CineSavant Column

Saturday March 23, 2024



The news that came out on Wednesday couldn’t make us happier: the Warner Archive Collection for April promises remasters of some of the most interesting films in their vault.

The announcement backs up hints from WAC spokesperson George Feltenstein that disc collectors would be ‘very very pleased’ with the 2024 titles. All of these are on CineSavant’s wish list, starting with two from Francis Ford Coppola:

 Coppola’s UCLA ‘Treatise’ film You’re a Big Boy Now, the one that debuted Karen Black and features a soundtrack by The Lovin’ Spoonful. It’s been needing a remaster nigh-on forever.

 Also Coppola’s Zooetrope kick-off production The Rain People, the road movie with Shirley Knight and James Caan and Robert Duvall. You know what happens to Rain People when they cry …

 Fred Zinnemann’s The Nun’s Story, one of his best and also one of the best Audrey Hepburn movies, with Peter Finch and filmed in Europe and Africa.

 William Wyler’s beloved Friendly Persuasion, a cherished family film that rewards in every respect; it’s also a Civil War movie about pacifism. The cast is really special; Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire, Anthony Perkins, Richard Eyer and Phyllis Love, plus the other starring Goose of the 1950s.

  … and to make horror fans happy, MGM’s much desired pre-Code Boris Karloff shocker The Mask of Fu Manchu. They’ll need more space to write a ‘sensitivity disclaimer’ for this most overtly racist of all horror pre-Codes. The remaster reportedly restores to full quality eight minutes of scenes later found to be too offensive. Do you think Fu Manchu’s shouted promise might be a projection of white supremacist fears?: “We will KILL the white man and TAKE his women!”

CineSavant advisor Gary Teetzel passes on the news that George Feltenstein has promised more WAC horror and fantasy, sooner than later.



And since we’re so happy about the WAC news, we don’t mind posting this link to the Warner Archive 15th Anniversary Sale, which ends on the 28th.

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson