Back in 1985, I was one of the brave souls who took in Ridley Scott's curious Legend while it was experiencing its original run at the U.S. box office. Because I'm a diehard lover of most things genre, I do remember the experience ... and I remember finding it a bit uneven. Essentially, what I recall of my issues with it were two-fold: first, it wasn't all that definitive on what it wanted to be (Fantasy, fairy tale, something else); and, second, Tom Cruise just wasn't right for the part. Like Scott's other films, it's loaded with incredible visuals; it just felt like an uneven meal that didn't quite sit the way his other works had to date.
Still, the film built more of a cult following than it did anything else (in my opinion). Boasting an incredible performance by Tim Curry (who's really only in the second half of the flick), Legend barely earned back its $25 million budget (with combined U.S. and global box office), and it pretty much disappeared quickly. While some have suggested the film was an early blow the Tom Cruise's silver screen clout, I'd argue that the actor was really just getting started in his career: 1983's Risky Business pretty much put him on-the-map, but it wasn't until the summer of 1986 when Top Gun had the blossoming talent had an ego writing checks that his body couldn't cash.
I've read that others (in academia and film history) blame the film's dismal showing to its handling at the studio. The U.S. release was rumored to be a crude hatchet job of what Scott intended for his audiences, and perhaps there's some truth to that as may be better understood by consumers as Arrow Video has released just today an incredible, incredible Blu-ray collection. As a member of the media, I've been forwarded a copy (thanks to all involved in making this possible), so I'll be spending much of my free time this week watching and penning some reviews/articles on my observations.
But do you really want to know what's available in this package? I'm copying and pasting the info from the reliable Blu-ray.Com just to make you aware. Enjoy!
In an idyllic, sun-dappled forest, the pure-hearted Jack (Tom Cruise) takes his true love Princess Lili (Mia Sara) to see a pair of unicorns frolicking at the forest's edge. Little do they know that the Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry, in a remarkable make-up designed by The Thing's Rob Bottin) has dispatched his minions to capture the unicorns and sever their horns so that he may plunge the world into everlasting night. After Lili and the unicorns are taken prisoner, Jack must team with a group of forest creatures and descend into Darkness' subterranean lair to face off against the devilish creature before it is too late.
Despite a troubled production in which the elaborate full-size forest set was accidentally incinerated and a lengthy post-production that resulted in multiple versions of the film (with competing music scores by Jerry Goldsmith and Tangerine Dream), Legend has since been restored to Scott's original cut and embraced by generations of film fans eager to see a master director's unique vision of a world beyond our imagination.
Special Features and Technical Specs:
DISC ONE: US THEATRICAL CUT
- New 2K restoration of the US Theatrical Cut from original materials including a 4K scan of the original negative
- New commentary by Paul M. Sammon author of Ridley Scott: The Making of His Movies
- 2002 Reconstructed isolated score by Tangerine Dream
- Isolated music and effects track
- A Fairytale in Pinewood, new featurette interviewing grip David Cadwalladr, costume designer Charles Knode, co-star Annabelle Lanyon, camera operator Peter MacDonald, set decorator Ann Mollo and draftsman John Ralph
- Incarnations of a Legend, comparison featurette written and narrated by critic Travis Crawford
- The Directors: Ridley Scott, 2003 documentary where the director discusses his career, including Legend
- "Is Your Love Strong Enough?" music video by Bryan Ferry
- Commentary by Ridley Scott
- Creating A Myth: Memories of Legend, a 2002 documentary with interviews with Ridley Scott, William Hjortsberg, Mia Sara, Tim Curry, Rob Bottin and others
- Original promotional featurette
- Alternate 'Four Goblins' opening and 'The Fairie Dance' deleted scene
- Storyboard galleries for three deleted scenes
- Two drafts of William Hjortsberg's screenplay
- Alternate footage from the overseas release plus textless footage
- Trailers and TV spots
- Still galleries
- Illustrated perfect-bound book with new writing by Nicholas Clement and Kat Ellinger and archive materials including production notes and a 2002 interview with Charles de Lauzirika about the restoration of the Director's Cut
- Large double-sided poster with newly commissioned artwork by Neil Davies and original theatrical artwork by John Alvin
- Glossy full-color portraits of the cast photographed by Annie Leibovitz
- Six double-sided postcard-sized lobby card reproductions
- Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Neil Davies and original theatrical artwork by John Alvin
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing on both cuts