The wife decided the Garland needed an upgrade, so we went to a TV repair shop and picked up a large (for us), refurbished set for $40. Our notion is that we'll use it as long as we live in this house, and when we move, we'll give it back to the shop and buy a flat screen once we're settled in our new place. I waited to set it up until the wife went out to run errands because I like to have a a chance to swear without her popping her head in the room to ask what's wrong. Nothing, dear, some jobs just require swearing.
Our first film with the new screen was the 1962 version of Mutiny on the Bounty, which I selected partly because we know a guy who was recently a crew member on the refurbished ship from the film. (It's an evening of refurbishment.)
Marlon Brando builds a nice story arc for Fletcher Christian, beginning as a fop and ending as someone who wants to turn himself in. His only scene that doesn't ring true is the speechifyin' bit near the end -- he has fun with it, but it's one of those noble movie speeches that nobody makes in real life. It's a William-Shatneresque scene in an otherwise Johnny-Depplike performance. Jeez, Marlon; if you want to send a message, call Western Union! Fortunately, a few minutes later, Brando gets the movie back on track right before it ends with a long and darned fine death scene.
Nice that the DVD has the complete roadshow version of the film with the overture and intermission music. Wish it came with one of those full-color souvenir program books you used to be able to buy in theater lobbies (and which were such frequent thrift store finds in the 70s that I thought they would remain utterly valueless).
Monday, February 21, 2011
Though it was shot after hours on the same sets, the Spanish version of Dracula is similar but not identical to the 1931 Tod Browning film. Not merely a curio, it's a great film in its own right -- possibly a little better than the English version, if less culturally influential. Interesting to see how different actors interpret the well-known characters. If you thought Dwight Frye chewed the scenery as Renfield, wait till you get a load of Pablo Alvarez Rubio, who gulps down the entire Universal lot.