Alien (like other 1970s films such as Jaws, Superman, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Godfather, and Star Wars) was a seminal landmark in the upgrade of shopworn B-movie clichés — monsters, comic book characters, flying saucers, gangsters, Saturday afternoon serials — into major A-movie assets.” — Paul M. Sammon, author of Ridley Scott: The Making of His Movies

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Alien, the sci-fi/horror classic about the five-man, two-woman (and one cat) crew of the Nostromo, who got more than they bargained for after investigating a distress signal from a mysterious planet.

Suspense, atmospheric moodiness and Oscar-winning visual effects were among the highlights of Alien, directed by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Gladiator) and starring Tom Skerritt (Top Gun), Veronica Cartwright (The Right Stuff), Harry Dean Stanton (Repo Man), John Hurt (The Elephant Man), Ian Holm (Chariots of Fire), Yaphet Kotto (Live and Let Die), and Sigourney Weaver (Ghostbusters) as Ellen Ripley. [Read on here...]

Today’s Retro Release Day title here at The Bits is a favorite of mine personally, as well as a favorite of our readers and classic Star Trek fans overall. It’s the acclaimed 2-disc Star Trek: The Motion Picture – The Director’s Edition DVD, released by Paramount Home Entertainment in 2001.

The film was directed by the great Robert Wise, who had previously directed the Best Picture winners West Side Story (1961) and The Sound of Music (1965), as well as The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), and who was an editor on Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane (1941) at RKO early in his career. Star Trek: The Motion Picture was released in theaters on December 7, 1979 and this year celebrates its 40th anniversary.

As many Trek fans know, Star Trek: The Motion Picture began life as an effort to return the franchise to TV with Star Trek: Phase II, but the box office success of other science fiction films convinced Paramount to try bringing the property to the big screen. The film reunited the entire original series cast, along with newcomers Persis Khambatta and Stephen Collins. The legendary composer Jerry Goldsmith was hired to score the film, which would become among his most iconic and widely-recognized works. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Superman: The Movie radiated magic in 1978 and continues to captivate the world 40 years later. This December, surely multitudes of fans will be watching Superman—via streaming, DVD, Blu-ray or the new 4K UHD—with the same hope, optimism, and innocence they felt the first time they watched in awe as Christopher Reeve soared out of the Fortress of Solitude and into the world.” — Jim Bowers, CapedWonder.com

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Superman, Richard Donner’s classic superhero adventure starring Christopher Reeve (Somewhere in Time, Monsignor). The year 2018 also marks the 80th anniversary of Superman’s debut in Action Comics.

Often described as the first modern-day superhero movie, Superman (aka Superman: The Movie) was a box-office smash and winner of numerous awards and, of course, inspired a series of sequels and spin-offs as well as, arguably, decades of superhero/comicbook-themed media. [Read on here...]

Battlestar Galactica remains in the history of pop-culture as one of the most star-studded, lavishly-produced, special-effects-laden television shows of all time.” – Classic TV historian Herbie J Pilato

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the premiere of Battlestar Galactica, Glen A. Larson’s science-fiction television series about the crew of the Galactica and their ongoing battles with the Cylons and quest to locate Earth. Starring Richard Hatch as Apollo, Dirk Benedict as Starbuck, and Lorne Greene as Adama, the series is remembered for its massive production budget and state-of-the-art visual effects.

The supporting cast included Herbert Jefferson, Jr. (Boomer), John Colicos (Baltar), Maren Jensen (Athena), Noah Hathaway (Boxey), Laurette Spang (Cassiopeia), Tony Swartz (Flight Sergeant Jolly), Terry Carter (Colonel Tigh), Anne Lockhart (Lieutenant Sheba), Jane Seymour (Serina), Patrick Macnee (narrator, Count Iblis, and voice of Imperious Leader), and Jonathan Harris (voice of Lucifer). [Read on here...]

“Horror movies are often overlooked or seen as being ‘less than’ other genres, but Suspiria truly is a work of art. Visually and sonically, it’s a beautiful piece of cinema.” — Vincent Pereira, Synapse Films’ Suspiria Blu-ray Original 4.0 LCRS Audio Supervisor/Producer

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Suspiria, Dario Argento’s influential “giallo” (Italian horror) film starring Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini and Flavio Bucci.

The acclaimed film, and first entry in Argento’s Three Mothers trilogy, recently turned forty, and for the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with Vincent Pereira, who discusses the film’s virtues and influence as well as his involvement with the recently issued Blu-ray release (reviewed here). [Read on here...]

The Spy Who Loved Me was a celebration the moment it premiered. It’s not so much a movie or a story as it is a wondrous tour through the exotic, sexy, dangerous, and beautiful world of Roger Moore’s 007.” — 007 historian John Cork

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of The Spy Who Loved Me, the tenth (official) cinematic James Bond adventure and, arguably, the fan favorite of the Roger Moore era.

As with our previous 007 articles (see 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 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 The Spy Who Loved Me. [Read on here...]

“What we have here is a total lack of respect for the law!”

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Smokey and the Bandit, the popular action comedy starring Burt Reynolds as Bo (aka Bandit), Sally Field as Carrie (aka Frog), Jerry Reed as Cledus (aka Snowman), and Jackie Gleason as the unforgettable Sheriff Buford T. Justice of Portague County. [Read on here...]

Star Wars is a landmark film, a work of such soaring imagination that it will set standards for years to come.” — Bob Thomas, Associated Press

[This is a revised and updated version of a previously published article.]

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Star Wars, George Lucas’ legendary space opera that introduced the world to The Force and a host of memorable planets, spaceships and characters. [Read on here...]

“It’s amazing how such a silly sitcom can help refuel the spirit by helping us appreciate life’s absurdities. Three’s Company constantly reminded that such a shift in perspective can help us tackle the not-so-funny stuff in life.” — Come and Knock on Our Door author Chris Mann

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the 40th anniversary of Three’s Company, the farcical situation comedy television series starring John Ritter as Jack Tripper which showcased his comedic exploits with his two female roommates, friends and nosy landlord. [Read more here...]

“The coach is waiting for his next beer. The pitcher is waiting for her first bra. The team is waiting for a miracle. Consider the possibilities.”

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of The Bad News Bears, Michael Ritchie’s popular and franchise-inspiring baseball comedy starring Walter Matthau and Tatum O’Neal. (Hey, Paramount! Where’s the Blu-ray??!!)  [Read on here...]

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