Thursday, December 06, 2007
Alert! "At Long Last Love" and "The Victors" sightings
Two lost films recently showcased here have been sighted...
Peter Bogdanovich's brilliant and criminally misunderstood film musical, "At Long Last Love," profiled here last May, has been plucked out of movie purgatory by San Francisco-based film buff Jesse Hawthore Ficks for a one-time showing at S.F.'s legendary Castro Theater at 7:30 p.m., Friday, December 7th.
The long-neglected film - Fox never bothered to issue it on home enterainment in any format - is part of a Burt Reynolds evening at the Castro, which will also include Reynold's other film musical, "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" (1982), also underrated; "Smoky & The Bandit," which gets a midnite screening, and scores of trailers from other Reynolds films.
Last May, I wrote of "ALLL": "Bogdanovich was arguably at his most creative on this movie, filming it in color but designing it largely in black-and-white, so that the only colors in the film are his actors' skin tones. He also enlisted his cast of game, nonprofessional singers to perform their songs live, every one of them, and despite the hasty assumptions that were made at the time of the film's release, the singing is fine here - more than fine actually, given that Shepherd, Kahn and Del Prete all sport trained voices, while Reynolds affects a soothing Dean Martin-style croon.
"To complement the stress-free singing, choreographer Rita Abrams kept her dance routines light and easy-going. The result is that the dancing here has the off-the-cuff, scratch-pad casualness of the in-between numbers in the Astaire-Rogers films. The film doesn't feel choreographed."
For more information, check out Fick's terrific site, Midnites for Maniacs (www.midniteformaniacs.com)
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In an August 29th essay, I profiled Carl Foreman's missing war epic from 1963,"The Victors."
The film will be televised on the Military Channel on January 19th. Hopefully, the three-hour epic, once considered a major film by its studio, Columbia, and now all but abandoned, will not be cut for broadcast.
(Artwork: Poster art for Peter Bogdanovich's "At Long Last Love" and Carl Foreman's "The Victors")
Posted by joe baltake at 9:18 PM