Some Oldies But Goodies

"The Tarzan Collection, Vol. 2" (Warner, $40): After a successfuldecade at MGM, the "Tarzan" franchise moved to RKO in 1943. Johnny Weissmuller, who played Tarzan, made the move to the new studio, asdid Johnny Sheffield as his son Boy and their pet chimpanzeeCheeta. Maureen O'Sullivan, who played Jane, remained at MGM andwas eventually replaced by the colorless Brenda Joyce.

The budgets were lower and the stories far less entertaining thanthe MGM vehicles. But the films are still a kick, thoughWeissmuller was a bit too long in the tooth to be wearing a loincloth.

The films in the collection are 1943's "Tarzan Triumphs," in whichthe King of the Jungle takes on the Nazis; 1943's "Tarzan's DesertMystery"; 1945's "Tarzan and the Amazons," which marked Joyce'sfirst appearance; 1946's "Tarzan and the Leopard Woman"; 1947's"Tarzan and the Huntress" and 1948's "Tarzan and the Mermaids," theonly one without Sheffield.

Weissmuller died in 1984, but Cheeta is alive and well — heturned 74 this year. Though he retired from acting long ago, he hasa second career as an abstract painter.

"Martin & Lewis Collection — Vol. 1" (Paramount, $50):One of the hottest post-World War II comedy teams were Dean Martinand Jerry Lewis, whose exuberant, no holds-barred comedy and musicmade them the toast of clubs, radio, TV and movies. Though theirfilms were box-office hits, these vehicles often reigned in theduo's more manic side. This four-disc set includes eight moviesthey made at Paramount, three of which were previously released onDVD — "My Friend Irma"; "My Friend Irma Goes West"; and "TheStooge." New to DVD are 1952's "Sailor Beware," which featuresJames Dean in a tiny part; 1953's "Scared Stiff," a pedestrianremake of the classic 1940 Bob Hope comedy "Ghost Breakers," whichfeatures Carmen Miranda in her final film; the 1953 comedy "TheCaddy," which introduced the Oscar-nominated hit "That's Amore";the 1951 comedy "That's My Boy" and the 1952 farce "JumpingJacks."

"Down to the Bone" (Hart Sharp, $20): Vera Farmiga, currently in"The Departed" as Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon's love interest,received several acting awards, including from the Sundance Film Festival and the Los Angeles Film Critics Circle, for her harrowingperformance as a woman working in a discount store with twochildren and a loveless marriage who attempts to clean up her drughabit. Extras include director Debra Granik's original short filmon which "Down" is based and heartfelt commentary from the directorand her star.

"George Burns — The TV Specials Collection" (Standing RoomOnly, $40): After winning the best supporting actor Oscar for1975's "The Sunshine Boys," the octogenarian comic headlinedseveral musical-variety TV specials. This four-disc set featuresnine he hosted between 1976 and 1985, including "The George BurnsSpecial," "George Burns' One Man Show" and "George Burns' 100thBirthday Party." Guest stars include Walter Matthau, Johnny Carson,the Osmond Brothers, Bob Hope, Ann-Margret, Steve Martin, Jimmy Stewart, Gregory Peck, Minnie Pearl, Bernadette Peters, Kenny Rogers and former President Ronald Reagan.

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