2 items from 2016
As a supplement to our Recommended Discs weekly feature, Peter Labuza regularly highlights notable recent home-video releases with expanded reviews. See this week’s selections below.
After a decade of the Dust Bowl destroying crops while rich land owners exploited every little farmer there was, making a film that naively bought into the American dream would seem foolish for any filmmaker. But Jean Renoir could only see hope in the plains, having fled his home to exchange the dreams of Fascism for the dreams of celluloid. While Renoir struggled in Hollywood during the war period, his break came as he went north to Millerton Lake to make The Southerner in 1945. The resulting film follows doe-eyed Zachary Scott, exuding his common-day presence, as Sam Tucker. Tucker, gullible for the promises that hard work means a better life, moves his family from a proto-Days of Heaven cotton-picking existence to a farm of one’s own, »
- Peter Labuza
Looking to discover a top-quality film that honors lasting values? Jean Renoir gives Zachary Scott and Betty Field as Texas sharecroppers trying to survive a rough first year. It's beautifully written by Hugo Butler, with given realistic, earthy touches not found in Hollywood pix. And the transfer is a new UCLA restoration. With two impressive short subjects in equal good quality. The Southerner Blu-ray Kino Classics 1945 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 92 min. / Street Date February 9, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Betty Field, Beulah Bondi, Carol Naish, Norman Lloyd, Zachary Scott, Percy Kilbride, Charles Kemper, Blanche Yurka, Estelle Taylor, Paul Harvey, Noreen Nash, Nestor Paiva, Almira Sessions. Cinematography Lucien Andriot Film Editor Gregg C. Tallas Production Designer Eugène Lourié Assistant Director Robert Aldrich Original Music Werner Janssen Written by Hugo Butler, Jean Renoir from a novel by George Sessions Perry Produced by Robert Hakim, David L. Loew Directed by Jean Renoir »
- Glenn Erickson
2 items from 2016
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