The Boston Strangler (1968)
Starring: Henry Fonda, George Kennedy, Tony Curtis, Sally Kellerman, Hurd Hatfield, Mike Kellin, Murray Hamilton
Company: Twilight Time
My Review and Thoughts:
This is a true classic. I feel this is one of the best Serial Killer films ever created. The true crime psychological thriller plays with the viewer. Tony Curtis’ performance is truly unbelievable and yet so spot on perfect, that one questions is he the Boston Strangler. I have often felt this was a very underrated film. Twilight Time has given this classic film a new perfect outlet to own.
Starring Tony Curtis in one of his most memorable and haunting roles. Curtis was a brilliant actor that could capture pure emotional reality. He created so many wonderful characters throughout his long amazing career. One of my personal favorite is the comedy 1959 Some Like It Hot, 1958’s The Defiant Ones, 1957’s Sweet Smell of Success, 1965 The Great Race just to name a few. To me his defining role was yes, all those others, but to me, it would be the disturbing, psychological reality of a serial killer known as The Boston Strangler.
Directed by one of the all-time greats of cinema, Richard Fleischer. Richard was a total genius when it came to memorable pieces of film. He directed so many greats of the cinema world. All one has to do is look at his film list, the Disney classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, 1970’s Tora! Tora! Tora! He also directed two other true life Serial Killer films 1959’s Compulsion, and one of my personal favorites 10 Rillington Place. And a course the one which I am reviewing 1968’s The Boston Strangler. Directing such sci-fi classic’s like 1966’s Fantastic Voyage, and 1973’s Soylent Green. He was a director that had a lot of hits and some misses. No matter how small, or great a film was, he mastered it with a flawless ease of filmed perfection, and in my viewpoint the many films he created is a prime example of that perfection, Twilight Time has honored this master with releasing not only The Boston Strangler but also the amazing 10 Rillington Place on both special edition 3,000 Unit Blu-rays.
Also, starring another one of kind master of cinema the great, one of a kind Henry Fonda. Started acting in 1935 all the way until his death in 1982. He captured the amazement of acting perfection in so many wonderful pieces of cinema. From the classic 1940’s The Grapes of Wrath, 1956’s War and Peace, 1956’s The Wrong Man, 1957’s masterpiece 12 Angry Men, 1962’s How the West was Won, a true personal favorite and masterpiece of western cinema 1968’s Once Upon a Time in the West. And the amazing dramatic wonderment of 1981’s On Golden Pond. Whatever Fonda was acting in, he created persona’s in a complex, mastery that only award worthy, one of kind masterpiece actors can grasp. There are very few actors that can ever touch the golden era of performers.
This is based a course on the real life serial killer, but also the book written by Gerold Frank. Frank was not only an author but a ghostwriter, meaning he wrote books for other people to publish under their name. His book The Boston Strangler was written in 1966 and went on to be made into this movie I am reviewing. He also wrote several other important books that went on to become films. I’ll Cry Tomorrow which became a movie in 1955 starring the wonderful Susan Hayward. Beloved Infidel became a film in 1959 starring the amazing Gregory Peck. Too Much, Too Soon became a film in 1958 starring the amazing Dorothy Malone and Errol Flynn. His other book he is most remembered for is An American Death which is about the murder of Martin Luther King. He was a phenomenal writer that could capture true stories and biographies with an excellence that few writers could do. His novelization of The Boston Strangler is a wonderful book that was adapted into a phenomenal film.
Most people going into this know the plot. This is based on Albert De Salvo The Boston Strangler. A serial killer went about terrorizing the city of Boston. There he murdered many women in horrible ways. Twilight Time has given this important piece of cinema a new worthy outlet to praise. This is a perfect Blu-ray that Twilight Time has given great pride to. A wonderful transfer. The Boston Strangler is one of the great films often overlooked, but thankfully now can be enjoyed on a high-quality Blu-ray.
My Rating: 5 out of 5
I have seen this movie so many times from VHS, DVD, and television but never in the wonderful quality that this Blu-ray is. This is a flawless transfer to 1080p High Definition. The Boston Strangler has never looked any better. The imagery is solid, crisp and vibrant in color. The audio is perfection. The sound quality truly stands out.
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 2.35:1
AUDIO: English 3.0 DTS-HD MA / English 2.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
Isolated Music & Effects Track: Now the music was composed and conducted by Lionel Newman. Newman was a brilliant, music genera master, in his own reality. Gifted in the art-form of supplying memorable music scores and tunes for many wonderful films, and for TV shows that most will remember for its music. First movie for me that really comes to mind, besides this one that he has worked on, would be the horror classic, The Omen, followed equally by the Sci-fi Masterpiece Alien. I mean just looking at the scores he has conducted, The Omen which is one of the greatest and always spooks me anytime I hear it, showcases his amazement. He was the uncle to music man, Randy Newman. He won an Oscar for the amazing 1968 Hello Dolly. He was the music supervisor for Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. That should tell you his mastery. 11 Academy Award nominations and 1 win. He crafted his art-form over decades upon decades. He crafted composing music and soundtracks all the way back into the start of the 1930’s. He mastered his talent through both small and large, from the TV series Mash, to The Green Hornet and music supervisor on Land of the Giants, Lost in Space, Batman, and Planet of the Apes. He also was the conductor for another Twilight Time release: The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Now Newman also was a part of another movie that Twilight Time graced the Blu-ray world with. He was the conductor on Flaming Star starring Elvis Presley.
Audio Commentary with Film Historians David Del Valle and Steven Pero’s. This audio commentary is spot on perfect. Truly worth the price of the Blu-ray just for it.
Split-Screen Personality – William Friedkin on Richard Fleischer’s The Boston Strangler a running time of 22 minutes and 21 seconds. This is a great extra in that one of my all-time favorite directors William Friedkin talks about the film, the story behind the subject of the film and how the many techniques of Richard Fleischer led to many of Friedkin’s productions in his films.
Real Killer, Fake Nose. A running time of 31 minutes and 15 seconds. This is a program about the making of the film. It has wonderful interviews and brings up the unique reality of the split screen filming. The director’s son Mark Fleischer is interviewed. Also, the director of photography Richard H. Kline. And most of all the actress Sally Kellerman are interviewed.
AMC Backstory: The Boston Strangler: Running time of 21 minutes and 31 seconds.
Fox Movie Tone Newsreel: Running time of 3 minutes and 25 seconds.
Original Theatrical Trailers
You also get as always the very important insert booklet written by film historion Julie Kirgo which is always golden and perfect for any love of cinema.
Yet again Twilight Time has brought out an important piece of cinema on a worthy to praise Special Edition Blu-ray. This is a perfect example of what flawless acting is all about. Tony Curtis is utterly amazing. It’s a performance that will leave you breathless on just how haunting it is. Twilight Time is a company that gives great pride in their products and The Boston Strangler is one of those films that remain as important as when it came out, as it does today. Flawless direction, acting, script, everything about The Boston Strangler is a above and beyond. Twilight Time realized the importance of this film and gave it 3,000 Units Special Edition Blu-ray. Highly Recommended.
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