Recent miscellaneous viewing, part two

Charles Bronson as real-life career criminal Joe Valachi in Terence Young's The Valachi Papers (1972)

More random viewing: two obscure independent films from the BFI, Margaret Tait’s poetic Blue Black Permanent (1992) and Maurice Hatton’s gritty fake-umentary about the film business, Long Shot (1977); and three from Twilight Time – George Sluizer’s interesting Americanization of his existential thriller The Vanishing (1993), Terrence Young’s straightforward fact-based crime saga The Valachi Papers (1972), and D.W. Griffith’s monumental but deeply troubling Birth of a Nation (1915).

Twilight Crime

Public transportation as claustrophobic trap in Larry Peerce's The Incident (1967)

Twilight Time has recently released a strong selection of crime-related Blu-rays, ranging from Marilyn Monroe’s debut as a lead in Roy Ward Baker’s Don’t Bother to Knock (1952) to Sam Fuller’s powerful revenge noir Underworld USA (1961), from Larry Peerce’s urban nightmare The Incident (1967) to a pair of ’70s exercises in police realism, Richard Fleischer’s The New Centurions (1972) and Philip D’Antoni’s The Seven-Ups (1973).

Catching up with Twilight

Alex Cutter (John Heard), the embittered Vietnam vet with a money-making plan in Ivan Passer's Cutter's Way (1981)

Four Twilight Time releases showcase exceptional acting in a variety of styles: Spencer Tracy and Frederick March in Stanley Kramer’s Inherit the Wind (1960); Jeff Bridges, John Heard and Lisa Eichhorn in Ivan Passer’s Cutter’s Way (1981); Sean Penn and Christopher Walken in James Foley’s At Close Range (1986); and David Thewlis in Paul Greengrass’ Resurrected (1989).

More from Twilight Time

One of the few "action" moments in Gordon Douglas' The Detective (1968)

Twilight Time revive Gordon Douglas’ The Detective starring Frank Sinatra and Michael Winner’s Scorpio starring Burt Lancaster, a couple of largely forgotten movies from the late ’60s and early ’70s in editions which highlight their interest as time capsules of attitudes and filmmaking styles which have since all but disappeared; and revisit Mysterious Island, one of Ray Harryhausen’s better movies, with a new edition featuring some interesting supplements.