147 The Legacy

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domino harvey
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147 The Legacy

#1 Post by domino harvey » Sat Apr 13, 2019 7:36 pm

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THE LEGACY

(Richard Marquand, 1978)

Release date: 22 July 2019
Limited Blu-ray Edition

Written by the late, great Jimmy Sangster (The Revenge of Frankenstein, Taste of Fear), this supernatural riff on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None is a gruesome, hugely entertaining chiller.

Two American architects (real-life couple Katharine Ross and Sam Elliott, who met on the set of this film) are holidaying in England and find themselves trapped at a country mansion where the various guests become victims in a series of unexplained and increasingly violent deaths.

Director Richard Marquand (Return of the Jedi, Jagged Edge), making his feature-film directing debut, deftly balances horror and grisly black humour. The film also boasts sumptuous photography by the great Dick Bush and Alan Hume, a wonderfully eccentric score by Michael J Lewis and a superb supporting cast which includes Charles Gray, Margaret Tyzack, Ian Hogg, John Standing and The Who’s Roger Daltrey.


INDICATOR LIMITED EDITION BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES:

• High Definition remaster
• Original mono audio
• Audio commentary with Kevin Lyons, editor of The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film and Television
• Theatrical Trailer
• TV and Radio Spots
• Between the Hammer and the Anvil (1973): Marquand’s acclaimed documentary short film, made for the Central Office of Information, about the Liverpool police force
• Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography
• New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Limited edition exclusive booklet with a new essay by Julian Upton, an overview of contemporary critical responses, archival articles, and film credits
• Limited Edition of 3,000 copies
• All extras subject to change

#PHILTD147
BBFC cert: 15
REGION FREE
EAN: 5037899071953

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MichaelB
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Re: 147 The Legacy

#2 Post by MichaelB » Thu May 02, 2019 8:45 am

Bounced to reflect that it was officially announced today as a July release.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: 147 The Legacy

#3 Post by DarkImbecile » Thu May 02, 2019 5:35 pm

Now that colinr0380 has convinced everyone to buy the Warren set, the question is whether to do the bundle and add this one, too. Anyone have strong opinions one way or another?

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reaky
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Re: 147 The Legacy

#4 Post by reaky » Sat May 04, 2019 4:35 am

I guess no one’s seen it! I can’t say the prospect of yet another gathering of heirs in a spooky house occupied by a sinister moggie appeals. The inclusion of Roger Daltry does not tip the balance in its favour.

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Aunt Peg
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Re: 147 The Legacy

#5 Post by Aunt Peg » Sat May 04, 2019 7:32 am

I finally saw The Legacy for the first time a few years ago on DVD having missed its initial cinema run in the late 1970s. Its not a 'good' film, very ordinary really but its very watchable all the same. I sort of think its main claim to fame nowadays is that is it the film that Katharine Ross & Sam Elliott met on and have been a couple ever since - and one of Hollywoods most enduring couples at that.

Anyone who is a fan of B-grade horror from the 1970's, this is a must buy.

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Re: 147 The Legacy

#6 Post by swo17 » Sat May 04, 2019 3:59 pm

I wouldn't necessarily call this essential viewing but I liked it. I'm partly fascinated by how this and Eye of the Needle landed Marquand the job of directing Return of the Jedi (part of the appeal for Eyes of Laura Mars as well!) and this is definitely the more Star Warsy of the two--there were a few characters and moments here that definitely reminded me of the Star Wars universe, and that's not even counting Roger Daltrey as this film's Jar Jar Binks!

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Re: 147 The Legacy

#7 Post by Forrest Taft » Sat May 04, 2019 4:21 pm

Did Laura Mars have anything do to with Kershner getting the Star Wars-gig? I thought he taught George Lucas at USC, and got the job because of that. But I may be misremembering.

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Re: 147 The Legacy

#8 Post by swo17 » Sat May 04, 2019 5:20 pm

I just meant that it was one of the relatively few films he'd made prior, and was making the obvious Indicator connection

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colinr0380
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Re: 147 The Legacy

#9 Post by colinr0380 » Sun May 05, 2019 4:23 am

Aunt Peg wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 7:32 am
I finally saw The Legacy for the first time a few years ago on DVD having missed its initial cinema run in the late 1970s. Its not a 'good' film, very ordinary really but its very watchable all the same. I sort of think its main claim to fame nowadays is that is it the film that Katharine Ross & Sam Elliott met on and have been a couple ever since - and one of Hollywoods most enduring couples at that.

Anyone who is a fan of B-grade horror from the 1970's, this is a must buy.
I would agree with Aunt Peg on this one in the "very watchable" comment. I like the film a lot, but had to pull out and rewatch my pan and scanned recorded from TV VHS copy of the film to remind myself of it rather than it jumping vividly to mind. Its a film that feels a lot about conversation scenes set in mansion rooms which are always lushly appointed and always have a roaring fire going! The film is beautifully shot and Katharine Ross and Sam Elliott make for a great pair of relatable main characters with our hip and modern Los Angeles couple (Ross is even introduced wearing a flower in her hair! By the way, I love the Kiki Dee ballad over the opening credits!) being guided with a bit of gentle nudging towards an English country mansion which then fills with an assorted cast of characters all fighting it out for a mysterious inheritance. Then the guests inevitably start being killed off one after the other with Maggie, now being forcibly made a part of the battle for the legacy, also being in danger. Though not as much as Pete is, being the 'uninvited guest' in the situation! As noted in previous posts, one of the guests includes Roger Daltrey with an amazingly 70s poodle hair cut and a great line in sleeveless black shirts as a rock musician named Clive. According to imdb the mansion the action takes place at is actually Daltrey's and he allowed them to film there in exchange for a role! And presumably the chance to get first choice at the lavish spread of buffet food put on in one scene! (And the filmmakers certainly make full use of that ostentatious indoor swimming pool location!)

This has a lot of 'old dark house' elements, mixed in with a bit of justified paranoia of all of the employees and locals being in on the situation and working to keep the American couple from leaving (I particularly like in the early scenes that we get a second or two of showing the staff or other guests doing something incredibly suspicious just before our main characters enter a room without being aware of what people have been talking about, what book has been closed, or what picture has just been covered up by a curtain!). Then it gets steadily more supernatural, and witchcraft based, with escape attempts all leading back to the mansion. There is some great editing on display in the scene of the escape vehicle going up and down the same road, or through different turn offs of the same junction only to end up where it began. It perhaps should be noted that the editor of this film is Anne V. Coates, who died last year but who had quite an interesting career including editing The Elephant Man just after The Legacy and going on to Steven Soderbergh's films Out of Sight and Erin Brockovich amongst many others. I particularly love the cutting back and forth in the scene that occurs late on between two characters, one loading their shotgun and the other their crossbow! In fact I would probably go as far to say that the skillful and sensitive editing, always able to highlight just the tiniest little character moment to add a little extra to a scene, is perhaps the very best aspect of the film.

I also wonder if perhaps there is some influence from Argento on this film, especially when a couple of the more set piece supernatural deaths occur, or whether something like Suspiria was just too recent to have been an influence at that point? Maybe Deep Red could have been?

Katharine Ross can easily do the role demanded of her here and handles the mounting concern of her character to the situation perfectly. This feels a bit more of a 'classical' version of the more modern set Stepford Wives (the same subgenre that encompasses the recent Get Out too), in the sense that Ross's Maggie is also moving from a feeling of urban security (in a brief opening scene) to travelling to another rural environment with different customs and steadily feeling more uneasy about the superficially civilised behaviour covering up something more sinister, where she eventually finds that she is intended to be used as an embodiment, or vessel, for the spirit of another idealised person. Sam Elliott is more the revelation here, as the extraneous figure (the incongruous sight of him in rural England is fully played into) that nobody else appeared to have factored into the situation. He gets to do all of the investigating, is the most threatened with being murdered, and amusingly is the one called upon to do the slightly exploitational nude shower scene! His character has to deal with all of the practical action-based stuff (including rather pointlessly trashing a hospital room near the end seemingly to vent his frustration more than anything, rather than just pulling the right couple of cables), whilst Maggie eventually has to have the final supernatural encounter by herself.
SpoilerShow
Leading to a strangely happy ending of Maggie beating out the other rivals to become the new mistress of the house! Which is not presented as being as being such an awful thing! At least not as bad as becoming a Stepford Wife!
It also has perhaps the best scene of people being so desperate to go off for a lyrical morning ride that they will punch and kick the (pitchfork and burning torch in the daytime wielding) locals in order to be able to do so! :)
Last edited by colinr0380 on Sun May 05, 2019 6:51 pm, edited 9 times in total.

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Re: 147 The Legacy

#10 Post by MichaelB » Sun May 05, 2019 5:04 am

colinr0380 wrote:It also has perhaps the best scene of people being so desperate to go off for a lyrical morning ride that they will punch and kick the (pitchfork and burning torch in the daytime wielding) locals in order to be able to do so! :)
They’re actually desperate to escape after belatedly realising that they’re actively being prevented from doing so - something that the violent encounter with the stablehands underscores beyond any possible doubt. Oh, and calling them “locals”, while probably factually correct, doesn’t convey that they’re paid employees of the people wishing to imprison them.

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Re: 147 The Legacy

#11 Post by colinr0380 » Sun May 05, 2019 5:11 am

Yes, I'm joking a little there. It just amused me to imagine that the staff would just do that with anyone wanting to go off for a morning ride in a "to gain access to this horse, first you must defeat me and maybe set me alight by 'accident'" manner! (A bit like the way in which Cato is always attacking Inspector Clouseau!)

The paid employees aspect is a really interesting one, though to say why necessitates spoilers:
SpoilerShow
The whole film really feels bookended by the early scene of Maggie walking in on the staff gathering for a meeting about their ailing employer and asking about the successor, and the final scene in which Maggie as the new mistress of the house is greeted by a line of all of the staff (plus newly promoted nurse) ready to serve her and presumably relieved that the battle for succession is over, if only because they can finally stop having to dump dead bodies now! I do wonder if those stablehand employees who got punched, and definitely the one set on fire, in that earlier scene might still bear a grudge about it though?

And also the whole local town, not just the staff of the mansion, appears to be in on the situation as well. Which I guess implictly raises issues about the parochial dominance of local landowners over a wider area of the countryside than just within the boundary of their mansions.
Last edited by colinr0380 on Sat May 11, 2019 4:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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reaky
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Re: 147 The Legacy

#12 Post by reaky » Sun May 05, 2019 6:44 am

Combining this with the Norman Warren box takes you over the £50 free postage threshold and lets you apply the bundle discount, so it ends up costing only about £7 to add THE LEGACY to your order.

Daltrey notwithstanding, and Colin being ever persuasive, I went for it.

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Re: 147 The Legacy

#13 Post by MichaelB » Sun May 05, 2019 6:45 am

Daltrey doesn't have a huge amount of screen time, if that helps. And people who can't stand him will most likely thoroughly enjoy the scene where he's firmly centre stage.

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colinr0380
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Re: 147 The Legacy

#14 Post by colinr0380 » Sun May 05, 2019 6:59 am

I don't have any problem with Roger Daltrey or his performance here, for what its worth! And he is obviously meant to be playing a bit of a nouveau riche modern rocker-type (Russell Brand would inevitably be playing the part if the film were remade today) to contrast against the other more well-heeled members of the party (including Charles Gray a couple of years after he was the narrator in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, whose character gets to illustrate the importance of having fireguards!). The playing of the character is nowhere near as abrasive as such a character could potentially have been played!

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Re: 147 The Legacy

#15 Post by MichaelB » Sat Jun 08, 2019 9:48 am

Full specs:

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Re: 147 The Legacy

#16 Post by KJones77 » Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:26 pm

Nice update! I decided to blind buy this one in a bundle with the Dietrich set, even though I thought the initial specs lineup looked a bit thin. Glad to see the substantial upgrade, plus an interview with Coates that should be quite interesting!

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Re: 147 The Legacy

#17 Post by MichaelB » Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:53 am

Revised specs for The Legacy, following the last-minute but very welcome discovery of an uncompressed standard-definition master of the long-unavailable 102-minute UK theatrical cut.

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As a result of the last-minute reauthoring, the official release date has been delayed by a week, but we'll do everything we can to try to stick to the original schedule.

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Re: 147 The Legacy

#18 Post by MichaelB » Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:27 pm


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Re: 147 The Legacy

#19 Post by MichaelB » Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:06 pm


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reaky
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Re: 147 The Legacy

#20 Post by reaky » Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:13 am

I enjoyed this, despite some missteps (the Kiki Dee title song, the disco-scored horse chase, Roger Daltrey, and Sam Elliott’s epic manspreading). It looks very handsome, and it was a surprise to learn that Jimmy Sangster’s original screenplay was set in a Detroit hospital, not an English country pile, as the latter feels very much his territory, even more so when you note that the film was partially shot at his old stamping ground, Bray Studios.

The plot is clearly indebted to The Omen, though the trope of the outsider couple unwillingly put up in a forbidding house goes back to Universals like The Old Dark House and The Black Cat, and no doubt even further. The Rolls trundling into a little country town carrying a couple of young metropolitans also brought to mind Withnail and I! I hadn’t picked up on the film’s debt to Suspiria until I read the booklet, but that’s spot on.

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