All seven volumes of The Edgar Wallace Mysteries will be available from 4 November as a 20-disc box set. THE EDGAR WALLACE ANTHOLOGY (12), courtesy of Network Distributing, RRP £129.99. One of the twentieth century’s most successful crime novelists, Edgar Wallace’s thrillers have been widely adapted for film and television – the most memorable of which are the Edgar Wallace Mysteries series, made at Merton Park Studios during the first half of the 1960s. A noir-esque series, the films update some of the author’s stories to more contemporary settings, blending classic B-movie elements with a distinctly British feel. Unseen for decades before their Network releases and freshly transferred from the original film elements, all 47 films are included in this Anthology set alongside a wealth of special features.
Those who avidly consumed Tony Lee Moral’s exceptionally detailed guide to the making of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds were treated to an exhaustive but always fascinating description of virtually everything that went into the making of the director’s masterpiece, and many of them (such as this writer) will have investigated the writer’s similarly loving treatment of the other Hitchcock film that starred Tippi Hedren, Marnie. However, that film — and possibly, accordingly, Moral’s book about it, might be said to be a harder sell. Those who admire the director see it as among his richest and most interesting work, for all its obvious flaws, but those flaws do not the obscure the fact that this is still a late film by Britain’s greatest filmmaker, and the rehabilitation of its chequered reputation in recent years is perfectly encapsulated in this revised edition of Moral’s guide to its making. The fraught filming of Marnie is treated dispassionately by the author, without the degree of psychological penetration utilised by such writers as Donald Spoto, but there is virtually no element of the making of the film that is not treated by Moral in the most fascinating detail (including, of course, Bernard Herrmann’s matchless score). Even for those Hitchcock admirers who may have the author’s earlier edition of this book, the new one will still make an extremely tempting proposition.
Hitchcock and the Making of Marnie by Tony Lee Moral is published by Scarecrow Press
FRENCH NEW WAVE: JAZZ ON FILM RECORDINGS 1957 – 1962 Proper Note/Jazzwise JOF001 Given that the wave of French Nouvelle Vague films which changed the face of modern cinema in the 1960s did so by a radical improvisation and re-reinvention of the very language of film, it’s hardly a surprise that the music used for many of the key works in the genre was composed or played by jazz musicians; inspired riffs on plangent themes were the perfect aural accompaniment to the strategies being employed by such directors as Louis Malle, Jean-Luc Godard and others. One of the key jazz scores written during this period has already enjoyed much praise: Miles Davis’s score for Louis Malle’s Lift to the Scaffold ( which was famously improvised during a showing of the film), but aficionados of French cinema will know that other scores deserve attention Continue reading