Donna Reed stars in a scene from the 1953 film "From Here to Eternity," alongside co-star Montgomery Clift. Reed won a best supporting actress Academy Award for her role in that movie. CNS photo/courtesy Columbia Pictures
Donna Reed stars in a scene from the 1953 film "From Here to Eternity," alongside co-star Montgomery Clift. Reed won a best supporting actress Academy Award for her role in that movie. CNS photo/courtesy Columbia Pictures
NEW YORK – The following are capsule reviews from Catholic News Service of new and recent video releases available on DVD and/or Blu-ray – as well as for online viewing. Theatrical movies have a Catholic News Service classification and Motion Picture Association rating. These classifications refer only to the theatrical version of the films below, and do not take into account any extra content.

January marked the centennial of actress Donna Reed. Remembered for her eponymous situation comedy, which ran on ABC from 1958 to 1966, Reed – who died in 1986 – also had a decades-long career in film. Below, in alphabetical order, are capsule reviews of some of the movies in which she had a prominent role.

"The Benny Goodman Story" (1955)

Standard Hollywood biography of the popular bandleader (Steve Allen) from his youth in Chicago to his heyday in the 1940s, with Reed as the romantic interest. Directed by Valentine Davies, the treatment is strictly superficial, but the nostalgic period music is good and plentiful. Not for fidgety youngsters. Spanish titles option. The Catholic News Service classification is A-I – general patronage. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association. (Universal Studios Home Entertainment; also available on Blu-ray)

"From Here to Eternity" (1953)

Somber picture of life on an Army base in 1941 Hawaii centers on a company whose bugler (Montgomery Clift) is punished for refusing as a matter of conscience to join the unit's boxing team, with only a hapless private (Frank Sinatra) supporting his obstinacy. Directed by Fred Zinnemann from the James Jones novel, the story also involves an affair between the company's top sergeant (Burt Lancaster) and his commander's unhappy wife (Deborah Kerr) as well as the bugler's romance with a club hostess (Reed), all of which gains tragic dimension from the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor at movie's end. Sexual situations and stylized violence, including a fatal beating and a knife fight. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III – adults. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association. (TriStar)

"It's a Wonderful Life" (1946)

Seasonal favorite about the joys and trials of a good man (James Stewart) who, facing financial ruin on the eve of Christmas, contemplates suicide until his guardian angel (Henry Travers) shows him how meaningful his life has been to those around him. Director Frank Capra's unabashedly sentimental picture of mainstream American life is bolstered by a superb cast (including Lionel Barrymore as a conniving banker) and a wealth of good feelings about such commonplace virtues as hard work and helping one's neighbor. Young children may find the story's dark moments unsettling. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II – adults and adolescents. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association. (Paramount Home Entertainment; also available on Blu-ray)

"Shadow of the Thin Man" (1941)

Intriguing mystery sequel in which retired San Francisco sleuth Nick Charles (William Powell) helps a homicide detective (Sam Levene) solve several murders tied to a gambling syndicate, while wife Nora (Myrna Loy) befriends one of the suspects (Barry Nelson) and his girlfriend (Reed). Directed by Major W.S. Van Dyke II, the plot employs numerous criminal types, including Stella Adler as a gold digger, but matters are lightened by some witty domestic scenes with 3-year-old Nicky, Jr. Stylized violence and menacing situations. Spanish titles option. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II – adults and adolescents. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association. (Warner Home Video)

Mulderig is on the staff of Catholic News Service.