Samuel Fuller’s The Big Red One on VHS. Starring Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine, Bobby Di Cicco, Kelly Ward, Siegfried Rauch, Stephane Audran. Directed by Samuel Fuller. 1980.
From the VHS cover:
The real glory of war is surviving.
The combat-hardened sergeant squints at the members of his rifle squad. His face is lined and stubbled. The faces that look back are as smooth as summer peaches. They belong to kids right out of high school. And it’s the sergeant’s job to keep those kids alive.
The Big Red One, named for the insignia of the First Infantry Division, is the unsparing story of a handful of GIs battling their way from North Africa through Sicily, Omaha Beach and Belgium to the ultimate horror of the Nazi death camps. Academy Award winner Lee Marvin (Cat Ballou, The Dirty Dozen) plays the sergeant, and he’s joined by a talented young cast including Star Wars veteran Mark Hamill and Revenge of the Nerds alumnus Robert Carradine.
The writer/director is Samuel Fuller (Pickup on South Street, Merrill’s Marauders), one of the most influential filmmakers in Hollywood history. Fuller was actually in the Fighting First during World War II. He knows that to a soldier, war is no bigger than a single foxhole or a desperate 20-yard run up a beach — and that while generals ask “Will we win?,” the dogface asks “Will I survive?” And that means The Big Red One may be the most immediate, truest war movie you’ve ever seen.
“The real glory of war,” Fuller says, “is surviving.” And the real glory of The Big Red One is how powerfully it captures that idea.
DVD upgrade: The Big Red One: The Reconstruction
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm on VHS. Starring Kevin Conroy, Dana Delany, Hart Bochner, Stacy Keach, Abe Vigoda, Mark Hamill. Directed by Eric Radomski, Bruce W. Timm. 1993.
From the box:
When Gotham City’s most-feared gangsters are systematically eliminated, the worst is feared: that the Caped Crusader is to blame. But prowling the Gotham night is a shadowy new villain, the Phantasm, a sinister figure with a troublesome link to Batman’s past. Can the Dark Knight elude the police, capture the Phantasm and clear his name?
Unmasking the Phantasm is just one of the twists in Batman: Mask of Phantasm, “one of the most imaginative films of the past year” (Chuck Rich, Westwood One). Only here will you discover all-new revelations about Batman’s past, his archrival the Joker and the most grueling battle of Batman’s life — the choice between his love of a beautiful woman and his vow to be the defender of right.
Batman: Mask of Phantasm is a “mystery that is genuinely absorbing, suspenseful and moving” (Cincinnati Enquirer) and a film no fan should be without!
DVD Upgrade: Batman – Mask of the Phantasm
Star Wars on VHS. Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness, James Earl Jones, Peter Cushing. Directed by George Lucas. 1977.
From the box:
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
Star Wars is an elaborately-spectacular film that represents the ultimate in cinematic entertainment. Writer/Director George Lucas’ unrivaled passion for space fantasy, adventure and romance is captured on screen with awesome special effects and extraordinary bizarre space creatures.
Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) is held hostage by the evil Imperial forces in their effort to take over the galactic Empire. Venturesome Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and dashing Captain Han Solo (Harrison Ford) team together with lovable robot duo, R2-D2 and C-3PO, to rescue the beautiful princess and restore justice in the Empire.
DVD Upgrade: Star Wars Trilogy (Widescreen Theatrical Edition)