Saturday, 29 October 2016

Twilight's Last Gleaming (1977)

“Classic Robert Aldrich”

Robert Aldrich’s brutally cynical American political thriller gets a UK dual format Blu-ray and DVD release from Eureka.
Former Air Force general Laurence Dell (Burt Lancaster) escapes from a Montana prison with three death row inmates (Paul Winfield, Burt Young and William Smith) and takes control of Silo 3, an American base home to nine nuclear missiles. His ransom apart from the usual cash and safe passage - for the current US president (Charles Durning) to tell the American public the truth about the Vietnam war. 

The president’s advisors (including William Marshall, Joseph Cotton, Leif Ericson and Melvyn Douglas) all tell him it’s impossible. General MacKenzie (Richard Widmark) is convinced Dell is bluffing and sets about a daring plan to blow up Dell and his group. Then the silos open and the missiles start to emerge...

From a director fascinated by how groups of men behave under pressure (Eureka brought out FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX a while back), TWILIGHT’S LAST GLEAMING manages to be both a searingly cynical commentary of American politics of the era, as well as a nail-biting suspense thriller that will have you wondering right up until the end how it’s all going to turn out. The movie probably boasts the best use of split-screen to heighten rather than dilute the suspense that I’ve ever seen, and the cast is uniformly excellent.

Filmed in Bavaria, TWILIGHT’S LAST GLEAMING boasts, as well as its all-star cast, a range of familiar ‘British American’ faces including Ed Bishop, Shane Rimmer, David Healy and William Hootkins. Clocking in at 144 minutes it’s another long Aldrich picture but the running time just flies by. Eureka’s disc contains a detailed 70 minute making of as an extra. 

Robert Aldrich's TWILIGHT'S LAST GLEAMING is out in a dual format edition from Eureka on Monday 31st October 2016

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