THE GLORY GUYS (1965) (BLU-RAY)
Company: Twilight Time
Starring: Slim Pickens, Andrew Duggan, Senta Berger, James Caan, Tom Tryon, Harve Presnell, Michael Anderson, Jr.
My Review and Thoughts:
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5
The Glory Guys is a film that is often picked on or misunderstood. Often never given any praise or care. Thankfully Twilight Time has honored this often overlooked and forgotten film and given it a new outlet of High Definition. It’s not a film that will win any awards, and is not a film that is flawless. It’s a film that has the mentality of a lower budget style film. What stands out in this film, at least to me is the wonderful cast of actors and actresses, plus the written script, or at least the man behind it.
The plot is a unique take on real life events, but is fictional based for the film. It’s about George Armstrong Custer’s 7th Cavalry Regiment at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. What the movie is about is the gathering and training of the troops that will go into the final showdown.
Starring Tom Tryon. Tom is not really known in the movie world outside a few that do know his personal life outside the film world. I know him from his writing. He wrote many books, a few of my favorite 1971’s The Other, yes that Other. Many will know it by the 1972 movie starring Uta Hagen. Twilight Time has honored Tom Tryon and director Robert Mulligan with a Special Edition Blu-ray of The Other, which is a unique, interesting psychological horror style film. Another one of Tom’s books 1995’s Night Magic is another favorite of mine. His acting career is unique, because of his many different styles of performances, from westerns, comedies, too sci-fi. He might not be known as a house hold name, but he left a mark with a unique imagination in book and film form. I thought he fit the part of Captain Demas Harrod in The Glory Guys with a great ease and understanding of the character.
Also starring the great actor and singer Harve Presnell. Now I will always know him for the role of Leadville Johnny in the funny, great comical musical film 1964’s The Unsinkable Molly Brown. He started acting in 1950 and went on to act up until his death. He was an award winning actor that stood out and made you follow his characters. In his later life he continued acting in big films such as 1996’s Fargo, 1997’s Faceoff, 1998’s Saving Private Ryan, 2002 Mr. Deeds and so many more. It’s great seeing him in The Glory Guys and watching him maintain his character in a believable form. Also starring the absolutely beautiful, stunning and very sexy Senta Berger. Started acting in 1955 and still acts strong today. She not only is a film performer, but also a stage actor and TV star. She has a multi-talented reality as producer, and also a published author. She has worked in three productions that the great Sam Peckinpah has been involved with. Including the films 1965’s Major Dundee, and 1977’s Cross of Iron. I am absolutely a huge fan of her character Dr. Eva Maria Prohacek in the long running TV series Under Suspicion which is an absolutely brilliant show that ran from 2002 to 2016. If you haven’t seen the show I highly recommended it.
You can’t not mention actor James Caan. Caan really needs no introduction in the cinema movie world. Movie buffs will always know his name. Performing and acting in some of the great films of all time. Acting in films that have garnered cult like following’s. From 1971’s dramatic Brain’s Song, to 1975’s musical Funny Lady. To the one and only The Godfather series. I will always personally remember him for three favorite performances, the amazing and very underrated 1981’s Thief. The one of a kind and possibly one of the greatest suspense films, 1990’s Stephen King’s Misery, which I will always remember his pain. And the odd-ball sci-fi Alien Nation from 1988. Caan has a great ability to be the perfect tough guy, or bad guy. His ability to express his emotional attitude no matter how strong it is, he builds his characters, owns them, and literally you love or hate his persona of those characters. Also I have to mention keep an eye out for the one and only Slim Pickens. A true Hollywood legend. A perfect character actor, a pure genius of cowboy performances. His long acting career mainly consisted of Cowboy roles shinning in each part. There is one film that defines him, and most will remember him from. One of the greatest moments, or memorable comic actions in a film. A unique moment of imagery and a personal favorite is the character of Major T.J. "King" Kong in the classic Dr. Strangelove riding that nuclear bomb. A shot that will always be remembered in cinema history. There are so many wonderful characters played by him. I being a huge horror movie fan will always remember him as Sheriff Sam Newfield in the werewolf horror classic 1981’s The Howling. There is actually so many wonderful actors in The Glory Guys.
Interesting to note is this is written by the master of film himself. The screenplay was written by one of the greatest directors of all time. A master talent that could create some of the finest examples of gritty entertainment. Sam Peckinpah really needs no introduction to any true fan of movie entertainment. The story is based on the novel titled The Dice of God written by Hoffman Birney. Peckinpah adapted it to screenplay.
Directed by a truly unique and different style of director, Arnold Laven. He adventured into many styles of cinema. From drama to B-Movie Drive-In style cinema. He not only was a director, but a producer of some of the most memorable classic television, such as the classic series, The Rifleman which might I add is one of my favorites. Also producer of the classic western series The Big Valley. He directed a few Film-Noir Drive-In classics that are pure entertainment. The Film-Noir classic 1952’s Without Warning, to 1953’s crime film-noir classic, Vice Squad. But what I know him the most for is the cheesy sci-fi horror, the one and only, 1957’s The Monster that Challenged the World. So you can see the different styles Laven directed, just making him an interesting director. He also adventured into many television series. Directing many of the classic’s. From The Detectives, The Rifleman, The Big Valley, Ironside, Shazam!, Mannix, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Rockford Files, Hill Street Blues, CHiPs, The Greatest American Hero, The A-Team. To me his many adventures into creating entertainment just makes him a different style of director. He showcased his ability to not only direct film, but also showcase the reality of lessor style's of entertainment. He might not have directed films that was award worthy, but what he did do was direct films that are remembered, and are continued to be watched such as the aforementioned Drive-in Film, The Monster that Challenged the World, which is often shown at Drive-in marathons, Halloween parties, and is continued to be released on DVD and Special Edition Blu-ray’s, it just to me showcases what I am writing about. He might not be known as a director, or someone that is mentioned in cinema groups or classes, but he left a lasting mark of entertainment, and to me that is what honorable entertainment is about. Laven will always be remembered in the circles of Horror fans, western fans, Film-noir fans.
When reviewing or watching The Glory Guys, you cannot, not mention Cinematographer James Wong Howe. A master cinematographer that created breathtaking shots in The Glory Guys and so many other films. His style was a one of a kind mastery that was award worthy and breathtaking imagery. He was nominated for an amazing ten Academy awards and would go on to win two for the classics The Rose Tattoo and Hud. I personally, and I feel that there would be very few to argue with me when I say, he is one of the top cinematographers to ever grace cinema. I would stick him in the Top 50 easily. Now if there ever was a god of Cinematography, it would be none other than the master, James Wong Howe. His breathtaking, rich and vibrant eye for beauty, desolation and art in camera form is highly praised. He was a god of capturing perfection. He worked from the Silent films all the way up the 70’s. Mastering such greats like Lon Chaney’s 1928 masterpiece, Laugh Clown Laugh, 1942’s Yankee Doodle Dandy, 1955’s brilliant Picnic, Spencer Tracy’s masterful 1958’s The Old Man and the Sea, Daniel Mann’s stunning 1959's The Last Angry Man and so many others. His career was amazing and diverse. I think what is so shocking and amazing, is James was a Chinese man during a time where hatred and bigotry ran rampant, and yet he succeeded with his mastery, and flourished as an amazing film making genius. His eye for cinema is beyond words, and it shows in The Glory Guys and anything else he has done.
No matter what you say about The Glory Guys one cannot, not see a sort of undetected brilliance inside it. There are sparks, from performances, to direction, to cinematography. Twilight Time saw the importance of this film and I think they did a great job bringing this one out on a Special Edition Blu-ray. They did a wonderful job. A great new outlet to an often abused and overlooked film. Some will enjoy and others just won’t get, whatever the case is, this is a wonderful Blu-ray of high quality, high Definition transfer and an excellent product to own and add to any movie collection.
Video: 4.5 out 5
Audio: 3.5 out of 5
Twilight Time always puts great care into their release's no matter how different a film might be. This film has never looked or sounded any better than this production and new outlet. A great transfer to High Definition. A plus to the film is the fixing of the audio to the best of the ability to do so. The aged noises, such as crackling as I call it, in older films is gone. The audio and video is a wonderful reality that Twilight Time takes great care with, and is always a treat to see how great they make each new Blu-ray special edition.
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 2.35:1
AUDIO: English 1.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
1965 / Color
My Rating: 3 out of 5
Audio Commentary with Film Historians Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons, and Nick Redman. An interesting listen when it comes to film historians talking about the film at hand. Paul Seydor and Garner Simmons don’t really seem to care for the movie or at least don’t find it very important, and you can really tell that through the conversations. A plus to this commentary is I have become a huge fan of Nick Redman. Redman is perfect in his ability to make the listener take hold of what is being said. He seems to be the only one that gives the film a somewhat liking.
Passion & Poetry: Senta & Sam. This has a running time of a little over 26 minutes. I enjoyed this special feature actress Senta Berger who worked with Peckinpah on three different films talks about her experience with the famed, iconic director.
The James Wong Howe Story. This has a running time of a little over 8 minutes. This is kind like a promo for the film. It’s narrated. The main purpose of this short film is the aspect of cinematography and showcasing the final shots of the battle in the film.
Promoting The Glory Guys. This has a running time of close to 4 minutes. Basically a slide show of lobby cards, posters, pictures, all over the world promoting the film.
Original Theatrical Trailer
You also get one of favorite aspects to the Twilight Time films, the booklet inserts, written perfectly by film historian and guru of information on cinema history Julie Kirgo. Always a wonderful read and is always filled with pictures of the film at hand.
Another fantastic example by a company that honors, understands and respects cinema of all styles. Twilight Time did another fantastic job in taking an older film and bringing it out on a lovely new transfer. High quality, high definition. An excellent Blu-ray.
Make sure you head over to www.screenarchives.com to buy all the wonderful Twilight Time Blu-rays. The main page that gives you these beautiful releases on top quality Special Editions.
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