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Crawdaddy's "Random Thoughts" about Home Video, Film & TV

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Crawford, Feb 23, 2017.

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  1. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    Looking forward to Eddie's comments on Sweet Smell of Success tomorrow. I reviewed the Criterion disc and watched it again not long ago, so I won't watch again tomorrow (besides, I'm working on a multi-movie review project at the moment and will need the afternoon for it).

    Also looking forward to that documentary on great cinematographers. Wonderful TV coming up this week since Bette Davis is TCM's Star of the Month. Some of her earliest Warners movies are on tap on Tuesday that I've either rarely seen or never seen.
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    [​IMG]

    One great looking Blu-ray from Arrow. I'm so happy it looks and sound this great.
     
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  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I swore, I wouldn't buy "The Wizard of Oz" and "It's a Wonderful Life" again on disc. I even had the 4K digitals for both films in my digital library. Yet, this week I received both 4K/UHD discs in the mail and even watched both discs. Granted, both were part of the free disc in Target's "buy 2, get 1 free" sale. Yesterday, it was "It's a Wonderful Life" that I viewed and this morning I had my third viewing this week of "TWOO". I guess I just love both movies that much and will always treasure them in my disc collection.
     
  4. atcolomb

    atcolomb Screenwriter

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    I also did the Target sale and purchased Matewan, When We Were Kings and Framing John DeLorean. I have the 4K disc of The Wizard of Oz and soon It's a Wonderful Life and will watch them around the Christmas holidays.
     
  5. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    Looking forward to getting it soon.
     
  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    After watching the Blu-ray again to listen to the audio commentary one thing occurred to me about Lon Chaney. It's my belief that his premature death allowed Wallace Beery to become a major star at MGM because some of his best film roles would have been Chaney's like "The Big House", "The Champ" and "Treasure Island".
     
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  7. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    I would love to have seen Chaney in The Big House.
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Yesterday, after watching "Sweet Smell of Success" again on Blu-ray with the audio commentary and then listening to Eddie's comments this morning, I have to say I was disappointed in what Eddie had to say about the film. He basically copied much of the information he shared from that commentary. I think he would've been better off talking about the actors including some of the supporting players as well as discussing why he thought the film failed at the box office. No doubt, movie audiences back in 1957, weren't sophisticated enough to accept both male leads, who were popular matinee idols as despicable characters with no morals whatsoever in this film. Such a great film with some of the best film dialogue I've ever witnessed on film. I think this was Tony Curtis best acting performance and for Lancaster it was one of his best too. Lancaster is one of my favorite all-time actors as he's up there with the Duke, Bogart, Cagney and Garfield. But, man he was a SOB to work with. I remember some comments attributed to John Frankenheimer about Lancaster, who worked with Lancaster on a number of films so he was able to maintain a working relationship with him despite them battling on the movie set as Lancaster always tried to get his way about how a part or scene should be played.
     
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  9. Message #2649 of 3044 Nov 3, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
    Hollywoodaholic

    Hollywoodaholic Edge of Glory?

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    Sweet Smell of Success. What a nasty gem. Of course I've seen it a few times and own the Criterion, but like a beautiful but gruesome wreck, it's hard to look away. Every moment from the beginning is just a riveting run of despicable behavior closing in around the token couple radiating innocence. It's just brilliant film-making, but whomever thought it would play to general audiences must have been under the hypnotic influence of a press agent far more persuasive than Sidney Falco.

    This time around I was paying more attention to the directing by Mackendrick, and noticing just how it so perfectly matched the antsy energy of Falco. It doesn't stop for an instant.. or until we're dropped in the lap of Lancaster as J.J: So still, so deadly, so malevolent, like some waiting cobra. It's a shame this film when it flopped probably derailed Mackendrick's career, but I was tickled to discover he later directed a guilty pleasure favorite Malibu mudslide comedy with Tony Curtis, Don't Make Waves (Blu-ray anyone?).

    Much of Muller's commentary I had already read in Graydon Carter's edited collection, Vanity Fair's Tales of Hollywood (a great read, by the way of behind the scenes on 13 iconic films, including Sweet Smell of Success). Like Robert admits, Burt Lancaster has always been one of my favorite actors (The Rainmaker on Blu-ray, anyone?), but wow, what nasty character he really was; beating up women; bragging about blow jobs as he enters meetings zipping his fly; wielding his power like... J.J. Hunsecker. Forget Orson Welles; no one was better to play this power mad creep than Lancaster, and he knew it. And he was only 32 (per the book), though it felt like he played 50 in this film.

    And talk about type-casting, there's Harrison, only 19, who actually (reportedly) had tried to kill herself throwing herself over a balcony near the Chateau Marmont. Imagine how she felt playing that scene here.

    And here's the role of a lifetime for Tony Curtis, though no one will ever convince me he wasn't perfectly typecast as well.
     
  10. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Burt Lancaster was born in 1913, this movie was filmed in 1956, so that makes him 43 years old.
     
  11. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I just looked up Susan Harrison, she died earlier this year at 80. She left acting by 25 years old.
     
  12. Matt Hough

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    I've only had time today to listen to Eddie's introductory remarks, not the closing ones. I love hearing him crack rhapsodic on film masterpieces, but I agree he didn't say anything he hasn't already said before.
     
  13. Message #2653 of 3044 Nov 3, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
    Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I actually think his closing remarks were worse than his opening remarks. Let me know what you think? As he never mentioned the director Mackendrick was actually born in Boston and lived here until he was seven years old when his father died and he was shipped off back to Scotland to live with his grandfather. He came back to the States for good in the late 1960's. Another interesting film fact that Ernest Borgnine was the first choice to play the cop role that Emile Meyer played, but, was replaced because he was suing the producers for back pay from his work on "Marty".
     
  14. bujaki

    bujaki Producer

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    I would have loved Chaney in anything that Beery subsequently played as I consider Beery a ham.
     
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  15. bujaki

    bujaki Producer

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    I saw Sweet Smell as a child sometime around '57-'58. Way over my head! I believe I last saw this at the Regency in NYC in a gorgeous 35mm print that really allowed Howe's noirish cinematography to "shine." This time I found the film to be so brilliant, so dirty, so filthy, that I felt like rushing home and taking a shower to slough off the slime smeared upon me by this foul-smelling film. Sheer magnificence all around.
     
  16. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Eddie tweeted this "B" movie film noir is coming to Noir Alley in 2020:

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Robin9

    Robin9 Producer

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    I watched this on DVD a few weeks ago. Not a bad film at all, and Janis Carter was so good at being bad!
     
  18. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    Great! Thanks for the info!
     
  19. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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  20. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Wow, what a wonderful documentary and one I highly recommend to any serious movie buff.
     
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