History, Legacy & Showmanship

Displaying items by tag: Lee Pfeiffer

We’ve got a brand new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate for you to enjoy today, and it’s another bonus column originally meant to be posted late last year, but that took longer to complete than expected. In this installment, Michael looks back at Don Seigel’s Dirty Harry (1971) in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary. He’s joined by documentary filmmaker Gary Leva and authors Patrick McGilligan and Lee Pfeiffer, historians all. The piece is well worth your time if you’re a fan of the film.

Also today here at The Bits we have a trio of new Blu-ray reviews from Tim, including his take on the animated The Addams Family (2019) and The Addams Family 2 (2021) from Universal, and also Tom Gries’ Breakheart Pass (1976) from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. Enjoy!

The big piece of announcement news today is that Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has just officially set Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley for release on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD on 3/22, with the Digital release expected on 3/8. The Blu-ray and 4K will include three featurettes (Del Toro’s Neo Noir, Beneath the Tarp, and What Exists in the Fringe). Audio will be Dolby Atmos on the 4K and DTS-HD MA on the Blu-ray SKU. The 4K will also include HDR10 high dynamic range. You can see the cover artwork above left and also below. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

“If you are the rare person who has never seen a Clint Eastwood film and wonder what all the fuss is about, Dirty Harry would be a good place to start.” – Patrick McGilligan, author of Clint: The Life and Legend

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Dirty Harry, the popular action-thriller about San Francisco Police Department Inspector “Dirty” Harry Callahan and his quest to apprehend a psychopath. Starring Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) in the titular role, the film was inspired by the Zodiac Killer case and spawned a series of Dirty Harry films.

Directed by Don Siegel (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Escape from Alcatraz), the film also starred Andy Robinson (Hellraiser, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Harry Guardino (Pork Chop Hill, Rollercoaster), Reni Santoni (Bad Boys, Cobra), and John Vernon (The Outlaw Josey Wales, Animal House). [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...]

We’re kicking off the new week with more disc reviews...

For those who missed it, I posted my thoughts on Wolfgang Petersen’s In the Line of Fire (from Sony) and Adam Wingard’s Godzilla vs. Kong (from Warner Bros.) in 4K Ultra HD on Friday. They’re very different films, but each looks and sounds terrific, so do give them a look.

Also, Dennis has turned in his comments on George Sherman’s Larceny, a 1948 film noir that’s coming on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics on 7/13.

And Stephen has reviewed Arthur Barron’s Jeremy (1973) on Blu-ray, as recently released on the format by Fun City Editions.

We also have a brand new History, Legacy & Showmanship column from our own Michael Coate, which looks back at the theatrical release of Gordon Parks’ original Shaft in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary. The in-depth piece (four pages in all!) features a new roundtable interview with historians Josiah Howard and Lee Pfeiffer, as well as Shaft super-fan Chris Utley. You’ll find that here and it’s well worth a look. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

“It’s the worst Bond movie ever made.” — Lee Pfeiffer, co-author of The Essential Bond: The Authorized Guide to the World of 007

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 45th anniversary of the release of The Man with the Golden Gun, the ninth (official) cinematic James Bond adventure and second entry to feature Roger Moore as Agent 007.

In case you missed them or desire a refresher read, this column’s other celebratory 007 articles in this series include The World Is Not EnoughLicence to Kill, Moonraker, Quantum of Solace, From Russia with Love, Never Say Never Again, Live and Let Die, Octopussy, Casino Royale (1967), Tomorrow Never Dies, Die Another Day, Dr. No, The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Loved Me, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, Casino Royale, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, GoldenEye, A View to a Kill, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Goldfinger, and 007… Fifty Years Strong.

The Bits continues the series with this retrospective featuring a Q&A with an esteemed group of film historians and James Bond authorities who discuss the virtues, shortcomings and legacy of 1974’s The Man with the Golden Gun. [Read more here...]

2001 is Kubrick’s crowning achievement. It’s the movie that launched him into ’superstar’ status that placed him alongside the likes of Welles, Bergman, Fellini, Kurosawa, Hitchcock, Ford...” — film historian and author Raymond Benson

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick’s acclaimed science-fiction adventure starring Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood.

Featuring groundbreaking visual effects and memorable usage of classical music (and decades of analysis), 2001 premiered 50 years ago this week, and for the occasion The Bits features a compilation of statistics and box office data that places the movie’s performance in context; passages from vintage film reviews; and a reference/historical listing of the movie’s limited-market 70-millimeter and roadshow engagements. [Read on here...]

“What we have here is a total lack of respect for the law!”

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Smokey and the Bandit, the popular action comedy starring Burt Reynolds as Bo (aka Bandit), Sally Field as Carrie (aka Frog), Jerry Reed as Cledus (aka Snowman), and Jackie Gleason as the unforgettable Sheriff Buford T. Justice of Portague County. [Read on here...]

Thunderball will always be the ‘big one.’ When Bond was bigger than anything on the planet, except maybe the Beatles.” — Steven Jay Rubin

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Thunderball, the fourth cinematic James Bond adventure starring Sean Connery as Agent 007 and, notably, the first produced in widescreen and, when adjusted for inflation, the most successful entry in the series.  [Read on here...]

“Had GoldenEye failed, that would have been it for 007.” — John Cork

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 20th anniversary of the release of GoldenEye, the 17th (official) cinematic James Bond adventure and, most notably, the first to star Pierce Brosnan as Agent 007.

As with our previous 007 articles (available hereherehere, and here), The Bits continues the series with this retrospective featuring a Q&A with an esteemed group of James Bond authorities who discuss the virtues and shortcomings of GoldenEye and analyze whether or not the passage of time has been kind to the film. [Read on here...]

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