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Saturday Night Fever, Heat reissued as new directors cut Blu-rays
New on Blu-ray is "From Hell it Came" (1957), a ridiculous monster movie about a tree that comes to life on a South Seas island. - photo by Chris Hicks
Four vintage flicks receive Blu-ray upgrades this week, Saturday Night Fever, Heat, The Wheeler Dealers and From Hell it Came.

Saturday Night Fever: Directors Cut (Paramount, 1977; R for language, sex, nudity, drugs; theatrical version and extended directors cut, deleted scene, audio commentary, featurettes). The year of the original Star Wars also saw Saturday Night Fever climb the movie charts to become 1977s fifth biggest picture. John Travolta earned an Oscar nomination and the Bee Gees' soundtrack album was a No. 1 hit all over the world. Fever is right.

Travolta plays 19-year-old Tony Manero, living in Brooklyn with his parents and unhappy with both his deadend job and his dysfunctional home life. But on Saturday nights, hes the king of the dance floor at the local disco club, where he hangs out with his buddies and meets a woman (Karen Lynn Gorney) who has the necessary dance moves to be his match. It's dated, to be sure, but still vital. And its also very R-rated, with a constant stream of foul language and a controversial rape scene.

Heat: Directors Definitive Edition (Fox/Regency, 1995, R for violence and language, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes). This remastered edition of the nearly three-hour cops-n-robbers flick is a measured look at police procedure that has improved with age, especially since the genre is now so over the top. Al Pacino is a Los Angeles detective obsessed with catching high-tech thief Robert De Niro, a real casting coup in 95 since they shared no screen time in their only other film together, The Godfather, Part II. (They have since co-starred in the 2008 bomb Righteous Kill and have a Martin Scorsese film scheduled for 2018.)

The Wheeler Dealers (Warner Archive, 1963, trailer). James Garner turns on the charm in this frothy romantic farce as a cocky manipulator of business deals, often in partnership with some bombastic Texas millionaires (Chill Wills, Phil Harris, Charles Watts). But when he takes aim at a failing company whose products dont seem to exist, its only because hes really pursuing the alluring employee (Lee Remick) whose job hangs in the balance. Louis Nye, John Astin and Jim Backus co-star. (The Blu-ray debut is available at

From Hell it Came (Warner Archive, 1957, b/w, trailer). There are a lot of ridiculous 1950s monster movies but none quite reaches the heights, or depths, of this no-budget tale of a treacherous tree on a remote South Seas island, complete with a snarling face, and limbs that act as arms and legs. It is perfect for aficionados of bad horror flicks. It follows the Creature from the Black Lagoon template, with bark instead of scales. (The Blu-ray debut is available at
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