Sigh. Now we'll never get that Grand Prix commentary

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris Sypal, Jul 7, 2002.

  1. Chris Sypal

    Chris Sypal Stunt Coordinator

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    About a year ago, I remember saying in a forum (probably an auto racing one) that I hoped MGM would get a special Edition of Grand Prix out as Frankenheimer was getting old.

    Earlier this year I learned that it was Warner who had the rights to the film, and my hopes of a timely release sank.

    Now I read today's news, and I see a chance at preserving film history lost.

    Grand Prix may not have been a great film story-wise, but nobody could argue that it has some of the best racing scenes ever filmed (enhanced by its Cinerama presentation).

    Frankenheimer was one of the best directors at doing commentaries. He always had something to say and covers every aspect of making the movie. He also was one of a few directors that could talk technical and not bore you to tears.

    I'm sure there's a few interviews with him talking about the film out there, but you know they won't have the detail you can get with him talking for the whole 179 minutes.

    We're gonna miss you John.
     
  2. streeter

    streeter Screenwriter

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    I'm just happy that he did record the ones that he did do. Same goes for Rosemary Clooney on "White Christmas"
     
  3. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    I'll second that, Chris, along with great missed opportunities for gems like "Black Sunday" (Paramount-- "My Bloody Valentine" is coming out, but "Black Sunday ISN'T?!) and "52 Pick-Up." Warners, inexplicably, has "The Gypsy Moths" out in September, but no "Grand Prix" as of yet.

    The only three Frankenheimer movies out on DVD without commentaries are 'Birdman of Alcatraz,' 'Prophecy' and the aforementioned 'Gypsy Moths.'

    I've been bummed all weekend.
     
  4. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Mark, BLACK SUNDAY is one of my prized widescreen laserdiscs...the cover was trashed with water and mold damage, but the discs still play like a charm.

    I'm afraid that this movie might be lost forever thanks to fears of post 9/11 sensitivities.

    - Steve
     
  5. Matthew Kiernan

    Matthew Kiernan Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey, you never know, he could have recorded one some time ago. I'd even go so far as to speculate that when he recorded GYPSY MOTHS that Warners also sat him down for GRAND PRIX or any other WB/HBO titles he did.

    At least we can hope.
     
  6. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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  7. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    Randy, you're right.

    In addition, "Island of Dr. Moreau" and "The Holcroft Covenant" (indeed the slightest films of his esteemed career) don't have commentary either.

    I have the WS LD of "Black Sunday" as well. If Paramount can release "The Sum of All Fears" theatrically (and have it be a success), then perhaps a good 16x9 DVD of "Black Sunday" (with chapter stops as opposed to the chapter-free LD!) can happen.

    By the way, there's a GREAT book of interviews with Frankenheimer conducted by former LA Times critic Charles Champlin ("Conversations with John Frankenheimer" I think). I borrowed it from a friend at work and it's terrifiic-- going up through "Andersonville" and very self-critical, honest and aware about his career. Defintiely worth a read if you're a fan.
     
  8. Paul Wu

    Paul Wu Stunt Coordinator

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    I just hope that if they ever release Grand Prix, that they include the interviews that ran during the Speedvision airing. Lukily I have that airing on tape.
     
  9. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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  10. David Lawrence

    David Lawrence Stunt Coordinator

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    Image list the upcoming "The Gypsy Moths" as featuring a commentary; is this information wrong?

    I too thought that after Sept 11th "Black Sunday" would not be seeing a release any time soon, but I would have thought that the success of "The Sum of All Fears" has paved the way for its release to be a possibility?

    Obviously when a man tragically passes away there are bigger issues than being upset that certain movies will now no longer be able to have commentaries. My thoughts are with Mr Frankenheimer's friends and family, and I'll enjoy all the superb work he did get to create rather than be depressed about that which he did not.
     
  11. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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  12. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    Jeff, thanks for the clarification. I'll have to pick that one (and Birdman of Alcatraz) up. Having worked for the production company that made "Island of Dr. Moreau" (which was NOT Frankenheimer's fault), I'll still have to pass.
     
  13. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

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    I thought the exact same thing. That was some of the most entertaining "making of" I have ever seen. Perhaps they will re-run it in light of his unfortunate passing.
     
  14. Thomas Hart

    Thomas Hart Stunt Coordinator

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    Sigh! I will greatly miss John Frankenheimer's work and found all his DVD commentaries very enjoyable.

    As far as I know, there are 2 audio commentaries that John Frankenheimer did that are not on DVD yet:

    1."The Gypsy Moths" DVD, which is coming out from Warner in the next few months. (I can't wait to get this!)

    2."Andersonville" Laserdisc, which came out from Turner(Warner?) in 1996. Great movie; great commentary. The laser also included a Making-of documentary. Hopes this see the light of day on DVD in the future!
     

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