Category Archives: Back in Cinemas

Goodbye Park Circus blog and a big thank you

Au revoir, adieu and goodbye

20th June 2012 will mark  a significant date in Park Circus’ historical calendar as the company introduced a new website for clients and classic cinema lovers alike.

Although the new website does not present any radical changes, we feel there have been some key tweaks that have refined the way cinemas can book films from us while allowing classic cinephiles to enjoy a base of rich content which delves into the 15,000-strong back catalogue of films we represent.

We would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank all of our loyal blog followers and we hope that you have enjoyed all we have posted on this site. From interviews with Brandon Schaefer, the man behind some of our best movie posters, to fun top 5 fact postings on films such as Taxi Driver and Pulp Fiction and much much more, it has been a great tool for us to showcase our unrelenting passion for classic films and our eternal aim of allowing these films to be easily put back in cinemas where they belong.

Our blog site will no longer be updated but fear not as our new website has an even better way for film fans to learn about what we do at Park Circus, what films we are focusing on throughout the year and what classics are screening at key festivals and cinema retrospectives alike. Everything you need can now be discovered here.

We welcome your feedback on our new site and you can do so through our social media outlets, on Facebook or Twitter. The new site allows easy access to our YouTube channel with the latest clips and trailers from our upcoming and past releases as well as our Flickr account which presents to you all of our posters – from The Last Picture Show to the soon-to-be released 50th anniversary artwork for Lawrence of Arabia.

Thank you once again to all of our followers and here’s to an exciting rest of 2012 – there’s lots to look forward to….

Brief Encounter will be released in Film Forum NY:

The Apartment is out in UK cinemas now and is to be released in France in July:

We are releasing Cassavetes’ Husbands in September:

and last but not least


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One Great Scene From The Shining

“Wendy darling, light of my life, I’m not gonna hurt you…I’m just gonna bash your brains in..”

Jack Nicholson in The Shining

Where do you start with Stanley Kubrick’s remarkable 1980 psycho-horror The Shining? A film so awash with primitive, elemental spirit that its sweaty paw print is still marking the linen of the horror genre thirty odd years on. The wonder of The Shining’s ageless malice is due to a combination of weird talents who could have only found each other on a cinema set.

There’s Kubrick with his obsessions and stern sense of mise en scene. There’s Jack Nicholson’s demented, willfully hammy turn as a walking conduit for spirits of evil. There’s Garrett Brown’s miraculous work with his own invention the Steadicam, there’s transsexual composer Wendy (formerly Walter) Carlos and Rachel Elkind’s mental electronica additions to the score, cinematographer John Alcott’s old master approach to the interiors…. the list goes on.

Kubrick, ever the wannabe distributor of his own films had even worked out a killer release strategy which allowed the film to only open in a few cinemas and take a month to build by word of mouth before conquering the rest of the world.

All these things and more make The Shining a quite exceptional variation on the old haunted house B-Movie. From the schoolyard to the water cooler the post film debate about The Shining was always a fever of half remembered scenes and declarative lines (“Here’s Johnny!”), but the scene that really encapsulates Kubrick’s vertiginous, callous portrait of a family in isolation and free fall is the one where Jack finally snaps and lets loose on his baseball bat bearing wife (Shelley Duvall), as she creeps away from him backwards up the hotel’s main stairs. So odd and mannered is Nicholson’s performance, so in control and yet demonic, caught mostly from his terrified wife’s point of view as he backs her up the stairs. The hotel lobby behind him composed and oddly styled. In this scene Kubrick accesses the genuine horror of the wife beater, the drunk and the rapist. It’s a scene that culminates with a man being beaten and falling backwards and yet you are in no doubt that he will rise again. This is the queasiest and choicest of all moments in modern horror, one that lingers in the cold light of day, much like a nightmare.

The Shining will be playing at the New Zealand International Film Festival in July and at Nordisk cinemas across Denmark in November.

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Jonathan Demme – The Hardest Working Man In Showbusiness?

Something Wild (1986) title treatment

Filmmaker, producer, screenwriter and arguably America’s most grounded multi-disciplinary filmmaker Jonathan Demme has been quiet of late. The last non-documentary feature he made was the critically divisive Rachel Getting Married in 2008 starring Anne Hathaway. Rachel was generally well received but one critic did compare it to “a two-hour colonoscopy”. For the last few years he’s been absorbed in producing a trilogy of Neil Young concert films, doing some television (including two episodes of the Laura Dern/Mike White drama Enlightened) and developing a film version of Stephen King’s doorstop of a novel 11/22/63. The King adaptation still seems to be simmering away as do future projects with his old actor/playwright friend Wallace Shawn (My Dinner With Andre) and author Dave Eggars (an adaptation of Eggars’ book  Zeitoun).

Denzel Washington in Philadelphia

It’s at times like these that it’s good to re-familiarise oneself with Demme’s prolific and seemingly seamless oeuvre. Demme is a filmmaker all too ready to own up to plagiarism. His gift for emulation is always born of love. Hitchcock’s hot breath is all over 1979 thriller Last Embrace starring the mighty Roy Scheider in one of his finest performances. His much-loved new wave rom-com thriller Something Wild owes as much to the films of Preston Sturges as it does to the ‘lovers on the lam’ B movies it brings more directly to mind.

Philadelphia and Silence of the Lambs showed his ability to move between disparate genres with the intelligence and individuality of Nicholas Ray or Elia Kazan. While documentaries Swimming to Cambodia (featuring the late great Spalding Gray) and Storefront Hitchcock were unique and fairly theatrical experiments in form. If anyone is overdue a retrospective of his work, it is Demme.

Do something really wild and book one or many of his films today. JD we salute you!

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Lawrence Conquers Cannes Again In World Premiere Of 4K Restoration

Omar Sharif and Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia

Omar Sharif and Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia

On Saturday 19 May, Lawrence of Arabia rode desert sands again for the world premiere of the stunning 4K digital restoration of David Lean’s incredible epic.

Marking the 50th anniversary of the release of Lean’s multi-award winning film which introduced the world to the unique talent of Peter O’Toole and also starred Omar Sharif, Anthony Quinn, Alec Guinness, Claude Rains and Jack Hawkins, the version that went before the ever-diligent audiences of Cannes has been lovingly restored to 4K digital by Sony Pictures Entertainment at Sony Pictures Colorworks from the 1988 reconstructed Director’s Cut.

Grover Crisp (pictured, right) from Sony, who oversaw the new digital restoration proudly introduced the screening . In conversation with festival director Thierry Frémaux (pictured, left) he thanked the many talented people involved in keeping Lawrence of Arabia alive for future generations.

The film looked amazing, Freddie Young’s breath-taking cinematography, Maurice Jarre’s all-powerful score and Lean’s exquisite vision dominated the Salle du 60ème and Cannes on the first Saturday of the festival. When the film ended the restoration credits received a round of applause. Lawrence of Arabia has begun its desert trek back into cinemas around the world.

Red Carpet Entrance for Lawrence Of Arabia

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A Night To Remember – The Titanic Centenary

Park Circus is re-releasing the esteemed ITV Studios classic, A Night To Remember this week, on 13 April, and you can expect to see Roy Ward Baker’s masterpiece at several key locations that make up part of the rich history of the Titanic, which sank 100 years ago in 1912.

We aim to be at the forefront of digitally restoring classic films and A Night To Remember is just one example of the many films we now have available on DCP. Having already received a warm reception at the Glasgow Film Festival earlier this year, A Night To Remember will also be showing at the TCM Classic Film Festival which kick starts later this month (not the only Park Circus title on show either).

One example of the film's restoration process

Following successful screenings at QFT Belfast earlier this month (where the ship was built), Park Circus has licensed screenings along the Titanic route:

– FACT Liverpool: 15 April (where the ship was registered)

– Harbour Lights Picturehouse, Southampton: 12 to 15 April (where the Titanic set off)

– Rome Capitol Theatre, New York: 21 April (where the survivors were later taken)

We spoke to the team at the Harbour Lights Picturehouse in Southampton to see why the history of the Titanic and Baker’s film adaptation is so important to their city’s history:

Get ready for another Titanic première

“Harbour Lights is proud to be showing the digitally re-mastered version of A NIGHT TO REMEMBER on the centenary of the tragic loss of the White Star vessel. Harbour Lights is the only cinema with a direct view to the actual berth from which the Titanic sailed and is close to the original White Star offices. The sinking of the Titanic still has a tremendous resonance with the people of Southampton due to the number of families that were directly affected by it. Of the 800 plus crew, over 600 came from the City and 549 of them never came back…We show this film in tribute to its brave crew and their families, to give Southampton a night in which to remember.”

In addition to the above locations, A Night To Remember will be screening elsewhere around the world:

– BFI Southbank, London: 13 to 26 April

– National Australian Maritime Museum, Sydney: 15 April

– The Monarch Theatre, Alberta, Canada: 14 April

– Swedish Film Institute, Stockholm: 16 to 25 April

We also have some fantastic archival materials of events tied to the film, courtesy of ITV Studios, on our Facebook page, including costume designs and a sophisticated menu for those who found the time to dine:

In the mean time, check out this clip from the film. Intense, gripping, dramatic and a beautiful restoration. This is the Titanic film to see this year:

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How Boudu Can Save Us All From Drowning

Poster Artwork for Boudu Saved From Drowning

Whatever you’ve heard about the French cinema’s New Wave, the truth is that the real Golden Age of French cinema was a period between 1929 and 1939. It was bookended by the advent of sound at the cinema and the outbreak of World War II. The men (for they were always men) who heralded this age were Jean Vigo, Marcel Carné and Jean Renoir whose magnificent 1937 war satire La Grande Illusion is out this year for its 75th anniversary (one month before ITV/Park Circus’ timely rerelease of The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, its closest British equivalent). But for every pompous general there should always be an anarchic tramp and for Renoir, this benighted incarnation came years before in his remarkable 1932 class war comedy Boudu Saved From Drowning.

Set in and around Paris, Boudu Saved From Drowning tells the story of a Parisian tramp Boudu (played by the physically gifted Michel Simon), who is pulled out of the Seine by a bourgeois bookseller Edouard Lestingois (Charles Granval) after a suicidal plunge. Boudu is brought into Lestingois’ home, a rambling maze-like Left Bank apartment, which overlooks the river. Lestingois, his wife and maid/mistress (Séverine) adopt Boudu as their underprivileged pet in an attempt to reform him from his scruffiness and social ineptitude. However, his gratitude for this sees him shake the household to its foundations, challenging their meaningless principles from conventional society and then seducing both women with his anarchic charm.

Boudu is a defiant farce, one driven by the ferocity of Simon’s characterisation and Renoir’s mise-en-scène. Simon was given free reign for his character’s portrayal and the result is pure chaos. Boudu is someone who does not belong in the city, especially not within the confines of a book-filled apartment (one scene portrays Boudu spitting into a book by legendary French novelist Balzac, epitomising the difference between his values and those of the bourgeois Lestingois – this was also a previously lost scene restored in Park Circus’ DVD and Blu-ray issue). Renoir’s skills lie best in his eye for detail and depth of field when using the camera. There are scenes within scenes here and a layering that engrosses you as a spectator and in this case, brilliantly demonstrates Boudu’s claustrophobia as someone who should be out in the open.

There is a great contrast in the way Renoir films his central character in Lestingois’ narrow apartment or in the bustling streets of Paris to when Boudu traipses around parks and the countryside seemingly freer and more content. Similarly to the recently praised Le Quattro Volte (2010), this is a spiritual film about a man more at ease surrounded by water, pastures and animals, not humans and an ironically disruptive city atmosphere.

There can be little doubt that Renoir was influenced by his impressionist painter father Pierre-Auguste in creating films where actors and objects were placed with precision. In a film with such a vivacious actor as Michel Simon, the blend of this measured approach to one that is unpredictable marries fantastically well.

Much copied but never bettered Boudu Saved From Drowning remains an early gem from Renoir’s esteemed oeuvre and offers light relief to his other more dramatic works from the period (Renoir did though always maintain a tone of optimism in his films). On its 80th anniversary, this is one title worth storing in your collection or one to watch out for in cinemas near you this year.

Boudu Saved From Drowning is now available to download from iTunes and is available on both DVD and Blu-ray from Amazon.

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The Original Casablanca Press Notes

Our 70th Anniversary Casablanca Poster

Here’s a lovely retro treat for fans of Casablanca, the greatest love story ever told, which Park Circus is reissuing in selected cinemas from Friday 10 February 2012. What follows is an original press release for the imminent release of Casablanca back in January 1942. Written in a rich, highly charged style that signals urgency and a sense of just how important this film is going to be, these notes make fascinating reading. They certainly don’t write ’em like this anymore. We have not doctored this document, everything is as it would have looked back in those war-torn days, including a few typos. Enjoy and remember to revisit this great film at the cinema for Valentine’s Day this year.





Rush Release Ordered for Timely Warner Picture Throughout World. Dual

Premiere for “Casablanca” at Warner and Regal Theatres, London, Friday, January 15, 1942


While Lisbon has always worn the dress-suit of international intrigue or the fairy godmother’s gossamer of escape, according to whether you’re a foreign agent doing a spot of dirty work or a Nazi-hunted fugitive seeking freedom overseas, the roundabout road to Lisbon is dotted with strange stopping-places.

Throughout three years of war many eyes in imprisoned Europe have turned towards that great embarkation point — the Needle’s Eye to the Americas; but not everybody could get to Lisbon directly. So a tortuous refugee trail sprang up: Paris to Marseille, across the Mediterranean to Oran, then by train, car or foot around the rim of North Africa to Casablanca in French Morocco. Here money, influence or luck secured exit permits for the fortunate ones who hurried on to Lisbon and from there to the new world. The others could only wait in Casablanca and hope.

Their numbers grew to thousands as the Axis strengthened its grip on Europe. Political fugitives, escapees from German concentration camps, members of the underground movements of all Occupied countries were dammed up. With the connivance of Vichy the Gestapo chose its prey.

Victims were surrendered and dragged back to Dachau or tossed into savage internment in the desert. A black market trafficked in forged visas at fantastic prices. Czechs, Dutch, Norwegians, anti-Nazis operated secretly to smuggle their leaders away and checkmate the Axis by counter-espionage. The psalm of life contained all the discords of danger, despair and double-cross, yet Casablanca held no more dramatic value than a thousand other border towns until a few fugitive artists wriggled through to the outside world.

Eventually they reached America. The international swarm of writers and players in Warner Bros. studios heard bits of their tale and word was passed along to Jack L. Warner and his associate producer Hal B. Wallis. They seized on the idea and location as something new. Action followed fast.

Three ace scenarists, Julius J. and Philip G. Epstein and Howard Koch, who gathered the material and wrote the script for ”Sergeant York,” were assigned to track the story down. Michael Curtiz, who had just finished “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” was called in to direct. Then backing their judgement of screen values with the highest sum allocated for any production in 1942, Warner splurged on stars – Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre all in one cast.

That was last July. When production started Casablanca meant so little on the map that the first publicity stories had to explain where and what it was. Four months later Casablanca shot into the headlines of the world, and on the very day that the American Expeditionary Force marched in, the Hollywood laboratories were delivering to Warner Bros. the first prints of their latest picture — “Casablanca.”

Call it producer’s sixth sense, or call it his incredible good luck — it’s what makes show-business, just the same.

Because of its timeliness, release of “Casablanca” has been marked urgent in every country where Warner Bros. operate. Air-borne prints have gone throughout the world. In London it will have a simultaneous premiere at the Warner and Regal Theatres on Friday January 15 — the first time these two cinemas have played a picture concurrently. Provincial centres will follow immediately. But even without its added force of topicality, Warners still would have an outstanding picture in this drama of a hunted woman and six desperate men who keep a date with destiny in Casablanca.


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Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012: Park Circus’ Year in Review

The African Queen

Park Circus had a fantastic year in 2011. Between the acclaim that greeted the cinematic returns of The African Queen and Taxi Driver and the ghoulish goings on in 1980s New York in Ghostbusters we just couldn’t stop putting classic gold back in cinemas. Before we move forward into what promises to be another killer year with the 70th anniversary re-release of Casablanca, the complete digital restoration of Powell and Pressburger’s wartime masterpiece The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp and the original and best tragic cruiser movie, A Night to Remember – let us pause a moment to glance back.

In 2011 Park Circus was very proud to become Miramax Films international library distributor and also to extend our relationship with MGM to handle their catalogue internationally. We also put these amazing films back in cinemas, each one looking as good as ever:

The African Queen (John Huston, 1951)

Man of Aran (Robert Flaherty, 1934)

The Last Picture Show (Peter Bogdanovich, 1971)

Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

Cutter’s Way (Ivan Passer, 1981)

Gilda (Charles Vidor, 1946)

Kes (Ken Loach, 1969)

West Side Story (Robert Wise, 1961)

La Piscine (Jacques Deray, 1969)

Ghostbusters (Ivan Reitman, 1984)

The Last Waltz (Martin Scorsese, 1978)

Hannah and Her Sisters (Woody Allen, 1986)

Zelig (Woody Allen, 1983)

La Piscine

If that wasn’t enough the good folk at Park Circus Towers toiled night and day to bring you the very best classic cinema on DVD and Blu-ray. In 2011 Park Circus restored and reissued the following on DVD and Blu-ray:

The Pillow Book (Peter Greenaway, 1996)

Der Rosenkavalier (Paul Czinner, 1962)

Boudu Saved From Drowning (Jean Renoir, 1932)

Orphans (Peter Mullan, 1998)

Man of Aran (Robert Flaherty, 1934)

The Phantom of the Opera (Rupert Julian, 1925)

Taking Off (Milos Forman, 1971)

Charade (Stanley Donen, 1963)

Charlie Chaplin The Collection (Various, Various)

La Piscine (Jacques Deray, 1969)

Finally 2011 was also the year Park Circus launched this blog page to give exhibitors and fans of classic cinema a little bit extra. In 2012 we hope the Park Circus blog and website will grow and blossom into a thing of great beauty and usefulness. As a bit of fun we asked some of the contributors to the Park Circus blog in 2011 to list their favourite films of last year:

Jonathan Melville (Blog editor and writer from February-November 2011)

1. Deep End (BFI) Forgotten 1970 British drama from Jerzy Skolimowski resurfaced on Blu-ray in 2011.

2. Black Pirate (Park Circus) Douglas Fairbanks’ 1926 epic arrived on DVD and proved that action films don’t need 3D or CGI to entertain.

3. I Went Down (Touchstone) Set in Dublin’s seedy underworld, the real crime at the centre of Paddy Breathnach’s I Went Down is why it’s taken 14 years to arrive on DVD.

4. Harakiri (Masters of Cinema) Masaki Kobayashi’s 1962 film finds an ex-Samurai asking if he can commit suicide in the courtyard of a rich clan.

5. His Kind of Woman (Odeon) John Farrow’s 1951 feature is part film noir and part noir-spoof, and I’m still not sure which part I enjoyed most.

Matt Palmer (Screenwriter and curator of Psychotronic cinema events)

I’ve got a lot of films from late 2011 to catch up on. In terms of what I’ve seen I only have a Top 2.

1. Drive (Icon)

2. Cutter’s Way (Park Circus)

Eddie Harrison (Screenwriter, film critic and communications officer at the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival)

1. Drive (Icon)

2. Taxi Driver (Park Circus)

3. Bridesmaids (Universal)

4. Black Swan (20th Century Fox)

5. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Studio Canal)

Ian Hoey (Writer and critic)

1.    Drive (Icon)

2.    Hobo With A Shotgun (Momentum)

3.    Submarine (Optimum)

4.    Essential Killing (Artificial Eye)

5.    Taking Off (Park Circus)

Taxi Driver

Jack Bell (Park Circus multi-tasker, lover of all things French)

1. The Tree of Life (2oth Century Fox)

2. Midnight in Paris (Warner)

3. The Last Picture Show (Park Circus)

4. We Need to Talk About Kevin (Artificial Eye/Paramount)

5. La Piscine (Park Circus)

DVD and Blu-ray

1. Boudu Saved From Drowning / Boudu sauvé des eaux (Park Circus)

2. Chaplin: The Collection (Park Circus)

3. Of Gods and Men / Des hommes et des dieux (Artificial Eye)

4. Mammoth (Soda)

5. L’age d’or / Un chien andalou (BFI)

Paul Greenwood (Film critic)

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Warner)

2. NEDS (E1 Entertainment)

3. West Side Story (Park Circus)

4. Drive (Icon)

5. Tangled (Walt Disney)

So there you have it, at Park Circus we love great cinema and in 2012 we are going to carry on the good fight to share it with you, in cinemas, at home or on your computer. Stick with us kid – it’s a hill of beans out there otherwise…

Visit to find out what Park Circus films are showing where you are now.

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Despair: When Werner met Dirk

Dirk Bogarde in Despair

Park Circus is reissuing Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s strange and mesmerizing 1978 psycho-thriller Despair at cinemas in the UK in a lovely new high definition digital transfer. That’s because at Park Circus we see the cracks between the cult and the classic, the psychedelic and the profane and we want to mine these exposed seams for cinéaste pleasure and encourage the slow descent into madness that so much time in the dark will ultimately bring.

Based on Vladimir Nabokov’s book of the same name, Despair is all about insanity, it’s about madness born of disassociation from one’s homeland, madness born of delusion, excess, sexual confusion, cuckoldry, chocolate and the drip effect of placating fundamentalist regimes. Adapted by Tom Stoppard, Despair was Fassbinder’s first English language film but more importantly it was the one and only film that former British film idol Dirk Bogarde made with Fassbinder. For both men it was a watershed experience.

Part of Despair's layered cinematographyIn 1978, despite having forged a post pin-up career with controversial roles in Victim, Darling, The Servant, Death in Venice and The Night Porter, Bogarde was still closeted about his homosexuality and his relationship with long-term partner Anthony Forwood. Fassbinder’s virulent, nihilistic and casual approach to his sexuality would have been a total anathema to Bogarde, and yet these two men, in the twilight of their careers, loved the experience of working together.

Despair was the most well-financed film Fassbinder ever made, but by all accounts the real rewards of making Despair for Fassbinder were all about the creative partnership with Bogarde. Working in a psychedelic register that budgetary restraint had usually denied him, Fassbinder and his brilliant cinematographer Michael Ballhaus (The Departed, Gangs of New York) filmed Bogarde with an investigative intensity usually reserved for ingénues and muses. As deluded chocolatier Hermann, Bogarde seems to be caught in a cinematic smooch, albeit one delivered by a hairy, bespectacled Teutonic madman.

Fassbinder and Bogarde never worked together again. Despair was to be Bogarde’s last great film role and for Fassbinder, Despair marked a moment of rare creative indulgence before the workaholic insanity of his last few years which included the epic Berlin Alexanderplatz and the commercially successful The Marriage of Maria Braun. Of Despair, Fassbinder said ‘It is the most hopeful movie I’ve made.’ Bogarde maintained Despair was the highlight of his acting career to his dying half-paralysed day. Theirs was a friendship snatched from the filthy rubble of post-war European cinema history.

Despair will be released at BFI Southbank and selected cinemas from Friday 6 January and on DVD later in the year.

For more details on Despair:

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Trailer-blazers! #2: The Shout (1978)

Alan Bates in The Shout

Alan Bates in The Shout

Trailer-blazers! look at some of the more unique trailers created for films in the Park Circus catalogue. In this edition, Jonathan Melville gives his thoughts on 1978’s The Shout.

“Greater than the frightening power of exorcism, more mystifying than any omen of reincarnation.” The opening to the trailer for Jerzy Skolimowski’s 1978 film, The Shout, doesn’t mess around when it comes to giving viewers a taste of what’s to come.

Told in flashback from the sidelines of a typically English cricket match in the grounds of a not-so-typical mental institution, the film focuses on Charles Crossley (Alan Bates), a mysterious stranger who arrives in a small coastal village and introduces himself to Anthony (John Hurt) and his wife, Rachel (Susannah York).

Having invited himself to stay in the couple’s home, Crossley begins to exert his influence over Rachel while convincing Anthony that he can kill a man with the use of a Shout, a skill learnt during his many years in the Australian outback.

The trailer shows a glimpse of Crossley’s Shout – sheep falling down dead, Anthony tumbling down a sand dune – and his power over Rachel as he steals one of her possessions before she becomes one of his.

We also catch a glimpse of the great Robert Stephens and a young Tim Curry, who both play small but important roles in the film, but most of the 2 minutes 48 is filled with Bates as the imposing-yet-charming Crossley (though he’s not quite so imposing when we see him in his underpants for some the picture).

Polish director Skolimowski, who has recently undergone reappraisal thanks to the re-release of previously thought lost Deep End (1970), took as the basis of his script a 20 page short story by Robert Graves (I, Claudius). Along with co-writer, Michal Austin, Skolimowski retained the framing of Graves’ story, in which the story is being told by Crossley himself, though whether we can find a man in an asylum a trustworthy narrator is debatable.

The trailer successfully captures the tone of the finished film, and, while it’s not quite the “soul shattering experience” that it promises, Bates/Hurt combination is a potent one. The label of horror film may have been attached to The Shout, but viewers of a sensitive disposition shouldn’t expect blood and guts galore.

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