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Classic Coming Attractions by Barrie Maxwell

Barrie Maxwell - Main Page

Classic Release Announcements

This edition of Classic Coming Attractions is another abbreviated one, containing only new classic announcement information. I have had to put review work on hold while my current moving activities are in full swing. That's not to say that I haven't been able to view a number of recent classic releases, just that I haven't had the time to write them up as yet. I can commend the likes of Charley's Aunt, Scarface, Twelve O'Clock High: SE, Roots: 30th Anniversary Edition, Ball of Fire, Perry Mason: Season Two, Volume One, the Joan Collins Collection, Film Noir Collection: Volume Four, and TCM Spotlight: Esther Williams to you, but full write-ups will have to await my next column hopefully to be completed in late August. In the meantime, then, here are the latest announcements. Note that the Classic Release Database has been updated accordingly.

Criterion's October slate includes Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless (1959), for release on October 23rd. It will be a two-disc set with the following features: new, restored high-definition digital transfer, approved by director of photography Raoul Coutard; archival interviews with director Jean-Luc Godard, and actors Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, and Jean-Pierre Melville; new video interviews with Coutard, assistant director Pierre Rissient, and filmmaker D. A. Pennebaker; new video essays: filmmaker and critic Mark Rappaport's "Jean Seberg" and critic Jonathan Rosenbaum's "Breathless as Film Criticism"; Chambre 12, Hotel de suede, an eighty-minute French documentary about the making of Breathless, with members of the cast and crew; Charlotte et son Jules, a 1959 short film by Godard, starring Belmondo; French theatrical trailer; new and improved English subtitle translation; and a booklet featuring writings from Godard, film historian Dudley Andrew, Francois Truffaut's original film treatment, and Godard's scenario. Criterion's latest newsletter hint implies a forthcoming release (no specific timing yet) of one or more Jeanette MacDonald/Maurice Chevalier titles. Due to Criterion's past relationship with Universal, we're likely talking about Paramount titles (which Universal controls) such as The Love Parade, One Hour with You, and The Smiling Lieutenant as possibilities.

The Critic's Choice release of Sergeant Preston of the Yukon: The Complete Series has been delayed from July 24th to September 18th.

Flicker Alley has entered into a distribution deal with Film Preservation Associates (FPA) for the production and release of several home video titles from the Blackhawk Films Collection (which FPA owns) in 2007 and 2008. Discovering Cinema, a two-disc DVD release planned for September 18th, will include Learning to Talk and Movies Dream in Color, both produced by Lobster Films/Histoire in 2003-2004. The two programs document the birth of sound film and colour cinema respectively. Supplementary material includes a new restoration of the first live action film to utilize the three-strip Technicolor process, La Cucaracha (1934), struck from the original nitrate negatives. Additional bonus features include two 1908 films with songs performed by Enrico Caruso, a 1927 interview with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, an example of a "part-talkie" as an episode of the silent serial The Collegians, the first hand-painted Lumière films from the end of the nineteenth century, a vintage stenciled-colored Paris fashion review from the mid-1920s, and unique color film images of the Marx Brothers shot in 1930. Subsequent titles being announced under this new production and distribution agreement include a single disc DVD double feature of Traffic in Souls (1913) and The Italian (1915), both treasures from the National Film Registry; and Saved from the Flames a two disc DVD anthology of rare and restored nitrate era films dating from 1900-1928. It will include both Blackhawk material and a generous selection from the French DVD series and annual live program Retour de Flamme, produced by Serge Bromberg of Lobster Films, Paris. Meanwhile, Flicker Alley has now provided further details on its previously-announced The Valentino Collection, a two-disc set due September 11th. It will contain digital reconstructions and DVD premieres of four unavailable Rudolph Valentino films--the "lost" Valentino production The Young Rajah (1922) and Stolen Moments (1920), featuring new musical scores by Jon Mirsalis; A Society Sensation (1918), featuring Bob Mitchell at the pipe organ; and Moran of the Lady Letty (1922), featuring a restoration of the film's original inter-title text and tinting and a new score by Robert Israel. Bonus Features include: Valentino Forever: A short film documenting the Valentino memorial services and the mysterious Lady in Black by Valentino Forever author and historian Tracy Ryan Terhune; Vintage Valentino: Rare short subjects featuring new music scores by Bob Mitchell at the pipe organ, including A Trip to Paramountown, Screen Snapshots, and Character Studies; Round About Hollywood, an early Cinecolor travelogue; and Rudolph Valentino, a fifteenth anniversary memorial tribute; Valentino In Memoriam: A unique collection of biographical information, rare images and vintage audio recordings, including an exclusive audio interview with the original Lady in Black, Ditra Flame: Valentino Landmarks: A tour of significant Hollywood locations in Valentino's life, including an interactive video tour of Falcon Lair, a slide show of the Whitley Heights residence and rare images of Valentino's personal belongings; A Friend Remembered: Many never-before-published images by Valentino's close friend, Paul Ivano; Rare Rudy: Additional rare footage of Valentino, including a newly-uncovered original 35 mm tinted nitrate fragment of Stolen Moments; Who's Who Valentino: over 80 pages of biographical information and unique photographs of the major performers and technicians involved with each film, as well as the key players in Valentino's life in Hollywood; promotional materials from the four feature films and two special slide show presentations: Valentino The Athlete and Valentino and His Beloved Pets; and a new booklet essay/DVD introduction by Emily W. Leider, author of "Dark Lover - The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino".

Fox's new Classics site (foxclassics.com) reveals a number of forthcoming titles in the plans although no dates are specified. In its Marquee Musicals line are promised With a Song in My Heart (1952), Bloodhounds of Broadway (1952), and The Girl Next Door (1953). Upcoming Cinema Classics include The Day the Earth Stood Still: Special Edition (1951), An Affair to Remember: 50th Anniversary Edition (1957), The Robe: Special Edition (1953), The Lodger (1944), The Undying Monster (1942), and Hangover Square (1945). The Film Noir series apparently still lives with upcoming titles to include Daisy Kenyon (1947), Dangerous Crossing (1953), Black Widow (1954), and yes, Boomerang! (1947). Finally, the anticipated Ford at Fox set is listed as a Studio Classics line release as is Charlie Chan: Volume 4 (Sidney Toler titles). Later news indicates that The Lodger, Hangover Square, and The Undying Monster will appear as a three-disc set entitled Fox Horror Classics on October 9th while With a Song in My Heart (1952), Bloodhounds of Broadway (1952), and The Girl Next Door (1953) will arrive on November 13th. The same Fox site also reveals some details relevant to the forthcoming Ford at Fox collection. Composer Christopher Caliendo, who re-scored Major Dundee for Sony, has taken on the challenge of creating a new score for Ford's 1924 epic The Iron Horse, and filmmaker Nick Redman has directed a new feature-length documentary Becoming John Ford. Both films will be part of the Ford collection, currently anticipated for release in December.

Grapevine Video will have five silent and two sound releases for July. The silents include California in '49 (feature length version of the 1925 fifteen-chapter serial Days of '49, with Edmund Cobb), The Crackerjack (1925, comedy with Johnny Hines), Monsieur Beaucaire (1924, with Rudolph Valentino), The Notorious Lady (1927, with Lewis Stone, from the only surviving 35mm print), and The White Sheep (1924, with Glenn Tryon). The sound offerings are a Rin Tin Tin Jr. double feature of Skull and Crown (1935) and Pride of the Legion (1932), and a Saturday Matinee double feature of White Pongo (1945) and Queen of the Amazons (1947).

Image will have Treasures III: Social Issues in American Film, 1900-1934 on October 16th. The four-disc, 48-film set originates with the National Film Preservation Foundation and explores the social activism of movies during the medium's first decades, and includes four feature-length films: Redskin (1929), a two-color Technicolor adventure filmed on location at Acoma Pueblo with Richard Dix; The Soul of Youth (1920), a little-known film directed by William Desmond Taylor; Where Are My Children? (1916), the Lois Weber classic transferred following the newly rediscovered tinting records; and Cecil B. DeMille's Godless Girl (1928), the celebrated expose of juvenile reformatories based on undercover research commissioned by the director himself. In addition there will be a number of lesser known but fascinating comedies, serial episodes, cartoons, melodramas, documentaries, and advocacy films, all supported by a 192-page program guide. Also being issued by Image is The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Ultimate Edition, coming on October 9th. It will feature a new high definition transfer and an audio essay by Lon Chaney historian Michael Blake.

Infinity Entertainment will release Hopalong Cassidy: The Complete Television Collection on August 7th. This is a 12-disc set that just repackages the three recent boxes that appeared under the Critics Choice banner (the two 4-disc sets containing the two seasons of TV shows and the one 4-disc set that contained 10 Cassidy feature films ). Thus the new set's title is a little misleading since there is more than just TV content in it. Anyway, there's nothing new here, but those interested who do not already have the three individual sets may find this repackaged version to their liking. Infinity will also offer The Adventures of Jim Bowie: The Complete Collection (that's 76 episodes on 10 discs) on the same date.

Kino plans a release of 1935's She: Deluxe Two-Disc Edition on August 21st. Apparently a newly restored black and white and a colorized version are included. On September 4th, look for three early sound features: The Lottery Bride (1930, with Jeanette MacDonald), Be Yourself (1930, with Fanny Brice), and Alibi (1929, with Chester Morris). The previously announced package of the recent documentary Silent Britain (2006) along with the silent feature A Cottage on Dartmoor (1926) will appear on October 2nd. The Photoplay-restored version of The Cat and the Canary (1927) is due on the same date. On October 16th, Kino will have a three-DVD box set entitled Houdini - The Films. The set will contain rarely seen films starring the legendary magician Harry Houdini, with all known remaining footage included: The Master Mystery (1920 serial), Haldane of the Secret Service (1923 feature), Terror Island (1920 feature), and The Man from Beyond (1922 feature). There will also be 40 minutes of bonus footage including fragments of lost films.

Details on MGM's September release of the Roger Corman and Vincent Price box sets mentioned in the last column are now available. The Roger Corman Collection (coming September 18th) includes: The Premature Burial (1962, with Ray Milland), X - The Man with X-Ray Eyes (1963, with Ray Milland), The Young Racers (1963), The Trip (1967, with Peter Fonda), Bloody Mama (1970, with Shelly Winters), and Gas-s-s-s (1971, with Cindy Williams). MGM Movie Scream Legends: The Vincent Price Collection (coming September 11th) includes: Tales of Terror (1962), Twice Told Tales (1963), The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971), Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972), Theatre of Blood (1973), and Madhouse (1974). These titles are presented as three double feature discs. There are two other discs in the set. One is for Witchfinder General (1968) which includes audio commentary with producer Philip Waddilove and actor Ian Ogilvy and the other is a bonus disc containing the documentary Vincent Price: Renaissance Man and two featurettes - The Art of Fear and Working with Vincent Price. The Witchfinder General disc will also be available separately.

Paramount plans on releasing I Love Lucy: The Complete Series on October 23rd. Perry Mason: Season Two, Volume Two will follow on November 13th. On November 20th, Mission Impossible: Season Three, The Wild Wild West: Season Three, and Love American Style: Season One, Volume One arrive.

Restored Serials Super Restoration Corp. will follow up its impressive work on The Green Archer serial (reviewed in my previous column) with restorations of Young Eagles (a 12-chapter 1934 First Division serial) and Son of Tarzan (a 15-chapter silent serial made in 1920). No firm release dates are known as yet, but the former is expected in mid-to-late summer with the latter following between the end of summer and Christmas. Houdini: The Man from Beyond, a 1922 silent feature, has also recently been released.

Shout! Factory will release McHale's Navy: Season Two (36 episodes on 5 discs) on September 11th. New interviews with Ernest Borgnine and Tim Conway are among the supplements.

S'More Entertainment, according to TVShowsonDVD.com, will be releasing Make Room for Daddy: Sixth Season. The set will be a five or six disc one with supplementary material to include new interviews with Marjorie Lord, Tony Thomas, and Sid Melton. No exact date has yet been fixed for the release.

On August 28th, Sony will revisit 3:10 to Yuma (1957) with a new SE (no details available). This re-release is timed to coincide with the theatrical release of the Russell Crowe remake of the film, so like the situation with last year's All the King's Men, the re-issue of the original may not offer anything new. Sony will apparently release the beginning of its chronological Stooges collection with The Three Stooges Collection: 1934-1936 this fall. Although some etail sites are advertising the set as being released on September 18th, Sony has made no announcement as yet, so later in the fall now seems more probable. Future releases will continue with the chronological shorts including at least three years worth at a time, and will apparently conclude in 2009 with a box of all the features (assuming sales figures so dictate, I presume). In addition, there will be some extras, including the solo shorts of Shemp, Joe DeRita, and Joe Besser, and the handful of Screen Snapshots they appeared in. The material will not be colourized, praise be. Supposedly, this appearance of the initial Stooges set may kick off a more aggressive classics stance from Sony. Among titles now believed to be in the works are such much-requested titles as the Randolph Scott/Budd Boetticher western collaborations. According to dvddrive-in.com, on October 16 Sony will release Icons of Horror Collection: Sam Katzman - a two-disc set containing four classic Columbia 1950s horror and science fiction titles: The Giant Claw, The Werewolf, Zombies of Mora Tau, and Creature with the Atom Brain. The set will also include one chapter of the Katzman-produced 1951 serial, Mysterious Island. Sony will have Guess Who's Coming to Dinner: 40th Anniversary Edition on October 9th. It will include a new anamorphic transfer and a number of featurettes as bonus content. The release will also be included in a Stanley Kramer Film Collection box-set which also will contain Ship of Fools, The Member of the Wedding, The Wild One, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, and an exclusive bonus disc (content not yet announced).

Also as reported at TVShowsonDVD.com, Time-Life will release a set of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. likely this fall that will contain all four seasons (105 episodes) together. The set would be marketed via direct response (TV and on-line ads). This comes as a result of a licensing arrangement with Warner Bros. that will see Time-Life have an exclusive marketing window until the fall of 2008 when the show would be made available to normal retail channels. Series stars Robert Vaughn and David McCallum are both involved in the set's bonus materials.

Universal is back at the same nonsense as last year with two collections being made available as Best Buy exclusives only and due out before Hallowe'en. This time they'll offer a Horror Collection comprising Man-Made Monster, Horror Island, Captive Wild Woman, Night Monster, and The Black Cat (1941), and a Science Fiction Collection comprising The Deadly Mantis, The Land Unknown, The Leech Woman, Cult of the Cobra, and Dr. Cyclops. These films will have a limited audience only so not making them widely available to everyone who's interested in them strikes me as a poor marketing decision. No only that, where are Island of Lost Souls, Murders in the Zoo, and The Uninvited to name but a few horror titles that Universal seems to be holding for ransom? On October 9th, the studio will release Alfred Hitchcock Presents: Season Three - 39 episodes on five discs.

VCI has several offerings set for August 28th that will be of interest to classic fans. Weiss-O-Rama is a two-disc set featuring six hours of two-reel comedies from independent low budget producers, the Weiss Brothers. Among those featured in the shorts are Ben Turpin and Snub Pollard. Other offerings will be Samuel Fuller's The Naked Kiss: Collector's Edition (1964) featuring a new anamorphic transfer and new video and audio interview material, and the Deadly Dames Film Noir Collector's Set. The latter will package the new The Naked Kiss disc along with individual discs of Slightly Scarlet (1956) and Blonde Ice (1948). VCI is also going to be releasing A Christmas Carol: Ultimate Collector's Edition on October 23rd. It will be a two-disc version featuring the original B&W film in a new digital transfer, the colorized version, a 16x9 version enhanced for widescreen TVs (?), audio commentary by Marcus Hearn and George Cole, several featurettes, two trailers, and a gallery of photo and press book material.

Warner Bros. has announced The Jazz Singer: 80th Anniversary Edition for October 16th. The release will be a three-disc edition containing a restored and remastered release of the 1927 film, audio commentary by film historians Ron Hutchinson and Vince Giordano, an Al Jolson trailer gallery, 3½+ hours of rare Vitaphone shorts, early sound shorts, vintage cartoons, a new documentary The Dawn of Sound: How Movies Learned to Talk, and various lobby card, original program, and historical document reproductions. Following on October 23rd will be Burt Lancaster: The Signature Collection, containing The Flame and the Arrow, His Majesty O'Keefe, South Sea Woman, Jim Thorpe All American, and Executive Action. We can expect the usual vintage extras and each title will also be available separately. Warners will also have a Stanley Kubrick promotion on October 23rd with new two-disc special editions of four of his films including 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and A Clockwork Orange (1971). Lolita (1962) and Barry Lyndon (1975) will be single-disc efforts. All will be restored and remastered. October 30th will see the release of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 5. It will have the usual 60 classic cartoons restored and remastered on four discs plus over five hours of supplementary material including the 2000 PBS documentary Chuck Jones: Extremes and In-Betweens - A Life in Animation. The usual two-disc Spotlight Collection version of the longer release will also be available. In honour of Barbara Stanwyck's 100th birthday, Warners will release Barbara Stanwyck: The Signature Collection on October 30th. Included are six films on five discs: Annie Oakley (1935), My Reputation (1946), East Side West Side (1949), Executive Suite (1954), and as a double bill - To Please a Lady (1950) and Jeopardy (1953). All titles will be complemented with vintage shorts and cartoons and/or Lux Radio Theater radio adaptations. Executive Suite will feature audio commentary by director Oliver Stone. Each disc will also be available separately. Warners has also noted that Night Nurse with Stanwyck and Clark Gable will be coming to DVD soon. On November 6th, Warners will offer the Leading Ladies Collection: Volume Two, containing I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955, Susan Hayward), A Big Hand for the Little Lady (1966, Joanne Woodward), Up the Down Staircase (1967, Sandy Dennis), Rich and Famous (1981, Jacqueline Bisset and Candice Bergman), and Shoot the Moon (1982, Diane Keaton). Each title will also be available separately. Shoot the Moon will include audio commentary by director Alan Parker and screenwriter Bo Goldman.

In High Definition news, Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock (1957) and Viva Las Vegas (1964) will be available from Warner Bros. in both HD and BD formats on September 18th. On September 25th, we'll get The Wild Bunch from Warners in both HD and BD. A handful of Stanley Kubrick films will also be released on both HD and BD by Warners on October 23rd, including 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange and The Shining. All supplements on the DVD SE versions are expected to be included on the Hi-Def versions. Fox and MGM have announced (or reannounced, as the case may be) a few classic titles for BD release, including The Amityville Horror (1979) on October 2nd, and both The Battle of Britain (1969) and A Bridge Too Far (1977) on November 6th. Paramount has set November 20th as the release date for Star Trek: The Original Series - Season One in HD. For the new ten-disc set (actually HD/DVD combo discs), Paramount has remastered each episode from the original negatives and added retooled special digital effects and remixed True HD 5.1 sound. Sony will have 20 Million Miles to Earth on BD for a December 4th release. Finally, Disney has announced that Sleeping Beauty will be its first Platinum animated title to be released in BD format in late 2008.

That's it for now. I'll return again soon.

Barrie Maxwell
barriemaxwell@thedigitalbits.com


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