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HawksFord

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Garden of Evil (1954) - I am slowly working my way through the pile of Twilight Time blu-rays I picked up in their final sales. This one is a solid western directed by Henry Hathaway in CinemaScope and with some fantastic location footage from Mexico. Susan Hayward plays a woman who hires four men including Gary Cooper and Richard Widmark to rescue her husband from a remote gold mine. The action here is as much psychological as it is physical with all of the characters having hidden depths that are slowly, but never completely, revealed. Too bad the Apache weren't treated as thoughtfully; their presence seems pro forma.
 
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BobO'Link

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Last night:
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This was a first time viewing of this cut of the film. This version runs 124 minutes and is the best I've ever seen the film with the original score making it even better. I have a copy of the later "Complete Metropolis" which runs at 153 minutes that's awaiting a viewing.

I followed that with:
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A long time favorite that really looks good in this BR release.
 

jcroy

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jr
Last night:
View attachment 75618
This was a first time viewing of this cut of the film. This version runs 124 minutes and is the best I've ever seen the film with the original score making it even better. I have a copy of the later "Complete Metropolis" which runs at 153 minutes that's awaiting a viewing.
Is this a version with some "re-discovered" footage from a film vault in Argentina?
 

jcroy

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Back in the day, I really liked the Giorgio Moroder version even though the storyline didn't make a lot of sense. I liked it for the special effects and visuals, and it had a lot of "emotional attachment" for me.

When I finally saw the re-edit version a number of years ago, the storyline made more coherent sense. Though for whatever reason, I found it didn't have much (if any) emotional "gravitas" for me.
 

Mike Boone

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I mentioned in another thread that two nights ago, I began watching my DVD of Watch on the Rhine, an Oscar-nominated Best Film I hadn't seen in at least a decade. About 50 minutes into the disc, the layer change occurred, and the disc froze, the victim of Warner's 2008 production line of discs that have now gone wholly or completely bad.

Instead of bothering with a replacement DVD, I went to iTunes and found the HD version of the movie for $7.99, so I bought it, and today I watched the remaining portions of the movie. The movie is good, not great, though I can certainly understand that during World War II, it would have resonated much more strongly with people. Grand performances from Lucile Watson and Beulah Bondi (among others).

The HD transfer on iTunes could be released on Blu-ray today; it is pristine, very sharp, and with a strong grayscale. Of course, the disc would likely be lucky to sell 100 copies nowadays, but at least this HD version is available for those who want the movie in top quality.

Matt, I certainly know how maddening such a situation can be, like your Watch on the Rhine DVD going bad, when you'd been looking forward to enjoying it. And what you experienced with that Warner Home Video DVD, just reminded me of how annoyed I was, back in late 2016, by another Warner Home Video release having gone bad. But instead of a DVD, is was Warner's Blu-Ray release of The Dirty Dozen, that had gone bad. And that Blu-ray had played just fine, more than 5 years before, during the only time we had previously watched it. I've always wondered if other people had trouble with that Blu-ray release of The Dirty Dozen. What was very frustrating was: close visual inspection of the disc showed it still appearing to be in perfect condition, and it had stayed in its case, since successfully playing years before.
 

bujaki

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Wasp Network (Netflix HD) 2019. Olivier Assayas teams up with his Carlos leading man, Edgar Ramirez, and Penelope Cruz (outstanding) to document a true story of Cuban spies infiltrating a net of terrorist Cuban exiles in Miami bent on orchestrating attacks on the island during the 1990s. The question is, without entering into a political discussion, what would you do to defend your homeland from outside aggression coming from another country, but only targeting those exiled terrorists, and not the USA?
Show Boat (Criterion BD) 1936. The best, the very best of all 3 versions in an impressive presentation. Whale directs with a sure hand, exhibiting many of his stylistic flourishes in key lighting of close ups, panning camera movements, etc. The Ol' Man River sequence is justly famous with that almost 360 degree turn around Robeson ending on the camera moving into a tight close up of the noble face. Then Whale illustrates part of the lyrics with expressionistic images of Robeson suffering indignities while that great voiceI'd been ex intones the immortal melody like no other mortal has ever done. This sequence moved me to tears in aesthetic admiration the first time I saw it in the Summer of '72. At the time I'd been exposed to Whale's work merely as the director of Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, and The Invisible Man; so I knew nothing about his style or reputation. I had to wait a while to learn more about Whale, but I did thanks to Bill Everson and MoMA.
Anyway, as I've said before, MoMA screened all 3 versions of Show Boat (35mm prints) on 27 December, 1977 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the B'way premiere of Ziegfeld's production. (I wonder what that first-night audience felt!) The worst version, imo, is the 1951 version, saved by Ava Gardner's performance and beauty.
Before I leave the '36 version, I have to point out many other felicities: the inimitable Helen Morgan, whose two numbers remain unsurpassed; Charles Winninger's classic turn as Cap'n Andy; Helen Westley as Parthy; the great Hattie McDaniel singing, dancing and acting up a storm; and Irene Dunne growing up from ingenue to abandoned spouse to triumphant star of stage.
One final point. In the Criterion extras it's pointed out that the '36 version lay dormant in MGM's archives until a 1975 screening attended by Dunne. NOT TRUE. I saw a 16mm print at Theatre 80 St. Mark's in '72 without my wife, who joined me later that summer in NYC. She saw it later, same print, and then we saw it together in '77 at MoMA.
 
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BobO'Link

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Back in the day, I really liked the Giorgio Moroder version even though the storyline didn't make a lot of sense. I liked it for the special effects and visuals, and it had a lot of "emotional attachment" for me.

When I finally saw the re-edit version a number of years ago, the storyline made more coherent sense. Though for whatever reason, I found it didn't have much (if any) emotional "gravitas" for me.
Moroder's version is the 82 minute cut of the movie. Lots of stuff missing on that one and it's a non-restored print as well. I never cared for his tinting job or the pop music score.
 

Matt Hough

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We had been talking about Barefoot in the Park elsewhere, so when I stumbled on it tonight as one of the free Amazon Prime offerings, I watched it. The HD transfer looked very nice, and the movie is always fun. I had forgotten there was so much kissing in the movie!
 

BobO'Link

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Yesterday's viewings:

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One of my absolute favorite Harryhausen movies. The score is superb - one of Bernard Herman's best.

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I'd read good things about this one. It's quite "talky" but not bad and has a reasonable "conclusion." I still prefer the original 1954 Japanese version of Gojira.

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Interesting but didn't pull me in like I'd expected.

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I really don't remember ever seeing this one before - and I've seen *lots* of classic movies. I love Lubitsch films which makes it even more of a surprise first viewing. I really enjoyed it and found it quite different than what I was expecting.

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An interesting, modernistic, take on the story, if a bit overly long (it's a TV mini-series). I prefer Disney's animated version or Tim Burton's film.
 
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bujaki

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Jose Ortiz-Marrero
Wildlife (Criterion BD) 2018. Impressive directorial debut from actor Paul Dano, guiding relative newcomer Ed Oxenbould as the teenage son of Carey Mulligan (superb) and Jake Gyllenhaal (also superb) as a troubled family in 1960 Montana. Quietly observed actions, the more troubling as the parents grapple with life choices that affect their child who seems to be the most mature member of the family. This one stays with you.
Three Strangers (TCM) 1946. I saw this for the first time as a child and enjoyed it. It's been a long, long time since I saw this last, so I decided to watch it again. I remembered some plot points, including Fitzgerald's femme fatale's fate. The 3 leads are very good, but I'll just wax admiringly about one of my sirens: Geraldine Fitzgerald. Not only was she absolutely drop-dead gorgeous, but she also stole, or elevated, every picture she was in, regardless of the length of her role. She was a natural, never given to tics or mannerisms, so she never achieved camp status. But she was always a class act. Lit here lovingly by the same man who lit Bergman in Casablanca, Arthur Edeson. He obviously loved the same faces I do.
Borsalino and Co. (iTunes HD) 1974. Follow up to Borsalino. An Italian mob aided by the Far Right, the Fascists and the police invade Marseilles with the purpose to bring law and order via hooking the young with heroin as a way to open the way to Hitler. Delon's gang must fight Volpone, the leader, and rid the city of this pernicious influence. Bloody, suspenseful. Delon is icy cool and still as beautiful as in the first film.
Upstream Color (erbp film BD) 2013. Unsettling film. Is it science fiction/horror, love story, tale of damaged people seeking resolution, or pigs and grubs? Compelling, to say the least.
 

Matt Hough

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I finished the new season of Grantchester tonight. It was a very entertaining series, but with only six episodes, they're always over before you know it.
 

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