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THE SHOOTING and RIDE IN THE WHIRLWIND (both 1965) (1 Viewer)

Richard--W

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I'm trying to ascertain theatrical release dates for RIDE IN THE WHIRLWIND and THE SHOOTING. Does anyone remember seeing either film in a theater in the 1960s? The imdb is no help. It lists 18 March 1965 for RIDE IN THE WHIRLWIND which is ridiculous because the film was still in pre-production at that time. Later dates are posted, but the original 1960s dates are not. I vaguely remember seeing ad-mats for both films in newspapers in the late 1960s. I distinctly remember seeing both films as a double-feature in the NYC - Long Island area in mid-1971, after Jack Nicholson won the Academy Award for Best Actor in FIVE EASY PIECES (1970). The double-feature was reviewed in the papers at that time, in Cue Magazine and Newsday and elsewhere. According to director Monte Hellman's commentaries, RIDE IN THE WHIRLWIND and THE SHOOTING were financed by Roger Corman and produced back-to-back in early 1965. The screenplays were written in January and early February. Jack Nicholson wrote RIDE IN THE WHIRLWIND while Carolyn Eastman, under the pseudonym of Adrien Joyce, wrote the script for THE SHOOTING. According to Hellman, the films entered pre-production in mid-February. Principle photography was in April and May on location in Pyrea, Kanab and Moab, Utah. He specifically remembers THE SHOOTING started principle photography April 18, followed by RIDE IN THE WHIRLWIND. Then back to L.A. for post and editing which was completed June 21. The budget was $150,000, or $75,000 each. In other words, two movies for the price of one on the Roger Corman paradigm. In his commentaries, Hellman says that neither film got a theatrical release because Roger Corman sold them to Walter Reed-Sterling who put them into a TV package. When the initial broadcasts took place, he doesn't mention, nor does imdb. But I know the films had theatrical screenings in the 1960s because I remember seeing the advertising. Star Millie Perkins, who is also on the commentaries, remembered theatrical screenings in New York. Hellman remembers THE SHOOTING premiered at the Montreal Film Festival, but he doesn't say when. He says THE SHOOTING ran in Paris for a year (imdb says 1968) and RIDE IN THE WHIRLWIND for six months, but again, he doesn't say when specifically. He says that eventually he bought the USA theatrical and foreign rights to both films after Jack Nicholson became a bankable star, which suggests after EASY RIDER (1969) or after FIVE EASY PIECES (1970). Here are the re-release posters I remember from 1971: imdb does not list a theatrical re-release from the Jack H. Harris organization in 1971, although the one-sheets above prove it. I would not be surprised if some of you are old enough to have seen these superb westerns in 1971, but I would like to hear from anyone who saw them screened in the 1960s. As everyone knows, RIDE IN THE WHIRLWIND and THE SHOOTING proliferate in cheap, poor-quality public-domain DVDs, which is puzzling because both films are in copyright. The films were restored in 2000 and screened by the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, with the director and stars in attendance. VCI released the only authorized editions in October 2000. Clean, sharp, anamorphic transfers at 1.85-1. Commentaries by Monte Hellman and star Millie Perkins. The cover art states 1966 as release dates which seems right, although the imdb doesn't list 1966. Both VCI editions are out-of-print now and pricey, but worth every penny: http://www.amazon.com/Shooting-Millie-Perkins/dp/B00004W5VE/ref=sr_1_2?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1310364657&sr=1-2 The cover art doesn't match the VCI edition, but this is the correct link for it: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004W5VD/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&seller= When asked if RIDE IN THE WHIRLWIND and THE SHOOTING would be re-issued on DVD, Hellman said that Criterion had bought the rights and would bring both films back into print. That was several years ago, and not a word from Criterion. Perhaps they've abandoned the idea. Richard
 

Ernest

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I purchased both DVD's a few years ago and "Ride the Whirlwind" is 16 x 9 anamorphic widescreen with the audio 2.0 surround. "The Shooting" is 1.66 x 1 letterbox with the audio 2.0 surround. I haven't watched either movie in sometime but from what I can remember the video is okay. Part of the reason being the movies were shot on such a low budget resulting in average source material. The audio, processed through a Sony A/V, was very basic not much surround or bass. These movies might be best served by anamorphic widescreen DVD. The source material may not be able to support BluRay. If these movies were remastered to DVD with a 5.1 re-mix of the audio I would certainly re-buy them. I would only re-buy BluRay if the price was real low.
 

Richard--W

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Which DVD editions does Ernest refer to? Sounds like he's looking at the wrong ones. Ride In the Whirlwind and The Shooting were restored in the late 1990s, and the 35mm source materials are in excellent condition. The director, Monte Hellman, supervised the new transfers for VCI, who released the only authorized editions. The quality is excellent. Of course the source material will support Blu-ray; it's 35mm film. I suppose it's time for a digital upgrade, although personally I hope the films never get one because I prefer the photochemical "look" of 1965. I'm still looking for USA playdates in the late 1960s. I believe Roger Corman put both films on the bottom half of double-features before he sold them to the Walter Reade Organization for television, and long before Hellman bought them back for a 1971-72 re-release through James B. Harris.
 

Ernest

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I was referring to the movies themselves, not the film elements. These are two very low budget westerns that do not contain any elaborate special effects with basic audio. The DVD cases state the audio is surround 2.0 that sounds monaural with no bass. A standard DVD in anamorphic widescreen should have more than enough storage space to capture the video and audio these two movies provide. I am not against BluRay but I would never pay $29.99 per movie for these two. I did not find either movie very interesting and struggled to watch them.
 

Richard--W

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"The movies themselves" and "the film elements" are the same thing. Which DVD cases are you referring to? I mean which company put them out? Richard
 

Ernest

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I own both movies and watched them again last week. The data contained on the films, I don't believe, supports BluRay for $29.99 which is what Criterion would charge. I love BluRay and own many titles on BluRay and have 20+ on Prue-ordered. I am of the opinion some movies are just fine on anamorphic 16 x 9 standard DVD. The movies I refer to are dramas that do not contain allot of fast action data on the film. I don't believe all 2D movies should be converted to 3D. The studios don't agree and I am sure many titles will be converted to 3D that add nothing to the viewing experience. That is the way I fell about these two titles. I don't think BluRay has much to add and would only re-purchase them if they were included in a set and sold for $14.99. I doubt Criterion would even consider releasing both these titles at so low a price.
 

Richard--W

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Ernest, have you seen the DVDs of Ride In the Whirlwind and The Shooting released by VCI ? Specifically, have you seen the VCI editions? Also, have you seen the restored 35mm prints projected in a theater?
 

Derrick King

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It was in 2008 when Monte Hellman said that Criterion picked these up. The last word from Criterion (that I can find) is from 2009 when they said on facebook "Love those movies. They aren't in the schedule at the moment, but we definitely do want to work on them." The latest rumor from the Criterionforum.org is from early this year: "My Criterion connection has said they've tried to get the rights to the Hellman westerns and other films by him, but that they're major clearance issues regarding the music rights for his films. Hopefully something will come along to help the issue." I haven't seen either film, so I don't know if the music issues are in reference to Ride In the Whirlwind and The Shooting or the other Monte Hellman films that Criterion tried to acquire. I imagine that if they have the rights (& Criterion's facebook answer seems to indicate that they do) they'll get to them eventually. (Remember, it was back in 2009 when Criterion confirmed on facebook that they had the rights to Island of Lost Souls and that just got announced.)
 

Derrick King

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Monte Hellman
You were very involved in the Criterion edition of your film, "Two-Lane Blacktop." In fact, you conducted and produced the interviews with Kris Kristofferson and James Taylor for the "Two-Lane Blacktop" disc. I did about four pieces for the DVD and that was a lot of fun. In fact, I'm going to be doing similar things for Criterion releases of my two Jack Nicholson westerns, "The Shooting" and "Ride in the Whirlwind." That's a scoop! Criterion hasn't even announced these discs. They're a ways off. We haven't even closed the deal yet but we've talked about it and basically agreed. They're not going to be doing it until sometime in 2012.
 

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