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MGM (UA) SPECTACLES


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36 replies to this topic

#1 of 37 Charles H

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Posted December 06 2007 - 02:55 AM

DVD Empire and Movies Unlimited are listing a release date of March 25 for the dvd debuts of TARAS BULBA, SOLOMON AND SHEBA, and KINGS OF THE SUN.
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#2 of 37 CineKarine

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Posted December 06 2007 - 06:16 AM

That's really terrific!!!

I see MGM/UA is also releasing a 50th Anniversary Edition of 12 Angry Men on March 4th and a Billy Wilder giftset (Apartment SE, Some Like it Hot SE, Kiss Me Stupid, The Fortune Cookie) on the same day.
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#3 of 37 John Hodson

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Posted December 06 2007 - 06:51 AM

I'll be watching carefully for news of the transfers, but a cautious thumbs up here, particularly for the SE of 12 Angry Men - in the past, MGM has treated the UA back catalogue shamefully at times.
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#4 of 37 walter o

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Posted December 06 2007 - 07:04 AM

KING OF THE SUN is a fun adventure film, with Yul Brynner in top form, and a amusing miscast George Chakiris! TCM been running a beautiful widescreen print of this, so hopefully this will be used for the DVD.

#5 of 37 Joe Caps

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Posted December 06 2007 - 09:20 AM

Both Taras Bulba and Solomon and Sheba re stereo films, but the specs for Kings of the Sun show it to be released in stereo !!! I never knew this to be a stereo film. I hope its not a mistake !!

#6 of 37 MarcoBiscotti

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Posted December 06 2007 - 10:20 AM

Can't wait for details on the 12 Angry Men S.E. - I'm hoping they go all out for this film!!

And I'm ecstatic re. the possibility of new improved transfers of the MGM Billy Wilder films... but what about Witness for the Prosecution, Irma La Douce, One, Two, Three, Avanti! and The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes though??

Do you think they will eventually follow-up with another box set or are the current transfers/editions as good as we're gonna get?

Also, do we really need another edition of Some Like It Hot??

That's the one BW film in MGM's library that's actually well represented on DVD with the recent 2-disc Collector's Edition... will this just be repackaged along with the rest of the films in the set?

It sounds like Kiss Me Stupid and The Fortune Cookie might just be repackagings, and the branding of Some Like It Hot as a S.E. rather the recent 2-disc C.E. is also bothersome. Though of course specs are unlikely to be absolutely precise and accurate at this point...

I can't wait for more details on this release... if done right, it might just be the gift set of '08 but I'm still approaching with caution given the track record!

#7 of 37 Charles H

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Posted December 06 2007 - 10:43 AM

I'm very suspicious of "Anniversary editions" and even "Special Editions" that are not 2 discs. Sidney Lumet and Jack Klugman are the only survivors of 12 ANGRY MEN, but it would be great if they could find a kinescope of the original "Studio One" production (Robert Cummings, Edward Arnold, Franchot Tone).
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#8 of 37 Simon Howson

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Posted December 06 2007 - 12:11 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles H
DVD Empire and Movies Unlimited are listing a release date of March 25 for the dvd debuts of TARAS BULBA, SOLOMON AND SHEBA, and KINGS OF THE SUN.

I'll get Kings of the Sun and Taras Bulba for sure! I'm a big fan of J. Lee Thompson's film North West Frontier (AKA Flame Over India), so I'm keen to see any other epics / adventure / action films that he made soon after. Both of the films were shot by Joseph McDonald a great Fox stalwart, and with scores by Elmer Bernstein and Franz Waxman respectively, so they should at the very least look and sound good.

Solomon and Sheba has been out in regions 2 and 4 for a few years, so it is interesting that it is finally going to get a R1 release.

#9 of 37 Lord Dalek

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Posted December 06 2007 - 01:37 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles H
I'm very suspicious of "Anniversary editions" and even "Special Editions" that are not 2 discs. Sidney Lumet and Jack Klugman are the only survivors of 12 ANGRY MEN, but it would be great if they could find a kinescope of the original "Studio One" production (Robert Cummings, Edward Arnold, Franchot Tone).
That wont be an issue. One was found about five years ago.

#10 of 37 AdrianTurner

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Posted December 06 2007 - 09:51 PM

Taras Bulba aired very recently on BBC2 in the UK, a slightly faded print shown in 16.9 ratio. I had not seen this picture since its original release and apart from Franz Waxman's sensational score it is quite probably one of the worst, most hypnotically idiotic pictures ever made. There is not a single performance that isn't risible - Brynner stands with thighs apart like a Ray Harryhausen genie and wears a white mop on his head; Curtis looks 12 years-old and makes elevates his 50s yonder-lies-the-castle-of-my-fodder performance into the Olivier class. And at all times the picture wishes it was a musical, a sort of Seven Brides for Seven Cossacks.

I happened to meet J Lee Thompson in the 90s and quizzed him on Taras Bulba. He was full of stories about the Argentine locations and, worryingly, claimed that Yul Brynner was so proud of the picture that he planned to finance a full restoration of the originally-planned three-hour roadshow presentation, an idea nixed by UA when they saw the finished film.

#11 of 37 Robert Crawford

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Posted December 06 2007 - 10:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianTurner
Taras Bulba aired very recently on BBC2 in the UK, a slightly faded print shown in 16.9 ratio. I had not seen this picture since its original release and apart from Franz Waxman's sensational score it is quite probably one of the worst, most hypnotically idiotic pictures ever made. There is not a single performance that isn't risible - Brynner stands with thighs apart like a Ray Harryhausen genie and wears a white mop on his head; Curtis looks 12 years-old and makes elevates his 50s yonder-lies-the-castle-of-my-fodder performance into the Olivier class. And at all times the picture wishes it was a musical, a sort of Seven Brides for Seven Cossacks.

I happened to meet J Lee Thompson in the 90s and quizzed him on Taras Bulba. He was full of stories about the Argentine locations and, worryingly, claimed that Yul Brynner was so proud of the picture that he planned to finance a full restoration of the originally-planned three-hour roadshow presentation, an idea nixed by UA when they saw the finished film.
I guess something is wrong with me, since Taras Bulba is a favorite of mine.





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#12 of 37 Randy Korstick

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Posted December 07 2007 - 02:36 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Crawford
I guess something is wrong with me, since Taras Bulba is a favorite of mine.





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#13 of 37 Tim Tucker

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Posted December 07 2007 - 03:29 AM

I'd like some MGM (UA) spectacles, but I don't think I could wear them because of my astigmatism.

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But seriously, folks, I hope that there are some special features on Solomon and Sheba that talk about Tyrone Power. Does anyone know if any of his outtakes survive?
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#14 of 37 John Hodson

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Posted December 07 2007 - 04:00 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianTurner
Taras Bulba aired very recently on BBC2 in the UK, a slightly faded print shown in 16.9 ratio. I had not seen this picture since its original release and apart from Franz Waxman's sensational score it is quite probably one of the worst, most hypnotically idiotic pictures ever made. There is not a single performance that isn't risible - Brynner stands with thighs apart like a Ray Harryhausen genie and wears a white mop on his head; Curtis looks 12 years-old and makes elevates his 50s yonder-lies-the-castle-of-my-fodder performance into the Olivier class. And at all times the picture wishes it was a musical, a sort of Seven Brides for Seven Cossacks.

Those are the very reasons that it became a childhood favourite of mine; though I have to say Brynner's priapic performance in Kings of The Sun makes his cossack colonel look like a 16th century needlework teacher - 'thighs apart' acting at it's very best.

I had Waxman's 'Taras Bulba' theme on a 'Geoff Love & His Orchestra' compilation LP (UK readers may recall...), and hearing it still makes me want to don boots and a fur hat and whirl around the room like a...well, a drunken cossack.
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#15 of 37 Douglas R

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Posted December 07 2007 - 05:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdrianTurner
Taras Bulba aired very recently on BBC2 in the UK, a slightly faded print shown in 16.9 ratio. I had not seen this picture since its original release and apart from Franz Waxman's sensational score it is quite probably one of the worst, most hypnotically idiotic pictures ever made. There is not a single performance that isn't risible - Brynner stands with thighs apart like a Ray Harryhausen genie and wears a white mop on his head; Curtis looks 12 years-old and makes elevates his 50s yonder-lies-the-castle-of-my-fodder performance into the Olivier class. And at all times the picture wishes it was a musical, a sort of Seven Brides for Seven Cossacks.

I happened to meet J Lee Thompson in the 90s and quizzed him on Taras Bulba. He was full of stories about the Argentine locations and, worryingly, claimed that Yul Brynner was so proud of the picture that he planned to finance a full restoration of the originally-planned three-hour roadshow presentation, an idea nixed by UA when they saw the finished film.

Good to see you on this Forum Adrian (I used to regularly attend the NFT in the '70s and '80s). Hope you become a regular!

#16 of 37 john a hunter

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Posted December 07 2007 - 05:52 PM

WASN'T THE THREE HOUR ROADSHOW VERSION RELEASED IN EUROPE OR AT LEAST U.K? IT WAS THE VERSION IN ONE OF THE FIRST 70 MM BLOW UPS AND WAS ABOUT THE SECOND RELEASE IF MEMORY SERVES AT THE THEN NEW ODEON HAYMARKET.

#17 of 37 Brian Sharp

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Posted December 07 2007 - 09:00 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by john a hunter
WASN'T THE THREE HOUR ROADSHOW VERSION RELEASED IN EUROPE OR AT LEAST U.K? IT WAS THE VERSION IN ONE OF THE FIRST 70 MM BLOW UPS AND WAS ABOUT THE SECOND RELEASE IF MEMORY SERVES AT THE THEN NEW ODEON HAYMARKET.

It certainly was one of the first films screened at the new Odeon Haymarket. The version screened was the 124 minute version. Always thought it to be a good "B" movie; a fun film not to be taken too seriously. I do like the score by Franz Waxman and an isolated score on the dvd would be a nice feature.
Regarding Solomon & Sheba didn't Tyrone Power appear in a few of the long shots in the battle sequences.

#18 of 37 John Hodson

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Posted December 07 2007 - 09:23 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Sharp
Regarding Solomon & Sheba didn't Tyrone Power appear in a few of the long shots in the battle sequences.

They salvaged as much of the footage they'd already shot with Power as they could.
So many films, so little time...
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#19 of 37 Douglas R

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Posted December 08 2007 - 01:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Sharp
It certainly was one of the first films screened at the new Odeon Haymarket. The version screened was the 124 minute version. Always thought it to be a good "B" movie; a fun film not to be taken too seriously. I do like the score by Franz Waxman and an isolated score on the dvd would be a nice feature.

Brian - The Odeon Haymarket, which was a basement cinema built over an office block, had not been built in 1959 when SOLOMON & SHEBA was released. I went to see BARABBAS at the Odeon Haymarket in 1962 and that was the very first film which the cinema showed (lovely cinema incidentally). SOLOMON & SHEBA opened in 1959 at the Astoria cinema in 70mm (it was filmed in Super Technirama 70).

#20 of 37 Brian Sharp

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Posted December 08 2007 - 02:55 AM

Douglas,
Didn't intend to imply that Solomon and Sheba was shown at the Odeon Haymarket. The Odeon was a nice cinema (one of my favourites at the time) except that on quiet scenes you could hear an occasional rumble from the London underground transport system!


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