DVD Rating: **

Reviewed by: Josh Morrall

Read Josh Morrall's film review of Luther

The interview with Richard Pena features him talking through the development of the American Film Theatre and its rise to glory after demand for the films shown at the theatre grew, spliced with barely relevant extracts from other productions. Pena argues that the American Film Theatre made films that contrasted with the general offerings from Hollywood.

Ely Landau's message is a very interesting extra. With perhaps the worst sound ever heard on a DVD, he introduces some of the AFT's best moments. The clips are short, sharp and surprisingly enjoyable, but not as appealing as Landau and his phenomenal sideburns. Very obscure.

An intelligent article on John Osborne's career is the disc's third and last prominent extra. Well written and engaging, this takes you from birth to death, through peaks and troughs, to his most memorable works. Fairly pointless, although harmless.

The AFT Cinebill consists of four essays focusing on Martin Luther's life, the making of the film and a biography of Stacy Keach. All are of a high intellectual standard, but for enthusiasts only, as many of the actors are either dead, or approaching mortality. Beware of the Rebel Writer On A Rebel Priest essay, which reads as if it was aimed at a very scholarly audience. Words like "tableaux" reign supreme.

A mediocre black-and-white stills gallery and a few trailers for other AFT productions rounds off a disc with very little to watch, but plenty to read.

Not for the more excitable of viewers, this DVD is for hardcore Seventies indie fans only.

Reviewed on: 15 Feb 2005
Share this with others on...
Luther packshot
The story of the Augustinian monk.
Amazon link

Product Code: FHED1791

Region: 2

Ratio: 4:3

Sound: Dolby Digital

Extras: Interview with Richard Pena, Director of New York Film Festival; American Film Theatre Second Season Message: Ely Landau: In Front Of The Camera; AFT Promotional Reel 1974; AFT Cinebill; trailers; stills gallery

Search database: