435 The Furies

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kinjitsu
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435 The Furies

#1 Post by kinjitsu » Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:46 pm

The Furies

[img]http://criterion_production.s3.amazonaws.com/release_images/410/435_box_348x490_w128.jpg[/img]

Barbara Stanwyck and Walter Huston are at their fierce finest in master Hollywood craftsman Anthony Mann’s crackling western melodrama The Furies. In 1870s New Mexico Territory, megalomaniacal widowed ranch owner T. C. Jeffords (Huston, in his final role) butts heads with his daughter, Vance (Stanwyck), a firebrand with serious daddy issues, over her dowry, choice of husband, and, finally, ownership of the land itself. Both sophisticated in its view of frontier settlement and ablaze with searing domestic drama, The Furies is a hidden treasure of American filmmaking, boasting Oscar™–nominated cinematography and vivid supporting turns from Judith Anderson, Wendell Corey, and Gilbert Roland.

Special Features

- New, restored high-definition digital transfer
- Audio commentary featuring film historian Jim Kitses (Horizons West)
- The Movies: "Action Speaks Louder than Words," a 1967 television interview with director Anthony Mann
- A rare, 1931 on-camera interview with Walter Huston, made for the movie theater series Intimate Interviews
- New video interview with Nina Mann, daughter of director Anthony Mann
- Stills gallery of rare behind-the-scenes photos
- Theatrical trailer
- A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Robin Wood and a 1957 Cahiers du cinéma interview with Mann, as well as a new printing of Niven Busch's original novel

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Last edited by kinjitsu on Wed Jul 09, 2008 8:17 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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domino harvey
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#2 Post by domino harvey » Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:53 pm

The addition of the novel is a nice touch, but they missed the boat with no Stanwyck extras

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#3 Post by jaredsap » Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:05 pm

domino harvey wrote:but they missed the boat with no Stanwyck extras
It says more extras are coming so don't give up hope yet.

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King Prendergast
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#4 Post by King Prendergast » Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:08 pm

Mann finally joins the collection. Long overdue.

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Jeff
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#5 Post by Jeff » Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:52 pm

King Prendergast wrote:Mann finally joins the collection. Long overdue.
All of the directors are brand new to the Collection this month. A nice change of pace.

Somebody at Criterion must be a big fan of The Furies. It seems like they are making deliberate effort to add it to the canon. At least that's what the line "The Furies is a hidden treasure" in their synopsis would indicate. Including the novel (which appears to have been out of print 60 years), will surely make the package a hefty slipcased release. Putting a "Wacky C" on something like that is sure to draw attention from the cineaste community. I can sense Dave Kehr's rehabilitating review coming already.

I'm pretty excited that they got Jim Kitses to do the audio commentary too.

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#6 Post by King Prendergast » Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:02 pm

I was hoping that Man of the West would get the treatment, but its finally coming out in R1 from MGM, I'm guessing in a bare-bones edition.
Last edited by King Prendergast on Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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miless
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#7 Post by miless » Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:07 pm

many of the directors of the past few months have been new to the collection: Ang Lee, Juan Antonio Bardem, Allen Baron, Cornel Wilde, Alf Sjöberg...

I bet that it has to do with Eclipse (and possibly an uncertainty surrounding future plans for HD)... allowing them to explore some of the lesser known filmmakers (and if the rumors of a Pedro Costa set are true, some stuff that's rarely been seen in the US).

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Jeff
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#8 Post by Jeff » Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:27 pm

miless wrote:many of the directors of the past few months have been new to the collection: Ang Lee, Juan Antonio Bardem, Allen Baron, Cornel Wilde, Alf Sjöberg
True. This, however, is the first month since April 2005 in which all of the directors with films being released are making their Criterion DVD debut. I think your Eclipse theory is absolutely right. I don't expect the breath of fresh air will last though. Hell, next month may consist entirely of Bergman, Fellini, Kurosawa, and Godard. Not that that would be a bad thing.

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#9 Post by King Prendergast » Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:29 pm

Jeff wrote:Hell, next month may consist entirely of Bergman, Fellini, Kurosawa, and Godard.
Which Godard are we thinking of?

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Jeff
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#10 Post by Jeff » Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:41 pm

King Prendergast wrote:
Jeff wrote:Hell, next month may consist entirely of Bergman, Fellini, Kurosawa, and Godard.
Which Godard are we thinking of?
I wasn't being serious or thinking about any particular films by any of those directors (though Two or Three Things... probably isn't far off). I was just making an obnoxious comment about the usual Criterion stable. Didn't mean to take us off topic. Back to the potentially awesome Criterion release of The Furies...

As excited as I am about this release, I hope that the "More!" notation amounts to a hefty documentary on Mann, since there isn't one around that I'm aware of. Mann was interviewed on a 1962 episode of Cinépanorama, a show that Criterion has borrowed from several times before.

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#11 Post by Belmondo » Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:53 am

And, don't forget the music score by Franz Waxman which is excellent. I'm unaware of any soundtrack LP or CD release, but it is done as a suite, and beautifully recorded, on a CD titled "Round-Up" by Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops.
jaredsap wrote:
domino harvey wrote:but they missed the boat with no Stanwyck extras
It says more extras are coming so don't give up hope yet.
Good. But, the extra I'm most anticipating is the one explaining why it took them 435 tries to come up with a western. There was a time when certain critics and film snobs pretty much dismissed the western as kids stuff. This remains somewhat true in the rare book world where source novels for famous mysteries are hugely expensive and source novels for famous westerns are surprisingly cheap.

I would hope all of us could easily come up with many westerns which deserve serious consideration. What's the story here?

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Person
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#12 Post by Person » Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:59 am

WOW! Brilliant surprise. I have not seen this film, but have wanted to for some time. I love Mann's work and this one sounds great.

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Jeff
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#13 Post by Jeff » Sat Mar 15, 2008 10:52 am

Belmondo wrote:Good. But, the extra I'm most anticipating is the one explaining why it took them 435 tries to come up with a western.
I think the short answer is that they didn't have access to them. Many of Criterion's most renowned titles are acquisitions from foreign distributors who, for decades, have been willing to offer up U.S. distribution rights to Janus, and now Criterion. The great westerns, however, being a fundamentally American enterprise, are largely owned by the major studios. Even though many of these studios have entered in to limited licensing agreements with Criterion in the past, I expect that they are reluctant to offer up the gems of their western catalogs, as these tend to be among the best sellers in their "classics" divisions. None of the majors are going to be willing to part with their Ford, Hawks, Peckinpah, or Leone westerns, and I imagine that they're hesitant about the better-known Boetticher and Mann. Paramount can even slide half a dozen program oaters into a box and unload them by the thousand to Costco for Father's Day. Criterion's only hope is to sneak a lesser known Mann gem like The Furies past the Paramount gates. Hopefully, they will be able to exploit similar opportunities in the future.

To be fair, Criterion broke the western embargo last year when they released I Shot Jesse James as part of their "First Films of Samuel Fuller" Eclipse set.

I believe that The Furies may be the latest Criterion title to be making its home video debut in any format. Am I correct?

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#14 Post by HelenLawson » Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:35 pm

domino harvey wrote:but they missed the boat with no Stanwyck extras
If they couldn't muster up many Stanwyck-related extras for The Lady Eve -- one of her most famous roles -- I wouldn't expect any in this package. I would imagine it's difficult for Criterion to get access to the film clips of these old stars to produce any worthwhile new supplements. Seems most of their star-related extras are new interviews with those who, of course, are still living.

While we're on the subject of Barbara, I would love for Criterion to release a Sirk/Stanwyck package of All I Desire and There's Always Tomorrow.

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#15 Post by domino harvey » Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:49 pm

I totally forgot she was already in the collection, whoops!

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#16 Post by HerrSchreck » Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:09 am

Shoulda been thrown in w a series also upgrading TMEN & RAW DEAL (not to mention the magestierial Black Book), but it's simply nice to see the Lord of Eagle Lion getting his props any way he can.

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Jeff
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#17 Post by Jeff » Fri Apr 11, 2008 12:10 am

The "More!" turns out to be:
The Movies: "Action Speaks Louder than Words," a 1967 television interview with director Anthony Mann

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souvenir
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#18 Post by souvenir » Fri Apr 11, 2008 12:36 am

That's not too bad. I wonder how long it will be. Five minutes might be disappointing, but twenty could be more promising. Also, with it being from 1967, it'll probably have less to do with The Furies than Mann's entire body of work.

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#19 Post by HerrSchreck » Thu May 29, 2008 11:17 pm

SO how many around here have actually seen this? I for one haven't, and any hidden Mann's (with fucking Huston and Stanwick.. shot by Vic Milner and scored by Franz Waxmann no less) is a no brainer, as far as I'm concerned. So far I love everything I have that the man's put his fingers to, from Railroaded, Strange Impersonation... obviously the noir killers Tmen/RawD/He WalkdBN/Black Book.. the later westerns and the final epics. It all is so fabulous. I am totally pumped for this release and especially for the interviews with him.

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#20 Post by david hare » Thu May 29, 2008 11:29 pm

It's great. It's not absolutely peak Mann I don't believe, and certainly not really part of his great 50s Western cycle which all have some thematic consistency. But Stanwyck (and the other cast) are very fine and almost every major dialogue scene is like a huge emotional confrontation. Sexual hysteria and vengeance in equal measure. I rate it quite highly, but others don't necessarily.

I havent seen the picture in over 20 years but it sticks in the memory.

And we desperately need new elements and transfers of T-Men and Raw Deal (my personal Mann fave.)

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#21 Post by HerrSchreck » Thu May 29, 2008 11:52 pm

Indeed-- those Sony Music "upgrades" of T-Men & Raw Deal from the earlier VCI's (which I have, and happily kept due to extras) were no imporvement whatsoever. The MGM He Walked By Night disc at least shows what a serviceable telecine from a decent positive could and should look like.

For their day, the VCI's were good. For 2005, those Sony's are a crime.

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#22 Post by bjeggert82 » Fri May 30, 2008 1:14 am

I saw this film a few years ago in a course on Westerns, which, now that I know more about Mann, is sort of curious: I think The Furies isn't really representative of Mann's Westerns, but rather a trasitional film between his film noir period and his Western period. It contains characteristics of both.

Mann uses the landscape in this film as he does with his other Westerns--as a reflective emotional device. But his narrative follows a more melodramatic, noirish path, which is not at all like his other nine Westerns.

It's not his best film (an honor I give to Man of the West), but its damn close--an excellent, unique entry into his filmography, bridging the gap between Mann's two most popular genres.

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#23 Post by david hare » Fri May 30, 2008 3:54 am

bjeggert, yes! That's a terrific quick analysis of why Furies isn't really quite there. I think also the other players (Screenwriter, etc) in the production take precedence over Mann's own personality. Even if he does imbue those big Stanwyck confrontation scenes with massive grandeur, bordering on mania.

Please keep posting MUCH more!!!

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#24 Post by Gigi M. » Fri May 30, 2008 9:57 am

bjeggert82 wrote:It's not his best film (an honor I give to Man of the West), but its damn close--an excellent, unique entry into his filmography, bridging the gap between Mann's two most popular genres.
As much as I admire Man of the West, my vote goes for Winchester and Naked Spur as his best westerns.

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#25 Post by bjeggert82 » Fri May 30, 2008 10:51 am

Gigi M. wrote:As much as I admire Man of the West, my vote goes for Winchester and Naked Spur as his best westerns.
You know, when debating the greatness of Mann Westerns, it's kind of a pointless battle. Almost all are excellent movies. But I completely agree that The Naked Spur and Winchester '73 are two of his very best.

The Naked Spur in particular, as it's just a savage movie, and such a raw performance by Stewart. It's a perfect example of Mann's landscape (river rapids) representing the inner turmoil of his hero. It's deceptively simple, the whole setup, placing those four characters in the wild and giving them each a motive to kill one another. Brilliant idea and flawless execution. I know this sounds cheesy, but every time I watch that film I'm on the edge of my seat.

I just see Man of the West as more all-encompassing of Mann's frequented Western ideas. He deals with the savagery of the West, the reflectivity of landscape, the eventual downfall of the frontier, connections between hero and villain, and a vengeful hero--seemingly every narrative point made throughout his Western career is placed into one great story. And it's all represented in a pretty grim way that's so shocking to endure, particularly the forced stripping, which makes the later comeuppance so satisfying.

And I suppose that's why I enjoy The Furies so much too. Looking at Mann's career as that of an auteur, it's an important hub where his work suddenly changed. But the movie includes so many of his past and future ideals that it can't help radiate its importance.

For the people who haven't seen The Furies yet, you may want to (re)visit Mann's film noir and Western films, just so you can see how well he blends those two genres and his respective techniques from each.
Last edited by bjeggert82 on Fri May 30, 2008 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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