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September 30, 2011

Savant's new reviews today are:

Prohibition
Blu-ray

Easily Ken Burns' best docu, this 6-hour show benefits from a fascinating & highly relevant subject, excellent writing and an enormous resource of great stills and film clips. Showing where modern America's doubting attitude toward its own laws came from, the story carries us from the Saloon culture to Temperance Unions, Teetotalers, bootleggers, Scofflaws, "Chicago Amnesia" and the hedonistic roaring twenties. Great personalities, great detail, plus the best factual presentation yet of Chicago gangland and the anything-goes flappers of New York. In Blu-ray from PBS Films / Paramount.
10/1/11

A Boyfriend for My Wife

A popular romantic comedy from Buenos Aires, Un novio para mi mujer is a fresh take on matrimonial confusion. To timid to ask for a divorce, a confused husband hires a notorious gigolo to seduce his wife, so she'll leave him instead. Argentine stars Adrián Suar, Valeria Bertuccelli and Gabriel Goity win us over with their bright personalities and expert acting. A special treat from Olive Films.
10/1/11

You Got to Move:
Stories of Change in the South

This inspirational docu traces the history of the Highlander Center for Research and Education, a Southern activist center founded to train union organizers. Interviews and film footage trace the experiences of ordinary citizens taking charge of their problems, from the Civil Rights movement to combating government collusion with polluters in the rural South. From Milestone / Oscilloscope.
10/1/11

and

Le beau Serge
Blu-ray

The very first film of the French New Wave is a carefully crafted drama from Claude Chabrol, about a young man who returns to his rural hometown to find that his former friend has lost his way in life. A great-looking B&W show, starring Gérard Blain, Jean-Claude Brialy and Bernadette Lafont. In Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection.
10/1/11




Greetings!

I've got a just-in-time review up today of the excellent PBS docu miniseries Prohibition. I can't recommend the show too highly -- I believe it premieres Sunday night on TV. I also enjoyed TCM Classic Movies' premiere of The Constant Nymph last Wednesday. Legal issues kept the movie barred from public performance since 1950 or 1951! I found myself not concentrating on the story in favor of the sensational Erich Wolfgang Korngold music score, which to me seems his most delirious, romantic work. The movie also has great performances by Joan Fontaine and Alexis Smith.

You'll remember last week that I whined because I couldn't attend a 1941 screening and reunion. Helpful reader David Kilmer did more than fill me in on what I missed; he recorded the entire post-screening 1941 discussion between screenwriter Bob Gale, actor Eddie Deezen and Assistant Director Chris Soldo. It is posted at his blog I Took the Liberty of Reading Your Mind. Reader Richard Villa found the clip independently and was kind enough to steer me to it as well. Thank you David!

On a less personal note, Gary Teetzel offers a link to a cute video in which someone has programmed a pair of floppy disc drives to play a duet of ... well, you'll see what it is at Fun With Floppy Discs. Yikes, I guess there's an entire generation out there that's never worked with a floppy disc. Did I tell you I was a dervish with linear videotape editing machines? That was one way of finding job security in late 1980s.

Finally, Scott Henderson sends this link to something not exactly film related, but interesting just the same ... a Dailyartpress.com page called The Invisible Man By Liu Bolin. I like the example I've thumbnailed above, a 'ghost arrest' image.

Thanks for reading! -- Glenn Erickson



September 26, 2011

Savant's new reviews today are:

Visions of Eight

Docu producer David Wolper looses eight international directors on the '72 Munich Olympics in and comes up with some really great sports filmmaking. With impressive episodes from John Schlesinger, Mai Zetterling, Claude Lelouch, Arthur Penn, Milos Forman and Kon Ichikawa. It's a fine document of a Games overshadowed by a shocking terror crime. From Olive Films.
9/27/11

Hero's Island

This obscure but artistic and well-written Leslie Stevens movie was made just before The Outer Limits; it stars co-producer James Mason opposite Stevens' wife, the talented and ill-fated Kate Manx. The balance of the male cast is a list of hip & trendy names: Rip Torn, Neville Brand, Warren Oates, Harry Dean Stanton -- most of them a full decade away from their cult prime. The story is a life & death struggle between settlers and pirates on a Carolina island in the early 1700s, and James Mason carries the show in fine form. From The MGM Limited Edition Collection.
9/27/11

The Threat

Newly canonized noir icon Charles McGraw is a tough guy, see, and if you don't watch his kidnapping ordeal crime picture, he'll knock you around, shout "Shut Up!", have his boys torture you with a pair of pliers or just plain shoot you in the stomach. It's a Howard Hughes RKO cheapie that delivers the goods, with Virginia Grey and Michael O'Shea, and filmed mostly on four or five very claustrophobic sets. Somebody get me a warm beer, and Shut Up! Vintage noir from The Warner Archive Collection.
9/27/11

and

Mimic
Director's Cut
Blu-ray

They're six feet tall and have evolved a disguise to mimic caped men standing at the dark margins of subway platforms. The timing of the disc release of Guillermo del Toro's intelligent, scary sci-fi tale about a murderous colony of super-cockroaches is astute: it has a lot in common with the big hit Contagion. Mira Sorvino stars as the bug scientist whose cure for a killer disease sets loose a plague of fast-evolving insect horrors. Creepy thrills in Blu-ray from Lionsgate & Miramax.
9/27/11




Greetings!

Dick Dinman ofDVD Classics Corner has posted a new radio show, to accompany the deluxe release of Citizen Kane. For Dick Dinman Raises (Blu) Kane, the radio host gets the straight story on the 4K restoration (video and audio) from Warners' VP George Feltenstein. It wasn't a walk in the park; they've been working on it for a long time.

Needing a dose of authentic, original '60s Mod Mania? Savant correspondent "Rob" forwards a link to a terrific fashion / performance art video starring Fashion Supermodel Peggy Moffit. She's good at making the extreme 'instant Warhol' fashions look attractive. This 2D graphic look saturated magazines and other media for years, mostly with bad imitations.

Just got in Hen's Tooth Video's DVD of Powell & Pressburger's Ill Met By Moonlight and Blu-rays of RoboCop 2 and Last House on the Left. I had to miss last night's reunion screening of 1941; if someone local here in L.A. saw it, please fill me in on what went down!

Thanks for reading! -- Glenn Erickson



September 23, 2011

Savant's new reviews today are:

Ben-Hur
50th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition
Blu-ray

They took his property. They imprisoned his family. They chained him to an oar in a Roman galley. Now Judah Ben-Hur is back with only one thing on his mind: vengeance! William Wyler's grandiose, accomplished Biblical super-spectacle is still the biggest and boldest of the Road Show blockbusters. Charlton Heston perfectly embodies the Judean who won't knuckle under to the power of Rome, yet is steered from hate by the hand of the New Messiah. Featuring probably the most celebrated giant action set-piece of all time, a grand & gruesome chariot race to the death. Remastered with an 8K scan, presented in Blu-ray and packaged in a slick gift box. From Warner Home Video.
9/24/11

Carlos
Blu-ray

The career of the notorious terrorist enemy #1 spans two decades of murders, bombings, kidnappings and other assorted human outrages. Édgar Ramírez is excellent as the radical killer playboy who promotes his name and seemingly cannot be captured. He's the darling of Arab and Eastern-bloc states condoning criminal terror... and then the tide of history changes. A massive three-part 5.6-hour miniseries, looking good in Blu-ray and graced with excellent extras. From The Criterion Collection.
9/24/11

and

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
Blu-ray

No, the rumors are incorrect, this isn't a remake of Ben-Hur. The big screen upgrade of Paul Reubens' innovative kiddie show also kick-started the dizzy career of director Tim Burton. Fun, friends and hair-raising adventure follow the lovable Pee-Wee Herman as he journeys to The Alamo to recover his lost bicycle. Comes with in-jokes, cameo appearances and some welcome extras. No assembly required. In Blu-ray from Warner Home Video.
9/24/11






Greetings!

So let's take a quick look here ...

Gary Teetzel forwards a link to a "Vampire Oath" slightly altered from a prologue added to a 1972 American release of a Hammer film. Be ready to raise your hand and repeat after the Vampire guide.

New Yorkers: Joe Dante and Jon Davison's 4.5 hour laugh fest The Movie Orgy will screen with Signor Dante in attendance, on October 14 at the Museum of Modern Art.

The reviews continue ... and I hear the sound of the great outdoors calling, whispering, whispering, Glenn, go get a hamburger!
See you on Monday. Thanks for reading, Glenn Erickson



September 19, 2011

Savant's new reviews today are:

Treasures 5, The West: 1898-1938

For their fifth major boxed DVD collection the NFPF examines the intersection of early movie culture and the West from fictional cowboy mythmaking in shorts and feature films, to travelogues, to documentaries about water wars and social upheavals. Contains an entire rare Clara Bow feature, as well as beautiful films shot in national parks... before they became national parks. From the National Film Preservation Foundation / Image .
9/20/11

The 10th Victim
Blu-ray

The versatile Elio Petri satirizes violent culture and the cheapness of life in a Science Fiction semi-comedy about a killing game in the next century. Marcello Mastroianni and Ursula Andress are computer-chosen combatants, licensed to hunt and kill one another in modern Rome. A new twist enters the game: commercial sponsors! A funny and sexy show featuring mod fashions and great lounge music by Piero Piccioni. In Blu-ray from Blue Underground.
9/20/11

Obsession
Blu-ray

Brian De Palma goes Vertigo-nuts all over this delirious, operatic mystery about a deranged real estate developer (?), his lost wife, and an uncanny doppelgänger lover. With Cliff Robertson, Genvieve Bujold, John Lithgow, New Orleans locations and a hypnotic blood 'n' thunder music score by Bernard Herrmann. The surprise is that this remastered Blu-ray has a beautiful appearance, unlike every smeary green print and video I've seen before. From Arrow Films (UK).
9/20/11

Dumbo
Blu-ray

Walt's proud pachyderm pilot is back again for a 70th Anniversary Edition, looking terrific in Blu-ray as he soars above his circus home. Everyone's favorite elephant baby is accompanied by a wealth of kiddie games and extras, including a new and insightful documentary. The release also contains a standard DVD disc of the 1941 feature. From Disney Blu-ray.
9/20/11

and

3 Women
Blu-ray

The best of the hazy crazy dream films of Robert Altman, with impressive acting turns from Shelley Duvall and Sissy Spacek. A friendless therapist in Palm Springs helps out a near-infantile new girl at work. In return, the new girl transforms into some kind of identity vampire, stealing her roommate's personality. With Janice Rule as the painter of weird (Bodhi Wind) murals featuring strange sexualized demons. In Blu-ray from the Criterion Collection.
9/20/11






Greetings!

Not a heck of a lot to say for myself today ... I'm buried in reviews but am happily discovering a new favorite movie or two in the bargain. In my review of The Hills Have Eyes last time I mentioned a New Twilight Zone episode from the 1980s signed by Wes Craven. I thought was simply marvelous, a brilliant idea very effectively directed. Reader Scott wrote to tell me that the episode is online, on YouTube. It's called Wordplay and I'm going to watch it again as soon as I get a chance. The web is marvelous for this sort of thing -- I remember some oddball piece of music from my childhood, and I can find it and play it on the web before my son has a chance to excuse himself and leave the room!  Hey you kids! Get off my lawn!

And about that link I put up last time, A Drive Through Bunker Hill and Downtown Los Angeles: sharp observer Craig Reardon nailed down the probable vintage of the shots as being from the late 1940s, not 1945 as I guessed. How? Craig spotted a television-related advertisement on one of the buildings. I suppose some enterprising guy could be selling and fixing TVs earlier, but isn't that more likely to be something happening after 1948 or so? Any dissenting opinions to this assumption? I see NO television aerials in the footage.

Thanks for reading, Glenn Erickson



September 16, 2011

Savant's new reviews today are:

My Cousin Rachel

Nunnally Johnson adapts Daphne Du Maurier's gothic romance mystery and gets superb performances from Olivia De Havilland and Richard Burton. But the storytelling tries to maintain an ambiguous attitude to the film's dramatic events, leaving the audience guessing at what happens next. With an Isolated Music Score by Franz Waxman. From Twilight Time.
9/17/11

The Romance of Rosy Ridge

Janet Leigh makes her film debut in this bright "socially conscious" tale of feuding farmers in the post-war hills of Missouri. Van Johnson is the attractive drifter from the war, who avoids telling which side he fought for. With Thomas Mitchell and Dean Stockwell. From the Warner Archive Collection.
9/17/11

Hickey & Boggs

Bill Cosby and Robert Culp are the most downbeat, depressed private eyes ever to drift from the bottle to the strip club. Their profession "isn't about anything anymore" but they still place themselves in the middle of a vicious struggle between mobsters and revolutionaries. With Rosalind Cash, Vincent Gardenia and Michael Moriarty; beautifully directed by Culp. Locations include the Coliseum (where NFL football is played) and Dodger Stadium. From the MGM Limited Edition Collection.
9/17/11

and

The Hills Have Eyes
Blu-ray

Wes Craven's second attempt at contemporary horror relies on literary ideas to bolster a harrowing tale of a family attacked by feral savages in the California desert. Among the first-time talent on view is Dee Wallace; the film's most impressive stars are the beseiged family's German Shepherd dogs, loyal allies in a struggle for survival. In Blu-ray from Image Entertainment.
9/17/11




Greetings! Some links today:

Some of these are bound to have already made the rounds. Ever wonder about the kind of technology that can be applied to surveillance and security? Gary Teetzel pointed me to this Michigan Game Fan-Cam site, which offers attendees of a big football meet to isolate and identify themselves from amid 10,000 other fans in one photo. Just point and zoom. Let's hook up some face-recognition software to that picture, and find out how many at-large felons, parole violators, child-support cheaters and parking ticket scofflaws are in the crowd, shall we?

The Internet Archive has six minutes of astounding footage of downtown L.A. showing where Bunker Hill was and what ordinary streets looked like in the middle 1940s: A Drive Through Bunker Hill and Downtown Los Angeles. What we're seeing is a background process plate, the kind meant to be projected behind actors in a car. It's fascinating. Except for the vintage cars (dig that hot rod that slips by) and the clothes on the people, much of what we're seeing looks the same as today ... and the film looks like it was shot yesterday.

Hammer Films has a news announcement out about plans to restore the missing Japanese version cuts to Horror of Dracula. We're certainly ready: the music cue for the final sequence has always seemed a bit late, possibly because of a trim of a second or two to Christopher Lee's disintegration scene.

Blastr's Marc Bernardin has an article on Harlan Ellison going after the upcoming film In Time, claiming it's stolen from one of his published stories. The posters to the site don't seem to understand what's at stake with plagiarism; in my view Ellison's previous complaints along these lines have been totally justified.

And Scott Henderson links us to these interesting Jim Emerson's "living, breathing movie stills", some of which capture the feeling of the movies they're source from better than others. Emerson calls them CinematoGIFs.

Thanks for reading! Glenn Erickson



September 12, 2011

Savant's new reviews today are:

The Cigarette Girl
of Mosselprom

A romantic comedy filmed on the streets of Moscow in 1924, this accidental time-travelogue follows the amorous adventures of a spirited group of love-struck Russians, including a cute, smiling street vendor who becomes a film actress and is tempted by a (shudder!) American capitalist. Starring Yuliya Solintseva, previously famous as Aelita, Queen of Mars. From Kino Classics.
9/13/11

The Rise and Fall
of Legs Diamond

Budd Boetticher takes a firm hand on the gangster drama with this superb tale of a cynical double-crosser's one-man crime wave. Ray Danton is excellent as the dastardly Legs, and is backed up by Karen Steele, Warren Oates and Elaine Stewart. But the real star is Boetticher's electrified direction -- gangster pix hadn't looked this snappy since White Heat. From the Warner Archive Collection.
9/13/11

If....
Blu-ray

Lindsay Anderson's surreal ode to revolution now plays as a very un-PC paean to violence. Malcolm McDowell shot to stardom as Mick Travis, the private school rebel who won't knuckle down beofre his oppressors. Now looking all the more impressive -- and provocative -- in Blu-ray. From the Criterion Collection.
9/13/11

and

Master of the World

An early American-International bid for a mainstream hit, this Jules Verne sci-fi adventure adaptation has great performances from Vincent Price and Charles Bronson, but is just too darn cheap to properly visualize its mechanical star, a massive 1848 airship that deals death from above to battleships and armies. With a great music score by Les Baxter and some egregious overacting from Henry Hull. From the MGM Limited Edition Collection.
9/13/11





Greetings!

Not much happening here besides the disc reviews themselves. I've gotten a stack of positive feedback on Citizen Kane so have a nice buzz that will probably last another day or so.

What's more typical is reviewing a picture like the cheerful but underachieving turnip Master of the World. We've all seen nostalgic reviews where the writer reports not on the movie that is, but the one he remembers from when he was young and impressionable -- you know, the perfect movies that form in our heads. Master is one such magic memory for me, as I was transported by it at the age of 8 or 9, and formed permanent fantasy-memories of glorious visuals such as that found on the Dell comic adaptation (pictured left). If you read my critical reportage, keep in mind that I still love this picture, even though any viewing is a tragic let-down. The opportunity to see it comes every ten years or so, and I approach it with the same enthusiasm. Then I see the underfunded un-special special effects and the illusion evaporates. This is one show that really wants to be remade. Either that, or someone should do an alternate version by swapping the effects shots out for entirely new CGI work. Heck, all the effects are entirely discrete from the live action scenes. Dream on!

Gary Teetzel forwards a link to Don't Come to the Dark Side, a semi-serious article from Defense AT&L, the Pentagon's internal acquisitions journal. Apparently the Department of Defense, famous for wasting huge sums of money on things as simple as a screwdriver or a toilet seat, has concluded that building Darth Vader's Death Star would be a poor use of funds. I'm not kidding, it's used as an example of an overly-complicated weapons-development problem.

Hey, it looks like I'll actually get to see a new movie this week, as the Editor's Guild is screening the currently hot title Contagion. If I have anything useful to say I'll write it up for Friday's post. Thanks for reading, Glenn Erickson



September 09, 2011

Savant's new reviews today are:

Citizen Kane
Blu-ray

It's back, it looks great and it's ready for more study -- what makes the "greatest" film in history so great? A 4K scan and a smart digital restoration work magic for Orson Welles' masterwork. This 70th Anniversary Ultimate Edition is a fat box with beaucoup extras, including a docu feature and an HBO drama about the making of the movie. In Blu-ray from Warner Home Video.
9/10/11

Strip-tease

Underground star Nico had an early starring role in this impressive French film. The ethereal blonde model, singer and actress shares the sceen with the animated Dany Saval; the show overall seems similar to the Julie Christie movie Darling made a couple of years later. In French with English subs, and accompanied by interviews with two associates of Nico. From Mondo Macabro.
9/10/11

and

One Minute to Zero

Howard Hughes stages the Korean War on film and comes up with a rather brutal propaganda piece. Robert Mitchum, Charles McGraw and William Talman fight the good fight, but the show goes out of its way to ridicule the UN and the hairbrained UN observer / nurse played by Ann Blyth. The Pentagon tried to get Hughes to excise a scene showing a U.S. commander purposely shelling a refugee column, and Ms. Blyth spends the whole film apologizing for being a ditz. The film rather introduced the beautiful but incongruous song, When I Fall in Love. From the Warner Archive Collection.
9/10/11





Greetings! The heat is back in Southern California, where we've had widespread power outages. That still sounds better than the destructive fires hitting Texas and the unprecedented flooding back East -- it's a new disaster every week these days.

Citizen Kane isn't easy to write about, for any venue. I remember having to write in college about films like this, the kind that it seems impossible to generate an original thought over. It's a little easier now. I don't cover too many super-popular Harry Potter-type pictures for something like the same reason. You can't swing a cat on the web without hitting a Potter site, so what do I have to tell those people? It's much more fun when I get to describe a film that was once a 'personal discovery' or a new picture with special qualities that someone might not have heard about.

For people in the L.A. area, on September 25 the Cinefamily Silent Movie Theater in Hollywood is showing a 35mm print of Steven Spielberg's Comedy Spectacular 1941. The event is sponsored by La-La Land Records, which is promoting a new CD of the John Williams score.

The monster Blu-ray box of Ben-Hur just walked in the door, preceded by Kino's BD set of Buster Keaton's Go West & Battling Butler and Image's Blu of Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes. So if the power stays on, the weekend here at Savant Central should be plenty busy. Take care -- Glenn Erickson



September 05, 2011

Savant's new reviews today are:

United 93
Blu-ray

Playing more or less in real time, this account of the struggle on board a morning flight from Newark to San Francisco sticks to the known facts, to show the confusion and shock of the events of 9/11, and the growing realization among the airline passengers that they must retake the jet from a quartet of terrorist hijackers. A powerful, politically neutral docu-drama; some of the air traffic control people play themselves. In Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.
9/06/11

In Caliente

Dolores Del Rio, Pat O'Brien and Edward Everett Horton go through the motions in this amiable First National musical set in a gambling resort just South of the border. But hidden in the middle of the comedy is one of Busby Berkeley's most elegant musical numbers -- Wini Shaw singing The Lady in Red, an incredibly catchy tune kept alive in 101 Merrie Melody cartoons. From the Warner Archive Collection.
9/06/11

The Entitled
Blu-ray

Desperate Kevin Zegers masterminds a three-way kidnapping & ransom caper, choosing two violent hotheads as his cohorts and targeting three hateful, spoiled-rotten rich kids. Ray Liotta, Stephen McHattie and Victor Garber are the wealthy parents squeezed for a cool million apiece. Writer William Morrissey and director Aaron Woodley fashion a taut, credible suspense thriller, set in the Canadian woods. In Blu-ray from Anchor Bay.
9/06/11

and

Straw Dogs
Blu-ray

Sam Peckinpah's aura is beginning to fade, but fans of violent revenge cinema should be worshipping this incredibly efficient "territorial imperative" bloodbath from 1971. Dustin Hoffman trades his plastics for a pair of cracked glasses and a handful of improvised household defense weapons, as he holds off a drunken, brutal lynch mob in the lawless Wild West of England's Cornwall. With Susan George and David Warner, this is the longer Unrated Version. In Blu-ray from MGM / Fox.
9/06/11





Hello!

More Cinerama news, here. I try to report from time to time on the progress of restorations of original Cinerama films, and I've been tipped off to some good news on that score from frequent correspondent "B". Cinerama enthusiast / producer Dave Strohmaier can do no wrong, as he once allowed me into the projection booth at the Cinerama Dome. Dave announces the pending theatrical and video release of an entire series of Cinerama shows (+ one in the copycat system Cinemiracle). The whole story can be found at this online press release. Personally, the only Cinerama show I saw when new was South Seas Adventure, when I was a kid in Honolulu. The one I'm most interested in seeing is Search for Paradise, to hear the delirious music score by Dimitri Tiomkin.

On a less crucial note is a YouTube link sent by Rob, an insane filmic record of the Hut Sut Song (A Swedish Serenade). The incomplete YouTube notes say that the performers are The King's Men, led by songwriter and choral conductor-director Ken Darby. I'd like to know exactly where the clip comes from... it's purported to be a stand-alone short subject. For 1941, it's genuinely demented. Come to think of it, this song showed up in quite a few Warner Bros. cartoons, too.

Finally, last Friday's reference to an Australian radio show version of Forbidden Planet, the one dropped by YouTube just as I posted, has been relocated by reader Edward Sullivan. It's presently audit-able at this new Forbidden Planet radio show link.

Thanks for reading! Glenn Erickson



September 02, 2011

Savant's new reviews today are:

Follow Me Quietly

Detective William Lundigan can't catch The Judge, a maniac who murders every time it rains. So he constructs a dummy of the serial killer to "get inside the mind of his prey". An unusual noir and an early Howard Hughes-regime RKO "B"-feature by Richard Fleischer. From the Warner Archive Collection.
9/03/11


The Strange World of Gurney Slade:
The Complete Series

UK correspondent Lee Broughton reviews this "esoteric, hip" Brit TV serial from 1960, starring Anthony Newley. The first episode shows the on-air meltdown of a situation comedy, when the lead character simply refuses to respond to his cues, and walks out to make his way in the real world, as in The Truman Show. From Network DVD.
9/03/11

Blood simple
Blu-ray

The Coen brothers are back with their first film, a big hit that helped launch the vogue for neo-noir and promoted great actors like Frances McDormand (her first movie), Dan Hedaya and M. Emmet Walsh. The tricky, colorful camerawork looks even better in Blu-ray. From MGM / Fox.
9/03/11

and

The Magnificent Seven
Blu-ray

The blessing of the Blu-ray format also rejuvenates John Sturges' "Kennedy Western", the Yankees vs. Bandidos oater with the dream cast of Hollywood cowboys: Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn and Robert Vaughn. Of course the brilliant Eli Wallach out-performs them all. This new HD transfer outclasses all earlier video incarnations. From MGM / Fox.
9/03/11





Greetings!

Let's start with a couple of interesting links. The first is from the always helpful Gary Teetzel, who directs us to an unusual Australian radio presentation of Forbidden Planet. The actors appear to be reading straight from the film's screenplay, using the Louis & Bebe Barron electronic tonalities soundtrack for an audio background. And no, the down-under Altaira does not have a pet wallaby, imported from Earth eons ago by the mysterious Krell. Reader Edward Sullivan found an alternate link that works! I've substituted the new link above.


Judging by my email traffic, Savant readers want to know when Dick Dinman has more Classics Corner On The Air radio shows ready to audit. The Belle of New York Saves Fred Astaire Part One and Part Two see Dick and Warners VP George Feltenstein talking about Astaire's career and his relationship with the great songwriters of his day, in conjunction with a new CD release. Fred Astaire Saves a Damsel in Distress has interview input from four of Astaire's co-stars (Kim Novak, Joan Leslie, Arlene Dahl & Terry Moore), plus archived statements from David Niven and Audrey Hepburn. Good friend Dick Dinman reminds me that all of his radio shows can be sourced at the Classics Corner Online Archive. Dick ought to interview himself sometime; I've only heard a little bit about his career as a Hollywood actor and casting director.


And reader Scott Hendrson would like me to make Savant readers aware of a 70mm Film Festival going on in Seattle... we spoiled Angelenos aren't the only ones with access to awesome cinema screenings. Full details are available at this Seattle Cinerama 70mm page. It's a good selection of big-screen epics, including two titles in authentic, original 3-Panel Cinerama. The most eye-popping 70mm revival I've ever seen was a stunning print of Ryan's Daughter, back in 2002; if it were screening I'd seriously consider finding an excuse to high-tail it to Washington State.

Upcoming Savant reviews (discs in hand) will include Blu-rays of Straw Dogs, United 93, The Entitled, If... and the lavish new boxed set for Citizen Kane. In Standard DVD I've got My Cousin Rachel, The Cigarette Girl of Mosselprom, Visions of 8, The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond, The Romance of Rosy Ridge, In Caliente, The History of Mr. Polly and the archival compendium Treasures 5: The West. Thanks for reading! -- Glenn Erickson


Don't forget to write Savant at [email protected].

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