Monday, November 16, 2009

Produced and Abandoned #4

1. The Machine That Kills Bad People (1952)- Sadly, there's not a whole lot of Roberto Rosselini on DVD for some reason. Made after his international success with films like "Paisan" and "Open City", this film sounds intriguing as it details a demon who gives special powers to a man's camera and the ability to "smite" people from the Earth with it. I can only imagine the greatness that Rosselini rings from this tale.
2. Yol (1982)- Turkish film that was celebrated at Cannes, this was one of the first foreign movies I got a chance to see outside of my introduction to the French New Wave about 15 years ago. Yilmaz Guney's extraordinarily moving tale, the film features a group of prisoners who are granted leave to visit their family. VHS copies exist, but it's never been released on DVD. In fact, alot of groundbreaking Cannes Fest winners have yet to make it to DVD.
3. Phobia (1980)- Not too many good words are out there for John Huston's early 80's psycho-drama about patients who receive some pretty screwed up advice from their equally screwed up therapist. I'm about to begin a look at many of John Huston's films, so I'll be trying to track down a copy soon.
4. Twilight's Last Gleaming (1977)- Another filmmaker sorely lacking on DVD (or at least his later career) is Robert Aldrich. This film from the late 70's stars Burt Lancaster as a general who takes over a missile silo and threatens the President of the United States. C'mon... we deserve a chance to see that, right?
5. The Horse Thief (1986)- Not only is "The Horse Thief" routinely mentioned as one of Scorsese's favorite films, but it's also regarded as one of the milestones of Chinese cinema that helped to kick start the Fifth Generation filmmaking crowd.
6. Doc's Full Service (1994)- Out of all the films on this list, this is the one I truly doubt I'll ever see. The last film by Texas filmmaker Eagle Pennell, it's never been released on any video format. Routinely written about as a full-on mess (as its director was drunk half the time), it has no real stars and documents the ramblings of a group of people around a small gas station. If anyone has any ideas on where this can be found, I'd love to hear it.
7. The Prowler (1951)- Talked about in length recently on Glenn Kenny's blog, it sounds like a fascinating and overlooked gem in the career of Joseph Losey.
8. Ipcress File (1965)- So many good spy films, so little time. Michael Caine plays agent Harry Brown for the first time in a story of brain washing and political skulduggery. I understand there are Region 2 Russian copies out there for a hefty price.
9. Capone (1975)- If Warren Oates' version of John Dillinger can see the light of day, then there must be an audience for the John Cassavetes version of Al Capone. Directed by little known director Steve Carver who made a living with this type of cheapo gangster film (see "Big Bad Mama"), there has to be some value here.
10. The Carey Treatment- Blake Edwards' dark, dark drama about a doctor who ends up being tagged for murder and the peer (James Coburn) who searches for the truth. Part noir and part social commentary, this is a great film that twists and turns with surprises and allows Coburn to play out his own version of the laid back, sarcastic Philip Marlowe type made humorous a year later by Elliot Gould in "The Long Goodbye".


TALKING MOVIEzzz said...
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Joe Baker said...

Yep.. I originally saw "The carey Treatment" on TCM and just think it deserves a larger audience. Agreed about "Freud". Very very tough to find.

weepingsam said...

...and yes, Kenny - and Manny Farber - are right - The Prowler is a hell of a film. Losey got a big retrospective last year - I hope that means more of his work will be coming out on DVD. McCarey got a retrospective, and Make Way for Tomorrow is coming to DVD soon... The Prowler deserves it, haunting film.