The John Cassavetes Collection Review

The John Cassavetes Collection gather five of the director’s key independent productions. We start with his directorial debut Shadows (the 1959 version) and progress through to Faces, A Woman Under the Influence, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie and Opening Night. Of particular note is the fact that Chinese Bookie comes in two versions, that which was initially released in 1976 and has never been available on home video in the UK, and the better known 1978 re-edit. Of course, this boxed set therefore misses out on a number of aspects of Cassavetes’ directorial career - most notably the studio films – but then these should be considered the most important works and therefore the most deserving of a release. Moreover, each film also comes with some notable extras and the presentation qualities in every case are absolutely superb. Indeed, given the strength of these special features, not to mention that of the films themselves, each disc has been given an individual review which can be accessed by clicking on the relevant title below. As a final note, those wishing to investigate the director further should be made aware that Gloria (1980) and his final work, the much maligned Big Trouble (1986) are both available on Region 2 DVD courtesy of Sony/Columbia.

Shadows (1959) Starring Ben Carruthers, Lelia Goldoni and Hugh Hurd

Faces (1967) Starring John Marley, Lynn Carlin, Gena Rowlands, Fred Draper and Seymour Cassel

A Woman Under the Influence (1971) Starring Gena Rowlands, Peter Falk, Fred Draper, Lady Rowlands and Katherine Cassavetes

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976 original version) Starring Ben Gazzara, Seymour Cassel, Timothy Agoglia Carey and Robert Phillips

Opening Night Starring Gena Rowlands, John Cassavetes, Ben Gazzara and Joan Blondell

The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1978 re-edit) Starring Ben Gazzara, Seymour Cassel, Timothy Agoglia Carey and Robert Phillips

Film
9 out of 10
Video
9 out of 10
Audio
9 out of 10
Extras
9 out of 10
Overall

9

out of 10

Last updated: 23/06/2018 08:09:04

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