I love watching films with strong lead characters and that’s exactly what we have in today’s film review. I am looking at a Burt Lancaster film from 1977 that came out on blu-ray last year. So without further ado here’s my Twilight’s Last Gleaming blu-ray review.
- Twilight’s Last Gleaming (1977)
- UK Rating 15
- Discs: 2 (Dual Format Blu-ray & DVD)
- Released By Eureka Entertainment
- Blu-ray Released: 31 October 2016
Air Force General Lawrence Dell breaks out of a military prison and takes over a nuclear silo. He threatens to use the missiles if his demands are not met. Those demands include money, safe passage to another country but most of all the publishing of a damming report regarding the Vietnam War.
The film was written by Ronald M. Cohen.
Style / Direction
The film is directed by Robert Aldrich with the cinematography handled by Robert B. Hauser.
Twilight’s Last Gleaming is a tense thriller that manages to achieve this by good acting and the use of a couple of camera effects. One such effect is the use of split screen allowing the audience to see and hear both sides point of view at the same time. This for the most part works rather well.
In fact on one occasion that sees the possible launching of a missile the screen splits into four providing a rather chaotic and noisy scene showing all the different parties involved panicking. This does however make for a far more realistic view of what would probably be happening if the events happened in real life and really does a great job in ramping up the tension. I would conclude be saying this effect works well in certain scenes.
The film lasts 146 min and being a tense drama/thriller the danger is that the film will simply hit a lull in proceedings. Thankfully I never found that to be the case.
Music / Audio Effects
The score is dramatic and effective in conveying the sheer tension but considering the music is provided by the great Jerry Goldsmith I’d say this is not one of his very best. That said he has so many fabulous film scores in his career they all can’t be truly outstanding.
Acting / Characters
Burt Lancaster plays General Lawrence Dell a man whom has just escaped from a military prison and has taken control of a US nuclear silo. Lawrence Dell is a man wanting answers relating to the Vietnam War but just how far is he prepared to go?
Well there are signs he may well be slightly on the edge mentally. Lancaster’s portrayal is pretty engrossing and has you wondering how and if he will hold it together.
Backing Dell up are a couple of guys who escaped with him. One of these is Augie Gavas played by Burt Young whom is probably best known for his recurring appearances in the Rocky films.
Pitted against Lancaster is Richard Widmark who plays the General tasked with bringing the silo back under military control.
The acting is very much under the spotlight as large parts of the film are filled with lots of dialogue heavy scenes as the president and military decide how to proceed. Thankfully the acting on show is exceptionally good.
Conclusion: Twilight’s Last Gleaming (1977) Film Review
Upon release the film failed to the grab audience’s attention and was largely considered a flop at the box office. However with the passing of time along with being shown on television plus the advent of the different home formats, VHS, DVD & Blu-ray Twilight’s Last Gleaming has been reappraised and many give the film glowing reviews.
I can’t remember ever seeing this film but I did enjoy it. The acting and the tension did enough to keep me engrossed until the end. That said this is one of those films best watched every ten years or so.
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Conclusion: Twilight’s Last Gleaming Blu-ray Review
The film claims to have had a digital restoration and the news is good. The image is clean and sharp and the colours are vibrant. I saw no sign of any dirt marks throughout the film.
If you like this film I’d recommended buying the Blu-ray version which also comes with the DVD version, so it’s at win win situation.
- Aldrich Over Munich Robert Fisher’s feature length documentary (69 mins)
- 36 page booklet including a new essay from film scholar Neil Sinyard
- Aldrich interview
A very nice set of extras, with the 69 minute documentary well worth a look.
Popcorn Cinema Rating:
Twilight’s Last Gleaming (1977)
MOVIE RATING: WELL WORTH WATCHING
BLU-RAY RATING: EXCELLENT
EXTRAS: VERY GOOD
POPCORN CINEMA: RECOMMENDED
Twilight’s Last Gleaming (1977) Blu-ray is available now from Amazon.
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Twilight’s Last Gleaming (1977) Film Trailer
For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
Clip may not be representative of the Blu-ray version
That’s my The Twilight’s Last Gleaming blu-ray review, if you have any thoughts on this film leave them in the comment section below:
Summary: Twilight's Last Gleaming (1977) Blu-ray Review
Movie title: Twilight's Last Gleaming (1977)
Duration: 146 mins
Director(s): Robert Aldrich
Actor(s): Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Charles Durning, Paul Winfield, William Smith
Genre: Drama, Thriller
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Rating
- Extras Rating
A tense thriller with a terrific cast now looks superb on Blu-ray.