Too Late Blues (region-B/2 Blu-ray/DVD twin pack)
The supreme master John Cassavetes followed up his earth-shaking 1959 debut Shadows with this, his first directorial effort for a major studio. Positioned somewhere between Cassavetes' ferocious independent productions and the Hollywood fare of the early 1960s, Too Late Blues represents a glimpse at a road not taken neither by the director himself, nor by mainstream American cinema in the era of the studio system's collapse — a parallel-universe of the movies that never came to pass... except in rare instances such as Too Late Blues. Legendary American singer Bobby Darin (of "Beyond the Sea" fame) plays the leader of a jazz band whose peripatetic performances ultimately lead him to cross paths with a singer (Stella Stevens, later of Jerry Lewis's The Nutty Professor) with whom he falls in love. Drama ensues when Darin's masculinity is thrown into question following a violent brawl, and the film lurches towards its gripping conclusion.