Wonderful news, if accurate.
There is something odd about their low-key revelation of now working with the 35mm negative
after over a decade of set-backs from not knowing whether or not there was even a measly print of the x-rated version in existence much less original materials. But maybe they're just being quiet because it isn't known yet exactly what sort of release this will have. There is always the possibility (*crosses fingers*) that after such a decades-long search and rescue it won't be a WB or WAC title, but one licensed to another label as they recently said they'll be doing more of. This is also what I can see happening to Letty Lynton
I read Hunter's novel fairly recently, which really whetted my appetite for a good, uncut presentation of the film on physical media.
It's a great novel and Evan Hunter is a brilliant writer, but I even prefer the film experience to the literary one.
I've got the old Key VHS. Didn't realize it had footage that wasn't included in the recent TCM print.
Yes, quite a lot. The ending is a horrid mess with the cuts. You can't tell at all
what happened to Catherine Burns' character in that finale. The TV version is so chopped up and what it does show just leads you to believe that they've killed her in some way. Oddly, though, some of the partial nudity from earlier parts of the film is still intact, leading me to believe that this may have been cut for paid cable but the station still wanted the rape cut down.
I also didn't realize that the aforementioned Australian 16mm print was uncut.
Apparently it was a 16mm dupe of a 35mm print of the original x-rated version. It was screened in LA last year at The Egyptian with Barbara Hershey in attendance and hosted by writer Larry Karaszewski (Ed Wood
I have, but have not yet read, Hunter's sequel COME WINTER. I know there were plans to film it at some point, but they never came to fruition.
Yes, the hard cover version of Come Winter
says on the back cover I believe that Evan Hunter himself was adapting it to the screen but it was obviously scrapped. I liked this novel quite a bit - it's quite startling where these three end up...
One of the best LAST SUMMER stories I read recently was from an interview with Bruce Davison in Shock Cinema in which he stated that Perry's direction to the young actors was that they should think of themselves as the children of Ned Merrill, from Perry's previous film THE SWIMMER. Really makes perfect sense and, of course, makes a double feature of SWIMMER and LAST SUMMER all the more resonant.
That is a great story. What's interesting to me are the differences between both films. The Swimmer
is stylized to 11 with every kind of camera trick and montage device in the book & all sorts of wacky angles and crazy shots & it has this huge, lush, loud, theme-y wall-to-wall score (my favorite part about the film, actually - Marvin Hamlisch's best work and gorgeous on disc too). Last Summer
isn't a particularly visual film - it's shot completely straight - and there are exactly two late sixties rock-ish score cues and one of those is the end credits. There are a few songs, but it's largely a quiet soundtrack. It's also the better film, in my opinion - Catherine Burns' monologue is just spectacular.