sustain anything funny in it. --Tom Keogh

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John & Yoko: Love Story [VHS]

John & Yoko: Love Story [VHS] Lowest new price: $39.99
Lowest used price: $24.92

Details the lives of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, from before their first meeting to their rise to stardom.

Beavis and Butt-head: Butt-O-Ween [VHS]

Beavis and Butt-head: Butt-O-Ween [VHS] Lowest new price: $188.99
Lowest used price: $12.00
List price: $9.98

This addition to the Beavis and Butt-head canon offers high and low points; to paraphrase a famous writer, it's both the best of times and the worst of times for our dynamic duo. Things kick off with a raucous start in the minor classic "Bungholio: Lord of the Harvest," in which B&B take advantage of Halloween and forego the sanctuary of their couch for some trick-or-treating. Beavis in particular reaps the copious prepackaged fruits of the harvest, turning him into his sugar-fueled alter ego Bungholio, complete with jittery rants and incoherent babbling. If you're a fan of Bungholio's high jinks, then you should be in hog heaven; things take a deliciously dark turn when Butt-head meets up with a creepy, zombielike farmer. Alas, the rest of the Butt-o-ween tape features more standard B&B escapades, none of which are related to Halloween. Highlights include the Pleasantville-style parody "Leave It to Beavis" (in black and white, natch), the sublimely stupid "Ding-Dong Ditch" (B&B ring doorbells and run, with varying degrees of success), and the almost-existential "Killing Time," in which the boys must occupy themselves for two hours until the next cool TV show comes on. However, you might want to fast-forward through "The Pipe of Doom" (Butt-head caught in a construction-site pipe), "Late Night with Butt-Head" (the boys do David Letterman), and "Candy Sale," despite a cameo voice appearance by David Spade in the latter. Still, "Bungholio: Lord of the Harvest" makes up for any letdown you might experience. --Mark Englehart

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The Century-America's Time (Boxed Set) [VHS]

The Century-America's Time (Boxed Set) [VHS] Lowest new price: $12.99
Lowest used price: $3.80
List price: $14.95

Covering the entire 20th century in one video series is an ambitious project, but one that Peter Jennings and ABC News are up to. In The Century: America's Time, a 12-part documentary on six videotapes that is a companion to the book of the same name, Jennings guides us through a century of technology and advancement like no other. As he says in his introduction to episode 1, "Seeds of Change," "Unlike previous centuries where leadership was defined by royalty and other rulers, the 20th century more than any other was shaped by the will and actions of the common man." The series is a sweeping presentation of the United States of the 1900s and tries to encompass a mind-boggling amount of history. And while at moments the videos may leave you longing for more, Jennings does an excellent job of creating smooth segues between disparate pieces.

The first episode, for instance, begins with the influx of immigrants at the turn of the century and touches on Jim Crow laws, moving pictures, planes, Henry Ford, the sinking of the USS Maine, child labor, suffragettes, the Panama Canal, imperialism, and more, right up to the beginning of World War I. The archival footage is stunning and interviews with historians, veterans, journalists, POWs, politicians, authors, celebrities, and common people help bring the past to life again. Mickey Spillane discusses the speakeasies of the 1920s; Dennis Hopper talks about Easy Rider in the '60s; Tom Wolfe reads from The Bonfire of the Vanities for the episode on the '80s. Eudora Welty, E.L. Doctorow, Martin Scorsese, John Updike, Pat Buchanan, Oliver Stone, Stephen E. Ambrose, among many others, lend their voices to this documentary. Yet, despite the great names, at times the pictures and people are allowed to speak for themselves, without intrusive narration--the stark images of the Challenger explosion or the sad words of a political activist mourning the death of his partner to AIDS are more powerful because of it. This chronological tale (with the exception of the last episode, "Then and Now," which is arranged thematically) is an insightful and poignant reminder of all the marvels--and tragedies--of America in the 20th century. --Jenny Brown

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Hitcher [VHS]

Hitcher [VHS] Lowest new price: $4.45
Lowest used price: $2.15
List price: $10.18

Hitcher [VHS] [VHS Tape] [1986] ...

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Sesame Street: Sing Yourself Silly! [VHS]

Sesame Street: Sing Yourself Silly! [VHS] Lowest new price: $29.99
Lowest used price: $8.99
List price: $9.98

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Roe Vs Wade [VHS]

Roe Vs Wade [VHS] Lowest used price: $34.99
List price: $14.95

Roe Vs Wade [VHS]

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Son of The Morning Star [VHS]

Son of The Morning Star [VHS] Lowest used price: $9.99
List price: $19.98
Brand: Republic Pictures

Based on Evan S Connell's national best seller, this adventure combines powerful performances and impeccable historical authenticity for an entertainment experience the Los Angeles Times called, "First-class, grandly staged filmmaking." General George Armstrong Custer, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse. One of the most legendary chapters in American history unfolds in this action-packed epic saga of courage and honor, victory and defeat - shown from both points of view. Color, Closed Captioned, Digitally Mastered Stereo, Rated PG, Approximate Running Time 183 Minutes.


  • videotapes

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