80-Year-Old ‘Wizard of Oz’ Gets Makeover for 4K

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment hosted a presentation on the studio lot Oct. 28 to talk about the restoration of The Wizard of Oz for the 4K UHD release. The studio went back to the three-strip Technicolor negative to restore the film in 8K, 16 bit resolution for the film’s 80th anniversary release.  The classic debuts Oct. 29 on 4K UHD with HDR, including Dolby Vision, on Blu-ray Disc and digital.

‘RoboCop,’ ‘Flowers in the Attic’ on November 2019 Disc Slate From Arrow and MVD

The 1980s sci-fi actioner RoboCop, Flowers in the Attic and a 1950s James Stewart classic western are among the five titles on the November Blu-ray slate from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group.

Due Nov. 5 is the horror flick Apprentice to Murder. Chad Lowe, younger brother to Rob, stars as Billy, a young man who falls under the spell of folk magic healer Dr. Reese (Donald Sutherland). As the two begin to investigate a strange sickness infesting their community, the lines between good and evil start to blur. Bonus features include a video interview on religious horror with Kat Ellinger, author and editor-in-chief of Diabolique Magazine; new audio commentary by author and critic Bryan Reesman; a new video interview with cinematographer Kelvin Pike; a new video interview with makeup supervisor Robin Grantham; the theatrical trailer; and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Haunt Love.

Nov. 12 comes Flowers in the Attic, based on VC Andrews’ novel, a Gothic tale about four siblings locked away in the attic by their evil grandmother (Louise Fletcher). Originally panned by critics, director Jeffrey Bloom’s adaptation has developed a cult following over the years. The new Arrow release comes loaded with special features including new interviews and the original, studio-vetoed ending.

Also due Nov. 12 is Anthony Mann’s Technicolor western The Far Country, in which James Stewart stars as an adventurer that bumps heads with a corrupt judge (John McIntire). Despite being filmed in Canada, The Far Country is one of the rare westerns to be set in Alaska. The two-disc limited edition release features the film in two aspect ratios with a new 4K restoration.

Irvin Berwick’s Hitchhike to Hell hits Blu-ray for the first time on Nov. 19. Inspired by the brutal crimes of the “Co-ed Killer” Edmund Kemper, Hitchhike to Hell is a classic slice of American exploitation. Extras include a newly filmed appreciation by Nightmare USA author Stephen Thrower; “Road to Nowhere: Hitchhiking Culture Goes to Hell,” a new video essay by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas exploring the dark side of hitchhiking in the real world and on the screen; a reversable sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by The Twins of Evil; and for the first pressing only, a collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Heather Drain.

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Finally, Nov. 26 comes Paul Verhoeven’s action classic RoboCop. Set in the not-too-distant future, RoboCop is the story of officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) who is gunned down in the line of duty before being brought back to life as a half-man/half-machine crime-fighter. This new limited-edition release features the director’s cut and the original theatrical release, both presented with a 4K restoration approved by Verhoeven himself. Among the numerous extras are a limited edition collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Omar Ahmed, Christopher Griffiths and Henry Blyth, as well as a 1987 Fangoria interview with Rob Bottin and archive publicity materials (some contents exclusive to the limited edition); archive commentary by Verhoeven, executive producer Jon Davison and co-writer Ed Neumeier (originally recorded for the theatrical cut and re-edited in 2014 for the director’s cut); and new commentary by film historian Paul M. Sammon. RoboCop will be available in standard and steelbook editions.

Paramount to Bow 24 Republic Classics Curated by Martin Scorsese on Apple TV App

Paramount will release 24 rarely seen films from the Republic library, personally curated by Martin Scorsese and restored and remastered by the studio, on the Apple TV app for rent or purchase.

The titles are $4.99 EST/$3.99 VOD through Sept. 16.  After that, they are $12.99 EST/$3.99 VOD.

The films, part of the series “Martin Scorsese Presents: Republic Rediscovered,” were recently presented as part of a special screening series at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

“From the ’30s through the ’50s, the different studio logos at the head of every picture carried their own associations and expectations, and for me, the name Republic over the eagle on the mountain peak meant something special,” said Scorsese in a statement. “There are so many titles that have been overlooked or forgotten; waiting for decades to be seen again. I can promise you that you have some discoveries in store.”

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While Republic Pictures was considered a ‘B’ movie studio, it gave great directors, actors and other talent the freedom to make movies they wanted to make, as long as they came in on budget.

“Thanks to the efforts of Martin Scorsese and The Film Foundation, audiences will see that Paramount’s work to restore these films has been done with careful attention to every detail,” said Paramount chairman and CEO Jim Gianopulos. “We are thrilled that these movies can be experienced once again in the way their filmmakers intended.”

The 24 films now available on the Apple TV app are:

  • Accused of Murder (1956)

David Brian, Vera Ralston, Sidney Blackmer, Virginia Grey

Director: Joseph Kane

When a gangland lawyer is murdered, there are two suspects: a beautiful nightclub singer and a hood named Stan, who has been hired by an underworld boss to assassinate him. House director Joseph Kane adapts the Republic crime film formula to the era of color and widescreen, employing Republic’s anamorphic “Naturama” process to intensify this thriller.

 

  • Angel on the Amazon (1948)

George Brent, Vera Ralston, Brian Aherne, Constance Bennett

Director: John H. Auer

A mysterious woman (Vera Ralston) leads an explorer (George Brent) and his party to safety after a crash-landing in the Amazon rainforest, in an extravagant John H. Auer drama with unexpected fantasy elements.

 

  • City that Never Sleeps (1953)

Gig Young, Mala Powers, William Talman, Edward Arnold, Marie Windsor, Paula Raymond, Chill Wills

Director: John H. Auer

In one night, a decorated Chicago police officer is gripped by an ethical crisis when he considers leaving his wife and job, and accepting a bribe from a corrupt attorney.  Documentary-like naturalism quickly gives way to nightmarish stylization under the direction of John H. Auer.

 

  • Come Next Spring (1956)

Ann Sheridan, Steve Cochran, Walter Brennan

Director: R.G. Springsteen

After a 12-year absence, a recovering alcoholic returns to the family he left behind and vows to win their hearts again. Tired of playing psychotic gangsters for Warner Bros., actor Steve Cochran started his own independent production company with the hope of tackling ambitious fare like this rural drama of redemption.  The film eventually landed at Republic, masterfully directed by R.G. Springsteen.

 

  • Driftwood (1947)

Ruth Warrick, Dean Jagger, Natalie Wood, Margaret Hamilton

Director: Allan Dwan

A young Natalie Wood stars as an orphan who helps a doctor (Dean Jagger) fight an epidemic in a small western town, in one of Allan Dwan’s closely observed studies in Americana.

 

  • The Flame (1947)

John Carroll, Vera Ralston, Robert Paige, Henry Travers

Director: John H. Auer

A man who is constantly jealous of his half-brother tries to con him by concocting a gold digging scheme with his girlfriend, only to have her actually fall in love with their mark.

 

  • Flame of the Islands (1956)

Yvonne De Carlo, Howard Duff, Zachary Scott, Kurt Kasznar

Director: Edward Ludwig

New York working girl Yvonne De Carlo uses money from an unexpected bequest to purchase an interest in a Nassau nightclub, where she installs herself as the host. Her vigorous interpretation of “Bahama Mama” and other Nelson Riddle-arranged hits earns her a wide-ranging collection of admirers, including a publicist, a gambler, and a philosophical angler.

 

  • Hellfire (1949)

Bill Elliott, Marie Windsor, Forrest Tucker, Jim Davis

Director: R.G. Springsteen

A reformed gambler turned preacher, partners with a pretty female fugitive outlaw, runs into an old pal who is also a marshal and they both fall for the same bad gal. Republic staff cinematographer Jack A. Marta uses the studio’s unique two-color Trucolor process to create a stylized world of shifting orange and blue.

 

  • Hell’s Half Acre (1954)

Wendell Corey, Evelyn Keyes, Marie Windsor, Elsa Lanchester

Director: John H. Auer

The notorious Hell’s Half-Acre quarter of Honolulu, Hawaii serves as a background to a complex tale of transgression and redemption. Wendell Corey is a reformed racketeer whose past catches up with him when his lover shoots and kills one of his former partners in crime.

 

  • I, Jane Doe (1948)

Ruth Hussey, John Carroll, Vera Ralston

Director: John H. Auer

During World War II, an American pilot marries his French girlfriend but then leaves without her. What she does not know is that he is already married in the United States, so she sets out on a mission to find him with disastrous results.

 

  • The Inside Story (1948)

Marsha Hunt, William Lundigan, Charles Winninger

Director: Allan Dwan

A heartwarming lesson in economics from director Allan Dwan in which a stack of cash miraculously finds its way to a small town struggling during the Depression.  The incident affects the lives of everyone who finds it, with various results.

 

  • I’ve Always Loved You (1946)

Philip Dorn, Catherine McLeod, William Carter

Director: Frank Borzage

An orchestral conductor engages in a merciless professional rivalry with a piano student who adores him. Republic made a rare foray into high-budget filmmaking with this 1946 prestige production containing color by Technicolor, piano solos by Arthur Rubinstein, and direction by A-lister Frank Borzage.

 

  • Johnny Guitar (1954)

Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden, Mercedes McCambridge

Director: Nicholas Ray

From acclaimed director Nicholas Ray, a gambling house operator seeks control of a town as an archrival sets out to force her out of town. The timely arrival of Johnny Guitar thwarts the dark plans, but does not prevent a showdown between the women. The Library of Congress selected this cult classic for preservation in the National Film Registry.

 

  • Laughing Anne (1953)

Wendell Corey, Margaret Lockwood, Forrest Tucker

Director: Herbert Wilcox

Laughing Anne is a Parisian club singer torn between two sailors on the tumultuous South Seas. Based on Joseph Conrad’s novel “Between the Tides” and produced and directed by Herbert Wilcox.

 

  • Moonrise (1948)

Dane Clark, Gail Russell, Ethel Barrymore

Director: Frank Borzage

The locals shun the son of a murderer; only one person defends him, but she happens to be the girlfriend of his chief tormentor. After a confrontation, he kills his bully in self-defense but then becomes tormented by the fact that he may be following in his father’s footsteps.

 

  • The Outcast (1954)

John Derek, Joan Evans, Jim Davis, Catherine McLeod

Director: William Witney

Cheated out of his inheritance by his uncle, a man is outcast from his community and vows to take revenge, in this 1880’s actioner directed by William Witney.

 

  • The Quiet Man (1952)

John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Barry Fitzgerald

Director: John Ford

The Oscar®-winning John Ford classic features John Wayne as a retired boxer who makes a pilgrimage to his home village in Ireland. He meets his match in a spirited young woman, only to find himself confronted by her belligerent brother and the town’s strict customs.  In 2002, the film made AFI’s list of one hundred greatest love stories.

 

  • The Red Pony (1949)

Myrna Loy, Robert Mitchum, Margaret Hamilton, Beau Bridges

Director: Lewis Milestone

John Steinbeck adapted his own novella for this 1949 feature, Republic’s most expensive film up to that time. Robert Mitchum is the ranch hand who helps his employer’s son cope with the death of the pony he raised.  The original score is by Aaron Copland, which he also arranged and published as an orchestral suite.

 

  • Storm Over Lisbon (1944)

Vera Ralston, Richard Arlen, Erich von Stroheim

Director: George Sherman

Director of photography: John Alton

The owner of a Portugal nightclub works as a freelance spy. He tries to seduce information out of a US agent with the help of his nightclub dancer, but when she falls for the agent, both of their lives are endangered.

 

  • Stranger at My Door (1956)

Macdonald Carey, Patricia Medina, Skip Homeier

Director: William Witney

An escaping bank robber finds refuge with a preacher and his wife. The preacher believes he can be reformed but soon finds the robber more trouble than he’s worth.

 

  • That Brennan Girl (1946)

James Dunn, Mona Freeman, William Marshall

Director: Alfred Santell

A selfish San Franciscan with a rough childhood loses a husband in the war and becomes a single mother, forcing her to grow up fast. Unaccountably overlooked, this resonant, formally inventive film was the final work of director Alfred Santell as well as the last leading role of Oscar-winner James Dunn.

 

  • Three Faces West (1940)

John Wayne, Sigrid Gurie, Charles Coburn

Director: Bernard Vorhaus

A Viennese physician and his daughter, refugees from Hitler, become part of a group of North Dakota townspeople planning to relocate from the dust bowl to greener Oregon.

 

  • Trigger, Jr. (1950)

Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Peter Miles

Director: William Witney

A prime example of Republic’s Saturday-matinee musical Westerns, Roy Rogers and Trigger are joined by Trigger’s dashing offspring as they try to save a traveling circus from bankruptcy.

 

  • Wake of the Red Witch (1948)

John Wayne, Gail Russell, Gig Young

Director: Edward Ludwig

A ship captain experiences rough weather, sunken treasure, and a giant octopus on the South Pacific seas. This film was one of Republic’s most expensive productions—and, in the end, one of its most successful.