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Sangaree (3D) [Blu-ray]
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Newly Remastered in HD from 4K of the original camera negative and a 2K scans of the interpositive – 3-D restoration by 3-D Film Archive! After the Revolutionary War, the dying General Darby (Lester Matthews, The Raven) bequeaths his Georgia plantation to Dr. Carlos Morales (Fernando Lamas, Jivaro), the son of an indentured servant who has been raised and educated by Darby. The general’s daughter (Arlene Dahl, Journey to the Center of the Earth) tries to break her father’s will in order to control the estate and stop the creation of a group of free medical clinics for the poor to be overseen by Carlos. The true culprits behind her opposition are her fiancé, Harvey Bristol (John Sutton, Jane Eyre), and his father, Dr. Bristol (Francis L. Sullivan, Joan of Arc), who have their eyes set on the Darby holdings. A plague outbreak in Savannah complicates matters further in Sangaree, the first three-dimensional film in Technicolor, directed by Hollywood veteran Edward Ludwig (Big Jim McLain).
-January 25, 1955 Lux Radio Theatre adaptation with Arlene Dahl and Cesar Romero
-Before/After Restoration Demo
-3-D Release Trailer
-2-D Release Trailer
- MPAA rating : s_medNotRated NR (Not Rated)
- Product Dimensions : 6.75 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches; 2.56 Ounces
- Director : Edward Ludwig
- Media Format : Anamorphic
- Run time : 1 hour and 34 minutes
- Release date : September 25, 2018
- Actors : Fernando Lamas, Arlene Dahl
- Studio : KL Studio Classics
- ASIN : B07FQ6XPTH
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #73,441 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
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Which brings us to SANGAREE, Paramount’s first in 3-D, a film that presents a vision of early antebellum Georgia, and at the same time offers us a priceless window into the high glamour of a classic Hollywood movie set, in the round and in the flesh.
The tale plays out immediately after the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781. After an opening scene in faraway Vermont, the action shifts south to Savannah, Georgia, where the richest and most powerful Southerners may not yet share a common spoken accent, judging from the dialogue, but are old hands when it comes to hiding sordid dealings behind masks of civility. In this world, even perfectly innocent persons are presumed to be up to no good. Into the mix is thrown Dr. Carlos Morales (the incredibly charming Fernando Lamas), proud son of an indentured servant, who has crossed the Atlantic a small handful of times, gained culture and education in far-off Vienna, fought to secure the Independence of these United States, and must now cope with sneering and conniving and occasionally very corpulent villains. His biggest nemesis will prove to be the daughter of his beloved benefactor, Nancy Darby (Arlene Dahl), a woman with drive, ambition, hidden motives, and, quite literally, teeth.
The story is based on what I take to have been a popular and successful novel by Frank G. Slaughter. I’ve not read one of his books—almost none of them are available on my trusty Kindle—but I am given to understand Mr. Slaughter sold something like 60 million copies of his writing back in the day. The critics were not always kind to his work, but the consumers of pop fiction were indulgent and maybe a little forgiving. Slaughter himself allowed that he was more concerned with “events” and action than with flights of literary achievement, and I imagine this resonated with his particular readership. All of this goes to explain how SANGAREE the film can be so full of incident, so breathless in moving from one desperate situation to the next, and yet occasionally leave one with the bewildering sensation that one or two key details have somehow been left out. Essential information is delivered in expository dialogue, characters helpfully explain more obscure twists, and the ultimate fate of one unctuous cad is met entirely off-screen.
And yet SANGAREE does not skimp. Alongside our hero, we enter a log fort on the Canadian frontier, we sail up the Savannah River (and practice seduction) on a flatboat, we attend a swank ball with the haut monde of Georgia society, we take it on the chin during a truly energetic tavern brawl and, over the course of 95 ebullient minutes, we witness flames and explosions and crowd mania and all sorts of other excitement I dare not tell you about here, for fear of taking the edge off your own entertainment. And entertained ye shall certainly be, if your experience is anything like mine.
But the events of the story go only part of the way to explaining SANGAREE’s appeal in its restored Blu-ray incarnation. There’s the visual one-two punch of 3-D + Technicolor, absolutely indispensable to the film. There’s the opulent costumes and handsomely appointed sets, Hollywood’s best and brightest giving us their best and brightest. Most of all and best of all, there is the felicitous pairing (onscreen and off) of Fernando Lamas and Arlene Dahl, who do everything in their power within reason to bring about the need for asbestos movie screens.
SANGAREE is the first two-strip 3-D film of the Golden Age for which prints were made by Technicolor. (The camera negative was Eastman.) The combination proves to be visual dynamite. One scene early in the film takes us on a tour of a fancy dress ball inside an opulent mansion, where beautiful Patricia Medina (in a billowing antebellum dress) and Fernando Lamas (in a dapper, golden-trimmed jacket) teach us the meaning of Yellow-Cyan-Magenta. Moments later, a moonlight encounter between Lamas and Arlene Dahl in a garden outside stands as one of the most atmospheric and satisfying stereo sequences this writer has yet beheld. It is a jewel of sorts, a showcase example of what 3-D can bring to even the simplest screen moment.
One simply cannot overstate how much the film gains from its Technicolor palette and its stereoscopic solidity. In SANGAREE, they are one and inseparable. But the reason we in 2018 may enjoy either (and both) of these things is the 3-D Film Archive. Eastman negatives fade, and neither the years nor careless handling have been kind to SANGAREE. Add to that the fact that Paramount’s proprietary camera system, Paravision, was terribly susceptible to issues of vertical misalignment. (This was very much in evidence during a rare screening at World 3-D Expo II in September 2006, during which the projectionists had to ride the framing knobs up and down like mechanical bulls.) But this present restoration brings back the radiance of Technicolor, and brings a perfection to the 3-D that never existed before now. All this took a team of four: Jack Theakston, with his keen eye for color; Greg Kintz, established master of both digital restoration and three-dimensional photography; Thad Komorowski, whose wizardry can wipe away every crease and crevice left by cruel time and bungling handlers; and Bob Furmanek, who shepherds and advises at every stage, drawing on years of research and hard won experience. This team has triumphed before. After the miracle of GOG (1954), I did not think greater achievements were possible; now I despair of finding new superlatives to describe each succeeding triumph. The reader will forgive me if my words seem fulsome; my praise is utterly sincere. Generations to come will be able to enjoy SANGAREE (and its stereoscopic cousins of that glorious era) only because these four, plus a handful of others in their orbit, have made it their mission to do this important work, with or without resources.
The wise and forward-thinking staff at Kino Lorber deserve great praise as well. Their faith in the Archive and in the classic 3-D fan base is a rare thing, an inspiration. Remember that your support of this release and others like it makes it possible for Kino Lorber to continue its work, making classic cinema in 2-D and in 3-D available to collectors and connoisseurs in an age of streaming disposability.
Because of all this latter-day effort, the work of several creative giants employed on SANGAREE can now be fully enjoyed and appreciated in its own right. Given that the film is the product of producers William H. Pine and William C. Thomas, the “Dollar Bills,” so-called because of their great gift of frugality, some accoutrements undoubtedly make their second (or third, or tenth) screen appearance here. But secondhand pearls are still pearls. The queen of classic movie costume design, Edith Head, supervised the resplendent period attire on display. Complementing her exquisite work is that of art designers Earl Hedrick (WILLIAMSBURG: STORY OF A PATRIOT) and Hal Pereira (VERTIGO). It is a delight to let one’s eyes roam back along the z-axis to take in every solid detail in this room or that, and to soak in the color, the texture, the weave and the luster of the period raiment. The entire technical and creative crew seem to have given their very best to SANGAREE.
But the very best thing about the movie is the sizzling chemistry between its stars, Fernando Lamas and Arlene Dahl. This is most obvious in their first encounter, aboard a flatboat moving up a lazy Southern river. Lamas, sensing a spy, wastes no time putting his seductive moves on Ms. Dahl, and she responds, at first with dismay, then with panting ecstasy, and at last with ferocious retaliation. We have learned in recent months that Ms. Dahl and her co-star (and soon-to-be real-life husband) improvised and rehearsed some portions of this scene hours before reaching the set, to the delight of director Edward Ludwig. If later scenes between the couple are somewhat toned down, it may be that Ludwig and his producers were afraid what might happen if the Dahl-Lamas chemistry experiments got completely out of hand.
SANGAREE on Blu-ray was meant to street on October 16th. Several retailers jumped the gun, and others (like my preferred source, Amazon) decided, Why bother to wait? Ask yourself that same question. SANGAREE may very well never have crossed your movie buff radar before now but, in this present iteration, looking the best it will ever look, it is a stunner. We cannot now visit the Savannah of 1781, nor the Hollywood of 1953, but you can and will visit SANGAREE again and again. Start your trip already.
When it was over, I headed to the extras and the before-and-after stuff shows you the state this movie was in before the archive was able to do its magic. Wow! I'm really grateful that there are people out there who care about these classic movies enough to bring them back to life like this. If not for these handful of people, nobody would ever have gotten the chance to see a movie like this in such an awesome presentation.
The movie itself is very intriguing, fast-paced and the chemistry between Dahl and Lamas is great. The bad guys were completely despicable jerks, and there are some great action scenes. The depth provided by the 3-D is fantastic. The movie has everything - action, suspense, intrigue, mystery, romance and humor. There was a scene during a council meeting that made me laugh out loud. The costumes and sets are filled with so many intricate details that this is the kind of movie you'll want to revisit again and again to explore it further.
People who love classic Technicolor movies are going to love this one. And if you have a 3-D set-up, you're going to be mesmerized even more! I give it my highest recommendation.