Ready for Chuck Heston in Agony & Ecstasy?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Dennis Nicholls, Aug 10, 2003.

  1. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Now that the Chuck Heston logjam is starting to break up - Omega Man, Solyent Green, et at. - is it time to pester Fox for The Agony and the Ecstasy? This is a personal favourite of mine, in the genre I enjoy most: historical drama with a tongue-in-cheek bite. Heston plays the part of a very conflicted Michalangelo and Rex Harrison plays a deliciously worldly Pope Julius II. Being from the early 1960's, the topic of Michaelangelo's reputedly gay nature is treated in subtext only. A noblewoman keeps trying to put the make on old Michaelangelo, but to no avail. When the Pope's troops are searching the countryside for a very naughty Michelangelo, the soldiers enter a bordello and interrogate the madame. She says "you are a fool, soldier, to look for Michaelangelo in a place like this." [​IMG]

    And then there's the scene where the Pope comes riding up on horseback with his girlfriend.

    Sadly I've only seen this on a panandscan VHS copy. Have any new rumors about a DVD of this disk been circulated recently?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Do you dare dicker with your pontiff? I know I know it's a misquote, but I just had to post it.[​IMG] um Dennis what are you doing out of the Testing Area? Fluffy know you wandered orff? [​IMG]
    Anyway yes I too have this on tape somewhere, widescreen and stereo of course
    [we got nearly all our vhs tapes in OAR over here for some inexplicable reason].
    I hope it does appear on DVD someday.
    Good film, a bit ponderous, but all the best epics are ponderous, its a prerequisite, good acting by.. why am I suddenly reviewing this film? Dennis what are you doing to me? I'm off to the Testing Area, be there or be square![​IMG]
     
  3. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    The remaining Heston films that need a DVD release:

    Agony And The Ecstacy
    Gray Lady Down (in widescreen!)
    Skyjacked
    El Cid
    The Buccaneer
    Wreck Of The Mary Deare
    55 Days At Peking
    The Greatest Show On Earth

    Was Major Dundee announced for an eventual release?
     
  4. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Cinematographer

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    TCM has been running a new master of this film the paast few years - far better than the laserdisc. There are some problems.
    they do not know the short - The sculptor who wanted to paint is an actual part of the film - NOT a seperate short subject. TCM has been running it in mono but it should be stereo. Like the laserdisc, this short has credits at the begining. it shouldn't. Jerry Goldsmith wrote the music for this on the condition that he NOT get credit ( the main score is by his mentor, Alex North). I love this film and would like to see it put properly on dVD. the new master is lacking the intermission and exit music.
    the old laserdisc got the two pieces backwards.
     
  5. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Joe, I thought it was "The sculptor who did not want to paint". Yes the intro. is very much a part of the film and is necessary to secure the interest of the great unwashed masses.... It certainly sets the stage about old Michaelangelo viewing a commission to paint something being a pain in the ass.

    It's odd that the pandandscan VHS still put many shots into OAR. The opening credits are in OAR and not "squeezed", as are the climactic shots of the real ceiling near the end of the film. But they used gold bars instead of black bars for the masked-off areas.
     
  6. Matthew_Millheiser

    Matthew_Millheiser Supporting Actor

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    Chuck Heston in Agony & Ecstasy?

    What, is Spike Lee hosting a gun show?

    *rim shot*

    Thanks, you've been great, I'll be here all week, try the veal!
     
  7. SteveP

    SteveP Second Unit

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    Now that Fox has got it together to start mastering titles from 65MM Todd-AO sources (the upcoming HELLO, DOLLY!) this title would seem a likely candidate in the near future.

    It was one of the three large-scale roadshows that was intended to get Fox back on track after the mess made by the mis-management of the production of CLEOPATRA-- THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES and THE SOUND OF MUSIC being the other two--the latter really did the trick!
     
  8. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Well I won an auction for a copy of The Agony and The Ecstasy on widescreen laserdisc. The seller misspelled the word "ecstasy", spelling it instead "ecstacy" and so therefore it wouldn't be found using the ebay search engine. I knew this was a common word to misspell so I searched under other spellings of ecstasy and found it there. I'll bet he wonders why he only had one bidder......

    So I've done my civic duty here. Generally after I get a laserdisc copy of some film, the press release for the DVD release of that film appears in a week or so.....[​IMG]
     
  9. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    This is a Fox title, is it not? I'd wager it'll show up under their Studio Classics line sooner or later.
     
  10. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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  11. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    When Fox gets behind the Todd-AO films they look great. Still hoping to see "Those Magificent Men in Their Flying Machines" Caught the Todd-AO screening at the Egyptian the sharp image looked great though the color had turned a bit pinkish.


    Would consider "A&E" if it gets the Todd-AO treatment (most Todd-AO films look great so they're usually an instant purchase for me)
     
  12. Paul Linfesty

    Paul Linfesty Stunt Coordinator

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    You have to give FOX credit for less successful roadshow films. Even though DOCTOR DOLITTLE was from a 35mm source, it still looks damned good!
     
  13. John Madia

    John Madia Second Unit

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    Although I'd enjoy seeing this finally come out on DVD, I'm really waiting for Lust for Life to finally come out.
     
  14. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    El Cid
    55 Days at Peking

    Are the two I'm awaiting on DVD - in that priority order.


    Cees
     
  15. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Well I finished viewing my $12 widescreen laserdisc copy of The Agony and The Ecstasy tonight. OK but somewhat fuzzy video: clear digital sound. The humor in the film still works for me.....Rex is THE Pope for me. And as for John Charles Carter's performance.....
     
  16. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    Actually, FOX could release a new line of DVD entitled "70MM" or "Todd-AO" or something to that effect and issue the best tranfers from their limited catalog of 70MM widescreen films (promotion the superior picture quality and epic scale of the productions) . They could even repackage "Patton" and "Cleopatra" to reflect this line and (maybe sell more copies)?
     
  17. Brent Bridgeman

    Brent Bridgeman Second Unit

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    Actually, if I remember correctly, in the book (excellent), Michaelangelo falls in love with a woman, and there is no homosexual subtext. I wish they hadn't have ended the movie where they did, though, as it only covers about 2/3 of the book. In my opinion, the best parts of the book are those regarding his struggle to find a way to use the huge piece of marble that he eventually sculpts into David. I was greatly disappointed to watch the movie a few months back on TCM and yell "that's it?!?" when it ended.

    BTW, I bought and read the book while in Italy getting to see all of these wonders. His sculptures are just as magnificent as the Sistine Chapel, especially David, Moses, and the Pieta (now behind glass at the Vatican). I'd also recommend Bernini as his sculptures (David, as well as Apollo and Daphne) rival even Michaelangelo's for sheer minute detail.
     
  18. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    Today's thread discussing Around the World in 80 Days got me thinking about A&E again. The ATW80D DVD apparantly is NOT made from the Todd-AO source but from a generic 35mm source....too bad. I wonder if the Todd-AO pipeline is currently busy with A&E instead?

    "Rafael - paint my ceiling?"
     
  19. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    Two more Heston flicks we still need from Paramount:

    DARK CITY (1950)
    THE NAKED JUNGLE (1954)
     
  20. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    Has anyone mentioned ARROWHEAD? It's a Heston film we need, too. And he's pretty good in a dual role in MOTHER LODE.
     

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