Kirk Douglas Western ‘Last Train From Gun Hill’ Joining Paramount Presents Blu-ray Line June 15

The Kirk Douglas Western Last Train From Gun Hill will debut on Blu-ray June 15 as part of the Paramount Presents line from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Douglas and Anthony Quinn headline the classic from director John Sturges, which has been remastered from a 6K film transfer of the original VistaVision negative.

The film follows U.S. Marshal Matt Morgan (Douglas) on the trail of his wife’s killer. Adding a dark twist to the tale, the suspect’s father is Morgan’s longtime friend, cattle baron Craig Beldon (Quinn). Morgan is determined to capture the killer and take him away by the 9 o’clock train, against all odds.

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The limited-edition Blu-ray includes a new “Filmmaker Focus” with film historian Leonard Maltin, access to a digital copy of the film, as well as original theatrical trailers for Last Train From Gun Hill, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, The Furies and The Black Orchid. The Blu-ray comes in collectible packaging featuring a foldout image of the film’s theatrical poster and an interior spread with key movie moments.

‘Mommy Dearest’ Debuting on Blu-ray June 1 in Paramount Presents Line

The campy drama Mommy Dearest will come out on Blu-ray Disc for the first time June 1 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Released for its 40th anniversary, the film will be part of the Paramount Presents catalog line.

Based on Christina Crawford’s controversial best-selling, tell-all novel, the film stars Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford, struggling for her career while battling the inner demons of her private life. While the public Crawford was a strong-willed, glamorous object of admiration, behind the scenes was a private Crawford — the woman desperate to be a single mother and trying to survive in a devastating industry that swallows careers thoughtlessly.

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Newly restored from a 4K film transfer, Mommy Dearest will be presented in a limited-edition with collectible packaging featuring a foldout image of the film’s theatrical poster and an interior spread with key movie moments. The Blu-ray includes a new “Filmmaker Focus” on the film with biographer Justin Bozung and its director Frank Perry, a new audio commentary with American drag queen Hedda Lettuce, access to a digital copy of the film, as well as previously released bonus content. Other special features include commentary by filmmaker John Waters; “The Revival of Joan”; “Life with Joan”; “Joan Lives On”; a photo gallery; and the original theatrical trailer.

Two Stars for Stars of ‘Love Story’ Upon 50th Anniversary ‘Paramount Presents’ Blu-ray Disc Release

To celebrate the Feb. 9 Blu-ray Disc release of Love Story on the classic romance’s 50th anniversary, stars Ali MacGraw, 81, and Ryan O’Neal, 79, received stars on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood, Calif. The  first-ever virtual double-star ceremony was held on Friday, Feb. 12. Love Story was released by Paramount Home Entertainment as part of the studio’s “Paramount Presents” line of collectable classics.

Newly restored from a 4K film transfer, the 1970 romance captures the highs and lows of young love in a film based on Erich Segal’s best-selling novel. Love Story was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and became a cultural phenomenon, earning more than $100 million at the domestic box office. In 2002, the AFI placed it at No. 9 on its list of the 100 greatest love stories of all time.

Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw both received Oscar nominations for their starring roles as Harvard students Oliver (O’Neal) and Jenny (MacGraw).

The Court Jester

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Paramount;
Comedy;
$29.99 Blu-ray;
Not Rated.
Stars Danny Kaye, Glynis Johns, Angela Lansbury, Basil Rathbone, Mildred Natwick, Cecil Parker and John Carradine.

The 1956 classic The Court Jester, starring Danny Kaye, is celebrating its 65th anniversary with a new Blu-ray release as part of the “Paramount Presents” line. A riotous combination of physical comedy, wordplay and one-liners, the medieval farce still has the power to elicit laughs (notably without leaning on the crude humor of many modern comedies).

Kaye was a singular talent, with the singing chops of a Broadway star, a mastery of slapstick comedy similar to Jim Carrey or Jerry Lewis and impeccable timing. In top form in The Court Jester, Kaye plays kind-hearted entertainer Hawkins who disguises himself as the legendary king of jesters, Giacomo, to infiltrate the court of an evil villain (the legendary Basil Rathbone). In one of the most memorable physical comedy scenes, when a sorceress hypnotizes him, royal chaos ensues as the jester alternates identities at the snap of a finger — one moment he’s a swordsman with the skill of Errol Flynn and the next a cowering bumbler. The film also features one of the funniest wordplay sequences in classic movies including the oft-quoted line, “The pellet with the poison is in the vessel with the pestle; the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true.” Kaye combines that tongue-twister with another ongoing physical gag that will still make fans laugh heartily 65 years later.

Following a turn in the classic holiday film White Christmas, Kaye earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor — Comedy or Musical for his leading role in The Court Jester, which was added to the National Film Registry in 2004 and included on the AFI’s list of the 100 Funniest American Movies of All Time.

The Court Jester was shot in Paramount’s trademark “VistaVision” widescreen format, capturing a grander scope of information on the film negative. For this new restoration, the original negative was scanned at 6K and one of the “separation masters” was also scanned and recombined with the negative scans to address color fading in the negative. The result is a vibrant picture that beautifully renders costumes by the famed Edith Head, art direction by Hal Pariera and cinematography by Ray June.

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The limited-edition Paramount Presents Blu-ray packaging includes a foldout image of the film’s theatrical poster and an interior spread with key movie moments. The Blu-ray also includes access to a digital copy of the film, the theatrical trailer, and a new “Filmmaker Focus” with film historian Leonard Maltin. Maltin clearly has a special fondness for the film, which he likens to “an old friend” in his commentary outlining the history and talent behind the comedy.

“You do have a relationship with movies that you love, and this is one that I love,” he says.

Ditto.

DeMille Classic ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ Coming to Blu-ray March 30 in Paramount Presents Line

Director Cecil B. DeMille’s grand 1952 spectacle The Greatest Show on Earth arrives for the first time on Blu-ray March 30 as part of the Paramount Presents line from Paramount Home Entertainment.

A two-time Academy Award-winner — including Best Picture and Best Writing, Motion Picture Story — the film captures the thrills, chills and exhilaration of the circus. Featuring three intertwining plot lines filled with romance and rivalry, DeMille’s epic includes spectacular action sequences, including a train wreck. Stars include Betty Hutton, Cornel Wilde, Charlton Heston, Dorothy Lamour, Gloria Grahame and James Stewart.

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The limited-edition Paramount Presents Blu-ray Disc includes the film — newly restored from a 4K scan of the original negative — in collectible packaging with a foldout image of the film’s theatrical poster and an interior spread with key movie moments. The release also includes a new “Filmmaker Focus” with film historian Leonard Maltin, exploring the making of the film and its reception, as well as access to a digital copy of the film.

Classic ‘Love Story’ Coming to Blu-ray in ‘Paramount Presents’ Line Feb. 9

Paramount Home Entertainment will release the classic Love Story on Blu-ray as part of its “Paramount Presents” line for the film’s 50th anniversary Feb. 9.

Newly restored from a 4K film transfer, the 1970 romance captures the highs and lows of young love in a film based on Erich Segal’s best-selling novel. Love Story was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and became a cultural phenomenon, earning more than $100 million at the domestic box office. In 2002, the AFI placed it at No. 9 on its list of the 100 greatest love stories of all time.

Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw both received Oscar nominations for their starring roles as Harvard students Oliver (O’Neal) and Jenny (MacGraw), who come from opposite backgrounds, but share a chemistry they cannot deny — and a love they can’t ignore. Despite Oliver’s wealthy father threatening to disown him, the young couple marries and begins to build their new life together. But fate has other plans, and soon Oliver and Jenny face a crisis only the strongest of loves can endure.

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The limited-edition Blu-ray includes the newly restored film; a new “Filmmaker Focus” with film historian Leonard Maltin; previously released content, including a commentary by director Arthur Hiller, an introduction by film critic Ben Mankiewicz, “Love Story: A Classic Remembered” and the theatrical trailer; and digital copy access. Packaging includes a foldout image of the film’s theatrical poster and an interior spread with key movie moments.

Romance ‘Elizabethtown’ Debuting on Blu-ray Feb. 9 in ‘Paramount Presents’ Line

Director Cameron Crowe’s romantic comedy Elizabethtown debuts on Blu-ray Feb. 9 in time for Valentine’s Day as part of the “Paramount Presents” line from Paramount Home Entertainment.

The limited-edition Blu-ray Disc includes the film newly remastered from a 4K transfer supervised by Crowe.

Orlando Bloom (“Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise) and Kirsten Dunst (Spider-Man) star in the 2005 romance set against a rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack. Hot-shot designer Drew Baylor’s (Bloom) life becomes completely unraveled when he loses his father and his job on one fateful day. En route to Elizabethtown to visit his family, Drew meets Claire (Dunst). She’s beautiful, unstoppably positive, and just the gal to guide Drew on his journey back home and to teach him what it means to live and love along the way. The film also stars Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin, Judy Greer and Jessica Biel.

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The disc is presented in collectible packaging that includes a foldout image of the film’s theatrical poster, and an interior spread with key movie moments. It also includes a new “Filmmaker Focus” with Crowe, never-before-seen deleted scenes, and an alternate ending with an introduction by Crowe. Along with access to a digital copy of the film, the Blu-ray also includes previously released special features, including deleted and extended scenes with an introduction by Crowe, the “On the Road to Elizabethtown” “The Music of Elizabethtown,” “Meet the Crew,” and “Training Wheels” featurettes, and a photo gallery.

Comedy Classic ‘The Court Jester’ to Bow on Blu-ray in Paramount Presents Line Jan. 26

The classic comedy The Court Jester, starring Danny Kaye, celebrates its 65th anniversary Jan. 26 with a new Blu-ray release as part of the “Paramount Presents” line from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Originally released in 1956, The Court Jester was shot in Paramount’s trademark “VistaVision” widescreen format, capturing a grander scope of information on the film negative. For this new restoration, the original negative was scanned at 6K and one of the “separation masters” was also scanned and recombined with the negative scans to address color fading in the negative. The result is an incredibly vibrant picture that faithfully captures the colors and textures of Edith Head’s costumes and Hal Pariera’s sparkling art direction.

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Kaye earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor – Comedy or Musical for his leading role in this comic farce, which was added to the National Film Registry in 2004 and included on the AFI’s list of the 100 Funniest American Movies of All Time.

The limited-edition Paramount Presents Blu-ray is presented in collectible packaging that includes a foldout image of the film’s theatrical poster, and an interior spread with key movie moments. The Blu-ray also includes a new “Filmmaker Focus” with film historian Leonard Maltin, access to a digital copy of the film and the theatrical trailer.

In the film, Kaye plays kind-hearted entertainer Hawkins who disguises himself as the legendary king of jesters, Giacomo. Hawkins infiltrates the court of an evil villain (Basil Rathbone), but when a sorceress hypnotizes him, royal chaos ensues as the jester alternates identities at the snap of a finger, between swordplay and wordplay. The supporting cast includes Glynis Johns, Angela Lansbury, Mildred Natwick, Cecil Parker and John Carradine.

Eddie Murphy Classics Coming to Disc and Digital From Paramount

The Eddie Murphy classics Coming to America and Beverly Hills Cop will come out on 4K Ultra HD disc, and Trading Places and The Golden Child will come out on Blu-ray, Dec. 1 from Paramount Home Entertainment in anticipation of the debut of Coming 2 America.

All four films will also be available digitally.

Newly remastered in 4K with HDR from a supervised restoration by director John Landis, Coming to America will be available for the first time on 4K Ultra HD with digital copy in a limited-edition 4K Ultra HD Steelbook with themed mini-poster, or on 4K Ultra HD digital. Murphy stars as an African prince trying to find a princess. The mission leads him and his most loyal friend (Arsenio Hall) to Queens, New York.  In disguise as an impoverished immigrant, the pampered prince quickly finds himself a new job, new friends, new digs, new enemies and lots of trouble. Extras (previously released) include the following previously released special features in HD: “Prince-ipal Photography: The Coming Together of America”; “Fit for Akeem: The Costumes of Coming to America”; “Character Building: The Many Faces of Rick Baker”; “Composing America: The Musical Talents of Nile Rodgers”; “A Vintage Sit-Down with Eddie & Arsenio”; the theatrical trailer and photo gallery.

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Beverly Hills Cop has been remastered in 4K with HDR and will be available in a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray combo pack with digital copy and is available now on 4K Ultra HD digital. Murphy plays Axel Foley, a street-smart cop from Detroit. Tracking down his best friend’s killer in Beverly Hills, Axel smashes through the local barriers in a hilarious, high-speed pursuit of justice. The 4K combo includes the following previously released special features: commentary by director Martin Brest, “Beverly Hills Cop — The Phenomenon Begins” (SD); “A Glimpse Inside the Casting Process” (SD); “The Music of Beverly Hills Cop” (SD); deleted scenes (HD); behind-the-scenes featurettes incorporating vintage 1984 interviews (HD); an isolated audio track of the original score by Harold Faltermeyer; “BHC Mixtape ‘84”, which allows viewers to go directly to the scenes featuring the hit songs “The Heat Is On,” “Neutron Dance,” “New Attitude,” “Stir It Up,” “Do You Really” and “Nasty Girl”; a location map; and the theatrical trailer (HD).

Newly remastered from a 4K film transfer supervised by director John Landis, Trading Places will come out on a limited-edition “Paramount Presents” Blu-ray Disc presented in collectible packaging that includes a foldout image of the film’s theatrical poster and an interior spread with key movie moments.  The film will also be available on 4K Ultra HD digital. In Trading Places, the very rich and extremely greedy Duke Brothers (Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy) wager over whether “born-loser” Billy Ray Valentine (Murphy) could become as successful as the priggish Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Akroyd) if circumstances were reversed. Alongside the street-smarts of Ophelia (Jamie Lee Curtis), Winthorpe and Valentine are a trio ready for a revenge that culminates on the commodities trading floor in New York City. The “Paramount” Presents Blu-ray includes a new “Filmmaker Focus” with John Landis and access to a digital copy of the film, as well as the following previously released bonus content: deleted scenes; “Insider Trading: The Making of Trading Places”; “Dressing the Part”; “The Trade in Trading Places”; trading stories; an industry promotional piece; and the theatrical trailer.

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Newly remastered from a 4K film transfer under the supervision of director Michael Ritchie, The Golden Child comes to Blu-ray for the first time as part of the “Paramount Presents” line. The limited-edition Blu-ray Disc is presented in collectible packaging that includes a foldout image of the film’s theatrical poster and an interior spread with key movie moments. The film will also be available on 4K Ultra HD digital. In the film, Murphy is the Chosen One, a social worker on a madcap mission to find the Golden Child, a young boy possessing mystical powers. Joined by Kee Nang (Charlotte Lewis), they battle the countless henchmen of Sardo Numspa (Charles Dance), the mysterious and evil cult leader holding the boy captive. The “Paramount Presents” Blu-ray includes a new featurette on the making of The Golden Child, as well as access to a digital copy of the film and the theatrical trailer.

Roman Holiday

BLU-RAY REVIEW: 

Street Date 9/15/20;
Paramount;
Comedy;
$29.99 Blu-ray;
Not rated.
Stars Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert, Hartley Power, Harcourt Williams, Margaret Rawlings.

As this new “Paramount Presents” Blu-ray aptly demonstrates, 1953’s Roman Holiday manages to remain as fresh and vibrant as ever while simultaneously serving as a perfect time capsule of the era in which it was made.

In addition to just being a charming romantic comedy with a fun premise, the film managed to embody a number of significant elements of Hollywood history — not the least of which is the first major screen role for Audrey Hepburn, who snagged a Best Actress Oscar at age 24. Noted film critic and historian Leonard Maltin in the bonus materials calls it the greatest cinematic introduction anyone has ever had.

Then there’s the audacious decision by director William Wyler to actually shoot the film on location in Rome, rather than the more conventional practice of re-creating parts of the city on a soundstage in Southern California.

The delightful screenplay was largely the creation of Dalton Trumbo, though almost no one knew it at the time since he was blacklisted and attached his friend Ian McLellan Hunter’s name to it. At the time, the Academy offered separate awards for story and screenplay, unlike the distinct original and adapted screenplay awards offered today, and Hunter ended up as the named nominee for both awards on behalf of the film, sharing screenplay credit with John Dighton. It won for Best Story, an award credited to Hunter for 40 years until the Academy recognized that it was actually Trumbo’s Oscar.

Trumbo finally received an on-screen story credit during the restoration of the film carried out for its 2002 DVD release. The Writers Guild of America finally recognized Trumbo’s co-screenplay credit in 2011, so this new Blu-ray restoration offers the studio’s first chance to reflect that on-screen (the credits now attribute the story solely to Trumbo, with the screenplay by Trumbo, Dighton and Hunter).

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The story involves a young princess (Hepburn) from an unnamed European country who grows tired of being coddled and pampered during a tour of Europe when she can’t actually experience any of the places she’s visiting. So, during the Roman leg of the trip, she sneaks out the royal enclave at bedtime, despite her handlers drugging her to help her sleep. She ends up passing out somewhere in the city, where she is discovered by an American passerby named Joe (Gregory Peck), who ends up letting her sleep it off at his apartment after being unable to find a taxi driver who will take responsibility for her.

Joe turns out to be a journalist assigned to cover a press event with the princess the next day, but ends up oversleeping due to tending to the strange girl in his bed. He leaves her to sleep as he rushes to the office to try to bluff his editor that he conducted the interview, only to be called out by the fact that the event was canceled because the princess was “sick.” Recognizing her picture in the paper as the girl in his apartment, he quickly devises a scheme to sell an exclusive story about the princess to the paper.

When she finally regains her senses, the princess doesn’t admit to her true identity, but ends up unwittingly joining Joe and a photographer buddy (Eddie Albert) for a day of sightseeing around the city, thinking she is evading the royal guards sent to retrieve her when they’re busy chronicling her adventures throughout the city.

The idea of someone with a life of privilege wanting to experience how the other half lives was certainly not a new concept in Trumbo’s day any more than it would be today, but Hepburn’s performance as the princess makes her instantly relatable. Modern audiences accustomed to shows such as “The Crown” will be quite familiar with the responsibilities and expectations placed on royalty. Roman Holiday arrived in theaters not long after the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, who herself ascended to the throne at age 25, and the film’s timelessness is only aided by the ease in which one can imagine the young queen or her sister, chafing against the constraints of their duties, ending up in an adventure not unlike this one.

Given its simple premise, how it ends, and how Peck and Hepburn made such a winning duo, had it been made in the past 20 years or so Roman Holiday would be practically begging for a sequel. Yet, while there were supposedly attempts to make one, it never happened, though the story has been recycled quite a few times since then.

Paramount’s latest restoration of the film looks great, considering how poorly the film’s original elements were reportedly in — likely a factor of it being shot on location and using local European development houses. The new digital restoration techniques bring out a lot of detail in the black-and-white cinematography, with the only real fuzziness coming from stock footage newsreels the film itself originally used.

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For the film’s Blu-ray debut, Maltin’s seven-minute analysis of the film turns out to be the only new extra produced, though the disc still has plenty to offer, carrying over most of the featurettes from the 2008 DVD release.

These include a 12-minute Hepburn tribute and a half-hour retrospective of her work at Paramount, plus a 12-minute featurette about Trumbo (made years before the biopic with Bryan Cranston), and the nine-minute “Rome With a Princess,” which profiles many of the film’s shooting locations.

The disc also carries over a couple featurettes that are more about Paramount than Roman Holiday — owing that they were intended to be used on many of Paramount’s anniversary releases when produced in 2008. These include a five-minute piece on costumes that appeared in the studio’s films, and a 10-minute rundown of Paramount’s 1950s films.

The Blu-ray also includes previously available theatrical trailers and still galleries.

While the inclusion of most of the previous disc’s extras is a significant step up for the Paramount Presents label, which typically jettisons almost all previous supplements, fans should note there are still some notable omissions from previous Roman Holiday disc treatments, particularly the 2002 DVD.

That disc had a featurette about the restoration of the film that was done at that time, which carried over to the 2008 DVD but is obsolete now given the latest restoration, so its omission is understandable. Strangely, though, there is nothing about the new restoration to replace it.

Other supplements from that 2002 disc that didn’t make it to 2008, and are likewise still omitted, are a half-hour retrospective on the film and a 14-minute profile of costumer Edith Head. However, it seems to be Paramount Presents practice to only carry over supplements that are available in HD, so that might explain why those earlier featurettes didn’t even linger onto the 2008 re-release.