Directed by Samuel Fuller
Starring Richard Widmark, Bella Darvi, Victor Francen, Richard Loo, Cameron Mitchell, Gene Evans, David Wayne
This terrific Sam Fuller Cold War paranoia picture was released on Blu-Ray a few years ago by Twilight Time. Now it’s on the way from Eureka, giving those of us who missed it last time a chance to pick it up.
High And High Water (1954) has so many things going for it. First, it’s a Sam Fuller picture, which is recommendation enough. It’s got a incredible performance from Richard Widmark, who could do just-short-of-unhinged better than about anybody. It’s an early CinemaScope movie, which comes with a particular stack of visual pros and cons — and encouraged longer takes that let the actors really do their thing. And, best of all, it’s a whacked-out anti-commie movie, the kind that could only come from the 50s.
The old Fox DVD left a lot to be desired, with the Twilight Time Blu-Ray treating Joseph MacDonald’s camerawork with respect. We can count on the same thing from Eureka, I’m sure. Highly recommended.
Directed by Fritz Lang
Starring Peter van Eyck, Dawn Addams, Gert Fröbe, Werner Peters, Wolfgang Preiss, Andrea Checchi, Howard Vernon
The Thousand Eyes Of Dr. Mabuse (1960) was the great Fritz Lang’s last film, made after his return to Germany. The picture revives/revisits the sinister villain of his earlier Dr. Mabuse The Gambler (1922) and The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse (1933). It’s so cool that Lang was able to circle back to Mabuse, since the themes in these things were obviously close to him. (His 1952 Western Rancho Notorious features a variation on the network of criminals idea found in the Mabuse pictures.)
Thousand Eyes would spawn a series of Mabuse films from the same producer, Artur Brauner. Some of those sequels are pretty good — especially the one Hugo Fregonese did (1964’s The Secret Of Dr. Mabuse), but Mr. Lang is sorely missed.
Eureka Entertainment, the folks who gave us those beautiful Blu-Rays of Lang’s two-part “Indian Epic” a while back, has announced an extras-laden Blu-Ray of The Thousand Eyes Of Dr. Mabuse for May. Along with commentaries and interviews, it will feature the original German track and the Lang-approved English dub — and an alternate ending.
As a huge Fritz Lang fan, I can’t wait to get my eyes (all four of ’em) on Eureka’s The Thousand Eyes Of Dr. Mabuse. Highly recommended.