Films featuring
Walter Gotell

The African Queen

John Huston’s classic film had the unusual distinction of being the last film from the American Film Institute’s 100 Years, 100 Movies list to appear on DVD in the United States, not bowing on that format until March of 2010, well into the Blu-ray/Netflix streaming era. You could find it overseas, but only if you had a “region-free” player, and those copies were made from prints that were, to be polite, pieces of mule dung. Yeah, you should have heard the less polite version of that sentence.

Having seen Paramount’s new release, on Blu-ray of course, I have to say it was worth waiting for the studio to sort out who had the rights to The African Queen, find a half-way decent copy, and then take the time to restore the film to something quite near its original glory.

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The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

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Released at the height of the James Bond heyday, this sober, gritty adaptation of John le Carré’s novel seems like a deliberate antidote to the increasingly fanciful adventures of Ian Fleming’s superspy. There are no outlandish gadgets or glamorous locations and the only significant female character dresses like a librarian (Of course, that might have something to do with the fact that she’s a librarian). For those who like their espionage somewhat grounded in reality, this movie is a three-course meal.

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The Man Who Knew Too Much

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The Man Who Knew Too Much was the movie Alfred Hitchcock liked so much he made it twice. Well, not quite. Hitchcock had never been happy with the 1934 version, so it was the only one among his films that he had any desire to remake. Twenty years later, with one more project left on a contract with Paramount Pictures, it seemed like as good a time as any.

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