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A PEEK AT PRETTY POISON, THE BOSTON STRANGLER, I WANT TO LIVE AND MORE

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by haineshisway, Nov 25, 2016.

  1. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    Let me start with Pretty Poison and The Boston Strangler because like some here I'd already gotten the overseas Blu-rays - Pretty Poison from Germany and The Boston Strangler from France.

    Pretty Poison is a wonderful and unique film from director Noel Black, who never really made another good film, but went back to television and worked steadily and did some good work there. Anthony Perkins at his strangest and Tuesday Weld at her quirkiest and cutest. Excellent script by Lorenzo Semple, Jr. from the short novel by Stephen Geller, and a very good Johnny Mandel score. The German Blu-ray seemed like what it probably was - a low-con internegative - too bright, no contrast, and brownish color. The new Fox transfer is great and everything it should be. Now we have shadows where there should be shadows, great color (red hats in the marching band rather than orange), and a lot of detail. If you don't know the film, it's worth taking a chance on if you like quirky late 60s movies, and if you're a fan I think you'll love this transfer.

    The Boston Strangler I saw the day it opened. Due to all the split-screen stuff opticals it never really looked great in theaters. It's a bit of an odd film, but I've always liked it - Richard Fleischer did a good job with a not-so-pleasant subject, and Tony Curtis is at his best, and the supporting cast is terrific. The French Blu-ray from Carlotta was riddled with white specks, was blurry, and the color wasn't quite right. The new Fox transfer is miles better - rock solid, no dirt or anything problematic, and while much of the film is still opticals it looks pretty damn good to my eyes.

    I Want to Live - of course it's MGM/UA so we know we're going to get whatever we get - the good, the bad, or the ugly. But occasionally we luck out and we get better than the good and happily that's the case here - clearly a new transfer from the last few years, it's pretty spectacular, actually. Great contrast, sharp as a tack, and I couldn't have been more pleased. The film still packs a wallop all these decades later and Susan Hayward really deserved her Oscar. And oh that jazz score by Johnny Mandel is so brilliant - and to have those incredible players on screen, too - amazing. Trust me, you will not be disappointed with this transfer - it's one of the best I've seen out of MGM/UA.

    Finally, Moby Dick. There's already an excellent thread about it started by Mr. Harris, so I'll just add that knowing all the problems that were inherent here, this looks better than it has any right to. Twilight Time didn't have to do anything but issue what they were given, but Nick felt passionately about this film and they went the extra mile. That it now at least resembles what it should look like is a good thing and the film is much better than I remembered. It's a film I saw on its initial release and which freaked me out for many reasons, part of which was the bleached look, which I'd never seen before and which confused me - and the guy with the tattoos - you don't want to see that guy when you're eight, let me tell you. Watching it again after sixty years, scenes I remembered from all the way back then played out exactly as I remembered.

    A very good batch, I must say - I haven't peeked at the foreign film with Shelly Winters yet, but will soon.
     
  2. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor
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    I just received all four and the Shelly Winters film. After your peek,at the transfers, I can't wait to settle down with them this weekend.
     
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  3. Richard Gallagher

    Reviewer

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    I first saw it in 1968 and it made a huge impression on me. Tuesday Weld reportedly hated working with Noel Black, but her performance is so riveting that Floyd Conner titled his unauthorized biography of her "Pretty Poison."

    I am very happy with the superior transfer, which beautifully shows off the locations in western Massachusetts.
     
  4. John Sparks

    John Sparks Cinematographer

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    Wanted to see "The Lost Missile" but had to sit through "I Want to Live!" Tough for a 9 year old to do.
     
  5. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    I saw I Want to Live back then, too. I must have been eleven.
     
  6. Message #6 of 8 Dec 7, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
    Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    Yes, the TT transfer is, as usual, outstanding, as are the twin commentaries. God, I still have a crush on Tuesday from this film, in the way I have never quite let go of my boyhood attraction to Yvette Mimieux in THE TIME MACHINE. Something about gorgeous blondes, I guess. Anyway, this film has always been a personal favorite for its literate script, interesting character development, twist ending, and spot-on performances.
     
  7. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    I fell in love with Tuesday Weld first in Blake Edwards' High Time, which I saw at a sneak preview several months before its release (at the Village in Westwood) and then Frank Tashlin's Bachelor Flat, which I also saw at a sneak preview some months before its release.
     
  8. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    And Yvette Mimieux - the one-two punch of Where the Boys Are and The Time Machine practically did me in :)
     

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