Bound for Glory (1976) / The Last Detail (1973)
Company: Twilight Time
Bound for Glory: Starring: Melinda Dillon, David Carradine, Ronny Cox, Gail Strickland, Randy Quaid, John Lehne, M. Emmet Walsh
The Last Detail: Starring: Jack Nicholson, Nancy Allen, Randy Quaid, Otis Young, Clifton James, Carol Kane, Michael Moriarty
My Review and Thoughts:
Bound for Glory: My Rating: 4 out of 5
The Last Detail: My Rating: 4 out of 5
This is a double feature of Director Hal Ashby. Twilight Time has released two films on brilliant new outlets. These two blu-rays both are amazingly transferred in sound and video quality. Twilight Time has honored both of these films with a lovely new outlet.
Both films are directed by one of the greatest directors to ever grace the cinema world. Sadly, and surprisingly he died way to soon. 59 years old, he had so much more life ahead of him. He left the world of cinema with some important pieces of film that stand out, such as the great 1971 Harold and Maude, 1973’s The Last Detail which I am also reviewing. The amazing 1979’s Being There. He was a gifted creator of thoughtful pieces of cinema both of comedy and drama. I do think Ashby is often overlooked and not spoken about like he should be when it comes to film. He not only was a director, but an award worthy editor. Sadly, it was his own downfall that has left his directing fame to be overlooked. After much success, he lost reality by using drugs, and damaging his career. Thankfully there are the few important pieces of cinema that has left the lasting mark on film history, Bound for Glory is one of those films that should be remembered. talked about and Twilight Time has honored that reality. To show his lasting mastery in film making is to look at how many times his films were honored with Oscar nominations. An impressive 24 times. 7 of those nominations where winners.
First up is Bound for Glory.
Bound for Glory is set in the depression of the 1930’s. There you are introduced to your main character Woody Guthrie. Guthrie is struggling to make ends meet and supply enough money to support his family. Woody who is a painter, takes his paintbrushes along with his guitar and hops a board a train. Also journeying through hitchhiking to move out west with promises of work.
Bound for Glory is surprising another film I have not seen before. What better way to see than on a lovely new Blu-ray outlet brought out by the wonderful company Twilight Time. Always a treat to see a film that one has never seen, especially on a beautiful new transfer.
This has a lovely cast of wonderful actors and actresses. The dynamic cult status actor David Carradine. I still can’t believe he is no longer with us. He was an actor that always had a certain way about bringing his characters to life. Carradine is flawless in creating Woody Guthrie. He brings this master talented musician to life. He crafts his expertise in performance and shines in a wonderful award worthy performance. Also starring the amazing and often overlooked and under appreciated Ronny Cox. Cox is a performer that you always remember. From bad guys, character acting, to everything in-between. Cox has graced the cinema world with countless examples of flawless characters from 1972’s Deliverance,1987’s Robocop, 1990’s Total Recall. As of this writing still acting strong today. It’s always a wonderful reality to see him perform. I think the strongest performance in Bound for Glory is by the multi-talented, beautiful and stunning Melinda Dillon who plays, Mary, Woody’s wife. All one has to do is look at her amazing career. She has been in some of the greatest films of all time, from flawless, all the way to cult status films. Name a few, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, A Christmas Story, Harry and the Henderson’s. She is dynamic. She is a perfection in front of the camera, and her role in this is no different. Also starring the ever wonderful Gail Strickland who in my viewpoint never has gotten the stardom or limelight she deserves. Mainly a Television actress, but also a feature film performer. Her character of Pauline in Bound for Glory is amazing like all her other work. She has a stardom to her. She is able to bring emotions to life and make you believe them through her many wonderful performances no matter how small or big.
There is also a vast array of character actors throughout Bound for Glory. Many wonderful performers such as the extraordinary M. Emmet Walsh who has an impressive career of over 200 performances to his name, and is still acting strong today as of this writing. The all-around funny man Randy Quaid. The great often overlooked James Hong, who has been in an extraordinary amount of movies and TV, over a whopping 400 performances, and is still acting strong as of this writing. And the last one I want to mention is the true favorite of mine, I grew up watching this amazing performer. It’s so sad to know he is no longer with us, he left so many amazing characters upon the acting world. A huge character actor and mostly villain, the ever important Brion James. You might not know his name but there is a guarantee you know his face. He is in a very small part in Bound for Glory, but it’s always great seeing him. He died way to soon. 54 years old was truly a sad reality. From 1982’s Blade Runner, to 1997’s The Fifth Element, always a true treat to watch.
Also what is very impressive about Bound for Glory is the cinematography done by Haskell Wexler. Wexler won an Oscar for this reality and rightly deserved it. Bound for Glory shows a mastery that is truly stand out amazing in acting, direction, cinematography, music and everything in between.
Next up is The Last Detail.
This 1973 comedy stars the one of kind Jack Nicholson who needs no introduction. This movie is about two Navy men. One Billy Badass Buddusky (Jack Nicholson) and Richard Mule Mulhall (Otis Young). Both are given orders to escort a young sailor Larry (Randy Quaid) to a Navel Prison. Larry has been given a lengthy sentence for trying to take $40 bucks from a charity. There Billy and Richard slowly grow fond of Larry throughout the train trip. Knowing what faces the young sailor, Billy and Richard decide to give Larry a good fun time before taking him to prison.
This movie is based on the book by the same name by author Darryl Ponicsan. Ponicsan is a fantastic writer, if you ever get a chance pick up some of his books, you won’t be let down. Many of his books have been turned into movies. Also he writes under a pen name of Anne Argula. Anne Argula writes mystery novels. One of my favorite films he wrote the screenplay for was, School Ties (1992) starring an amazing cast of young actors, Matt Damon, Brendan Fraser, Ben Affleck, Chris O’Donnell, Cole Hauser and others. Ponicsan has away with creating stories that last and entertain, no matter if it’s comedy or drama. That comedy or drama sticks with you, and The Last Detail is a prime example of that.
Also starring the wonderful Carol Kane. The all-around guru of cinema, the extraordinary, amazing one of a kind performer Michael Moriarty. Moriarty is perfection in anything he does. Also starring the amazing and beautiful Luana Anders and the beautiful Nancy Allen. I will always remember Nancy Allen from her many cult films like 1976’s Carrie, 1980’s Dressed to Kill and 1981’s Blow Out, plus also the RoboCop series. She was in so many memorable films. I have to add The Last Detail was her acting feature film debut. Sadly, as of 2008 she no longer acts. The one actress I must talk about is Luana Anders. Luana Anders died way to soon. 58 years was a tragic reality. She always was a performer that lingered on you. From 1961’s Pit and the Pendulum, and 1961’s Night Tide, to 1963’s cult films (one of my favorite films) Dementia 13. She was amazing in Dementia 13 and is still one of my favorite performances. Breast Cancer took this amazing woman, but as long as there are companies like Twilight Time honoring her movies, her legacy will live on.
The cinematography for The Last Detail, like in Bound for Glory, has to mentioned. Michael Chapman did the cinematography for The Last Detail and like Bound for Glory it is priceless. Both films create memorable imagery. The art-form of cinematography is something that creates films in breathtaking realities that make you remember. The Last Detail and Bound for Glory are two of those prime examples of flawless cinematography. Chapman has been a part of this reality in many films, masterpieces like Taxi Driver, Raging bull, Jaws, The Last Waltz. He has also worked on some of the great cult films of all time, 1983’s The Man with Two Brains, 1983’s All the Right Moves which he also directed, 1987’s The Lost Boys, 1988’s Scrooged, 1993’s The Fugitive and many others.
Both of these releases are important pieces of cinema and both have been honored with amazing transfers. Each film leaves great characters, story, direction, music, cinematography and everything that is great about movies. The Last Detail was a comical undertaking with a dramatic flare that stands out. Bound for Glory is a musical Drama that bleeds total perfection. Both grace the film world with perfection. And each are must own, must experience pieces of film history. Twilight Time has honored both.
Both films have never looked any better. Both showcase a crystal clear, tight, crisp imagery vibrant in colors and textures. The sound quality is amazing. Bound for Glory's musical numbers are flawless and have a total perfection in sound. Twilight Time never lets the movie watcher and film lover down with there releases.
The Last Detail: My Rating 5 out of 5
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 1.85:1
AUDIO: English 1.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
Bound for Glory: My Rating 5 out of 5
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 1.85:1
AUDIO: English 1.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
Extras: My Rating 1 out of 5
Both are slim pickings when it comes to the special features which is kind of a let down. But thankfully at least you get on both the amazing and important Isolated Music tracks which I always enjoy listening to. As I have stated in the past I am a huge music lover and one reality to that is Film scores. Music in movies I have always felt adds a spark to the viewing pleasure. Music can create an emotional journey in itself. Both The Last Detail and Bound for Glory are important prime examples of that beauty of film. Both have excellent music throughout. Each film comes to life in one way or another through the music displayed and Twilight Time has honored that understanding of the importance of film scores.
The music behind The Last Detail is by composer and arranger John Alfred, Johnny Mandel. Still kicking it today as of this writing at 90 years old. He is one of the greatest jazz, and song film creators of all time. He was, and is a true legend beyond mere writing about him in words. One had to listen to his amazing talent to fully understand and appreciate the complex importance and mastery of his craft. He is a Grammy and Oscar winning musician. In all reality one should know his name, and his sound. He has worked with so many legends from Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Barbara Streisand. He is a passionate, powerful, and amazing music god. Twilight Time has honored his expertise of sound with this isolated music track.
Next up Bound for Glory had many persons that worked on the music for this feature film. Sadly many hold a grudge against this soundtrack because of the changing and altering of Woody Guthrie’s music to fit into the film. The main, and one of kind Leonard Rosenman, who was the conductor and music arranger for Bound For Glory did change and alter Guthrie’s music. One can look down upon this, and feel a little cheated, and dishonest toward Guthrie’s legacy in changing, altering, and some would say butchering this music in not his style. Looking past that reality, the soundtrack is still an amazing accomplishment in film. Diehard's will grumble and be filled with anger. Personally looking at this music arranged in the film I was still thoroughly satisfied.
Two dynamic pieces of film history. Both equally important in there own ways. Directed flawlessly by a director that knew what he wanted to display and captured that art form that he saw so vividly on screen. He expressed a dynamic means of film making. He was able to bring a story to life. He gave voices to characters. He transcended the script into a living, breathing brilliance. Twilight Time has honored that living breathing brilliance with two lovely transfers of important pieces of cinema. Highly recommended.
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