A couple months ago, Kino Lorber announced that they were preparing The Good, The Bad And The Ugly (1967) for release — a set that would bring the original cut to Blu-Ray (in mono) from 4K. Though it’ll be the umpteenth time I’ve bought this movie on video, I welcome the original cut and audio in hi-def.
Now, they announced that the first two Eastwood/Leone pictures — A Fistful Of Dollars (1964) and For A Few Dollars More (1965) are getting the same treatment and will be coming later this year. They will standalone releases, not a set. I can’t wait.
Directed by Sergio Leone
Starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Eli Wallach
Like a lotta folks, The Good The Bad And The Ugly is one of my favorite movies. I could easily sit down and watch it every day. But I couldn’t stand that restoration from 2004. While it looked terrific, the reworked surround sound drove me nuts. Unfortunately, that was the version that made its way to Blu-Ray — so I’ve clung to the old MGM pre-2004 DVD.
Sergio Leone directing one of the greatest scenes in cinema history.
I was overjoyed to learn that for the picture’s 50th anniversary, the original version would be given the deluxe 4K treatment — in the original mono! The set from Kino Lorber also gives you the extended version, also in mono. A slew of extra’s, many carried over from the previous editions, will be included. I don’t care how many times you bought this in the past, this is essential. Coming this summer.
Directed by Giulio Petroni
Starring Lee Van Cleef, John Phillip Law
I’m rather picky when it comes to Spaghetti Westerns. While some of them are brilliant, you have to wade through a lot of crap to get to them. Death Rides A Horse (1967) is one of the brilliant ones. Van Cleef is excellent; John Phillip Law was about to make Danger: Diabolik (1968), so he’s at his supercool best; Giulio Petroni is one of the better directors for these things; and this has to be one of Ennio Morricone’s best Western scores.
It’s been available on DVD for ages, often pan-and-scan and looking like crap, so the upcoming Blu-Ray from Kino Lorber is good news indeed. They say to look for it this summer. Highly recommended.
Directed by Owen Crump
Starring Roy Thompson Jr., Henry Goszkowski, Richard Karl Elliott
Here’s one I’ve always wanted to see. Cease Fire (1953) was shot on location in Korea, during the war, using real GIs, in 3-D. That’s quite a thing.
Kino Lorber and The 3-D Film Archive are bringing it to Blu-Ray this summer.
Directed by Sam Peckinpah
Starring Steve McQueen, Robert Preston, Ida Lupino, Joe Don Baker, Barbara Leigh, Ben Johnson, Dub Taylor
Sam Peckinpah’s Junior Bonner (1972) is a wonderful movie, plain and simple. And Kino Lorber’s bringing it to Blu-Ray this summer. Its previous DVD releases weren’t anamorphic, so this will be a huge leap forward.
If you haven’t seen it, you’re in for a real treat. I can’t recommend this one highly enough. Thanks to Paula for the photo of McQueen and Ben Johnson.
More Peckinpah Blu-Ray news — Criterion has announced Straw Dogs (1971) for June.
Kino Lorber has a terrific sale going on this month — great discounts on a number of their Blu-Rays, including one of my favorites, The Monster That Challenged The World (1957). Have at it, folks!
Directed by Joe Kane
Starring Rod Cameron, Vera Ralston, Mike Mazurki, Don Hagggerty, Paul Picerni, Luana Anders
Naturama was Republic’s widescreen process, and Vera Ralston was the figure-skater girlfriend/wife of Republic’s president, Herbert J. Yates. Guys like Rod Cameron, Sterling Hayden and even John Wayne appeared with her, grudgingly. And when Republic shut down, do did Ralston’s career.
That said, she made some pretty cool movies, and The Man Who Died Twice (1958) is one of them. In fact, it was her last — the studio tanked that year (it’s also the last Republic Joe Kane directed). It’s a low-budget crime/noir thing. Rod Cameron’s cool in it, Luana Anders plays a heroin addict, and Jack Marta shot it in black & white widescreen. Sounds terrific, don’t it?
Kino Lorber has announced The Man Who Died Twice as an upcoming DVD/Blu-Ray release. Seeing these widescreen Republic movies in their original aspect ratio has been almost impossible, so this will be a real treat. I can’t wait.