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March 25, 2009


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Leave "The Exorcist" alone, for Pete's sake! Friedkin and Blatty already kicked it around enough ten years ago, and it was near-perfect already.

The Warners Store dealy both excites and perplexes me. When I went to the site yesterday, it seemed like, right now, there were only a couple dozen titles available (listed in the A-E, F-M, etc. title sections). Is there a link I'm not clicking to get the full story? Because it sounds like, anything in their archives will be put on a DVD specifically for you (me) for 20 bucks, but then I only see a few titles. What am I doing wrong?

Glenn Kenny

@ Bill: I don't think you're doing anything wrong. I didn't believe that they were rolling out everything all at once. I'll check though.

I ordered a few representative titles, including two-count-'em-two Borzages, and Jack Webb's "The D.I." (can't wait for "-30-"), and will write on them when they arrive. Joy, and consternation, indeed.

Hopefully with Roizman on board for this we can be resonably confident of a kick-ass Blu-ray of the original theatrical version, after which Friedkin can play with his other cut and new color timing all he wants. It'll probably result in a not-cheap multi-disc set, but that's life....


Oh, which Borzage films? I'm sadly ignorant of his work, but I'd happily order a couple on the cheap to get me started.

PS (and off topic) - I watched "Daisy Kenyon" over the weekend. You and I may not agree on much, Glenn (I also watched "A Man Escaped", and I remain undecided on Bresson, although that's a step up from my previous "WTF??" reaction. "L'Argent" has interested me the most, so far), but I grow ever more sure that you're on the money when it comes to Preminger. He was one of the all-time best.

Glenn Kenny

@bill: Gawrsh. I always thought, politics aside, we were fundamentally in agreement about quite a bit. (Sniffles a bit, pulls self together.) The Borzages I ordered were "Shining Hour" and the provocatively titled "Three Comrades." Between the Murnau/Borzage box, the Depression-era programming at FIlm Forum, and TCM, Borzage is the director I've been most catching up with in the past six months or so, and boy has it been great.

Aaron Aradillas

In the HTF chat, WHV state that 20 titles will be added each month. April 1st and 15th will unveil new titles added to the Archives. Also, Bill, you might want to click the "All" or "All Titles" function to see all 120 titles or so that are available in the Archives.

I can't wait to order my copy of the classic Brat-Pack-does-Bonnie-and-Clyde-but-it's-all-a-dream comedy Wisdom.

And, of course, Al Capone.


Oh, er, ha ha, er...yeah, I guess we do, actually. We do seem to hate many of the same people, after all. I guess "we may not agree on much" just seemed like a better lead-in than "we agree on plenty and here's another example of that".

Anyway, how's "Whirlpool"? That's the next Preminger on my list.

Glenn Kenny

"Whirlpool" kills. It's one of Preminger's most eccentric pictures, packed with a near-unbelievable amount of perverse psycho-sexual content, hardly any of it subtextual. Great cast, too; Jose Ferrer in the part he was born to play, "Citizen Kane" vocal coach Fortunio Bonavona as a pathetic has-been, and more. OK, so Richard Conte playing a psychoanalyst doesn't quite make it, but you can't have everything. Enjoy! I'm reasonably sure you're gonna want to write about it.


Well all right, then! Damn, I almost bumped it up the queue for this weekend, but I didn't (although, I do have "The Red Shoes", "Les Biches" and "Magnificent Obsession" coming instead, so probably a fair trade). But "Whirlpool" is on for next week...

Aaron, thanks for the WB tip. I'll do that.

RYan Kelly

Glenn, does that mean you've never seen "Three Comrades"? TCM broadcast it a few weeks ago. They've been showing quite a bit of his sound era films as of late.

Glenn Kenny

@Ryan Kelly: As Regis Philbin used to like to say, "I'm only one man!" In this case, one man who has not kept up with the TCM calender...


Three Comrades is lovely, with an exquisite fadeout.

It's interesting to me that all the men love Daisy Kenyon ...


Speaking of Preminger, how lucky should I consider myself to have found Centennial Summer and Porgy & Bess online?

The latter was pretty poor quality, but at least it was in widescreen. A shame the Gershwin estate has kept it from wide release. Haven't watched the former yet but it's hard-subtitled in Spanish, a minor distraction.

Also, I managed to find Hurry Sundown in widescreen, but with German audio! And the English-language versions I've found are pan & scan. Damn you, cinema gods! If I was more tech savvy I'd find a way to combine them.

Ryan Kelly

"As Regis Philbin used to like to say, "I'm only one man!" In this case, one man who has not kept up with the TCM calender..."

I forget not everyone is a TCM hound like I am. It's a sickness, really. So, here ya go:

No Greater Glory - Mar 26, 10:00AM
Secrets - Apr 07, 04:30AM
Three Comrades - May 06, 10:00AM
A Farewell To Arms - May 07, 12:45PM

TCM's website handily allows you to search by actor, writer, director, whatever.

Tom Russell

God, I love TCM. Tuesday night was especially exciting-- been waiting to see Chuck Jones's version of "The Phantom Tollbooth" for years and years. (Too bad the film wasn't worth the wait...)


Tom, I loved that movie when I was a kid. I haven't seen it since, though.

Ryan Kelly

Yes, the Jones retrospective was genius! I haven't got around to watching "The Phantom Tollbooth" yet, it's tucked away on my DVR, disheartening to hear you say it isn't much good.


I have to say, the Warners Archive announcement warms my heart, especially the fact that they want all 6800 titles up there eventually.

This is why my DVD purchases tend to be Warners or Criterion; they do it right.

Tom Russell

Bill & Ryan: I might be at a disadvantage because of my undying love for the source material. I feel that a lot of Juster's charm and cleverness were lost in the translation and the film is more "zany"; the songs, which aren't exactly the sort of things you can sing along to, don't help.

What's strange is that Jones's other Juster adaptation, "The Dot and The Line", captured the tone of the original perfectly-- so perfectly, in fact, that it won Jones his first Oscar. Juster did write the screenplay for "Dot", while Jones and another were responsible for the screenplay for "Tollbooth".

(plug)I wrote _slightly_ more about my thoughts on Jones's adaptation over at my own site, linked in my name below.(/plug)


@Lazarus -- do tell how Centennial Summer was, and where you got it, if you can reveal that? I saw it once as a child and liked it so much then.


Campaspe: I found it on peer-to-peer, through the Kad network. I don't know too much about this tech stuff, and use it as a last resort when I can't find what I'm looking for through torrents. When you've been bit by the Jacques Rivette bug, for example, you have to resort to a By Any Means Necessary mentality.

Speaking of torrents, and Rivette, Out 1: Noli Me Tangere is now out there in the public ether, as well as The Nun (I had only seen them before through private sites). The former has hard Italian subtitles but there are larger English subs in bold that are totally readable when put on top.


Campaspe, dare I ask why it's so interesting that the men like "Daisy Kenyon"...?


Glenn: Hope you like The D.I. I found a rental VHS of it a couple of years ago and enjoyed it. Of course the production code of the time meant Webb couldn't bring an R. Lee Ermey level of the profane to his role, but he really holds the screen. His performance makes the film, along with that of Don Dubbins as a troubled recruit (subtle work in a tricky role -- surprised his career didn't amount to much). As usual, Webb is good with the camera, too. The romantic subplot between Webb and Jackie Loughery (a former Miss USA and the future Mrs. Webb) is hampered by Loughery's complete lack of acting ability, but it can't sink the film.

I'm a big Webb fan, and I'd love to see -30-. If it eventually makes the WB archive cut, I'll blind buy it.

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