History, Legacy & Showmanship

Displaying items by tag: Sheldon Hall

The Godfather has become such an indelible part of American culture and world culture that it’s become one of those films that everyone knows even if they’ve never seen it.” – Ray Morton, author of King Kong: The History of a Movie Icon from Fay Wray to Peter Jackson

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola’s legendary film about the Corleone crime family.

Based upon Mario Puzo’s best-selling 1969 novel, the film adaptation starring Marlon Brando (A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront) won three Academy Awards (including Best Picture), was for a period of time the highest-grossing motion picture, spawned two sequels, and influenced countless filmmakers. The Godfather also starred Al Pacino (Dog Day Afternoon, Scarface), James Caan (Rollerball, Thief), Richard Castellano (A Fine Madness, Lovers and Other Strangers), Robert Duvall (The Great Santini, Tender Mercies), Sterling Hayden (The Killing, The Long Goodbye), John Marley (Faces, Love Story), Richard Conte (I’ll Cry Tomorrow, Ocean’s 11), and Diane Keaton (Annie Hall, Looking for Mr. Goodbar). [Read on here...]

All right, sorry for the lack of an update over the last couple of days. We’ve been very busy here at the site, working on reviews, preparing for some big upcoming reviews, and finishing a few more site upgrades. But the major reason is that there’s a ton of breaking and evolving release news to cover, and getting to the bottom of it all—collating all the details, checking in with sources, confirming key pieces of release information—takes a huge amount of time. But I’m always up for a challenge.

Before we get to that, however, let’s share those disc reviews we’ve been working on over the past few days...

First up, I’ve posted my thoughts on John Milius’ Red Dawn (1984) from Shout! Factory and also Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World: Dominion (2022) from Universal, both in 4K Ultra HD.

Tim has delivered a look at Joel Schumacher’s Flatliners (1990) in 4K UHD from Arrow Video, as well as John Carpenter’s Escape from New York (1981) in 4K from Scream Factory.

Dennis has reviewed a number of regular Blu-ray titles in the last few days, including Lon Chaney: Before the Thousand Faces – Volume 2 from Undercrank Productions, Josh and Benny Safdie’s Daddy Longlegs (2009) from Criterion, and Jack Gold’s The Tenth Man (1988) and Ken Hughes’s The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960) from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.

And finally, Stephen has delivered in-depth looks at Paul W.S. Anderson’s Event Horizon (1997)—a Steelbook release that’s getting hard to find here in the States—and Jeff Fowler’s Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022) both in 4K Ultra HD from Paramount, along with Michael Findlay’s Shriek of the Mutilated (1974) on Blu-ray from American Films via Vinegar Syndrome.

As always more disc reviews are on the way in the coming days. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

“Quite simply, A Clockwork Orange is significant because it’s a Stanley Kubrick film.” – Raymond Benson, Cinema Retro

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of A Clockwork Orange, Stanley Kubrick’s (Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey) critically acclaimed film based upon Anthony Burgess’s novel and starring Malcolm McDowell (Time After Time, O Lucky Man!) as gang leader Alex whose principal interests of rape, ultra-violence and Beethoven occupy his life before the government attempts a rehabilitation.

The film was nominated for four Academy Awards (including Best Picture), and in 2020 the Library of Congress selected A Clockwork Orange for preservation in the National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” Its most recent home media release, on 4K UHD, was in 2021 (and is reviewed here). [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...]

Around the World in Eighty Days, and more specifically, Mike Todd, defined the way to sell a hard ticket roadshow film.  It was important to present the show just like the legitimate stage on Broadway.” — American Widescreen Museum curator Martin Hart

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the 60th anniversary of the release of Around the World in Eighty Days, Mike Todd’s cinematic production of the classic Jules Verne novel which starred David Niven, Cantinflas and Shirley MacLaine, plus an all-star selection of cameos. [Read on here...]

[Editor’s Note: This article was intended to appear a year ago for the film’s 75th anniversary. Following a series of delays and cancellations, it’s being published now for the film’s 76th anniversary. And if you’re upset about the delay, well, frankly, my dear readers, I don’t give a damn.]

“Never in our lifetime have eyes beheld its equal”

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the 75th anniversary of the release of Gone With the Wind, David O. Selznick’s acclaimed motion picture adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s best-selling novel of the Old South and which starred Clark Gable as Rhett Butler and Vivian Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara.  [Read on here...]

[Editor’s Note: This article was originally scheduled to appear a year ago for the film’s 50th anniversary. The article was delayed so that it could be published to coincide with the delayed but now available Blu-ray Disc release.]

My Fair Lady is probably the greatest popular smart musical ever made. The melodies soar, the characters endear and engage, and the wit of so much pointed commentary on social class, gender, money, and surface appearances never lapses into self-conscious cleverness.” — film historian and author Matthew Kennedy  [Read on here...]

Jaws was something of an accidental blockbuster. It should not be blamed for being a good movie.” — Joseph McBride

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Jaws, Steven Spielberg’s legendary tale of a Great White preying on a coastal New England resort community during the lucrative summer tourism season.

Based upon Peter Benchley’s best-selling novel and starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss, Jaws shattered all existing box-office records, scared the wits out of beachgoers, and became every studio’s dream model of a summer blockbuster (and, in some circles, a whipping boy for popular, successful movies). [Read on here…]

Tuesday, 11 February 2014 14:01

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…]

Wednesday, 22 January 2014 15:15

"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…] 

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