For Hicksflicks.com, April 18, 2014

Five years ago a surprise release from Sony was the $45 DVD set "The Jack Lemmon Collection," comprised of five never-before-released titles. Since then, the Sony Choice Collection manufacture-on-demand label has released three more Lemmon films, each just under $20.

Now, out of the blue, on Tuesday (April 22), the bargain-DVD company Mill Creek is releasing two sets of movies with the popular star — "The Jack Lemmon Showcase," "Volume 1" and "Volume 2," each with four films and priced at just $14.98. And the eight titles are, you guessed it, the Sony (Columbia) films mentioned above. (Available at Amazon and elsewhere.)

If you are a Lemmon fan but were put off by the price of the earlier releases, these are for you.

"Volume 1" includes "Under the Yum Yum Tree" (1963), "My Sister Eileen" (1955), "PHFFFT!" (1954, b/w) and "Luv" (1967).


            Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon, "The Notorious Landlady"

"Volume 2" offers "Operation Mad Ball" (1957, b/w), "Good Neighbor Sam" (1964), "The Notorious Landlady" (1962, b/w) and "Three for the Show" (1955).

The best here are the screwball comedies "PHFFFT!" with Lemmon and Judy Holliday as a divorced couple that should have stayed together, and Kim Novak as a diversion; "The Notorious Landlady," with Novak as a woman suspected of killing her husband and Lemmon as her innocent roomer, with Fred Astaire in support; and "Good Neighbor Sam," with Lemmon as a harried adman whose wife (Dorothy Provine) pushes him to pretend he's Romy Schneider's wife, with Edward G. Robinson in support.


              Provine, Schneider, Lemmon, "Good Neighbor Sam"

But if you're a Lemmon fanatic, you'll want them all. And the others, despite their weaknesses, all have their moments.

There are actually lots of other Lemmon films in the Sony archives, including some that have never been released.

Maybe Mill Creek will help them get to us.