Catching up with some Blu-ray titles announced from favorite labels, I saw I was behind in squawking about what’s on the way from the Viavision [Imprint] import line. They’re Australian, but all their product so far is fully compatible with Region A Blu-ray players. At the end of March, [Imprint] gives us Sam Peckinpah’s final picture The Osterman Weekend, Steve McQueen’s last feature The Hunter, Samuel Fuller’s pre-Vietnam war opus China Gate, George Pal’s trip-to-Mars epic Conquest of Space, John Sturges’ orbital embarrassment Marooned, Robert Wise’s superstitious torture-the-kid thriller Audrey Rose, and Dalton Trumbo’s pacifist classic Johnny Got his Gun.
And just announced from [Imprint] for April are seven more desirable titles, especially the ones not available as Blu-rays here: a two-version, three-disc set of Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man, Ivan Passer’s nearly perfect Cutter’s Way, George Seaton’s espionage thriller The Counterfeit Traitor, the murder mystery Man on a Swing, and three organized crime ‘mellers’ — Kirk Douglas’s Mafia tale The Brotherhood, Barry Shear’s Across 110th Street, and Richard Fleischer’s The Don is Dead (with a Marc Edward Heuck commentary, assisted by me). All will be available individually.
We at CineSavant like to whine and grouse about promised but unannounced discs we can’t want to get our grubby mitts on. This title popped up earlier than we thought it would. It still has no hard street date, but ‘Coming Soon’ from the Warner Archive usually means pretty darn soon.
It’s more George Pal news — a Two-Disc Deluxe Special Edition of Pal’s The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, from MGM in 1962. The quickie details: The 3-panel Cinerama production is being presented just as was How The West Was Won back in 2008. The first version carries a 2.85 Letterbox encoding, and the second is presented in restoration specialist David Strohmaier’s Smilebox™ format, which curves the image to simulate the wraparound effect of 3-panel Cinerama.
It’s the full roadshow cut with the Intermission, etcetera; The Warner Archive graciously credits Strohmaier and his restorationist cohort Tom March in their press release from last Monday. This will be especially poignant for fans and admirers of actress Yvette Mimieux, who passed away just recently. She was the first screen heartthrob for a million little boys way back when. I served her popcorn once when I ushered at a theater in Westwood, and will be excited to go all mushy about the experience should we get to do a Brothers Grimm review.
Good reading about Cinerama and this show is a click away at this page at in70mm.com.
Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson