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Classic on the way from Criterion

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by the_pauley, Mar 28, 2003.

  1. the_pauley

    the_pauley
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    "The Devil and Daniel Webster" (aka "Alll That Money Can Buy"), without doubt one of the greatest movies ever made, is being prepared for release by Criterion. Not only is it being digitally spruced up, but footage considered lost and unseen since its initial release is being restored.

    If you've never seen this you're in for a treat - its as close to perfection as cinema gets.

    There is a remake in the works, but with Dan Ayckroyd in the cast and the Devil being "re-interpreted" as a foxy babe, we won't hold our breath.
     
  2. Squirrel God

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    Oh wow! I've been hoping this would be released on DVD in any form whatsoever for sooo long! One of the few 'old' movies that I simply adore :clap:

    Any ballpark on the release date?
     
  3. the_pauley

    the_pauley
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    There has been a VHS release in the USA (not Criterion) of the film with the restored footage. However Criterion stated at a recent forum that they were sourcing superior quality materials to those already discovered / rediscovered, and that this was a definite Criterion release in the near future.

    Criterion is also preparing its usual splendid set of extras for the disc from archive materials in the RKO vaults. Will be interesting to see if they confirm Orson Welles uncredited involvement in the movie.

    Judging by the finished movie it would hardly be surprising as it seems to have seem to have hand all over it in terms of both visuals and dialogue.

    If you like this type of movie there's another little gem from the same director William Dieterle available as a R2 disc. "Portrait of Jennie" is a classic ghost story, absolutely dripping with atmosphere, and well worth having for fans of classic Hollywood movies.

    It tends to be among the £5.99 discs a lot of stores seem to carry in budget racks these days. If you have a Music Zone store near you, they tend to have it - that's where I got mine.

    Failing that Play have it at £9.99.
     
  4. nickyvicar

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  5. encaser

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    Great film indeed, which reminds me of days as a child ill and at home away from school watching afternoon films. Just recalled seeing the 1962 version of Jack the Giant Killer whilst febrile and being scared out of my tiny wits :eek: :D
     
  6. Shoka

    Shoka
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    Just been reading about it on IMDB and they say it is very much like an americanised "Faust". Has anyone seem both films, is one comparable to the other?
     
  7. the_pauley

    the_pauley
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    Any film in which someone sells his soul to the devil will of course be sourced from "Faust", for example "Bedazzled". But that is the only plot similarity. "D&DW" is a much more stylish and inventive work, superior in all departments.

    Brilliant performances (particularly Walter Houston as Mr.Scratch/The Devil at once humourous yet utterly evil), stunning cinematography, cracking dialogue and a brilliant Oscar winning score from Bernard Herrmann. Although direction is credited to William Dieterle it has always been rumoured that Orson Welles' hand was on the tiller, in much the same way as Howard Hawks guided "The Thing" more than Christian Nyby and Spielberg was reckoned to have supervised most of "Poltergeist" despite Tobe Hooper's directorial credit.

    If you can imagine "Citizen Kane's" dialogue style, and the same film's dark brooding visuals applied to a fantasy/horror vehicle, you've got some idea of the style of the movie. Herrmann was also Welles' composer of choice at the time and the film's editor Robert Wise was also working in the same capacity for Welles at the time movie was made.

    It is no exaggeration to say that it is one of the greatest films you will ever see, even in the cut version that has been circulating for the past 60 years or so. I can't wait to see the fully restored version.

    Check out this page for some customer reviews of the movie (alas VHS only at the moment).

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/t...-9871945?v=glance&s=video&vi=customer-reviews

    By the way the trailer for the Alec Baldwin remake is on line, which seems like the basic bones of the plot with none of the style. For example the Devil is a babe (Jennifer Love Hewitt) and he beds her. Seems to be styled more as a comedy too.

    Think "King Kong" 1933 and "King Kong" 1977 and I think you'll see where we're going with this one...
     
  8. Shoka

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    :smashin: your post has just sold me the DVD, have to keep my eyes out for it as this looks like another deffinate for the collection.

    Might even have to go and see the remake, jeniffer love hewitt is sooooooooo fine:clap:
     
  9. Squirrel God

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    I originally saw it on Channel 4 and had a VHS copy for a while, and I think the key thing with this movie Shoka is that it still works amazingly well after all these years. Yes it's in B&W and non-widescreen, and the clothing and hairstyles are a tad ancient and so on, but yet as soon as you start watching you become totally absorbed in the movie and it just carries you into the story. So much so, that you come out thinking "hey, that movie hasn't dated much at all". It really is brilliant on all possible dimensions :)
     
  10. Squirrel God

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    We now have a release date for The Devil and Daniel Webster - 23rd September :clap:

    Can't wait :smoke:
     
  11. the_pauley

    the_pauley
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    :D :clap: :D :clap: :D :clap: :D
     
  12. Squirrel God

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    I'm a bit worried about this statement:

    I didn't think his performance was that bad :confused: :laugh:
     
  13. the_pauley

    the_pauley
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    Where did you get that info from Squirrel?
     
  14. Squirrel God

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  15. FoxyMulder

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    I believe there was a laserdisc version in the states with the missing footage although this will be the first time on DVD.

    On another note bernard herrmann is one of the best ever film music composers and did the score for this film.
     
  16. Squirrel God

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    Now available to pre-order from DVDSoon and CD-WOW :clap:

    Roll on 23 September :clap: (although CD-WOW say 16 September :confused: )
     
  17. the_pauley

    the_pauley
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