When Legends Gather #856
4 hours ago
(...) Just a hole in a wall with room for a narrow door. It sold only one thing –apparently reddish-purplish house bricks. Actually, they were dried pressed grapes, and round each brick was a label that read: "DO NOT put this in three quarts of water at a temperature of 76 degrees and leave uncovered for three weeks, then strain and over and leave for six more weeks, as it will become alcoholic AND THIS IS AGAINST THE LAW!"
(The party) was gay from the start, and still gayer as the party progressed, except for me. The butler's recipe was only too successful. For once in my life my capacity to take in alcohol was unlimited; it was passing through my stomach lined with with olive oil without getting into my blood stream. On the way home the roads were a sheet of ice, cars were skidding, and the car I was in did a double spin. What terrific fun for everyone, everyone except me –the only sobre one in the party. I have never taken precautions before going to a party since.
:: New, restored high-definition digital transfer (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition)
:: Audio commentary featuring assistant director Terry Sanders, film critic F. X. Feeney, archivist Robert Gitt, and author Preston Neal Jones
:: Charles Laughton Directs “The Night of the Hunter,” a two-and-a-half-hour archival treasure trove of outtakes from the film
:: New documentary featuring interviews with producer Paul Gregory, Sanders, Jones, and author Jeffrey Couchman
:: New video interview with Simon Callow, author of Charles Laughton: A Difficult Actor
:: Clip from the The Ed Sullivan Show, in which cast members perform live a scene that was deleted from the film
F:: ifteen-minute episode of the BBC show Moving Pictures about the film
:: Archival interview with cinematographer Stanley Cortez
:: Gallery of sketches by author Davis Grubb
:: New video conversation between Gitt and film critic Leonard Maltin about Charles Laughton Directs “The Night of the Hunter”
:: Original theatrical trailer
:: PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by critics Terrence Rafferty and Michael Sragow
Before any production, Charles would play with his new props–putting on a hat and taking it off, hanging it up, putting it down, at home, in his dressing room, or in the producer's office. This was a time of fun for Charles and any audience around him. He could look at you from under a hat brim like nobody else could. He knew he could captivate and mesmerize.
When I was sixteen or seventeen, my parents used some connections they had to arrange for me to go backstage and meet Charles Laughton, who I believe was playing in Shaw's Don Juan In Hell (which he also directed). He was quite heavy and awfully nice in a slightly gruff yet self-deprecating way. When I told him I wanted to be an actor he said, "Well, you should have no trouble–you're a good-looking boy. I've looked like the hind end of an elephant since I was twenty-one."
I knew then that he’d got something I should never have, I went across the set and asked him to tell me how he did it. He looked shy and bewildered and said that I ought to know better than he did. I was from the stage and he was just a ham movie actor
We act in opposite ways. His is presentational acting. Mine is representational. I get at a part from the outside. He gets at it from the inside, from his own clear way of looking at life. His is the right way, if you can do it. I could learn to do it, but it would take me a year to do what he can do instinctively, and I haven’t the time…
Why must the so-called high-brows vilify them? For every popular screen personality there’s a sound, underlying reason… and a very good reason. Actors and actresses don’t just become stars because a producer puts them in a picture, or because they are beautiful. There’s a reason for their success. Each one has some unique something, important enough for the public, in large droves, to pay money to see. The public in general doesn’t analyse this appeal; they realise it subsconsciously
Worse than the silly (4) scenario were the working conditions. Cooper, in the midst of a salary squabble with the studio, was uncharactheristically sulky and, despite his reputation as one of Hollywood's leading studs, impervious to Bankhead's determined advances. She, in turn, took an intense dislike to laughton who, completing an unlikely triangle, was smitten by the gorgeous Cooper. Not that any overt homosexual advances were made, but laughton, envying him his easy naturalism, would go to his grave proclaiming Cooper one of the best actors he had ever worked with
(...)Gary Cooper's perhaps even greater beauty had not disturbed laughton in the least: he had frankly admired him, both as an actor and in physical terms. perhaps the key word, here, however, is 'beauty'. Cooper, with his ravishing androginy, full of lip, luxuriant of eyelash, gentle of manner, had -at least in his performing personality- found a perfect balance between his mascuine and feminine elements, which was no threat to Laughton. It was exactly the balance that he longed to achieve himself but which for most of his life resolved itself into a battle, rather than a blend
I was working with John Ford in a picture. One day I started to say: "About this scene. This part I'm playing. I think that–" Ford snapped me shut. "Don't think in my picture, " he growled. Moving from Ford to Charles was like moving from hell to heaven