By Dennis Hartley
The Last Picture Show/Nickelodeon – Sony DVD (2-disc)
The main reason I was thrilled about Sony’s Peter Bogdanovich double feature reissue was that it made his 1976 film Nickelodeon available for the first time on Region 1 DVD (not to denigrate the status of what is arguably his crowing achievement, The Last Picture Show, which has already been available as a stand-alone disc for some time now). Nickelodeon is Bogdanovich’s love letter to the silent film era, depicting the trials and tribulations of independent filmmakers, circa 1910. It leans a little heavy on the slapstick at times, but is bolstered by charming performances all around from a great cast that includes Ryan O’Neal, Stella Stevens, Burt Reynolds, John Ritter, and Tatum O’Neal. The film is beautifully photographed by the late great DP, Laszlo Kovacs. Anyone who truly loves the movies will find the closing sequence incredibly moving. The real treat here is the additional inclusion of the director’s cut, presented in black and white (which was Bogdanovich’s original plan). Bogdanovich’s commentary track is wry and illuminating.