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Raintree County is both loved and forgotten. Some peoples' nectar but not so for others.
It has sometimes been put across as a poor 'Gone With The Wind' (another US Civil War story). This is at the least, unfair.
Elizabeth Taylor gives a great performance and really does look her best.
Montgomery Clift is superb, with his 'pre-Paul Newman' stance. Even after his major car crash which altered his looks (and made him more rugged in my opinion), his performance was just what the movie needed.
It's very much a 1950's piece. If you like old Douglas Sirk films, this is a more upgraded version.
The soundtrack is beautiful. (I've been a composer for years so that comes from the heart). Johnny Green wrote it, nominated over a dozen times for an Oscar, he wrote Easter Parade and parts for Oliver! (Lionel Bart mainly).
(1) DVD - Horrid bootleg available. Picture disintegrates occasionally, and audio out of sync, mono and very hissy (nice!!!).
(2) VHS: Two flavors: Square-4:3 cropped version, only on USA NTSC video (most later VHS-DVD UK players WILL PLAY THIS!) and also (3) VHS 'Roadshow' (Overture, intermission, extra footage) Widescreen stereo version. This is the longest, reconstructed version; The only one to cherish, until someone (SOMEWHERE??) decides to restore it for us all on HD Blu-Ray.
Raintree was originally shot on 35mm but only because the bigger 65mm HD cameras were in use (Ben Hur, was it?) at the time.
It was still printed in 70mm though (it must have been one of the first Blow-Ups) and in 4-track stereo.
Please let this review get to an influential being in the upper echelons of restoration, hmm? That would be so wonderful... before my VHS finally bites the dust.
Shane O'Neill (a fan)
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