History, Legacy & Showmanship

“It has the personality not of a particular movie but of a product, of something arrived at by corporate decision.” — Vincent Canby, The New York Times

Blockbuster. Juggernaut. Game Changer.

The event, or tentpole, film was taken to new heights during the summer of 1989, and the industry hasn’t been the same since. Sure, there were hits — and megahits — before, but everything this did was new, unorthodox or amplified: mass-saturation marketing, title-less posters, narration-less trailers, loads of tie-in merchandise, dual soundtrack release, one-day-early sneak-preview screenings, anti-piracy electronic-coded release prints, shattered box-office records, home-video release while still in theaters, franchise. [Read on here…]

“Get a Life!” exclaimed William Shatner to a legion of Star Trek fans in a classic 1986 Saturday Night Live skit. Among those who did indeed get a life were Mark A. Altman and Robert Meyer Burnett. The pair succeeded in creating Free Enterprise, the affectionate 1999 comedy about a pair of pop culture geeks who meet their idol, William Shatner. Be careful about wanting to meet your heroes may have been the moral of the story as Mark (Eric McCormack) and Robert (Rafer Weigel) discover Mr. Shatner is not quite the person they think he is. [Read on here…]

“This picture is not called The Temple of Roses; it is called The Temple of Doom. The warning is clearly marked on the box.” — Steven Spielberg

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 30th anniversary of the release of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, the follow-up to the incredibly popular Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The Bits celebrates the occasion with this retrospective column. It features some quotes from movie critics, some trivia on the film, an interview segment (featuring film historians Scott Higgins and Eric Lichtenfeld), a list of the movie’s premium-format (70mm) presentations, and a compilation of box-office data that places the movie’s performance in context. [Read on here…]

A Few Minutes With Writer-Director Phil Alden Robinson

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the silver anniversary of the release of Field of Dreams, the acclaimed fantasy-drama starring Kevin Costner as an Iowa farmer who hears voices telling him to build a baseball diamond in his cornfield. The sentimental and magical journey about much more than just baseball also starred Amy Madigan, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta, and Burt Lancaster. [Read more here...]

“There Was No Quiet On The Western Front!”

The Digital Bits presents this retrospective on The Blue Max, the World War I adventure-drama starring George Peppard, James Mason and Ursula Andress and highlighted by aerial dogfighting and music by acclaimed composer Jerry Goldsmith. Directed by John Guillermin (The Towering Inferno, the 1976 remake of King Kong) and based upon the novel by Jack D. Hunter, The Blue Max was hailed by Newsweek as “Magnificent!” and characterized by The New York Times as, “Devil-may-care dogfights in the skies... devil-may-care love affairs on the ground.” Recently released on Blu-ray Disc from Twilight Time and soundtrack CD by La-La Land Records, The Bits celebrates this classic war film with a detailed listing of its original, major-market roadshow engagements in the United States and Canada as well as an interview with film music authority Jeff Bond, who discusses Jerry Goldsmith’s musical contribution to the film. [Read on here...]

 

Tuesday, 11 February 2014 12:01

Sweet Charity: The Roadshow Engagements

“The Musical with a Heart of Gold”

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 45th anniversary of the release of Sweet Charity, starring Shirley MacLaine as Charity Hope Valentine and highlighted by numerous musical numbers, including “Rich Man’s Frug,” “The Rhythm of Life,” and “I’m a Brass Band.”

Though not yet released on Blu-ray Disc (Universal…what are you waiting for?), The Bits celebrates the musical’s 45th anniversary with a detailed listing of the film’s original, major-market roadshow engagements in the United States and Canada as well as an interview with a trio of roadshow history authorities.  [Read on here…]

Thursday, 07 November 2013 13:20

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Retrospective

CELEBRATING “IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD” ON ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective article commemorating the golden anniversary of the original release of Stanley Kramer’s It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World and a new Blu-ray Disc from The Criterion Collection.

Featured in this tribute are a list of the epic comedy’s roadshow engagements and an interview segment with several people involved with the production of the Blu-ray Disc. [Read on here...]

 

Monday, 16 September 2013 10:06

Looking Back at CinemaScope

“The Modern Miracle You See Without Glasses!”

The Digital Bits is pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 60th anniversary of the release of The Robe, the first motion picture produced in CinemaScope.

In addition to a detailed history of the film’s original theatrical release, the article features a roundtable interview with three authorities on widescreen history.

 

THE ORIGINAL ENGAGEMENTS OF “THE ROBE”

Presented here is a chronological listing of the original first-run theatrical engagements of The Robe for the major and selected secondary markets in the United States and Canada.  The number of weeks the film played has been provided for some of the entries.  [Read on here...]

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