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Old 24-03-2005, 15:19   #1
John Hodson
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The Essential Steve McQueen Thread...

Steve McQueen would have been 75 years old today; time to give Warners upcoming The Essential Steve McQueen Collection it's own thread, and a place to discuss the man's other essential films. From DVD Times:

Warner Home Video have announced the Region 1 DVD release of The Essential Steve McQueen Collection for 31st May 2005. Hollywood’s real-life rebel and screen legend who defined cool like no other actor -- arrives on DVD through this essential collection which includes a newly remastered Two-Disc Special Edition DVD of Bullitt with three documentaries including the DVD debuts of The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing, a fascinating look at the art of film editing featuring award-winning directors Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Ridley Scott and Steve McQueen: The Essence of Cool, a new documentary premiering June 1 on Turner Classic Movies with interviews from Neile Adams (McQueen’s first wife), Sir Richard Attenborough, Norman Jewison, Chad McQueen (his son), Peter Yates, Barbara Minty (McQueen’s widow) and more.

The five other films included in the Collection are The Getaway, Papillon and new-to-DVD titles The Cincinnati Kid, Never So Few, and Tom Horn. DVD special features include perceptive commentaries from Jacqueline Bisset, Robert Vaughn, directors Norman Jewison and Peter Yates, archival footage and new and vintage documentaries. The seven-disc boxed set will be available for $68.92 SRP. The films will also be available individually for $19.97 SRP while the Bullitt: Two-Disc Special Edition will sell for $26.99 SRP.

The Films

Bullitt (1968) – In one of his most famous roles, Steve McQueen stars as tough-guy police detective Frank Bullitt, assigned for 48 hours to watch a witness before his trial. However, when the witness and another officer are shot, Bullitt decides to investigate the case on his own, much to the dismay of an ambitious Senator (Robert Vaughn) who wants to shut the investigation down, hindering Bullitt’s plan to bring the killers to justice. Robert Duvall and Jacqueline Bisset also star in the film which contains one of the most exciting car chases in film. Bullitt also won the 1969 Academy Award® for Best Editing.

DISC 1:
Commentary by Director Peter Yates
Theatrical Trailer

DISC 2:
Two Feature-Length Documentaries:
-The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing, narrated by Kathy Bates.
-Steve McQueen: The Essence of Cool – From filmmaker Mimi Freedman, this all-new documentary uncovers the complex man behind the image by watching McQueen’s life and career through the eyes of the people who knew him best and extensive use of film and television clips

Vintage Featurette: Bullitt: Steve McQueen’s Commitment to Reality

The Cincinnati Kid (1965) – In the title role, Steve McQueen is an up-and-coming poker player in New Orleans who takes on a long-time master of the game. Not only is there a small fortune at stake, but also the status of being the top player. But the game is compromised when the trusted dealer is blackmailed into fixing the outcome. Directed by Norman Jewison (Moonstruck, The Hurricane), the film also stars Edward G. Robinson, Karl Malden, Ann-Margret and Tuesday Weld.

DVD Special Features include:
Commentary by director Norman Jewison
Scene specific commentary with David Foley and Phil Gordon, the hosts of Bravo’s “Celebrity Poker Showdown”
Archival featurette “The Cincinnati Kid Plays According to Hoyle”
Trailer

The Getaway (1972) – Steve McQueen plays a bank robber whose wife makes a deal with a Texas politician to have her husband released from prison in return for a percentage from their next big heist. But when the plan goes sour, the couple must flee to Mexico as fast as they can, with a variety of gun-wielding thugs on their trail. Ali MacGraw, Sally Struthers and Al Lettieri also star in this crime thriller directed by Sam Peckinpah (The Wild Bunch).

DVD Special Features include:
Commentary by DVD Producer Nick Redman, authors Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons & David Weddle
“Virtual” audio commentary with stills featuring Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw and Sam Peckinpah
Trailer

Papillon (1973) – The autobiography of Henri Charriere, one of the few people ever to successfully escape from the notorious French penal colony of Devil’s Island, served as the basis for Papillon. Steve McQueen plays the pugnacious Charriere (known as “Papillon,” or “butterfly,” because of a prominent tattoo), who is wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner (Patton), the film also stars Dustin Hoffman as a fellow convict.

Never So Few (1959) – Captain Tom Reynolds (Frank Sinatra) and his band of skilled O.S.S. operatives are in World War II Burma to train the Kachin natives in modern warfare. But jungle combat is more grueling than Reynolds imagined, and after Chinese rebels cross the border to loot and murder American soldiers, Reynolds abandons all notions of “military protocol” and seeks requital. McQueen co-stars alongside Charles Bronson and Peter Lawford.

Tom Horn (1980) – Tom Horn (McQueen), a renowned former army scout, is hired by Wyoming cattle ranchers to put a stop to violence on the range. In the process, Tom finds himself accused of murder. Linda Evans and Richard Farnsworth also star.


Artwork here. No word in the press announcement on this:

"Peckinpah expert Nick Redman is preparing a multi-box DVD set of Peckinpah films to be released later this year. One of the highlights for film music fans will be the DVD of THE GETAWAY, which is expected to feature the film's rejected Jerry Fielding score isolated on a separate audio track, spotted exactly as Fielding intended. The supplementary material will include one sequence from the film with Fielding's music mixed back in, and a documentary on Fielding's collaboration with Peckinpah and the rejection of the Getaway score, featuring interviews with Fielding's wife and daughter. "

...from the Peckinpah thread. I wonder if the idea was canned?

Anyhoo - happy birthday Steve...
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Old 24-03-2005, 15:22   #2
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Doh! Wrong forum - can some kind soul report this and have it moved to Classic?

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Old 24-03-2005, 15:31   #3
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Doh! Wrong forum - can some kind soul report this and have it moved to Classic?
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Old 27-03-2005, 20:13   #4
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A couple of weeks earlier MGM is realeasing there own Steve McQueen set(I think that all have been released before but its cheap) with the following

THE GREAT ESCAPE.
MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
JUNIOR BONNER
THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR
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Old 28-03-2005, 19:04   #5
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A few more details on the new release of The Getaway as featured in this box set, from davisdvd.com :

Warner Home Video will release The Getaway: Deluxe Edition on May 31st. The disc will feature a 2.40 anamorphic transfer, Dolby Digital mono tracks, an audio commentary (with Sam Peckinpah biographers/documentarians Nick Redman, Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons and David Weddle), the "Jerry Fielding, Sam Peckinpah and The Getaway" featurette and the original theatrical trailer. Retail will be $19.96.

Information on this title seems to be being dripped out bit by bit; maybe we will get the full Jerry Fielding hit as detailed here.

BTW, the set has popped up for a reasonable price at Amazon here.

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Old 18-04-2005, 19:25   #6
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And $55.98 CAD at DVD Soon here, and $54.95 at DVD Import here.

BTW, I watched Don Siegel's Hell is For Heroes last night; a brilliant piece of low-budget film making and another superb transfer from elements in excellent condition by Paramount. Made in 1962, two years after The Magnificent Seven, the film again brings together James Coburn and McQueen, members of a US Army squad in northern France.

It's 1944 and a war weary bunch of soldiers think they are on their way home. In fact, this exhausted, raggedy bunch are being sent back to the front line where they are asked to hold back far superior numbers of the enemy, gathering for a grim counter attack. It's death or glory...or both.

Shot in stark black and white (not just a cost cutting measure; it accomodates contemporary war footage), it's a sometimes brutal and unflinching look at men at war. McQueen's Reese is a busted Master Sgt. who has reached the end of his tether, finding solice at the bottom of a bottle. McQueen gives Reese the haunted look of a man who has seen far too much, his dead eyes betraying the fact that the humanity has been ground out of him long ago.

Ironically, Reese and the squad bear comparisons with the Wehrmacht infantry that inhabit Peckinpah's Cross of Iron; I wonder what, if anything, Coburn took with him to that film after watching McQueen sketch a man so close to the edge as his Steiner to be? That is, BTW, Coburn's finest performance IMHO.

Siegel doesn't point out the madness that is war as effectively as Peckinpah; but he does get across the fact that it's far from fun. Men die horribly; eviscerated, faces blown away, screaming for their wives and mothers, immolated; it's nasty without being terribly graphic. McQueen and Coburn are aided by a good cast that includes Fess Parker (I wanted to be Davy Crockett thanks to him) as the stoic Platoon Sgt., an excellent Bobby Darin, Bob Newhart in his first film role (and, yes, Siegel manages to worm in some Newhart schtick that doesn't stick out like a sore thumb), Harry Guardino and L.Q. Jones (another Peckinpah link).

As I said, it's a lovely 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer, the mono sound is excellent and at only $9.98 from DVD Soon here I think it's another 'essential' Steve McQueen movie.

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Old 19-04-2005, 14:44   #7
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Hey, does any one remember Love With The Proper Stranger with Steve McQueen and Natalie Wood? What a great movie... ( isn't it time for a DVD release?)
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Old 19-04-2005, 14:47   #8
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It's a showcase for McQueen's talents IMHO, and I agree with you 100%
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Old 19-04-2005, 15:16   #9
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The Cincinnati Kid is a great movie. It would be interesting though to
see how Sam Peckinpah would have done it, wasn't he fired from the production.

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Old 19-04-2005, 15:30   #10
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Yes, he was; obtensively for shooting a nude scene, but he didn't like the script, nor some of the casting. And his 'Kid' would have been in glorious black and white.
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Old 19-04-2005, 16:34   #11
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For info the first season (1958) of Wanted Dead or Alive is available in France (French title is "Au nom de la loi") as three sets of three DVDs and will be in the US in June (not sure of the content).

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Old 19-04-2005, 16:50   #12
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Fantastic review of "Hell Is For Heroes" John. A very fine film and it makes a very good double bill with Aldrich's "Attack!".

The irresistible concept of Peckinpah working with Eddie G. is enough to make me weep that his "Kid" never saw the light of day. It's there along with Cronenberg's "Basic Instinct 2" in my list of might-have-beens. Mind you, Peckinpah's "Play It As It Lays" - which he was desperate to do - might have been even better.
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Old 29-04-2005, 22:51   #13
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Getting the new Warner McQueen set for sure.

But does anyone know for sure whether the new MGM (Sony) release of The Thomas Crown Affair is finally presented 16:9 enhanced. I have a feeling it is a new transfer as the box artwork is different and it would be a no-brainer to double dip if now enhanced.
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Old 30-04-2005, 07:48   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickLondon
Getting the new Warner McQueen set for sure.

But does anyone know for sure whether the new MGM (Sony) release of The Thomas Crown Affair is finally presented 16:9 enhanced. I have a feeling it is a new transfer as the box artwork is different and it would be a no-brainer to double dip if now enhanced.
Some sites are carrying the news from MGM that it will be a 'new remastered transfer' but no absolute confirmation (though DVDpricesearch.com is saying it is enhanced). Whatever, I pre-ordered a while ago because I figured I'd waited long enough; fingers crossed eh?

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Old 04-05-2005, 08:38   #15
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Down a couple of dollars to $53.88 at DVDSoon - McQueen
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Old 25-05-2005, 07:53   #16
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Just a quick confirmation that Norman Jewison's The Thomas Crown Affair is now indeed anamorphically enhanced.
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Old 25-05-2005, 22:45   #17
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I was going to point you at DVD Talk's review of the recent MGM Steve McQueen Collection, but as they had this to say about the beautiful, poetic, elegiac Junior Bonner:

"The latest of the four films presented in this set, this 1972 film provides a vehicle for a rather tired-looking Steve McQueen. It seems clear that this is mainly a "filler" movie for the set, as doesn't even have the visual style of The Thomas Crown Affair, let alone the storytelling verve of The Great Escape or The Magnificent Seven. Here McQueen plays the title character, a getting-worn-out rodeo star who returns home to see his rather dysfunctional family. There's not much of a plot here, just a series of sequences with McQueen not really doing a whole lot. It's not a really terrible film, at least not if you adore McQueen or are fascinated by the world of rodeo, or both, but it doesn't really do a whole lot, and by the end my main reaction was that I really didn't care one way or another about anybody in the film."

...it shows that they have no soul, taste or perception of quality. Instead read this review. For a thoroughly sensitive and erudite review of Junior Bonner go here. BTW, the Essential Steve McQueen Collection from Warners is 'in transit' at DVD Soon...

EDITED - for a much better review of The Steve McQueen Collection from the HTF.

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Old 25-05-2005, 23:47   #18
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Steve

Does anyone know if McQueen's rarely seen Enemy of the People film from 1978 will get a proper DVD release (as well as the excellent 1998 doco King of Cool), as Warner Bros have the rights to Enemy. It deserves some decent extras, with interviews of those who worked on it.
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Old 26-05-2005, 07:15   #19
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No news on either I'm afraid; though the extras in this Warners set should make up for the doco.
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Old 27-05-2005, 13:37   #20
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Essential Steve McQueen Collection now packaging at DVD Soon...

Meanwhile, over at the HTF 'Motion Picture Archivist' (his own description) Robert Harris says this:

While there have been reports this week of two collections of Steve McQueen's work arriving on the shelves of video stores, they are not only miles apart in marketing concepts, but one showing as little respect for both Mr. McQueen and his audience as one would think possible.

Which means that I'll gloss over the first (from M-G-M) which I'll report here, in the nicest way possible, as poorly thought out and horribly marketed garbage, and go on to the only one that matters.

While I'll give the task to others of reviewing Warner's Essential Steve McQueen Collection, I will share a few thought about Tom Horn.

I've just viewed two westerns from Pararmount: Heller in Pink Tights, which must be one of the most colorful of current releases -- an interesting film by George Cukor -- and Warlock by Edward Dmytryk, a fine film made moreso considering the Blacklist era. Both are worth a look.

But it was Tom Horn, which I haven't seen since its appearance on laserdisc (the DVD packaging is in error when it states "First-Time Widescreen Video Release"), that leaves its mark for a number of reasons.

First, it is impossible not to notice that Mr. McQueen was older than the last time he had appeared, but the audience was unaware at that time that this March 1980 release would be followed by only one more in November.

His look works for the film and the characterization. Tom Horn is a dinosaur of the old west, having survived into the early years of the twentieth century. His reason for living is simply to be out of doors; to be permitted to ride freely through the hills. His purpose is as a killer, hired by wealthy ranchers who don't wish to get their hands dirty, and who turn on his when he is no longer beneficial to their needs.

Tom Horn is Mr. McQueen at the height of his powers, seen bigger than life in westerns settings magnificently captured by the lens of John Alonzo (Scarface), who had a bit part in The Magnificent Seven.

The quality of the "other" McQueen set is made to look even worse when one considers the effort that went into bringing this beautifully photographed western to home video. If I were to attempt to compare Tom Horn to another western, it would probably be Will Penny (Paramount Home Viideo), another film worthy of your attention. Unlike most filmed westerns, there is a realilty about this film whch transcenes the medium.

Doug Pratt, reviewing the laserdisc had the following comment, which still rings true.

"If you want a movie where the hero wins and bad guys lose, go elsewhere, but if you want to see one of the greatest movie stars from the Sixties and Seventies ride off with glory into a premature sunset, then saddle up."

It comes highly recommended.


There's something about Tom Horn which has always made it, for me, hard to watch (not just the fact that as a film, it never seemed to hang together). I think it's the fact that McQueen made the film just as the cancer was beginning to take hold. Both his fate, and that of the eponymous hero of the film, seem somehow inextricably linked, and I always end up snuffling into a hankie. It's a while since I've seen it in OAR (a quarter of a century in fact), so I'm looking forward to this.
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