↑ Congratulations to CineSavant reviewer Lee Broughton, whose review today of Arizona Colt is also his debut as a Blu-ray commentator. I must have connected with Lee more than twenty years ago, as his first DVD Savant Article went public sometime in 2000. With his academic background Lee also was one of several key advisors and experts that came to my aid when I organized extras for MGM’s first DVD special editions of the Sergio Leone movies. He’s been reviewing discs for DVD Savant and CineSavant ever since. One of his specialties is the Italo Spaghetti Western; the pandemic has inspired us to hold regular Zoom confabs in a ‘Leone group’ consisting of Lee and other long-time disc collecting friends Bill Shaffer and Ulrich Bruckner. It’s not easy finding a convenient time frame for participants spread out from California to Austria.
I’ve been collaborating during the pandemic with experts that I think ought to be recording commentaries — Matt Rovner, Marc Edward Heuck. Lee Broughton pitched his track for Arizona Colt completely on his own; I’ve just heard about it now. I’m suggesting that disc producers looking for a fresh and qualified spokesperson take a listen.
Powerhouse Indicator has figured out a way to assemble yet another Hammer Region B Blu-ray collection: Hammer Volume Six Night Shadows contains an unexpected mix of titles. Shadow of the Cat is a great opportunity to see Barbara Shelley; the extras will surely clear up its status as a stealth Hammer release (the company isn’t in the credits). Captain Clegg is a winner with Peter Cushing, Oliver Reed and Yvonne Romain; it was released here as Night Creatures. The Jimmy Sangster – Freddie Francis Nightmare is one of Hammers psychological shockers; I’ve reviewed it twice and can barely remember it, I’m afraid. Terence Fisher’s The Phantom of the Opera is considered a Hammer core classic.
Since these pictures were all released here on Universal-licensed discs, some fans are predicting that Indicator will follow up its Columbia Hammers with the full batch of Universal co-productions… which I suppose is possible. The online chatter on this subject can be pretty extravagant. I agree that it would be great to see all of the Quatermass films gathered in a fancy boxed set, but the rights are held by very separate entities. Anything’s possible … but not really.
You could bet that I wouldn’t pass this up — writer Craig Lindsey at Guardian has come out with a defense of a movie I’ve not known how to defend for 42 years. Hear Me Out: Why 1941 Isn’t a Bad Movie is as defensive as a title can get. I’m not sure the argument is fully convincing but it at least asserts that the picture is amusing, that it entertains people. Spielberg’s comedy epic is certainly spectacular, and I’m proud of that part. Mr. Lindsey, any questions you might have about the making of the show in which General Stilwell shouted “What a mess! What a goddamn mess!”, ask me … I might know.
Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson