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Review older films here: 1979 and earlier - Page 30

post #871 of 1261
Thanks for the shout-out, Bill. smile.gif
post #872 of 1261
Thread Starter 
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977), directed by Lewis Gilbert.
Quote:
Kid: Girls love musicians, don't they?

Dad: Uh-huh.

Kid: Even the really weird ones get girlfriends.

Dad: That's right. Meatloaf definitely got laid at least once. For God's sake, Ringo Starr married a Bond girl!

Kid: (pause) Whatever.

-- Love Actually

When the Brits and Soviets each lose a nuclear submarine, they team up to find out what's going on. James Bond gets an unsmiling but ravishing KGB partner. They become pretty comfy until she discovers that he killed her boyfriend on an earlier mission. That puts a chill on things but they still have to hunt down Captain Nemo / Blofeld / the latest megalomaniac and penetrate and blow up his vast ocean facility.

Somehow I had never seen Bond #10, Roger Moore's third, before. It's widely considered his best and the story does flirt with seriousness, although never for very long. He kills more than usual this time, but has a submersible car and an unending supply of quips. Dr Evil has a shark tank (sigh). We have sporadic action scenes until it really picks up with large-scale fighting in the final quarter.

We see the slow evolution of the Bond Girl into a more estimable, challenging woman. As I've said, I think this was to appeal to the female demographic, but it also makes for better stories. 007 has no difficulty handling her at this stage. Barbara Bach was in Playboy during those years, although I forget to what "extent".

7'1" Richard Kiel is the unstoppable "Jaws"; he'll be back.

I don't think nuclear weapons (two of them) have ever actually exploded in any other Bond film.

Varied score by Marvin Hamlisch. The bits of period funk hurt. Carly Simon sings the famous theme.

Available on Blu-ray.



-Bill
post #873 of 1261
Thread Starter 
Head (1968), directed by Bob Rafelson.

I saw just a bit of this years ago and had zero expectations for the Criterion Blu-ray. One: a little bit of 60s groovy freak-out goes a long way with me. Two: at the time the Monkees were a children's TV pop band acceptable to your parents. Though long-haired and goofy, they were safe and wholesome enough for family viewing. What are the odds they could make satisfactory psychedelica?

To my surprise, this was a fun 85 minutes. Sure, it's chaotic, dumb and smug; that goes with the genre. But there is the suggestion of a worthwhile plot: of fictional characters trying to break out of their manufactured, TV-land triviality into a higher reality. Just as a made-up rock band might strive to become the real thing.

It's done on the TV show sets with instantly recognizable costumes (F-Troop, Daniel Boone) and endlessly cliched plot fragments. Plenty of self-mockery ("God's gift to the eight year olds") and the obligatory Vietnam war footage. Jibes against industry, consumers, etc, actually seem a bit perfunctory.

The backstory is important. The Monkees were assembled for a silly and madcap TV show about a wannabe Beatles sound-alike group. The four members wanted to be a real band and eventually found phenomenal success but no respect. They were endlessly ridiculed as poseurs who could not play their own instruments (which was not true). The criticism seemed to come from the press; other working musicians were much more kind. See the wikipedia article for the history.

At the end of the TV series they decided to blow the whole thing up with Head, which was rather bold. Taking a time machine back to that era to watch it happen is a fun trip. It received negligible box-office but is better liked since.

Many celebrity cameos and distinguished musical contributors: see Head (film) for details. Several of what would be called music videos today.

Written by the director and Jack Nicholson.

Criterion Blu-ray, part of the "America Lost and Found: The BBS Story" box set. The image is amazingly fine, although low expectations may have contributed to my appreciation. The PreFab Four themselves provide a sensible, pretty happy commentary track.



-Bill
post #874 of 1261
Thread Starter 
It's a Wonderful Life (1946), produced and directed by Frank Capra.

Here are two important Truths of Life that you seldom see presented in movies:

(1) After the bursting energy of youth and first success as an adult, a man's life is a series of defeats. He never gets what he really wants, all is compromise, settling for less and ruined dreams. In the end every life seems like a failure.

(2) That's all right anyway.

Why should this be? George Bailey's case is a very common one: Women's Magic is stronger. He and Mary throw rocks at the old house, each with a wish: hers is to defeat his, to keep him from his dreams of adventure, to bind him to the little town. That requires the death of his father, the bank run and Great Depression: powerful stuff.

Is he the hero of the Building & Loan? He hates the shabby place, one of Old Man Potter's keener insights. Is he a pillar of the community? He hates the "crummy" town. Happy family man? In his anger and despair he says "why do we have all these kids?"

This would be a tragic tale were it not for Truth #2: It's ok. A good woman understands that having broken and domesticated her man, there are compensations for him: love, family, community, duties fulfilled. You can't always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need. George is a large-hearted man: he can't even put himself first when trying to commit suicide. What would he have missed if he had become a solo adventurer?

I confess: when he returns to life and finds his kids at home, I get weepy. That doesn't often happen to a hardened amateur film reviewer.

I cannot praise James Stewart enough for this performance: all the shadings of yearning, despair and finally spiritual terror. And his miraculous return to joy. He's perfect for the role, so folksy and American, yet with that dangerous core, the persona that suited him so well in his Hitchcock pictures.

This is my first Blu-ray viewing and I see all sorts of new details, such as the sign at the pond where the boys are sledding: "H. Potter: No Trespassing", the plaque in Peter Bailey's office: "All you can take with you is that which you've given away", and the little boy searching George's pockets when he gets home. The sets are deep and rich, the cinematography finer than I remember. I even appreciate the acting more, something I don't remember from any other Blu-ray upgrade.

On the down side, Potter is a cartoon villain. The framing story of Clarence the angel ("IQ of a rabbit") is awfully sweet, but Capra's confidence makes it work. The juxtaposition of the sweetness with the tragic/joyful core of the story is actually kind of eerie, keeping us off balance.

The film provides unexpected opportunities for guilt by the viewer: for a man who has not achieved his goals and resents the ties that bind, for a woman who has hobbled her man, and for anyone who yearns for Bedford Falls while living and working in (and enjoying!) Pottersville.

Dimitri Tiomkin score.

Available on Blu-ray with a very decent image, particularly fine in the black levels.

Merry Christmas, Bedford Falls!



-Bill
post #875 of 1261
For some reason, I never got around to buying the BD of It's a Wonderful Life, despite my deep admiration for the film. Fortunately, NBC is going to show it tomorrow night and I have it setup to record. Really looking forward to seeing this Christmas classic again!
post #876 of 1261
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

It's a Wonderful Life (1946), produced and directed by Frank Capra.

I confess: when he returns to life and finds his kids at home, I get weepy. That doesn't often happen to a hardened amateur film reviewer.

-Bill
You're that far into it before you get weepy? I'm already a wreck with the early scene of George as a boy being hugged by the old druggist (H.B. Warner) after smacking his ear to the point of drawing blood for, thankfully, not following through on the drunken druggist's potentially deadly prescription mistake, not to mention the reason the druggist was drunk in the first place.

You ARE a hardened film reviewer, Bill! smile.gif
post #877 of 1261
Thread Starter 
It Started with Eve (1941), directed by Henry Koster.

When fabulously wealthy, jolly tyrant Charles Laughton is on his deathbed he insists on meeting his future daughter-in-law. Hapless son Bob Cummings ("honest but weak") can't produce her immediately so he dragoons hat check girl Deanna Durbin for the job. Surprise! A pretty young woman in the house gets the old man's blood flowing and he perks up, maybe not dying after all. How to broach the truth while managing the real fiance and her fierce pearl necklace-swinging mother?

This doesn't get listed in the top tier of screwball comedies but I have always been fond of it. Durbin, age 20 and with top billing, was about half way through her film career. She'd just left juvenile roles and handles the adult work deftly. They never allowed her characters to have any spice or sexual naughtiness; that would have blown too many fuses in the theater. She quit because she couldn't get good roles.

As always, Laughton is a hoot. He appreciates a pretty girl without being overly lecherous about it. He wants her around and plays matchmaker. Their mutual affection is really quite touching. The actor was only age 52 here.

Love the eccentric carved wood and stone mansion. Durbin plays piano and sings a few songs. Is she wearing a bra? (That scene where she pushes out the grand piano and takes off her jacket). Some very mild sex humor. Eternal butler Charles Coleman does a Churchill impression.

Mantan Moreland is the comical black railway porter typical of the period, but note the jokes are on the other characters. He has a race quip I don't remember hearing in film before: "High yellow: my favorite color!"



-Bill
post #878 of 1261
Thread Starter 
Strangers on a Train (1951), directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

I suppose everyone knows this famous criss-cross murder story adapted from Patricia Highsmith's first book, published when she was 29 years old. I'll just list assorted notes made after an umpteenth viewing, my first time on Blu-ray.

  • Chatty, charming psycho Bruno careens through the movie with no one to stop him. Everyone knows he's crazy and several see he is dangerous. Nonetheless we like him and Robert Walker is great in the role.
  • Our hero, Guy, is bland by comparison and Farley Granger is a bland actor. This makes us less attached to him and we are never entirely on his side.
  • We have no reason to like his scheming wife Miriam but she is more interesting than the perfect fiance, the senator's daughter. We dread watching her flirt with Death at the amusement park and don't actually believe the murder will occur. Until it does. (Killing a pregnant woman in film must have been unusual at the time).
  • We see cause for Miriam's resentment of Guy's perfect new life with the rich and glamorous.
  • Bruno has given Guy what he wanted: freedom. Does Guy secretly feel he owes something in return, even if the original criss-cross bargain was a misunderstanding?
  • Note how harmful the authorities and normal people are: the police shoot an innocent man at the carousel, and when the old man crawls under it to stop the runaway machine he causes the crash!
  • Stampeding carousel horses! The kids love it.
  • Truffaut points out that Hitchcock will use a pre-shock incident to put us off-balance during the moments of suspense. He mentions the big dog on the stairway. We had been certain that Guy wasn't really going to kill Bruno's father, but after he gets past the dog we have second thoughts.
  • Another example from the other direction would be the screaming in the amusement park tunnel of love which turns to laughter. We are disarmed before the actual sudden murder on the island.
  • Hitchcock was not happy with either Farley Granger or Ruth Roman. I'm not sure why in her case: she seemed to be doing the job. He also thought the dialog could have been stronger.

Dimitri Tiomkin score

Available on Blu-ray, quite decent looking. The black levels are not very consistent, but I suspect that matches the film itself. A commentary track is patched together from a variety of interviews. The disc includes a standard definition "preview cut"; the differences are said to be minor.



-Bill
post #879 of 1261
What, no (frontal) snaps of the luscious Ruth Roman, Bill?

Nor of Section 1, Number 1.wink.gif
post #880 of 1261
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RUR View Post

What, no (frontal) snaps of the luscious Ruth Roman, Bill?

From my extensive archives, with Patricia Hitchcock:





-Bill
post #881 of 1261
Thanks, Bill. IIRC, I've only seen her in this and one of the many Jimmy Stewart westerns.

Section 1, Number 1 AKA Alexander Waverly (also AKA Topper, TV version) would be Leo G. Carroll, Ruth's father.
post #882 of 1261
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RUR View Post

Thanks, Bill. IIRC, I've only seen her in this and one of the many Jimmy Stewart westerns.

She's a villain in The Window (1949), but my thumbnails don't show her in that review.

-Bill
post #883 of 1261
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

She's a villain in The Window (1949), but my thumbnails don't show her in that review.
-Bill

Interesting side note on the life of Ruth Roman:

Ruth Roman
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruth_Roman
Quote:
Ruth Roman (born Norma Roman December 22, 1922 – September 9, 1999) was an American actress. One of her most memorable roles was in the Alfred Hitchcock 1951 thriller Strangers on a Train.

...Andrea Doria Sinking

In July 1956, Ruth was just finishing a trip to Europe with Richard, or "Dickie" as he was called as a child, who was three years old at the time. At the port of Cannes, they boarded the Italian passenger liner SS Andrea Doria as First Class passengers for their return trip home to the United States. On the night of July 25, the Andrea Doria collided with the Swedish passenger liner MS Stockholm. Ruth was in the Belvedere Lounge when the collision happened and immediately took off her high heels and scrambled back to her cabin barefoot to retrieve her sleeping son. Several hours later she and the other passengers were being evacuated from the sinking liner. Dickie was lowered first into a waiting lifeboat, and before she could follow the lifeboat departed. Ruth stepped into the next boat and was eventually rescued along with 750 other survivors from the Andrea Doria by the French passenger liner SS Ile de France. Dickie was rescued by the Stockholm and was reunited with his mother in New York.

STRANGERS ON A TRAIN would be my choice for the first must-see Alfred Hitchcock movie to watch for anyone who has never actually sat and watched an Alfred Hitchcock movie before. One of his greatest, and if this one doesn't suck you into to wanting to see more then you might be better off going back to the video games for your "cinematic entertainment".

Thanks for the great review and insight on it, Bill.
post #884 of 1261
Thread Starter 
My Man Godfrey (1936), directed by Gregory La Cava.
Quote:
All you need for a lunatic asylum is an empty room and the right kind of people.

My previous review of this, one of the best screwball comedies, is way back on page 2 of this thread.

This time I noticed Godfrey's journey. Once a spoiled rich kid himself, he has realized "there is no limit to how low a man can sink when he starts feeling sorry for myself." And: "the only difference between a derelict and a man is a job." While serving and observing the crazy rich family (Depression audiences loved a peek inside the mansion as lunatic asylum) he finds self-respect and humility and makes a triumphant, if warm-hearted and generous, comeback.

Audiences were used to William Powell as one of the most debonair men in pictures and it must have been a shock to see him unshaven and ragged in the shanty town. Once he gets back on his feet he handles every situation with wit and grace, just as we expect.

Gail Patrick owned the "wrong woman" character of that era. As the evil big sister it must have been tempting to ease up and get some sympathy from the audience, but no, she remains Cruella until almost the last moment. Patrick came to Hollywood to audition for the "Panther Woman" in Island of Lost Souls. She didn't get it.

In his book Screwball, Ed Sikov has a nice section on the film. He loves the opening credits and the entire cast, praises the leads and their fine chemistry; William Powell and Carole Lombard were divorced by this time but still pals -- you can tell. He faults it for giving up on the strong social critique of the opening scenes. In the end Godfrey the recovered aristocrat saves the day. To me this is just part of the topsy-turvy charm of the screwball genre, always keeping us off balance and providing the unexpected. Movies aren't sociology lectures.

He also says the romance itself is incomprehensible: Lombard's character is so ditzy, how could Godfrey fall for her? There is something to that, but it's still an essential element of the genre: male rationality overcome by female frenzy. And love is, in fact, incomprehensible.

Criterion DVD. Grainy but pleasant to watch. I'd love a Blu-ray if the source could stand the improvement. The DVD has rare 1930s outtakes, mostly violations of the Third Commandment. Detailed, somewhat academic commentary track.



-Bill
post #885 of 1261
A terrific 30's romp, filled with zany characters, including the wonderful Eugene Pallette as the beleaguered head of the house:

(after being served with a subpoena)

Well, here I am again with another little present...
Yes, I've heard that before. Which one of the family is it this time?
Miss Cornelia. Last night, she busted up a few windows along Fifth Avenue.
I'm sorry, but girls will be girls.
Good-bye.
In this family, it's one subpoena after another.

Mr. Bullock, there's a hansome cab driver waiting in the kitchen.
What's he want?
He wants $50 and his horse.
What horse?
The one Miss Irene rode up the front steps last night.
Where is his horse? I haven't got it.
It's in the library, where Miss Irene left it.
Well, do you begin to get the idea?
post #886 of 1261
Thread Starter 
Carnival of Souls (1962), directed by Herk Harvey.

After inexplicably escaping drowning in a car crash, a young woman wanders in a dreamlike and disassociated state. Sometimes her world goes silent and sometimes other people can't see or hear her. Ghoulish figures stare and menace her. She is drawn to a ruined outdoor pavilion where dead figures rise from the water and dance. She begins to see herself as one of them...

Spooky happenings but otherwise plotless. Patterns but not a real story. It is a micro-budget effort from industrial filmmakers who wanted to try something more exciting. They were going for a Euro art-film look and some of the photography is striking. The actors are amateurs and students and semi-pros; they project and enunciate in stage voices.

Initially it played only at drive-ins through the South and then the distributor went out of business. It's become a cult feature since and is valuable as an example of low-budget amateur filmmaking. As a horror feature on it's own merits: not so much. Young George Romero liked it. I've heard David Lynch suggested as a fan.

The sound is often only roughly synced, most famously with her echoing footsteps, done at the studio with high heeled shoes rapping on a plywood board. The director says he wanted to do better but there was no time or money. A fortuitous error: it adds to the dreamlike quality of those scenes.

Filmed in and around Lawrence, Kansas and the ruined Saltair pavilion in Utah. The pavilion was the origin of the story: they wrote the film around it.

Criterion 2-disc DVD set. The restored theatrical version is vastly better than the public domain copy I had seen before. It looks more like a serious film now. The set includes the director's cut which is 5 minutes longer but poorer quality. That version has a commentary track by the director and writer. I has some good info but also long silent stretches.



-Bill
post #887 of 1261
Thread Starter 
Senso (1954), directed by Luchino Visconti.

In 1866 the Italians are trying to push out the occupying Austrians. A patriotic countess gives her heart to an enemy soldier. He's a cad and her obsessive and degrading love affair does not proceed or end well.

It's plotted and staged like an opera without singing. The passion is understated and lacks energy. We get outdoor shots of Venice and a slow-moving battle in the countryside.

This is a once-only movie for me. Too melodramatic without other virtues. I remember Alida Valli from The Third Man and The Paradine Case. She seems less mysterious in color.

Criterion Blu-ray.



-Bill
post #888 of 1261
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

Senso (1954), directed by Luchino Visconti.


-Bill

Interesting color palate in your screen shots, what is it? Technicolor or something else?
post #889 of 1261
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

Interesting color palate in your screen shots, what is it? Technicolor or something else?

Yes. The booklet gives these details:
Quote:
The original 3-strip negatives had suffered extreme shrinkage and decay and, as a result, could no longer be properly aligned [...] By scanning each of the three negatives separately on an ARRISCAN Film Scanner in 2k resolution and aligning the images digitally, the restorers were able to correct the registration problems [...] The resulting images were then color corrected in consultation with cinematographer Giuseppe Rotunno and Martin Scorcese. The key references for color correction were a 1954 positive print [... and other cleanup]

It does not look much like other Technicolor films, being a strange combination of pastel and certain saturated colors. Whether that is what it looked like when new, I don't know.

-Bill
Edited by wmcclain - 1/13/13 at 5:11am
post #890 of 1261
Thread Starter 
The King of Marvin Gardens (1972), produced and directed by Bob Rafelson.

Come and hang out with these people for a while:

  • Jack Nicholson is an introverted essayist on midnight radio. He opens with a long monologue (which turns out to be untrue) about killing his grandfather.
  • Bruce Dern is his smooth operator big brother, always with a new get rich scheme. Sometimes he's in jail, and he works with a crime gang, dangerous people to know.
  • Two women just to keep things lively: a mother-daughter pair with delusions of beauty pageants. Ellen Burstyn is mom; this is the only screen credit for the young woman playing her daughter.

Meet them in Atlantic City and count the Monopoly game references. You could say it's about family and dreams. Or not. More of a character study than a tightly plotted drama, but it's fascinating filmmaking with found locations and opportunistic bits of business.

Fine performances by all the principals -- I'll see anything with these three actors. Bruce Dern was always a favorite.

It's an alternate viewport into life. Unlike most fiction, life is often plotless and absurd. In a story you need reasons for what happens; characters need motives. In life the reasons are sometimes too tenuous to be traced and people are irrational and unpredictable, with only the vaguest of motives.

Criterion Blu-ray, part of the "America Lost and Found: The BBS Story" box set. Another very pleasing image.



-Bill
post #891 of 1261
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

The King of Marvin Gardens (1972), produced and directed by Bob Rafelson.


-Bill
Ellen Burstyn gives a truly awesome performance in this movie. And I miss this pre self-parody Nicholson. What a fine actor he was, particularly in these Rafelson movies.
post #892 of 1261
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hitchfan View Post

Ellen Burstyn gives a truly awesome performance in this movie. And I miss this pre self-parody Nicholson. What a fine actor he was, particularly in these Rafelson movies.

Here's the shot I used for the "Name that Movie" thread; this one zooms to full size:



-Bill
post #893 of 1261
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

Here's the shot I used for the "Name that Movie" thread; this one zooms to full size:



-Bill
Damn! I've been so busy and unable to visit this forum as much anymore, I saw that thread but didn't really want to get involved in a prolonged game of some kind. lol! Might have gotten that one right away.
post #894 of 1261
Thread Starter 
Our Man Flint (1966), directed by Daniel Mann.

James Bond spoofs began early in the series. The two Derek Flint films were the best and most successful. They were fun at the time. Now: well, you have to project yourself back to the mid-60s very light and silly ambience. The sexual politics: hoo, boy!

A group of tyrannical do-gooder scientists have collected their minions at a secret island base (behind the waterfall, under the exploding mountain) and are disrupting world weather until Earth surrenders to their domination. Their goals...are a bit fuzzy. Like Dr Horrible, they just need to rule. It involves mind control and women programmed to be Pleasure Units (who are branded with a hot electric gizmo).

World spy organization ZOWIE calls for independent agent Flint. He keeps a stable of women, is expert in martial arts and mental disciplines of the East, speaks all languages, is an art collector and ballet dancer, is familiar with every dangerous spot in the world, builds his own gadgets and has his own jet. Maybe Buckaroo Banzai could take him but it would be a close thing.

This is James Coburn's first starring role and he is appealing as the playboy genius agent. He is too tall and thin for the running and punching work, but he makes up for it with style and wit.

We have a bunch of Bond quotes in the gadgets and names: they mention SPECTRE and we meet agent 0008 briefly. The President sounds like LBJ. The enemy femme fatale was a former Miss Israel.

1960s sets tend to look cheap. Believe it or not, this had the same budget as Goldfinger, which looks vastly more expensive. The Bond production people delivered more for the money.

Jerry Goldsmith score.

The Blu-ray is a Twilight Times limited edition. The image quality is only fair. Two 1960s film buffs and authors provide a happy, wide-ranging commentary track. Isolated score.



-Bill
post #895 of 1261
Ever seen The President's Analyst, Bill? IMHO a better, funnier Coburn flick. TPC(!) is after him.
post #896 of 1261
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RUR View Post

Ever seen The President's Analyst, Bill? IMHO a better, funnier Coburn flick. TPC(!) is after him.

It's been a long time. I have it on my want list, though.

Waterhole #3 is my favorite comedy western. Reviewed here.

It might be time for a Coburn film festival; he did a lot of off-beat stuff. Don't miss Hard Times with Charles Bronson.

-Bill
post #897 of 1261
Thread Starter 
Experiment in Terror (1962), produced and directed by Blake Edwards.

I reviewed this a few years ago ago and the DVD was out of print even then. Now a great-looking Blu-ray has appeared from Twilight Time. There is something about black-and-white in 1.85 aspect ratio: it looks big, like still photos from old large format cameras.

Bank teller Lee Remick and kid sister Stefanie Powers are terrorized by an asthmatic murderer who wants money from the bank. "Don't contact the police" he warns. Unusually for these stories, she calls the police. He stops her and beats her up, but rock solid FBI agent Glen Ford locates her and will do his best to see her through it. But the killer is clever and has many ways of applying leverage. Remick is in the hot-seat throughout: she may actually have to do the bank job even while the police are watching.

It's a dandy police procedural, maybe a bit long at 2h03m. Much watching and waiting and subplots with the killer's girlfriends. Vivid composition and great San Francisco locations. In one scene the killer appears dressed as an old lady and in another we find a murder victim hanging from the ceiling; both are a bit far for a film that is otherwise realistic.

People list references David Lynch makes to this film, starting with the Twin Peaks neighborhood in SF.

Great Henry Mancini score, suggesting Angelo Badalamenti for another Lynch connection.

The Blu-ray is a Twilight Times limited edition with a rather fine image. Isolated score.



-Bill
post #898 of 1261
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

Experiment in Terror (1962), produced and directed by Blake Edwards.

I reviewed this a few years ago ago and the DVD was out of print even then. Now a great-looking Blu-ray has appeared from Twilight Time. There is something about black-and-white in 1.85 aspect ratio: it looks big, like still photos from old large format cameras.

-Bill

Does anyone know if this is 16:9 from Amazon streaming? That seems to be about the only way to rent this title.

Lee Remick was a hottie, especially in Anatomy of a Murder.
post #899 of 1261
Thread Starter 
Inferno (1953), directed by Roy Ward Baker.

When nasty millionaire Robert Ryan breaks his leg in the desert, wife Rhonda Fleming and her boyfriend see great opportunity in leaving him there. "We're not killing him," she says. "Just not saving him."

It takes him a while to realize they aren't coming back. The rest of the movie is his brutal survival trek, setting his leg and crawling out of the desert, hunting for food and water, the intense desire for revenge keeping him going.

We have great "your cheating heart" contrasts with the guilty lovers: plenty to eat and drink, lounging by the pool. But they begin to suspect he is still alive and have to go back into the desert to finish the job. That gate swings both ways, of course.

And our hero? His survival ordeal has changed him. Not that he is any nicer or more forgiving, but he does attain a certain degree of peace.

It's only 83 minutes long and is a straightforward survival and vengeance tale. The real Mojave locations help enormously; much better than a sound stage. Robert Ryan is my favorite actor of that era and I am slowly getting through his filmography as the titles become available.

Exciting Paul Sawtell score with discordant horns. He has 320 IMDB credits as Composer and 443 for Music Department.

Filmed in 3D. The Technicolor has faded with time.

Fox Cinema Archives DVD-R, available for rent from ClassicFlix.



-Bill
post #900 of 1261
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmcclain View Post

Inferno (1953), directed by Roy Ward Baker.


Fox Cinema Archives DVD-R, available for rent from ClassicFlix.


-Bill

Was also released in Spain for Region-2 (PAL) and can still be found in that format.
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