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SPHE Press Release: 20 Million Miles to Earth: 50th Anniversary Edition


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#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted May 28 2007 - 10:54 PM

Legendary Stop-Motion Animation Master
Ray Harryhausen’s Film Now Available in Both
Original Black & White and a Newly Colorized Version

20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH:
50th ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Two-Disc Edition Contains Loads of Special Features
Including New Interviews with Ray Harryhausen,
Director Tim Burton, and Actress Joan Taylor

DVD DEBUTS JULY 31


CULVER CITY, CALIF. (May 21, 2007) – Sony Pictures Home Entertainment marks the half-century milestone of one of the earliest films by stop-motion animation genius Ray Harryhausen with the July 31 debut of 20 Million Miles to Earth: 50th Anniversary Edition. The film, which depicts the destruction of Rome by a reptile from the planet Venus, was directed by Nathan Juran (The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, First Men ‘in’ the Moon) and stars William Hopper (The Bad Seed) and Joan Taylor (Earth Vs. the Flying Saucers). In addition to the pristine, digitally-restored black & white original, the classic film will now be available in a newly colorized version supervised by Harryhausen himself.

In a recent interview, Harryhausen said “I am thrilled that this film is finally being seen in color. I had wanted to do the film in color in the 1950s, but our budget was not large enough to accommodate that luxury. Now, thanks to the marvelous advances made in the colorization process by San Diego’s Legend Films and others, audiences will be able to see 20 Million Miles to Earth as I originally intended.”

20 Million Miles to Earth: 50th Anniversary Edition also contains extensive new bonus features including audio commentary by Ray Harryhausen, visual effects artists Dennis Muren and Phil Tippett, and producer Arnold Kunert; Remembering 20 Million Miles to Earth, wherein Harryhausen and others discuss the film’s production and influence; Tim Burton Sits Down with Ray Harryhausen; The Joan Taylor Interview; Colorization; a video discussion of 20 Million Miles to Earth’s 1957 marketing and advertising campaign by producer Arnold Kunert; Mischa Bakaleinikoff: Film Music’s Unsung Hero; and an elaborate still and production art gallery. The two-disc DVD will be available for $24.95 SRP.

Though special effects techniques today have been dramatically transformed by CGI, the highly-imaginative and incredibly detailed work by Ray Harryhausen in his legendary films continues to hold audiences spellbound today. A disciple of stop-motion pioneer Willis O’Brien (King Kong), Harryhausen adapted the techniques O’Brien developed and created his own genre of film from the 1950s to the 1980s utilizing his own stop-motion process eventually identified as “Dynamation.” His memorable films include The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955), The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), One Million Years, B.C. (1966), The Valley of Gwangi (1969), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974), and Clash of the Titans (1981). His amazing body of work continues to inspire many of today’s special effects wizards.

SYNOPSIS
Upon its return from a mission to Venus, an American spaceship crash-lands in the sea near Sicily. The rescue party discovers that the astronauts have brought back a curious gelatinous mass that soon hatches and evolves into a strange bi-ped creature which increases in size rapidly. While being subjected to laboratory experimentation, the creature, now 20-feet tall, escapes its confines, goes on a destructive rampage through Rome, battles a zoo elephant and swims in the Tiber. It eventually takes refuge in the Colosseum, where the film’s pyrotechnic finale occurs during a climactic showdown with the military.

DVD Special Features Include:
· Featurette: Remembering 20 Million Miles to Earth
· Featurette: Tim Burton Sits Down with Ray Harryhausen
· Featurette: The Joan Taylor Interview
· Featurette: Colorization
● A Video Discussion of 20 Million Miles to Earth’s 1957 marketing and advertising campaign by producer Arnold Kunert
· Featurette: Mischa Bakaleinikoff: Film Music’s Unsung Hero
· Still and Production Art Gallery
· Audio Commentary by Ray Harryhausen and Other Visual Effects Specialists
· Sneak Peek of Digital Comic Book 20 Million Miles More
· Audio: English
· Subtitles: English

20 Million Miles to Earth has a run time of 82 minutes and is not rated. Artwork is available at www.SPHEPUBLICITY.COM. Visit Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on the Web at www.SonyPictures.com.

 

Ronald J Epstein
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#2 of 6 OFFLINE   seanOhara

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Posted May 29 2007 - 01:23 AM

Why does Harryhausen think Crayolavision is a good idea? I guess we should be thankful he isn't working with George Lucas to replace the Venusian with CG. Grrrr.

I think I'll hold out for special editions of Jason and the Argonauts, and The Golden Voyage of Sinbad.
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#3 of 6 OFFLINE   Jeff_HR

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Posted May 29 2007 - 06:27 AM

I guess I'd like to find out if the transfer is better. I'll probably dip again for the commentary.
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#4 of 6 OFFLINE   Steve Christou

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Posted May 29 2007 - 06:39 AM

ooh has Harryhausen started doing commentaries for his films than? How old is he... 87! Whoa!
I'm a fan and this is one of my favorites. Wasn't the previous DVD too dark or am I thinking of my old VHS copy? And I think it was badly cropped top and bottom too. So I will be buying.

Next year will be the 50th anniversary of what's probably Harryhausen's most famous film, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, hopefully something special is planned for that.

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#5 of 6 OFFLINE   MikeGale

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Posted May 29 2007 - 10:26 AM

I have less of a problem with a Harryhausen supervised colorization version than I had about George Lucas's revised "Star Wars" or Spielberg's revised "E.T." with police guns digitally replaced by walkie-talkies. At least here we get the original version as well. And the revised DVD version of Sam Peckinpah's "Major Dundee" with the new edit and new score was (deservedly) lauded, even without the participation of anyone originally involved with the film. So if Harryhausen says that this color version is what they would have done if they had the money, that's good enough for me!

#6 of 6 OFFLINE   Stephen_J_H

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Posted May 29 2007 - 10:39 AM

It's funny that Harryhausen should say that. Charles Schneer, in a 2-part interview for Starlog, indicated that Harryhausen was initially fearful of shooting in colour, as he was concerned that the effects wouldn't come out as good in colour.
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