Watched a collection of Old Hollywood paparazzi footage on TCM that included blessed footage of my man Charles Farrell on a red carpet pic.twitter.com/e3or9JwX52— Jason Adams (@JAMNPP) January 2, 2021
... all twelve of them! Besides The Devils on blu-ray it's the Movie Thing I want the most of all. And I feel like Criterion is the place where I could get that, at least most respectfully. I do have a foreign set (not this out-of-print one unfortunately, which looks like an absolute dream) that includes a couple of the films -- Street Angel and 7th Heaven, which were in particular directed by Borzage -- but my ass is greedy. Anyway I thought of all this today, here on the grand occasion of our monthly Criterion Announcement Day, because Criterion is indeed releasing a Frank Borzage film on disc. It's not one that stars Farrell & Gaynor though...
"Suffused with intoxicating romanticism, History Is Made at Night is a sublime paean to love from Frank Borzage, classic Hollywood’s supreme poet of carnal and spiritual desire. On the run through Europe from her wealthy, cruelly possessive husband, an American (Jean Arthur) is thrown together by fate with a suave stranger (Charles Boyer)—and soon the two are bound in a consuming, seemingly impossible affair that stretches across continents and brings them to the very edge of catastrophe. Lent a palpable erotic charge by the chemistry between its leads, this delirious vision of lovers beset by the world passes through a dizzying array of tonal shifts—from melodrama to romantic comedy to noir to disaster thriller—smoothly guided by Borzage’s unwavering allegiance to the power of love. "
That sounds right up my alley. A disaster thriller! Yes please. You can pre-order it (and see all of the usual reams of extra bonus special features) over on Criterion's website. And per usual that's not all Criterion has on tap for the month of April -- they're also dropping a no-doubt gorgeous restoration of Bong Joon-ho's probable-best flick Memories of Murder, they're also also dropping Olivier Assayas' grandly weird Maggie Cheung vehicle Irma Vep, and they're also also also dropping Jean-luc Godard's Masculin Feminin, and they're also also also also dropping Anthony Mann's grand 1950 Western The Furies starring our queen Barbara Stanwyck! This is a fantastic line-up of features...
OMG! The Furies with our favorite Missy Stanwyck! I'm IN!!
It has been quite a while since I've seen History is Made at Night so my memory is a bit sketchy but I recall it being decent though not something that I loved.
However a rewatch is definitely called for. When I saw it last time I had just found out that the Jean Arthur behind the scenes, a terror-cold, remote, and haughty, often a termagant who suffered so badly from stage fright that she would throw up before takes-was a completely different being from the bewitching woman she appeared and it soured me on her for a long time affecting how I felt about her movies. But now I just take her at face value and try and put all that to the side.
The Furies is one wild ride of a psychological Western full of complex, screwed up emotions and amazing performances.
History Is Made at Night is wonderful, Jason! The print I watched on The Criterion Channel last year was not the best, so I'm happy they're issuing a restored version.
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