Sony Pictures to Bow ‘Strange’ DVD26 May, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Inhumanity and sexual affection between men are strong undercurrents to the controversial 1957 black-and-white movie The Strange One, which will be released June 16 on DVD for the first time from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
The $19.94 disc includes the fully restored uncensored movie, in addition to an interview with 79-year-old veteran actor Ben Gazzara, who made his screen debut playing lead troublemaker Jocko de Paris.
Based on the play and novel End as a Man, by Calder Willingham (The Graduate), The Strange One takes place at a fictional southern military college where Paris and his sidekick Harold Koble (Pat Hingle) get their kicks hazing and dehumanizing first-year cadets.
Described as much as a prison as an academic institution, the college serves as backdrop to mentally disturbed Paris, who uses his malevolent charm to manipulate other cadets into undermining and ousting a commanding officer (Larry Gates).
Over time, the cadets, including Robert Marquales (George Peppard from Breakfast at Tiffany’s and “The A Team”), take matters into their own hands in an attempt to expose Paris.
Released a few years after Sen. Joe McCarthy’s infamous investigations into alleged communist and Soviet infiltrations in the federal government, the original theatrical version had several scenes suggesting homosexuality deleted, despite objections from director Jack Garfein.
The movie was filmed almost entirely with a cast and technicians from The Actors Studio in New York, and includes cabaret singer and future Tony award-winning actor/producer Julie Wilson (mother of TV actor Holt McCallany).
“In our ongoing efforts to release well-regarded titles in our catalog, we’re happy to add The Strange One to the market,” said Jason Allen, director of worldwide publicity with SPHE. “We [had] heard from film enthusiasts for some years that this movie belongs on DVD and we’re happy to finally bring it out.”