Yankee Doodle Dandy, the 1942 film biography of showman George M. Cohan that won James Cagney his Oscar as Best Actor, is now available on Blu-ray.
The film, which showed off Cagney’s singing and dancing talents, looks great in high definition and features all extras found on previously released standard def releases:
From Warner Archive:
YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942) Blu-ray Disc. Warner's tough guy leading lad with a song and dance man's heart, James Cagney, was an Irish-American inspired choice to portray another son-of-Eire showman, George M. Cohan and Cagney¹s performance remains a favorite seven decades later. And there's no slouching in his stellar supporting cast, with Joan Leslie and Walter Huston ably leading the way. And now the film - and its music - may be enjoyed as never before, thanks to this pristine high definition 1080p Blu-ray Disc presentation that's as close to a first-run 35mm viewing as possible this side of a time machine. Michael Curtiz directs at the full height of his considerable directorial powers (Casablanca was his next film) with a script by Robert Buckner and Edmund Joseph.
Leonard Maltin hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1942 with Casablanca trailer, 1942 newsreel, Warner Bros.short "Beyond the Call of Duty", Warner Bros. vintage cartoon "Bugs Bunny Gets the Boid"; James Cagney in wartime short "You, John Jones"; Yankee Doodle Dandy theatrical trailer; Let Freedom Sing!: The Story of Yankee Doodle Dandy documentary; audio commentary with Warner Bros. historian Rudy Behlmer; "John Travolta remembers James Cagney" featurette; audio-only extras: radio show and pre-recording session outtakes/rehearsals; vintage Warner Bros. cartoon "YankeeDoodle Daffy". Note: the animated cartoons also presented in 1080p HD!
Five years after Yankee Doodle Dandy, Joan Crawford and Van Heflin starred in Warner Bros.’ Possessed, a film noir classic about a woman supposedly driven mad by a bad romance.
From Warner Archive:
POSSESSED (1947) on Blu-ray Disc: Joan Crawford solidified the career renaissance begun with her masterful turn in Mildred Pierce with her electrifying performance in Possessed. Much like the heroines she portrayed, Crawford triumphed over an industry that too often disposed of its leading ladies at the first hint of maturity by reforging herself as a star via her indefatigable will, talent, and fight. Here she stars as a woman found wandering the streets of Los Angeles and taken to a mental hospital where she weaves a harrowing tale of insanity, murder and the passion by which she became possessed. Louise Howell's (Crawford) psychiatrist learns that she is a nurse hired to care for a dying woman and rekindled a former romance with her patient's neighbor, David Sutton (Van Heflin). But the suicide of her charge and rejection by the man she loves drive Howell to madness‹and murder. Or do they? Is her harrowing story true or the misperception of a deranged mind? And is Howell guilty of murder or an innocent victim of something far more sinister? This Film Noir classic, all shadows and suggestion, has never looked better on home video than on this chiaroscuro-clear 1080p High Definition Blu-ray Disc.
Commentary by Film Historian Drew Casper; Featurette: "Possessed: The Quintessential Film Noir"; Original Theatrical Trailer.
Yankee Doodle Dandy and Possessed each retail for $22 and currently are on sale (22 percent off). Both films are released on Blu-ray by Warner Archive, a home video division once known for releasing old movies without remastering or digital restorations on DVD-R format.
Restored masters, high quality discs
Warner Archive assures that its new Blu-ray line is presented with clean, restored masters on standard Blu-ray disc, pressed not burned. In fact, the company just released a YouTube video explaining the process: