History, Legacy & Showmanship

“This is a 1983 film with the director of the highest-grossing film of 1980, the cinematographer of the highest-grossing film of 1981, and Sean Connery starring as James Bond. What could go wrong?” – John Cork, author of James Bond Encyclopedia

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of Never Say Never Again, the remake of 1965’s Thunderball and the final film in the long-running series to feature Sir Sean Connery as Agent 007.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include Live and Let DieOctopussy, 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 1983’s Never Say Never Again. [Read on here...]

“While Octopussy may always be fated to be best remembered as the Bond film that went head-to-head with Never Say Never Again, its real legacy was to reaffirm the relevance of the series to an increasingly sophisticated international audience that was being presented by a resurgent action movie genre which was offering whole new levels of cinematic spectacle and excess.” — 007 historian Thomas A. Christie

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of Octopussy, the thirteenth (official) cinematic James Bond adventure and the sixth (of seven) to star Sir Roger Moore as Agent 007.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include 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 James Bond historians who discuss the virtues, shortcomings and legacy of Casino Royale (1967). [Read on here...]

“With its dramatic and satisfying conclusion of the overall plot and its upbeat finale, Return of the Jedi set the future of the Star Wars brand on an extremely sure footing and ensured that the trilogy would be regarded as one of the greatest of all time.” — Craig Stevens, author of The Star Wars Phenomenon in Britain

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of Return of the Jedi, the concluding chapter of George Lucas’ original Star Wars trilogy, which featured Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher reprising their popular roles of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia, respectively.

Tying up all of the loose ends of the previous chapter and showcasing a galaxy’s worth of creatures, robots and visual effects, Return of the Jedi opened to record-breaking box-office thirty-five years ago this week. [Read on here...]

The Dark Crystal has the distinction of being one of a very few films entirely starring puppets. It’s an amazing achievement.” — The Dark Crystal: The Ultimate Visual History author Caseen Gaines

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of The Dark Crystal, the fantasy adventure directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz (The Muppet Show) and produced by Gary Kurtz (Star Wars).

The Dark Crystal — which featured the Muppeteering talents of Henson and Oz and longtime Henson associates including Kathryn Mullen, Dave Goelz, Brian Froud, Jerry Nelson, and many others — opened 35 years ago this winter. In recent months there has been a surge in interest in the film, with numerous anniversary screenings (including several showcasing a newly discovered 70mm print from the original release), a new book highlighting the original production (see interview below), a 4K Ultra HD slated for release in March, and a forthcoming TV series. [Read on here...]

Tron should be remembered as a very daring, risky adventure on the part of a few young visionaries and artists. They believed that by using computers for animation and visual effects, they could change moviemaking.” — The Making of Tron author William Kallay

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of Tron, the Walt Disney Company’s groundbreaking science-fiction computer adventure starring Jeff Bridges and David Warner. [Read on here...]

“Even after decades of imitators, bigger budgets and more advanced technology, Blade Runner still stands high as a groundbreaking, unparalleled masterpiece.” — Dangerous Days: Making Blade Runner documentarian Charles de Lauzirika

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of Blade Runner, Ridley Scott’s neo-noir sci-fi adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young and Edward James Olmos. [Read on here...]

“It knows what scares you.”

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of Poltergeist, Tobe Hooper and Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed horror film starring Jobeth Williams, Craig T. Nelson and Zelda Rubinstein and featuring Academy Award-nominated Visual Effects, Music and Sound Effects Editing. [Read on here...]

“If [Roger] Moore had ended his Bond tenure with For Your Eyes Only, [the film] would’ve been all the more noteworthy.” — Bill Desowitz

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of For Your Eyes Only.

The twelfth cinematic James Bond adventure, it was the fifth to feature Roger Moore as Agent 007, the first of five directed by John Glen, and featured Sheena Easton’s chart-topping and Oscar-nominated title song.  [Read on here...]

“The guys who made Jaws and Star Wars have done it again. It’s too good to be true.” — David Ansen, Newsweek

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of Raiders of the Lost Ark, the immensely popular Spielberg & Lucas action extravaganza that introduced moviegoers to the globe-trotting adventures of Indiana Jones.

Raiders, featuring Harrison Ford as everyone’s favorite archaeologist, opened 35 years ago this week, and for the occasion The Bits features a compilation of box-office data that places the movie’s performance in context, production and exhibition information, a list of the film’s 70-millimeter “showcase” presentations, and an interview segment with a group of Spielberg authorities. [Read on here...]

The Empire Strikes Back joins The Godfather, Part II as one of the rarest of films—a sequel that lives up to and expands upon its original.” — Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune

There is no question this year is a huge one for fans of Star Wars. While the whole galaxy awaits Episode VII: The Force Awakens, let us not forget this year also marks the 35th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, one of the most revered sequels of all time. The Digital Bits celebrates the occasion with this retrospective featuring a compilation of box-office data that places Empire’s performance in context, quotes from well-known movie critics, production and exhibition information, a list of the opening-week, limited-market theaters that were the first anywhere to play the movie, and an interview segment with a group of filmmakers and historians who discuss the attributes of the movie and examine why Empire is frequently labeled the fan favorite.  [Read on here...]

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