Calling all cop, criminal-element and car-chase enthusiasts, as well as aficionados of psychotic dementia and metropolitan menace. Twilight Time’s new releases bring the heights of Hollywood starpower – as in Marilyn Monroe, George C. Scott, Richard Widmark, Roy Scheider and Cliff Robertson – to illuminate the dark depths of lawless behavior, with no one left unscarred and, in two particular cases, a lot of rubber-burning, carnage-causing mileage covered, especially well-executed when such capable craftsmen as Richard Fleischer, Samuel Fuller, Roy (Ward) Baker and Bullitt and The French Connection producer Philip D’Antoni occupy the director’s chair. Brace yourself for edge-of-your seat, gut-grabbing and crime-busting thrills, as Preorders open today at 4 PM EST/1 PM PST for the March 20 TT hi-def Blu-ray debuts of Don’t Bother to Knock (1952), The New Centurions (1972), The Seven-Ups(1973) and Underworld U.S.A. (1961) at www.screenarchives.com and www.twilighttimemovies.com.
The extensive acting resumé of John Heard (1945-2017), the esteemed stage and screen actor remembered among the other industry greats in Sunday evening’s In Memoriam sequence at the Academy Awards®, contains a wide-ranging variety of roles that fell on both sides of the law. Indeed, his everyman quality that endeared him as the befuddled family patriarch in the blockbuster Home Alone films could also make his handful of sinister characters and shadowy operatives all the more insidious and startling. And as the remarkably effective and highly treasured early-career performances in his two Twilight Time hi-def Blu-ray titles Chilly Scenes of Winter (1979) and Cutter’s Way (1981) reflect, he could play a man obsessed like no other. Film historian Danny Peary wrote in Alternate Oscars®: “In the late ’70s and early ’80s there was no one better than John Heard at playing young misfits, be it hipster icon Jack Kerouac in Heart Beat (1980), or ’60s survivors in Between the Lines (1977), Head over Heels/Chilly Scenes of Winter (1979) and Cutter’s Way (1981), three major cult films of the Woodstock generation. He played his real characters with intelligence, fury and the correct dose of past-their-eras confusion. They feel frustration because while they remain young the world is aging around them and changing in ways antithetical to what they had striven for. Yet even his dropouts hold on to their values. They are being pushed into obsolescence but want to make a last stand.” So whether he’s the consumptively lovestruck Charles pining after and pursuing the unattainable Laura (Mary Beth Hurt) in the ruefully romantic Chilly Scenes of Winter (adapted and directed by Joan Micklin Silver from Ann Beattie’s novel) or the scarred and sardonic conspiracy-theorizing Vietnam veteran Alex Cutter prodding his aimless, feckless buddy Richard Bone (Jeff Bridges) to help him take down a powerful nabob he suspects of murder in Cutter’s Bone (directed by Ivan Passer from Jeffrey Alan Fiskin’s blade-sharp screenplay adaptation of Newton Thornburg’s novel), these two cinematic crusades are made all the more heartfelt and harrowing by his precise and pointed characterizations, each of which aren’t always likable but always unquestionably memorable. In celebration of Charles, Cutter and the 73rd birthday of the indelible talent who brought them to stirring screen life, today’s Preorder Opening Date is dedicated to the marvelous Mr. Heard.