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Hold Back the Dawn & Crime and Punishment from Arrow Academy in July

12 April 2019

Arrow Academy’s July Blu-ray releases are a classic Hollywood romantic drama making it’s hi-def debut, and a magnificent Dostoyevsky adaptation, both with lavishly illustrated collector’s booklets, video appreciations and rare radio plays, along with much, much more.

First in July is Hold Back the Dawn (1941), a heart-rending romantic drama, from one of the most underrated directors of Hollywood’s golden era, Mitchell Leisen, starring Charles Boyer, Pauline Goddard and Olivia de Havilland. A moving and thoughtful film with a wonderful script co-written by Billy Wilder, it was nominated for no-less than six Academy Awards.

June also sees the release of Crime and Punishment (1935), a star vehicle for the incredible Peter Lorre (The Maltese Falcon), playing the guilt-wracked Raskolnikov in a big-screen adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s most famous novel, helmed by Josef von Sternberg (famed for his collaborations with Marlene Dietrich). Stylish direction and Lorre’s tour-de-force performance are ready for rediscovery in this Blu-Ray premiere, that includes a documentary on Lorre, and comes with handsome reversible sleeve art.

 

Hold Back the Dawn Blu-ray cover art

Hold Back the Dawn | Blu-ray | 15 July 2019 | £24.99

From one of the most underrated directors of Hollywood’s golden era, Mitchell Leisen (Remember the Night), comes the heart-rending romantic drama Hold Back the Dawn...

Charles Boyer (Gaslight) gives an enthralling performance as Georges Iscovescu, a Romanian-born gigolo who arrives at a Mexican border town seeking entry to the US. Faced with a waiting period of eight years, George is encouraged by his former dancing partner Anita (Pauline Goddard – Modern Times) to marry an American girl and desert her once safely across the border. He successfully targets visiting school teacher Emmy Brown (Olivia de Havilland – Gone with the Wind), but his plan is compromised by a pursuing immigration officer, and blossoming feelings of genuine love for Emmy.

A moving and thoughtful film with a wonderful script (co-written by Billy Wilder), Hold back the Dawn benefits from evocative performances by Boyer and de Havilland, and an over-arching sense of romantic melancholy. An enduring classic of its era, Leisen’s film was nominated for no-less than six Academy Awards and is presented here in High Definition for the first time.

Special Edition Blu-ray contents:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation, transferred from original film elements
  • Uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM audio soundtrack
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • New audio commentary by film scholar Adrian Martin
  • Love Knows No Borders, a newly filmed video appreciation by film critic Geoff Andrew
  • The Guardian Lecture: Olivia de Havilland, a career-spanning onstage audio interview with Olivia de Havilland recorded at the National Film Theatre in 1971
  • Rare hour-long radio adaptation of Hold Back the Dawn from 1941 starring Charles Boyer, Paulette Goddard and Susan Haywood
  • Gallery of original stills and promotional images
  • Original trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Jennifer Dionisio
  • First pressing only: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by writer and critic Farran Smith Nehme

 

Crime and Punishment Blu-ray cover art

Crime and Punishment | Blu-ray | 29 July 2019 | £24.99

After fleeing Nazi Germany following the success of M and re-establishing himself in Britain as a villain for Alfred Hitchcock, the great Peter Lorre arrived in Hollywood in 1935, signed to a contract with Columbia Pictures. His dream star vehicle: a big-screen adaptation of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s most famous novel Crime And Punishment. His choice of director: Josef von Sternberg, already celebrated and castigated in equal measure for his seven-film collaboration with Marlene Dietrich.

Roderick Raskolnikov (Lorre) has graduated from university as a noted expert in criminology, but nonetheless lives in extreme poverty. Desperate and anguished, he murders a miserly pawnbroker, stealing her valuables before fleeing into the night. The next day, he encounters Inspector Porfiry (Edward Arnold), the detective assigned to the murder, and is asked by Porfiry to consult on the case when an innocent man is arrested as a suspect. How long until the conflicted, guilt-ridden Raskolnikov arouses the master detective’s suspicions?

One of many attempts at the time by Hollywood studios to give cinema an air of prestige by adapting great works of literature, Von Sternberg’s stylish direction and Lorre’s tour-de-force performance are ready for rediscovery in this Blu-Ray premiere of their only collaboration.

Special Edition Blu-ray contents:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation, transferred from original film elements
  • Original lossless mono soundtrack
  • Isolated music and effects track
  • Light And Dark, a newly-filmed appreciation by David Thompson, critic and director of Josef von Sternberg: The Man Who Made Dietrich
  • The Double Face of Peter Lorre (1984), an hour-long German TV documentary directed by Harun Farocki
  • Mystery In The Air: Crime And Punishment, a 1947 radio adaptation with Lorre reprising the role of Raskolnikov
  • Image gallery
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original artwork
  • First pressing only: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Adrian Martin