Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Cinelicious Pics - PRIVATE PROPERTY on Blu-ray ""

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Cinelicious Pics - PRIVATE PROPERTY on Blu-ray

PRIVATE PROPERTY (1960; Leslie Stevens)
I've often said that it's remarkable time to be a cinephile. With so many delightful boutique labels restoring obscure genre fare and often unearthing older gems, it's a constant smorgasbord of cinematic goodies for us all to enjoy. Case in point - PRIVATE PROPERTY from 1960. This previously very hard-to-see uneasy tale of two drifters and their seduction of a lonely California wife is really quite mesmerizing and certainly deserving of a wider audience. When you read plot descriptions of this movie, it may come off as a bit sleazier than it plays for the most part. Don't get me wrong, it is certainly creepy to watch Duke (Corey Allen) and Boots (Warren Oates) weasel their way into the home of the unsuspecting Ann Carlysle (Kate Manx), but it is also compelling as a portrait of a sociopath con man. Corey Allen's portrayal of Duke is quite interesting while also being unsettling as he demonstrates a "poor nice guy" persona that is very convincing and easily hooks dupes poor Ann with it's genuineness. You see, the catalyst for the plot is Duke telling his cohort that he has decided to see to Boots' sexual needs and He says he'll find a woman for Boots and entice her into sleeping with him. Not a pleasant setup I realize, but the way things play out is much more fascinating than I expected. Warren Oates is one of the greatest character actors in all of cinema and his turn as the mentally simple Boots is outstanding. Oates is one of those actors that could not only play the old west as well as the present day, but could also evoke such a sense of being present and real with his acting that it made every oddball he ever played feel remarkably authentic. So what's interesting is watching how the character interaction unfolds and evolves. It's scary to think of two morally questionable gents such as these doing something as reprehensible as what they are doing, but the suspense of the game that's set up in the film is both palpable and coercive. You are put in the awkward position of wanting t see what happens with this scenario. The question of whether Ann will see through the ruse hangs in the air for a bit, but then the story turns slightly from what I expected. It's a twisted little movie in that it explores the idea of an emotionally abandoned woman being pulled into adultery despite continued affection for her spouse. It's all playing in the idea of fantasy and the kind of people who desire them versus the kind of people that can provide the fulfillment of those fantasies. There's a film noirish feeling to the whole thing that makes it feel of the same cloth. The seediness and desperation of the players involved in this little yarn makes it feel right at home with the likes of genre staples from the forties and fifties. What's different is that this film seems a bit edgier and able to go a little further than many of those movies could. I think there's a rawness to it right out of the gate that makes things more taut. You can sense that this movie is of a different generation than it's noir predecessors. A darker, more explicit generation of films that was just on the horizon. That extra grittiness (and the presence of Warren Oates) make this worthwhile.

Disc Features:
Dual-Format Release: Blu-ray and DVD
New 4K restoration from previously lost film elements rediscovered and preserved by UCLA Film and Television Archive
New video interview with Still Photographer and Technical Consultant Alex Singer
U.S. theatrical trailer
New essay by Don Malcolm
Limited Edition of 3,000
Buy PRIVATE PROPERTY on Blu-ray here:
Amazon Button (via


KC said...

I agree that while it is sleazy, it isn't sleaze for the sake of sleaze. It goes too deep into the emotions and motivations of the characters for that. Such a remarkable film. You describe it well.

Rupert Pupkin said...

Totally agree! It's one that will stick with me for sure!