There is no denying that there are some pretty heavy films released this week on both DVD and blu ray. Heavy in the sense of the monstrous Godzilla titles or if you prefer the dynamic Ace in the Hole from Billy Wilder it’s there too. How about some Hitchcock standards, sign me up.
As for me I am always on the lookout for something not quite mainstream and turning up this week is Separate But Equal from 1991. The importance of this three hour television effort is very simple, it is the LEGENDARY Burt Lancaster’s final acting effort. He would suffer a stroke after filming his role opposite another heavyweight in Sidney Poitier. Like many actors of his era, Burt would sprinkle in some TV appearances throughout the 1980’s while still showing up in theatrical releases like the superior Atlantic City and teaming one last time with frequent co-star Kirk Douglas in Tough Guys.
For his final role Burt joins Sidney and Richard Kiley in a film about racial segregation and the subsequent court room dramatics from the early days of the NAACP movement. It is also directed by George Stevens Jr. showing he had learned a few things from his top notch director of a Dad. I guess I can finally replace my creaky VHS copy of this. Now if they would just release Burt’s 1986 tele film On Wings of Eagles to DVD or blu ray I’d be a much happier Burt Lancaster fan.
Not necessarily a great film but one must look beyond that when watching Burt’s farewell performance for here was a true cinematic giant.