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December 21, 2010


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The Siren

Ah, what a great shot of the great man. One burning question w/r/t the disc extras: how do the French pronounce "Borzage"?

Kent Jones

Actually, I met Vincent, who runs Carlotta, a couple of weeks ago. He pronounces the name as everyoe else does: bore-ZAY-ghee.

The Siren

Kent, oh well, so much for my hopes for an exotic twist. I'm partial to French accents. Love French TV announcers introducing classic Hollywood films; the familiar names in that accent give me a silly thrill, as in "Neek-oh-lahsss Wrrray." And on the two occasions I've re-watched Contempt I wait for Piccoli to say he's wearing his hat in the bath like "Deean Martahn in Some Came Runneeng."

In a perfect world, in fact, that audio would accompany one's first click on this site.

Johan Andreasson

Speaking of TV, I’m guessing the shot of the great man is from Screen Director's Playhouse. I remember a similar image of Allan Dwan from the opening of his episode “High Air” in the Carlotta Dwan box.


Of Borzage's films, I've only seen THE MORTAL STORM, but my reaction to it was basically "Yes, well, he should be better known, shouldn't he?" I have MOONRISE and SECRETS saved on DVR, and I'm looking forward to them.


Secrets is an odd one; more of a Mary Pickford vanity project (her final starring vehicle financed by her; neither a failure nor a swan song) that your typical Borzage. It's divided in three very distinct sections - only the middle portion did much for me. Moonrise is, however, very great.

Kent Jones

Well Siren, if it's any comfort, some people do still say "Bore-ZAAAHHHJJJ."


Criterion has the rights to History is Made at Night. Hopefully they can find some decent looking source materials.


TCM had SUNNYSIDE UP, a 1929 Gaynor-Farrell pairing, on tonight, and it was so good that I simply assumed it was a minor Borzage. Not the case though. But it had the same DP as SEVENTH HEAVEN and STREET ANGEL, which perhaps accounts for the resemblance. It's a musical, something which neither Gaynor nor Farrell (especially Farrell, who doesn't handle sound well at all) were too cut out for, but it had a lot of lovely, and unexpectedly technically showy, passages.

Grant L

I dunno, I can imagine a French person having a field day pronouncing Bor-za-gee...

Nicolas Leblanc

Oh, Siren, I understand. It's the same for me with Americans and JON-LOOK GÔDAAHRDE.

The work of Mr. Bore-ZAY-ghee is mostly unknown to me, and I still don't have a blu-ray player and ah... maybe next Christmas.


Asher, Sunny Side Up's production designer was Harry Oliver, who also designed the three great Borzage silents with Farrell and Gaynor (as well as The River and City Girl). There's one shot in particular of Farrell (from the back) leaning over a tenement balcony watching Gaynor in longshot doing her little song and dance that recalled very strongly his work on those silent films and even had a bit of their expressionist flavor.

Oliver was a fascinating character who gave up Hollywood and went to live on a ranch and published issues of a little one man publication called Harry Oliver's Desert Rat Scrap Book filled with tales and folklore of the West. You can read all about Oliver and The Desert Rat Scrap Book at http://www.klaxo.net/hofc/hofc.htm. The site has a lot of links to related information, and if you click on http://www.klaxo.net/hofc/other/holly.htm and scroll down to "Lindblade Photos, early 1960s" you will see two photos of a much older Oliver and Charles Farrell.

Wonderful stuff!

And Sunny Side Up was indeed a big hit at the TCM Film Festival last April.


There was a very expressionist bit during Gaynor's performance after she's been told the Southampton grandees are gossiping about her; she looks out into the audience and sees them as if through insect eyes, each face blurred and multiplied dozens of times.

David Hare

Glenn as you didn't mention it I will - notably the other two Borzage TV shorts for the American Directors series: A Ticket for Thaddeus and Day is Done which are respectively on the Seventh Heaven and Street Angel Blu Ray discs as extras. And all three shorts are in HD!

Glenn Kenny

Well worth mentioning. Thanks David.

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