A Countess From Hong Kong

Post news stories and home video release announcements here.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

Bob Furem

  • Posts: 275
  • Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 9:55 pm

A Countess From Hong Kong

PostMon Apr 10, 2017 3:28 pm

For years, I have coveted a DVD of the 120 minute original version of ACFHK. Please, no snarky queries asking why. I happen to like this film. Today, I found such a DVD on Amazon UK released by Universal, as opposed to the 108 minute version I own. However, I am suspicious. Can anyone verify that this is truly the 120 minute version. Thanks.
Offline

busby1959

  • Posts: 401
  • Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:12 pm
  • Location: Cathedral City, California

Re: A Countess From Hong Kong

PostMon Apr 10, 2017 5:20 pm

Bob Furem wrote:For years, I have coveted a DVD of the 120 minute original version of ACFHK. Please, no snarky queries asking why. I happen to like this film. Today, I found such a DVD on Amazon UK released by Universal, as opposed to the 108 minute version I own. However, I am suspicious. Can anyone verify that this is truly the 120 minute version. Thanks.



Interesting that you mentioned this movie. I'm reading Tippi Hedren's autobiography and I'd forgotten she was in COUNTESS. I haven't seen it in ages...I would like to get my hands on the 120 minute version myself.
Offline

Bob Furem

  • Posts: 275
  • Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 9:55 pm

Re: A Countess From Hong Kong

PostMon Apr 10, 2017 6:59 pm

I can find no verification that this DVD is 120 minutes. Moreover, it appears to be in 4x3, so I hold out little hope it is the complete version. As I recall, ACFHK premiered at 120 minutes, was cut by six minutes for European release, and another six minutes for U.S. release. This is the only version I know. Loren is quite fond of it and I think it is nowhere near the utter disaster most claim it to be. It has its charms...and flaws.
Offline

earlytalkiebuffRob

  • Posts: 2748
  • Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

Re: A Countess From Hong Kong

PostTue Apr 11, 2017 1:45 am

If you buy the film and time it (taking into account TV speed) then find it lacking, there is cause for redress. Must admit I didn't know it had been cut. And maybe have a look at the other releases from the company in case they're making claims for other films...
Offline
User avatar

David Menefee

  • Posts: 124
  • Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 5:49 pm
  • Location: Author, editor, and Assistant Publisher BearManor Media

Re: A Countess From Hong Kong

PostTue Apr 11, 2017 3:55 pm

http://ffilms.org/a-countess-from-hong-kong-1967/" target="_blank

The film is online for free viewing anytime at the above link. Running time is shown as 1:47:59.
Offline
User avatar

2 Reel

  • Posts: 65
  • Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 10:34 am
  • Location: Earth, for the time being

Re: A Countess From Hong Kong

PostFri May 26, 2017 4:58 pm

I watched this film recently, and seriously contemplated the production in much the same way as one would contemplate an ice cream cone melting on a summer day. Charlie Chaplin, so wonderfully inventive, misfired with this one. Throughout the unreeling, I had a haunting feeling that it would have been better if he had played the role given to Marlon Brando. I suspect that Chaplin would have come up with all manner of comic inventiveness had he envisioned himself as the central character. The overall presentation had much going for it with the memorable "My Song" laced throughout the score, beautiful color photography, and Sophia Loren. As-is, the film closely resembles other films of that same type released that same decade, such as Goodbye, Charlie, That Touch of Mink, Paris When It Sizzles. Had Chaplin not been associated with it, no one would have thought it any worse than those other 1960s romantic comedies, yet he was at the helm, and we can't help but wish that there had been more to it.
They call me "Dangerous Dal"
Offline
User avatar

Donald Binks

  • Posts: 2821
  • Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:08 am
  • Location: Somewhere, over the rainbow

Re: A Countess From Hong Kong

PostFri May 26, 2017 6:57 pm

I agree, Marlon Brando was an absolute shower and the part could have gone to just about anyone else and been more effective. Chaplin had become old and tired and I think this is reflected in the film, unfortunately. It just lacks that certain amount of pizzazz that would have woken it up a bit. The story-line too was out of time and would have been more suited to the 1930's.
Regards from
Donald Binks

"So, she said: "Elly, it's no use letting Lou have the sherry glasses..."She won't appreciate them,
she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."
Offline
User avatar

Smari1989

  • Posts: 378
  • Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:14 am
  • Location: Norway

Re: A Countess From Hong Kong

PostSat May 27, 2017 2:02 pm

Being such a huge fan of Chaplin (as many others here, of course), it pains me somewhat to admit that, on the topic of COUNTESS, I find myself largely agreeing with the critical consensus. I remember when I finally got a chance to watch it at 15 (it was virtually impossible to find where I live) I felt rather pleasantly surprised -- I'd only heard criticisms, after all, or nearly so. As I've revisited it (a couple of times) since then, however, my impression has sadly not improved; rather the opposite. I can see why Chaplin thought it had potential; there's slapstick, there's romance and a dose of sentiment -- but aside from a few sequences here and there, it just doesn't work all that well, the elements don't really blend together. It's a pleasant enough film to watch at least once, by all means; as 2 Reel also suggests, I don't think we would've been so critical had it been just an ordinary "B" feature, but this is...Chaplin, after all. (I do like the music quite a bit, though, and not just "This Is My Song.")

I also have to agree that Brando is rather charmless in the film. I don't think the problem was that he couldn't do comedy, however, as has sometimes been implied; I quite enjoy Brando's performance in the harmless but fun BEDTIME STORY, for instance. But with COUNTESS he didn't pull it off, probably in part due to his clash with Chaplin.

Peter Ustinov (I think) believed that, had Chaplin gone back to silent films as he became older, he'd have seemed like a pioneer once again. I think the claim may very well have merit. By the late 50s and 60s, he surely could've returned to making essentially "silent" films, with dialogue kept at an absolute minimum, without anyone lifting eyebrows and labeling him "old-fashioned." Let's face it; all critics of A KING IN NEW YORK seemed to agree that the film's best moments were of the predominantly "physical" variety (the turtle order, the widescreen mockery, the plastic surgery, etc).

In the end, though, I guess we just oughta be grateful for all the fantastic stuff Chaplin *did* get to make at all, especially in the silent/early talkie era.
Max Linder blog: http://maxlinderblog.wordpress.com

My WEBCOMIC, Ticklish Town: http://www.ticklishtown.com
Offline
User avatar

The Blackbird

  • Posts: 470
  • Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:38 pm
  • Location: London, Ontario

Re: A Countess From Hong Kong

PostSun May 28, 2017 5:01 am

By 1967 Chaplin was so out of touch he slathered THE KID-style music over this film, ignoring how utterly inappropriate to the action (so to speak) on screen. It amazes me to read that he fully expected the public to lap up this mess and seemed stunned and hurt when they didn't. Every time I want to feel sympathy for him, though, I think back to his comments regarding Buster Keaton being in LIMELIGHT: "I gave him work!"
Offline
User avatar

George O'Brien

  • Posts: 545
  • Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:10 pm
  • Location: An Atoll in the Pacific

Re: A Countess From Hong Kong

PostTue May 30, 2017 5:28 pm

Chaplin's casting about for a star to sing the theme for his next film provides an amusing illustration of just how out of touch Chaplin had become by the time of "A Countess From Hong Kong".

All those years holed up in Switzerland had done him no service.

Prepping "The Circus" for a 1968 reissue, and emboldened by the great success of Petula Clark's recording of his, "This Is My Song", he told underlings he wanted an even more famous star to sing the title song this time. He eagerly told them to start negotiations with the great Al Jolson. The song, "Swing Little Girl, " does sound rather Jolsonesque.

Chaplin had no idea that Jolie had been dead for nearly 20 years.
"This bar of likker is now a bar of justice!"
Offline
User avatar

The Blackbird

  • Posts: 470
  • Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:38 pm
  • Location: London, Ontario

Re: A Countess From Hong Kong

PostSat Jun 03, 2017 4:56 am

I wonder if he would have wanted him to appear on-screen in blackface?
Offline
User avatar

35MM

  • Posts: 337
  • Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2007 10:41 am

Re: A Countess From Hong Kong

PostThu Jun 08, 2017 7:49 pm

Bob Furem wrote:For years, I have coveted a DVD of the 120 minute original version of ACFHK. Please, no snarky queries asking why. I happen to like this film. Today, I found such a DVD on Amazon UK released by Universal, as opposed to the 108 minute version I own. However, I am suspicious. Can anyone verify that this is truly the 120 minute version. Thanks.


If it's upc 5050582311754 from 2005 then it appears to be 1 hour 43 minutes.

There is a Latin American version listed on Amazon U.S. that's pricey but claims Duracion 126 minutes.
https://www.amazon.com/Countess-Condesa-REGION-Latin-America/dp/B0032DMJGA/ref=tmm_dvd_title_1?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
CURSES!

Return to Talkie News

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests