Last August, Tambay wrote a terrific review of this
tough, relentless, violent and grimly powerful 1972 United Artists film, “Across
110th when it played
at the Fun City: New York in the Movies 1967–75 screening series at the Museum of the Moving Image last summer
(read his review HERE).
But before I get into that, as I’ve mentioned before, movie
studios have become reluctant, or are just refusing to release their older films
on blu-ray, even though there is a considerable demand for them. True, DVD sales have decreased sharply during the past few years. But there will always
be those people who want to own hard discs of beloved older films for their collections.
With the exception of Warner Home Video and their specialty DVD-on-demand label Warner Archive, on which they release older Warners, MGM,
RKO and Paramount titles from the silents era to the early 80’s, studios are making deals with smaller independent
labels such as Shout and Scream Factory, Twilight Time, Olive Films
and Criterion, for those film lovers who
want to see and or collect the older (and I dare say better) movies.
Now Kino Lorber,
which for years has specialized exclusively in silent, foreign and independent
films, has made a deal with MGM/Fox to release older United Artists titles from
the 50’s to the 70’s in new blu-ray remastered discs, starting in late summer.
Practically every week recently, they’ve been announcing new UA titles set for release, such as the westerns “Duel at Diablo” with Sidney
Poitier (which I wrote
about HERE), “The Scalphunters” with Burt Lancaster and Ossie Davis, and John Huston’s “The Unforgiven,” Billy Wilder’s wonderful 1970 movie “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes,” and William Wyler’s “The Children
Today Kino announced that they will be releasing “Across 110th St” in September, on a new remastered blu-ray disc for the very first time.
I can’t add anything more than what Tambay said about it, except that it’s one of the rawest and realest
depictions of New York City during the 1970’s that’s ever been captured on film. This
is light years away from the scrubbed clean and privileged all-white elitist views
of New York seen too often in movies. It’s meaner, more cynical, grimmer and decidedly more violent, with the undercurrent of racial
conflict and racism, not just bubbling underneath the surface, but bursting through it, scalding everyone.
And add to that a truly mesmerizing performance by Tony Franciosa, who, even though is only in a handful of scenes, gives one of the most frightening portrayals of a psychotic killer I’ve ever seen on the screen.
I still remember my father taking me to see the film when
it first opened, and was totally terrified by Franciosa that I would flinch
every time he appeared on the screen. He was that intense and convincing in
It’s great to see “110th St.” finally coming
out on blu-ray, remastered, replacing the old muddy-looking MGM/Fox standard DVD. We’ll now be able to see the film in all its seamy and grimy glory.