About time

I was thrilled to receive the Val Lewton box set this weekend. So far all the films I’ve seen have been lovingly remastered. Sound and picture are as clear as they should be. Extras could have been better. There’s a documentary on Lewton. A couple of the features have commentaries either from film historians or directors who were inspired by Lewton. On the other hand, most if not all of the performers and production crew who worked with Lewton have died.

You really don’t need the extras though. The films still stand on their own merits–well, mostly. Kent Smith and Jane Randolph give performances that are very much products of their times.

The other gem I was ecstatic to get my hands on was Nightmare Alley. Hitherto, previously only available, I believe, as a bootleg. Like most noir films, it’s somewhat disturbing in parts, but it’s riveting. Tyrone Power, in particular, is outstanding. I’m not a huge fan of film historian commentaries as they tend to be boring, but this DVD has two of them and it’s more like a discussion than a lecture. Good stuff.

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