Brian Trenchard-Smith on

The Last Valley

Released 1971
Distributor ABC Pictures

The Shangri-La of war movies, James Clavell’s epic set during the 30 Years War stars Michael Caine as a mercenary and Omar Sharif as a teacher who take haven in an idyllic valley still untouched by bloodshed. The last movie produced in 70mm Todd A-O is gorgeously shot on fabulous locations but despite fine performances and one of John Barry’s most emotional music scores, it was a box office disaster and the movie has remained as neglected as the war it was based on. Like most ABC Pictures productions, it has been poorly served on home video, the 2004 MGM DVD lacking even an anamorphic transfer. This one is ripe for rediscovery.

About Brian Trenchard-Smith

Brian Trenchard-Smith has been burning to make genre films ever since seeing Hitchcock’s Vertigo at age 13. So far he has directed 42 Crimes Against Cinema, and counting (He’s an enthusiastic recidivist.) The Fantaspoa International Fantastic Film Festival recently gave him a career achievement award. His cult hits include The Man from Hong Kong, Turkey Shoot, BMX Bandits, Stunt Rock, Dead End Drive In, The Siege of Firebase Gloria. He has also made over 100 trailers ranging from Hammer horrors to Australian films of the 70′s and 80′s. His latest film is Drive Hard, a quirky action comedy with John Cusack and Thomas Jane. He hopes to shoot a Sci-Fi action picture in Tianjing, China later this year. Brian shares a passion for history with his wife Byzantine historian Dr. Margaret Trenchard-Smith. His first novel The Headsman's Daughter is available this summer on Amazon and Kindle.