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Old 16-09-2010, 08:35   #1
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One from the Heart (Francis Coppola)

I watched this 22 years ago in the bbc2 Moviedrome season (some of the great intros by Alex Cox are on youtube), so I decided it was time to revisit it. The dvd (I doubt it will come to blu ray) is packed with features and in the original ratio of 1.33:1 and also very cheap Ł2.99 at Amazon or Play (looks like the 2 disc Region 2 release is the same as the R1 release)

One from the Heart is a 1982 musical film directed by Francis Ford Coppola. It is set entirely in Las Vegas, on the Las Vegas Strip and the desert surrounding the city. Though the film realistically evokes the feeling of being on the busy Las Vegas Strip, there were no location shots used in the film. Rather, it was shot on studio sound stages.

The budget went through the roof and caused the collapse of his studio after very poor box office, Coppola pulled the film from release. But he has thrown himself into this release from 2004 including a commentary, numerous documentaries and 10 deleted scenes.

It’s a musical without actors singing (apart from Nastassja Kinski in one scene), the soundtrack by Tom Waits which also features Crystal Gayle often supports the narrative, I remember Alex Cox calling this overkill as Hank (Frederick Forrest) is picking up after Frannie (Teri Garr), you hear is sung about in the song… but I think its exactly as Coppola said, the leads don’t sing, so the soundtrack does some of that job.

Some dialogue is on the cheese side (but isn’t this on purpose to hark back to the old musicals?) and Frederick Forrest is weak overall

The film is a visual treat, a whole street of Las Vegas was built on the sound stage and it looks great. Some transformations between scenes using clear screens are clever and very theatrical. Its also must have been an inspiration for films such as Moulin Rouge.

Enjoyed seeing it again and would easily watch again, a flawed masterpiece in my opinion.
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Last edited by orac; 16-09-2010 at 15:10.
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Old 16-09-2010, 08:38   #2
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I was lucky enough to see it on release, at some cinema near Trafalgar Square; it was a lovely summer's day and some old geezer I was chatting to while sitting there in the sun beforehand thought I was mad to go inside on such a nice day - but I'm so glad I did!

I have the R1 2-disk and it's a great set - all of the extras are very worthwhile. I love this film and the Tom Waits/Crystal Gale soundtrack is sublime.
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Old 16-09-2010, 11:45   #3
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I think it was shown at the Odeon St Martin's Lane in 70mm . . . anyway, it's a movie I'd gladly see again. Among the many terrible reviews was Pauline Kael's unforgettable putdown: 'This isn't from the heart. It's from the lab.'
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Old 16-09-2010, 14:24   #4
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a good review at empire (4 stars)

http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/...p?DVDID=118319
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Old 16-09-2010, 15:01   #5
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have a real soft spot for this, and not just because of the sublime Mr Waits providing the soundtrack!
Amazing sets, you can see where every overspent dollar went!
And the whole dance routine from inside to out towards the end is great
an enjoyable mess of a film
I've got the 2 disc R1 set too, but again, doubt it'll ever see a BD release - shame, would look lovely
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Old 16-09-2010, 15:25   #6
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Thanks for the heads up orac. Am a fan of Coppola's more successful stuff but was quite interested in seeing this after just finishing Easy Riders, Raging Bulls.

Didn't realise the film had been given such a good release and couldn't resist sticking an order it at that price- used some playtrade funds so even better
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