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September 02, 2013


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Fabian W.

For years and years I've heard rumours about a director's cut of "The Driver". Does anybody have details?

Also: I live just one block away from the couple's apartment in "Possession". And there is a coffee place now in the building where Adjani keeps her, eh, secret lover hidden.

Great work as always! Thank you for this!

The Siren

An especially original, funny & delightful entry in this indispensable series, Glenn.

Glenn Ford to me was rarely more than adequate, but I don't know even one woman who doesn't get Tyrone Power.

Tabu is also my least favorite Murnau but as you say, it's still indispensable. I never thought of Sunrise as sexist; the two women in the movie are so much more vital and interesting than George O'Brien's character.

I really like The File on Thelma Jordan but it has the near-insurmountable problem known as Wendell Corey.

Haven't revisited Heaven's Gate in part because I'm afraid after all these years of saying it's a great movie, what if I react the way you did? How frightfully embarrassing that would be.

Of these, I already have Safety Last! (for Family Night) and Tarnished Angels. The ones I'm intrigued by are The Servant (high time for a revisit) and The Only Game in Town (the filming of which Richard Burton discusses in his diaries).

Stephen Winer

It's been a while but I distinctly remember Frankenheimer, on one of his commentaries, discussing his dislike of shooting in color. He references certain signature shots, notably the one with actors in several planes in one shot, all in sharp focus, and how much harder they are to achieve in color. I also suspect the fact that he started in live television had something to do with that preference. The kinescopes of his television plays have the same visual style as his black and white movies.


The domestic theatrical release print of SECONDS featured a shorter (and entirely nudity-free) version of the wine festival sequence. Interestingly, the way the scene was edited for its original American release, it somehow seemed as a prelude to an orgy. The version in the film now -- from the "international print" of the picture -- makes it clearer that being in that wine vat is mostly a deeply sensual experience.

Criterion did a fine job on the disc, but I would fault them slightly in not including the original version of this scene as an extra. [The original theatrical version of SECONDS has never been available on home video.] Frankenheimer, of course, preferred this version -- which was used in Europe -- but it would be interesting to have it, in order to illustrate some of the compromises he had to make back in 1966.

Robert Cashill

The first VHS release of THE DRIVER mistakenly indicated a 131-minute running time on the box, from which sprang the myth of a director's cut. I owned it, and it contained the one-and-only 91-minute version found everywhere else. I doubt a two-hour-plus version of THE DRIVER would work as well.


"For Godard completists only."

Are you trolling the internet here, Glenn?

Is Schizopolis for Soderbergh completists only?


Great stuff, as always. The "late string quartet rehearsals" are from First Name: Carmen though, not Hail Mary.

Glenn Kenny

Petey: I think even Mr. Soderbergh himself might say that. Anyway, look at "Keep Your Right Up" and tell me I'm egregiously wrong.

Michael G. Smith: It's confusing, because Myriem Roussel, who plays one of the members of the string quartet in "Carmen" has the title role in "Hail Mary."


"Anyway, look at "Keep Your Right Up" and tell me I'm egregiously wrong."

In your defense, I watched a 480i small-screen viewing a year ago, and I was not particularly impressed.

HOWEVER, I've watched prints of it in the cinema twice in the past decade, and was blown away both times. It's pretty damn mesmerizing, even if it's a bit of a doodle. Still Godard directing a film of Godard playing Godard is more than just for Godard completists only. (Unless we're starting from the point of everything after Week End being 'for Godard completists only'...)


"I think even Mr. Soderbergh himself might say that."

Then HE'S trolling the internet. If you want to say the Oceans trilogy or Underneath is 'for Soderbergh completists only', I'd have a lot more sympathy.

Glenn Kenny

@Petey: Aaargh. As you say, it's a bit of a doodle. But that's neither here or there, because when I advise "For Godard completists only" I MEAN "only Godard completists need spend twenty or so bucks to OWN a copy of this," not "only Godard completists should see this." It's a Blu-ray CONSUMER GUIDE.


I always thought Glenn Ford had a recessive sort of naturalistic quality that was unique in American film. It could come of as boring in some roles, but with the right material he was aces.

It's THE FILE ON THELMA JORDON, not JORDAN, by the way. Easy mistake though, considering I've never heard of anyone in real life who spelled it "Jordon."

Hate to disagree with the Siren, but I love Wendell Corey in several films, including DESERT FURY, I WALK ALONE, HELL'S HALF ACRE, REAR WINDOW, THE BIG KNIFE and THE KILLER IS LOOSE. Not a "problem" for me at all.

To me, Tyrone Power wasn't very interesting in his pretty boy heyday, but is fantastic in later roles such as NIGHTMARE ALLEY, THE LONG GRAY LINE and THE EDDY DUCHIN STORY (in which he does wonders with a near-impossible part).

Once again, Glenn, a list to make me consider taking up bank robbery. Not sure if my heart could stand Linda Darnell in color and hi-def though.

Pete Apruzzese

Terrific guide, as always. Makes me want to spend money I don't have. :)


KEEP YOUR RIGHT UP is also essential for any Les Rita Mitsouko completists that may be out there, as it features footage from the recording sessions for one of their catchier songs. And that footage forms the backbone of the film's trailer, which is probably my favorite Godard trailer, in that it encapsulates many of the immediate audiovisual pleasures his later work offers even at its most opaque, or--in KYRU's case--"minor."

Most of said LRM completists should definitely consider picking it up before they go near some of the other, ahm, entries in Catherine Ringer's filmography.


Glenn - is there any way you can put these guides into their own link on the right hand side? There is nothing else out there in the ether that can compare with them.

Chris L.

Titch, they seem to all be included under the "Blu-ray" tag, along with some other, shorter posts that fit the category.


“It’s about a woman who fucks an octopus”? Pshaw, Hokusai did that 200 years ago.


"when I advise "For Godard completists only" I MEAN "only Godard completists need spend twenty or so bucks to OWN a copy of this," not "only Godard completists should see this." It's a Blu-ray CONSUMER GUIDE."

I thought the purposes of your always appreciated Consumer Guide were mainly to get thoughtful and pithy snippets of Glenn-wisdom regarding recently released Blu's of note. (And never forget, these guides are what we pay you the big bucks for.) As far as guiding actual consumer behavior, I thought the gameplan was:

1) Rob a bank

2) Buy 'em all

3) Let God sort 'em out


Relieved to see Brody agrees with me on Soigne ta droite being among Godard's best.


Tony Dayoub

Interesting bit of SECONDS trivia. There's a behind-the-scenes still included on one of the Criterion extras which appears to depict a lost scene Frankenheimer discusses on the commentary, one which he says he wishes he could have reinstated. In it, Rock Hudson visits his grown daughter, her husband and their newborn.

Hubby appears to be Leonard Nimoy which, given the timeframe, would have been in between shooting his second STAR TREK pilot and the pickup of the actual series.


LIFEFORCE: The original 116" version with Mancini's score or the 95" U.S. cut with some Mancini and new cues by Kamen?

That Fuzzy Bastard

I'm glad that THE FOG is getting re-evaluated. Besides the usual flawless Carpenter framing, it's a neat kind of Eisensteinian horror movie, where no individual, but instead the whole community, is the protagonist.


Couldn't you make some cash by linking your reviews to Amazon? Just purchased five of the films you reviewed!

Glenn Kenny

@ Cadavra: The "Lifeforce" disc comes from Scream Factory, so it stands to reason that it contains both cuts. The 116" version is obviously superior, opening with the outer-space discovery of the vampires. In the ridiculous U.S. cut Railsback doesn't even show up until close to the midpoint. The longer version is more coherent while remaining absolutely nuts.


Were Corey and Stanwyck mismatched in "The Furies", also from 1950? Love that movie and both of them in it.

Glenn Kenny

I love "The Furies" too but the character dynamic in that is entirely different. In "File" Corey's character is a would-be stooge, while in the Mann film everybody's on the make. Corey's better with on the make than would-be stooge.


Glenn, thanks for the guide. Time to pick nits: I'm firmly in the "Heaven's Gate is a misunderstood masterpiece" camp. Shout out to The Siren - don't worry. You weren't wrong then, you aren't now. I watched it on my piddly laptop, via Netflix, and was amazed. Cimino was attempting something truly radical with that film, and he almost pulled it off; what he did accomplish was flawed but brilliant.

And also, I don't know if this is Mamoulian's flub, but Titian and Veronese were Venetian, not Spanish, painters.


Corey definitely was a specific type of character actor. The "knowing look" was his stock and trade. His entire career can be understood with his glance into Grace Kelly's overnight bag.


I've long likened Cimino's directorial arc to time-lapse footage of a bowl of fruit: 'Thunderbolt and Lightfoot', green but crisp, briefly peaking in richness of both look and substance, then the (durian) rot that is 'Year of the Dragon'.

Continuing my analogy, we might call 'Heaven's Gate' the banana -- fibrous and substantive in parts, pulpy and sickly in others, and yellow-brown in appearance (at least originally).

I'd always regarded the film's sepia tones as overdone, but looking at Criterion's regraded director's cut I miss them, and the intermission too.


Oh, and I notice Criterion's 'The Earrings of Madame de...' upgrade is conspicuous by its absence.

Some say it's Criterion's biggest cock-up since the piss-yellow 'L'Enfance Nue'; Gaumont says it's sorry, has cancelled the French Blu-ray and will redo the transfer entirely; and Gary 'Recommended!' Tooze says it's "gorgeous, thick, rich and film-like." Oh, and recommended.

Glenn Kenny

"Conspicuous by its absence," you make it sound like I'm part of some kind of conspiracy or something.

I didn't review because I hadn't watched, and still haven't. This feature is an elective. I'm not paid for it, I don't work under anybody's editorial supervision, etcetera. The Guides come together the way they come together according to what I can get done.


Rest assured no accusation is intended, regardless of my flippancy.

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