38 The Deadly Affair

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Randall Maysin
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38 The Deadly Affair

#1 Post by Randall Maysin » Tue May 30, 2017 9:57 am

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(Sidney Lumet, 1966)
Release date: 28 August 2017
Limited Dual Format Edition (Blu-ray premiere)

Based on John le Carré's first novel, Call for the Dead (which introduced spymaster George Smiley), The Deadly Affair sees an ageing British secret agent (James Mason) set out to uncover the truth behind a government employee's apparent suicide. Eschewing the glamour of the era’s Bond thrillers, Lumet's chilling and intelligent take on the spy drama presents a palpable and darkly sinister picture of Cold War intrigue. The exemplary cast also includes Maximilian Schell, Harriet Andersson, Harry Andrews, Roy Kinnear and Lynn Redgrave.

INDICATOR LIMITED EDITION SPECIAL FEATURES:
• High Definition remaster
• Original mono audio
• Audio commentary with film historians Michael Brooke and Johnny Mains
• The National Film Theatre Lecture with James Mason (1967, 48 mins): archival audio recording of an interview conducted by Leslie Hardcastle
• The Guardian Lecture with Sidney Lumet (1983, 89 mins): archival audio recording of an interview conducted by Derek Malcolm at the National Film Theatre, London
• A Different Kind of Spy: Paul Dehn’s Deadly Affair (2017, 17 mins): writer David Kipen discusses the life and work of screenwriter Paul Dehn
• Take One and Move On (2017, 5 mins): camera operator Brian West on The Deadly Affair
• Lumet's London (2017, 4 mins): the London locations of The Deadly Affair explored
• Original theatrical trailer
• Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography
• New English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Limited edition exclusive 32-page booklet with a new essay by Thirza Wakefield, archival interviews with cinematographer Freddie Young and James Mason, and an overview of contemporary critical responses
• World premiere on Blu-ray
• Limited Dual Format Edition of 3,000 copies

beamish13
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Re: Indicator

#2 Post by beamish13 » Tue May 30, 2017 10:45 am

Randall Maysin wrote:The Deadly Affair is a terrific, smart, well-made spy thriller. The last major role and film for James Mason that was really worthy of him, IMHO
Whoa! Not even Heaven Can Wait, The Verdict or The Shooting Party? I love Sidney Lumet, but Deadly Affair really isn't one of the finest Le Carre adaptations.

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Randall Maysin
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Re: Indicator

#3 Post by Randall Maysin » Tue May 30, 2017 8:35 pm

beamish13 wrote:Whoa! Not even Heaven Can Wait, The Verdict or The Shooting Party? I love Sidney Lumet, but Deadly Affair really isn't one of the finest Le Carre adaptations.
Well, no offense, haha but the movies you mention, while certainly pleasant and modestly enjoyable, are ultimately mediocre. And they're the best of a very bad lot! From Clayton, Kubrick, Anthony Mann, Hitchcock, Ophuls, Carol Reed, Nicholas Ray, Minnelli blah blah and the list goes on. To Richard Fleischer, Bob Clark, The Last of Sheila. But there's good old Sidney at least. But even the more distinguished directors Mason worked with in the second half of the 60s and after, the work is far from their best, semi-forgotten and somehow raggedy and disreputable. Seriously what the hell happened? I know he got divorced and had big money problems, but the change in quality is so pronounced and uniform its like he'd been disgraced, even tho he wasn't. As he was just getting even better and more photogenic and lovable. It really sucks. The Deadly Affair is trivial in terms of content, sure, but its still a really fun and classy movie with lots of meaty scenes for James to chew on. To be obtuse, I might say that it IS one of the finest Le Carre adaptations out there, its just that the work in question is trivial to begin with :D.

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Re: Indicator

#4 Post by knives » Wed May 31, 2017 10:34 pm

I'd take the Clark over the Kubrick any day.

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Re: Indicator

#5 Post by dda1996a » Wed May 31, 2017 10:52 pm

Let's just throw a bomb and walk away. Haven't seen the Clark but Lolita is a great movie (and just look at Lynn's version to see how great it is)

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Re: Indicator

#6 Post by knives » Wed May 31, 2017 10:58 pm

The Kubrick is good, but I feel comfortable saying the Clark in this case is better or at least something I would rather watch on most days. I just find it weird how he has been treating his tastes so definitively when the Lumet under question is generally respected on the same level as these later films.

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Re: Indicator

#7 Post by MichaelB » Wed Jun 07, 2017 5:44 am

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THE DEADLY AFFAIR
£15.99

PRE-ORDER NOW: THIS ITEM WILL BE RELEASED ON 21 AUGUST 2017, BUT YOU CAN PRE-ORDER IT NOW TO BE GUARANTEED A COPY. PLEASE NOTE THAT YOUR PAYMENT WILL BE TAKEN IMMEDIATELY, AND THE ITEM WILL SHIP JUST BEFORE THE RELEASE DATE.

(Sidney Lumet, 1966)
Release date: 21 August 2017
Limited Dual Format Edition (Blu-ray premiere)

Based on John le Carré's first novel, Call for the Dead (which introduced spymaster George Smiley), The Deadly Affair sees an ageing British secret agent (James Mason) set out to uncover the truth behind a government employee's apparent suicide. Eschewing the glamour of the era’s Bond thrillers, Lumet's chilling and intelligent take on the spy drama presents a palpable and darkly sinister picture of Cold War intrigue. The exemplary cast also includes Maximilian Schell, Harriet Andersson, Harry Andrews, Roy Kinnear and Lynn Redgrave.

INDICATOR LIMITED EDITION SPECIAL FEATURES:
• High Definition remaster
• Original mono audio
• Audio commentary
• The John Player Lecture with James Mason (1967, tbc mins): archival audio recording of an interview conducted by Leslie Hardcastle at the National Film Theatre, London
• The Guardian Lecture with Sidney Lumet (1983, tbc mins): archival audio recording of an interview conducted by Derek Malcolm at the National Film Theatre, London
• David Kipen on screenwriter Paul Dehn (2017, tbc mins)
• New interview with camera operator Brian West (2017, tbc mins)
• Original theatrical trailer
• Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography
• New English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Limited edition exclusive booklet featuring newly commissioned writing by Thirza Wakefield , an overview of contemporary critical responses, and historic articles on the film
• World premiere on Blu-ray
• Limited Dual Format Edition of 3,000 copies
• More TBC

#PHIDFE038
BBFC cert: 12
REGION FREE
EAN: 5037899071175

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Randall Maysin
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Re: Indicator

#8 Post by Randall Maysin » Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:14 pm

The Deadly Affair also has surprisingly yummy cinematography by Freddie Young. One of the few Lumet films that doesn't look like complete shit, it isn't according-to-Hoyle cinematic but Young's work is very craftsmanlike, moody, evocatively dreary and generally pleasing. Working for Lumet is the ultimate test for any DoP, and the only one who passes it with flying colors for me is Boris Kaufman, which is why he's the greatest of all time.

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Re: Indicator

#9 Post by Bumstead » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:12 pm

Randall Maysin wrote:The Deadly Affair also has surprisingly yummy cinematography by Freddie Young. One of the few Lumet films that doesn't look like complete shit
Are you kidding me? The majority of Lumet films have high visual sophistication. A casual read of his book 'Making Movies' will reveal his deep understanding and love for cinematography. Personal opinions and matter of taste aside -- in terms of pure mood and texture, look no further than MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (Unsworth), DOG DAY AFTERNOON (Kemper) or THE VERDICT (Bartkowiak). And obviously, THE DEADLY AFFAIR with the great Freddie Young. During my days in school, I'd study Lumet films specifically for my cinematography projects. His choice of camera height and lens focal-lengths was very specific and a source of great inspiration, not just among budding directors but also DPs. They continue to influence my professional work to this very day. To say most Lumet films look like "complete shit" is not fair.

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Re: Indicator

#10 Post by knives » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:22 pm

Something can be not fair and still true. With the exception of Murder on the Orient Express and maybe Dog Day Afternoon it is hard to say that terribly many of his films are their DPs most successful efforts nor does having a great understanding of cinematography necessarily make a person good at visualizing it as a film (though it does often help). Maybe not as strongly, but I agree with Maysin that Lumet's films are rarely successful with the visual efforts they are aiming for (The Wiz and Q&A seem the least successful on this level to me). I do think his black and white work tends to be quite good, but his colour stuff is often obnoxious in its desperation to be realistic through trite techniques. Perhaps that is why his more fantastic efforts appeal to me more.

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Re: Indicator

#11 Post by Randall Maysin » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:48 am

Bumstead wrote:Are you kidding me? The majority of Lumet films have high visual sophistication
Well sure, that's true in a way - Lumet is considered a master of the psychological aspect of visuals, and I concur with that for the films of his I've seen, although that's just my untutored opinion and general feeling, as this is an aspect of film that I don't know jack shit about, haha! Even as awful and empty a film of his like The Anderson Tapes does have an undeniable crude visual energy and effectiveness, so that's an accomplishment I suppose. When you compare Lumet's recurrent visual signature with that of someone like Huston or maybe William Wyler (I've only seen two of his films though), at least on some of these filmmakers less visually prepossessing films, Lumet's visuals are 'better' - they're always psychologically clever, powerful and involving on some level, whereas Huston and Wyler at their worst are not. But I think most film fans agree with me that Lumet has one of the most, if not the most, viscerally ugly and jagged compositional sense of all the big directors.

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Re: Indicator

#12 Post by MichaelB » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:57 am

Randall Maysin wrote:But I think most film fans agree with me that Lumet has one of the most, if not the most, viscerally ugly and jagged compositional sense of all the big directors.
You can't possibly back this up with evidence, so why say it in the first place? Are you so lacking in confidence when it comes to your own argument that you need to hide behind the skirts of people who may not even exist?

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Randall Maysin
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Re: Indicator

#13 Post by Randall Maysin » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:23 pm

MichaelB wrote:You can't possibly back this up with evidence
Very well: the few people I have spoken with about Lumet's visuals all agree with my verdict. I admit that I don't really know how to provide 'evidence' when I'm trying to simply prove that a film visual is visually ugly, and I don't think merely posting some of Lumet's poorer shots would suffice. Perhaps you could enlighten me?

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Re: Indicator

#14 Post by MichaelB » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:49 pm

Randall Maysin wrote:Very well: the few people I have spoken with about Lumet's visuals all agree with my verdict. I admit that I don't really know how to provide 'evidence' when I'm trying to simply prove that a film visual is visually ugly, and I don't think merely posting some of Lumet's poorer shots would suffice. Perhaps you could enlighten me?
My reference to "evidence" was entirely to do with your sweeping claim that "most film fans agree" with you, something that you cannot possibly know and obviously can't demonstrate.

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Re: Indicator

#15 Post by JSC » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:24 pm

So we're saying that 12 Angry Men, The Fugitive Kind, Long Day's Journey into Night,
The Pawnbroker, The Hill, The Offense, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Network,
Equus, etc. etc. are somehow poorly photographed? C'mon.

Lumet may not have a consistent approach to mise en scene, but this is probably due more to
his interest in how to best serve the material at hand rather than adopt a uniform photographic
approach for every film.

Each person has their own personal response to a film or filmmaker's oeuvre. Let's leave it at that.

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Re: Indicator

#16 Post by FrauBlucher » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:56 pm

JSC wrote:So we're saying that 12 Angry Men, The Fugitive Kind, Long Day's Journey into Night,
The Pawnbroker, The Hill, The Offense, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Network,
Equus, etc. etc. are somehow poorly photographed? C'mon.
Agreed. What a silly premise. This belongs on Facebook.
What's next, Picasso was bad with colors.

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Re: Indicator

#17 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:09 pm

For sure. Man, he had blue down cold, but give him some other color and you can forget it.

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Re: Indicator

#18 Post by jsteffe » Mon Jun 19, 2017 7:53 pm

hearthesilence wrote:For sure. Man, he had blue down cold, but give him some other color and you can forget it.
He also had one of the most, if not the most, viscerally ugly and jagged compositional sense of all the big painters. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

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Randall Maysin
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Re: Indicator

#19 Post by Randall Maysin » Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:25 pm

FrauBlucher wrote:So we're saying that 12 Angry Men, The Fugitive Kind, Long Day's Journey into Night, The Pawnbroker, The Hill, The Offense, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, Equus, etc. etc. are somehow poorly photographed? C'mon.Agreed. What a silly premise. This belongs on Facebook.What's next, Picasso was bad with colors.
A composite of JSC and FrauBlucher said: "Why, this Sidney fellow's name happens to be on all of his films upon which he employed the best cinematographers he ever worked with! This fellow must be some sort of Picasso or something! Well, that's that! This conversation which is beneath me and which I have 'won' is now over!"

Haha, that's pretty funny. And that was that on criterionforum. I'm not complaining that much, this forum's method of discourse or whatever is to endlessly harp over details and so forth, which is perfectly natural and not unproductive and I think if my chit-chat was lengthened by that over pages and pages that would be pretty irritating and a waste of space. But as a chit-chatter this is a little irritating, to have someone swoop in every now and then and say, 'this is just chit chat and not worthy of criterionforum!'. everybody here chit-chats. But fuck if I know what the moral is here, if any.

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Re: Indicator

#20 Post by FrauBlucher » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:45 am

RandallMaysin, it's just hard to think that someone as accomplished as Lumet as to say his films are poorly shot. Two examples... The board room scene in Network with Ned Beatty and Peter Finch is an absolute stunner. And how can 12 Angry Men be poorly photographed? There had to be many challenges shooting 12 characters in a confined space. Needless to say, it turned out looking quite excellent.

Maybe there isn't a specific style like a Welles or Bergman but Lumet's films are visually well crafted and beyond reproach.

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Re: Indicator

#21 Post by knives » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:01 am

That's true of some of his films, but that lack of consistency you site is also what lead to several of his films, perhaps the majority, to looking quite ugly and incoherent. I think it is fair to say he depended on his DP tremendously.

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Re: Indicator

#22 Post by JSC » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:31 am

A composite of JSC and FrauBlucher said: "Why, this Sidney fellow's name happens to be on all of his films upon which he employed the best cinematographers he ever worked with! This fellow must be some sort of Picasso or something! Well, that's that! This conversation which is beneath me and which I have 'won' is now over!"

Because as I stated before it comes down to a question of personal taste. The argument is subjective, so
why go round and round in circles? Also, dear fellow...I didn't realize I was speaking like Noel Coward!

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Indicator

#23 Post by MichaelB » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:20 am

Full specs for The Deadly Affair:
Release date: 21 August 2017
Limited Dual Format Edition (Blu-ray premiere)

Based on John le Carré's first novel, Call for the Dead (which introduced spymaster George Smiley), The Deadly Affair sees an ageing British secret agent (James Mason) set out to uncover the truth behind a government employee's apparent suicide. Eschewing the glamour of the era’s Bond thrillers, Lumet's chilling and intelligent take on the spy drama presents a palpable and darkly sinister picture of Cold War intrigue. The exemplary cast also includes Maximilian Schell, Harriet Andersson, Harry Andrews, Roy Kinnear and Lynn Redgrave.

INDICATOR LIMITED EDITION SPECIAL FEATURES:
• High Definition remaster
• Original mono audio
• Audio commentary with film historians Michael Brooke and Johnny Mains
• The National Film Theatre Lecture with James Mason (1967, tbc mins): archival audio recording of an interview conducted by Leslie Hardcastle
• The Guardian Lecture with Sidney Lumet (1983, tbc mins): archival audio recording of an interview conducted by Derek Malcolm at the National Film Theatre, London
• David Kipen on screenwriter Paul Dehn (2017, tbc mins)
• New interview with camera operator Brian West (2017, tbc mins)
• Lumet's London (2017, tbc mins): the London locations of The Deadly Affair explored
• Original theatrical trailer
• Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography
• New English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Limited edition exclusive booklet featuring newly commissioned writing by Thirza Wakefield , an overview of contemporary critical responses, and historic articles on the film
• World premiere on Blu-ray
• Limited Dual Format Edition of 3,000 copies

#PHIDFE038
BBFC cert: 12
REGION FREE
EAN: 5037899071175
I believe the other August releases will be fleshed out very soon.

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Re: Indicator

#24 Post by Alphonse Tram » Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:36 am

Excellent extras! Turned a maybe into a must buy!

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Re: Indicator

#25 Post by MichaelB » Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:54 am

A lot of work went into this one! Powerhouse's deal with Sony means that they can use previous Sony-created extras, but in this particular case there weren't any because earlier releases were barebones. And there's tons of stuff to talk about with regard to this particular film: Johnny Mains and I had absolutely no difficulty filling our allotted 107 minutes.

Talking of which, the IMDB and Wikipedia both claim that the full running time should be 115 minutes. I suspect one copied that off the other, because despite very extensive research for the commentary I failed to turn up any evidence of a longer version and I have cast-iron evidence that it was 107 minutes on its original UK theatrical release in the form of two separate records (BBFC and Monthly Film Bulletin) of the exact footage length of the prints in feet (which I prefer, as it means you can calculate a running time to the second). So the Indicator release will also be 107 minutes, but I strongly believe this to be correct.

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