Double Feature: Peyton Place (1957) and Our Man in Havana (1959)
Company: Twilight Time
Starring in Peyton Place: Betty Field, Russ Tamblyn, Arthur Kennedy, Hope Lange, Terry Moore, Lana Turner, Lloyd Nolan, Lee Philips
Starring in Our Man in Havana: Starring: Ralph Richardson, Maureen O'Hara, Burl Ives, Noel Coward, Jo Morrow, Alec Guinness, Ernie Kovacs
My Review and Thoughts:
My Rating: Peyton Place: 5 out of 5
My Rating: Our Man in Havana: 4 out of 5
Doing another double feature of two great films being released on high quality Blu-ray’s. Both amazingly transferred to high definition 1080p clarity. Twilight Time always tends to release amazing examples of pure products that shine for any movie lover. Both films have never looked any better.
This is a double feature of two totally different films. One a classic melodrama and the other a British Spy Comedy. I wanted to cuddle up on the couch, popcorn in hand and two adventures into two different styles of stories, all concluding in one reality, which is pure entertainment.
First up: Peyton Place
This is a classic book that became this classic film that also became a classic TV series. This 1956 novel written flawlessly by Grace Metalious is a prime example of wonderful storytelling that lingers. It’s about a small fictional town which is in New England. A small Mill town during the WW2 days. Everything you think in drama reality is key to this feature, homicide, incest, suicide, huge scandal and just so much more. This was a brilliant and controversially reality of storytelling. Taking a small town and exposing all its dirty little secrets.
This film has an ensemble cast of total acting brilliance.
Now it would take a real-life scandal and murder that would bring attention to the film or at least making the tickets at the box office rise. This stars the one and only Lana Turner. Well as all you Hollywood lovers and movie buffs know, Lana Turner’s daughter Cheryl on April 4th, 1958 ended up shooting and killing her mother’s supposed abusive mobster boyfriend and thug, Johnny Stompanato. So, as you would guess like driving on a road spotting a wreck where everybody slows down to see if there’s any decapitation, the public flocked to the film out of curiosity for Lana Turner. In all reality, the film is a great movie, although sadly a lot of the deep dark elements of the book ended up being kind of over looked or stuck on the back burner, but the movie still maintained its ultimate story telling brilliance.
Directed by Mark Robson. Robson was a fantastic director that created many varieties of film. From horror, drama, action, comedy and many other styles. From the often over looked and underappreciated 1955’s Trail, to the amazing action adventure 1965’s Von Ryan’s Express, and such interesting films like 1967’s Valley of the Dolls, 1974’s Earthquake. He had away in crafting films that do linger with you, and brings many mixed emotions out inside you. I will always remember him for writing the screenplay, and directing the black and white horror classic, starring the one and only Boris Karloff, 1946’s Bedlam. Robson left his mark on Hollywood and the film world. Sadly, I think he is often forgotten, and should not be. Thankfully Twilight Time honored this man with bringing one of his memorable films to a new generation, or the old generation that loves it the same. Twilight Time also released another one of his classic’s, From the Terrace (1960).
I think one thing that is most interesting and somewhat funny is the movie was nominated for 9 Oscar’s and yet didn’t win even 1 of them.
Next up: Our Man in Havana
This has the one and only master thespian of acting Alec Guinness which needs no write up. He is a master of anything he has ever done. No matter if the movie sucks his performance was always a golden ticket no matter the role. Now everyone knows him from Star Wars fame, but he was so much more than that. He had a fantastic career. He was a genius actor, Alec Guinness starred in one of my favorite main role’s as Adolf Hitler in the war drama, Hitler The Last Ten Days. Guinness is one of those actors that could bring an emotional reality toward the viewer in the part of Hitler, our as James Wormold in Our Man in Havana. He could create his characters in a living, breathing reality, and the character of Adolf Hitler or James Wormold is no different. His performances are always memorable performances that create the human side of his character’s, weather he is playing one of the most brutal monsters in all of history, or a vacuum cleaner salesman. Guinness owned his parts and crafted excellent, emotional, comical, brutal, legendary performances that stands out.
The iconic legend of acting Ralph Richardson is in this. You need look no further if you want to see one of the greatest actors of the 20th century. He is what acting was about. He gave everything, every ounce, every bit of his makeup, his soul, his heart, his mind to his performances. He was what an actor was about. He became acting in the human embodiment. From one of his first performances 1933's The Ghoul, to one of his last in 84's Greystoke the Legend of Tarzan. He owned every piece of cinema he was in. I personally will always remember him in two of my childhood favorite films. First the very brilliant underrated fantasy film 81's Dragon Slayer, as the character Ulrich and the masterpiece of fantasy 81's Time Bandits as the Supreme Being. He went above and beyond in everything he did. He was what cinema was about. He was truly a brilliant and iconic actor that Graced cinema in all his glory. He gave to the fans the very reality of movies period. Also, Twilight Time has honored him in other High quality releases the one and only 1960’s Exodus and the sci-fi cult classic 1975’s Rollerball, which you can read both of my reviews in the Twilight Time Section of reviews.
Directed by the amazing Carol Reed. I mean come on who doesn’t know the movies of Carol Reed. If you’re a movie buff, movie fan, movie historian then Carol Reed is and should be on your top list of great directors. He gave us so many important pieces of cinema. The one and only 1949 classic The Third Man. My all-time favorite musical and one of my 100 greatest films of all time the one and only 1968’s Oliver!. Which might I add he received an Oscar for Best Director and rightly deserved it. Oliver! is such a brilliant film. Reed was a true god of cinema and a master of amazing pieces of film that linger today as still being important as when they came out.
My Rating: For Both: 5 out of 5
Both films have never looked any better. Peyton Place glorious and vibrant colors. Crisp. Havana beautiful crisp black and white. The audio for both is spot on clarity. Twilight Time always masters a high-quality product that shines with a perfection that any movie lover will notice and cherish.
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 2.35:1
AUDIO: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA / English 2.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
1957 / Color
Our Man in Havana:
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 2.35:1
AUDIO: English 1.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
1959 / B&W
My Rating: 3 out of 5
Sadly, this does not come with the all-important Isolated score track which I always look forward to. Something that is sad is this is one of the better music scores around. Franz Waxman is brilliant, and this was one of his best scores, but that’s okay sometimes things don’t work out and you can’t always get the extras. You do get some amazing commentaries. Film Historian Willard Carroll is a classic listen. Also, you get two actors speaking about the film and the experience of acting in the movie, which is always a huge plus hearing from those involved.
Audio Commentary with Filmmaker Historian Willard Carroll
Audio Commentary with Actors Terry Moore and Russ Tamblyn
On Location in Peyton Place with Willard Carroll Audio Commentary
AMC Backstory: Peyton Place
Fox Movietone Newsreels
Original Theatrical Trailers
Our Man in Havana:
My Rating: 2 out of 5
Isolated Music & Effects Track: This one comes with the all-important Isolated Music track that as I have stated, I look forward to and sadly Peyton Place did not have it. The music is done by two involved, two brothers. Frank Deniz and Laurence Deniz. Both musicians are important to music history. I know more about Frank Deniz so I will write about him. He was a part of the black swing movement in Britain. He was a guitarist. Interesting to note is he first studied and mastered the violin and the banjo. He was a part of many bands and worked with countless bandleaders. From Rhythm Swingers to many quartets, working with the likes of Harry Roy, Edmundo Ros, Fela Sowande. Some interesting trivia is he went to war in WW2 and amazingly survived when he was almost killed because the ship he was on was torpedoed on the beach of Anzio. After his close call with death he was back to his music reality playing alongside the one and only master Glenn Miller. Over his long career, he lived 92 years playing his music all the way up to his death in 2005. He was a master of music that should be remembered and thankfully this isolated music track is priceless.
Original Theatrical Trailer
Yet again two priceless Blu-ray’s of High quality importance. Beautiful transfers to High Definition 1080p clarity. Some great special features. Highly Recommended. Buy these why you can, you won’t be let down. Two priceless pieces of cinema that shine today as important, as they where when they came out.
Make sure you head over to www.screenarchives.com to buy all the wonderful Twilight Time Blu-rays. The main page that gives you these beautiful releases on top quality Special Editions.
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