Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Il Grande Caldo

Just watched Lang's The Big Heat for the first time in years, via the gorgeous new Blu-ray from Twilight Time.  I have the DVD that came with one of the Columbia noir box sets, but my only previous viewings came via VHS, TCM, and, possibly, a 35mm screening at Film Forum...it's not like me to forget if I saw something on 35mm, but I have seen a good many films of this ilk at Film Forum, or one of the other NY rep venues over the years, and they can often blur together.  Anyway...the film was better, much better, than I remembered it being and the black and white Blu-ray image is stunning.  Yes, the Twilight Time discs are pricey and slim on features, but this one is worth it.  It's a safe bet that the classic Sony titles, with restoration handled by Grover Crisp (SVP for Asset Management, Film Restoration, and Digital Mastering), are going to look spectacular.  Big Heat is no exception.

But, that's not the main reason for this post...that would be to point your attention to this rather attractive reissue Italian poster from '68 (the film was originally released in '53):

Attractive...but, inaccurate.  Aside from the fact that Lee Marvin was originally billed fifth and here he is billed just underneath star Glenn Ford, you will note Marvin sporting a full white head of hair, wearing a suit, and packing heat, as he did in the previous year's Point Blank or '64's The Killers.  Of course, at the time of filming Big Heat, Marvin was still shy of 30 and his hair hadn't yet gone to its more familiar lighter shade.  You can see evidence of that below via this Beaver capture from the new Blu-ray:

In addition, Glenn Ford is depicted in handcuffs in the Italian poster.  Never mind that Ford is a cop in Big Heat who never even pulls out a pair of cuffs in the course of the entire film.  Nope, when I see that image, I think of Ford as the slippery Ben Wade in Delmer Daves' 3:10 to Yuma from '57.  In that film, Ford is hand-cuffed for nearly the entire running time, as he's led to justice by a desperate Van Heflin.

The only image in the Italian poster that seems to be truly out of the movie being advertised is that of the burning car.  All that said, I'd still love to have this hybrid Bigheatkillerspointblank3:10toyuma locandina on my wall.

No comments: