History, Legacy & Showmanship
“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...]
“As soon as Indy stepped out of the shadows in that first scene and revealed himself to us with that badass confidence and intensity, I feel like in that moment, Harrison Ford truly became a movie star of the highest order.” – Charles de Lauzirika, producer/director of Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner
The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this multi-page retrospective article commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Lucas & Spielberg action classic that introduced moviegoers to the globe-trotting adventures of Indiana Jones and spawned a franchise of sequels, prequels, games, and theme park attractions.
Raiders, featuring Harrison Ford as everyone’s favorite cinematic archaeologist, was the most successful movie of its year of release and for a period of time the third highest-grossing motion picture of all time. The Oscar-winning movie also starred Karen Allen as heroine Marion Ravenwood, Paul Freeman as archvillain Belloq, Ronald Lacey as villain Toht, John Rhys-Davies as sidekick Sallah, and Denholm Elliott as colleague Marcus Brody.
In 1999 the Library of Congress selected Raiders of the Lost Ark for preservation in the National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant,” and earlier this year, Raiders and the other movies in the series were released for the first time on 4K UHD (reviewed here). [Read on here...]
“Clark Kent’s alley transformation into Superman and Superman’s flight to the White House to return the American Flag are two of the best moments; they are just as chill-inducing and magical today as they were 40 years ago!” — Jim Bowers, CapedWonder.com
The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this multi-page retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Superman II, the 1980/1981/2006 follow-up to 1978’s Superman: The Movie and featuring Christopher Reeve reprising his legendary dual role of Superman and alter ego Clark Kent.
Taking over from Richard Donner midway through production, Richard Lester (The Three Musketeers, Help!) directed and re-shot much of the Saturn Award-winning sequel, which focused on the three Kyptonian outlaws (Terrence Stamp, Sarah Douglas and Jack O’Halloran) breaking free from their cosmic imprisonment and seeking revenge on the Man of Steel.
The first Superman sequel—also starring Clifton James as Sheriff and E.G. Marshall as The President—featured reprisal performances by Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor, Ned Beatty as Otis, Jackie Cooper as Perry White, Margot Kidder as Lois Lane, Valerie Perrine as Miss Teschmacher, Susannah York as Superman’s biological mother Lara, and Marc McClure as Jimmy Olsen. [Read on here...]
“It really was Shaft that proved the true value of the Black dollar. Up until then Hollywood hadn’t seriously considered the breadth, scope and power of the Black moviegoing audience.” – Josiah Howard, author of Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide
“With Shaft, an underrepresented audience finally got the representation they were thirsty for.” – Chris Utley, Shaft fan
“While the Blaxploitation genre lasted less than a decade before burning out, I always thought the Shaft franchise could have endured indefinitely, as the Bond films did.” – Lee Pfeiffer, 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 Shaft, the groundbreaking, franchise-inspiring, crime thriller directed by Gordon Parks (The Learning Tree) and starring then-newcomer Richard Roundtree as the titular character.
Shaft, also starring Moses Gunn (Roots, Ragtime) and featuring Isaac Hayes’ memorable and award-winning music, was released to theaters fifty years ago this month. 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 some of its film reviews, a reference/historical listing of its original theatrical engagements, and, finally, a roundtable interview segment with a trio of film historians and Shaft authorities who reflect on the movie (and franchise) five decades after its debut. [Read on here...]