A round-up of recent reviewing across multiple genres – western, black comedy, musical, animation, road movie.
His Girl Friday (1940) and Only Angels Have Wings (1939), two of Howard Hawks’ most critically acclaimed movies, have received excellent treatment from Criterion on Blu-ray, along with a restored transfer of Lewis Milestone’s pre-code adaptation of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s play The Front Page (1931), the source of Hawks’ cynical 1940 romantic comedy.
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).
Clive Barker’s second feature as a director was taken over by studio people who didn’t like the film he was making and ended up a crippled box office failure; Shout Factory has now released a “director’s cut”, more or less restored to Barker’s original intentions, which goes some way – though not all the way – towards making it an interesting horror fantasy.
In their joint commentary track on the Masters of Cinema DVD/Blu-Ray release of the newly restored Metropolis, David Kalat and Jonathan Rosenbaum express some concern that this new version will cause the disappearance of all previous versions. Why should this be a problem? After all, the “restored” Metropolis is the closest we’ll ever get to […] Read More