Savant Column

Tuesday September 19, 2017


Thanks to correspondents for helping me straighten out a type size, font and darkness for the new CineSavant page. I use a new iMac screen with the scale blown up, so it looked fine to me at the smaller point size. When the web designer (I’ll use his name when I have permission) first previewed the page for me, everything looked too big. Three changes later, I think the choices made are finally nailed down.

It’s a nice launch for CineSavant. I think the changeover is going smoothly, without my losing too many readers. I spent the entire weekend writing emails, FB posts, and wrestling with HTML and wordpress. Right now the only extra content on the site is the three-part Review Index, which I like a lot — it finally reflects all of the Savant reviews, the newer ones at Trailers from Hell and World Cinema Paradise as well as the many years of posts at DVDtalk.

Onward —

Great news from The Warner Archive Collection: October tenth will be the premiere of a new Blu-ray of 1941’s The Sea Wolf, restored to its original theatrical length for the first time in over 75 years. This is the classic starring Edward G. Robinson, Ida Lupino and John Garfield. All we’ve ever seen on TV was a reissue version cut by a full fourteen minutes. Quote the WAC:

“Long thought to exist only in substandard form, Warner Bros. is proud to present this film as first released in 1941, restoring its original 100-minute running time from 35mm nitrate elements.”

Can’t argue with that, except to wish that the same fate could befall all of our film favorites. Warners keeps performing minor miracles, as if pulling rabbits out of a hat.

We can also chalk up the re-premiere of The Sea Wolf as yet another felicitous coincidence for the upcoming debut of the biography of the film’s director Michael Curtiz, by Alan K. Rode. I hope to review the book when it surfaces.

Are you a fan of Italian westerns? Are you sometimes befuddled by the confusing and sometimes incomplete info on the IMDB? I don’t expect this concern to be voiced at the United Nations, but I just learned about another online resource, a specialized Italian Western Database. Its maker has written a short article about it at the new Current Thinking on the Western page, edited by frequent Savant contributor Lee Broughton. The article about the database is brand new: Reflections on the Origins of the Spaghetti Western Database by Sebastian Haselbeck.

Among Criterion’s newly announced December discs are Alexander Payne’s painfully funny Election, and a new & improved iteration of Monterey Pop and associated concert movies.

Olive Films has some good stuff coming for October: Arthur Penn’s The Miracle Worker, Bob Rafelson’s Stay Hungry and two exotic cheapies from Republic and Monogram, The Vampire’s Ghost and Return of the Ape Man with Bela Lugosi.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson