September Preorders / The Frame of the Rose
Twilight Time gallops into fall with three thrilling examples of the Western genre from skilled directors, bridging the traditional and the revisionist, and featuring stars that added luster to any genre in which they worked. Add to those a gorgeously lensed, rapturously scored aquatic Cinemascope adventure and a stark, intimate examination of damaged souls gathered at a country house as summer comes to a confrontational close. Preorders open today at 4 PM EDT/1 PM PDT for the September 19 TT hi-def Blu-ray arrivals of Beneath the 12-Mile Reef (1953), Gun Fury 3D/2D (1953), Hour of the Gun (1967), Lawman (1971) and September (1987). For all the frontier justice, romantic rivalries and dramatic confessionals one could wish for, visit www.screenarchives.com and www.twilighttimemovies.com.
Packed into the short, stocky frame of Billy Rose (1899-1966), for whom today marks the 118th anniversary of his birth, is a considerable legacy of producing Broadway shows (and promoting the hell out of them), operating glamorous smart-set nightspots, penning newspaper columns and a memoir, and collaborating on lyrics for many of the 20th century’s most beloved pop songs. Many of his hit tunes are showcased in the semibiographical musical sequel Funny Lady (1975), largely because he was married for nine colorful years (1929-1938) to the legendary comedienne-singer-actress Fanny Brice, and this gorgeously designed and executed follow-up to Funny Girl (1968) covers the rocky romantic coupling of show-biz dynamos Brice (the peerless Barbra Streisand) and Rose (nattily and engagingly played by James Caan). Although notice was paid to the fact that Caan was taller and handsomer than Rose, the musical material was the real deal, and Funny Lady, directed by Herbert Ross (his sixth big-screen assignment and second movie musical following years of innovative Broadway choreography), offered the Rose song catalog (along with new compositions by the Cabaret/Chicago team of John Kander and Fred Ebb) a sterling showcase to a new generation of listeners. Lovely musical stylings and evocative production numbers were shaped around such Rose credits as I Found a Million-Dollar Baby (in a Five-and-Ten-Cent Store), I Got a Code in My Doze, (It’s Gonna Be a) Great Day, It’s Only a Paper Moon, Me and My Shadow, More Than You Know and Clap Hands! Here Comes Charley!, the last-named giving the superb Ben Vereen a crooning and hoofing workout. The nimble Rose prose was also heard on the soundtrack of such other movies as The Fortune (another 1975 Columbia picture, which featured You’ve Gotta See Mama Every Night), Woody Allen’s Zelig (1983, I’ve Got a Feeling I’m Falling) and The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989), in which a scintillating rendition of More Than You Know is Michelle Pfeiffer’s audition piece. (She does – and gets – the job.) To play Name That Rose Tune and experience laughter and heartache along the way, explore the swank Twilight Time hi-def Blu-rays of Funny Lady (available here: http://screenarchives.com/title_detail.cfm/ID/28397/FUNNY-LADY-1975/), The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Fortune and Zelig, if only to assess who between Streisand and Pfeiffer knew More Than You Know more!