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DVDs

January 25, 2007

"Fiddler on the Roof"

Also getting new DVD treatment is the 1971 musical set among the humble Jewish citizens of a small town in pre-Revolution Russia. Topol stars as dairyman Tevye, who idly dreams of wealth while toiling away with a lame cart horse to support his outspoken wife (Norma Crane) and marry off his five daughters to good husbands, while anti-Jewish sentiment builds among the local authorities. The two-disc set has commentary with director Norman Jewison and Topol, a deleted song, and a terrific range of background featurettes on the music, the director, production design and Tevye's vivid dream sequence. Jewison also reads from the works of Sholom Aleichem, whose stories were the basis for the musical. DVD set, $26.98. (MGM)




"Yojimbo," "Sanjuro"

Two of Akira Kurosawa's samurai classics receive DVD updates that offer new high-definition digital transfers of the early 1960s films. In "Yojimbo," Kurosawa regular Toshiro Mifune stars as a wily samurai for hire who plays both sides of the feud between a town's warring factions. The sequel "Sanjuro" has Mifune's samurai helping a group of young warriors to expose the corruption of their leaders. While earlier DVD releases had just the films, the new versions include making-of documentaries on both movies, essays by film scholars and audio commentary from Kurosawa expert Stephen Prince. The films are available separately or in a boxed set. DVDs, $39.95 each, boxed set, $69.95. (Criterion)

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TV on DVD:

"The Waltons: The Complete Fourth Season" - The Depression-era drama about a poor but loving Virginia family continues, with year four bringing a tragic fire and other major changes for John-Boy and his kin. A five-disc set has the season's 24 episodes. DVD set, $39.98. (Warner Bros.)

"Walker, Texas Ranger: The Complete Second Season" - Chuck Norris is back on patrol as the modern-day lawman with an Old West style. Season two's 23 episodes come in a seven-disc set. DVD set, $54.99. (Paramount)

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