Bone

Overview

An incisive exercise in social commentary with a killer undercurrent of black comedy, director Larry Cohen's Bone may have remained a forever lost in the shuffle if not for the thankful efforts of Blue Underground. Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, the image as presented here is a testament to Blue Underground's tireless efforts to release top-quality transfers of important forgotten films. Crisp and clean, save for some flaws inherent to the source print, the colors as presented here are bright, ...
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DVD (Wide Screen)
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Overview

An incisive exercise in social commentary with a killer undercurrent of black comedy, director Larry Cohen's Bone may have remained a forever lost in the shuffle if not for the thankful efforts of Blue Underground. Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, the image as presented here is a testament to Blue Underground's tireless efforts to release top-quality transfers of important forgotten films. Crisp and clean, save for some flaws inherent to the source print, the colors as presented here are bright, well-balanced, and vivid. A closed-captioned English Dolby Digital Mono soundtrack is presented equally well: free of distortion and hiss, well-balanced, and nicely mastered. Of course Blue Underground could have called it a day there and still had an important release on their hands that would have no doubt pleased fans, but it's the extra effort William Lustig and crew put in that truly separates this release from the pack. An audio commentary featuring Lustig and Cohen is non-stop, always insightful and indispensable to this release. In addition to discussing the numerous, complex layers in which the film is presented, discussion of the state of independent films at the time of Bone's release in 1972 offers today's up-and-coming filmmakers a revealing look at the changes that have occurred in the film industry over the course of the past 30 years. An interview with producer Jack H. Harris discusses the film's difficult distribution history and various marketing ploys, and selected scenes from the aborted first shoot (totaling 30 minutes) offer 16 mm black-and-white versions of key scenes. Theatrical trailers and radio spots give an even more insightful look at the exploitation-slanted "Housewife" campaign under which the film made the drive-in rounds, with poster and still galleries offering a comparative look at both that and the original advertising for the film. An extensive biography of director Cohen rounds out the disc nicely with an unusually detailed look at the enduring independent's remarkable career.
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Special Features

Audio commentary with writer/director Larry Cohen; Jack H. Harris on Bone; Selected scenes from Aborted First Shoot; Theatrical trailers; Radio spot; Poster & still gallery; Larry Cohen bio
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
"A Bad Day in Beverly Hills," is the subtitle to Bone a.k.a. Housewife, a brilliant, edgy 1972 satire from independent writer/director Larry Cohen It's Alive. The story covers one harrowing day when a thief named Bone Yaphet Kotto invades the Beverly Hills home of a used car salesman, Bill Andrew Duggan, and his wife, Bernadette Joyce Van Patten. Despite this rather straightforward setup, Bone is not a thriller. Rather, it uses a juxtaposition of stereotypes to expose issues of racism and consumerism, brilliantly diffusing the tension into extended scenes of character self-exploration. It's all nicely off-kilter: A potential rape is averted when Bernadette ends up mixing an array of Polynesian cocktails for her captor, while Bill abandons his hostage wife and ends up wandering through a supermarket with a green-stamp-collecting shoplifter. Strong dialogue and acting makes this unusual material work, and an eclectic musical score with some heavy funk and jazz overtones by Gil Melle give Bone a distinctly offbeat, unmistakably '70s feel. Ultimately, Bone comes off as a tripped-out cross between Cape Fear and The Graduate -- a darkly comic but ultimately fierce indictment of American middle-class hypocrisy, captured in one white man's metaphorical nervous breakdown.
All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
As relevant now as when it was released in 1972, director Larry Cohen's satirical take on race relations still seems years ahead of its time when viewed today. It's easy to see why a film like Bone struck such a sensitive chord, and though the film would eventually receive distribution under the title Housewife (accompanied by an cheap exploitational advertising campaign), it's likely that the DVD release from Blue Underground is the first time the film has seen the light of day in many parts of the world. Bone is indeed a difficult film, and many may find a satirical black comedy that takes on one of the most sensitive issues in American social history a difficult pill to swallow. Despite its confrontational nature, such blatant social commentary in film remains a rare feat in cinema, and Cohen's masterful handling of the material has rarely been matched in the 30-plus-years since the film's release. Though performances are solid across the board, Yaphet Kotto's turn as the volatile eponymous character is unforgettable; he effortlessly epitomizes white America's fear of the black man in a virtually flawless performance. The vacant and fearful existence of the plastic white upper crust is likewise personified to mannequin-like detail by Andrew Duggan, who sugarcoats his painful existence with spiteful lies and selfish betrayal of those closest to him. His icy revelation regarding his devotion to his family in contrast to his lifelong dedication to turning a profit confirms the gravest fears of capitalist excess. Likewise, Joyce Van Patten's delusional, self-absorbed denouement rings horrifyingly true in an age where the black man often serves as a generic scapegoat for horrific crimes committed by white suburban soccer moms.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/26/2003
  • UPC: 827058100397
  • Original Release: 1972
  • Rating:

  • Source: Blue Underground
  • Region Code: 0
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Time: 1:35:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 36,136

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jeannie Berlin
Andrew Duggan Bill
Yaphet Kotto Bone
Joyce Van Patten Bernadette
Casey King
Brett Somers
Jimmy Lee
Technical Credits
Larry Cohen Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Rick Baker Special Effects
George Folsey Jr. Cinematographer, Editor
Gil Melle Score Composer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Program Start / Main Titles [2:07]
2. Pool Rat [3:43]
3. Bone [3:59]
4. "Nothin' But Bills" [3:19]
5. "That's Forgery" [3:24]
6. "Do What He Says" [3:17]
7. The Roach Story [4:48]
8. Bank Run [4:51]
9. Alfred's Widow [4:15]
10. The Bad Cook [2:36]
11. Cheap Date [4:04]
12. Fears [3:49]
13. "The Party's Over" [5:36]
14. Childhood Memories [7:18]
15. "I Had it Made" [4:45]
16. The Superior Position [4:22]
17. The Getaway [3:07]
18. Life Insurance [1:42]
19. Trouble for Bill [4:53]
20. "Say I'm Yours" [5:53]
21. Goodwill [5:38]
22. "I Saw Everything" [4:03]
23. End Credits [2:06]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Chapter Selections
   Extras
      Commentary
         With Writer/Director Larry Cohen: On
         With Writer/Director Larry Cohen: Off
      Jack H. Harris on Bone (7 Mins.)
      Selected Scenes From Aborted First Shoot (30 Mins.)
      Theatrical Trailers
         Teaser
         Trailer
      Radio Spot (:30 Secs.)
      Poster & Still Gallery
      Larry Cohen Bio
   Play
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