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At Long Last: At Long Last Love

posted by Nell Minow

“At Long Last Love” was one of the most derided films of its era, mostly for reasons that had nothing to do with the film.  Director Peter Bogdanovich had left his wife for his star, Cybill Shepherd, and ticket-buyers were offended or annoyed by their behavior and constant appearances in the media.  And it was the wrong time.  Audiences wanted gritty, serious movies in 1975, movies like Bogdanovich’s own “Paper Moon” and “Last Picture Show.”  “At Long Last Love” was a throwback to the elegant trifles of the 1930’s, set to the lesser-known songs of Cole Porter.  Bogdanovich insisted on casting Burt Reynolds — not known for his singing — as the leading man.  And, as with “Les Miserables” last year, he insisted on recording all of the songs live on the movie set, which is a challenge for even the most classically trained singers.

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I liked it, even back then.  I liked the songs and the glamour.  But it was a flop.

Bogdanovich tells the remarkable story behind the release of a new, re-cut version, for the first time on Blu-Ray, in a recent blog post.  This re-release, re-cut without permission or even the knowledge of Bogdanovich, is being released with his enthusiastic approval, and the movie is well worth a look.

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