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The Night of the Generals (1 Viewer)

Winston T. Boogie

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This film may be a bit obscure but it is well worth seeking out. I bring it up now because I've been hoping to land a copy of it on Region 1 DVD for some time and recently discovered that it is available on a region free disc from a company called "The Castaways Pictures", which appears to have been released in 2007. I don't know how I missed this but only months ago I could find no sign of this disc at any on-line retailers and suddenly here it is. The bad news is the reviews of the disc appear to indicate that the transfer is from an old VHS tape that was stored in a fish tank and then smeared with peanut butter prior to porting it over to DVD! So obviously do not buy this version if you come across it.

This is quite disappointing because the film was recently shown on one of the classic movie channels in a nice letterboxed version that was very clean. So, obviously there is a good version of it out there somewhere just not on DVD. I don't know who owns it or why it is not available but in my humble opinion it would make a great Criterion disc.

The Night of the Generals features a stable of great actors including Peter O'Toole, Omar Sharif, Donald Pleasence, Christopher Plummer, Tom Courtenay, and Charles Gray. The plot is quite dark and twisted with the focus being the investigation of three Nazi generals for the murder and mutilation of some prostitutes. I think this may be why the film has never received more attention as it does seem to wallow in some unsavory stuff but it is well written, well shot, and wonderfully acted by this stellar cast. I don't recall seeing it on many of the wish lists I've seen posted on these message boards but I think folks really should see this one.

One other interesting note as the release of the new Singer-Cruise film Valkyrie is quickly approaching, The Night of the Generals also makes allusions to a plot to assassinate Hitler....not a big thing but I thought it was interesting.


The Night of the Generals (1967)
 

Douglas R

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This is one of my favourite films and I've never understood why it is not more highly regarded. It's a well made, unusual and intriguing film and the cast is uniformly excellent - especially Peter O'Toole. The DVD was released in the UK by Columbia and picture quality is perfect. I'm surprised that Columbia have not issued a R1 version.
 

BillyFeldman

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I have a region 2 DVD from the UK - lovely transfer and a really weird and interesting film. You'd be surprised what owning a rather inexpensive multi-region player opens up for you - I have a really large number of excellent region 2 DVDs that may never get releases over here.
 

Winston T. Boogie

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It is sort of funny that the studios obviously feel that European audiences appreciate and enjoy dark, complex films made for adults while American audiences want something with a comic book hero or humor so blatantly stupid it appears they consider us a nation of imbeciles. I won't hide the fact that this annoys me. I mean I'm fine with them churning out comic book dreck and comedies full of characters so dense if they were real people they would be hospitalized for their own protection but how about throwing us folks that want something above the level of a 6th grade mentality a bone more often....I mean at least let loose with some of these catalog titles.

I did have a multi-region player but it went bad and I've not yet replaced it.
 

Ernest

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HDNET Movies broadcast The Night of the Generals sometime ago in the proper aspect ratio and I did record it because the title is unavailable in Region 1. The recording came out really nice, but I have since purchased a Region 2 copy from EBay. The Region 2 copy has very clean video in anamorphic widescreen.
 

Winston T. Boogie

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Looks like the Region 2 disc is out of print. I'm now in a holding pattern until somebody comes to their senses and releases this in R1.
 

PaulaJ

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TCM broadcast Night of the Generals just a few weeks ago and I made myself a DVD which will suffice quite nicely until the powers that be finally release it commercially.
htf_images_smilies_smile.gif


Another unreleased O'Toole film that TCM shows occasionally is Brotherly Love, aka Country Dance. Wonderful performances from O'Toole as an alcoholic and mentally unstable minor laird and Susannah York as the married sister he loves a little too much. This definitely deserves to be on DVD too.
 

Winston T. Boogie

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I agree, Paula, you'd think that the work of a guy like O'Toole or any of the great actors or directors would rate releasing a dvd of an older catalog title. I know they probably figure they make their money off the new stuff but the older films are the ones people collect and seek out. There is always a market for them, at least I think there is.
 

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