Friday, May 07, 2010

cinema obscura: Michael Anderson's "The Naked Edge" (1961)

In celebration of the iconic Gary Cooper's birthday today, Turner has scheduled five of the actor's better-known titles - Howard Hawks' great "Sergeant York," for which Coop won an Oscar; the Frank Capra twins, "Meet John Doe" and "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town"; King Vidor's "The Fountainhead," and the Anthony Mann exceptional "adult Western," "Man of the West."

But not surprisingly, missing is Cooper's last movie, the faux Hitchcock thriller, "The Naked Edge," directed by Michael Anderson and released in 1961, a month after Cooper died of prostate cancer at age 60.

A tepid drama of murder and suspicion, "The Naked Edge" is virtually impossible to find these days and, while it may not be necessarily missed, the film is noteworthy for its iconic teaming of Cooper with Deborah Kerr.

The estimable supporting cast includes Diane Cilento, Hermione Gingold, Peter Cushing and Michael Wilding, adding to its worth.


Brad said...

Joe: I saw "The Naked Edge" a while back - either on TV or video - and it looked like 1.77. Half of the image seemed to have been wiped away. Do you know if it was made in 'scope?

joe baltake said...

Brad: I believe the film's aspect ratio was 16:9.

wwolfe said...

We're both old enough to remember the glory that was UHF. I recall seing this movie about 40 years ago on Channel 61 out of Cleveland. The print was pan-and-scan, which I did and do hate, and my only memory is of thinking that whoever made it was trying to make something like a Hitchcock movie. (Channel 61, in fact, was where I saw my first two Hitchcocks, "Suspicion" and "North by Northwest," as well as my first Ford, "What Price Glory?" Collectively, these were the first movies that made me think, "Someone made this" - that someone being the director, although I wouldn't have known from directors at the time. before that, I think I assumed movies just existed in some magical place that I could see inside my TV or on the big screen at the local theater.)