Twilight Time recently reached our five-year mark in business – but it’s our movie-loving customers who get to take the victory lap. Starting at 4 PM EDT today and for the next two weeks only, more than 100 TT hi-def Blu-ray treasures will go on sale at $10 off the regular list price. It’s our thank-you to our wonderful and invaluable supporters who may want to plug the holes in their film collections or persuade their fence-sitting fellow buffs to snatch up limited-time bargains on great movies, whether mainstream hits or gemlike rarities. Sale pricing on the selected movies expires at 4 PM EDT on Friday April 22. Check out the Blu-ray Titles Section of our site and save now. Quantities are limited and when they’re gone, they’re gone. So spring into action today!
Audiences were assaulted by a tonnage of hype in the 1952-1953 moviegoing period that saw the introduction of three-panel Cinerama, Natural-Vision 3D, Cinemascope and the nebulous in-between designation “Wide-Screen,” the label for early first wave of 1.85:1 aspect ratio features prior to that becoming an industry norm by 1954. When it premiered in the Big Apple 63 years ago today, Columbia’s Man in the Dark (1953) was the first 3D theatrical feature released by a major Hollywood studio, beating Warner Bros.’ House of Wax to the launching pad by just two days. In the language of hype, it was a triumph of low-budget fast-paced filmmaking, a breakthrough in economically achieved cinematographic innovation and a historic event, if more for its timing than for its artistic excellence. Experiencing both movies in quick succession, The New York Times often stodgy critic Bosley Crowther didn’t approve of either, weighing in on the horror opus thusly: “But the most frightening thing about this picture is the thought of the imitation it will encourage, if it proves to draw customers to the theatre, which it more than likely will do. Some may accept this dismal prospect with the same casualness they accord the idiocies and eventually comical monstrosities of the film. But not so this reviewer. It's a prospect we view with alarm. Dimly we foresee movie audiences embalmed in three-dimensional wax and sound.” Man in the Dark fortunately didn’t cause any wax buildup. It was merely a compact if “enhanced” B-thriller starring noir stalwarts Edmond O’Brien, Audrey Totter and Ted de Corsia and based on a 17-years-earlier Columbia chestnut, The Man Who Lived Twice. A gangster commits a robbery, falls out with his confederates, stashes the loot and is nabbed by the cops. He volunteers for experimental brain surgery to curtail his criminal bent, resulting in amnesia about his shady past. Of course, his old “pals” – seeking their cut of the heist’s proceeds – don’t know that, and the multidimensional menace and mayhem comes at him…and the viewer…with a vengeance. Twilight Time’s fun combo 3D/2D hi-def Blu-ray is your ticket. Get yourself hyped for this “historic” title’s entertainment possibilities at your house by eyeballing the various international posters devised to entice moviegoers into taking the ride here: https://mubi.com/notebook/posts/movie-poster-of-the-week-man-in-the-dark. And watch out for this weekend’s announcement of another 1953 3D treasure – in Widescreen Technicolor! – to shamelessly shake up your home theater this summer.