CineSavant Column

Tuesday August 21, 2018


I’ve found that some readers don’t realize that CineSavant and DVD Savant reviews at Trailers from Hell and elsewhere are loaded with pertinent links, in red. The links go not just to other CineSavant reviews but to all kinds of relevant material. So I reluctantly add this note. It’s part of my effort that I think is most useful.

That having been said, Dick Dinman wrote in to correct/ clarify my review of The Last Hunt. He’ll be doing one of his audio shows on The Last Hunt and Home from the Hill soon, and when it’s ready I’ll link to it. The topic Dick addressed was actress Anne Bancroft’s abrupt exit from the movie, which caused her to be replaced by Debra Paget:

Hi Glenn, Stewart Granger told me all about the Bancroft accident on the The Last Hunt location and half-kiddingly framed it as ‘the biggest break that she ever had.’ Granger was supposed to pick her up from a galloping horse but dropped her. The accident caused Bancroft to be laid up for some time but also enabled her to audition for the stage play of The Miracle Worker which established her Broadway (and eventually film) career. Did you notice that Bancroft could clearly be seen by freeze-framing two shots?

So glad that you finally acknowledge Robert Taylor for the talent he was whenever he had an interesting and offbeat role.

Unfortunately the massive failure of The Last Hunt was the final nail in Taylor’s career. It followed the equally poor reception of Quentin Durward, for a combined loss of more than $4 million. With the exception of a loan-out to Fox for D-Day the Sixth of June — also a flop — never again would Taylor be offered a major film.

Well, now I have to see The Last Hunt again, to find the mystery shots with Anne Bancroft! The image above is actually from Walk the Proud Land, an Audie Murphy western.

UK correspondent Dave Carnegie sends along a YouTube link to the early color film The Open Road, a 1926 travelogue of London. The ten-minute show was filmed by one of the initial creators of motion pictures, Claude Friese-Greene. We have read accounts of his later attempts to create the alternate-frame ‘Friese-Greene Color Process,’ some of which claimed that it never worked. This restoration would seem to prove that it did. The restoration is by the BFI. Thanks Mr. Carnegie!

Also from YouTube, Gary Teetzel sends along, by way of the Classic Horror Film Board, an original audio promo for William Castle’s The Tingler, from way back in 1959. The hokey jingle is augmented with good sound effects and some terrific recitation bites from star Vincent Price, in the same inimitable voice he later brought to Tim Burton’s short subject Vincent and John Landis’ music video Thriller. The promo uses the deeper-than-deep voice of Thurl Ravenscroft. A ‘straight’ version of the song without Price is also online — credited to “The Tinglers.”

Meant to be played endlessly in theater lobbies to hype the coming attraction, the song likely drove more than a few theater ushers totally insane. I almost went nuts back in 1973, listening to an endless loop of the Burt Bacharach soundtrack for the remake of Lost Horizon. I can now recall every gloppy line of lyrics.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson