Thursday, 25 October 2007
Chris Cawthray has uploaded to YouTube a few videos from our show last weekend. Here's "Girasol". From there it's easy to find the others.
On Tuesday, October 30th, the Barbara Stanwyck Signature Collection will be available in stores. It's a pretty good deal: 6 movies on 5 DVDs for somewhere between $35 to $50, depending on where you buy it.
There are some stores which are not in the habit of waiting for the official sales date and I happened to walk into one yesterday and thus have this set already. I had seen only one of these movies already, Jeopardy, but I'll watch anything with Barbara Stanwyck in it. We wasted no time getting into the new box set and watched Executive Suite last night.
Executive Suite was really good, a gripping melodrama set in a favorite milieu of mine, the business world of 1950s America. It starts in downtown New York City's financial district, with the camera acting literally as the eyes of a powerful executive. In the style of first-person shooters or 1947's Lady in the Lake, we are this character as he leaves the top of a skyscraper, enters an elevator, sends a telegram, hails a taxi and then collapses on the sidewalk, dead from a heart attack.
The plot of the movie concerns the various machinations of his board of directors as they scheme to fill this unexpected power vacuum.
The strange thing about this movie is that Barbara Stanwyck's part in it is a minor one. Her character has a crucial role to play at the end, but she's not in the movie very much at all. For this reason, it's not a great choice for inclusion in a Barbara Stanwyck collection.
I wish they had given us The Lady Gambles instead, an excellent Stanwyck vehicle in which she stars as a woman who becomes addicted to gambling and loses everything. It opens with her down and out and getting beaten up in an alley, then flashes back to that fateful first casino visit. Now that's a Barbara Stanwyck movie!
Also out on DVD is the Fox Horror Classics Collection, another good deal with three movies on three discs for $20 to $25, depending on where you buy it. All three movies, The Lodger, The Undying Monster and Hangover Square, were directed by John Brahm. Hangover Square, the story of a composer who blacks out and goes on a killing spree whenever he hears a discordant sound, has a great Bernard Herrmann soundtrack, featuring his "Concerto Macabre" piano concerto.