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Too Late Blues [Blu-ray]
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Too Late Blues was the second feature film directed by legendary director John Cassavetes (A Woman Under the Influence). After his pioneering independent film Shadows, Cassavetes made his major studio directorial debut with this gritty drama about jazz musicians. Music legend (Bobby Darin) plays a bandleader who scuffles from gig to gig with his band, trying to keep body and soul together without betraying his muse. Sex symbol Stella Stevens (The Nutty Professor) plays a would-be singer with a dark past who meets Darin at a party and joins his band. The two fall deeply in love, but their world comes crumbling down after Darin and his band are involved in a bar fight and Darin is overcome by fear and is unable to fight back… the humiliation causes him to reject her and his band mates. The stellar cast includes Vince Edward (TV’s Ben Casey) and Cassavetes regular Seymour Cassel (Minnie and Moskowitz).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Why I rate it high is because it belongs in any retrospective of the legendary, uncompromising director, and it gave Bobby Darin one of the most multi-talented entertainers of all time, a chance to shine. I'll be forever grateful to Cassavettes' for casting Bobby in this role.
The Olive DVD is a crisp B&W transfer in an anamorphic 1.85 aspect ratio.
So many of the other performances (for that matter co-writer Cassavetes had more discipline in the script here than ever)are super. Everett Chambers wonderful lizard like performance turning on dime from smiling glad-hander to back-stabber, Bobby Darin playing a jazz musician (someone whose musical tastes AND OUTPUT was ALWAYS broad in real life)who is basically a self-centered egocentric (MANY would assert not far from his REAL personality)is always convincing and never a caricature. Nick Dennis is always a ball to watch and see (Everyone remembers him in Aldrich's KISS ME DEADLY..."Pretty POW!"). Vincent Edwards (when he was doing almost NOTHING but villains before BEN CASEY too him to stardom) isn't convincing as an IRISH person, but is effective as a drunken bully who beats tiny Darin up and humiliates him in front of his friends/bandmates and girl (Stevens)...In addition the parts of the band are played by real jazz players and they are all extraordinarily effective...as is Lionel Lindon's cinematography and David Raksin's score. SEE IT!
The Olive Films' blu-ray looks sterling.