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Top 5 last-minute stocking stuffers

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“Doc Martin: Series 6” is now on tap (available on DVD from Acorn Media at, that ingenious purveyor of all things British—television-wise, at least). Those addicted to the show won’t be disappointed by the latest (and perhaps last) season, as Doc (Martin Clunes) finally marries Louisa (Caroline Catz). His mother (Claire Bloom) and aunt (Eileen Atkins) make appearances, and there’s an hour’s worth of behind-scenes material.

“Photo: A History from Behind the Lens” (also on DVD from Acorn Media) explores the development of photography from its experimental start in the 19th century to today. The insightful 12-part documentary series, on two discs running a little over five hours, disucsses the creative process and covers technology from Daguerrotypes to Photoshopping.

Tired of all the same-o same-o gee-tar players out there? Take a “Joyride” with ace banjo player Cynthia Sayer (available on CD from Plunk Records, and see if it doesn’t put a smile on your face. She offers her wonderfully unique stylings of Cole Porter, Hank Williams, Rodgers & Hammerstein and other tunes, including a few of her own, accompanied by a group of instrumentalists led by accordionist Charlie Giordano of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band.
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Related posts:

Holiday gift guide: Stars of the Golden Era resurface in print, on DVD and CD

Dean Martin and Edie Adams shows on DVD, Cinerama films restored

Marlene Dietrich, Bette Davis, ‘Nosferatu’ star in Blu-ray and DVD releases

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Lyle Talbot’s name may not ring the proverbial bell, but his mug is all over those wonderfully gritty Warner Bros. Pre-Code films that are the staple of Turner Classic Movies; he later played the nosy neighbor on TV’s “Ozzie and Harriet.” His daughter Margaret Talbot’s “The Entertainer” (now in paperback from Riverhead Books/Penguin) is not only a biography but an entertaining history of 20th century pop culture, combining Hollywood lore with family memoir.

“Shedding Light on the Hollywood Blacklist” by Stanley Dyrector (available in paperback from BearManor Media, consists of interviews transcribed from the author’s cable TV show that do indeed shed light on that shameful period in filmdom’s history when many actors and writers lost their livelihood. Abe Polonsky, Marsha Hunt, John Randolph and others speak out loud and clear; the interview with Jeff Corey disappoints, however, as it largely skirts the issue.

And more: “So in Love: Perry Beekman Sings and Plays Cole Porter” swings on CD (… “Where Were You My Son?” is an intimate Hungarian drama, set during the Communist era, with English titles on DVD (… “Radio Rides the Range: A Reference Guide to Western Drama on the Air, 1929-1967,” edited by Jack French and David S. Siegel (in paperback from McFarland & Co., comprehensively covers more than 100 radio shows from “Annie Oakley” to ”Zorro.”

More from Jordan:

‘Mary Poppins’ bows on Blu-ray, OC ‘Reindeer’ finale (extended to 12/28)

The ultimate Carol Burnett DVD set, overdue bio of comedian Ed Wynn

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