Coming Soon to Blu-Ray/DVD: OF HUMAN BONDAGE & HELL’S HOUSE

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Kino Classics Releases Of Human Bondage andHell’s House on Blu-ray and DVD
Two 1930s classics, each showcasing Bette Davis in early starring roles, will become available on Blu-ray and DVD on June 18th mastered from 35mm archival restorations from the Library of Congress

Of Human BondageHell's House
 

New York , NY – June 3, 2013 – Kino Classics is proud to announce the Blu-ray and DVD releases of two important films in the career of legendary Hollywood star Bette Davis: Of Human Bondage and Hell’s House, both of which helped to launch Ms. Davis into the highest echelon of the star system during Hollywood’s Golden Age.Of Human Bondage comes to Blu-ray and DVD on June 18th, with a SRP of $29.95 for the Blu-ray, and $24.95 for the DVD. It is mastered in HD from archival 35mm elements preserved by the Library of Congress, and includes Revealing Mr. Maugham (2012, 83 mins.), a feature-length documentary, directed by Michael House, about author W. Somerset Maugham’s life and career, including interviews with writers and fans Armistead Maupin, Pico Iyer, and Alexander McCall Smith.

Hell’s House also streets on June 18th with a SRP of $29.95 for the Blu-ray and $24.95 for the DVD. This edition is mastered in HD from an original 35mm print from Bette Davis’ personal collection, donated to the Library of Congress.

Bette Davis remains one of the true icons of the American cinema, acclaimed for her wide range of moving performances in powerful films that continue to capture audiences to this day. In a career that spanned six decades (and earned her a total of ten Academy Award® nominations), Bette Davis gave us some of the most memorable performances of all time, and in these two films, viewers will have the chance to see the key early roles that helped launch her impressive and unparalleled career.

Of Human Bondage was made in 1934, during the time when Bette Davis was a contract player at Warner Bros., and she was loaned out to RKO for what would become her break-out role under the direction of John Cromwell.

Adapted from the acclaimed story by W. Somerset Maugham, the film stars Leslie Howard (Gone with the Wind) as Philip, an artist who gives up his work to return to medical school. He becomes obsessed with a vulgar and manipulative waitress, Mildred (played by Bette Davis), which proves to be his undoing. Undeterred by her obvious contempt for him, Philip continues to lavish his affection upon Mildred, and allows his personal and professional life to fall to pieces around him as a consequence of her sadistic whims.

Bette Davis was an unlikely choice for the role of the Cockney, working-class waitress, but the complexity of her performance brought her to the attention of audiences and the studios alike, with her fearless portrayal of the character’s dark and erotic qualities.

Hell’s House, released two years earlier in 1932, was an independent production, produced by Bennie Zeidman, that features early appearances by both Davis and Pat O’Brien right before their time as contract players at Warner Bros., where they would both become superstars within a couple years.

A pre-code melodrama, Hell’s House is an exposé of the American penal system, with similarities to other socially-conscious films of the period such as I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang and The Mayor of Hell. The film stars Junior Durkin as a naive farmboy who comes to the big city after his mother dies. There, he falls into bad company when he meets a smooth-talking bootlegger (O’Brien) and his beautiful girlfriend (Davis). Before long, the lad finds himself in trouble with the law and is handed a sentence in a brutal reform school. Abandoned by the judicial system, the boy’s only chance for justice from the reform school is the conscience of the criminal who put him there in the first place.

OF HUMAN BONDAGE
Special Features:
Mastered in HD from archival 35mm elements preserved by the Library of Congress
Revealing Mr. Maugham documentary (2012, 83 min.)
Technical Specs:
US / 1934 / B&W / 83 min. / 1.33:1 / 1920x1080p
Director: John Cromwell
Screenplay by Lester Cohen
From the novel by W. Somerset Maugham
Produced by Pandro S. Berman
Music by Max Steiner
Director of Photography: Henry W. Gerrard
With Bette Davis, Leslie Howard, Reginald Deny, Alan Hale, Frances Dee
Street date: June 18, 2013
Blu-ray SRP: $29.95
DVD SRP: $24.95
HELL’S HOUSE
Special Features:
Mastered in HD from an original 35mm print from Bette Davis’ personal collection, donated to the Library of Congress
Technical Specs:
US / 1932 / B&W / 71 min. / 1.33:1 / 1920x1080p
Director: Howard Higgin
Screenplay by Paul Gangelin and B. Harrison Orkow
Story by Howard Higgin
Produced by B.F. Zeidman
Director of Photography: Allen G. Siegler
With Bette Davis, Pat O’Brien, Junior Durkin, Frank Coghlan Jr., Charley Grapewin, Emma Dunn
Street date: June 18, 2013
Blu-ray SRP: $29.95
DVD SRP: $24.95

Press release provided by Kino Lorber

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