History, Legacy & Showmanship

History, Legacy & Showmanship

“Any legitimate study of Spielberg’s career has to include 1941.” — film music historian Mike Matessino

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of 1941, Steven Spielberg’s zany, whacky, epic World War II comedy featuring a screenplay by Robert Zemeckis & Bob Gale (Used Cars, Back to the Future) and John Milius (Big Wednesday, Red Dawn), an all-star cast headed by Dan Aykroyd (The Blues Brothers, Ghostbusters) and John Belushi (Animal House, The Blues Brothers), and Oscar-nominated Cinematography, Sound and Visual Effects.

The large ensemble cast also featured Nancy Allen (Dressed to Kill), Ned Beatty (Deliverance), Eddie Deezen (Grease), Bobby DiCicco (I Wanna Hold Your Hand), Lorraine Gary (Jaws), Murray Hamilton (Jaws), Diane Kay (Eight is Enough TV series), Christopher Lee (The Man with the Golden Gun), Tim Matheson (Animal House), Frank McRae (Used Cars), Toshiro Mifune (The Hidden Fortress), Warren Oates (The Wild Bunch), Slim Pickens (Dr. Strangelove), Wendie Jo Sperber (Back to the Future), Robert Stack (The Untouchables TV series), Lionel Stander (Hart to Hart TV series), and Treat Williams (Prince of the City). [Read more here...]


Christmas Vacation is a perfect blend of festive nostalgia and domestic anarchy.” — Thomas A. Christie, author of A Righteously Awesome Eighties Christmas

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 30th anniversary of the release of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, the third entry in the popular Vacation series starring Chevy Chase (Saturday Night Live, Caddyshack, Fletch) as Clark Griswold.

Also starring Beverly D’Angelo (American History X) as Ellen Griswold, Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers) as Audrey Griswold, Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory) as Rusty Griswold, and Randy Quaid (The Last Detail) as Cousin Eddie, Christmas Vacation opened in theaters across North America 30 years ago this December.

For the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with pop culture historian and Christmas-movie authority Thomas A. Christie, who discuss the film’s virtues and enduring appeal. [Read more here...]


The Abyss does something that every single Cameron film does: explores new frontiers in the technology of film making. And that’s important.” — Matthew Kapell, editor of The Films of James Cameron: Critical Essays

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 30th anniversary of the release of The Abyss, James Cameron’s (The Terminator, Titanic) underwater sci-fi adventure starring Ed Harris (The Right Stuff) and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (The Color of Money).

Also starring Michael Biehn (Aliens) and featuring groundbreaking visual effects, The Abyss opened thirty years ago this past summer. For the occasion The Bits features a package of statistics and box-office data that places the movie’s performance in context, along with passages from vintage film reviews, a reference/historical listing of the movie’s showcase presentations, and, finally, an interview segment with a film historian who reflects on the film three decades after its debut. [Read on here...]


The Twilight Zone was an enormously creative television series anchored by one of the true giants of the medium, Mr. Rod Serling, a master storyteller who was given unprecedented control over his work. In terms of quality, no show touches it in consistent quality.” — Steven Jay Rubin, author of The Twilight Zone Encyclopedia

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 60th anniversary of The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling’s classic anthology series which originally ran on CBS from 1959 to 1964.

The Twilight Zone premiered sixty years ago this month and for the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with a quartet of Rod Serling authorities and classic television historians who reflect on the timeless series (and its offspring) six decades after its debut. [Read on here...]


Paint Your Wagon is remembered as a standalone oddity in the careers of Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood.” — Matthew Kennedy, author of Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Paint Your Wagon, the Oscar-nominated cinematic interpretation of the Lerner and Loewe stage musical which starred Lee Marvin (Cat Ballou, Point Blank), Clint Eastwood (Dirty Harry, Unforgiven) and Jean Seberg (Pendulum, Airport).

Paint Your Wagon — directed by Joshua Logan (South Pacific, Camelot) and which also featured Harve Presnell (The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Fargo) and Ray Walston (My Favorite Martian, Fast Times at Ridgemont High) — opened 50 years ago this month. For the occasion, The Bits features an historical reference listing of the film’s major-market roadshow engagements and a Q&A with film historian Matthew Kennedy, who discusses the film’s virtues, shortcomings and legacy. [Read on here...]


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