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Witness for the Prosecution (1957) (Blu-ray) Available for Preorder

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#61 of 80 Ronald Epstein

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Posted July 27 2014 - 04:29 AM

Thanks for the review -- and are you telling me you've never seen Touch of Evil, where Marlene has a critical cameo role? That definitely needs to be seen by anyone who loves classic hollywood films -- lauded in Robert Altman's The Player, and justifiably so...

 

 

Never seen Touch of Evil.  I suppose I am going to be investing in that 

Blu-ray release next.

 

Thanks for the recommendations.  I am going to start adding some of those

titles, if now available on Blu-ray.


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#62 of 80 Charles Smith

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Posted July 27 2014 - 04:45 AM

It was actually thrilling to read Ron's reaction to Witness for the Prosecution.  Now I must get off the dime and order the sucker.

 

I've seen the film several times over the years, starting with showings on network television when I was a kid.  I happen to be rather poor at retaining some of the twists and turns aspects to mysteries, which only makes them a joy to rediscover -- providing I don't see a film TOO frequently.  This one is so rich in that kind of thing, and of course the characters are perfect in every way.

 

Thank you for a great write-up!



#63 of 80 Robert Crawford

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Posted July 27 2014 - 08:17 AM

I'm very happy Ronbo enjoyed this film and the BD of it.  I'll be watching my BD of it this afternoon.


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#64 of 80 Robin9

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Posted July 27 2014 - 09:55 AM

Ron: essential Marlene Dietrich films: Destry Rides Again, Morocco, Blonde Venus, The Scarlet Empress, Stage Fright (her only Hitchcock encounter), Judgment at Nuremberg, Shanghai Express, A Foreign Affair, Rancho Notorious.

 

She made her first big splash in the German film The Blue Angel, but that Marlene looks very different from the cool, sleek Marlene streamlined for American consumption.

 

Two other films essential for getting the measure of Marlene Dietrich are Manpower opposite Edward G. Robinson and George Raft and Seven Sinners opposite John Wayne. Two totally different films showing different aspects of Marlene Dietrich.



#65 of 80 Mark-P

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Posted July 27 2014 - 11:37 AM

And I guess that means that Ron has never seen The Bride of Frankenstein either, as that is what Elsa Lanchester is most known for.



#66 of 80 bujaki

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Posted July 27 2014 - 12:09 PM

Sadly, Dietrich (like Garbo), is underrepresented in BD format. Besides The Blue Angel (German and English versions), Witness for the Prosecution, and Touch of Evil, can anyone think of another title in blu?

At any rate, all of her Sternberg productions are must-see films, culminating in the intoxicating The Devil Is a Woman (remade by Bunuel as That Obscure Object of Desire, his final film and also fascinating).



#67 of 80 classicmovieguy

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Posted July 27 2014 - 01:42 PM

"A Foreign Affair" is on Blu-ray in Germany, but I agree, we need much more Dietrich on BD.



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#68 of 80 ROclockCK

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Posted July 27 2014 - 03:04 PM

Ron: essential Marlene Dietrich films: Destry Rides Again, Morocco, Blonde Venus, The Scarlet Empress, Stage Fright (her only Hitchcock encounter), Judgment at Nuremberg, Shanghai Express, A Foreign Affair, Rancho Notorious.

 

She made her first big splash in the German film The Blue Angel, but that Marlene looks very different from the cool, sleek Marlene streamlined for American consumption.

 

Perhaps not "essential" Dietrich, nevertheless a ton-o-fun was The Garden of Allah

 

Exotic setting...early Technicolor...high style desert 'chic'...what's not to love?


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#69 of 80 Paul Rossen

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Posted July 27 2014 - 03:30 PM

Never seen Touch of Evil.  I suppose I am going to be investing in that 

Blu-ray release next.

 

Thanks for the recommendations.  I am going to start adding some of those

titles, if now available on Blu-ray.

You won't be disappointed.  First Charlton Heston pre Ben-Hur is quite good as is Janet Leigh.  Orson Welles dominates every scene he is in. He is a wonder.  And you'll never think again that you know the music of Henry Mancini.  Evocative...


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#70 of 80 Robert Crawford

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Posted July 27 2014 - 04:10 PM

And I guess that means that Ron has never seen The Bride of Frankenstein either, as that is what Elsa Lanchester is most known for.

Watching both her and O'Connor in Witness for the Prosecution brought back some memories of that great film.  

 

Ron, you do realize that Laughton and Lancaster were married for over 30 years so them playing off each other wasn't foreign to neither of them.  


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#71 of 80 classicmovieguy

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Posted July 27 2014 - 04:15 PM

I watched a great Laughton/Lanchester title a few nights ago - "Tales of Manhattan", an all-star 'vignette film' from Fox.  


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#72 of 80 Matt Hough

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Posted July 27 2014 - 06:24 PM

 

 

Ron, you do realize that Laughton and Lancaster were married for over 30 years so them playing off each other wasn't foreign to neither of them.  

 

They had also performed with each other in other previous films. She's in his Oscar-winning The Private Life of Henry VIII and Rembrandt, both of which I reviewed in an Alexander Korda box set.



#73 of 80 Ronald Epstein

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Posted July 27 2014 - 08:34 PM

Ron, you do realize that Laughton and Lancaster were married for over 30 years so them playing off each other wasn't foreign to neither of them.  

 

Yeah, I read that in this thread as well as...uhm...Laughton's other 

affairs.

 

Going to purchase Touch of Evil in about two weeks.  I am over budget

for this month.


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#74 of 80 haineshisway

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Posted July 27 2014 - 10:07 PM

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I was very lucky to meet and know Elsa in the early 1970s - she was one of my favorite people ever.  I met her through Ray Henderson, who was a long-time confidant of both Laughton's and Elsa.  He was playing the piano for a show I was acting in at the Mark Taper Forum in LA.  We became fast friends, and he brought Elsa to the show.  From that point on I began hanging out with them, both at the house on Curson and at the beach house.  The beach house was a weekly affair, every Sunday - we'd brunch, hear hilarious stories, and her neighbor there was Christopher Isherwood and his Don Bachardy, so they were always with us and we'd all frequently go to their place, too.  It was a time.  Bachardy, who was an artist and drew male nudes, tried to get me to pose for him all the time.  I was and am modest that way and would never say yes.  Amusingly, about six years ago I got an e-mail from someone I knew from years past, who is still very close to Bachardy.  He said Bachardy was still interested in doing a nude of me!  I e-mailed back and said that while I was extremely flattered, if I wasn't going to do it when I was twenty-three, what on earth made him think I would do it when I was in my later 50s???  It was really funny.  Bachardy did send me his wonderful book of nudes, though.  I just cherish that time and there won't be another like it - people like that.


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#75 of 80 Johnny Angell

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Posted July 28 2014 - 09:39 AM

Bruce, your story about being invited to pose, reminds of the time I was watching an actress being interviewed on a talk show.  She had recently posed for some tasteful nude photos and the host asked why she did it.  She replied she wanted a record of how she looked before the passing years sent everything south.  I'm paraphrasing.

 

I suspect I would have had the same reaction as you.  Seems unfair, when you're old enough to think it might be worthwhile, you're old enough for it not to be worthwhile. :P

 

I do envy your weekends with Elsa.


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#76 of 80 Rob_Ray

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Posted July 28 2014 - 09:42 AM

Now there's a movie I'd love to see:  MY WEEKENDS WITH ELSA.


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#77 of 80 Ronald Epstein

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Posted July 28 2014 - 09:43 AM

Great story, Bruce.  Is Elsa as spunky as her characters have been?

 

One thing I was thinking about today as I reminisced about my viewing

of Witness for the Prosecution....

 

 

Spoiler

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#78 of 80 haineshisway

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Posted July 28 2014 - 09:45 AM

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Bruce, your story about being invited to pose, reminds of the time I was watching an actress being interviewed on a talk show.  She had recently posed for some tasteful nude photos and the host asked why she did it.  She replied she wanted a record of how she looked before the passing years sent everything south.  I'm paraphrasing.

 

I suspect I would have had the same reaction as you.  Seems unfair, when you're old enough to think it might be worthwhile, you're old enough for it not to be worthwhile. :P

 

I do envy your weekends with Elsa.

She and Ray went to see The First Nudie Musical on Hollywood Blvd the day it opened - she called me right after and said, "You naughty boy - I never knew you were so naughty."  They both loved the movie, thankfully.   And long before Mr. Lloyd Webber gave the world Cats, Elsa did the T.S. Eliot book as a one-person thing, with incidental music by Ray.


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#79 of 80 haineshisway

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Posted July 28 2014 - 09:47 AM

Ron, she was exactly as you see her on the screen in Witness - she was a life force.  I talked to her just before she died - she was in the hospital and Ray called to tell me it wasn't going well and we had a lovely chat.  Ray died soon thereafter.



#80 of 80 Paul Penna

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Posted July 28 2014 - 11:40 AM

Laughton and Lanchester are what's kept me coming back to this film over and over through the years, from the first showings on TV and then on. Laughton especially; whenever he's on screen I'm simply riveted. And of course the pairing with Lanchester is priceless. Plus it's nice seeing Henry Daniell not being a meanie.
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