“Once Upon A Time”: Notorious & Some Like it Hot

The first in a series of discs that each contain two hour-long made-for-TV documentaries. Under the spotlight in this first coupling are Hitchcock’s Notorious and Billy Wilder’s Some Like it Hot. The former illuminates the inner workings and Cold-War paranoia at the heart of Hitch’s darkest film; directed by the British film critic David Thompson, it includes interviews with, among others, Claude Chabrol and (of course), film historian, author, director and Ascot tie fanatic Peter Bogdanovich.

Unfortunately its far less polished cohort, which looks at what is arguably Wilder’s most mainstream film—starring, as it did, Marilyn Monroe—is disappointingly edited, soundtracked and assembled: much of the interview footage in this latter film could have been trimmed or at least made more interesting by being interspersed with more set photography or other ephemera, including production stills from the shoot. Still, both docs are worth a look because they delve far deeper into the circumstances of these films’ production than would any run-of-the-mill ‘making-of’ supplement.

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