Welcome to my first Newsletter
Hello my fellow film lovers. Rare and Collectible DVDs as the name suggests is all about those films that are not mainstream, that have been lost, or forgotten or you have just not heard about.
We are all different as to why a film appeals to us but some films are universally recognized as having that certain something that sets them apart. I am not a film critic but merely someone who watchers a film and either likes it or doesn’t.
The first film I would like highlight is also one of my favourites (strange about that).
FROM HERE TO ETERNITY is in my opinion one of the best films made on Pearl Harbor. It starts with looking into a peacetime army not ready for war and preocupied with social events that begin to have inevidable and eventual tragic consequences.
“It’s 1941. Robert E. Lee Prewitt has requested Army transfer and has ended up at Schofield in Hawaii. His new captain, Dana Holmes, has heard of his boxing prowess and is keen to get him to represent the company. However, ‘Prew’ is adamant that he doesn’t box anymore, so Captain Holmes gets his subordinates to make his life a living hell. Meanwhile Sergeant Warden starts seeing the captain’s wife, who has a history of seeking external relief from a troubled marriage. Prew’s friend Maggio has a few altercations with the sadistic stockade Sergeant ‘Fatso’ Judson, and Prew begins falling in love with social club employee Lorene. Unbeknownst to anyone, the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor looms in the distance.”
The actual attack on Pearl Harbor is brilliantly filmed and captures the panic and confusion that undoubtably happened. The ending where Karen Holmes and Lorene are being repatriated by ship back to USA sums up the reality that America is now at war and life has changed forever.
The acting by Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra and Ernest Borgnine is outstanding and what makes this film the great film it is.
The last comment on this film is the famous beach scene between Kerr and Lancaster. When this film was made in 1953 it had the censors in meltdown. By today’s standard it would not raise an eyebrow but in 1953 it was risque.
Film Noir is a genre I consider that is not well understood. It started pre WW2 but came to the fore in the late 40’s and through the 50’s. It has to be filmed in Black and White, it is edgy and main characters tend to be flawed and are running away or to some major catastrophe.
THE THIRD MAN. This is truly a forgotten masterpiece of film noir. The camera work in this film is outstanding. It sets the mood and the mystery that is at the very heart of this film.
“An out of work pulp fiction novelist, Holly Martins, arrives in a post war Vienna divided into sectors by the victorious allies, and where a shortage of supplies has led to a flourishing black market. He arrives at the invitation of an ex-school friend, Harry Lime, who has offered him a job, only to discover that Lime has recently died in a peculiar traffic accident. From talking to Lime’s friends and associates Martins soon notices that some of the stories are inconsistent, and determines to discover what really happened to Harry Lime.”
The actors in this film take this film to the next level. Of course any film that has Orson Wells in it starts with an advantage but the performances of Joseph Cotton, Trevor Howard and Alida Valli are exceptional and help set this film apart from the pack.
In keeping with sad premise of this film the ending makes perfect sense.
Without doubt besides the brilliant plot and acting one more thing that sets this film apart from others in this genre is “The Harry Lime Theme”. This one piece of music introduced the musical instrument – The Zither – to the world and no self respecting pop orchestra during the 50’s and 60’s would dare not include a cover version of this popular tune in there latest album release.