Awhile back (actually May 13, 2008) I wrote a blog post asking people to go to the Turner Classic Movies website and vote for five unavailable Tennessee Williams film adaptations to be released on DVD. After voting for them over and over again, I gave up hope and resigned myself to taping showings of these films once they aired on TCM. I have seen all five movies now, and have enjoyed them to varying extents (even a shitty Williams film can’t be too bad due to his dialog), but I honestly haven’t thought about these films since getting my own copies to watch. Imagine my surprise when I went on Amazon to look up Tennessee Williams stuff and found out that two of these films were FINALLY available on DVD! That’s right, the 1961 adaptation of Summer & Smoke and Sidney Lumet’s gloriously trashy Last of the Mobile Hot Shots are now available to purchase, each being released last year. I placed my order today and am waiting with baited breath to crack these bad boys open.
Summer & Smoke was released by some company called Olive Films, and is in widescreen format. No extras are included and the cover art kinda blows, but who gives a shit? You can own it now! All of the flowery dialog and sticky sexuality is back! As for Last of the Mobile Hot Shots, this was released via that new “on demand” thing that I’ve seen on Amazon, where basically they don’t make a copy of the film until it’s ordered. Even though the price is pretty steep ($27 new, but I got mine for $13 used), it’s a fantastic idea for these kind of obscure films. Seriously, hardly anyone even knows this movie exists, but there is money to be made by catering to film snobs or those with ultra-obscure tastes by doing it on demand. I’m fucking thrilled that I can now own a copy of a movie that I’d probably never get a copy of otherwise.
By the way, when I wrote my last blog I hadn’t seen Last of the Mobile Hot Shots and had no idea why it was rated X. After watching it I can now say that the X rating is due to seeing a black lady’s tit, some cross dressing, and the implication that a white woman is going to have sex with a black man. Pretty fucking weak shit for an X rating, but that’s how things worked back then. Bring this film to the MPAA now and it’d get a PG-13 rating at most. Regardless, I really liked this movie, and have incorporated a quote from it into my love life (the line “we’re going to make that bed beg for mercy” or something to that extent).
Unfortunately, The 1950 version of The Glass Menagerie, Period of Adjustment, and Boom! are still unavailable. To that I have to say...you’ve gotta be shitting me. It’s Tennessee William’s 100th birthday this year, for Christ’s sake! Release the goddamn films on DVD already. MAKE THIS HAPPEN.