Movie Lovers Rejoice! A “Lost” Classic Is Here!
You know the story: A brilliant Director follows up his greatest work by making a “difficult” film that is lost to time…until it is rediscovered as a masterpiece…
Behold “Sorcerer!” The Classic Action Suspense Is Back In Blu!
Time to celebrate one of the greatest film Directors of all time – and the release of one of his “lost” classics on blu-ray!
Celebrating William Friedkin!
Director William Friedkin has had an amazing career – including the greatest horror film ever made!
William Friedkin directed “The Exorcist” – the scariest film of all time – a classic that gets better every time you watch it!
“The Exorcist” was released in 1973, a high point in the Director’s career. The tim was nominated for Best Picture, and he was nominated for Best Director. He had also just won the Best Director Oscar along with Best Picture in 1971 for one of the greatest chase movies ever made, “The French Connection”:
Friedkin Goes “Cruising”:
He would go on to direct Al Pacino in one of his most controversial roles ever – as an undercover cop who gets “too undercover” in Friedkin’s gritty, leather-bound thriller “Cruising” – the “Basic Instinct” of its time:
And Of Course, His “Lost” masterpiece, “Sorcerer!”
More on Friedkin’s other great films in a moment, but now, let’s look at his “lost” classic – his 1977 remake of the brilliant french film “The Wages Of Fear”:
“Sorcerer” Goes Blu!
And now the blu-ray release is here! Let’s look at the film – beginning with the movie trailer:
The plot originated with the same Georges Arnaud novel that inspired Henri-Georges Clouzot’s French suspense classic The Wages of Fear (1953). In Friedkin’s version, Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal, and Amidou play four men who end up in a South American town where an American oil company is seeking out courageous drivers willing to haul nitroglycerin over 200 miles of treacherous terrain.
This is an intense, beautifully made action thriller – dirty and gritty, amazingly tense – and the work of a master film maker. For whatever reason, the public ignored it when it was released – perhaps because “Star Wars” had moved them in a completely different direction months earlier…but now, the blu-ray is here!
The blu- ray includes a newly remastered print – under the supervision of Friedkin himself!
The blu-ray is presented as a BD Book featuring 40 pages filled with beautiful images and excerpts from the Director’s autobiography “The Friedkin Connection a Memoir”
The blu-ray also includes a new, personal forward written by Friedkin…
I can’t wait to go blu on this movie! Now, onto some more classic Friedkin!
Everybody Wang Chung Tonight!
Friedkin also made the seminal LA chase movie – a neglected 80’s classic with a terrific soundtrack by Wang Chung!
If you haven’t seen “To Live And Die In LA”, it’s a classic 80’s action movie with another amazing car chase sequence – the film stars William Peterson and Willem Dafoe…and it has a mesmerizing soundtrack as well…
What A Career!
There are many more films to discuss, and what better way to hear about them than from the great Director himself?
The Friedkin Connection!
The long-awaited memoir from the Academy Award–winning director of such legendary films as “The French Connection”, “The Exorcist”, and “To Live and Die in LA” is here! The autobiography is called, appropriately, “The Friedkin Connection” – and as amazon says, “it takes readers from the streets of Chicago to the suites of Hollywood and from the sixties to today, with autobiographical storytelling as fast-paced and intense as any of the auteur’s films.”
I am a huge fan of Friedkin’s work, from his breakthrough film “The Boys In The Band” to his latest, “Killer Joe”…and of course, his best picture of 1971:
Anecdotes! Anecdotes! Anecdotes!
He has an amazing career full of great anecdotes, and the book tells them all. The website FishbowlLA related this great anecdote from the book:
In 1966, when Friedkin was just getting started as a director on the TV side, he had the privilege of being asked to read the script for a planned feature film version of Director Blake Edwards’ earlier TV series “Peter Gunn.” But it’s what happened at a subsequent Monday morning breakfast meeting that really made the difference:
“So what do you think?” Edwards asked.
I chose my words carefully, but I had to say what I felt and accept the consequences. “Blake, I think the script is a piece of sh*t.”
He looked up in shock, his English muffin poised in midair. “What?” He set his muffin down and looked at me directly, not so much mad as confused. “What did you just say?” A bitter smile crossed his lips.
There were two other people at the time in the Paramount Studios bungalow, one of whom Friedkin had never been introduced to. That individual in the corner turned out to be the uncredited author of the Peter Gunn screenplay, William Peter Blatty.
Five years later, Friedkin was surprised to receive a copy of the book The Exorcist and a note from author Blatty to call once he had read it. When the two connected, Blatty explained: “I sent you the book because I remember our meeting outside Blake Edwards’ office about Peter Gunn, and how you had the balls to tell us what a piece of sh*t it was, even though it cost you a job; and I believe you’d never bullsh*t me.”
Even though Friedkin’s name was not next to those of Stanley Kubrick, Mike Nichols and Arthur Penn on the Warner Bros. wish list, Blatty had director approval and wanted Friedkin. The rest is history…
Without a doubt, “The Exorcist” was a cultural phenomenon when it was released in 1973: people were reported passing out in the theaters showing the film, or running our sick…it was a media frenzy, a pop culture sensation, and don’t forget – it was nominated for best picture as well – it is a masterpiece…
It is one of the greatest films ever made, and quite simply – the scariest, most shocking movie ever released…
Director William Friedkin made this two years after he won the Oscar for Best Picture for “The French Connection”…
“The Exorcist” was also nominated for Best Picture of 1973 – along with a slew of other nominations and accolades:
Regan MacNeil: “My bed was shaking. I can’t get to sleep.”
Talk about an understatement!
“The Exorcist” is the ultimate confrontation between a frail, elderly priest and an old demonic enemy – good versus evil in its purest form.
Demon: What an excellent day for an exorcism.
Father Damien Karras: You would like that?
Father Damien Karras: But wouldn’t that drive you out of Regan?
Demon: It would bring us together.
Father Damien Karras: You and Regan?
Demon: You and us.
“The Power Of Christ Compels You!”
The refrigerated bedroom set was cooled with four air conditioners and temperatures would plunge to around 30 to 40 below zero. It was so cold that perspiration would freeze on some of the cast and crew. On one occasion the air was saturated with moisture resulting in a thin layer of snow falling on the set before the crew arrived for filming.
And cure even more iconic moments from the film:
Demon: “Your mother sucks cocks in Hell, Karras, you faithless slime!”
Oh yeah, and then there is the “head turn” sequence! This film is so intense and scary that the original teaser trailer, which consisted of nothing but images of the white-faced demon quickly flashing in and out of darkness, was banned in many theaters, as it was deemed “too frightening”.
And then of course, there is the projectile vomiting scene!
The substance that the possessed Regan (Linda Blair) hurls at Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller) is thick pea soup. Specifically, it’s Andersen’s brand pea soup. The crew tried Campbell’s but didn’t like the “effect.”
Tons of great stories and commentaries on the special edition blu-ray….check it out and relive a classic!
“The Friedkin Connection!”
Make sure to check out “The Friedkin Connection” to read all of the stories from the great Director himself!
Finally, you can click below to read a story I previously posted all about Friedkin’s latest film “Killer Joe”, one of 2012’s best – and I did a quick look at his other classics, such as 1971’s Best Picture “The French Connection” as well as “To Live And Die In LA”!
And check out the mesmerizing soundtrack to the film “To Live And Die In LA”, from Wang Chung!
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