Among the many pop-culture milestones being marked this year is the 50th anniversary of The Nutty Professor, widely considered Jerry Lewis best movie.

Its a little late, since the movie opened in June 1963, But Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is marking the occasion on Tuesday with the Blu-ray release of the film in a special anniversary set ($54.99).

It not only includes the bright and shiny high-definition version of the movie, but also a DVD of it and DVD reissues of two other Lewis films, Cinderfella and The Errand Boy, which last made their way to an authorized DVD about 10 years ago.

The box adds a featurette about Lewis, a 48-page book of storyboards, a 44-page selection of excerpts from Lewis original script and notes, and a new letter from Lewis. Previously recorded audio commentary comes from Lewis and his longtime friend, singer Steve Lawrence; there are also other extras from the previous DVD release of Nutty. Cinderfella and The Errand Boy also have their previously released extras, among them audio commentary by Lewis and Lawrence.

And there is a CD of prank phone calls Lewis recorded from 1959 to 1972, previously released in 2001.

As for the movie, Lewis in his letter says it is a very special film with a lot of heart and soul, I thoroughly enjoyed the writing, directing, acting, editing, scoring and extensive promotion of the film. (In his memoir Jerry Lewis in Person, Lewis said he hit 35 cities in 40 days to push the movie.) It was a considerable hit, and Eddie Murphy used the basic idea itself borrowed from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for a couple of successful films of Murphys own.

Lewis plays the dual role of Julius Kelp, a socially inept chemistry teacher very much in the style of previous Lewis characters. The twist is that Kelp develops a formula that makes him more attractive as a singer who takes the name Buddy Love. As Love, he is able to woo student Stella Purdy (Stella Stevens), whom Kelp adores. But Love is also aggressive, arrogant and inconsistent, as the formula can wear off at awkward moments.

Some looked at the movie and saw Love as Lewis view of his former comedy partner, Dean Martin. Lewis himself said Love was a composite of the sort of awful people you encounter at large gatherings and definitely not Martin. But especially as Lewis own egotism was more publicly evident, many wondered along with one critic who saw in Love someone very like the real Jerry.

All that being said, Lewis familiar rendering of Kelp is ably balanced by the harshness he brings to Love. If not Lewis best performance, it is one of the top two along with his turn on the TV series Wiseguy. While the movie still veers into the broad comedy for which Lewis was famous, it is still a more sustained, thoughtful piece funny, sure, but with a hard edge.

Other new releases

Also on Tuesday is Lone Survivor (Universal, $29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray/DVD/digital combo). Directed by Peter Berg, the fact-based military drama follows a band of Navy SEALs ambushed during a covert mission in Afghanistan. The cast includes Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster and Eric Bana, and reviews were largely positive.

Extras on DVD and Blu-ray include a making-of piece and profiles of the real people who inspired the movie characters. The Blu-ray adds several more making-of pieces as well as a more detailed profile of Marcus Luttrell, one of the SEALs and author of the book on which the movie is based.

It sometimes seems that anything with the name William Shatner attached will sell. The latest example: Barbary Coast (Acorn, 13 episodes plus the pilot movie, $59.99 standard DVD). Shatner played an undercover agent in 1880s San Francisco in the comedy-drama, which let him wear lots of disguises when it aired for part of a season on ABC in 1975-76. Its quite a time capsule, especially when you start counting all the 70s-TV actors who amble through the show. For example, the owner of a San Francisco casino is played by Dennis Cole in the pilot movie and by Doug McClure in the series itself.

Also of note: True Blood: The Complete Sixth Season (HBO, 10 episodes, $59.99 DVD, $79.98 Blu-ray/digital combo) arrives ahead of the premiere of the seventh and final season on June 22. Falling Skies: The Complete Third Season (TNT/Warner, 10 episodes, $39.98 DVD, $49.99 Blu-ray) precedes the fourth-season premiere, also on June 22. Pretty Little Liars: The Complete Fourth Season (Warner, 24 episdes, $59.98 DVD) leads into the fifth-season premiere on June 10. And Graceland: The Complete First Season (Fox, $39.98 DVD) preps you for the second season on June 11.

The 2014 reboot of RoboCop will also be available Tuesday (Fox, $29.98 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray).

Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal and Ohio.com, including the HeldenFiles Online blog, www.ohio.com/blogs/heldenfiles. He is also on Facebook and Twitter. You can contact him at 330-996-3582 or rheldenfels@thebeaconjournal.com.