History, Legacy & Showmanship

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...]

“It’s hard to overstate the influence of Planet of the Apes on the sci-fi film genre. Until then, sci-fi didn’t get much respect, but the one-two punch of that film followed by Kubrick’s mind-blowing 2001 would cause critics and audiences to reevaluate the genre as something more than hapless earthlings trying to repel creatures with ray guns.” — Lee Pfeiffer, Cinema Retro editor-in-chief

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Planet of the Apes, the science fiction classic starring Charlton Heston (The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur) and Roddy McDowall (The Black Hole, Fright Night).

Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner (Patton, Papillon) and based upon the Pierre Boulle novel, Planet of the Apes also featured Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, James Daly, and Linda Harrison.

The popular film turns fifty this month, opening initially in New York before a staggered spring rollout across the country. [Read on here...]

“The first art house action film.” —Dwayne Epstein, author of Lee Marvin: Point Blank

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 50th anniversary of the release of Point Blank, the neo noir crime classic starring Lee Marvin (Cat Ballou, The Dirty Dozen) and Angie Dickinson (Police Woman, Dressed to Kill).

Directed by John Boorman (Deliverance, Excalibur) and based upon the crime noir novel The Hunter, Point Blank also featured Keenan Wynn (Annie Get Your Gun, Dr. Strangelove) and Carroll O’Connor (All in the Family, In the Heat of the Night) — and striking San Francisco locations. The film recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of its release, and for the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with film historian Dwayne Epstein, who discusses the film’s virtues and influence. [Read on here...]

So today’s post is a quick one, but it’s a very, very good bit of news, especially for catalog and 4K fans…

Retail sources have begun telling us that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is preparing to release a 4K Ultra HD version of director Stanley Kubrick’s landmark science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey. This is something we’ve actually known was coming for a few months now, having heard it off the record directly from studio sources. Now that we’re finally hearing the first word from retailers we feel comfortable confirming it. [Read on here…]

Published in My Two Cents

Casino Royale is the Star Wars Holiday Special of James Bond films.” — 007 historian John Cork

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 50th anniversary of the release of Casino Royale, the James Bond comedy spoof starring Peter Sellers, Ursula Andress, David Niven, Orson Welles and Woody Allen.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include Tomorrow Never DiesDie Another Day, Dr. No, The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Lived 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...]

“It’s clear in retrospect that Camelot began the extinction process of old school Broadway musicals extravagantly transferred to the screen.” — Matthew Kennedy, author of Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Camelot, the Oscar-winning cinematic interpretation of the King Arthur legend and the Lerner and Loewe stage musical which starred Richard Harris (Cromwell, Unforgiven) as King Arthur and Vanessa Redgrave (Blow-up, Julia) as Guenevere.

Camelot — directed by Joshua Logan (South Pacific, Paint Your Wagon) and which featured Franco Nero, David Hemmings and Lionel Jeffries in supporting roles — opened 50 years ago this past autumn. For the occasion, The Bits features an historical reference listing of the film’s major-market roadshow engagements and a Q&A with film historian Matthew Kennedy, who discusses the film’s virtues, shortcomings and legacy. [Read on here...]

“Ken Adam’s production design is a work of genius. Incredibly, he was not nominated for an Oscar, but the people who designed the living room set for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner were.” — 007 historian Lee Pfeiffer

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of You Only Live Twice, the fifth (official) cinematic James Bond adventure and first of three directed by Lewis Gilbert.

As with our previous 007 articles (see 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 and History, Legacy & Showmanship continue the series with this retrospective featuring a Q&A with an esteemed group of James Bond scholars, documentarians and historians who discuss the virtues, shortcomings and legacy of You Only Live Twice. [Read on here...]

Star Trek has left a legacy of hope and optimism that humankind has a future. If we cultivate the potential of Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations so that we embrace a universe brimming with the riches of life in all of its forms, then humankind can evolve into something finer and nobler. I think that is what Gene Roddenberry meant when he said that the human adventure is just beginning.” — Bill Kraft, author of Maybe We Need a Letter from God: The Star Trek Stamp

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the golden anniversary of Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry’s legendary science-fiction television series depicting the voyages of Captain James T. Kirk and his crew of the starship Enterprise.

The memorable television series premiered 50 years ago this week (September 6th, 1966, on CTV in Canada, and September 8th, 1966, on NBC in the United States), and similar to our other Star Trek roundtables (here and here) and classic television retrospectives (here, here, here, and here), The Bits for the occasion has assembled a Q&A with an esteemed group of Treksperts, historians and Star Trek writers who examine the best episodes and offer commentary on the show’s enduring appeal, influence and legacy.  [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...]

[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...]

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