MORE Movies You Like--(That None of Your Friends Have Heard Of)

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ethan Riley, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    We haven't really done an all-encompassing "Obscure Films" thread in a while, so I thought it would be time to start fresh. This time, we can focus on movies that were perhaps big in their day but are now sadly forgotten. Or movies that were obscure in their day but easily became favorites of yours. The chances of any of these kinds of films actually making it to blu are probably slim, but you never know--surprises happen every month. Here's just three films to start us off with. These films that aren't exactly unknown, but deserve far more home video attention than they've gotten: HOMEBODIES (1974) Frances Fuller leads a troupe of seniors about to be unfairly evicted from their boarding house. In true black comedy style, the seniors start to take matters into their own withered hands and murder and mayhem ensue. Hardly a work of art, and nowhere near as funny or memorable as its closest antecedent (Arsenic and Old Lace) but it still retains some delicious, devilish charm. This one came out on a (now rare) vhs nearly 20 years ago; never made it dvd as far as I know. This is one of those delightful, otherwise unknown films that played and played on HBO way back in the day. THE CHANGELING (1979) No, this has nothing to do with Angelina Jolie and her missing son! This one stars George C. Scott as a widower who moves into a spooky mansion with a spooky ghost. This is one of those rare believable "haunted house" movies that does away with over-the-top special effects, demonic possession and so on. Despite its supernatural subject matter, it remains rooted in reality (as far as a ghost movie can, that is). The ghostly happenings aren't nearly as interesting, however, as Scott's detective work--trying to solve the mystery of who is haunting his house and why. The results are satisfying and memorable. This had a cheapy dvd about 10 years ago; the transfer wasn't very good IMO so an upgrade might be in order. FROM NOON TILL THREE (1976) Western starring Charles Bronson, slightly breaking his own mold as he dips into comedy/drama for a brief change. Outlaw Bronson briefly hides out in widow Jill Ireland's isolated mansion where within the course of three short hours, they begin and end an epic romance. And that's the first half. The second half shatters all expectations from the first half, defies romantic convention and challenges the Aristotelian unities. I can't believe this film is so little known--it bears closer scrutiny, I think. Maybe it's because the ending is kind of a downer, but it does, I believe--make an interesting statement. This films was on vhs, LD (I think) and it popped up recently for download at amazon, (proving that there's interest), but no physical copy. There is an Asian dvd version floating around, which I think was an illegal port from a LD. Even if the film is slightly tough to take, it deserves a better home video version simply for the amazing Elmer Bernstein score--one of his best. Please add in countless lists of your favorites! For this thread, try to point out their merits as films worthy of further attention. If you can, research their past home video woes, in order to justify an upgrade, as we all know that thousands of films deserve a home video upgrade. I think the worst they've had it on home video justifies an upgrade all the way to blu--because we're in the blu age, and just putting out obscure films on dvd isn't going to cut it, because then we'll say, 'that was nice, but now I want it on blu!' And don't leave out all those amazing films that have never been on home video at all...!
     
  2. HarleyDog

    HarleyDog Stunt Coordinator

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    I loved Homebodies and remember when it use to show regularly on HBO many, many years ago. However, Ruth Gordon was not in that film - the actress you are thinking of was Frances Fuller: [​IMG] The Changeling is one of the best haunted house/ghost stories ever made IMHO and deserves a decent release on BR.
     
  3. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

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    Streets of Fire (1984) - Not sure if this qualifies as "friends have never heard of" - But I think it certainly deserves a Blu Ray treatment. Atmospheric, set design, musical soundtrack, cinematography all top notch. Early role for the great Wilem Dafoe. Unique film and vision by Walter Hill, largely overlooked and most people either love or hate, not much inbetween here.
     
  4. darkrock17

    darkrock17 Supporting Actor

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    Streets of Fire had a great soundtrack, it could use a Blu-ray release.
     
  5. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    Inserts (1974) -- Richard Dreyfuss, Jessica Harper, Veronica Cartwright. Trust me ... no one (except of course you fine people here) knows of this one. Pop the (out-of-print) DVD in, sit back, and enjoy the reactions.
     
  6. rayman1701

    rayman1701 Second Unit
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    I remember seeing that Streets of Fire is coming out I think this fall with the Universal 100th series (it was mentioned in one of the Universal 100 year threads that mention release dates, and scheduled releases). I've got the HD-DVD and am looking to finally upgrading as the HD-DVD only had Dolby Digital Plus and am hoping the Blu-ray has Lossless sound. I've loved this one since it first came out and is one of those I've had on all formats. Heck I've had the soundtrack on 3 formats as well.
     
  7. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member
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    I've been amazed, on more than one occasion, by people who don't know about Scorsese's After Hours (1985).
     
  8. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

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    A strange movie, at least to me. Not one of my faves.
     
  9. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

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    Darkly funny, bordering on the surreal. A real cult favorite.
     
  10. Ed Lachmann

    Ed Lachmann Supporting Actor

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    Once you've seen it, you love it, especially if you're a sucker for some old time screwball fun. The great "lost film" to me is 1951's YOU CAN NEVER TELL. Here's a synopsis from the IMDb: A cracker tycoon leaves six million dollars to his German Shepherd, King, with his secretary, Ellen, as trustee. King is poisoned; Ellen inherits and is the prime suspect. But King's spirit, in 'Beastatory,' thinks he knows who did it and wants the chance to prove it. Enter Rex Shepherd, private eye, who snacks on dog food, and his sweet-talking secretary Goldie, a former race horse. But is Rex barking up the wrong tree? Dick Powell is Rex and Joyce Holden is Goldie. Truly unique and funny, this film was directed by Lou Breslow. Lost somewhere and hopefully not forever in Universal's vault, it is the one film I'd kill to have on DVD.
     
  11. Steve Armbrust

    Steve Armbrust Second Unit

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    Whenever I see threads like this, I always mention this movie, in hopes that somehow, some way, it gets out of rights hell. Split Image (1982) -- A young man (Micheal O'Keefe) gets pulled into a cult (think Rajneeshies or Moonies) by an attractive woman (Karen Allen). Peter Fonda plays the cult leader, and James Woods plays a deprogrammer hired by the man's parents to kidnap him and bring him back to his "senses." As I remember the film, having not seen it in decades, neither side (cult or deprogrammers) was played as totally good or evil, making it especially interesting. And although it may not be totally unknown, I have a soft spot for: One from the Heart (1982) -- Francis Ford Coppola sort of musical.
     
  12. Richard V

    Richard V Cinematographer

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    Substitute Nick Mancuso for Micheal O'Keefe, Kim Cattrall for Karen Allen, Meg Foster for Peter Fonda, RH Thompson for James Woods, and throw in the great Saul Rubinek for good measure and you have Ticket to Heaven done a year earlier. A small production from Canada is amazingly good, and although has lesser known actors, is a superior film in my humble opinion. Surely would be great on Bluray as well.
     
  13. NY2LA

    NY2LA Screenwriter

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    From the Obscure file: The Incredible Sarah Glenda Jackson as Sarah Bernhardt, directed by Richard Fleischer circa 1976. Can Hieronymous Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness? Anthony Newley wrote and starred in this musical that was once described as being "Like the Marx Brothers at a nudist camp." Camp being the operative word here. Wife Joan Collins is among the semi-innocent bystanders. 1969
     
  14. Steve Armbrust

    Steve Armbrust Second Unit

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    Thanks. I don't think I've ever heard of Ticket to Heaven. I'll seek it out.
     
  15. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    Whoops! I totally knew that too. I changed the OP to give the lady her due. It was really her only major starring part, even though she'd been in the business for 40 years. But once you see her in "Homebodies" you just can't forget her. Well, although--I guess I did; I thought she was Ruth Gordon for some reason!!! See--that's what happens when you don't see a movie for 30 years; you start to misremeber who was in it. Another reason for them to put it on bluray.
     
  16. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    Yeah, "Split Image" was another favorite of mine that played and played on HBO (as I like to say). I think the best thing about it was James Woods however--he just sort of came out of nowhere and played the crap out of his role. I watched that one over and over just because I found him fascinating as an actor. Still do!
     
  17. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    You know what else I wanted to add to the list: ISADORA (1968) starred Vanessa Redgrave as the ill-fated dance guru Isadora Duncan. I only saw it once--20 years ago when it came out on vhs. I didn't think it was the greatest movie of all time, but I did think it was very interesting, and worth another look. The amazon link says the vhs 131 minutes which would be its abbreviated reissue length, the same way "Star" was greatly truncated after its Roadshow performances. But I swear I had the seen the director's cut on vhs, which imdb tells us is 153 minutes. I believe this, because the version I saw on vhs looked like it had some raggedy footage reinserted; ala the "1776" LD. (Imdb also lists an "original" version (Roadshow?) that was 168 minutes. The imdb message board posters can't seem to agree on the running time, either. So I don't know what's going on there with all these running times). The vhs can be had, but it's at a collector's price, meaning I can't afford it. There is a somewhat cheesy PAL version available. Since it's never been issued on dvd (I guess??) I think it's time to give it the royal treatment on blu; hopefully with branching options so fans can view more than one version. (Honestly, if I were to believe imdb, I'd say there were something like EIGHT different running times for this film!!!)
     
  18. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Star! was cut even before the roadshow engagements were ended. I was at the gala black tie premiere here in Charlotte in December 1968, and it already had "Someday I'll Find You" and "My Ship" missing. I had had the soundtrack LP for weeks before I saw the film, so I was shocked and dismayed when those numbers were missing from the premiere performance. Fox had already started trimming it down after its London and NYC premieres.
     
  19. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    You're right--I think there's an interactive history on the dvd that talks about all that editing hell. And I can't believe they'd cut "My Ship" because that's probably the best song in the whole movie! (If i they delete that number, it would have made the preceding number "Has Anybody Seen My Ship?" take on a whole new meaning lol) But at least they managed a satisfactory dvd with that movie. I'm actually very grateful that they restored it when they did. I've only ever seen it in its full-length version, never the shorter ones! I do hope that it gets a decent blu within the next year or two.
     
  20. NY2LA

    NY2LA Screenwriter

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    Unfortunately the DVD has bad color and sound, both inaccurate, and it's missing the Intermission, Entr'Acte, and end-cast roll music that were on the LD. I hear a few people found ways to transfer the Laserdisc to DVD rather than have to watch the DVD.
     

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