The Osterman Weekend

Overview

Sam Peckinpah's final film, The Osterman Weekend, comes to DVD in a deluxe two-disc treat straight from the fine folks at Anchor Bay. Presented in both its theatrical and never-before-seen director's first cut, this edition is sure to blow the socks off of any Peckinpah enthusiast and, at the same time, hopefully bring new eyes to this forgotten piece of film history. The story of the production is a long one, and thanks to the commentary from not one, but four of the director's historians, the viewer is privy to...
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DVD (Wide Screen / Mono)
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Overview

Sam Peckinpah's final film, The Osterman Weekend, comes to DVD in a deluxe two-disc treat straight from the fine folks at Anchor Bay. Presented in both its theatrical and never-before-seen director's first cut, this edition is sure to blow the socks off of any Peckinpah enthusiast and, at the same time, hopefully bring new eyes to this forgotten piece of film history. The story of the production is a long one, and thanks to the commentary from not one, but four of the director's historians, the viewer is privy to many of the variables that eventually shaped the movie into what it is. If that weren't enough, there's also the 78-minute "Alpha to Omega" documentary featuring producers Peter Davis and William N. Panzer as they chronicle the semi-disastrous road that the film traveled from the very moment they signed the notorious director. Their fascinating tale makes for an incredible slice of Hollywood legend that, up until this point, had rarely been tackled in this arena. Not only is it rare to hear such insight on such an unloved film, but also the fact that Anchor Bay has included the first cut of the film -- which features so prominently in the documentary -- is something special indeed. Presented in its entirety, Peckinpah's initial version of the film is worthy of viewing if only for its dizzying opening sequence that resulted in him being kicked off the film. The opening scene aside, the cut is interesting for its heightened paranoia, with slightly more complicated character arcs added here and there -- nothing too earth-shattering and not much that would change the quality of the film, but essential to include for archival reasons. The footage looks like a tenth generation video bootleg, though the disc's producers should be thanked for the few chapter stops and text that have been included to help the viewer navigate through the smaller changes within this rare cut. Other features include the original theatrical trailer along with a massive still gallery and talent bios on most of the cast and crew. The theatrical cut is presented in a stellar anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen image, while the audio tracks are flooded with a Dolby Digital 5.1 EX track, along with ones for DTS-ES 6.1, Dolby Surround 2.0, and the original mono mix. The release does have one glaring problem, and that's the menu music, which takes the absolute worst saxophone cues from Lalo Schifrin's score, making both discs a never-ending loop of annoying smooth jazz licks. Gripes aside, kudos to everyone involved for creating such a historical document of this little-seen and largely unloved film from arguably one of America's greatest directors.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Audio commentary by Sam Peckinpah, historians Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons, David Weddle, and Nick Redman; "Alpha to Omega," an all-new 78-minute documentary; "Sam's First Cut" never-before-seen, full-length screening version; Theatrical trailer; Talent bios; Still gallery
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
In this 1983 film, director Sam Peckinpah serves up an arabesque plot, germ warfare, and paranoia to turn a quiet, unassuming weekend get-together into a Salvador Dali adventure involving a netherworld of bugged rooms and alleged spies and communists. The film is not easy to understand, thanks to the complexity of the plot and the mischievous mind of Peckinpah. But there is a smashing car chase for viewers who favor that sort of thing. The acting and dialogue are quite good, and no small amount of pleasure may be derived from attempting to fathom the motives of the characters and the roles of the CIA, the KGB, and a spy ring called Omega. CIA operative Lawrence Fasset (John Hurt) gets the plot going after Soviet agents in collusion with the CIA murder his wife. After enlisting the help of talk show host John Tanner (Rutger Hauer), Fasset and Tanner assemble a group of husbands and wives for a weekend of socializing at Tanner's home. Among the guests are operatives in the service of the KGB--supposedly--who may have had a hand in the death of Fasset's wife. The film then ventures into the bizarre Peckinpah world of plot twists and psychological surprises. Among the interlocutors with ambiguous tongues are Dennis Hopper as Richard Tremayne and Craig T. Nelson as Bernard Osterman. Viewers who enjoy solving the Rubik's Cube and The New York Times crossword puzzle will probably like this film, although it received mixed reviews from critics.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/23/2004
  • UPC: 013131258790
  • Original Release: 1983
  • Rating:

  • Source: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Mono
  • Sound: monaural, Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital Surround EX
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:42:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 7,358

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Rutger Hauer John Tanner
John Hurt Lawrence Fassett
Craig T. Nelson Bernard Osterman
Dennis Hopper Richard Tremayne
Chris Sarandon Joseph Cardone
John Bryson Honeymoon Couple
Cheryl Carter Marcia Heller
Janeen Davis Stage Manager
Eddy Donno Agent #3
Meg Foster Ali Tanner
Anne Haney Honeymoon Bride
Buddy Joe Hooker Kidnaper
Walter Kelley Agent #1
Robert Kensinger Stage Manager #2
Burt Lancaster Maxwell Danforth
Michael McLean
Sandy McPeak Stennings
Buckley Norris Technician
Kristen Peckinpah Secretary
Hansford Rowe Gen. Keever
Helen Shaver Virginia Tremayne
Christopher Starr Steve Tanner
Den Surles Assailant
Tim Thomerson Motorcycle Cop
Jan Triska Mikalovich
Merete Van Kamp Zuna Brickman
Cassie Yates Betty Cardone
Technical Credits
Sam Peckinpah Director
Robert Ludlum Source Author
Ian Masters Adaptation, Screenwriter
Robb Wilson King Art Director
Don Guest Associate Producer
E.C. Monell Associate Producer
Win Phelps Asst. Director
John Coquillon Cinematographer
Edward M. Abroms Editor
David Rawlins Editor
Larry Jones Executive Producer
Peter S. Davis Producer
William N. Panzer Producer
Karen Bromley Production Designer
Edward S. Haworth Production Designer
Lalo Schifrin Score Composer
Alan Sharp Screenwriter
Keith Hein Set Decoration/Design
Bayard Carey Sound/Sound Designer
Richard Bryce Goodman Sound/Sound Designer
Thomas Huff Stunts
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Titles [1:34]
2. Bedroom Termination [4:31]
3. Omega Uncovered [2:28]
4. Face to Face [5:09]
5. The Tanner Household [3:02]
6. CIA Sign Up [9:32]
7. Emergency KGB Meeting [3:32]
8. No Place Like Home [6:36]
9. Weekend Plans [3:42]
10. "They're Here" [5:43]
11. Evening Weather [5:59]
12. The Swing of Things [3:34]
13. Numbered Bank Account [5:50]
14. Out by Morning [5:51]
15. Security Alert [5:35]
16. Prime Killing Time [7:09]
17. Termination Procedure [9:05]
18. Being Programmed [6:31]
19. It's Only Television [5:14]
20. End Credits [1:35]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play
   Chapters
   Audio Setup
      Dolby Digital EX
      DTS-ES 6.1
      Dolby Surround 2.0
      Original Mono Mix
      Commentary by Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons, David Weedle and Nick Redman
Side #2 -- Special Features
   Sam's First Cut
      Play
      Original Opening Sequence
      Introduction of the Ostermans
      Extended Tremayne Bedroom Scene
      Tanner's Affair
      Alternate Dinner Scene Video
      Alternate Ending
   Alpha to Omega a Retrospective
   Trailer
   Still Gallery
   Biographies
      Sam Peckinpah
      Peter Davis & Bill Panzer
      Meg Foster
      Rutger Hauer
      Dennis Hopper
      John Hurt
      Burt Lancaster
      Craig T. Nelson
      Chris Sarandon
      Lalo Schifrin
      Helen Shaver
      Cassie Yates
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