Blu-ray Release: The Douglas Sirk Collection: To New Shores / La Habanera

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: May 11, 2021
Price: Blu-ray $19.98
Studio: Kino Lorber


Filmmaker Douglas Sirk (All That Heaven Allows) would become synonymous with the 1950s American melodrama, but he was already reinventing the genre while working in Germany in the 1930s. The Douglas Sirk Collection offers two of these rarely-seen, innovative films, both showcasing the talents of Swedish-born superstar Zarah Leander.

Zarah Leander in La Habanera

To New Shores (1937) stars Leander as a woman sentenced to an Australian penal colony for a crime committed by her former lover (Willy Birgel). She eventually marries a farmer (Viktor Staal) and returns to the cabaret stage, but remains tragically fixated on the man who broke her heart. \

In La Habanera (1937), Leander plays Astree, a Swedish woman who marries a Puerto Rican land baron (Ferdinand Marian). As years pass, their love fades, and Astree’s passions are reawakened by a doctor (Karl Martell) who has come to help fight a devastating epidemic, igniting the fury of her jealous husband.

While she bore certain resemblances to Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich (with her sultry insouciance, defiance of authority, and her low singing voice), Zarah Leander was in fact a striking original, and has largely been overlooked by American audiences because of the inaccessibility of her films (produced at Ufa when the studio was under Reich control).

Special Features:
-Audio commentary for To New Shores by film historian Josh Nelson
-Audio commentary for La Habanera by film historian Olaf Möller

Buy or Rent The Douglas Sirk Collection: To New Shores / La Habanera

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.