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June 18, 2009

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Match Cuts Glenn

Nice! This set sounds great. And I have been waiting for Make Way For Tomorrow for freakin' years.

Peter Nellhaus

Now if only Universal could be convinced that some of us would like a Siodmak brothers set. Maria Montez does look mighty attractive in that screen grab.

Griff

It is possible -- anyway, it has been many years since I read this -- that Forman's TAKING OFF has essentially insuperable music rights issues preventing a legal video release. Anyway, all power to that label of your acquaintance in working to make this happen.

The amazing U library includes literally hundreds of Universal and pre-'48 Paramount sound features that I'd consider renting or purchasing tomorrow, if only given the opportunity. I'm not even sure where to start... Frank Perry's DIARY OF A MAD HOUSEWIFE and PLAY IT AS IT LAYS. W.C. Fields & Bing Crosby in MISSISSIPPI. Don Siegel's THE BLACK WINDMILL. MURDERS AT THE ZOO. SEPTEMBER 30, 1955. Lubitsch's BROKEN LULLABY/THE MAN I KILLED (and all the other Lubitsch movies they own that Criterion hasn't yet issued). Curtis Harrington's GAMES. All of von Sternberg's Dietrich movies (and AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY, too). THE MONSTER AND THE GIRL. Hopper's THE LAST MOVIE (perhaps with that rumored re-edited TV syndication print as an extra). I'm not even scratching the surface. More Whale! More McCarey! More everything!

Well, at least ALI BABA, GESTE and the estimable LONELY ARE THE BRAVE, reputedly Kirk Douglas' favorite of his films, are now finally on dvd. Here's hoping the library opens a little wider.

Tom Russell

"Ask me some time about a DVD label of my acquaintance that's dying to do something with Forman's Taking Off and can't get a single phone call returned."

Consider yourself asked.

... or was that more of a rhetorical question?

Dan

I grabbed the Gary Cooper set when they put that one out for "Design for Living" and "Beau Geste", both of which were great, although the one that I saw that really stuck with me was "Peter Ibbetson", another Hathaway. Very weird movie.

Has there been any critical appreciation of Hathaway's work? He's a hack, but he's a hack who put out some pretty compelling movies nonetheless (I'm thinking "Kiss of Death" and "Niagra" in particular).

Christian

Let's see Hopper's three hour plus cut of THE LAST MOVIE.

Campaspe

Universal and its library ... don't get me started, please. May this be the start of them prying open the vault doors at last.

Poor Maria Montez. She was a dish, wasn't she? I love this whole silly genre. All I have to do is tune into some Technicolor film with a bunch of guys waving scimitars and braying about "the CALIPH!" and I'm there. For years I thought those little filmy veils the women wore were authentic Mideast garb. Wonder which costume designer at which studio came up with that solution to the problem of the veil, so that the starlet's lovely faces could still show and look "Persian" or "Arabic" or whatever ethnicity the movie was trying to ape?

Michael Adams

Hathaway may be a hack without a distinctive style or vision, but he made more watchable films than many more heralded auteurs. The Dark Corner, Rawhide, and 23 Paces to Baker Street are all very well made.

Randy Byers

Another good Hathway in that Gary Cooper set is The Lives of a Bengal Lancer, which was made the same year as the wonderfully weird Peter Ibbetson.

Lou Lumenick

This title sequence really tickled me.

I have a small gripe with TRAIL OF THE LONESOME PINE. For some reason, the Paramount logo, the Adolph Zukor presents title card and the Walter Wanger logo are rendered in monochrome, when they were originally presented in a sepia wash (you can check this on YouTube). Also, there is some color flashing in the credits proper. Otherwise, I thought this was a very good representation of the film, which I saw in an IB nitrate print at the Museum of the Moving Image a couple of years ago. You have a better eye than me, Glenn, so I'm eager to hear what you think.

I've always found Paramount's early Technicolor features particularly lush, so I hope Universal will put out MEN WITH WINGS, VIRGINIA, BAHAMA PASSAGE, EBB TIDE, MONSOON and HER JUNGLE LOVE, which are far from great movies but I remember as real eye-poppers (Universal mysteriously buried DR. CYCLOPS in a collection with nine '50s Universal sci-fi programmers).

Here's hoping the Backlot series eventually gets around to the J. Edgar Hoover PERSONS IN HIDING series (a natural tie-in to the DVD release of PUBLIC ENEMIES) and the four features that Hecht and MacArthur made at Paramount's Astoria studios. I would KILL to see ONCE IN A BLUE MOON, even though I hear it isn't very good.

Guy Budziak

I picked up the Gary Cooper Collection yesterday ($17.16 with tax, using a Borders 40% off coupon, hallelujah). Been dying to see Peter Ibbetson for a while, on the basis of a mention in Carlos Clarens' book 'An Illustrated History Of Horror And Science-Fiction Films', where he states: "More successful [than DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY, and I'm sure he means artistically, not financially] was PETER IBBETSON...coming from one of Hollywood's overlarge studios [Paramount] at the peak of a style best described as utilitarian, strikes one as an extraordinary and imaginative achievement, a gossamer fantasy about love overcoming time and space". I've read elsewhere that the French Poetic Realists liked and were influenced by this film, and also that it was one of Bunuel's favorites. Taking all this into consideration I was more than eager to check it out, but I'm saving it for last. I just watched BEAU GESTE, and it's interesting to me to compare it to Duvivier's LA BANDERA which came out close to around the same time. Both films deal with soldiers in the Foreign Legion, but unlike the latter there were no transvestites and topless dancers to be found in BEAU GESTE. What a difference a continent makes.

Dan

"Lives of a Bengal Lancer" didn't do much for me, to be honest, although that's probably because I saw it after "Beau Geste."

Nitrateboy

I'm a huge Ray Milland fan and I'm hoping Uni will resue "Alias Nick Beale", "Lady In The Dark", "Arise, My Love" and "Kitty" very soon. Universal buried the lush Technicolor "California" in a western legends collection a few years ago.

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