The Otto Preminger Collection [3 Discs] [Blu-ray]

Otto Preminger made three of his most controversial pictures during the late '60s and early '70s: Hurry Sundown (1967), Skidoo (1968) and Such Good Friends (1971). All appear full and uncut in this box set. Hurry Sundown stars Michael Caine as a monomaniacal land owner in the deep South, who grows obsessed with purchasing all of a particular town but runs into opposition from a black family; Skidoo stars Jackie Gleason, Frankie Avalon and Groucho Marx in a way-out, LSD-influenced gangster farce; and Such Good Friends stars Dyan Cannon as a shrill Manhattan housewife whose husband (Laurence Luckinbill) checks into the hospital for routine surgery and gets far more than he bargained for.
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Overview

Synopsis

Such Good Friends
Based upon the novel by Lois Gould and adapted (under the pseudonym Esther Dale) by Elaine May, Such Good Friends focuses on Julie Messinger (played by Dyan Cannon), a woman with intense, often wild emotions that are held in check beneath a rather conventional façade. After her chauvinistic and self-centered husband Richard checks into the hospital for a simple mole removal that goes seriously wrong, Julie discovers that he has been titanically unfaithful to her. This is the straw that breaks the camel's back, and Julie decides it is time for her to break out of her shell, no matter what the consequences. She begins to exhibit a sexual interest in other men (sometimes indiscriminately, as when she seduces her family doctor, played by James Coco), and speaks her mind to others, including her egocentric mother (Nina Foch) and her hypocritical best friend (Jennifer O'Neill). At the end, Julie wanders into Central Park and, presumably, a new life. ~ Craig Butler, Rovi

Skidoo
Producer and director Otto Preminger reportedly experimented with LSD in the late 60's, which inspired him to make this notorious comedy in which Jackie Gleason plays Tony, a mid-level gangster and former hired killer not very happy with his life. He bickers a lot with his wife Flo (Carol Channing) and isn't sure what to make of his daughter Darlene (Alexandra Hay), especially since she started dating a hippie named Stash (John Phillip Law). Two of Tony's superiors, Angie (Frankie Avalon) and Hechy (Cesar Romero), order him to get arrested, go to prison and once behind bars whack "Blue Chips" Packard (Mickey Rooney). Though he's not pleased with the idea, Tony grudgingly goes along, but once inside, he's accidentally dosed with LSD by counterculture activist the Professor (Austin Pendleton). His consciousness expanded by his trip, Tony leaves his violent lifestyle behind him and with the Professor's help plans an escape after turning the entire prison population on to acid. Certainly your only opportunity to see Groucho Marx play a character named "God," not to mention a supporting cast that includes Slim Pickens, Peter Lawford, George Raft, Frank Gorshin and Arnold Stang, Skidoo is also remembered as the film in which Harry Nilsson sang all the credits. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Hurry Sundown
Otto Preminger directed this star-studded adaptation of K.B. Gliden's novel about racial prejudice and emotional unrest in the Deep South. Henry Warren (Michael Caine) is a land owner obsessed with buying up all available land in a Georgia farming town. However, two parcels of land have escaped his reach, and he's determined to get them. The Scotts, an African-American family, own one of the lots that Henry is after; the matriarch of the family, Rose (Beah Richards), used to work as a servant for the family of Henry's wife, Julie Ann (Jane Fonda), so Henry sends Julie Ann to talk with her. However, not only doesn't Rose agree to sell, she gets so upset that she dies of a heart attack, and soon her headstrong son Reeve (Robert Hooks) is the owner of the land. Reeve refuses all of Henry's offers to sell out, and he even stands up to a racist lynch mob that tries to ransack his farm; when Henry attempts to prove that Reeve holds no legal deed to the property, Vivian Thurlow (Diahann Carroll), the town's black schoolmarm, is able to provide the documentation that the Scotts do indeed own their land. Meanwhile, Henry is also trying to buy some property farmed by Rod McDowell (John Phillip Law) and his wife Lou (Faye Dunnaway), a poor white couple who are Henry's cousins. The McDowell farm adjoins that owned by the Scotts, so Reeve and Rod agree to join forces against Henry, which leads to violent reprisals against them. While set in Georgia, Hurry Sundown was actually shot on location in Louisiana; it was the first film shot in the South with an integrated cast and crew, leading the producers to demand protection from State Troopers after members of the company received death threats. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Richard B. Shull
    Richard B. Shull - Clarence Fitch
  • Image coming soon
    Lee Sabinson - Dr. Bleiweiss
  • Dyan Cannon
    Dyan Cannon - Julie Messinger
  • James Coco
    James Coco - Dr. Timmy Spector
  • Laurence Luckinbill
    Laurence Luckinbill - Richard Messinger
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