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Directed By Douglas Sirk [DVD]
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Douglas Sirk's body of work collected for posterity. The man is a Hollywood icon to actors and producers that have followed in his footsteps. His influence is still felt in the work of Todd Haynes, Rainer Fassbinder, John Walters, Martin Scorsese and others.
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His reputation is - quite rightly - very different now, and this box shows us why. There's been much virtual ink spilt over the 'correct' ratio of "Magnificent Obsession", the cornerstone of his melodramatic style: the important thing to note, is that it is impossible to be dogmatic over what Sirk's intentions and expectations were as to ratio at the time he shot the film.
I'd also add that comparisons between the sharpness and colour definition of the print of "Magnificent Obsession" found here, and the other films duplicated in more expensive R1 Criterion editions, show that these Studio editions are brighter, lighter and more revealing of detail than the much-vaunted Criterion restorations. Colour preferences are largely a matter of aesthetic choice, and very much depend on the equipment we're using - suffice it to say that this watcher at least rather prefers the lighter palette of the Studio releases.
Technicalities aside, no one should hesitate to add this value box to their collection!
It was just as good second tme around as an adult but my favourite in this set is Magnificent Obsession. What a brilliant weepie. Just fantastic. All I Desire with Barbara Stanwick is good stuff and Written on the Wind is excellent too and you can see where the eighties soaps got their inspiration.
The only film that seemed out of place to me was Has Anyone Seen My Gal - which I enjoyed but which didn't fit the tone of the other films in this collection.
If you like Rock Hudson and you enjoyed him in the romantic comedies he did then you have got to get this boxset - it is excellent value for money with some great films.
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