MGM Press Release: Kings of the Sun/Solomon and Sheba/Taras Bulba

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    COMMEMORATING THE 90TH ANNIVERSARY OF UNITED ARTISTS, MGM OPENS THE VAULT TO SHARE THREE POWERFUL EPICS

    KINGS OF THE SUN,
    SOLOMON AND SHEBA and
    TARAS BULBA

    Starring Silver Screen Legends Yul Brynner, Tony Curtis, Gina Lollobrigida,
    George Chakiris and George Sanders

    Available For The First Time On DVD March 25

    CENTURY CITY, Calif. – Venture through time with three enduring historical sagas - Kings Of The Sun, Solomon And Sheba and Taras Bulba – each available for the first time on DVD March 25, 2008, from MGM Home Entertainment. Part of the United Artists catalog, these epic classics are being released as part of the larger United Artists 90th Anniversary campaign, an 18-month global celebration leading up to the 90th anniversary of the studio in 2009.

    Starring Oscarâ winner Yul Brynner* (The King And I, The Ten Commandments) and Oscarâ winner George Chakiris** (West Side Story), the 1963 film Kings Of The Sun is set in Mesoamerica and follows the intense battle between the immigrant Mayans and the native Indian tribes over territory. The 1959 Biblical epic Solomon And Sheba stars Yul Brynner, Gina Lollobrigida (Beat The Devil, “Falcon Crest”) and Oscarâ winner George Sanders*** (All About Eve, The Quiller Memorandum). Set in ancient Israel, Solomon And Sheba follows two brothers as they struggle to succeed their father, King David, to the throne; however, one finds the temptation of a woman may lead him astray.

    Based on the 1835 short historical novel by the Russian author Nikolai Gogol, Taras Bulba is the sentimental, adventure tale of a Ukrainian Cossack and his two sons as they set out and battle the Polish nobles in Ukraine. Directed by J. Lee Thompson, the 1962 film stars Yul Brynner and Oscarâ nominee Tony Curtis**** (The Defiant Ones, Some Like It Hot).

    Perfect for film collectors and enthusiasts alike, each DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $19.98 U.S. / $25.98 Canada. Pre-book is February 27th 2008.

    KINGS OF THE SUN Synopsis
    Yul Brenner (The Ten Commandments) and George Chakiris (West Side Story) shine as the kings of two clashing cultures forced to form an alliance against a mutual threat in this gripping historical saga. Packed with intense action and thrilling drama, Kings of the Sun is “a breath-taker” (Greater Amusements)! After a terrible battle leaves young Balam (Chakiris) king of his Mayan tribe, he leads his people out of Mexico to escape the rival clan still hunting them. But upon reaching their new home, a hostile Native American tribe attacks and the Mayans manage to capture Black Eagle (Brynner), the Native American leader. While held prisoner, Black Eagle manages to earn Balam’s respect and the kings agree to peace. But when Balam’s old rivals arrive looking for a fight, the newly allied kings must take up arms and stand together in order to repel the invading force and save their people.

    SOLOMON AND SHEBA Synopsis
    In this glorious biblical epic scripted by Anthony Veiller, Paul Dudley and George Bruce, director King Vidor (War and Peace) cinematically explores the evils of flesh and pagan worship, creating “an eye-compelling film which...should entertain millions” (Variety). Shot in Spain, the picture chronicles the exploits of its larger-than-life characters. Yul Brynner is a strong and idealistic Solomon. And the sensual Gina Lollobrigida is magnificent as the sultry and seductive Sheba. A clash between King Solomon and his brother is further complicated when the Queen of Sheba seduces Solomon in an attempt to bring about Israel’s downfall. The film is a spectacular and humbling statement – beautiful to watch and worthwhile to remember.

    TARAS BULBA Synopsis
    Four centuries ago, in a barbaric age ruled by violence, vast armies clashed in desperate battles and fierce men struggled to regain their freedom. This is the world of Taras Bulba, a breathtaking epic that engulfs the screen with high adventure. Set in the Ukraine of the 16th century, Taras Bulba stars Yul Brynner in one of his most colorful roles as a powerful Cossack chieftain determined to regain his land from treacherous Polish invaders. Despite bitter dissension in the ranks, he is soon leading his soldiers into savage warfare. But further conflict erupts when his headstrong son Andrei (Tony Curtis) falls deeply in love with a Polish girl. Spectacular battle scenes highlight the nonstop action, arriving at a shattering climax in which father and son must ultimately confront the rift between them. With sharp direction by J. Lee Thompson and a strong supporting cast that includes Christine Kaufmann, Sam Wanamaker and George Macready, Taras Bulba recreates a long-vanished era with a splendor and excitement that enthralls from beginning to end.

    Rich in history and devoted to creating powerful, quality films, United Artists (UA) was formed in 1919 by Mary Pickford, Charles Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith to encourage progressive filmmaking, giving each star the authority and autonomy to create the films about which they were most passionate. The studio responsible for creating some of the finest films of all time including iconic film franchises ROCKY, PINK PANTHER and JAMES BOND and critically-acclaimed and award-winning features RAGING BULL, SOME LIKE IT HOT, WEST SIDE STORY, ANNIE HALL, MIDNIGHT COWBOY and RAIN MAN, contains a library of nearly 1,000 feature films and boasts more than 80 Academy Award®-winning classics. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Home Entertainment (MGMHE) kicked off an 18-month global celebration November 2007 leading up to the 90th anniversary in 2009 to promote the largest catalog event in video industry history.


    KINGS OF THE SUN
    Street Date: March 25th 2008
    Prebook Date: February 27th 2008
    Price: $19.98 U.S. / $25.98 Canada
    Catalog Number: M110301
    MPAA Rating: NR
    Running Time: 108 minutes
    Subtitles: English, Spanish
    Closed Captioned

    SOLOMON AND SHEBA
    Street Date: March 25th 2008
    Prebook Date: February 27th 2008
    Price: $19.98 U.S. / $25.98 Canada
    Catalog Number: M110304
    MPAA Rating: NR
    Running Time: 142 minutes
    Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    Closed Captioned

    TARAS BULBA
    Street Date: March 25th 2008
    Prebook Date: February 27th 2008
    Price: $19.98 U.S. / $25.98 Canada
    Catalog Number: M110307
    MPAA Rating: NR
    Running Time: 124 minutes
    Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    Closed Captioned
     
  2. Joe Caps

    Joe Caps Screenwriter

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    Ron, did mgm tell you ANYTHING about these releases -
    extras?
    anamorphic widescreen
    stereo - and if so, wht kind- 4.0, 3,0 or what.
    one website lists Kngs of the Sun as a stereo release - nice if that were true but the film was always mono - any news here?
     
  3. Terry Hickey

    Terry Hickey Second Unit

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    I am glad that "Kings of the Sun" will be coming soon. I saw it at the cinema when it first came out. Things have changed quite a bit since then. I enjoyed it back then, so am looking forward to getting it on dvd. Thanks MGM/Fox.
     
  4. JackKay

    JackKay Second Unit

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    Ron, I am very exciteted about these three releases I just wonder why they did not put them in a single box (better price too maybe) since they are all Yul Brynner?

    Was SOLOMON AND SHEBA the movie Tyrone Power died making and Brynner took over? From IMDB: Power began production on Solomon and Sheba (1959). Halfway through shooting, he collapsed during a dueling scene with George Sanders and died of a heart attack before reaching a hospital.
     
  5. Brian Sharp

    Brian Sharp Second Unit

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    It certainly was. A lot of the footage with Tyrone Power still remains in the finished movie; scenes that were mid or long shots.
    There was a good article about the production problems on Solomon & Sheba in a UK magazine (Movie Collector??) about fifteen years ago. Cannot locate it at the moment but, perhaps, one of the other UK readers can help.
     
  6. R-T-C Tim

    R-T-C Tim Stunt Coordinator

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    I wonder why they are not doing a 'Yul Brynner epics' box?

    Still, count me in for all three, nothing beats a good epic.
     
  7. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    Can't help with that but it's covered, obviously, in Fred Guiles affectionate biography 'Tyrone Power: The Last Idol'.

    There's a contemporary news report and a picture of Power taken just prior to his very sad death here, plus some more shots on this page.
     
  8. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    I have the “Movie Collector” magazine of July/August 1994 which contains the article. It concentrates on the events leading up to Tyrone Power’s death on set. It seems that he appeared to be unwell from the very beginning of shooting and the article includes a very tragic still of Power after having collapsed on the set and being attended to by the crew. He had suffered warning pains in his chest, a week prior to his fatal heart attack.

    The article says “it has been said that Power can be glimpsed in long shots (in the battle scenes) but if this is so they are too distant and far too brief to get any impression of him” It goes on to point out that there is an unmistakable medium shot of Power in the theatrical trailer. The trailer is included in the R2 DVD and although the scene is very short, freezing the image confirms that it is indeed Power. The article says that Yul Brynner agreed to take over the role “but not before his demands for extensive rewrites and additional dialogue to suit his arrogant screen personality were agreed to”.
     
  9. JackKay

    JackKay Second Unit

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    Thanx for the info and links guys.
     

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