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» Saturday, March 22, 2008Whoa! What a Surprise!
For the past five or six months, I have been looking at a DVD collection at BJs called "Classic Horse Favorites: 4 Film Favorites." This collection had a copy of International Velvet, which has never been released to DVD. I saw International Velvet when it was first released in 1978. Mom and I drove out to the Apple Valley Mall Cinema, which at that time was absolutely tiny, since it was the only place in Rhode Island showing the film. I remember walking into the theatre and thinking it looked like a big living room, with about ten rows of seats, and I swear the screen was the size of those big plasma screens they sell now. I had a few quibbles with the film, mostly the timeline, but most of the acting was sound, the film featured Anthony Hopkins as a hard-nosed equitation trainer, the sceneryespecially that of Devonwas exquisite, and the three-day eventing scenes superb, plus the score was pretty good.
I recorded a copy to videotape off a commercial station in the early 1980s, carefully editing out the ads, and transferred it to DVD a few years back. But what I really wanted was a widescreen copy.
This collection seemed a bit redundant. I already had a copy of two of the other films. National Velvet is a favorite of mine. The 1990s version of Black Beauty I already owned, too, and in a widescreen version.
Story of Seabiscuit I remember seeing as a little girl. It is a very fictionalized version of the story of the real horse and is most famous for featuring Shirley Temple in an adult role. I don't remember liking it all that much; very much a typical 1930s-1940s horseracing flick.
However, I was still drawn by having an ad-less, less-faded version of International Velvet (and I had missed last summer's broadcast on TCM, which was letterboxed), despite the box description telling me the film was in full frame, so when I was at BJs Friday I indulged. Well, I popped the DVD into the player this afternoon and was absolutely delighted to find out the darn thing is in widescreen despite the description! So, cool!