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A few words about...™ The Wheeler Dealers -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Reviewer

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    I've always been a huge James Garner fan. From his early days at WB TV, and onward, regardless of studio affiliation, and in many cases via his own Cherokee Productions, he was always a pleasure to watch.

    There was a period in the early to mid-'60s, in which he was cast in a series of amiable films, with The Wheeler Dealers being a perfect example, that were never meant to be serious cinema. I doubt that anyone involved ever considered whether they would stand the test of time.

    I'm referring here to productions such as Move Over, Darling, The Thrill of It All, The Art of Love, and Boys Night Out. Mr. Buddwing, shot in 1965, also fits neatly into that group. The production spent some time shooting at in Washington Square in lower Manhattan, and as a film student, I was permitted to spend some time around the shoot, and have a few discussions between takes with Mr. Garner, who was a consummate gentleman.

    For those who haven't as yet gotten the Garner bug, I suggest that you run, do not walk, toward any of the following: The Great Escape, The Americanization of Emily, 36 Hours (recently released via Warner Archive), Victor Victoria (also Warner Archive), Murphy's Romance, or have some fun with the 1994 feature Maverick, based upon the TV series. For fun, there's My Fellow Americans, and for a more serious tone, The Notebook.

    I'm not knocking The Wheeler Dealers. It still remains a fun way to revisit these early 1960s films, when the studios, which had made a foothold in TV, were turning out occasional features that were somewhere between the two.

    Mr. Garner's co-star in Wheeler Dealers is Lee Remick, and it's always a pleasure to watch her, but one of the extended pleasures of the film is seeing some of the wonderful character actors around at the time, and this film has them in spades - Phil Harris, Chill Wills, Jim Backus, Louis Nye, John Astin, Pat Harrington, Jr., Vaughn Taylor, Robert Strauss, John Marley, James Doonan (who shortly thereafter, ended up in some sci-fi TV series), Charles Lane, Bernie Kopell, et al.

    As far as quality, one need not be concerned. This is Warner Archive, and everything is perfect.


    Image - 5

    Audio - 5

    4k Up-rez - 5

    Pass / Fail - Pass

    RAH
     
  2. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor
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    I'm looking forward to this release. Thanks for your remarks and I agree that this has a great plethora of character actors of talent that is so lacking today.
     
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  3. MarkA

    MarkA Second Unit

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    I love The Thrill of It All! Doris Day and James Garner are great together and Carl Reiner and Larry Gelbart wrote the screenplay. Very funny movie!
     
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  4. Charles Smith

    Charles Smith Extremely Talented Member

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    Good to hear. I bought the Warner Archives DVD but had never gotten around to watching it. Guess that doesn't need to happen now.

    How I loved this stuff as a kid, back in the day.
    As evidenced by...

    The Wheeler Dealers_0002. The Wheeler Dealers_0001.
     
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  5. Richard Gallagher

    Reviewer

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    This comment has nothing to do with The Wheeler Dealers, but Garner hated Mister Buddwing, calling it the "worst movie I ever made." In his memoir "The Garner Files" he gives capsule reviews of every film he made.
     
  6. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Cinematographer

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    Wonderful film and one of James Garner's very best. He and Lee Remick have great chemistry and she is radiant.
     
  7. theonemacduff

    theonemacduff Second Unit

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    Yeah, saw this on TV as a teen and loved it. High energy, and good fun. I might even put Tank in the same category, i.e., fun films, with just a tinge of seriousness.
     
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  8. M90GM

    M90GM Agent

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    ANOTHER EXCELLENT RELEASE OF A FILM THAT DID LITTLE AT THE TIME - I SAW IT AT RADIO CITY - WITH A FEW OTHERS! WHY DO WARNER KEEP RELEASING FILMS TO BLUE RAY THAT WERE NEITHER CRITICAL OR COMMERCIAL SUCCESSES. WITH SUCH A HUGE LIBRARY BEGGING ....WE NOW HAVE THE WORLD FLESH ...ANOTHER VERY AVERAGE FILM THAT HAS NO SPECIAL RELEVANCE TODAY ...THE PATTERN IS NOW BECOMING PREDICTABLE...OBVIOUSLY THIS PATTERN OF RELEASE IS SUCCEEDING ....I GUESS THE GOLDEN BLADE AND GREEN SLIME ARE PROVING PREVIOUS SUCCESS &/OR QUALITY IS IRRELEVANT TO SALES SUCCESS IN 2019.
     
  9. Robin9

    Robin9 Producer

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    Is there any particular reason that your entire post is in upper case?

    The point you're making is very tired and has been debated more times than I can remember. I'm very pleased to have an excellent Blu-ray disc of The Wheeler Dealers in my collection. No-one is pressurising you to buy it.
     
  10. LeoA

    LeoA Cinematographer

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    This one and 36 Hours slipped by me on Blu-Ray. Glad to see they're both out.

    In fact I just caught a few moments of The Wheeler Dealers on tv a few days ago (Probably on TCM) and was thinking I wish this would finally come out.

    Makes me wonder what other James Garner films have slipped past me. I've loved almost all of his work and of those that were less than great, I've still enjoyed all of them except for Mr. Buddwing.
     
  11. skylark68

    skylark68 Screenwriter

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    I know there are plenty of other Garner films that haven’t made it to Blu-ray, but I’m still waiting on Up Periscope. Love that film. I’m not sure how The Wheeler Dealers passed me by.
     
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  12. commander richardson

    commander richardson Second Unit

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    Up Periscope is an excellent WW 2 movie and Garner is really believable in his role. As a WW 2 film this rates 10/10. A bluray release is essential.
     
  13. cadavra

    cadavra Second Unit

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    I saw WD when it first came out as a kid and loved it, especially for that great cast and Garner telling the waiter to take his "super-overdone" steak back and burn it.

    BTW, two other Garner comedies now on Blu are the SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL...s from KL. Both have new commentary tracks by a certain gentleman. ;)

    Mike S.
     
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