Connecting Rooms (1970) Kino Classics April 21st 2020
Directed By: Franklin Gollings
Starring: Bette Davis, Michael Redgrave, Alex Kanner, Richard Wyler, Leo Genn, Kay Walsh
I adore classic Hollywood films and its legendary children it produced. Grand movies and even grander movie stars is what fuels my obsession. After the Golden Age most out of work actress's (and some actors) turned to the horror genre kicked for work. This trend was kicked off by Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962) which starred Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. This was both a blessing and a curse as it gave Davis and others a jump start in their career but it also type casted them. Davis jumped at the chance to take a break from the horror genre with Connecting Room (1970). Connecting Room tells the story of a cellist named Wanda (Bette Davis) living in a ruin down boarding house in early '70's swinging London. She regularly interacts with a fellow lodger named Mickey (Alex Kanner) a shady musician who often tries to use her for money. A down-on-his-luck disgraced teacher named James (Michael Redgrave) moves in next door and the two find a special bond.
Kino Classics has given this under-seen movie a new life with its Blu Ray release. The picture looks great and the big bold colors (especially in the '60's era club) really pop with this new transfers. Skin tones look nice and natural and details come through crisp and clean. The sound is also nice with a health 2.0 Mono track. Dialogue is clear and easy to understand. The film has a gem of an extra in the form of the commentary.The legendary film historian David Del Valle provides the track and if you are familiar with Valle's other commentaries you know they are fun, lively but most importantly packed to the hilt with amazing information. He knows his stuff from a wealth of research but also his personal relationship with Room co-star Richard Wyler. You just cant help but hang on his every word. Overall this is a strange film that, misguided as is was is worth while even if its for its campy retro quality.