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  • Widescreen 1.78:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • None
  • Theatrical trailer - The Man from Elysian Fields; Italian for Beginners; I'm With Lucy; The Last Kiss; Tape
  • Cast/crew biographies
  • Photo gallery
The Man From Elysian Fields (Rental)
20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox . R4 . COLOR . 101 mins . M15+ . PAL


The idea of selling myself so that rich and lonely women could enjoy the benefits of a stimulating conversation, a handsome companion in public and a night of wild unadulterated debauched sex is something I've considered many a time. The only barrier so far between my current life and the life of a male gigolo is my wife.

In The Man from Elysian Fields, financially struggling author Byron Tiller, also considers this alternative as a means of supporting his family when his latest book is rejected. Approached by Luther Fox (Mick Jagger) to work for his agency, he’s soon servicing the needs of lonely youthful wife (Olivia Williams) of dying Pulitzer Prize winner author, Tobias Alcott (James Coburn). Tobias is happy for Byron to attend to her needs as he is unable to do so, and seeing some advantage in his being an author as well he soon asks for Byron’s help to complete his final novel. Byron, desperate for a return to literary success (and some much needed money) agrees, but he is soon neglecting his own family in pursuit of creative satisfaction and paid noogie.

The way I see it, there are only three things wrong with The Man from Elysian Fields. It is definitely a ‘very good’ film, with some great performances and an interesting story, if they follow my advice and make some minor changes, then it could easily move up from ‘very good’, to ‘really very good’, or possibly even ‘Believe me, it's the best film about a man from Elysian Fields yet made!’

Problem one: Mick Jagger. He's not actually the problem, it's more that "Mick Jagger" is the problem. Confused? Thought so. See, Mick is so "Mick", that it's hard to see him as anyone other than "Mick". He is quite probably the most stereotyped person in the world. And the thing is that he puts in a good show with the little he has to do. He’s restrained, maybe overly so at times, proper (within the bounds of his character, that is, although the properness of his voice seems forced) and he’s charming. He doesn't once jump around in leotards claiming not to have gotten any satisfaction, even if he tried, tried, tried. No, this is Jagger the actor, and he actually doesn’t get any satisfaction in his pivotal scene, but at the end of the day, it's still "Mick", not Mick. Now do you follow?

Problem two: The Title. When I first heard about this film, I figured it to be some kind of Merchant Ivory piece with heaving bosoms and proper English accents and lots of people running around the rainy English countryside sleeping with each other and discussing which is the proper spoon to use. There's no way I would actually spend time watching something like that when I could instead be doing something constructive with the time I have left on this planet, such as drinking. But, when you watch the film, and learn what Elysian Fields is, you think "Huh? Why'd they call it that?" Is it because I'm dumb that I don't get the subtle reference? Well, that's very possible, but that's not the point. Yeah, the title might make more sense once you see the film, and have the benefit of hindsight, but to the casual movie-goer looking up at the movies showing at the local Mega-Plex, a title like that definitely isn't going to work in its favour. As a general rule, the more words in the title, the smarter the audience, the shorter the queue and the smaller the box office takings. That's why Jerry Bruckheimer makes films like Armageddon and Con-Air. Short titles, long queues, stupid audiences and big box-office.

It's a shame, too, as this film deserves better. If they had called it Man Whore, more people would have felt the need to see it. "Man Whore?" they'd say. "It must be about a man, who's a whore or something. Sounds good. Maybe Adam Sandler is in it."

Other than these two faults, I can't praise the film enough. If you like your entertainment with an interesting story, intelligent dialogue, well drawn characters and a pace which doesn't feel rushed nor drawn out, The Man Whore from Elysian Fields comes highly recommended.


It's regrettable that the sound is less than perfect, as I will mention below, because I found the picture pleasing enough. The 16:9 enhanced 1.78:1 format manages to look inviting, with a predominantly warm colouring and cluttered, busy scenes making things look lived in rather than clinical sterile sets. Interiors are shot with low light keeping the look moody with heavy shadows that don’t reveal much detail at all, and there's the odd bit of light streaming in through the dust for style, but the picture never suffers for want of clarity or detail, which are served up in sufficient levels to please even when played back on larger displays.

The audio, on the other hand, is disappointing. I'm not sure what went wrong, whether it was the ADR and foley or the audio transfer was a bit screwy, but the dialogue is often out of synch with the lip movement and some foley work is slightly late, often enough to be very annoying. It's a shame, because it hinders what should have been a very simple and pleasing listen. When it's in synch, it's quite fine, with dialogue clear even if I had to turn up the volume marginally higher than average to get the best result. It's a very subdued style, with nothing much happening other than the characters speaking and low key music playing, but the effect is ruined by the synch issue.

This has a basic set of extras for a rental release, which unfortunately misses out this time around on the commentary available overseas. We do get a Theatrical Trailer, Cast and Crew Bios which are very basic for the cast and the director, and are mostly taken up with a listing of many of the films they've worked in, with very little actual biographical background info about them. There’s a Photo Gallery containing 20 images and further Trailers from Palace Films for Italian for Beginners, I'm With Lucy, The Last Kiss and Tape.

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  •   And I quote...
    "The Man from Elysian Fields will reward a public willing to forego bombs and boobs for something which will stimulate the mind rather than just the eyes."
    - Vince Carrozza
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-525
    • TV:
          Philips 55PP8620
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-DB1070
    • Speakers:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Centre Speaker:
          Polk Audio CS245
    • Surrounds:
          Wharfedale WH-2
    • Subwoofer:
          DB Dynamics TITAN
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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