Last year, in May 2011, I reported that, for the first time on DVD, the 1972 film Georgia, Georgia with Diana Sands, would be coming out on DVD that year.
Well, it turned out that, according to film historian and critic Steve Ryfle, that wasn’t entirely correct. The film was definitely set to come out on DVD, but not as soon as I reported back then. Ryfle, who produced the DVD commentary for the film, informed us that the the original release date originallly reported in the press, was incorrect, and the film would be coming out on a later date.
However, now I can report that Georgia, Georgia will indeed be finally coming out this fall, through speciality DVD label Scorpion Releasing, which specializes in cult and rare in-demand films, from the 60’s and 70’s.
Undoubtedly, one of the most obscure and rarely seen films from the 1970’s, the low budget film, was based on an original screenplay by Maya Angelou, who is often mistakenly credited as also being the director of the film.
It was, in fact, directed by Swedish director Stig Bjorkman, and was presented at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1973. But, nevertheless, unless I’m mistaken, it is still the first feature film actually produced that was written by a black female screenwriter.
The film did get an American release through Cinerama Releasing, which was a major studio at the time, but it quickly faded from sight.
It deals with a troubled American singer (played by Sands, in one of her last roles before her untimely death in 1973 at the age of 39) who’s in Stockholm to perform at a concert, but falls in love with a white Vietnam war deserter, played by Dirk Benedict (who of course would later go on TV’s Battleship Galactica and The A Team with Mr T). Needless to say, this doesn’t sit well with those within Sand’s circle, which eventually leads to a stunning final plot twist.
I haven’t seen it in centuries since it’s been totally unavailable for so long, but I do seem to recall that it’s a rather odd yet intriguing film, and its sudden, shock twist ending will no doubt leave some people confused or enraged, which I’m sure was Ms. Angelou’s intention. One can almost sense in the script that she herself was wrestling with some of her own personal issues at the time.
The DVD, as I stated above, will include a commentary track with Benedict and director Bjorkman, recalling their memories about the film and behind the scenes details.