Paul Thomas Anderson claims that everything he knows about directing he learned from John Sturges’ commentary on the Bad Day at Black Rock LaserDisc. This is an exclusive, it’s never been released on any DVDs of the film, it stayed on the Criterion LD for ages — until it was ripped a while ago. So the only way anyone could ever hear this is if they had a LaserDisc player. Well, not anymore. (NOTE: For educational purposes only)
This was the first MGM film to be shot in Cinemascope. According to director John Sturges’s commentary track on the Criterion Laserdisc release, it was also filmed at the same time in the standard 4:3 ratio version because studio executives still weren’t sure how well the wide screen format would work. That version was never released.
—Behind the Camera On Bad Day at Black Rock
The film itself is an hour and 21 minutes, when I got done splicing up the bits I marked as informative – I had about 50 minutes of material from Sturges. After the split, I left out about 20 minutes that was good, but mostly outdated. So what you’ve got is essentially 30 minutes of some really great fucking filmmaking discussion. I am thankful that this great man left us with some insight before he left this earth. —filmschoolthrucommentaries
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