By Dennis Hartley
(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on November 28, 2009)
The Last Picture Show/Nickelodeon – Sony DVD (2-disc)
The main reason I was thrilled about Sony’s Peter Bogdanovich “2-fer” reissue was that it marks the Region 1 DVD debut of his 1976 film Nickelodeon (not to denigrate the status of his esteemed masterpiece 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 indie filmmakers, circa 1910. It leans a bit heavy on the slapstick at times, but is bolstered by charming performances by a great cast that includes Ryan O’Neal, Stella Stevens, Burt Reynolds, John Ritter, and Tatum O’Neal. It’s beautifully photographed by Laszlo Kovacs. Anyone who truly loves the movies will find the denouement quite 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.