CineSavant Column

Saturday July 20, 2019


Fearless collaborator and advisor Gary Teetzel is off at Comic-Con, con-fabbing and hob-nobbing with his fellow wizards. This explains why he is not feeding CineSavant multiple ‘items’ of interest this week, a la Sidney Falco. I do have news from Tom Weaver that a new book is on the way, a ‘Script from the Crypt’ all about the Universal/PRC film maudit The Brute Man. That’s the jaw-dropping no-budget favorite starring the inimitable Rondo Hatton.

We’re link-challenged today, but the place is hoppin’ with welcome disc announcements. First up is Criterion, whose October offerings are cherce — they’ve upgraded the Silent Sternbergs (Underworld, The Last Command and The Docks of New York) to Blu, alongside a restored disc of Benjamin Christiansen’s witchcraft epic Häxan, the Muhammed Ali docu When We Were Kings and … and … at long last, John Sayles’ superb, simply unavailable Matewan (image left). All I’ve seen of Matewan were weak ‘Z’ Channel cablecasts and an ugly laserdisc; the one time I saw it in a theater was one of the few times I’ve heard real cheering for a movie.

Not to be overshadowed, The Warner Archive Collection is stepping up its game in August, with a tight list of unexpected delights. They’ve got John Ford’s Wagon Master with Ben Johnson and Harry Carey Jr., (pictured, really good-looking in B&W), Fritz Lang’s 2nd and last MGM picture Moonfleet with Stewart Granger and Viveca Lindfors, Nicholas Roeg’s wonderful The Witches, and a new Blu of the William Wyler/Bette Davis classic Jezebel, all super library titles.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson