The Choirboys (1977): A Blu for these guys in blue? Kidding right?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Kyrsten Brad, Mar 15, 2014.

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  1. Kyrsten Brad

    Kyrsten Brad Screenwriter

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    Well here's one from the Land of Obscure 1970s movies which wasn't much of a box office success but hits home in some interesting ways. The Choirboys is basically about a group of LAPD policemen who let off the stress of their regular jobs by engaging in some rather "interesting" after hours activity.

    It also included early appearances by stars like Louis Gossett Jr. (five years before Officer & a Gentleman) and Charles Durning.

    I wouldn't be too surpirsed if this movie influenced the later production of shows like Reno 911.

    The_Choirboys_FilmPoster.jpeg

    More detailed information at the following links:

    Rotten Tomatoes entry on The Choirboys

    Wiki page on The Choirboys

    The Choirboys did see a VHS release but never a DVD release owing possibly to some of the "politically incorrect" dark humor involved. But it is now available on Amazon Instant Video and some other instant video services. This movie might be a candidate for a limited blu-ray release by the likes of Twilight Time (current rights are owned by Universal and we know how lousy they are when it comes to blu-ray releases at times). It would be interesting to see some of the costumes worn (particularily by the gay fellow who encounters Roscoe in the park) on blu.

    Oh and after seeing this movie, you may never look at glass living room TV tables again the same.

    Opinions?
     
  2. Robin9

    Robin9 Cinematographer

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    This film was slammed by the critics and its reputation has never recovered. Whether it deserves a better reputation is hard to say because until now the film has been difficult to see. Robert Aldrich was already lurching into gross humor with previous movies and his judgement in general about what would work was deteriorating. Ten years earlier he would never have made either The Choirboys or The Legend Of Lylah Clare.

    The Choirboys might be now of interest to more people because some members of the cast became famous later; for example Phyllis Davis was a "regular" in Vegas.
     
  3. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    Twlight Time does not have a deal with Universal, at the present. But it would an instant buy for me if this ever sees Blu, but I would wait for reviews. It's not that Universal is bad about catalogue Blu-Ray releases for they release about as many as the other companies not counting the other companies outside agreements, but they have a different way of transferring their titles that tends to bring on complaints from hard core collectors.
     
  4. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    I remember playing the film in our Theatres and the business was just awful. It's not that Universal is skittish about releasing it due to PC police but I think they just want to forget they made it altogether.
     
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  5. Kyrsten Brad

    Kyrsten Brad Screenwriter

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    My bad on TT maybe getting this film. Maybe Criterion or Shout Factory. I remember the film had some funny moments but overall I (at age. 18) wondered what the heck did I just watch. You might have a good point about Universsl just wanting to forget they ever made this film.As for gross humor, this film might have broken new ground but rather moderate when compared to today's gross out films.
     
  6. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    If they make a blu of this, can "Rabbit Test" be far behind?
     
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  7. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    You mean adding some DNR and EE into the mix, yes that would get complaints, no place for excessive use of that on blu ray releases.
     
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  8. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    Yeah I was trying to be nice and PC.
     
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  9. Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

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    Both Gossett and Durning were well-established character players by the time of THE CHOIRBOYS and were, arguably, the biggest names in the cast, although Perry King was pretty famous at the time for one of those miniseries he did. Gossett had begun working in film and television regularly starting in 1961, although he has one earlier credit on IMDB, while Durning had started working regularly in 1962, with one much earlier credit listed on IMDB.

    @Robin9:
    In fact, he DID make THE LEGEND OF LYLAH CLARE ten years earlier--or close to it. LYLAH CLARE came out nine years before THE CHOIRBOYS.

    I saw THE CHOIRBOYS at a preview screening in December 1977 and the film school buddy who accompanied me came out of it saying it was one of the five or six worst films he'd ever seen. I happened to like it, because it deliberately punctured all that "Blue Knight" romanticism about cops that Joseph Wambaugh spent his literary career promoting and which had infused such film adaptations as THE NEW CENTURIONS and the long-running TV series, "Police Story," which was still airing when this film came out. Aldrich was indeed undercutting Wambaugh with this film, to the point that Wambaugh, whose book it was based on, sued to take his name off the film (he lost the suit).

    It was also something of a response to the Dirty Harry series of films and their celebration of an infallible cop hero who shoots first and asks questions later and violates civil liberties in a case of the ends justifying the means. There's even a scene where one of the cops responds to a potential roof jumper in much the same way that Harry did in DIRTY HARRY, but with very different and more tragic results.

    It is a bizarre film, though. If it was aiming for gritty realism, it sure didn't succeed, with all of its garish studio lighting and obvious studio sets. Certain things in it seemed awfully sensationalized, e.g. the s&m subplot. But it's got an incredible cast. Aside from Gossett, Durning and King, it had James Woods, Randy Quaid, Burt Young, Don Stroud, Tim McIntire, Robert Webber, Jim Davis, Vic Tayback, Jeannie Bell, Phyllis Davis, Barbara Rhoades, Bob Minor, Maria O'Brien (daughter of Edmond) and the unforgettable Rainbeaux Smith (billed as Cheryl Smith) as a pregnant streetwalker.
     
  10. Kyrsten Brad

    Kyrsten Brad Screenwriter

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    Just wondering who played the gay park stroller out with his pink poodle who encounters the bigoted Roscoe tied to a tree (and I think with his pants round his ankles)?
     
  11. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    Here's a thought. Lorimar produced the film and Universal Distributed it. Could Universal not have control of the title anymore and Warner does? The only VHS release was by Goodtimes which did release many Universal titles. We might be barking up the wrong distributor tree with Universal. I know that several Lorimar titles distributed by other film companies to Theatres ended up with Warners after their purchase of the company.
     
  12. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    Jack DeLeon. It wasn't the first or last time he played a gay character in movies and TV.
     

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