Back again with some more classic Hollywood news for your Wednesday afternoon. In this week’s update we’ll look at what TCM has coming to their channel, an upcoming remake that will make you shudder, and more upcoming DVD/Blu-ray release dates.
Hollywood appears to have decided to start remaking universally beloved movies (I guess they ran out of crappy movies to remake…ones that could benefit). Entertainment source Deadline is reporting that director Steven Spielberg is preparing to launch a remake of the classic John Steinbeck novel, The Grapes of Wrath. You might recall I reviewed the 1940s John Ford film as part of my Father’s Day Guide. Spielberg is only signed on to produce the film, but there’s unspoken hope that he’ll go on to direct it. As with all Hollywood remakes, I’m on the fence about this. There is the occasional remake that can truly be adapted to current times, but I don’t see this being one. The story of the Joads is solidly identified with the Dust Bowl, so unless they’re going to remake the book there’s nothing that can be enhanced with time; it’s not a special effects bonanza. Right now the film is in the early stages, but what are your thoughts? Is this another mindless Hollywood cash grab? Just who could take on the job of Tom Joad? The original article is here.
TCM is going to explore the history of film with the television premiere of the documentary series, The Story of Film: An Odyssey. Starting September 2nd, and continuing for fifteen weeks, The Story of Film is touted to include “119 films and…short subjects representing 29 countries across six continents.” Robert Osborne will be on hand to introduce each new installment, and the series will continue through the beginning of December. Each installment of the documentary will be accompanied by an evening of corresponding films highlighting the history of filmmaking such as City Lights, Singin’ in the Rain and Gladiator. We’ll also be getting a heap of TCM premieres such as McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Reservoir Dogs, and Cairo Station. I’m extremely excited for this as I missed the documentary series when it was on Netflix Instant (and really, any time to hear Robert Osborne talk about something makes it worth watching on the channel). It’ll also be fun to see a well-developed cross-section of films being spotlighted, several of which are must-sees. Which films are you excited to see? And will you be following this fifteen-week journey into the history of film?
Olive Films will start things off. On August 27th, Olive will release two out-of-print releases from Republic studios; Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (1950) and Flat Top (1952). There’s no word on bonus content.
September 17th is the day to order the remaining slate of Universal classic monster films on Blu-ray. They were holding the big releases (Frankenstein, Bride of, Dracula, and The Wolfman) back for a prime Halloween release and the timing is perfect. I have a birthday around this time if anyone wants to send me these! Bonus features from previous releases will carry over, except in the case of Bride, which will get new – although unspecified – features. I’m excited for these to come out, and isn’t the artwork beautiful?
Got news from Warner Archive, both in the DVD and instant department. In the DVD sector we’re getting some more fantastic Paramount releases including the Preston Struges classic Miracle of Morgan’s Creek; on top of that, you can order the 1956 musical Anything Goes, Franco Zeffirelli’s Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972), and Sam Elliot’s, Lifeguard (1976). All Warner Archive DVDs are manufactured at the time of order and may contain no bonus features. If you’re interested in purchasing any of these you can do so at Warner Archive. New to Warner Archive’s Instant streaming service: Paul Newman and Elke Sommer star in The Prize (1963); the Cecil B. DeMille pre-Code, Madam Satan (1930), the Hepburn/Tracy drama Keeper of the Flame (1942), John Garfield’s The Breaking Point (1950), and Judy Garland’s Summer Stock (1950). They also have a stellar selection of classic television shows on tap. Warner Instant does a two-week free trial so if you’re a fan of their service consider signing up.
Kino Classics will cap things off with the announcement that they’ll release two more classics in their Mario Bava Collection. You can own Black Sabbath and Kidnapped on July 16th, both of which have been fully restored for Blu-ray. They’ll each have HD transfers with Black Sabbath including the uncut international version (something I’d mentioned when I reviewed the film last Halloween). Each will have their original Italian audio, and the only bonus features will be the trailers.
That’s all from the Lake this week, we’ll see you next Wednesday with more movie news.
A freelance film critic whose work fuels the Rotten Tomatoes meter. I've been published on The Hollywood Reporter, Remezcla, and The Daily Beast. I've been featured in the L.A. Times. I currently run two podcasts, Citizen Dame and Ticklish Business.