The Asphalt Jungle DVD question

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jing_B, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. Jing_B

    Jing_B Stunt Coordinator

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    I just finished watching the classic The Asphalt Jungle on DVD. I was just checking out the extra feature (the archival interview with John Huston) when a slight probelm occured. It was silent till about 4-5 seconds into it. Then I hear Huston's talking. Is this a probelm with my DVD, or is this interview's soudtrack damaged and it has always been like this?
     
  2. Dan_V

    Dan_V Agent

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    Just watched this last night (great movie). I checked out the introduction too, my dvd did exactly the same thing, unless there was a bad batch it must be the original soundtrack was damaged
     
  3. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    Yup; it's either damaged or Huston says 'I'd just like to say before I begin, that I hate Jack Warner...'

    BTW this isn't just a great movie, it's one of THE great movies IMHO with fabulous dialogue, performances and the vastly underrated John Huston keeping the thing moving apace. Warners transfer is just breathtaking isn't it?
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Underrated by whom? Certainly not by me or written material I've read by several film historians. He might not be as written about as Hitchcock or Ford, but he is generally acknowledged as one of Hollywood's finest directors/writers.





    Crawdaddy
     
  5. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    *Sigh*; I was going to qualify that in my post by saying something similar, but I thought, 'no, most folks will know what I mean...'
     
  6. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    John Huston isn't generally considered an auteur, although he was an intellectual who had virtually full control of his post-war films, many of which, he wrote the screenplay for. Jean-Pierre Melville loved The Asphalt Jungle. Melville is one of the few genuine auteurs of Cinema, yet he was neglected by critics and scholars after his death in 1973. Many of Huston's films can be viewed as genre films with intellectual pretentions. I find most of them highly satisfying, but more than a few of them are underappreciated or hard to see, currently:

    Titles in bold are not on DVD in any country. Rights holder is in the brackets.

    The African Queen (1951, Paramount in the USA)
    Freud (1962, Universal)
    The Night of the Iguana (1964, Warner)
    The List of Adrian Messenger (1963, Universal)
    Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967, Warner)
    The Kremlin Letter (1970, Fox)
    Fat City (1972, Excellent anamorphic transfer from Columbia)
    The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972, Many people seem unaware
    that this is on DVD from Warner with an excellent anamorphic transfer)
    The MacKintosh Man (1973, Warner)
    Wise Blood (1979, Universal? New Line?)
    The Dead (1987, MGM/Sony-Columbia? There's this ropey Spanish DVD)

    He was a risk-taking master craftsman who experimented in many genres and his presence alone improved many films. But he isn't written about very much anymore. When was the last time he had a major theatrical career restrospective? If many of those films above were released on DVD, it would be easier for everyone to appreciate his skill.
     
  7. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I don't think you have to be an auteur to be considered among the finest filmmakers. Furthermore, personally I find some of those films by certain auteurs boring in some regard because the director got too caught up in putting his personal style on the film instead of just telling an entertaining story.
     
  8. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    I heartily agree with you on all points, Robert. Look at Michael Curtiz, Fred Zinneman, Frank Tuttle, Edward Dmytryk, Carol Reed, Anthony Mann, Budd Boetticher, John Storages, Robert Aldrich, Andre De Doth, Val Guest, Terence Fisher, John Frankenheimer, Roger Corman, Monte Hellman or a hundreds of other superb, imaginative, accomplished directors who were often "director for hire" on some of their best films. I greatly admire the personal philosophy and ingenuity of Dreyer, Bresson, Bergman, Ozu, Antinion, Kurosawa, Tarkovsky et al as much as I love films like This Gun for Hire, Christ in Concrete, Gun Crazy, This Island Earth, The Innocents and The Third Man, all of which are, in my humble opinion, great films (yes, even This Island Earth; it's a modern myth, a massively important 'American' film of the period) made by non-auteurs.

    Huston, for all his great films that he had full control over and his renown as a intellectual 'artist', he isn't given the same status as Hitchcock or even Sam Fuller. There is more consistency - style, credo, worldview, sense of place, etc - in Huston's than many so-called contemporary auteurs, like Spielberg or John Woo. Hey, if he/she can tell a great story and know where to place/move the camera and wind up the actors/crew then they are okay with me. But you have to appreciate what Dreyer, Bergman, Bresson and Tarkovsky accomplished with their careers. Its like a fully competent architect who designs and oversees solid, functional, 'interesting' buildings like schools, skyscrapers, etc and a genius like Frank Lloyd Wright. But no building will last forever.

    Right up until the end, Huston was making superb, unique films. He never lost his balls and mu God did Huston have balls. I'll let the great man have the last word:

    "The directing of a picture involves coming out of your individual loneliness and taking a controlling part in putting together a small world. A picture is made. You put a frame around it and move on. And one day you die. That is all there is to it."
     
  9. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    Precisely. The Life & Times of Judge Roy Bean even evaded my radar until a year after its release (it's a gem), and looking at that list of unreleased gems makes me want to have them all. Now.
     
  10. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Tell me about it.

    The African Queen (1951, Paramount)
    Freud (1962, Universal)
    The Night of the Iguana (1964, Warner)
    The List of Adrian Messenger (1963, Universal)
    Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967, Warner)
    The Kremlin Letter (1970, Fox)
    The MacKintosh Man (1973, Warner)
    Wise Blood (1979, Universal? New Line?)
    The Dead (1987, MGM/Sony-Columbia?)

    Pretty amazing that none of these films are on DVD in any country, save the first and last titles, which have only (barely) adequete transfers and extras. Warner and Universal have three each! 2006 will see the centenary of Huston's birth, so we will, hopefully, see retrospectives of his work and the release of all those films above.
     
  11. Jing_B

    Jing_B Stunt Coordinator

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    The African Queen is my most wanted DVD that has not yet released.
     
  12. Jing_B

    Jing_B Stunt Coordinator

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    Lol Good one[​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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