Sidney Sheldon´s Bloodline (1979) w/ Audrey Hepburn (such an oddball film...)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Rick Z., Sep 9, 2010.

  1. Rick Z.

    Rick Z. Stunt Coordinator

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    Ricardo
    Yesterday I saw this film and it amazes me how bad it is in spite of having so much talent involved.

     

    For starters it has a very talented all-star international cast: Omar Sharif, Ben Gazzara, Irene Papas, Michelle Phillips, Maurice Ronet, Claudia Mori, Beatrice Straight, James Mason, Romy Schneider, Gert Frobe, and, of course, our loverly miss Hepburn in a wonderfully miscast role as our 50 year old heroine.

     

    Photographed by the great Freddie Young, scored by Ennio Morricone (wonderful score by the way, he should have used it on another film, instead). Great european locations, also. You can see where the money went (... and they clearly invested a lot in it). Though you can still see some embarrasing cost-cutting in the form of a racetrack stock footage that integrates poorly to the movie and also a shot of a building on fire that looks horribly cheap.

     

    They also screwed up by hiring Terence Young as a director. The only good things he ever did were the early Bonds and Wait Until Dark, after that, each succesive film was worse than the previous one. Indeed, his following film after this turkey was the all time box office bomb INCHON.

     

    Also, as enchanting and beloved as Audrey Hepburn was, she's never credible as an heiress who takes over a complex pharmaceutical business. Still, it's nice to see her again in one of her last roles.

     

    However, the film's main fault is the plot. For starters it's based on yet another trashy novel by Sidney Sheldon. The theatrical version (the only one on video) is at times incoherent. The television version (which I haven't seen) deletes many scenes and adds around 40 minutes of deleted footage, reportedly regaining much continuity and giving the impression that this movie largely suffered from bad editing. For example, there is a subplot about the making of snuff films that makes little to no sense in the theatrical version, but it supposedly has more sense in the tv cut, even giving away earlier the identity of the killer, which in the cinemas was kept till the end.

     

    This movie was made by Paramount and has never been available on DVD in region 1. They released it however in a region 2 PAL DVD with an excellent transfer. Had been made by Warner it would most likely be in the Archives DVD collection by now.

     

    It seems that almost no one remembers it. I think that it could perfectly fit as a cult item. It certainly is now a guilty pleasure of mine...

     
     
  2. Charles H

    Charles H Screenwriter

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    Is Olive Films bringing this out?
     
  3. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Cinematographer

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    It would seem to be a natural for Olive, but I'm sure it would be the theatrical cut (which airs with some frequency on cable) and not any TV version.

     

    The book is actually quite a page-turner, as were all those Sheldon novels. The movies are lame; this one is maybe a touch better than THE NAKED FACE (1984), not quite as juicy as THE OTHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT (1977). And Hepburn was insanely miscast; she had to have wanted to do this lurid yarn, which is a real mystery.
     

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