Latest Review – Edge of Eternity [Blu-ray] [Twilight Time]


Director: Don Siegel

Cast: Cornel Wilde, Victoria Shaw, Mickey Shaughnessy, Edgar Buchanan, Rian Garrick, Jack Elam, Dabbs Greer

UK Distributor: Twilight Time

Genre: Crime | Drama | Action | Mystery • Year: 1959 • Country: United States • Running Time: 80 minutes (1:19:45) • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 • Image: Colour • Language: English • Rating: Not Rated • Region: Region Free • Video: 1080p High Definition [Resolution] | MPEG-4 AVC [Codec] • Audio: English 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio • Subtitles: Optional English SDH

Limited Edition of 3,000 Units

Savage Suspense Spans The Granite Gorge

Filmed almost entirely in and around the spectacular Grand Canyon (KingmanOatman, and Gold Road to be specific), Don Siegel’s familiarly themed pulp-fiction crime drama, scripted by Knut Swenson and Richard Collins (from a story by Swenson and Ben Markson) doesn’t offer much more in thrills than the usual run-of-the-mill crime dramas of the era, but stands out from the rest largely thanks to its stunning Cinemascope visuals and thrilling final sequence.

Though Siegel had previously expressed a dislike of the CinemaScope process, he found Arizona’s arresting landscape the perfect location to test out the format for the first time, teaming up with multi-award winning cinematographer, and former president of the American Society of Cinematographers, Burnett Guffey (In a Lonely PlaceFrom Here to EternityBonnie and Clyde) to produce a wealth of compelling images that truly elevate the film.

Cornel Wilde (who suffered throughout the shoot with a painful detached retina), stars as the unassuming Deputy Sheriff Les Martin, a widowed ex-detective tormented by a case which forced him to flee his old life, now under pressure to solve a number of mysterious murders (and a stolen gold plot) in a small, Mohave County ghost town in 1950s Arizona, assisted by the sturdy, gravelly-voiced Sheriff Edwards (Edgar Buchanan) and elegant Janice Kendon (Victoria Shaw), a local socialite Martin initially pulled over for speeding.

Given the wealth of breathtaking scenery at his disposal, Siegel can perhaps be forgiven for losing focus of the central mystery on occasion, though far too much time is devoted to the unnecessary romance between Martin and Kendon which ultimately dilutes the tension required to drive the crime thriller. It merely serves as a device to build on their relationship and explore a bit of back-story, though does little in terms of aiding the plot.

Despite its issues, Edge of Eternity remains a visually striking and often intriguing work, aided by some sharp dialogue and brilliant set-pieces, though the singular Grand Canyon unsurprisingly proves the real star of the show.

Special Features: 

Isolated Score Track | Audio Commentary with Film Historians C. Courtney Joyner and Nick Redman | 6-Page Booklet: Featuring Production Stills and Booklet Essay by Julie Kirgo

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