CineSavant Column

Saturday March 10, 2018


Powerhouse Indicator made the announcement .. May 21 will bring a boxed set of Randolph Scott-Budd Boetticher movies roughly known as the ‘Ranown’ cycle: The Tall T, Buchanan Rides Alone, Decision at Sundown, Ride Lonesome and Comanche Station, all in restored Blu-ray. It’s like five variations on the same theme — a man alone in a raw country. They’re more than welcome. The official title of the box is Five Tall Tales: Budd Boetticher and Randolph Scott at Columbia 1957-1960.

Kino made a splash with its announcement of a 4K restoration of Rafferty, Loader and Rafferty’s The Atomic Cafe, a must-see, highly influential documentary made entirely of government, public service and AEC propaganda movies from the (mostly) 1950s. The original 1982 release was a purposeful slap in the face to the Reagan notion of a winnable atom war; they make no bones about the fact that this quality re-boot was motivated by our country’s insane new toying with war threats. Kino’s announcement came with a great link, to Rafferty and Loader being interviewed about The Atomic Cafe exactly 36 years ago on The David Letterman Show: March 10, 1982.

I’ve just received from Vinegar Syndrome a scarce neon punk-era Sci-Fi fantasy called Liquid Sky, that’s set to come out on April 24. It’s the notorious 1982 picture with Anne Carlisle, that I’ve never seen. A helpful publicity rep tipped me off, bless her — I’m not offered much Vinegar Syndrome product so somebody must have thought me especially appropriate to the task.

A helpful note arrived from revered correspondent and reviewer “B” about my review for Colossus: The Forbin Project, in which I give Universal a hard time for muffing the Sci-fi film’s release. “B” stood up for Universal, which did after all try a second 1970 release for the film just a few months after the first laid an egg. Even he notes that the show was ready to go the year before: Ad materials designate its rating “M”, which changed to “GP” early in 1970.

I just made a big noise about the legendary early talkie King of Jazz being wholly unavailable back in the day, but correspondent and old friend Avie Hern has just told me that, back when he went to college, he saw it in 2-strip Technicolor via a print owned by old-time collector William K. Everson. So, so much for my memories and some other sources as well.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson