Kino Lorber, the DVD releasing company, has chosen to release The Iceman Cometh on Blu-Ray as of late last month. The same company had released it on DVD back in 2003 but they must have figured the time was right to update it to the newer technology. As far as any extras go, the Blu-Ray version has the same goodies that the good folks at Kino Lorber had added to the 2003 version.
To put it another way, if you want to know some fascinating, never-befoe-published stories about the making of this criminally underrated classic, then don’t think you’ll find it on the Blu-ray. The best place to find such gold nuggets is between the pages of …that’s right, Lee Marvin Point Blank. What nuggets, you ask? Well, through due diligence (and timing), I was fortunate enough to get interviews with the likes of director John Frankenheimer, co-star Jeff Bridges, and several of the children of Robert Ryan. All of whom told me wonderful and unheard of tales concerning the making of the film.
What kind of stories? Well, you can find out who the other superstar actors who were offered the Lee Marvin role of Hickey that Frankenheimer hoped would say no. You can discover the valuable inside lesson Jeff Bridges learned fro Marvin that they DON’T teach in acting school. Then there’s the very strange and off-putting thing Marvin did the day he met film legend Fredric March, that is according to Cheyney Ryan, Robert Ryan’s son who was there to witness it.
Don’t take my word for it, of course. See the brilliance of Marvin’s performance and the rest of the cast on Kino Lorber’s recent Blu-Ray release and then, for the full story on The Iceman Cometh’s making, read Lee Marvin Point Blank. You won’t be disappointed.
– Dwayne Epstein