Michael Powell's amazing CONTRABAND

Discussion in 'DVD' started by BarryM, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. BarryM

    BarryM Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 25, 2002
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    Barry Margolis
    Hey, Gang:

    In case you're not aware of this fabulous little film, I'd like to rave about Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's little known "CONTRABAND".

    This 1940 movie is available from Kino Video. Until recently, even DVD Empire didn't list it as being available, but I finally got them to add it to their available titles!

    It stars Conrad Veidt and Valerie Hobson. Among the excellent supporting cast is Leo Genn and Torin Thatcher playing very small roles. There's even a tiny cameo by Bernard Miles.

    It's a comedy thriller very much cut from the same cloth as Hitchcock's "Thirty Nine Steps".

    It takes place in London during the early days of WWII and during Blackout circumstances.

    What makes this film even more special is it's one of the few films I've ever seen where the great Conrad Veidt plays a totally heroic character. It's a pleasure to watch him act in circumstances where he is not the bad guy.

    Valerie Hobson is as charming and beautiful as ever.

    I bought it sight unseen and was really pleased.

    The quality of the transfer is just fine (although not at all resorted). Unhappily, there are no extras whatsoever.

    But I highly recommend this obscure early work by Powell and Pressburger.

    Check it out.
  2. Charles H

    Charles H Screenwriter

    Jan 7, 2004
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    Criterion was/is supposed to bring A CANTERBURY TALE and THE 49TH PARALELL to dvd on the heels of TALES OF HOFFMAN. Has anyone heard anything more about this?

    Also recommended: an all-region dvd of the gorgeous Powell-Pressburger GONE TO EARTH (their cut of Selznick's truncated THE WILD HEART) available through one of the Hong Kong suppliers.

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