Friday, August 9, 2013

Looking back at Steve McQueen

TCM has been running 24 hours of movies with Steve McQueen as part of his day in Summer Under the Stars. I didn't blog about any of them because, to be honest, I wasn't all that excited about today's lineup. But there are a few other Steve McQueen things that have gotten DVD releases and are worth mentioning.

First is the documentary Steve McQueen: The Essence of Cool. This was produced for the 75th anniversary of McQueen's birth back in 2005, which I thi9nk is also when TCM first showed it as part of a Star of the Month salute to McQueen. Has it really been eight years already? I don't think TCM have shown it recently; my recollection of it is that it was no less interesting than any of their other documentaries. It's been released to DVD as part of a two-disc special edition of Bullitt, so you get two things for the price of one.

The other thing worth mentioning is An Enemy of the People. I first learned about this one when watching the Steve McQueen documentary, and it's something I wouldn't mind seeing, since it's based on a Henrik Ibsen play. The basic plot is of a town that is famous for its mineral waters. Unfortunately, the town doctor (McQueen) discovers that other industry is ruining the mineral waters, but when the doctor tries to inform the rest of the town, they don't want to listen, and make him persona non grata because making this bad news public would harm both the spa toruism as well as the other industry. I was surprised when I looked it up on IMDb today and saw that it's received a DVD release courtesy of the Warner Archive Collection. Apparently it was originally distributed by Warner Bros. back in the late 1970s. If it could get a Warner Archive release, then presumably TCM should have an easier time getting the rights to broadcast it, what with working with a corporate partner and all.

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