With all the fuss created by the recent Baz Luhrmann concotion of the same name, one would have thought that a DVD (or indeed even theatrical) release for this Toulouse-Lautrec biopic directed by John Huston featuring a tour-de-force performance by Jose Ferrer would be a no-brainer to whoever owned the DVD rights (MGM/UA?). But this has not been the case, alas!
I have only watched this gem once many years ago in the dead of night on Italian TV. Along the years, I have been tempted to buy it on PAL VHS on more than one occasion. I would love to own this film on a DVD which does full justice to the brilliant color cinematography of the great Oswald Morris and the sets designed by Paul Sheriff.
For what it’s worth, the film has already been released as a bare-bones disc on Region 2 DVD on 09/03/01 by a small independent label called DD Video, but I have no idea about the quality of the print used or the transfer.
For the record, MOULIN ROUGE marks the second occasion that Hammer Films stalwarts Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee appeared together in the same film (although not in the same scenes) - the first being Laurence Olivier’s HAMLET (1948)! Christopher Lee even recalls his working experience on the film with the legendary John Huston during the lengthy interview segment included in the extensive supplementary features found on the splendid VCI disc of THE CITY OF THE DEAD (1960)!!
I would love to see this film come to MGM DVD restored to its original Technicolor splendor. Existing VHS and broadcast prints are terribly muddy and a pale rendition of Oswald Morris' brilliant original cinematography. Consider this a sale, MGM, if you place this a top priority on your catalogue-title slate.