Kino Lorber Readies Acclaimed Doc ‘Automat’ for Sept. 20 DVD Release

Kino Lorber will release the critically hailed documentary The Automat on DVD Sept. 20 at a suggested retail price of $19.95.

A look back at the iconic self-serve Horn & Hardart restaurant chain that served affordable food to millions of New Yorkers and Philadelphians for more than a century, the film features interviews with Mel Brooks, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elliott Gould, Colin Powell, Carl Reiner, Howard Schultz and others.

Shot in color and black and white, The Automat was directed by Lisa Hurwitz. The film has won multiple film festival honors, among them the Jury Prize as Best Feature Documentary at the Annapolis Film Festival, the Jury Award for Best International Documentary at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival, and the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Miami Jewish Film Festival.

Founded by Joseph Horn and Frank Hardart in 1888, Horn & Hardart revolutionized the nation’s restaurant scene with technology that captured the public’s imagination. Customers put nickels into slots and little windows opened to reveal the customer’s pick, be it a slice of pie, macaroni and cheese, or a Salisbury steak. The chain welcomed those who had been ignored, including immigrants, the working class, Blacks, and women, all of whom were often not welcome in restaurants.

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The DVD release from Kino Lorber includes a new audio introduction by Brooks, an extended interview with Brooks, and an audio commentary from director Hurwitz.

TCM to Pay Tribute to Carl Reiner With Special Programming July 28

WarnerMedia’s Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will celebrate the life and career of writer, director and actor Carl Reiner with a programming tribute July 28. Reiner, who passed away June 29 at the age of 98, won many awards, including nine Emmy Awards, a Grammy, and the Mark Twain prize for American Humor.

His prolific career spanned more than 70 years, and he gained a loyal following for his sketch comedy work alongside Sid Caesar and Mel Brooks, among others, and for directing films such as Oh, God! (1977), Dead Men Don’t War Plaid (1982), Where’s Poppa? (1970), The Jerk (1979) and for creating and writing “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”

In 2018, Carl Reiner and his son, filmmaker Rob Reiner, were honored with the hand and footprint ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood during the eighth annual TCM Classic Film Festival. It marked the first time a father and son were jointly honored with a hand and footprint ceremony.

The following is the complete schedule for “TCM Remembers Carl Reiner” on July 28:

8:00 p.m. Enter Laughing (1966) – An aspiring actor gets a job with a broken-down theatre company.
10:00 p.m. All of Me (1984) – A lawyer’s body is invaded by the soul of a recently deceased female client.
12:00 a.m. The Comic (1969) – A silent comic’s rampant ego ruins the lives of those around him.
2:00 a.m. Where’s Poppa? (1970) – A New York lawyer deals with an unhinged mother, a peculiar love life and other big city troubles.
3:30 a.m. Oh, God! (1977) – A grocer is selected by God to help spread a message. (All times Eastern)

Shout! Factory TV to Start Streaming ‘Johnny Carson’ Episodes

The first collection of episodes from “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” will start streaming April 1 on Shout! Factory TV.

The streaming service will bundle episodes into such groups “The Best of Carnac the Magnificent,” “The Best of George Carlin” and “Animal Antics With Joan Embery and Jim Fowler.”

Episodes will be available for streaming on demand across across Shout! Factory TV platforms, on ShoutFactoryTV.com and through Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV and Android apps.

“The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” ran for 30 years, with more than 5,000 episodes, and is credited by critics with creating the blueprint for every television host today. Carson was known for his Carmac the Magnificent sketches and interviews with guests from all walks of life — from politicians to popular authors, film and television stars.

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Carson’s show was also the first to regularly feature up-and-coming stand-up comedians, and getting a shot on the show was considered an amazing opportunity. Ellen DeGeneres, Louie Anderson, David Letterman and Drew Carey are among the many comedians who cite their “Tonight Show” appearances as crucial to their careers.

Shout! Factory TV has worked with the Carson Entertainment Group to curate standout episodes which will be grouped thematically.

Upcoming sets include “Comic Legends of the ’60s,” featuring Carl Reiner, Bob Newhart and Mel Brooks; “Hollywood Icons of the ’70s,” featuring Burt Reynolds, Goldie Hawn and Michael Caine; and others still to be announced.