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10.30PM SUMMER: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
During a terrible thunderstorm, a married couple, Maria (Melina Mercouri) and Paul (Peter Finch), travelling with their friend, Claire (Romy Schneider), take refuge in a small Spanish hotel. That night, while witnessing Paul and Claire making love, a distraught Maria spots a young man (Julián Mateos) wanted for a crime of passion hiding on a rooftop. Compelled to help the murderer elude the authorities, Maria embarks on a dangerous journey that will change her life forever.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
The most impressive element of 10.30pm Summer is how Hungarian cinematographer Gábor Pogány manages to make the most of the many night scenes with lighting and positioning that creates more interest than the overblown melodrama of the screenplay. The adaptation from the novel gives in to all the pitfalls, in a story and characters that should all be underplayed and minimised. Mind you, it was made in 1966, when minimalism was reserved for films noir - such as some good ones by Jules Dassin himself, notably Rififi (1956).

The script is stilted and even Melina Mercouri is below par as the hard drinking Maria, although Peter Finch elevates his character, Paul, by the sheer force of his personality. Romy Schneider has a difficult role as Paul's lover and his wife's friend, but the chemistry simply isn't there between the trio to engage us on any meaningful level.

For all that, there is a fascination to the film, partly generated by its dense mood and intense storyline and some nice touches, such as the night scene where Maria drives her car round to the back of the hotel to help the fugitive escape, all shot from her point of view.

Published May 28, 2009

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

10.30PM SUMMER: DVD (M)
(US/Spain, 1966)

CAST: Melina Mercouri, Romy Schnieder, Peter Finch, Julián Mateos, Isabel Maria Perez, Beatriz Savon

PRODUCER: Jules Dassin, Anatole Litvak

DIRECTOR: Jules Dassin

SCRIPT: Marguerite Duras (book by Duras)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Gábor Pogány

EDITOR: Roger Dwyre

MUSIC: Cristobal Halffter

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Enrique Alarcon

RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes

PRESENTATION: 16:9; DD

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Shock

DVD RELEASE: January 10, 2009







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