Saturday, November 24, 2012

Some quick thoughts on Dancin' thru the Dark (1990) + Screencaps from the 2012 British Lace Entertainment DVD

Mike Ockrent's Dancin' thru the Dark (1990), based on Willy Russell's play "Stags and Hens", is quite an interesting and humorous unknown gem.  While quite well known in the United Kingdom, it, unfortunately, is not as well known here in the United States as it is across the pond. Humorous moments, good acting, which is almost stage play-like, interesting Liverpool locations, and excellent dialogue and upbeat soundtrack really make the film so good.

Linda and Dave are about to get married. While she is on her hen night, Linda starts to have doubts about getting married.  Her doubts start getting major when her fiance, whose on his stag night, shows up at the same Liverpudlian night club she is celebrating at, and when the club's band happens to be led by her ex-boyfriend Peter. While Linda does eventually overcome her doubts, she still has a big decision to make. Will she settle down and marry Dave, or will she chuck everything away and run away with Peter?

I first saw this film on YouTube back in April of 2011. I really liked it and was repulsed by its obscurity here in the U.S. After a few more viewings on YouTube, I finally decided to purchase Lace International's Region 2 DVD of the film, released back in March. The film is presented in its original widescreen aspect ratio and looks spectacular. The only downside is that the DVD, despite the popularity of the film, has no bonus features whatsoever, not even a trailer. Still, this DVD is worth the purchase, especially for fans of British cinema. I should mention however, that prior to this DVD being released, the only other DVD release of this film was incidentally, here in the United States, but on a bootleg DVD from notorious bootleg outfit Jef Films. I have not seen that DVD and never will since that DVD had quality that was even worse than the British VHS of that film. Thankfully, with this spectacular widescreen release, that U.S. DVD has pretty much vanished into digital obscurity and was already out of print by the time this new DVD arrived.

Once again, I highly recommend this film and DVD. And for those who would like to purchase this DVD but concerned about compatibility due to this being a region 2 release, I also highly recommend investing in a region-free DVD player as well.

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