on June 18, 2004
It's amazing that a studio backed this mess of a story/film and released it, thinking that it would be a hit among anyone. This premise is just too out there for the average, "make me feel better and affirm my own biases" film-goer. With that said, because it's sooooooooo over the top and messy, it's quite wonderful. Mae West gets off some great one-liners, and my god, any film that can feature Mae West surrounded by dancing black men as she's rapping (YES, I said 80yr old Mae West RAPPING!!!)truly is something wonderful! Oh, and miss Welch has maybe the second best bed-hair in cinema (#1 is Miss Deneuve in Belle Du Jour, tres parfait bien sur!). Myra Brekinridge isn't for everyone, but approached with the right spirit, you'll love it!
on June 5, 2004
..... and 'Thank ya'all'
This extravaganzic curiosity made it to DVD in various guises ....this one ain't bad. BUT I'd visit the novel before plunging into this somewhat contemporary vision of Hollywood across the hills ...[nuffin's really changed!]
RAQUEL/REX are suitably paired with 'his and & her' accoutremonts .... painfully coiffed and coutoured for this 'vision' as is LEGEND MAE WEST ~ still firing those 'zingerz ' from various anatomical points, but al least the darling diva was not 'wired for sound' as she was later in "Sextet" - a babe sorely missed - also her grand wit and style!
Other points of note - babyfaced [yes he was] TOM SELLECK is part of Mae's entourage, and an almost unrecognisable FARRAH FAWCETT debuts as the love-object's [the rather dim young hunk]
aspiring love .... whatever happened to the boy? Possibly still 'tied up' in Mae's suite at the El Royale ....
Not forgetting a brave and quite funny JOHN HUSTON .... nice to see this other legend of showbiz spoof tinseltown.
NOPE, THIS ONE's A QUAINT HALLUCINATION - worth driving through occasionally - with the appropriate gear!
on April 28, 2004
Fox has provided a beautiful widescreen transfer of this cult classic. The sound is great also. There are two audio commentaries. One by the director Mike Sarne and the other by star Raquel Welch. Some have said that director Sarne is settling old scores within his commentary, but really he is only setting the record straight. His is clearly the more insightful effort. Raquel takes herself and the movie too seriously and at the end of her spiel, with all of it's pseudo-intellectual pretensions, even admits that she doesn't know what she's talking about and is "here for the laughs." She seems put out that the movie didn't have mass appeal and wasn't a crowd pleaser, which is one of the reasons I find it so endearing. The AMC documentary on the "making of" is very interesting as well. It is included on the disc. All in all, this is a very good buy and an excellent example of what dvd is all about: Top quality sound and picture plus interesting extras. The movie itself, like anything else, is a matter of taste. If you like whacked-out late '60s/early '70s cinema like "The Magic Christian", The Monkees' "Head", "Beneath the Valley of the Dolls", "Candy", "Casino Royale", then you'll dig this flick. People (including Raquel) just don't seem to understand the premise which is: A gay film critic has an accident and while in a coma DREAMS he is a woman in Hollywood. When he wakes up (in the original BLACK & WHITE finale) he screams "Where are my t*ts?" Yes folks, the movie is about a dream and when was the last time you had a dream that wasn't a little weird and disjointed? But don't get me wrong... a lot of people will still find this film way too "out there" and it is definately a "culter." Not for squares or kids! Originally rated "X". Needless to say, I LOVE IT!!
on March 24, 2004
I have wanted to see Myra Breckinridge since it came out in 1970.
Indeed, it has been a difficult movie to find anywhere.
I was thrilled when it came on DVD just recently.
When I first watched it, I was sort of disappointed. I expected more. What? I don't know. So I had to give it a chance. After viewing it once, I then watched it with Raquel's commentary, and then with the Director's commentary.
Raquel gave a great performance, as did John Huston (Buck Loner)
and Mae West (Letitia Van Allen) was quite attractive in this film. This was her first color film ever, and after a long hiatus from the silver screen.
There was alot of anymosity on this set, and I fault the Director Michael Sarne for this. If he hadn't been so full of himself, this might have worked better. I don't know who's in control of the script, or changes in the script, but this constant rewriting of the story didn't make matters better for the actors.
I think the acting is top rate, and the actors deserve credit for taking lemons and making them into lemonade.
I wrote to Raquel Welch recently to tell her alot of this and more, and I mean what I say.
And maybe she's right.
In the commentary I believe she wished that John Huston had been the director. I agree with her on this. Someone who might have cared about people would have made this difficult and abstract story a success on film.
on March 17, 2004
With the exception of sharp widescreen color transfer and the nifty AMC Backstory featurette, this "Special Edition" DVD is as big a botch as "Myra Breckinridge" itself. Neither commentary is particularly enlightening--director Michael Sarne primarily seems intent on settling old scores with Gore Vidal Rex Reed, and the studio, while Raquel Welch's arch (and largely meaningless) asides seem to suggest she's revisiting the film over a bottle of wine. The only differences between the theatrical and "special" versions are a black-and-white ending in the latter, and the odd substitution of a Oliver Hardy film clip (he's seen opening an exploding champagne bottle) for the cannon fire clip that followed Rex Reed's auto/erotic climax in the release version. Even stranger, both clips are preceded a snippet of bubbly music not present when the film was originally released or broadcast on TV. (My guess is that this is a musical cue left over from the notorious excised clip of Shirley Temple shooting herself in the face while milking a goat.) Still, to anyone who's even vaguely interested this weird curio is worth a look.
on February 20, 2004
WHAT?! The uncut version?! And in widescreen?! With Raquel's commentary and that fantastic AMC documentary?!
The DVD gods have truly delivered. The only thing left to hope for is the lost reels of "The Magnificent Ambersons."
So many "bad movies" fail to really live up to their reputations. This movie delivers. Originally rated "X", it is in excruciatingly poor taste (two words: Mae West), and would be offensive if it weren't oh so very, very terrible.
Twentieth Century Fox actually made and distributed this film, which has since been very difficult to find. Watch the documentary first, to fully appreciate what you are witnessing.
I have only seen the cut version on the Fox Movie Channel, and even that version has the scene with Raquel strapping on the...well, I'll let you found out that detail for yourself.
Gather your friends around, and enjoy one of the great cinema bombs. (then hold a candlelight vigil that Fox will release that OTHER X-rated studio classic in their vaults: "Beyond The Valley of The Dolls").
on January 11, 2004
This film about the sex-changed titular character, played by REX REED ("Myron") who transforms into RAQUEL WELCH ("Myra") is one of the all-time camp-classics of all-time!
This film was unbelievable when it was released in 1970 (actually, it was a BOMB!), but as time has progressed, it has become an absolute GEM of it's genre! (Think "Rocky Horror Picture Show".) Although the plot is difficult to follow at times, it really doesn't matter. It's still a very symbolic film of the early 70's, and was light-years ahead of it's time as a work of performance art on film.
I STRONGLY recommend it for anyone with a bent sense of humor, who loves camp and the truly bizarre.
I think everyone MUST SEE this film! It deserves a posthumous Oscar for Mae West... definitely her "swan-song" (and sing she does, in two production numbers!). I am SO GLAD this film FINALLY came out on DVD! The DVD transfer is wonderful. The picture has been restored to pristine quality, and the sound is great.
Raquel Welch's commentary is enlightening at times, and quite humorous. However, I think it would have been a good idea if she had seen the film again prior to making her commentary. Evidently, she had only seen the film twice, over 30 years ago. Thirty years later, she merely sat in a screening and made her live commentary as the film unfolded before her. Seemingly she didn't have a very strong recollection of the plot of the film and was commenting on most of it as if it were the first time she had seen it. (She was looking for Tom Selleck in the scene in which he appears, and she missed him altogether!) That was rather lame at times, although for the most part Welch added some humor. It's the only DVD I've ever been able to sit through in it's entirety with the commentary track turned on.
My only other negative comment is that while there are two versions of the film on this DVD (the "Theatrical Version" and the "Special Edition"), nowhere in the liner notes or on the packaging is any information given to inform us of the difference between the two versions. The time on the package lists a running time of 94 minutes, but it doesn't state for which version (or are both running times the same?).
The only difference I could find between the two versions is that one ended with the final scene in black & white, and the other version ended with the same final scene in color. Big deal; what's up with that?
As Raquel Welch herself says in the film, "Myra Breckenridge is a dish..." Well with this dish your plate is full, so enjoy the buffet and keep going back for more!
on October 16, 2010
Don't get me wrong: I love bad movies! I've watched the Ed Wood, Jr. movies more than once, I've enjoyed the attacking Tomatoes, I really dig movies that are dated, out of style, that feature actresses who've become drag queen icons etc. In all, I was able to sit through thousands of movies (from the works of Ingmar Bergman to the trashy titles that one finds in the $1.99 bin at your local GT) in my sad but interesting life! But there are only two movies that I have stopped watching in the middle and this is one of them (the other being Shock Treatment-1981). Heck, I even survived Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.
If I'd get this movie, it would be for the extras. The tale of human failure is often much more interesting and revealing...
on March 9, 2004
Aside from the audio commentary, by Welch and Director Sarne, there is nothing new to see. No deleated scenes, no additional scenes, there are 4 previews, and a AMC backstory on the making of, which is somewhat interesting. For a film that was almost a notorious for what wound up on the cutting room floor, as what it contained, this "special edition" is a big letdown.
The best thing I can say, is that the picture quality is great, and the sound is good. Maybe someday, there will be a "restored"
on March 16, 2004
Other than the different commentary track the only difference in the special edition is that after Myron wakes up the footage is in Black and White , as in " I do believe we are back from OZ" as the director intended.
Apparrently the studio insisted all the new footage be in color for the theatrical release