For fans (like myself) of Raquel Welch, THE #1 "Sex Goddess" of the swinging 60's and super 70's, this is a must have collection of 5 of her better films. The only major disappointment in the set is the lack of supplementary material (interviews, commentaries) and the fact that the "major" film of the set, "ONE MILLION YEARS B.C." is the shorter U.S. theatrical version. But these are disappointments I can live with as long as I get to ogle the beautiful Miss Welch.
To the films:
Yes, as I stated, "ONE MILLION YEARS B.C." is the shorter version released by 20th Century Fox in 1966. The US version is listed as 91 minutes (closer to 92, as I timed it last night), while the UK version is 100 minutes. Missing is a sexy dance by Nupondi the Wild One (Martine Beswick) and some shots of Ray Harryhausen's animation. While it is too bad that Fox didn't release the longer version, folks, this film is NOT "CITIZEN KANE". As it is, at 91 minutes I feel the film is about 10 minutes too long! So while I do miss the footage (hopefully Fox will make things right and put the longer version out on dvd some time in the future), I really can't complain. Rocky looks beautiful in this film, Harryhausen's dinosaur's are still a sight to behold and every bit as good as the CGI fx of such big time Hollywood blockbusters as "JURASSIC PARK" (and maybe even better) and the music by Mario Nascimbene is fantastic. One mistake of continuity I noticed in the film itself: when we first see Raquel by the sea she kneels down on a rock and we see her feet are bare. A few seconds later when she runs up the hill and kneels next to Tumak she is wearing her fur booties. A few seconds later, her feet are again bare! I notice things like that, I have a foot fetish (ha)! Also, one question I have, when it is clear that Loana (Raquel) has the hots for Tumak (John Richardson), why does he spend so much time fighting with Ahot for possession of his oodala (spear)? Does that make sense to you?
Picture and sound are very pleasing on this disc (I have no complaints).For some reason I like the mono sound over the stereo, but that's just me. I'm weird. The only extras are trailers for this film and several other Fox sf titles and a restoration comparion (boring).
"MYRA BRECKINRIDGE" is a very weird, often unpleasant, film. Rocky is the only real saving grace. Mae West is awful, the script stinks, and the film put me to sleep! Picture and sound are fine. This is the only disc with some interesting extras. In fact, the extras are better than the film! Included is the AMC "BACKSTORY" episode about the making of this turkey and an often funny and insightful audio commentary with Miss Welch in which she reveals that when she first met her legendary co-star Mae West, she thought Miss West was "a man in drag"!!!
Of the other three films, "FATHOM" (an enjoyable spy spoof) was previously released by Fox, but "BANDOLERO" and "MOTHER, JUGS AND SPEED" are new to this set.
"BANDOLERO" is an entertaining western featuring James Stewart and Dean Martin as bank robbing brothers who kidnap Miss Welch when they are on the run from Sherrif George Kennedy and the law. The stars are all good and the script is often touching and quite funny. The score by Jerry Goldsmith is one of his best! Again, sound and picture quality are very good on this fine dvd. The picture of Rocky on the cover is actually from another Fox/Welch oater, "100 RIFLES" that Welch later made with Burt Reynolds and Jom Brown.
"MOTHER, JUGS AND SPEED" is a very funny comedy about an inept bunch of ambulance drivers. It co-stars Bill Cosby, Harvy Keitel and Larry Hagman. Pic and sound are good.
To wrap it up, if you are a fan of Miss Welch chances are you have already bought this fine box set, and to everyone else, I do recommend it. I feel you won't be disappointed. The films are all very entertaining and Rocky is always a pleasure to watch! I have always felt that she is a very under-rated actress. I believe she is very talented and intelligent as well as beautiful, but if your a woman and beautiful in Hollywood, you're never taken seriously (especially when you start out your career wearing a fur bikini in a silly caveman movie). -George Bauch.