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The 1970s Also-Rans - 25 That Missed the Cut May 28, 2008

Posted by clydefro in : Classic Films, 1970s , 6 comments

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Justifications, recommendations, and considerations. This is an alphabetical list of 25 films not included in my forthcoming Top 50 of 1970’s. Some things you’ve seen, some you may not have. I’ll repeat this when the main list is posted, but I made an intentional effort to be entirely subjective this time, leaving several of the usual suspects off and a few more in this group of also-rans. These 25 were not submitted in any way for my entry in the Lists Project and, thus, are just detailed here for fun. The 50 that did make it should be up on Sunday June 1. Happy reading and watching.

Badlands (Malick, 1973) - Film enthusiast heresy, but after not caring much for Days of Heaven I was pleased to discover how good of a film Badlands is. The substance I craved in Malick’s later film was more pronounced in his debut. That’s not to say it’s teeming with ideas. I get that same emotional disconnect from Malick as I often do from Kubrick, Tarkovsky, Herzog and a few other well-respected directors. There’s usually at least one film tucked away in the filmography of each that I do appreciate, and this is it.

Celine and Julie Go Boating (Rivette, 1974) - Mlles. Celine and Julie do indeed go boating, but it takes three hours of whimsical nonsense before their brief nautical adventure. Rivette’s film is so incredibly unorthodox, yet original and admirable, that it’s difficult to grasp even the most tentative of handles on it after just one viewing. Shiny jewels of dinosaur eye candy transport the main characters into participants of a melodramatic, tonally opposite movie from the previous hour or more. Strange is putting it mildly and I do think, even with Bulle Ogier and Marie-France Pisier, that the film within the film drags on too long with unnecessary repetition. Otherwise, this probably would have made my main list. (I know admirers love to rhapsodize about the Alice in Wonderland, free form nature, but I’m not there yet.)

Charley Varrick (Siegel, 1973) - Follow-up to Dirty Harry for Don Siegel and, in my estimation, vastly superior. I wish Walter Matthau had more roles like his title character here and the transit cop he played in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (both films are treated poorly on DVD). His Varrick is one of Matthau’s classic protagonists - cool, collected and smarter than he seems. The only misstep in the plot is why in the world Felicia Farr’s character would sleep with Varrick. It’s worth overlooking, though. Surely Cormac McCarthy had this film in mind while writing No Country for Old Men.

Don’t Look Now (Roeg, 1973) - Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie. The color red. Venice. Nicolas Roeg’s chaotically inspired editing. A creepy gnomish woman. There’s enough imagery to fill half a dozen movies here. It defies genre, working as a film about coping with losing a child, a crumbling marriage and a meditation on the supernatural all at once. The cinematography is gorgeous, one of the very few instances where the Italian city is done justice in an English language film. Despite all that, I’ve never completely broken through to the side of those who unapologetically worship Roeg and his work.

Emperor of the North Pole (Aldrich, 1973) - Excellent Depression-era film that’s far less known than it should be, released without the “Pole” in its title. Lee Marvin is A No. 1, a hobo known far and wide as being able to stow away on any train, but put to the test by Ernest Borgnine’s sadistic rail man Shack. Easily read as allegorical, but also quite entertaining merely for Marvin, the cinematography, and the story. Keith Carradine is, typically, a hindrance and annoying. Part of a strong late-career surge from Aldrich.

Fox and His Friends (Fassbinder, 1975) - Fox and His Friends can be disheartening, mostly because Fox is a character whose disappointment is apparent from very early on and there’s little sympathy to be found, but it remains a powerful experience. Fassbinder directs and plays Fox, a former carnival worker who finally wins the lottery and soon has his fortune spent by a “posh and prissy” lover. I’m never ready to watch a Fassbinder film and I usually have a difficult time getting over the experience. Fox and His Friends is exceptional because Fassbinder never hides the impending doom for his main character, but the viewer still feels almost violated for the harsh treatment afforded the protagonist, regardless of how simpleminded and shortsighted he is. Really an outstanding film that rises far above its limitations.

Gimme Shelter (Maysles, et al., 1970) - The music is one thing, but the human drama is something else entirely. As just a concert film, this is still completely entertaining. But as a chronicle of chaos, Gimme Shelter lives up to its name. Not too many films feature an actual murder captured on camera as their centerpiece. There’s no good reason this failed to rank highly in my actual list. It’s nearly flawless. I just had to bump something and took this out because, even with the musical performances, it’s not something I can watch with any frequency.

Harry and Tonto (Mazursky, 1974) - There’s a really sweet movie about an older man and his cat waiting inside here. Paul Mazursky, one of those semi-great writer/directors whose career never reached the same heights after the ’70s, gave Art Carney an excellent role and the actor responded by somehow winning the Oscar (over chumps like Nicholson, Pacino, Hoffman, and Finney, all in prime roles). I like this one because it never overdoes the schmaltz and seems to know exactly what it is without trying to be anything more or less. Carney was able to turn his renewed interest into pretty good, but unsung pictures like The Late Show and Going in Style.

Images (Altman, 1972) - Inspired in part by Bergman’s Persona, Altman uncharacteristically explored a woman’s battle with schizophrenia while she’s in the country with her husband. Susannah York is unnervingly effective and the entire atmosphere Altman establishes is that of a psychological ghost story. I was surprised by how much I was drawn in to this film and it’s a credit to Altman that the influence of Persona is noticeable without being overwhelming, similar to what he’d do with 3 Women a few years later.

Junior Bonner (Peckinpah, 1972) - I feel like I should somehow justify both liking this film very much and excluding it from my top 50. I can’t do that. There are only 50 slots and I didn’t have room, but I’ve always loved this film and McQueen’s performance especially. One thing that’s particularly annoying is that it was shot in Scope but the DVD isn’t anamorphic, thus making it difficult to really appreciate what you’re seeing. Piling on, I first saw it pan and scan off television years ago. If I had the chance to see a theatrical print, my opinion would no doubt jump considerably.

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (Cassavetes, 1976) - Ben Gazzara is an actor who’s always interesting to watch. Aside from the Cassavetes’ films, he’s also superb in Bogdanovich’s They All Laughed (and possibly Saint Jack, but I haven’t seen that yet). Here he plays that kind of sad, fatalistic masculinity that I tend to gravitate towards. Criterion’s Cassavetes set contains two notably different versions of the film - one at 135 minutes and the other at 108 minutes. In some ways, having the separate edits makes it more difficult deciding whether to include the film.

The Last Detail (Ashby, 1973) - A great Nicholson performance (iconic, even) that was smack in the middle of a very exciting time to watch the actor. Randy Quaid is quite good here also. Hal Ashby at this point had directed only The Landlord and Harold and Maude, but this is a more serious film, with an even greater sense of disillusioned meandering. I prefer both of those earlier movies, but The Last Detail is special for other reasons. That constant rejection of conformity found in Ashby’s work rises to the surface and gets its true embodiment from Nicholson, an actor seemingly finding new ways of playing anti-establishment figures with every role at this point. The military nature of the lead characters gives them a sense of implied authority that’s flat-out repudiated in the film.

Last Tango in Paris (Bertolucci, 1973) - More heresy, but this is the only time I’ve ever really been impressed watching Marlon Brando as an actor. I see the brilliance elsewhere, but it still always feels like emoting to the point of ridiculousness. This is different. This is real, it’s raw, and it’s painfully realized. Bertolucci’s film is also exceptional, if shaky at times, but it’s impossible to separate Brando’s performance from the whole. With Bertolucci you should always expect something scandalous so the broad sexuality didn’t affect me, but Brando here is truly iconic.

M*A*S*H (Altman, 1970) - Altman’s most popular film, and really the one he owed his career to, probably isn’t even in his top ten in terms of achievement, but I do like it all the same. Of course, the movie is also paled by the television show, though they are different animals. Regardless, I enjoy watching M*A*S*H for several reasons - it’s so obviously about Vietnam instead of Korea; the football game; Gould and Sutherland; the final loudspeaker announcement (spoken by Altman).

Maîtresse (Schroeder, 1976) - There’s a scene in this film that’s literally painful to watch for males. Some might add that the whole thing is painful to watch, but I was fascinated by Schroeder’s storytelling and the performances. Something about it (besides Bulle Ogier) is hypnotic, like a really well-made teenage sex comedy that’s removed the problems inherent in that subgenre. Gerard Depardieu is at his oafish best and Ogier is remarkable. Not everyone’s cup of tea (and I’m a little surprised at my own reaction), but just an enormously engrossing film.

Mikey & Nicky (May, 1976) - Seeing Peter Falk and John Cassavetes together is itself a treat. Watching how their relationship, let’s say, evolves over the course of this film carries a somewhat slow, yet involving, picture into an unforgettable indictment of friendship amidst the mob. Director Elaine May shot an almost inconceivable amount of film for this movie, which now seems like an omen for her doomed Ishtar. It’s speculated that Cassavetes directed much of this himself, but I don’t think it matters really. It does feels somewhat like one of his films (especially Chinese Bookie), though May was no slouch either.

Monsieur Klein (Losey, 1976) - Exceptionally compelling film about a French art dealer profiting from Jews selling their paintings during the German occupation who gets mistaken for a man of the same name who’s Jewish. One of Alain Delon’s best performances and impressive direction from Joseph Losey. I saw this in preparation for the last ’70s list, and I placed it on there, but I haven’t watched it since. I wish I’d had the chance to see it again this time around, as it’s a film which benefits from a second viewing.

Night Moves (Penn, 1975) - There’s a mood established in Night Moves by Arthur Penn, screenwriter Alan Sharp and Gene Hackman. It’s difficult to succinctly characterize, but you can feel it just by watching Hackman. It’s a great neonoir performance, in nice contrast to his Popeye Doyle and Harry Caul. The rest of the cast, populated by obnoxious and inferior actors, nearly bring down the picture for me, though. The other ingredients are there, but the couple of times I’ve watched it there seems like something’s missing. I usually end wanting to like Night Moves more than I do, which is still a considerable amount.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Forman, 1975) - The first time I saw this film it had a profound impact on me. The next time it was much less affecting. Whether this has more to do with the film or the viewer, I can’t say. I’m not crazy about the final scenes so maybe that’s the cause. They feel rushed, jumbled, and their impact doesn’t hold up for me on multiple viewings. That said, the majority of the film, especially Nicholson’s strong anti-authority performance, remains rewarding and I do think this is one of the great tragicomedies of the decade.

The Phantom of Liberty (Buñuel, 1974) - The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is the more popular choice, but I think I prefer his follow-up. Sure it’s largely a thematic sequel that’s even looser in its narrative, but The Phantom of Liberty bites a little harder. You can almost see Buñuel grinning behind the curtain. The “missing” little school girl bit is inspired madness. And the sniper. And the toilets. And the dominatrix. After The Milky Way and The Discreet Charm, I’d say this was the perfect culmination of the director’s “search for truth” triptych.

Small Change (Truffaut, 1976) - Largely plotless, this is a beautiful example of a small movie that’s completely dialed down and perpetually rewarding. Truffaut looks at a group of young school children and their everyday lives both at home and in class. Simple, yet not really. The director’s keen ability to draw excellent performances from children is on full display here. A delightful film that exceeds expectations.

The Spirit of the Beehive (Erice, 1973) - Though they’re two very different films by two separate filmmakers, this and Cría cuervos share Ana Torrent and thus seem instantly comparable. I think most people prefer Erice’s film for its gothic difficulty and overtly political subtext, though I’m on the other side of the fence. The Spirit of the Beehive remains a unique, potentially shattering experience that I found a bit difficult to embrace fully without a good basis in Franco and the Spanish Civil War. That’s not to deny how affecting the film can be and the subtle rewards that await repeat viewers.

Taxi Driver (Scorsese, 1976) - Extreme conflict for this viewer between a charismatically unsettling film and a character in Travis Bickle who just doesn’t work for me. Even reading others’ thoughts and watching interviews, I can’t see him as this universal avatar of loneliness. I can’t identify or understand Bickle, and I do not find him particularly interesting on screen. Setting that significant barrier aside, Taxi Driver remains a deeply engrossing, impeccably atmospheric look at a blank enigma shrouded in the filth of urban decay. I can recognize the fascination and it’s an entirely compelling film, but I want no part of Travis Bickle. I see no sympathetic qualities, only sympathetic treatment done brilliantly.

The Tin Drum (Schlöndorff, 1979) - Another film that I found completely engrossing (my enjoyment of the German language probably helped). A little Felliniesque perhaps, which is a positive. Not having read Günter Grass’ novel, I had no preconceptions going in, just that it had won the Foreign Language Academy Award and a controversy erupted later on. I do think the material we see on screen is handled well by Schlöndorff, whose first film Young Törless I also enjoyed a great deal. The young actor who plays Oskar really seals the deal, though. At times annoying, but always fascinating, his presence is vital to the film’s success.

Young Frankenstein (Brooks, 1974) - How did I leave this out?!? I feel guilty about all these also-rans, like I’ve somehow slighted their worth. Silly. If I’d had the opportunity to watch Brooks’ film more recently it might have eked onto the main list, but only so many hours in the day and so forth. There’s a wealth of things worth loving about this film. The acting is uniformly perfect, with everyone from Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle to Marty Feldman and Madeline Kahn giving the kind of performance actors immediately become associated with their entire career and beyond. That’s not even mentioning Teri Garr. Or Gene Hackman’s blind man cameo. The “Puttin’ on the Ritz” number. Too much to love. Can’t say I’m a fan of the Broadwayization that Brooks has signed off on.

Hold Back the Dawn May 26, 2008

Posted by clydefro in : Classic Films, 1940s, Billy Wilder , 4 comments

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There are two reasons I’ve been anxious to see Hold Back the Dawn. One is Billy Wilder and the other is a nonexistent cockroach. I’ve brought this up before, but it’s a good enough story that you really can’t tell it too many times. When Wilder was still under contract as a writer for Paramount, he took to writing an adaptation of the not-yet-published book that became Hold Back the Dawn with his usual partner Charles Brackett. The director Mitchell Leisen, who had previously helmed Midnight, also written by Wilder and Brackett, was assigned the picture and Charles Boyer had the starring role. His character is a Romanian dancer/gigolo (no doubt an “occupation” close to Wilder’s heart) named Georges who’s stuck in a Mexican purgatory while he waits for his immigration papers to be approved, estimated to be a few years because of the U.S. quota system in place at the time.

Early on in the film, after a cutesy opening where Boyer, in character, visits the Paramount lot (hello Veronica Lake) in search of a director he’d met in Europe (played by Leisen) to tell his story to in exchange for $500, Georges finds himself unshaven and holed up inside his Mexican hotel room. In Wilder and Brackett’s original script, a cockroach was to walk towards a broken mirror and Boyer’s character, frustrated by not being able to obtain his immigration papers, would interrogate the cockroach about the insect’s visa. As Wilder told it, Boyer nixed the idea as being idiotic and Leisen backed his actor. The writers weren’t even allowed on set to protest and Wilder decided that was the last time he’d write a script he couldn’t direct himself. Thus, out of a missing cockroach scene, Billy Wilder’s career as director was hatched. He’d deliberately pick a commercial project, The Major and the Minor, for his first directing job the following year.

So, after finally seeing Hold Back the Dawn, it’s pretty obvious where the cockroach would have appeared and it’s also pretty obvious that it wouldn’t have changed the existing picture much at all. Surely Wilder was looking to branch out into directing anyway and this little episode could have been a push, real or imagined, into that area. I say it wouldn’t have affected the film because Wilder’s gallows humor is already all over that first portion of the movie and hardly present for the remainder. It’s a very atypical Wilder script, briefly witty in the early goings but mostly a conventional romantic drama told quite well. The story is good, the acting is superb, and the direction by Leisen is unimaginative and adequate. Had the cockroach scene been filmed and put in the movie, the only difference would have been an odd little interlude unessential to the plot or characterizations. Yet, Wilder was notorious for demanding his scripts be adhered to by the actors without changing a word or even an emphasis. One wonders if he’d have been so strict later on had Leisen filmed what was written. (Probably so!)

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Some of the most obviously Wilderian touches are, as I alluded to above, in the first act. Not only was Wilder likely able to step into Georges’ dancing and gigolo shoes, as he’d been in the same position while living in Berlin, but the Mexican layover before entering the United States was one Wilder had likewise experienced firsthand. After leaving Germany upon Hitler’s rise to power, he first went to Paris and then tried to come into the U.S. via Mexico. He apparently came across an immigration officer who was a film enthusiast and, after learning of Wilder’s desire to write movies, allowed him in the country with the instruction to “make good ones.” Boyer’s Georges isn’t so lucky. He’s stuck in the Hotel Esperanza when his former dancing partner Anita (Paulette Goddard) happens to show up. She tells him that marrying an American will get him into the country in just four weeks.

Here’s where Wilder’s classic opportunist model comes in, as Georges thinks back to the Californian schoolteacher he encountered earlier. Emmy Brown (Olivia de Havilland) had a car full of students on a field trip for the Fourth of July when she rear-ended another vehicle. The car must be fixed and Georges just happens to pass by the mechanic shop. She’s anxious to head back home, but Georges, after a brief and failed attempt on another woman, needs just a couple of hours to win her over. It’s loneliness finds loneliness when the two meet. Emmy can’t resist his charms. Georges then conspires with Anita to wait out the four weeks so that he can get a quick divorce and the two dance partners can bring their show to New York. The monkey wrench is Emmy showing up unexpectedly and Georges quickly taking her on an impromptu honeymoon. His feelings begin to change and he realizes he can’t just coldly discard Emmy.

This second act, where the Boyer character hardly resembles the scoundrel from earlier, plays exactly like a classic Hollywood movie. That is to say that it’s entertaining, but safe and predictable. The third act shakes things up a little by letting Paulette Goddard shine first and de Havilland follow in an Oscar-worthy scene that mauls over the other actors in its force of nature-type glory. The sequence isn’t overdone or played with histrionics, a nice reigning in from Leisen, but it’s powerful all the same. It sounds patently obvious, but de Havilland really was some kind of actress. Watching the movie with the knowledge that Wilder and Brackett were apparently still writing the final portion of the film when they learned Boyer had refused to soliloquy with their cockroach, it’s easy to recognize how they turned the actor from star to third banana.

I’m not going to say the film suffers from this transition in focus because it’s still a good picture, but the first act certainly feels like a Wilder movie whereas the rest just doesn’t. Georges changes, leading to the happy ending audiences expect even now from Hold Back the Dawn, and he’s far less interesting as a result. Again, his reform is one we can actively root for in the context of classic movie happy resolutions, but it somewhat betrays the original character and strips the film of any more of those Wilder touches I love so much. You put the cockroach scene in and we might have altered second and third acts, but, by itself, I don’t think it would have tipped the scales much either way in the version that exists now. My hindsight goggles are content to keep it out of the picture so we can enjoy Double Indemnity, Sunset Blvd., Ace in the Hole, The Apartment, etc. Seems like a fair trade-off.

(Hold Back the Dawn is not on DVD anywhere in the world to my knowledge and is controlled by Universal.)

The Getaway May 17, 2008

Posted by clydefro in : Classic Films, 1970s , 7 comments

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It’s not very popular to assert the opinion that The Getaway is your favorite Sam Peckinpah film. As just a casual Peckinpah admirer, I might be able to get away with it, but I know I’m skating on thin ice among the faithful. I can only imagine the dismissive reaction I’d have if someone called Sabrina their favorite Billy Wilder movie. It could be generational. Peckinpah’s films now feel very much like the product of a bygone era. They’ve influenced countless filmmakers, but show almost zero modernity in comparison to what’s come along this decade. His patience is not particularly in style nowadays. Yet, that laconic quality is part of why I appreciate The Getaway so much. The film takes its time from start to finish. It’s an action movie with very little action.

As far as movie stars who understood subtlety in the ’60s and ’70s, the discussion begins and ends with Steve McQueen. The idea of him overacting is inconceivable. Detractors might view this as an emptiness, but I’d beg to differ. While the method style of acting gained notoriety for overdoing emotions to the point of fake realism, McQueen didn’t choose this particular path. His style was far more contemplative. A look from McQueen could eliminate half a page of dialogue. I’d love to have seen what Jean-Pierre Melville would have done with him. Instead, we know what Peckinpah was able to achieve while working with the actor both here and on Junior Bonner, two of McQueen’s four or five best films. In The Getaway, he’s Doc McCoy, who suffers the remedial prison life until his wife (Ali MacGraw) pays a porn-like visit to a man with bureaucratic pull named Benyon (Ben Johnson).

Even MacGraw’s terrible acting works here in this particular scene. She’s so stilted, so uncomfortable, that the character inherits a blank slate of determination at any cost. With Doc out of prison, the next step is to further appease Benyon by robbing a bank with two of his thugs. The title of the film obviously alludes to the aftermath and not the actual heist, instructive because Peckinpah handles the robbery with an uninterested coolness. It’s quick, messy, and little more than a slight curve in the road. A half million is siphoned out, but McCoy’s unwanted partners become thorns. One is killed and one kills. Rudy (Al Lettieri) somehow survives after ambushing Doc, whose lack of trust saves him, but still fails to eliminate his greedy cohort. And we’re off on a chase where Mr. and Mrs. McCoy transport the bag of money around Texas, losing it in the process, before realizing Rudy and his new traveling companions (Jack Dodson and Sally Struthers) are just a few steps behind.

McQueen and MacGraw fell for each other while making the movie, and even if you can’t really tell much of anything from looking at her face, McQueen hardly hides his attraction. The naive outrage he has upon learning that she had negotiated his release from prison with her body plays like natural hurt. His initial confusion after re-entering the outside world and sitting beside MacGraw in bed is similarly realistic. In McQueen’s best movies, including the two he did with Peckinpah, the viewer can just see an uncommon intelligence at work behind his eyes. Never one to relish much dialogue, the actor’s subdued performances have rarely been given their due. I miss that style of underacting. It rewards audiences willing to actually pay attention to what’s on the screen instead of bathroom and obesity break pausing. Much is made of McQueen’s enormous style and charisma (and deservedly so), but, in the right role, he really was a terrific actor.

His sequence on the train in this film is probably my favorite, where a small-time con man thinks he’s lucked into the fat case of money only to have Doc track him down and administer a beating to the point of unconsciousness. McQueen says maybe a line or two (”when you work on a lock, don’t leave any scratches”) and demonstrates what it means to be a screen icon. The black suit with thin black tie helps, but none of his peers (even Paul Newman, who was McQueen’s unofficial rival and a better actor) could have so convincingly pulled it off with so few lines. This is the beauty of The Getaway for me. Peckinpah trusts McQueen (who also had final cut) enough to allow him to hardly say anything throughout the entire picture. It’s a movie with a minimum of dialogue, and little action, but played out with surprising coherence, never leaving the viewer uninterested.

In a very logical sense, The Getaway is framed around a classic film noir plot. Several things negate it being a true noir (most obviously - when it was made, being filmed in color, and the ending), but the film’s structure of the protagonist being released from prison and subsequently taking part in an imperfect bank robbery is prototypical of the style. Indeed, McQueen would have been absolutely perfect as a film noir hero. This film is probably the closest he ever came to making what might be considered a neonoir, but the actor’s ingrown ability to play characters who seem to place an emphasis on survival over all else could have fit ever so neatly a couple of decades earlier. Doc’s relationship with the MacGraw character is both reminiscent of a femme fatale and a trustworthy moll. The actress’s vacuous inability to register on any level could only possibly be endearing in a film like this, where understated minimalism is applauded next to a vast landscape of unwritten Texas possibility. The less she says the more believable she seems.

It’s a bit absurd to try and figure out where the McCoys fit in among these criminals. Their almost total refusal to disrupt some fictional code of crime ethics prevents the viewer from harboring any ill will and McQueen’s charm tips the scales in his favor with spades. This overwhelming glamorization is a little disturbing for those who enjoy sleeping well at night. Doc is an ex-con bank robber who’s completely let off the hook by Peckinpah and screenwriter Walter Hill (working from Jim Thompson’s book). McQueen probably knew the audience would cheer him on and want his character to experience crisis without consequences. He’s right, of course. The thought of Doc receiving any kind of comeuppance would seem to be entirely foreign in lieu of how he’s portrayed throughout the film. These are glaring imperfections in a film that never makes claim of being anything but a fine entry in the McQueen legend. In that regard, it’s nearly flawless. In other facets, maybe less so. I tend to be forgiving to a fault with The Getaway because of its casual likability. Peckinpah was a director-for-hire and McQueen was out to further his legacy of cool, but I turn my head and forgive the blemishes.

This most recent watch of the film was on HD-DVD and it should be mentioned that an additional featurette about Jerry Fielding’s rejected score is here despite not being on the standard DVD release. Also absent but present on the high-definition release, I believe, are the bank robbery sequence with Fielding’s score and the entire film with his isolated score as an audio track. Quincy Jones scored the film as released and it’s mostly excellent, but Fielding was a close collaborator with Peckinpah up to this point and his contribution is an interesting addition. Certainly this hi-def version is superior to the regular DVD release because it contains additional supplemental material. However, I will add that skin tones are quite red, almost distractingly so early on, but detail and clarity are predictably excellent and better than the DVD.

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