History, Legacy & Showmanship

Displaying items by tag: 50th Anniversary

The Godfather has become such an indelible part of American culture and world culture that it’s become one of those films that everyone knows even if they’ve never seen it.” – Ray Morton, author of King Kong: The History of a Movie Icon from Fay Wray to Peter Jackson

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola’s legendary film about the Corleone crime family.

Based upon Mario Puzo’s best-selling 1969 novel, the film adaptation starring Marlon Brando (A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront) won three Academy Awards (including Best Picture), was for a period of time the highest-grossing motion picture, spawned two sequels, and influenced countless filmmakers. The Godfather also starred Al Pacino (Dog Day Afternoon, Scarface), James Caan (Rollerball, Thief), Richard Castellano (A Fine Madness, Lovers and Other Strangers), Robert Duvall (The Great Santini, Tender Mercies), Sterling Hayden (The Killing, The Long Goodbye), John Marley (Faces, Love Story), Richard Conte (I’ll Cry Tomorrow, Ocean’s 11), and Diane Keaton (Annie Hall, Looking for Mr. Goodbar). [Read on here...]

“Quite simply, A Clockwork Orange is significant because it’s a Stanley Kubrick film.” – Raymond Benson, Cinema Retro

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of A Clockwork Orange, Stanley Kubrick’s (Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey) critically acclaimed film based upon Anthony Burgess’s novel and starring Malcolm McDowell (Time After Time, O Lucky Man!) as gang leader Alex whose principal interests of rape, ultra-violence and Beethoven occupy his life before the government attempts a rehabilitation.

The film was nominated for four Academy Awards (including Best Picture), and in 2020 the Library of Congress selected A Clockwork Orange for preservation in the National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” Its most recent home media release, on 4K UHD, was in 2021 (and is reviewed here). [Read on here...]

“If you are the rare person who has never seen a Clint Eastwood film and wonder what all the fuss is about, Dirty Harry would be a good place to start.” – Patrick McGilligan, author of Clint: The Life and Legend

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Dirty Harry, the popular action-thriller about San Francisco Police Department Inspector “Dirty” Harry Callahan and his quest to apprehend a psychopath. Starring Clint Eastwood (Unforgiven, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) in the titular role, the film was inspired by the Zodiac Killer case and spawned a series of Dirty Harry films.

Directed by Don Siegel (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Escape from Alcatraz), the film also starred Andy Robinson (Hellraiser, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Harry Guardino (Pork Chop Hill, Rollercoaster), Reni Santoni (Bad Boys, Cobra), and John Vernon (The Outlaw Josey Wales, Animal House). [Read on here...]

“With excellent performances from an ensemble cast, moody and insightful direction by Peter Bogdanovich, and a lovely melancholy that will stay with you long after viewing it, The Last Picture Show is one of my favorite movies.” – Raymond Benson, Cinema Retro

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this multi-page retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of The Last Picture Show, Peter Bogdanovich’s (Targets, What’s Up, Doc?) critically acclaimed film based upon Larry McMurtry’s 1966 novel set in a small Texas town during the early 1950s.

The Last Picture Show starred Timothy Bottoms (Johnny Got His Gun), Jeff Bridges (The Big Lebowski), Ellen Burstyn (The Exorcist), Ben Johnson (The Wild Bunch), Cloris Leachman (The Mary Tyler Moore Show), and Cybill Shepherd (Moonlighting), and was nominated for eight Academy Awards (including Best Picture) and was the winner of two (supporting nods for Johnson and Leachman). [Read on here...]

Duel showed us that art could be produced on a television budget and on a television schedule. — Gary Gerani, co-author of Fantastic Television

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the original broadcast of Duel, the acclaimed television film adapted from Richard Matheson’s short story about a man menaced on the highway by the unseen driver of a truck.

Duel featured Dennis Weaver (Gunsmoke, Gentle Ben) and originally aired as a part of the ABC Movie of the Week in autumn 1971 before being expanded into a theatrical release.

Directed by a 24-year-old Steven Spielberg, Duel marked Spielberg’s transition into the production of feature-length motion pictures following two years of directing episodic television. [Read on here...]

“It really was Shaft that proved the true value of the Black dollar. Up until then Hollywood hadn’t seriously considered the breadth, scope and power of the Black moviegoing audience.” – Josiah Howard, author of Blaxploitation Cinema: The Essential Reference Guide

“With Shaft, an underrepresented audience finally got the representation they were thirsty for.” – Chris Utley, Shaft fan

“While the Blaxploitation genre lasted less than a decade before burning out, I always thought the Shaft franchise could have endured indefinitely, as the Bond films did.” – Lee Pfeiffer, Cinema Retro

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this multi-page retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Shaft, the groundbreaking, franchise-inspiring, crime thriller directed by Gordon Parks (The Learning Tree) and starring then-newcomer Richard Roundtree as the titular character.

Shaft, also starring Moses Gunn (Roots, Ragtime) and featuring Isaac Hayes’ memorable and award-winning music, was released to theaters fifty years ago this month. For the occasion The Bits features a package of statistics and box-office data that places the movie’s performance in context, along with passages from some of its film reviews, a reference/historical listing of its original theatrical engagements, and, finally, a roundtable interview segment with a trio of film historians and Shaft authorities who reflect on the movie (and franchise) five decades after its debut. [Read on here...]

The Mary Tyler Moore Show opened the floodgates for the kind of grown-up TV comedies that would thrive in the 1970s, and beyond. Although Mary’s show had little in common with M*A*S*H, All in the Family, or Barney Miller, it’s hard to imagine any of those breakthrough sitcoms getting a green light had The Mary Tyler Moore not proven to the TV networks that it was possible to attract a sizable audience to intelligent, risk-taking television shows — that good TV was, in fact, a viable business model.” — Vince Waldron, author of The Official Dick Van Dyke Show Book

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the broadcast premiere of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, the Emmy-winning and multi-spinoff-inspiring television series starring Mary Tyler Moore (The Dick Van Dyke Show, Ordinary People) as Mary Richards that ran on CBS from 1970 to 1977.

The series — created by James L. Brooks (Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News) and Allan Burns (A Little Romance, Just Between Friends) and featuring the memorable supporting cast of Edward Asner as Lou Grant, Valerie Harper as Rhoda Morgenstern, Gavin MacLeod as Murray Slaughter, Ted Knight as Ted Baxter, Cloris Leachman as Phyllis Lindstrom, Georgia Engel as Georgette Franklin Baxter, and Betty White as Sue Ann Nivens — premiered 50 years ago, and for the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with a pair of classic television historians who reflect on the series’ appeal, impact and legacy five decades after its debut. [Read on here...]

Patton is the best epic bio pic ever produced.” — Steven Jay Rubin, author of Combat Films: American Realism, 1945-2010

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Patton, the Best Picture-winning biopic of General George S. Patton starring George C. Scott (Dr. Strangelove, The Exorcist III) in the title role.

Patton — directed by Franklin J. Schaffner (Planet of the Apes, Papillon) and which also starred Karl Malden (A Streetcar Named Desire, The Streets of San Francisco TV series) as General Omar N. Bradley — opened 50 years ago this month. For the occasion, The Bits features an historical reference listing of the film’s major-market roadshow engagements and a Q&A with film historian Steven Jay Rubin, who reflects on the film five decades after its debut. [Read on here...]

Hello, Dolly! is a well-dressed dinosaur.” — Matthew Kennedy, author of Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Hello, Dolly!, the Oscar-winning cinematic adaptation of the Broadway stage musical which starred Barbra Streisand (Funny Girl, Yentl) as singing matchmaker Dolly Levi.

Hello, Dolly! — directed by Gene Kelly (On the Town, Singin’ in the Rain) and which also starred Walter Matthau (The Odd Couple, The Bad News Bears) and Michael Crawford (Condorman, The Phantom of the Opera stage production) — opened 50 years ago this month. For the occasion, The Bits features an historical reference listing of the film’s major-market roadshow engagements and a Q&A with film historian Matthew Kennedy, who discusses the film’s virtues, shortcomings and legacy. [Read on here...]

Paint Your Wagon is remembered as a standalone oddity in the careers of Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood.” — Matthew Kennedy, author of Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the 1960s

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Paint Your Wagon, the Oscar-nominated cinematic interpretation of the Lerner and Loewe stage musical which starred Lee Marvin (Cat Ballou, Point Blank), Clint Eastwood (Dirty Harry, Unforgiven) and Jean Seberg (Pendulum, Airport).

Paint Your Wagon — directed by Joshua Logan (South Pacific, Camelot) and which also featured Harve Presnell (The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Fargo) and Ray Walston (My Favorite Martian, Fast Times at Ridgemont High) — opened 50 years ago this month. For the occasion, The Bits features an historical reference listing of the film’s major-market roadshow engagements and a Q&A with film historian Matthew Kennedy, who discusses the film’s virtues, shortcomings and legacy. [Read on here...]

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