Monday, August 01, 2005

Out With the New

I just noticed that the top two DVD sellers on Amazon, as of this writing, are the complete "Thin Man" boxed set (# 1) and "The High and the Mighty" (# 2). I'm not even a great big fan of these films (though I approve of the great job the John Wayne estate is doing in assembling special editions of his self-produced movies -- some of the major studios should take lessons), but that's impressive, particularly since only a few years ago it was reportedly received wisdom among some companies that old movies wouldn't sell on DVD.

Speaking of The High and the Mighty, one of the participants in the audio commentary is the inimitable Pedro Gonzales-Gonzales; this wasn't his first American movie (he'd been in a Budd Boetticher film the year before), but it was the one that started his long association with John Wayne. But I know him best from a movie called The Sheepman, because it was a movie that my dad saw as a young man, and years after he'd forgotten the name of the film, he always remembered Gonzales-Gonzales's big line: seeing a shipment of sheep being brought in, he cries out: "The sheep has come in!" Dad said this got a huge laugh in the theatre. One afternoon we were watching TV and we noticed Gonzales-Gonzales in some kind of sheep-herding situation; Dad realized this was it, and we waited for the big line. When we heard it, it was like we'd finally recovered the lost gold or something. So thanks, Pedro.

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