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Movies Not On DVD: Twilight's Last Gleaming

There have been lots of movies released on DVD over the years, but surprisingly there are quite a few movies that are not available on DVD. The reasons are usually a lack of interest or a question over copyright issues. Sometimes the reason is just a mystery. Twilight's Last Gleaming is one of those movies that no one has revealed the reason that it is not on DVD.

Thousands of movies have been released on DVD over the years. Everything from the biggest theatrical release to obscure black and white movies has found its way to the video store. However, there are some notable movies that are not available on DVD in the United States; Twilight’s Last Gleaming is one of those titles.

Twilight’s Last Gleaming is the story of an Air Force General who escapes from a military prison along with two other associates and takes over a nuclear missile silo in Montana. He threatens to launch the missiles unless secret documents detailing hidden facts about the Vietnam War are released to the public.

Twilight’s Last Gleaming was released in 1977 and turned out to be a great movie filled with a slow building suspense that works its way right up to the tense standoff at the end. The movie is loaded with marquee actors such as Burt Lancaster as the renegade general and Richard Widmark as the commanding general who has to find a way to bring the situation under control.

Robert Aldrich was the director and he slowly ratchets up the tension as the movie goes along. There are several split screen scenes that show different characters trying to deal with the pressure as the standoff becomes more volatile.

Burt Lancaster is superb as the leader of the renegade Air Force team. He keeps you wondering whether he is doing a noble effort, or if he has just gone over the edge mentally. Richard Widmark puts in a great performance as the commanding officer who stays just under the breaking point while finding a way to diffuse the situation. There are great supporting stars such as Paul Winfield, Melvyn Douglas, and Charles Durning as the president who must decide whether to make the documents go public.

Twilights Last Gleaming builds to the climatic ending where you realize that a completely happy ending is just not possible. Sacrifices have to be made and the final scene will leave you stunned. This was a great cat-and-mouse movie that overcomes its dated topics of the 1970’s.

Twilight’s Last Gleaming was released on VHS by Columbia Home Video in the 80’s but was never released on DVD. The VHS version was only released in small quantities and is quite hard to find. Sony owns the rights to the movie and rumors started to circulate in 2008 that the film was finally going to be released on DVD. Sony failed to bring the movie to DVD in 2008 and fans have been going to message boards looking for any clues for a future release. As the lifespan of the DVD format starts to wind down, it is doubtful that Twilight’s Last Gleaming will ever come out on DVD.

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Comments (2)

Interesting article.

Nice read.