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January 06, 2010


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Well, there you go. I'd heard about the Sam Fuller set, but then I promptly forgot it.

As for this:

"Those who bitch about the inclusion of It Happened in Hollywood and such really don't get the point of these endeavors, I think."

So people are bitching because he only co-wrote it? And it's one of SEVEN movies in the set? Who exactly would bitch about that?


Well, there's a legitimate grievance that a "Samuel Fuller collection" of seven films only has two that he actually directed. I love both Underworld U.S.A. and The Crimson Kimono, but they certainly could have been released separately so I don't have to pay $60 to get them. Considering Criterion gave us an Eclipse set of three REAL Fuller films that will only run you about 20 bucks, it's a little weak. I'd feel worse about it if I didn't already have copies of both anyway.

Or maybe I'm just annoyed that there's still no sign of a Park Row DVD.

Also, if I may segue from Fuller to Fuller-inspired Godard, regarding Glenn's comments on Made in USA: I thought that film was a pointless, flashy wank; "alienating" doesn't quite cover it. Of course I feel that way about half of the JLG films I've seen.

Fabian W.

Re: PARK ROW - Perhaps that should be taken with a grain of salt, but apparently Criterion said on Facebook something to the effect of the movie coming to DVD ASAP mos def. I dig it.


@Lazarus - But without sets like the Sony/Fuller set, those movies that Fuller only wrote could very well NEVER make it to DVD. And unless I'm much mistaken about Fuller (which is possible) he was at least as interested in the writing of his films as the directing of them. They deserve to see the light of day, too.

David N

The Criterion revival of "Downhill Racer" was at least as inspired as that of "The Friends of Eddie Coyle".

Both great, though, obviously.

Also - the BFI releases of the awesome "Winstanley" and "Comrades" on both Blu ray and DVD...


Oh, yes, I meant to say: THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE was, in my comparatively limited experience, the DVD of the year. That movie might well be the greatest crime film ever made.


The big ones for me this year were THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE and MADE IN USA, with the Columbia Film Noir collection and MAN HUNT close behind. I still have to check out most of the rest of these, particularly that Sam Fuller collection and the Forbidden Hollywood Collection.


I'm under the impression you don't dig recent Kiarostami but BFI's Shirin disc is magnificent.


Is that Jeff Wells in the second photo?

James Keepnews

I do agree with Bill on many things (though I don't always post to that effect), but here's an example again where I don't. Friends of Eddie Coyle is an unjustly neglected golden-era Hollywood anti-(post-?)procedural, and perhaps Mitchum's best performance that decade. But I do share some of the late Ms. Kael's ambivalence about the film. Dunno if Mr. Yates' British citizenship actually prevented him from appreciating some of the more American aspects of the film as Pauline once suggested, beyond tcertain underclass Boston drab (thinking of Coyle's home life primarily). The Bruins game at the end, e.g., does have the ethnographic feel of hockey as a second language. I cavil, but only towards a point: Coyle's a good film, but far from might being "the greatest crime film ever made". In this past year alone -- vis. Gomorrah and Police, Adjective -- we've gotten at least two better ones.

And wow, I'm gettin' all polemical and shizz here, but I really did try to watch Husbands again last week when it was on TCM and I just gave up, exclaiming "Who would think this is any good?". Husbands is really the Maginot line for me and John C. -- there's so much to love in Faces (and Shadows and even Too Late Blues), so much to ridicule in the endless, un-dramatic horsing around in Husbands. And thereafter -- there are also great moments in many of his subsequent films, undone by what I can only call unprivleged moments that are simulataneously show-off-y and do their performers no credit. Opening Night, e.g., might have some of the best instances of theater-on-film ever, but would that Zorah Lampert's character (ANOTHER crazy wife from Cassavettes!) were less set to "kookoo", and that they excised the (to put it mildly) lamentable horsing around in the stage-based conclusion. I could go on, but I think you get the point. "No one calls me a phony!" -- no one, you say?

Glenn Kenny

@ James: I know what you mean about "Husbands." It's definitely a high-wire act in a sense, and a lot of it doesn't "work." But I still think it's fascinating, a significant piece of the John C. picture, and so I celebrate its release, which I do believe was overdue. As for my other "finally"s, well, those are stone masterpieces.


I watched Death In The Garden for a very reasonable $5.00 at The Auteurs. It's wonderful! Dig that snake.

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