"Once Upon a Time in the West" (1968) on Blu-ray -- How to Make a Horse Opera!

This is yet another film which has benefitted greatly from revisionist reviews. The ORIGINAL reviews, particularly in the US, were dismissive, if not downright scathing. Vincent Canby in the New York Times wrote along the theme, "If you can ignore the fact that this is a really bad movie, you will find it is both interesting to look at and fun." How's THAT for hedging your bets?

Since then, the film has gone on to achieve more than mere cult status, and now is viewed by critics as a seminal film, and possibly one of the BEST Westerns ever made! There's some good analysis of this arc in the Extras and Commentary. The film is now considered "ahead of its time" in that it was one of the first "films about films" -- a film which deliberately quotes elements from other key films of a genre.

The term "Operatic" is also used -- a LOT -- noting the exceedingly slow pacing of critical scenes, as in an opera, where no one can die before everyone sings about it for 15 minutes or so. One commentator goes so far as to suggest, "In this film, stares in close up serve the place of arias!"

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"It" (1927) on SD-DVD -- A Tale of Old Hollywood!

How much is a word worth?  In the case of "It", the answer is $50,000, and that in 1920s dollars!  That's how much Paramount Studios paid to "Madame" Elinor Glyn, to use her clever idea of giving polite society a way to talk about sex appeal: By assigning it an innocuous name!

Glyn, described in the Film Historian's Commentary track as, "A hack writer for Cosmopolitan Magazine", also got a cameo appearance out of the deal; portraying herself in the film.  Cosmo also got some "product placement" in the film -- before that concept had even been invented!

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