CineSavant Column

Saturday April 27, 2019


Disc release news hound Gary Teetzel reports that Mill Creek and Kit Parker are reaching even further into the Columbia/Sony vault for more ‘noir’ thrillers. I’ve already reviewed a 9-title Volume One set. A Volume Two is due in a couple of months, and they’ve just announced a Volume 3 for September. It’s not a bad list — I see one title already out from Twilight Time, three Brit imports, potentially interesting items from Paul Wendkos and André De Toth, and a Don Siegel classic. All will be very welcome in Blu-ray if the quality of the encoding matches Volume One:

The Shadow in the Window (1956) dir. William Asher, The Long Haul (1957) dir. Ken Hughes, Pickup Alley (1957) dir. John Gilling, She Played with Fire (1957) dir. Sidney Gilliat, The Tijuana Story (1957) dir. Leslie Kardos, The Lineup (1958) dir. Don Siegel, The Case Against Brooklyn (1958) dir. Paul Wendkos, The Crimson Kimono (1959) dir. Samuel Fuller, and Man on a String (1960) dir. André De Toth.

There is at present an interesting entry in Amazon for an Arrow Academy Blu-ray of G.W. Pabst’s 1932 L’Atlantide, a magnetic attraction for fans of the legendary Brigitte Helm. Many early talkies were produced in separate language versions, and this appears to be the French version co-starring Pierre Blanchar, as opposed to the German version with Heinz Klingenberg, Die Herrin von Atlantis. Although it hasn’t been super-scarce, L’Atlantide is one famed fantasy I’ve managed to miss all my life. The stills are fairly incredible-looking. Most of the supporting players are the same in both versions, including a youthful Vladimir Sokoloff, who is always good. When producer Seymour Nebenzal came to the U.S., he would remake his big hit “M”, and recycle scenes from this L’Atlantide for his Siren of Atlantis (1949) with Maria Montez. I haven’t seen that, either, and it has a reputation as a Camp classic. I hope I got some of this right; the relationship of all these versions and remakes could very well have me confused.

The Amazon posting is a bit shaky because of the given release date: ‘December 31, 2019.’ In the past, listings that jump ahead to the last day of the year have turned out to mean, ‘no date yet determined,’ or even, ‘Is this really coming out?’ So I’m not exactly holding my breath yet. Someday I’ll get to see Edgar G. Ulmer’s Antinea, l’amante della città sepolta (“Antinea, Lover of the Hidden City”, 1961), aka L’Atlantide, also aka Journey Beneath the Desert. It stars Jean-Louis Trintignant and Haya Harareet, and was designed by Ulmer, who took over after the initial director Frank Borzage took ill. But I want to see it in a good presentation: it was filmed in Technirama and Technicolor. Ariannè Ulmer Cipes had an incredible Italian poster for it in her house in Sherman Oaks.

To finish up, correspondent Bill Migicovsky forwards Anne Billson’s highly educational Guardian article on subtitling issues, called Say What? Why Film Translators Are in a War of Words over Subtitles. It’s specifically about international translation issues in Cuarón’s Roma, but one paragraph about an older subtitling technique was news to me as well.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson