Classic Film Wishes for 2019


Classic Film Wishes for 2019

List of films Cinemagraphe wishes would be remastered and made available on HD / Bluray discs for classic film fans in 2019.

Local Hero - This 1983 film with Burt Lancaster and Peter Riegert is a comedy from director Bill Forsyth about a Texas oil deal negotiator sent to a small Scottish village in order to buy up the entire town to make way for a sea coast refinery. Instead, he falls in love with the location and the people and begins feeling extremely relunctant to close the deal. A unique comedy full of unexpected contrasts, rabbits, a mermaid, and a Mark Knopfler soundtrack.

THIS ONE CAME TRUE : Local Hero (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] - AMAZON

The Beachcomber - A 1938 British comedy with Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester, long available in ragged form on the internet with poor audio. The story has a derelict "beach bum" (Laughton) on a Dutch island in the South Seas suddenly becoming the improvement project of a fearless busybody missionary woman (Lanchester). The two fight tooth and nail and then land together into the middle of a cholera epidemic (and unexpected mutual attraction.)

Antigone - The 1961 Greek film of a woman (Antigone, played by Irene Pappas) up against the system (her uncle Creon is king of Thebes, and the two don't get a long). It's a wordy presentation of the Sophocles play, but Pappas and Manos Katrakis as Creon are great. Available on DVD and on streaming services in slightly worn form. A remastered, HD version on disk would be welcome. (For that matter, how about a whole set of classic Greek cinema: Antigone, The Woman in Black, Phaedra and the famous Zorba with Anthony Quinn to help give it market traction?)

The Valet / The Closet / The Dinner Game - Francis Veber French comedies, available with English subtitles on DVD, but a genuine HD set would be appreciated. And throw Les Comperes onto it.

The Warlord - 1965 film with Chuck Heston as a reluctant 11th century knight trying to deal with the local village peasant population (they don't like him much) from his fortified tower overlooking the coast of Normandy. Supposedly there is an original cut of the film by director Franklin Schaffner that emphasizes the realism of the historical setting, versus the more glamorous studio cut which added in battle scenes and chopped out story. Either one in HD for USA region bluray players would be welcome.

THIS ONE CAME TRUE - Amazon - The War Lord (Special Edition) [Blu-ray]

He Who Gets Slapped - Lon Chaney - art by Weems

He Who Gets Slapped - 1924 silent with Lon Chaney. Chaney's Laugh, Clown, Laugh from 1928 is the better known and appreciated circus movie, but this vicious 1924 silent (and first effort from the newly formed M-G-M) has a sharper story and stays within Chaney's character type of the avenger that no one saw coming (that is, referring to the story cast, not the audience. We can see what's coming from a mile off).

The Scarlet Pimpernel - 1934 - Leslie Howard as the archetype of the hero with a dual identity hiding in plain sight as a milksop (think Batman/Bruce Wayne, among other modern heroes). DVDs and streaming services make a low-res version The Scarlet Pimpernel available, but why not a HD on disc? (For that matter, how about a whole Leslie Howard set in HD: Scarlet Pimpernel, Pygmalion, Stand-In, It's Love I'm After, Of Human Bondage and Petrified Forest?)

Cleopatra - 1963 - The Elizabeth Taylor film called the "most expensive movie ever made" and already widely available in HD in something close to the original premiere version (read more about that here) but is also said to have generated an early 8.5 hour version that is said to still exist.

The Incredible Shrinking Man - 1957 sci-fi film that is one of the best of that decade (which was flooded with sci-fi cinema). Available in HD through streaming services and for purchase, but not on HD disc.

SORT'VA CAME TRUE: Spanish import on BLuray disk for regions A/B/C - The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) Amazon

Meet John Doe - Capra's orphaned 1941 "masterpiece" movie with Stanwyck and Gary Cooper. The Library of Congress seems to have the only valid, quality print of the film. Beat-up versions float around the internet and the streaming services.

Ball of Fire - 1941 - Stanwyck and Gary Cooper again, this time in a Howard Hawk's comedy about an encyclopedia team led by Professor Cooper who decide to engage the modern world in order to update their data, and they end up with "Sugerpuss O'Shea" (Stanwyck) in their laps, a burlesque singer hiding from the police. Essentially, this is a screwball retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, with the 6'3" Cooper as head dwarf*, and Stanwyck as the Snow White which wakes up the professor with a kiss (or as it is called in this slang-soaked movie, "yum-yum"). The Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder screenplay accomplishes the stunt of combining 1941 nightclub hipsters (Gene Krupa makes an appearance on the drums) with old professors sitting around singing the complete 1869 "Sweet Genevieve" to each other. A high quality DVD was issued in 2014, but there's no HD.

* Or is Stanwyck Prince Charming and Mr. Cooper is Snow White?

Last updated October 2019

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