35 The Pumpkin Eater

Discuss Blu-rays released by Indicator and the films on them.

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MichaelB
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35 The Pumpkin Eater

#1 Post by MichaelB » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:56 am

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THE PUMPKIN EATER
(Jack Clayton, 1964)
Release date: 4 December 2017
Limited Blu-ray Edition (World Blu-ray premiere)

Anne Bancroft delivers a towering performance as a deeply troubled and tormented wife in this sharply observed portrait of a woman – and a marriage – in crisis. Directed by Jack Clayton (Room at the Top, The Innocents), with a screenplay by Harold Pinter (The Birthday Party) based on the acclaimed novel by Penelope Mortimer, this spellbinding film boasts sublime cinematography by the great Oswald Morris (Look Back in Anger, Fragment of Fear), a wonderful score by Georges Delerue (Le Mépris) and outstanding supporting performances from James Mason (The Deadly Affair), Maggie Smith (California Suite) and Yootha Joyce (Fanatic, Fragment of Fear).

INDICATOR LIMITED EDITION SPECIAL FEATURES:
• High Definition remaster
• Original mono audio
• Audio commentary with author and film historian Neil Sinyard (2017)
• Jeremy Mortimer on Penelope Mortimer (2017): a personal remembrance by the author's son
• Original theatrical trailer
• 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 British-film expert Melanie Williams, an overview of contemporary critical responses, and historic articles
• World premiere on Blu-ray
• Limited Edition of 3,000 copies
• More TBC

#PHILTD035
BBFC cert: 12
REGION FREE
EAN: 5037899071144
Powerhouse's official page is here.

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Mr. Deltoid
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Re: Indicator

#2 Post by Mr. Deltoid » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:21 am

An excellent choice for release! Good to see Indicator giving these previously neglected British titles (The Reckoning, The Deadly Affair, etc.) the attention they deserve. I only caught this for the first time about five years ago and it's a fantastic film, very evocative of it's time and place. I found the salon scene with Yootha Joyce to be much more terrifying than anything contained in Indicator's Hammer Box-set!

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Drucker
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Re: Indicator

#3 Post by Drucker » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:47 am

Jack Phillips wrote:As much as I like, say, The Pumpkin Eater, I won't be purchasing that until I know for certain the BD is offering a significant visual upgrade.
Of course that may be your prerogative, Jack, but there are surely tons of people (like me!) that have never seen the film and even began buying films in the blu-ray era. This will be my first exposure to the film, I liked The Innocents, so I will check out this film I surely never would have paid a mind to unless Indicator released it.

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MichaelB
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Re: Indicator

#4 Post by MichaelB » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:50 pm

Mr. Deltoid wrote:An excellent choice for release! Good to see Indicator giving these previously neglected British titles (The Reckoning, The Deadly Affair, etc.) the attention they deserve. I only caught this for the first time about five years ago and it's a fantastic film, very evocative of it's time and place. I found the salon scene with Yootha Joyce to be much more terrifying than anything contained in Indicator's Hammer Box-set!
It really is, isn't it? Even though Joyce is in one of the Hammer films as well! In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if she got the Fanatic part off the back of her cameo in The Pumpkin Eater.

I've just signed off on the subtitles, in which I tried to be as word-perfect as timings would permit - given how forensically precise Harold Pinter is (even when adapting another writer), I wanted to be faithful to every last syllable.

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Re: Indicator: Eyes of Laura Mars

#5 Post by MichaelB » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:41 pm

Final specs for The Pumpkin Eater. I'm really pleased with how this one turned out - the extras don't just thoroughly explore the film (Neil Sinyard's commentary is a model of the form) but also delve extensively into the source novel's real-life inspiration.

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Colpeper
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Re: Indicator: The Pumpkin Eater

#6 Post by Colpeper » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:37 pm

MichaelB wrote:Final specs for The Pumpkin Eater. I'm really pleased with how this one turned out - the extras don't just thoroughly explore the film (Neil Sinyard's commentary is a model of the form) but also delve extensively into the source novel's real-life inspiration.
I'm looking forward to those extras. As in other adaptations by Harold Pinter, his dialogue in The Pumpkin Eater is so distinctive that someone unfamiliar with the source (as I am with Penelope Mortimer's novel) might at times forget that it is drawn from another writer's work.

The unforgettable hair salon scene with Anne Bancroft and Yootha Joyce, which Mr. Deltoid mentioned earlier in this thread, is an example where I felt totally drawn into a Pinter world. That reaction was obviously rather unfair to Mortimer, presuming that some form of the scene exists in the novel.

It will be fascinating to learn about the adaptive process traced from the novel's inspiration to the final script and realization.

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Re: Indicator: The Pumpkin Eater

#7 Post by MichaelB » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:03 am

Colpeper wrote:I'm looking forward to those extras. As in other adaptations by Harold Pinter, his dialogue in The Pumpkin Eater is so distinctive that someone unfamiliar with the source (as I am with Penelope Mortimer's novel) might at times forget that it is drawn from another writer's work.

The unforgettable hair salon scene with Anne Bancroft and Yootha Joyce, which Mr. Deltoid mentioned earlier in this thread, is an example where I felt totally drawn into a Pinter world. That reaction was obviously rather unfair to Mortimer, presuming that some form of the scene exists in the novel.
Actually, that particular scene is pretty much unique to Pinter - one of two key scenes. If I remember rightly, the encounter is very briefly alluded to in the novel, but the dialogue is all Pinter - and doesn't it show?

(Not a complaint - in fact, I was very careful when overseeing the SDH subtitles on this one, as I wanted them to be syllable-precise given how forensic Pinter's dialogue can be. In the end, that wasn't possible, as there were too many scenes with children all shouting at the same time, but I hope I achieved it when the adults were talking.)
It will be fascinating to learn about the adaptive process traced from the novel's inspiration to the final script and realization.
This is where getting Jeremy Mortimer was a real coup - as someone who lived through the real-life events that inspired his mother's novel (albeit as a child), he's pretty much the perfect guide, and the 32-minute running time alone reveals how generous he was with his time and reminiscences. And both Mortimer and Neil Sinyard tackle the differences between novel and screenplay in some depth - one key difference being that the novel is a first-person monologue whereas the film isn't. In fact, that's just reminded me of the second unique-to-Pinter scene: the confrontation between Peter Finch and James Mason in the club, which obviously couldn't have been in the novel as it wasn't personally witnessed by its narrator.

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Re: Indicator

#8 Post by Werewolf by Night » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:53 am

My favorite scene, too. “I’m wet! You’ve made me wet!” “Yes.”

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Re: Indicator

#9 Post by Banasa » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:54 pm

Caps-a-holic for Pumpkin Eater

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MichaelB
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Re: Indicator

#10 Post by MichaelB » Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:51 pm

Beaver on The Pumpkin Eater.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: 35 The Pumpkin Eater

#11 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun Apr 05, 2020 6:00 pm

Pinter and Clayton take what could be a straightforward unimaginative drama and sharpen their tools in implementing startling intrusive camera angles and dreamlike imagery that shifts across time with turbulence. The aggressively close proximity during interactions between people can be horrific at times, finding the unmanageable disturbing qualities in the banal. The voicemail Mason leaves and especially the scene at the hairdresser is one for the books, so desperate and threatening (and now reading through the thread after writing this I see this is a unanimous high point of surreal terror - how refreshing!) The late conversation with Mason gets so close that we feel suffocated and haunted by his words, our point of view smothered by his mouth filling up the frame, chanting disturbing slurs inescapably bloated like a nightmare.

The scattered narrative dissolves into itself repeatedly as we are witness to someone else’s memories bleeding into each other, personal dialogues with characters panning out to reveal a new scene with others present at an unspecified time in relation to the previous scene, indicative of the chaos that drives the memories’ anguished recall. I don’t know if Bancroft has ever been better, and confidently sells us on joining in an alliance with this distressed person who may not be perfect but deserves our sympathy for struggling to make meaning out of her expectations and desires while she remains trapped in a cycle of hopeless dissatisfaction. On a rewatch I appreciated this film much more, having found some stable footing in discovering how the fleeting plot plays out, and able to give undivided attention to the themes’ impact through the performances and style. It’s definitely on the long list of films to see twice. The ending doesn't fix our problems but does give a glimpse at the moments we must hold onto to break free from our own ennui towards acceptance and gratitude.

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knives
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Re: 35 The Pumpkin Eater

#12 Post by knives » Tue Jan 26, 2021 4:33 pm

As someone usually anemic to Clayton I so loved this that it makes me completely doubt that personal dismissal. Pinter’s gorgeous script has been given its due, but I want to say that this is easily Bancroft’s moment. The way she just inflects her eyes to go wide and small is incredibly powerful. I love how internal she allowed the character to be.

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Re: Indicator: The Pumpkin Eater

#13 Post by nitin » Wed Feb 03, 2021 10:57 pm

Actually, that particular scene is pretty much unique to Pinter - one of two key scenes.


Michael, is the other scene unique to Pinter the one at the zoo with Mason and Bancroft?

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