5 items from 2017
By Jeremy Carr
Alfred Hitchcock may have directed The Paradine Case, the 1947 adaptation of Robert Smythe Hichens’ 1933 novel, but the film is most clearly a David O. Selznick production. It was his coveted property, he wrote the screenplay (with contributions from Alma Reville, James Bridie, and an uncredited Ben Hecht), and the movie itself discloses far more of its producer’s temperament than it does its director’s. The Paradine Case was, in fact, the last film made by the British-born master as part of his seven-year contract with Selznick, and by most accounts, Hitchcock’s heart just wasn’t in it. Unfortunately, it shows.
But this is no slipshod motion picture. Selznick spared no expense—the completed film cost almost as much as Gone with the Wind—and the entire project is built on quality and class. Set in London, in “the recent past,” The Paradine Case stars an »
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Nick Aldwinckle Jul 20, 2017
With the DC cinematic universe currently riding high on the coattails of Wonder Woman, Patty Jenkins’ megahit antidote to the miserablism of messrs Bats and Soops, it would seem churlish to point out that company’s past failures. Things being as they are, though, with the recent release of a camp classic on Blu-ray, it’s time to do precisely that.
The sequel to Wes Craven’s 1982 superhero effort that was more Toxie than Alan Moore, Jim Wynorski’s 1989 adaptation of the tale of scientist turned mutant bog creature Alec Holland, slyly monikered The Return Of Swamp Thing, cranks the ridiculousness dial right up to 'comedy horror' level. As Swampy meets the love of his life, Abigail – Heather (Locklear) be thy name – and battles the evil Anton Arcane (Louis Jourdan, »
Tony Sokol Jun 20, 2017
Sherlock creators Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat have detected another classic novel to sink their teeth into. Bram Stoker’s Dracula begins with a real estate deal. Jonathan Harker secures the Transylvanian count some scattered properties in Whitby, England, where he can kick off his cape and hide his native soil. Those hiding places are discovered through some stiff detective work. 127 years after the 1897 publication of the classic horror novel, the quintessential vampire will be returning to England. Moffat and Gatiss are in negotiations with the BBC to create a new Dracula miniseries.
Dracula will be the first time Moffat and Gatiss have collaborated since Sherlock aired its long awaited season 4 earlier this year. The future of Sherlock has not yet been decided. Work on the new Dracula series will begin after Moffat finishes his sixth and final season on Doctor Who.
Dracula has been adapted for stage, screen and TV many times. Stoker wrote the first theatrical version. It was first adapted to film by F. W. Murnau in Nosferatu in 1922. Bela Lugosi went from stage to screen when he starred in the 1931 Universal Studios classic. The BBC produced the TV movie Count Dracula, starring Louis Jourdan in 1977.
Gatiss is on record as a fan of the 1958 Hammer Horror version of Dracula, which starred Christopher Lee as the count and Peter Cushing as Dr. Van Helsing. Moffat took on classic horror in 2007 when he wrote the series Jekyll. Gatiss played Dracula in a full-cast audio play from Big Finish in 2016.
There is no word on whether Dracula will be set in modern day England.
Source: Variety »
This isn’t the only Alfred Hitchcock film for which the love does not flow freely, but his 1947 final spin on the David O. Selznick-go-round is more a subject for study than Hitch’s usual fun suspense ride. Gregory Peck looks unhappy opposite Selznick ‘discovery’ Alida Valli, while an utterly top-flight cast tries to bring life to mostly irrelevant characters. Who comes off best? Young Louis Jourdan, that’s who.
Kl Studio Classics
1947 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 125 min. / Street Date May 30, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95
Cinematography Lee Garmes
Production Designer J. McMillan Johnson
Original Music Franz Waxman
Produced by David O. Selznick
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
- Glenn Erickson
1957 / B&W / 1:85 widescreen / 130 min. / Street Date February 7, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99
Cinematography: William C. Mellor
Film Editor: Leonid Azar
Art Direction: Alexandre Trauner
Adapted Music: Franz Waxman
Produced and Directed by Billy Wilder
A favorite of Billy Wilder-philes, Love in the Afternoon is a strong expression of the ‘romantic-Lubitsch’ vein in Wilder’s work. It’s essentially a return to the early ’30s Lubitsch comedies with Maurice Chevalier, but played in a more bittersweet Viennese register. It’s also Wilder’s first collaboration with the comedy screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond. Together they fashion the predominantly verbal comedy machine that will carry them through three or four big hits, and a few losers that have become classics anyway. »
- Glenn Erickson
5 items from 2017
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