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A PEEK AT THE L-SHAPED ROOM AND OTHERS (1 Viewer)

haineshisway

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I come to write a gushing, goopy love letter to the film, The L-Shaped Room. If you don’t like such things, I return you now to any of the 2001 threads. I have other things to gush about, too, and believe me I will.
I first saw The L-Shaped Room on an import DVD over a decade ago. How I missed this film when it came out is anyone’s guess, since its exclusive months’ long run was at the Lido Theatre in Los Angeles, a mere four blocks from where I lived. But then again, as I’ve said many times, 1962 was, for me, the greatest year in film history. And I probably saw over a hundred movies that year, one after another – take the time to look at a list of films for that year – it will boggle your mind. Watching the DVD, I was completely taken with the film and really loved it, although the transfer was very sketchy. Flash forward to last night, when I watched the new Twilight Time Blu-ray with a sparkling and beautiful new transfer thanks to Grover Crisp, about whom more in a moment...

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Bob Cashill

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I'll add a kind word for the new Twilight Time Blu-ray of Walter Hill's Geronimo: An American Legend, which arrived today. An outstanding transfer of a richly elegiac, underappreciated Western, and as it happens a good choice for Memorial Day weekend.
 

Rob W

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At the opening night party of last month's TCM Classic Film Festival some friends at Universal introduced me to a gentleman who was part of a group of people doing the usual meet-and-greet so common at these things. I didn't catch his name properly because of the noise and I was one of three or four people being introduced at the same time. It wasn't until after we left that my friend told me his name was Grover Crisp! It may have been just as well, as I would probably have said something gushingly embarrassing about how great his restoration work is and how wonderful it was to meet him.

He also mentioned an upcoming Criterion title that he's worked on that I don't believe has been made public yet but I'll respect his privacy and keep it to myself. :)
 

lark144

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mark gross
Bruce, I always enjoy reading your "peeks". In fact, it was one of your missives that got me to buy the French Blu of GUN CRAZY a few years back. I also recently bought the Warner Archive GUN CRAZY Blu. And yes, I've never seen such rich blacks before in my life, but much more than this, Joseph H. Lewis' film now looks like it was shot the day before yesterday. The detail is beyond description, and finally Russell Harlan's cinematography shines at the level it did when the film was first released in 1949 & every DP & AC in Hollywood wanted to know how he achieved those effects, For instance, all those weird point of view shots, like from behind a broken mirror or the mist lifting from frozen sides of beef during a payroll robbery, and of course that long extended take shot from the back seat of a car which end (climaxes?) with Peggy Cummings turning her head and looking directly into the camera with a look of sensual excitement on her face as John Dall runs out of the bank with a bagful of cash. It now all seems totally three dimensional and real, as if one can walk right into these images, through the magic mirror of one's widescreen TV. (But I am keeping the French Blu for the book, as I think Eddie Mueller sounds a lot better in French.)

I also concur about the visual quality of THE L SHAPED ROOM disc, which is perfection. This is the first time I've seen THE L SHAPED ROOM, for I was too young when it opened, as it was one of those films that had an adults only sign affixed to the box office. I must say I was a little disappointed by the film, as I found both the direction and the cinematography too decorous, too classical and too beautiful. The lighting was so gorgeous, and the framing was so artful and precise, that the somewhat down to earth, even sordidness of the subject matter didn't quite come through for me. However, Leslie Caron broke through all that, to the extent that I'm at a loss for words. So if there's anyone out there who hasn't yet experienced Ms. Caron's performance in THE L SHAPED ROOM, all I can do is echo Bruce and say is, what are you waiting for?

And finally, a brief notation: MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY was originally released by Tri-Star-Columbia, so it should look fine, as the master would be provided by Sony, not MGM/UA. And while I like the MANHATTAN MURDER MYSTERY just fine, especially the scenes with Diane Keaton, my favorite late Woody comedy is BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, which I hope will also be released by Twilight Time very soon.
 

haineshisway

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Of course - Manhattan Murder Mystery is Sony - I made that mistake once before and was corrected - I thought, how can it look so good when it's MGM/UA - well, that's how :) I'll amend that part of the peek.

EDIT: Apparently one can't edit after not even twenty-four hours?
 

Douglas R

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I saw THE L-SHAPED ROOM on first release and was hugely impressed. It very much captured London as it then was. Unfortunately both the TT and Studio Canal releases are in the wrong aspect ratio. According to Kine Weekly it was at filmed at Shepperton for 1.85:1.
 

bujaki

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I also saw The L-shaped Room on first release. I thought Caron should have won the AA for Best Actress. Neal was tremendous in Hud in a supporting role. Ah,well...
 

lark144

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mark gross
I also saw The L-shaped Room on first release. I thought Caron should have won the AA for Best Actress. Neal was tremendous in Hud in a supporting role. Ah,well...
Ms. Neal was tremendous in HUD, and in a way, it was kind of a comeback for her, which of course the Academy loves, but Ms. Caron seems to transcend acting, in that she becomes the moral center of the film, and each breath she takes appears to become aligned with the light that shines down upon the London streets, not to mention the film coursing through the projector, like blood coursing through a person's veins.
 
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B-ROLL

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Ms. Neal was tremendous in HUD, and in a way, it was kind of a comeback for her, which of course the Academy loves, but Ms. Caron seems to transcend acting, in that she becomes the moral center of the film, and each breath she takes appears to become aligned with the light that shines down upon the London streets, not to mention the film coursing through the projector, like blood coursing through a person's veins.
And she made a great cup of coffee ;)
 

Robin9

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True, and that has frustrated me a number of times. Guess we should just be more careful when originally posting.

I always now proof read again the moment I have posted. Previously, it wasn't so urgent.
 

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