Adapted from K.B. Gilden’s novel, Hurry Sundown is a racial pressure cooker set in rural Georgia and with Hollywood heavyweight, Otto Preminger at the helm as director, this epic drama of lust, greed and prejudice, comes to Blu-ray in Australia thanks to Imprint Films, spine number 202.
Michael Caine and Jane Fonda star as a couple of Southern assholes, who relish in their tumultuous marriage. Caine is Henry Warren, an unscrupulous opportunist who seeks to buy his cousin’s land for commercial development, but problems arise with the adjoining plot technically belonging to Henry’s heiress wife, Julie, who has unofficially leased it to her ailing childhood wet nurse.
Hurry Sundown is told from the point of view of the villains, not the poorer and more sympathetic characters, who must live under the thumb of a mostly bigoted community. Suffice it to say, this doesn’t make for the most enjoyable movie, especially when you have the beloved Burgess Meredith dropping ‘N Bombs’ all over the place as the county’s repulsive and racist judge. However, we get a brief appearance from Robert Reed as a very smooth Southern lawyer, a year prior to becoming America’s ‘Dad’ in The Brady Bunch. He was a better actor than people gave him credit for.
Michael Caine rocks a thick Southern accent and while the cockney does sneak in for a few brief moments, his performance doesn’t suffer, and it gets quite raw at times. Whereas, his female co-star Jane Fonda gives a performance that’s evidence of the ‘Queen of Hollywood’ she would later become.
Faye Dunaway, Diahann Carroll, Robert Hooks and John Phillip Law fill out the supporting cast as our put-upon “good guys”, who don’t get enough screen time so again, it’s kind of hard to get behind anyone, which makes the film’s tragic climax feel more melodramatic than anything else.
VIDEO AND AUDIO
Presented in super wide 2.35:1 (1080p) from a 2K scan, this drawn-out tale of agony and ecstasy in the deep south offers a more natural colour pallet with a nice amount of visible film grain to help retain the aged look while meeting standards of HD. However, the LPCM 2.0 Mono track is a little low in volume, but otherwise, I have no complaints. Optional English HOH subtitles are included.
- NEW Audio commentary by film historian Daniel Kremer featuring actor Robert Hooks
- NEW The Great Ecstasy of Tree-Climber Otto- Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Late Preminger – video essay by film historian Daniel Kremer
- Directed by Otto Preminger – An Appreciation by Peter Bogdanovich
- Theatrical Trailer
Imprint’s new commentary for Hurry Sundown, helmed by Daniel Kremer, proves to be more than worth a listen not only due to the film historian’s insightful scene analysis, but for the addition of star Robert Hooks. The African American actor, who plays the handsome and headstrong Reeve Scott, opens the track explaining his casting by Preminger, and effortlessly recalls the dangerous trials faced by the cast and crew by real-life racist locals during shooting. The interview with Hooks is broken up throughout the commentary with Kremer extensively elaborating on both behind-the-scenes and in-front-of the camera details discussed by the two. Kremer’s video-essay, which runs a little over 12-minutes, focuses primarily on Otto Preminger’s overlooked later works (of which Hurry Sundown is included), and compares them with that of Stanley Kramer. This new featurette perfectly compliments the 2018-produced appreciation of Preminger’s filmography by Peter Bogdanovich, as the latter supplement mainly explores the director’s earlier hits and acclaimed features. – by Hannah Lynch
Hurry Sundown is by no means a poorly made movie, just strangely inverted and a little too long for my liking; but there’s no shortfall in terms of acting from the stacked cast. It did, however, answer the question of what movie Goldmember used for Nigel Powers flashback scene.
(1967, director: Otto Preminger)
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direct blu-ray screen captures
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