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WHV Announcement: WHV inks agreement to acquire projects from the estate of Charlton Heston with debuts March 2011

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#1 of 15 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 06 2010 - 06:46 AM


Highlight is Easter Release of Acclaimed

Four-Film Documentary Charlton Heston Presents The Bible

Antony and Cleopatra and Mother Lode

to Have Simultaneous Debuts March 29

Burbank, Calif., December 6, 2010 – Warner Home Video (WHV) today announced an agreement with Agamemnon Films to acquire the worldwide home video, video-on-demand, and digital download rights to six Agamemnon projects starring the late Charlton Heston. Heading the list will be the four single DVD releases of the acclaimed four-film documentary Charlton Heston Presents The Bible (CHPTB), hosted by the Oscar-winning actor, which will be released on March 29 to coincide with the Easter Holiday.

The two additional films in the deal, which Heston stars in and directs, will also debut on DVD March 29: Mother Lode, the suspense adventure co-starring Kim Basinger in one of her earlier film roles and Antony and Cleopatra, a big budget adaptation of the Shakespearean drama in which Heston played Marc Antony for the third time. 

The announcement was made by Fraser C. Heston, President and CEO of Agamemnon and Jeff Baker, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Theatrical Catalog, Warner Home Video.

Stated Baker, “Charlton Heston was one of the most prominent actors and performers of our generation and his great work is very much evident in this set of new titles which Warner Home Video is proud to be releasing.”

Charlton Heston Presents The Bible, first produced for A & E Television but not available in the mass market since the 1990’s, has become a phenomenon across the entire globe, grossing nearly $75 million worldwide in video and ancillary sales.

Said Fraser Heston, "I'm delighted that our friends at Warner Home Video have decided to release these projects, which were among Dad’s favorites. These films were very close to my father's heart, and I know how thrilled he would be to be able to bring them, in their fully restored versions with the latest DVD technology, to a wide audience. Warner's has produced and distributed many of both my father's films and mine, and it's good to be home." 

The documentary’s four parts are Genesis, The Story of Moses, Jesus of Nazareth and The PassionFilmed entirely on location in the Holy Land, from Beit She'an, Jericho, Jerusalem, the Negev Desert, the Red Sea to the Sea of Galilee, Charlton Heston Presents The Bible combines dramatic readings by Heston of passages from the Old and New Testaments with historical commentaries in the land where these stories took place. Famous for his epic roles in Ben-Hur andThe Ten Commandments, Heston said of the project, "I'm not a priest or a scholar. I’m a story teller. These are the greatest stories ever told."

Tony Westman directed the Charlton Heston Presents The Bible series. Gwen Field and John Stonach produced, with Fraser C. Heston and Philip D. Fehrle serving as executive producers. Original music was provided by Oscar-winning composer (Barry Lyndon, Bound For Glory) Leonard Rosenman.

Antony and Cleopatra 

Shakespeare’s works, Charlton Heston said, are “the measuring stick against which you measure an actor’s work.” Heston made his Broadway debut against that measuring stick, appearing in a supporting role in Antony and Cleopatra. Twenty-five years later, he was one of the world’s biggest stars when he brought his authoritative presence and literary command to the lead role of Marc Antony in this masterful movie adaptation of the Bard’s tale about Rome’s hero and Egypt’s queen (Hildegarde Neil). Heston wrote the adaptation and also directed, opening up the story to its cinematic possibilities with spectacle, pyramids, warfare at sea (with some similarity to Heston’s mighty Ben-Hur) and a clash of armies on land. Peter Snell produced the epic drama.

Mother Lode

It’s Silas McGee’s gold. He just hasn’t found it yet, although he’s searched for his mother lode for more than 30 years in the remote high country of British Columbia. Strangers with a similar bent for gold had best stay away: folks like that may never come out of McGee’s mine alive.

Charlton Heston directs, from a script by Fraser Heston, and plays the double roles of mad recluse Silas and his even stranger twin Ian in this gritty survivalist adventure. Nick Mancuso and Kim Basinger, in one of her earlier film roles, play the duo who end up in McGee’s world after their aircraft develops engine trouble…and who find much greater trouble when they begin to suspect his claim could hold a fortune. Fraser Heston served as producer with Martin Shafer & Andy Scheinman, and Peter Snell teamed up with Heston again as executive producer.

About Warner Home Video

With operations in 90 international territories, Warner Home Video, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, a division of the Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group, commands the largest distribution infrastructure in the global video marketplace. Warner Home Video's film library is the largest of any studio, offering top quality new and vintage titles from the repertoires of Warner Bros. Pictures, Turner Entertainment, Castle Rock Entertainment, HBO Home Video and New Line Home Entertainment.

About Agamemnon Films

Agamemnon Films is a film and digital production company established by Fraser Heston and Charlton Heston in 1981, for the purpose of producing and distributing a wide range of quality films and documentaries to a world-wide audience.


Ronald J Epstein
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#2 of 15 OFFLINE   Van594


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Posted December 06 2010 - 08:51 AM

 I haven't seen Mother Lode in years but I remember it to be pretty decent with a nice edge to it. I'll have to pick that one up.

#3 of 15 OFFLINE   Thomas T

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Posted December 06 2010 - 09:30 AM

Finally, an American release of ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA on DVD. Hopefully, the complete uncut version in its original 2.35 aspect ratio including the overture John Scott wrote for the film.

#4 of 15 OFFLINE   Joe Karlosi

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Posted December 06 2010 - 10:12 PM

MOTHER LODE is very good, and I have wanted it on DVD for a long time. Great news!

#5 of 15 OFFLINE   shoeshineboy


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Posted December 07 2010 - 09:01 AM

Am I to read this as being pressed discs, or will they be dvd-r?

#6 of 15 OFFLINE   Richard--W



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Posted December 07 2010 - 10:37 AM

These titles are most welcome. Several of Charlton Heston's best films are missing in action. They're good films too, and he's a first-rate actor in each of them. In Pony Express (Paramount 1953) he played a credible Buffalo Bill Cody, and in Secret of the Incas (Paramount, 1954) he's the prototype for Indiana Jones. I'd also like to see Heston's gritty performance as a quarterback unwilling to admit to his age in Number One (United Artists), a popular film in 1969 that everybody seems to have forgotten. Then there is the definitive Treasure Island (1990) for the Turner Network in which Heston delivers the definitive Long John Silver. Also, Mountain Men (Columbia, 1980) needs a proper widescreen anamorphic upgrade, and the very popular The Last Hard Men (Fox, 1976) needs a region 1 release.

#7 of 15 OFFLINE   ajabrams


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Posted December 07 2010 - 04:06 PM

Sorry but I think the definitive Long John Silver is Robert Newton by a country mile.

#8 of 15 OFFLINE   Thomas T

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Posted December 07 2010 - 05:55 PM

Newton is enjoyable but he plays the part as a cliche pirate almost to the point of cartoonishness ("Shiver me timbers!"). There's really not much difference between Newton's Long John Silver and his 1952 Blackbeard The Pirate. Heston plays the part more realistically.

#9 of 15 ONLINE   JoeDoakes



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Posted December 08 2010 - 12:55 AM

Actually, you are both wrong.  The best Long John Silver was Wallace Beery, and the definitive version is the 1934 MGM version with him.  Nevertheless, I too would like to see the 1990 version released.  I am a bit surprised it has not been released following the success of Pirates of the Caribbean and as it stars Christian Bale.  WHV put out Heston's poorly reviewed Crucifer of Blood following the success of Sherlock Holmes last year.

#10 of 15 OFFLINE   Jeff Swindoll

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Posted December 08 2010 - 03:03 AM

For those of you interesting in seeing them, Mountain Men, Secret of the Incas, and Pony Express are available streaming from Netflix.  They're in my queue but I've not watched them yet so can't comment on quality. I love me some Chuck and look forward to the releases announced in this thread! I'll also add a vote for Heston's Long John Silver, one of my favorite portrayals.
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#11 of 15 OFFLINE   walter o

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Posted December 08 2010 - 02:11 PM

Hopefully MOUNTAIN MEN will finally be available in widescreen, and the DVD is pan and scan, and it would be nice to see the original scope composition.

#12 of 15 ONLINE   SilverWook



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Posted December 08 2010 - 06:29 PM

Hooray for Mother Lode! I'd almost given up hope of seeing this released.

#13 of 15 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted December 09 2010 - 02:35 AM

It looks like THE MOUNTAIN MEN, via streaming, is the 2.35:1 version, which isn't on DVD.  Appears to be a new transfer as well.  They've also added a couple other Heston films from his Paramount days as well as THE AWAKENING.

#14 of 15 OFFLINE   Joe Karlosi

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Posted December 09 2010 - 09:48 PM

What a waste, confining THE MOUNTAIN MEN's  2.35:1 upgrade only to streaming, where people don't want to collect  films but may only wish  to view it once while making dinner and then be done with it. And with "jerky" movements, too. Hopefully one day the widescreen version will be made available on DVD for fans of the film and its actor.

#15 of 15 OFFLINE   Thomas T

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Posted December 10 2010 - 03:10 AM

For those with region free players, THE AWAKENING is available from England is a nice 1.85 transfer. The DVD case inexplicably says 1.33 but it's in its proper 1.85 aspect ratio.

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