The July DVD releases of Twilight Time with an isolated score
Robert Dalva, the editor of 1979’s acclaimed The Black Stallion, returns as director of The Black Stallion Returns (1983), a lively sequel following the further adventures of Alec Ramsay (Kelly Reno) and his stunning Arabian steed, the Black. When the horse is stolen, Alec leaves the peaceful farm where he lives with his mother (Teri Garr) to hie off to Morocco; there, warring Arab tribes are determined to run the Black under their own divergent standards in a legendary desert race. The music is by Georges Delerue.
The singular Busby Berkeley’s first film in Technicolor, The Gang’s All Here (1943) is a hallucinatory excursion into spectacular visuals, mad choreography, and delicious music by Alfred Newman, Hugo Friedhofer, Arthur Lange, Cyril Mockridge and Gene Rose. Nominally starring the lovely Alice Faye and featuring the scintillating talents of Benny Goodman and his Orchestra, the film is perhaps best remembered today for the efforts of Carmen Miranda, leading a corps of banana-wielding dancers in the scandalous “The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat.”
Miss Sadie Thompson (1953) is yet another version of the Somerset Maugham story, “Miss Thompson” (later retitled “Rain”), this one gussied up with music by George Duning, Technicolor, and 3D – to eye-popping effect. The story of the titular “party girl” (Rita Hayworth), who raises temperatures all over the South Pacific, the film also features Aldo Ray as a love-struck Marine and José Ferrer as a religious zealot who, like many such folk, protests against the lady a bit too much.
Directed by Fred Schepisi from a screenplay by Tom Stoppard, The Russia House (1990) is a fiercely intelligent adaptation of John le Carré’s best-selling thriller about the pursuit of a scientific manuscript that could harm the glasnost Russians while possibly helping the American and British secret services. Stickily involved in the plot are a British publisher (Sean Connery, giving one of his greatest performances), a level-headed Russian beauty (the great Michelle Pfeiffer), and the manuscript’s cagey author (Klaus Maria Brandauer); even as they attempt to deal with the bureaucrats (including Roy Scheider, James Fox, John Mahoney, and, fabulously, the director Ken Russell), these three find themselves engaged in a passionate personal drama. The music is by Jerry Goldsmith.
Zelig (1983) is writer-director-star Woody Allen’s utterly idiosyncratic take on a very serious subject – personal identity – hilariously told via the mutable character of “the chameleon man,” Leonard Zelig (Allen). In technically exquisite documentary style with music by Dick Hyman, we are given this tragically amusing fellow, who can’t help taking on the characteristics of those around him, and who thus becomes a strange sort of celebrity, himself. Co-starring Mia Farrow, and featuring deadpan interviews with the likes of Susan Sontag, Saul Bellow, and Bruno Bettelheim –plus extraordinary archival footage offering glimpses of everyone from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Adolf Hitler.
For more info and ordering, visit Twilight Time or Screen Archives Entertainment.