The latest DVDs and Blu-rays are given the once-over by our writers. Read first before reaching for your credit card.
Some films just aren't meant to be auteurist masterpieces. Cashing in on the mid-'70s vogue for tales of good ol' boys flouting the law and with a script based on a novelty song by C.W. McCall, Convoy (1978) was a late-career throwaway from Sam Peckinpah, a chance to prove he could still hold down a place in a director's chair. Yet even if it was strictly a gun-for-hire job, it boasts plenty of flair and inimitable Peckinpah touches, and it has stubbornly remained one of the most popular of his movies.
Sarah Polley is forging a great career for herself not only as an actor but as a writer and director. Acting in such films as The Sweet Hereafter, Go, Splice and writing/directing Away From Her and Take this Waltz. This makes her decision to make the very personal documentary Stories We Tell a very brave one.
For over 40 years, Trevor Howard was a fixture of the film world, a busy character actor who could be relied upon to bring not just a touch of class but also a peppery bite to even the most humdrum projects. The thing about fixtures, though, is that they tend to be taken for granted, and Howard was never as celebrated or as beloved as he ought to have been. With any luck this box set, which reels back the years to his early successes, will go some way towards opening the eyes of viewers to the achievements of a neglected screen icon.
Alain Delon plays Tom Ripley - a beautiful though morally questionable young man - hired by the affluent American family of Philippe Greenleaf (Maurice Ronet) to persuade this hedgefund prince to abandon his carefree extended Mediterranean holiday and return to the family business in San Francisco. The charming and apparently subservient Tom ingratiates himself into the money-spoilt graces of Philippe and his fiancé Marge (Marie Laforet). From the physical beauty of the leads, Summer soaked Mediterranean, luxury boats and effortless wealth, Clément spins a dark psychological tale as Tom, the quiet manipulator, begins to absorb and then murderously plots to steal Philippe's identity.
Writer/director Boaz Davidson has had a career with more swoops and curves than many a five-act screenplay. Born in Israel, he made a series of movies there before decamping to Hollywood, where he is now a prolific producer. The Last American Virgin (1982) is his remake of his Hebrew-language hit Lemon Popsicle (1978), shifting the action from 1950s Israel to 1980s California.