Now that Midterm Elections voting is in the rearview, it’s time to cast ballots for the standout array of historical figures, scalawag scrappers and legendary lawbreakers in the November Twilight Time Blu-ray lineup. From the pen of William Shakespeare and the determined vision of star/adaptor/director Charlton Heston comes a rarely seen, sharply acted version of one of the Bard’s most challenging alchemic mergers of history, political intrigue and obsessive romance. Filmmaker Stanley Kramer presents a deliciously gritty, wryly humorous and unexpectedly moving entertainment that reverberates with the defiance of long-shot loners daring to make a stand against the burgeoning big-business interests of frontier America. Through the lens of maverick moviemaker Nicholas Ray, the often-told story of a Wild West outlaw’s criminal career takes on new layers of introspective depth that tap into the rebels-with-a-cause in all of us. All three films beautifully capture their landscapes in wondrous widescreen dimensions, are augmented by vibrant musical scores by top-rank composers John Scott, Henry Mancini and Leigh Harline, and showcase actors in fine, fighting fettle. Be there when Preorders open today at 4PM EST/1 PM PST for the November 20 TT Blu-ray disc debuts of Antony and Cleopatra (1972), Oklahoma Crude (1973) and The True Story of Jesse James (1957) at www.screenarchives.comand www.twilighttimemovies.com.
There’s another starry Shakespeare adaptation currently on view via Amazon Prime, director Richard Eyre’s modernized, stark 2018 reimagining of King Lear, with the illustrious Anthony Hopkins as the aging, beleaguered monarch who divides his kingdom among his three daughters with tragic results. It marks a propitious royal reunion of the masterful Hopkins with the dazzlingly talented Emma Thompson, who plays eldest daughter Goneril. They were previously and powerfully matched in two award-winning Ismail Merchant/James Ivory productions, the first being the terrific screen version of E.M. Forster’s Howards End (1992), which cast them as an ill-starred married couple torn over class prejudices and family legacy conflicts. It earned Thompson the Academy Award® for Best Actress, which Hopkins, as the winner of the previous year’s Best Actor Oscar® for The Silence of the Lambs (1991), got to present to her. They were subsequently – and stunningly – teamed again the following year in another tony literary adaptation just out in theaters 25 years ago this week, The Remains of the Day (1993), taken from Kazuo Ishiguro’s acclaimed novel about the unresolved romance between a repressed, duty-bound butler (Hopkins) and a prim yet practical housekeeper (Thompson) working in the years between the World Wars at a English country house embroiled in the fascist-leaning politics of their aristocratic employer. Their exquisite acting duet, executed with precision, delicacy and shatteringly conveyed inner heartbreak, makes the film unforgettably moving, richly rewarding and Shakespearean in its ability to weave together the personal, the professional and the political. One might even glimpse the seeds of the intense family feeling between the conflicted Lear and Goneril today in the quietly passionate but elusive partnering they did as lonely, love-starved servants at Darlington Hall a quarter-century before. It’s there to savor with TT’s extras-enriched hi-def Blu-ray of The Remains of the Day, exclusively available here: https://www.screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/28832/THE-REMAINS-OF-THE-DAY-1993/.