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Winterset
     

Winterset

Director: Alfred Santell

Cast: Burgess Meredith, Margo, Eduardo Ciannelli

 

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Alfred Santell's Winterset (1936) has been released on DVD by Alpha Video in one of the best-looking editions seen of the movie since the advent of "public domain" video in 1984. The print isn't perfect (there's a momentary jump in the frame between shots at six and a half minutes in, at a cut to John Carradine's face), but this doesn't seem too far removed

Overview

Alfred Santell's Winterset (1936) has been released on DVD by Alpha Video in one of the best-looking editions seen of the movie since the advent of "public domain" video in 1984. The print isn't perfect (there's a momentary jump in the frame between shots at six and a half minutes in, at a cut to John Carradine's face), but this doesn't seem too far removed from the quality one might expect to find in a legitimate release from the vaults of RKO (who produced the movie originally). The contrast is all there along with the detail, from what looks and sounds like an excellent-condition 35 mm print. There are some thin black vertical lines that might well not even have shown up in earlier home video formats, but they don't impede our enjoyment of the film, which was one of the finer movie adaptations of a theater piece of the period, complete with key members of its Broadway cast. The standard Alpha six chapters aren't really adequate, but the overall quality of the release renders such deficiencies insignificant.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Burgess Meredith made an auspicious film debut in Winterset, bringing to the screen his strangely unsettling intensity -- perhaps a little too unsettling, since Meredith never really achieved widespread audience acceptance, despite his considerable talent. Here, as in many of his other roles, Meredith resembles a bantam rooster, but one that's definitely the number two rooster in the yard. He's wary and wiry, coiled and ready to spring, but always keeping himself in check, knowing that in general he's outclassed. But when the right moment comes, when those searing eyes take a solid lock on someone or something, there's nothing that will stop him. Meredith is just the strongest of an outstanding cast, with particularly notable work from the strangely beautiful Margo and John Carradine. Maxwell Anderson';s play has been tightened and shorn of some of its blank verse; enough remains, however, to give the film an uneven tone in terms of dialogue, and there are several places where the plot turns jar. Director Alfred Santell doesn't resolve the problems in tone, but he does provide a moody atmosphere, greatly aided by Peverell Marley's evocative cinematography and some find editing by William Hamilton. Much of the language makes Winterset dated and a bit difficult to take at times, but it still packs a nice little punch.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/10/2003
UPC:
0089218625892
Original Release:
1936
Rating:
NR
Source:
Alpha Video
Region Code:
0
Presentation:
[B&W]
Time:
1:17:00

Special Features

[None specified]

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Burgess Meredith Mio
Margo Mariamne
Eduardo Ciannelli Trock
John Carradine Romagna
Edward Ellis Judge Gaunt
Paul Guilfoyle Garth
Maurice Moscovich Esdra
Stanley Ridges Shadow
Willard Robertson Policeman
Mischa Auer Radical
Myron McCormick Carr
Helen Jerome Eddy Mrs. Romagna
Barbara Pepper A Girl
Alec Craig Hobo
Fernanda Eliscu Piny
George Humbert Lucia
Murray Alper Louie
Paul Fix Joe
Lucille Ball Girl
Bobby Caldwell Mio as a Boy
Grace Hayle Woman
Al Hill Gangster
Otto Hoffman Elderly Man
Arthur Loft District Attorney
Alan Curtis Sailor

Technical Credits
Alfred Santell Director
Maxwell Anderson Screenwriter
Pandro S. Berman Producer
Perry Ferguson Production Designer
Willaim Hamilton Editor
J. Peverell Marley Cinematographer
Nathaniel Shilkret Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Max Steiner Score Composer
Anthony Veiller Screenwriter
Vernon Walker Special Effects
Roy Webb Score Composer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Chapter 1 [13:31]
2. Chapter 2 [10:41]
3. Chapter 3 [10:55]
4. Chapter 4 [14:34]
5. Chapter 5 [13:39]
6. Chapter 6 [12:40]

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