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New on Disc: 'Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer'

31 Jan, 2011 By: Mike Clark

Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer

Magnolia, Documentary, B.O. $0.2 million, $26.98 DVD, $29.98 Blu-ray, ‘R’ for some sexual material, nudity and language.
If you think director Alex Gibney had a formidable rogue’s gallery to work with in 2005’s Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, he all but outdoes himself this time in terms of shining glaring lights on smoothies who stink up the boardroom. There isn’t anyone currently around who makes more visually arresting documentaries than Gibney, and the Blu-ray makes a difference here. But on top of that, he gets amazing access. For starters, the filmmaker managed to get Spitzer himself on camera — as part of the latter’s self-perpetuated personal rehabilitation project. I liked Client 9 enough to put it on my 10-best list (2010 model) after a first viewing, but it clicked even more after a second.
Extras: The deleted scenes and outtakes are substantial and as compulsively watchable as the movie. I raced to them the second the main event concluded and watched all in a single sitting.
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Shock Corridor

Criterion, Drama, $29.95 DVD, $39.95 Blu-ray, NR.
Stars Peter Breck, Constance Towers, Gene Evans, James Best.
A newshound (Peter Breck) fakes an incestuous yen for his supposed sister (but in reality his stripper girlfriend) played by Constance Towers. This ruse is a plot to gain him entrance into a mental health facility where a murder has taken place — one he wants to solve on his way to the Pulitzer Prize. So, naturally, he cracks up. Photographed by that titan-of-shadow Stanley Cortez (The Magnificent Ambersons, The Night of the Hunter), director Samuel Fuller’s madhouse of a movie was supposedly shot in 10 days — making it prototypical because the maverick filmmaker rarely had much of a budget at his disposal.
Extras: Criterion has released Corridor before, but this remastered version includes new essays (one by Fuller himself) and two outstanding bonuses. One of these is a 2007 interview with Towers; the other features excerpts from The Typewriter, the Rifle and the Movie Camera, Adam Simon’s 1996 documentary about Fuller that is one of the best and most exacting of all documentaries on an American director.
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Inspector Bellamy

MPI/IFC, Mystery, B.O. $0.1 million, $24.98 DVD, NR.
Stars Gerard Depardieu.
Many of the relationships in the late French director Claude Chabrol’s swan song turn out to be complex or at least more so than they might initially seem — even the easygoing one between its central husband and wife that is probably the movie’s greatest pleasure. Gerard Depardieu plays a celebrated sleuth who can’t stop himself from getting involved in a case that begins when a stranger shows up at the door and somewhat spooks his spouse. This is a very enjoyable movie with a fuzzy resolution — though one whose fuzziness isn’t off-putting but the kind that makes you want to take another look someday.
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Night Must Fall

Available via WBshop.com’s Warner Archive
Warner, Drama, $19.95 DVD, NR.
Stars Robert Montgomery, Rosalind Russell, Dame May Whitty.
One of Robert Montgomery’s standout career performances was as the almost twinkle-eyed murderer in this first screen version of Emlyn Williams’ 1935 play. Even though this movie is basically a photographed stage play with a lot of entrances and exits, I like director Richard Thorpe’s (or his editor’s) choice of shots here, the actors’ body language and the pace at which an often single-setting story manages to move over a 117-minute running time.
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