History, Legacy & Showmanship

All right, we’ve got more great stuff for you here at The Bits today…

First, our own Michael Coate has turned in a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column looking back at The Blue Max, including the film’s original roadshow release and also composer Jerry Goldsmith’s work on the score. This is, of course, in honor of the new Twilight Time Blu-ray release of the film today, as well as La-La Land Records’ excellent new 2-disc soundtrack CD release! Michael even includes an interview with our old friend (and film music historian) Jeff Bond, who wrote a track-by-track analysis of the score for the CD. It’s another great column, so definitely don’t miss it!  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

“There Was No Quiet On The Western Front!”

The Digital Bits presents this retrospective on The Blue Max, the World War I adventure-drama starring George Peppard, James Mason and Ursula Andress and highlighted by aerial dogfighting and music by acclaimed composer Jerry Goldsmith. Directed by John Guillermin (The Towering Inferno, the 1976 remake of King Kong) and based upon the novel by Jack D. Hunter, The Blue Max was hailed by Newsweek as “Magnificent!” and characterized by The New York Times as, “Devil-may-care dogfights in the skies... devil-may-care love affairs on the ground.” Recently released on Blu-ray Disc from Twilight Time and soundtrack CD by La-La Land Records, The Bits celebrates this classic war film with a detailed listing of its original, major-market roadshow engagements in the United States and Canada as well as an interview with film music authority Jeff Bond, who discusses Jerry Goldsmith’s musical contribution to the film. [Read on here...]

 

Tuesday, 11 February 2014 12:01

Sweet Charity: The Roadshow Engagements

“The Musical with a Heart of Gold”

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 45th anniversary of the release of Sweet Charity, starring Shirley MacLaine as Charity Hope Valentine and highlighted by numerous musical numbers, including “Rich Man’s Frug,” “The Rhythm of Life,” and “I’m a Brass Band.”

Though not yet released on Blu-ray Disc (Universal…what are you waiting for?), The Bits celebrates the musical’s 45th anniversary with a detailed listing of the film’s original, major-market roadshow engagements in the United States and Canada as well as an interview with a trio of roadshow history authorities.  [Read on here…]

First things first today: Our own Michael Coate has turned in a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column in which he looks back at the original roadshow release of Sweet Charity, which celebrates its 45th anniversary today. The piece includes a great and lengthy roundtable interview with a trio of leading experts on the film’s history, so don’t miss it. Enjoy!

In other news today, Disney has revealed that Thor: The Dark World (which streets on 2/25) is not going to be available in BD/DVD Combo versions as originally announced, but rather a Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray Combo, and single-disc Blu-ray and DVD editions, all with digital copy. This appears to be part of a broader shift by the studio away from BD/DVD Combos. Members of the Disney Movie Club who had pre-ordered the announced BD3D/BD/DVD Combo have had their orders shifted to the BD3D/BD version. And as you can see from the art below, the versions available for pre-order on Amazon have changed too.  [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Michael Coate has busy again today: He’s just turned in another great History, Legacy & Showmanship column with a look back at the release of Zulu on its 50th anniversary.  Not only does Twilight Time’s new limited edition Blu-ray start shipping out today, but Michael’s done an interview with film historian Sheldon Hall on the film’s release.  Enjoy!  [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 13:15

"Zulu" 50th Anniversary

A FEW MINUTES WITH FILM HISTORIAN SHELDON HALL

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the premiere and the release this week of a new Blu-ray Disc from Twilight Time, The Digital Bits offers a reflective interview with film historian Sheldon Hall on Zulu, the extraordinary story of the Battle of Rorke’s Drift during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, starring Stanley Baker, Jack Hawkins and Michael Caine. [Read on here…] 

More good stuff for you today…

First, Dr. Jahnke has posted a BD review of Sony’s The Big Gundown, a great spaghetti western from 1966 directed by Sergio Sollima. Sounds like the disc and its extras are pretty swell too. Don’t miss it.

Also today, our own Michael Coate has posted an update of his History, Legacy & Showmanship column from back on November – It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Retrospective – with a great roundtable interview from some of the folks involved in the film’s restoration and Criterion’s fine new Blu-ray release, including Karen Stetler, the Criterion Blu-ray Disc producer; Robert A. Harris, the restoration/reconstruction producer; Karen Sharpe-Kramer, the widow of producer-director Stanley Kramer; and the team that recorded the audio commentary track: Mark Evanier, Michael Schlesinger, and Paul Scrabo. It’s a great read, so I highly recommend that you give it a look. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents
Tuesday, 31 December 2013 00:01

Funny Girl: The Roadshow Engagements

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the 45th anniversary of the release of Funny Girl, the popular William Wyler-Ray Stark motion picture adaptation of the stage musical featuring Barbra Streisand’s Academy Award-winning performance as comedienne Fanny Brice.

Earlier this year, Sony Pictures’ restoration of Funny Girl was featured in the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival and subsequently released on Blu-ray Disc.

Now, The Digital Bits celebrates the classic musical’s 45th anniversary with a detailed listing of the film’s original, major-market, reserved-seat roadshow engagements in the United States and Canada as well as an interview with Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Grover Crisp, who speaks about the film’s recent restoration.  [Read on here…]

All right, we’ve got a quick early update for you today.

First, in the event you missed it, we posted a new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate yesterday, featuring a look back at the original theatrical release of Superman: The Movie.  Yesterday marked the film’s 35th Anniversary.  The piece features a good interview component too, so do check it out if you haven’t read it yet.

Also today, after noting the passing of the legendary actor Peter O’Toole yesterday, this morning we must acknowledge the death of Tom Laughlin as well, star of the Billy Jack films.  He was 82.  You can read more on this here at the L.A. Times.  Sadly, actress Joan Fontaine also died this past weekend at the age of 96.  Fontaine was known for roles in such films as Jane Eyre, Ivanhoe, The Constant Nymph and Letter from an Unknown Woman, in addition to starring turns in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca and Suspicion (for which she was best known).  More here at the New York Times.  Both will surely be missed.  [Read on here…]

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Adam Jahnke

The Twin Peaks Blu-ray set is one of the most beautifully packaged home video sets I have ever seen.

by Adam Jahnke