CineSavant Column

Tuesday November 9, 2021

 

Hello!

Generous correspondent Andre Ferreira sends along a link to a Sam Peckinpah- directed episode of Route 66, Mon Petit Chou from 1961. Martin Milner and George Maharis are in fine form and the guest stars are Lee Marvin, Macha Méril and Bert Remsen. It’s some pretty good direction with Marvin, as a complex bully. Overall the picture’s very well put together, even if the screenplay isn’t exactly #Meetoo endorsed: a singer is all but imprisoned by a man who also beats her — but that’s okay because he’s ‘troubled.’

Ms. Méril is announced as ‘introducing;’ she’s really special and we just reviewed her in Deep Red. It’s a good show for Bert Remsen too, and the IMDB rates it higher than several of Peckinpah’s features. Good fistfight, too. Thanks Andre.

 


Whenever packages from Australia arrive it’s a special day: this lineup of Viavision [Imprint] Blu-rays is the best news this week. The carefully produced deluxe editions use heavy-duty slip covers, and some are packaged in handsome gift boxes.

This month gives us Oliver Reed, Diana Rigg and Telly Savalas in the comic The Assassination Bureau, William Fraker’s horror film A Reflection of Fear, Mick Jagger in Ned Kelly, and a double bill of versions of The Browning Version, one each with Michael Redgrave and Albert Finney. There’s also a Big Screen British Comedy collection, with features adapted from TV series: Dad’s Army, Steptoe & Son, Steptoe & Son Ride Again and Are You Being Served?

A very special gift box set is Collaborations: The Cinema of Zhang Yimou & Gong Li, with the titles Red Sorghum, Jou Dou, Raise the Red Lantern, The Story of Qiu Ju, To Live, Shanghai Triad, Curse of the Golden Flower and Coming Home.

Because ViaVision contracts with ITV, MGM and Paramount, the last gift set for the first time gives us The Harry Palmer Collection with all three Michael Caine features from the 1960s: The Ipcress File, Funeral in Berlin and Billion Dollar Brain. We’ll be getting right to work on these — the extras on the Harry Palmer pictures are really good.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson