History, Legacy & Showmanship

History, Legacy & Showmanship

“With excellent performances from an ensemble cast, moody and insightful direction by Peter Bogdanovich, and a lovely melancholy that will stay with you long after viewing it, The Last Picture Show is one of my favorite movies.” – Raymond Benson, Cinema Retro

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this multi-page retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of The Last Picture Show, Peter Bogdanovich’s (Targets, What’s Up, Doc?) critically acclaimed film based upon Larry McMurtry’s 1966 novel set in a small Texas town during the early 1950s.

The Last Picture Show starred Timothy Bottoms (Johnny Got His Gun), Jeff Bridges (The Big Lebowski), Ellen Burstyn (The Exorcist), Ben Johnson (The Wild Bunch), Cloris Leachman (The Mary Tyler Moore Show), and Cybill Shepherd (Moonlighting), and was nominated for eight Academy Awards (including Best Picture) and was the winner of two (supporting nods for Johnson and Leachman). [Read on here...]

Duel showed us that art could be produced on a television budget and on a television schedule. — Gary Gerani, co-author of Fantastic Television

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the original broadcast of Duel, the acclaimed television film adapted from Richard Matheson’s short story about a man menaced on the highway by the unseen driver of a truck.

Duel featured Dennis Weaver (Gunsmoke, Gentle Ben) and originally aired as a part of the ABC Movie of the Week in autumn 1971 before being expanded into a theatrical release.

Directed by a 24-year-old Steven Spielberg, Duel marked Spielberg’s transition into the production of feature-length motion pictures following two years of directing episodic television. [Read on here...]

It's a Wonderful Life is truly the platinum standard in Christmas movies; the benchmark by which all other entries in the genre are judged.” — Thomas A. Christie, author of The Christmas Movie Book

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 75th anniversary of the release of It’s a Wonderful Life, the Christmas classic directed by Frank Capra (It Happened One Night, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington) and starring James Stewart (The Philadelphia Story, Vertigo) and Donna Reed (From Here to Eternity, The Donna Reed Show).

In 1990 the Library of Congress selected It’s a Wonderful Life for preservation in the National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” and in 1998 the American Film Institute (AFI) recognized the film as the 11th greatest movie ever made. The film has been released countless times on home media formats with its most recent release (on 4K UHD) in 2019 (and reviewed here). [Read on here...]

Fiddler on the Roof belongs on the list of the best and most successful musicals, which would include West Side Story, My Fair Lady, and The Sound of Music. — Matthew Kennedy, author of Roadshow!

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Fiddler on the Roof, the popular, award-winning screen adaptation of the Broadway musical and the writings of Sholem Aleichem.

Directed by Norman Jewison (In the Heat of the Night, Moonstruck), Fiddler starred Topol (Flash Gordon, For Your Eyes Only) as Tevye, the poor Jewish milkman determined to marry off his daughters amidst turmoil in his small Ukrainian village.

Also starring Norma Crane, Leonard Frey, Molly Picon, and Paul Mann, and featuring Oscar-winning cinematography, music, and sound, Fiddler rolled out to movie theaters, initially as a roadshow, beginning fifty years ago this autumn. [Read on here...]

The Dick Van Dyke Show is simply superior television with an appeal that remains timeless.” – TV historian Herbie J Pilato

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 60th anniversary of the television broadcast premiere of The Dick Van Dyke Show, the popular situation comedy starring Dick Van Dyke (Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) and Mary Tyler Moore (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Ordinary People) as Rob and Laura Petrie.

The award-winning series, which originally aired on CBS from 1961 through 1966, revolved around Rob and his co-workers as the writing staff of a television show and Rob’s home life with wife Laura and son Ritchie.

The series—created by Carl Reiner (2000 Years with Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks, The Jerk, All of Me) and memorably featuring Rose Marie as Sally Rogers, Morey Amsterdam as Buddy Sorrell, Larry Mathews as Ritchie, Richard Deacon as Mel Cooley, and Carl Reiner as Alan Brady—premiered 60 years ago this autumn, and for the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with television historian Herbie J Pilato who reflects on the series appeal, impact and legacy six decades after its debut. [Read on here...]

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