Thursday, April 29, 2021

By the Gods!

Peter (Howard Keel) meets Fara (Susan Kohner) in THE BIG FISHERMAN (1959)

I got the Italian DVD in the mail yesterday (amazingly FAST service). I'm happy and yet disappointed. I'm happy to show screenshots of the movie in widescreen. This being the first movie shot in Super Panavision 70, it needs to be seen in the widescreen format. I won't review the movie itself as I've learned after watching tons of PEPLUM movies with bad prints that watching a movie with a great print is the only way to give it a fair overview. Needeless to say, this movie is more THE SILVER CHALICE (1954) than BEN-HUR (1959). It seems to draw as much criticism as THE SILVER CHALICE. Just check out the reviews at IMDb. That's all I shall say about it for now.  

As for the Italian DVD pack, it comes with two discs. One with the movie in 4:3 aspect ratio. This print is available in Italian and English, at 165 minutes (PAL) while the second disc is only in Italian, in widescreen at 122 minutes (PAL). I'm glad I bought it even though I'm disappointed the widescreen copy is not in better shape and there's no English track. The print in widescreen was reason alone in getting this pack.

Looking at this release I wonder: aside from PEPLUM fanatics like me who's going to buy this?

The movie has many insane massive sets!

Here's a comparison between the Italian DVD above and, below, the only copy available in English. It's almost unwatchable in 4:3. 


Anonymous said...

What a pity. Disney is holding this movie hostage in the U.S. and I was told by their archivist that they have no plans whatsoever to release it...ever.

Tim Mayer said...

I seem to recall this movie making the infomercial rounds in the late 1970s. Some new contraption corporations would buy air time, show an older film, then fill up the ad spaces with a pitch for their own product. I'm not certain what The Big Fisherman was used to sell.

Salgister said...

I still have the booklet given with the ticket. And thanks, I managed to lay my hands on The Big Fisherman. Has been a long time on my wish list. Now I have.