Crimes of Passion Unrated Version + Unrated Director's Cut
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SHE IS WATCHED. SHE IS WORSHIPPED. AND SHE MUST REMAIN A MYSTERY.
In the early eighties British enfant terrible Ken Russell travelled to America and placed his unorthodox imprint on a pair of US movies. The first was the Altered States, so out-there its screenwriter disowned it. The second was the equally crazy Crimes of Passion, starring Kathleen Turner (Body Heat, Serial Mom) at the height of her powers.
Fashion designer Joanna Crane (Turner) leads a double life. By night she is China Blue, a prostitute who s attracted the unwanted attention of two men. One is a sexually frustrated private detective hired by her employees. The other is psychopathic priest (played by Norman Bates himself, Anthony Perkins) in possession of a murderous sex toy.
With its outré screenplay by Barry Sandler and over the top score by Rick Wakeman, Crimes of Passion may just be the most outrageous Ken Russell film ever made and that s quite some feat!
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About the subtitles, I have to say to the person/people involved with those: whoosh, you know what that sound is? I was shocked at how many things that were inaccurate in such a way that they apparently missed many of Kathleen Turner's funny little quips. I hope they understand the line about TWA tea.
Anyway, this is a great addition to the collection, I'm really happy with it... and it's so nice to see it at this quality at last!
Perkins shyly accepted the compliment and we moved on.
Here, 30+ years later, I still love this film to my core. Daring, colorful and jaw-dropping, the hit-and-miss Ken Russell delivers a mystery that no A List actor today would touch with a 20 foot pole.
Discover this film... I'm not giving away more!
This film can’t be taken too seriously. The acting, with the exception of Turner as hooker China Blue – a role she really plays for laughs as well as eroticism – and Anthony Perkins eating up the set as a fanatical religious sermonizer, is really stiff. Bruce Davison looks – and acts – like he just stepped out of a “Beach Party” movie with his hair immaculately coiffed.
The BLU ray contains TWO versions of the film, neither of which was seen in theaters. The first is the “Unrated Cut” which runs 112 minutes. This includes scenes that were excised by Film Company. There is also the slightly shorter “Director’s Cut” at 107 minutes. I watched the first 15 minutes of both to compare and notice no difference to that point. I then continued with the longer one (so I can’t tell you the difference). The new Transfer was made from the original film materials. There is a full length commentary by Russel and his Producer/Screenwriter Barry Sandler. (BTW, Sandler wrote some of the sexiest dialogue for Turner that I can remember in films I’ve seen. There a 20 minute-plus interview with Sandler about working on both this film and his previous project with Russell, “Altered States”. There are seven extended or deleted scenes (almost 28-minutes) with option of hearing Sandler’s commentary. (he seems flustered during these – not as composed as the straight interview – and found this hard to listen too.
Some of the scenes which were cut really would have changed the direction of the film. The score was composed by Rick Wakeman and we get a 20 minute interview with him. He wrote the song “It’s A Lovely Life”, whose theme plays so often in the film that it became irritating. Thankfully, there was Turner to watch (well, most of the time – When she or Perkins were not on the screen the wooden acting became very apparent). Finally there is the trailer and a music video of the Wakeman song.
If you want to realize how much the restoration helped, you have only to look at the deleted scenes. They were not restored and lack color and sharpness.
This is the second of two “cult” films that Arrow Home Video (distributed by Music Video Distributor) – a video company specializing in horror films - has released this summer in deluxe restored editions with hours of bonus features. I – for one – am anxious to see what else is in the pipeline from them.
I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.