Son of the Bride of Movies I want released on DVD right now.

All Night Long (1962)
Patrick McGoohan's death was a hard one for me -- that is, slightly harder than the death of any other stranger, but I've been a great admirer of McGoohan's work and life for most of my adult years. I've never seen it, but I understand that ALL NIGHT LONG is a jazz retelling of OTHELLO featuring Charles Mingus and Dave Brubeck, featuring McGoohan as a tempestuous drummer -- how could it not be awesome?

[I'm tempted to buy the Disney Treasures set of DR SYN: THE SCARECROW OF ROMNEY MARSH -- which I've also not seen, but how could an adventure miniseries starring Patrick as a Zorro-ish country priest not be at least amusing? -- but until I have money enough to afford buying mere amusements.]

Jose Torres (1959) Jose Torres II (1965)
I have it on good authority that the one-two of Hiroshi Teshigahara's profiles of the writer/light heavyweight champion comprise one of the top-five best boxing movies ever made. [In a similar vein -- how close to greatness it is, I don't know -- why isn't James Toback's TYSON out on DVD yet?]

Kill Gil Volume 1 and 2 (2006)
I saw most of Gil Rossellini's film memoir of his life after a staph infection paralyses and nearly kills him on the Sundance channel the day that Rossellini succumbed to complications from the infection. I would imagine that a collected disk of both volumes and the "2 1/2" update film will be published someday. It's a remarkable story; Rossellini seems remarkably aware, without belaboring it, that before his illness he was a total showbiz relative, slipstreaming off the family name and having a grand old time of life. But Gil admirably shows that he's his father's son by veering way the hell away from what could easy have been framed as a typical redemption story -- the continental swell lives a charmed life under serious adversity forces him to evolve into a better, deeper man -- into an often funny, remarkably unsentimental territory.

That Sunday (1994)
I know nothing of Dan Zeff -- judging by his filmography, he seems to pay the bills directing TV and makes delightful, light romantic-comedy short films when he can. It's weird that he doesn't have a Web site, but maybe it's a British thing. Anyway, THAT SUNDAY stars a young Minnie Driver and Alan Cummings as a couple recounting the twists and turns of .... a Sunday. They made this film shortly before CIRCLE OF FRIENDS, which plods where this movie skips. In the alternate universe where I took the job at Shout Factory instead of the one at Fantagraphics, a collection of Zeff's short remains an unspectacular but steady backline seller.

2 comments:

Art said...

Patrick McGoohan and THE PRISONER changed my life when I was a kid in the late '60s. McGoohan was a hero to nerds and geeks everywhere.

I saw and loved SCARECROW as a tot but found it unwatchable when I watched a little bit of it a dozen years ago.

I liked McGoohan in THE THREE LIVES OF THOMASINA (1964) (directed by Don Chaffey who was later hired by McGoohan to direct a handful of PRISONERSs). It's better than you think and McGoohan was quite good in it.

Then there's McGoohan's turn as the warden in the excellent EXCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ. God he was a fuckin' bastard in that.

Mitchell said...

TCM aired ALL NIGHT LONG a couple of months ago; I TiVo'd it since it came along right when I was working my way through the first (half-hour) season of DANGER MAN and also trying to watch as many versions of OTHELLO as I could. Plus the jazz thing, you know. Mingus--a presence!--has a small speaking part and Brubeck turns up looking nattily nerdy (though not as nerdy as in his JAZZ CASUAL episode), and everyone jams with the leading lights of British modern jazz at the time, including Johnny Dankworth and Tubby Hayes in a cool zip-up cardigan. Definitely not trad, dad.

McGoohan is the Iago character, a vain and insecure drummer scheming to break off from the Othello/trumpet-star character and start his own group. McGoohan either actually plays his own kit or does a damn fine job of miming it. Really, he dominates the film, which is enjoyable but not as good as you might think. Spoiler alert: There's a happy ending, sort of.

I really like McGoohan but, crazily, have never seen THE PRISONER, at least not since I caught a couple of episodes in high school when the local PBS affiliate aired reruns of it as part of their "anything British must be good" initiative. I'm almost afraid to watch it now.