Criterion’s release of a key but little-known feature by Jean Renoir, the conceptually and stylistically sophisticated La Chienne, is essential viewing.
Rough Cut Blog
A classic romantic comedy about death gets an impressive new release on Blu-ray from Criterion. Alexander Hall’s Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) features a witty script and an impressive cast headed by Robert Montgomery, Claude Rains and Evelyn Keyes in the story of a good-natured boxer snatched prematurely by one of Death’s messengers and returned to Earth in the body of a crooked businessman.
It’s remarkable that it’s still possible to discover a previously unknown yet major film from the silent era, but the BFI’s new release of Anthony Asquith’s first feature, Shooting Stars (1928) is a revelation; a fresh, self-aware film about filmmaking and the intersection of real and imaginary lives.
Twilight Time have released two very different movies on Blu-ray: Ralph Nelson’s religious parable Lilies of the Field, which won Sidney Poitier the first ever best actor Oscar for a Black star, and Richard Fleischer’s bleak 10 Rillington Place, the true story of British serial killer John Reginald Christie, which features Richard Attenborough’s finest performance.
The 3rd volume of Shout! Factory’s Vincent Price Collection, anchored by William Whitney’s severely under-budgeted Master of the World (1961), seems more threadbare than the previous volumes, although there are still points of interest. Roger Corman’s Tower of London (1962) seems ripe for reevaluation, and set allows viewers to compare Gordon Hessler’s original cut of Cry of the Banshee (1970) with the producer’s cut, released theatrically. The high point is Price’s one-man TV show An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe (1970).