Over the past couple of months I’ve been working on the upcoming UK Blu-ray release of Richard Fleischer’s Violent Saturday. I’ve written an extensive contextualising essay for the lengthy booklet that rounds out an impressive package from Eureka Entertainment. It sits alongside the films original campaign book handed out to theatres in 1955, which is in itself a real find.
I’m a big fan of Violent Saturday. Some may recall my trumpeting of the French Blu-ray last year (the impressive extra features on which are replicated, and, more importantly, translated here), which also featured highly in our end-of-year round-up. For those unfamiliar, Violent Saturday is a sun-drenched heist movie set in a small mining town in the United States. Shot on location in the beautifully peculiar Bisbee, Arizona, and brought to life in stunning CinemaScope, the film is quite unlike any other.
The Fleischer renaissance, of which this film is a key component has been a long time coming, but the tide seems to be turning on a filmmaker far too often written off as workmanlike, or as a studio hand. Last year’s Edinburgh Film Festival played host to a major reassessment of the Fleischer oeuvre, while just last month a season called Overdue:Richard Fleischer took place in New York. Violent Saturday, a relatively unknown film, at least when placed alongside the cultural lynchpin that was Soylent Green, and the major Disney blockbuster of 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, played both, and in many ways was the great discovery of tis recent bout of reappraisal. I’m really excited to have been invited to be involved with the project, which is set to bring this wonderful movie to a wide audience. As one online commentator puts it, “Had Nicholas Ray or Samuel Fuller directed, Violent Saturday would be all over college syllabi and repeat pressed on Criterion disc”. With this edition I like to think that we’re part of the way there.
Violent Saturday is released on April 21st, and can be ordered direct from Eureka by clicking here, with the distributor shipping new releases as and when they land. There’s free worldwide delivery included too.