Thursday, December 1, 2016

Movie Review: "Elstree 1976"


"Elstree 1976" gives some great insight into the effect being in a "Star Wars" movie had on a group of bit players and extras. I would have preferred more actual behind-the-scenes footage, but loved what filmmakers did with the "re-enactment" segments. You walk away from the documentary feeling like there's more to these people's stories than we got to hear. All this being said, "Elstree 1976" is an educational and entertaining watch for fans of a galaxy far, far away.


In 1976, during the hottest summer on record, "Star Wars" was shot in suburban North London. Nobody involved had any idea how big the film would become and many couldn't even remember the title. Yet, for the extras and actors in smaller roles, their faces hidden in masks and helmets, this seemingly insignificant job would go on to color their lives even four decades later. "Elstree 1976" is a portrait of a cross-section of these people; from the man inside the most iconic villain in film history to the guy whose character was completely cut from the final film. It tells the stories of their lives and explores the eccentric community they have formed while traveling the world and signing autographs for fans.


"Elstree 1976" is unrated, but would no doubt be given a PG rating if put before the MPAA. It contains profanity and smoking.


The Special Director's Edition Blu-ray of "Elstree 1976" comes with bonus features including extended interviews, a tour of the "Star Wars" sound stage at Elstree Studios, and audio commentary by the filmmaker. Blu-ray also comes with English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired.

"Elstree 1976" is available now on Blu-ray, Special Director's Edition DVD, Standard DVD, and Digital HD. You can also view it on Netflix for free.

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