Beautiful to look at and style to spare, but I just didn't connect with the film. But it's a debut and I really look forward to anything else she does.
James Mason is not the star of this film - he's the macguffin. After his heist fails he is left nearly unconscious, wandering around the town looking for shelter and a place to hide. Through all that we see the attitudes of the town come to the for ground and we see just how fractured they really are. It is great. Watch it.
It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is considered a classic while this superior (in execution and every other way) film is considered one of Spielberg's "failures." Phooey.
The Director's Cut is one of the best pieces of "madness comedy" I've ever seen. All the various plot threads are satisfying and everyone gets a moment to shine - nearly every important character actor from the 70's is here, from Warren Oates to Murray Hamilton. On top of that, this is the only film where you can see Slim Pickens tell Toshiro Mifune "You ain't gettin doodly-shit outta me."
Let's hope this is a sign. A sign that filmmaking is in vogue again among horror movie makers and that we'll see a wave of horror films that scare us in new ways. I never thought I'd be scanning a frame for out of focus extras in the background for most of the film, but here I am. I never thought I'd take such notice of an aspect ratio (VHS era excluded).
If Stephen King wrote a script that John Carpenter filmed it might look like this.