4 items from 2014
Jane Fonda movies on TCM: ‘The China Syndrome,’ ‘Klute,’ and Jean-Luc Godard drama ‘Tout Va Bien’ among highlights (photo: Jane Fonda in ‘Klute’) Turner Classic Movies’ 2014 "Summer Under the Stars" kicked off earlier today, August 1, with a day-long series of Jane Fonda movies. Still reviled by American right-wingers because of her 1972 trip to North Vietnam while the United States was at war with that country — she was photographed seated on an anti-aircraft battery — but admired by others for her liberal views, anti-war activism, and human rights advocacy, the two-time Best Actress Academy Award winner has enjoyed a highly eclectic film career, eventually becoming a rarity among rarities: Jane Fonda is the child of a film star (Henry Fonda) who not only became a film star in her own right, but who went on to become an even bigger screen legend than her famous parent. (See also: Jane Fonda “Summer Under »
- Andre Soares
Directed by Billy Wilder
Ace in the Hole is a quintessential Billy Wilder movie. Though largely ignored upon its initial release, this 1951 feature bears all the hallmarks one associates with Wilder’s best work: cynicism, humor, terrific performances, sharp dialogue, and impeccable direction. Here, to keep within the theme of the title, we get it all in spades.
The recently released Criterion Blu-ray of the film likewise boasts an abundant assortment of features. There is of course the new restoration, which looks great, as well as a commentary track with scholar Neil Sinyard, a brief afterword by Spike Lee, and interviews with Kirk Douglas and cowriter Walter Newman. The insert booklet, with essays by filmmaker Guy Maddin and critic Molly Haskell, is cleverly assembled as a foldout mock newspaper. And the documentary, Portrait of a “60% Perfect Man”: Billy Wilder, »
- Jeremy Carr
A resounding flop upon its release, which saw it recut and rereleased as The Big Carnival without any greater success, Criterion remasters Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole for Blu-ray with a beautifully packaged presentation. A darkly prophetic nightmare concerning the carnivalesque power of the media, the 1951 feature is decades ahead of its time, and received a resoundingly sour reception upon initial release. Hot off the success from his 1950 hit, Sunset Boulevard, it would take the box office return of 1953’s Stalag 17 to recuperate Wilder’s studio graces.
Alternating between cocksure aggression and derisive self-loathing, smarmy journalist Chuck Tatum (Kirk Douglas) struts into the office of Albuquerque’s local newspaper where he proceeds to demean a Native American employee and a ridicule the secretary fior her framed and self-embroidered mantra, “Tell the Truth.” It’s immediately clear that Tatum considers the local paper something akin to a cess »
- Nicholas Bell
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: May 4, 2014
Price: Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.95
Kirk Douglas (Paths of Glory) gives the fiercest performance of his career as Chuck Tatum, an amoral newspaper reporter who washes up in dead-end Albuquerque, happens upon the scoop of a lifetime, and will do anything to keep getting the lurid headlines.
Also starring Jan Sterling and Bob Arthur, Wilder’s follow-up to his ominously alluring Sunset Boulevard is an even darker vision, a no-holds-barred exposé of the American media’s appetite for sensation that has gotten only more relevant with time.
Criterion’s Blu-ray/DVD Combo edition of the movie contains the following features, the bulk of them ported over from »
4 items from 2014
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