Chitty Chitty Bang Bang should be fondly remembered as the bastard child of Mary Poppins and James Bond.” — John Cork, co-author of James Bond Encyclopedia

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the musical-fantasy adaptation of Ian Fleming’s 1964 novel starring Dick Van Dyke (The Dick Van Dyke Show, Mary Poppins).

Produced by Albert R. Broccoli (the James Bond series) and directed by Ken Hughes (The Trials of Oscar Wilde, Cromwell), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was highlighted by Irwin Kostal’s score and musical numbers by The Sherman Brothers, including their Oscar-nominated title song. Co-stars included Sally Ann Howes (Brigadoon stage production), Lionel Jeffries (The Trials of Oscar Wilde), Gert Frobe (Goldfinger), Anna Quayle (A Hard Day’s Night), Benny Hill (The Benny Hill Show), James Robertson Justice (The Guns of Navarone), and Robert Helpmann (The Red Shoes). [Read on here...]

Fanboys is significant in that it shows how fandoms can argue without completely going toxic.” — Bill Watters, BleedingCool.com

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 10th anniversary of the release of Fanboys, the cinematic love letter to Star Wars (and geek culture and fandom in general).

Directed by Kyle Newman (The Hollow, Taylor Swift music videos Clean and Style) and with a screenplay by Ernest Cline (Ready Player One) and Adam F. Goldberg (The Goldbergs), the long-in-production comedy starred Jay Baruchel (Tropic Thunder, She’s Out of My League), Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury, Good Luck Chuck), Sam Huntington (Being Human, Superman Returns), Christopher Marquette (Freddy vs. Jason, Race to Witch Mountain), and Kristen Bell (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Frozen). The film also features a series of amusing celebrity cameos, including Carrie Fisher, William Shatner and Billy Dee Williams. [Read on here...]

Quantum of Solace demonstrates that the Bond franchise still relays a British imperialist standpoint through its depiction of the global south and continues to rely on problematic politics of representation that draw into question whether the films of the Daniel Craig era can be considered progressive within the Bond film canon.” — Lisa Funnell, co-author of The Geographies, Genders, and Geopolitics of James Bond

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 10th anniversary of the release of Quantum of Solace, the 22nd (official) cinematic James Bond adventure and second to feature Daniel Craig as Agent 007.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include From Russia with Love, Never Say Never Again, Live and Let Die, Octopussy, Casino Royale (1967), Tomorrow Never Dies, Die Another Day, Dr. No, The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Loved Me, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, Casino Royale, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, GoldenEye, A View to a Kill, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Goldfinger, and 007… Fifty Years Strong.

The Bits continues the series with this retrospective featuring a Q&A with an esteemed group of film historians and James Bond authorities who discuss the virtues, shortcomings and legacy of 2008’s Quantum of Solace. [Read on here...]

Funny Girl’s legacy and value is as a recreation of Streisand’s one-for-the-ages turn in the stage version, now preserved as long as we can watch movies.” — 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 Funny Girl, the motion picture adaptation of the stage musical featuring Barbra Streisand’s Academy Award-winning performance as comedienne Fanny Brice.

Produced by Ray Stark (Annie, The Way We Were) and directed by William Wyler (The Best Years of Our Lives, Ben-Hur), the award-winning film also starred Omar Sharif (Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago) and Kay Medford (BUtterfield 8, Ensign Pulver). The Library of Congress in 2016 selected Funny Girl for preservation in the National Film Registry. [Read on here...]

From Russia with Love is, quite simply, one of the greatest spy films ever made. It is relentlessly entertaining, sexy, sophisticated, elegant yet raw, beautifully shot, brilliantly edited, wonderfully cast, with a score that puts 99.999% of all other modern films to shame.” — John Cork, author of James Bond Encyclopedia

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 55th anniversary of the release of From Russia with Love, the second cinematic James Bond adventure.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include Never Say Never Again, Live and Let Die, Octopussy, Casino Royale (1967), Tomorrow Never Dies, Die Another Day, Dr. No, The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Loved Me, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, Casino Royale, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, GoldenEye, A View to a Kill, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Goldfinger, and 007… Fifty Years Strong.

The Bits continues the series with this retrospective featuring a Q&A with an esteemed group of film historians and James Bond authorities who discuss the virtues, influence and legacy of 1963’s From Russia with Love. [Read on here...]

Superman: The Movie radiated magic in 1978 and continues to captivate the world 40 years later. This December, surely multitudes of fans will be watching Superman—via streaming, DVD, Blu-ray or the new 4K UHD—with the same hope, optimism, and innocence they felt the first time they watched in awe as Christopher Reeve soared out of the Fortress of Solitude and into the world.” — Jim Bowers, CapedWonder.com

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 40th anniversary of the release of Superman, Richard Donner’s classic superhero adventure starring Christopher Reeve (Somewhere in Time, Monsignor). The year 2018 also marks the 80th anniversary of Superman’s debut in Action Comics.

Often described as the first modern-day superhero movie, Superman (aka Superman: The Movie) was a box-office smash and winner of numerous awards and, of course, inspired a series of sequels and spin-offs as well as, arguably, decades of superhero/comicbook-themed media. [Read on here...]

A Christmas Story should be remembered as a small film that had a very large impact.” – Caseen Gaines, author of A Christmas Story: Behind the Scenes of a Holiday Classic

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of A Christmas Story, the humorous and now-classic Christmas-themed film based upon the writings of Jean Shepherd and directed by Bob Clark (Black Christmas, Porky’s).

Featuring Melinda Dillon (Close Encounters of the Third Kind), Darren McGavin (Kolchak: The Night Stalker) and Peter Billingsley (The Dirt Bike Kid) as Ralphie, A Christmas Story opened in theaters across North America 35 years ago this month, and for the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with a trio of historians and pop culture authorities who discuss the film’s enduring appeal. [Read on here...]

I’m still working on that Batman: The Complete Animated Series Blu-ray review, but let me tell you... it’s terrific! The A/V quality is amazing, with the original film elements for each episode newly scanned and presented in HD and the stereo mixes presented in lossless DTS-HD Master Audio. [Editor’s Note: The review is finished and you can read it here now. Enjoy!]

Nearly all of the extras from the previous DVD box set carry over and there’s a great new 98-minute retrospective documentary, Heart of Batman, included as well. I hope to have the review up later today - there’s just a lot to go through. I’ll add the link here when it goes live.

Meanwhile here at the site today, we have a new History, Legacy and Showmanship column from our very own Michael Coate, who presents a retrospective look back at George A. Romero’s original zombie classic Night of the Living Dead in honor of the film’s 50th anniversary this month. [Read on here...]

Published in My Two Cents

Night of the Living Dead is a classic that has inspired countless imitators, and spawned a sub-genre that continues to be exploited today in film, television, books and video games.” – John Scoleri, author of Latent Images: Night of the Living Dead

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the golden anniversary of the release of Night of the Living Dead, George A. Romero’s influential and franchise-spawning horror film about a group of characters trapped in a Pennsylvania farmhouse who are stalked by flesh-eating zombies.

Night of the Living Dead – co-written by John Russo and featuring Judith O’Dea, Duane Jones, Marilyn Eastman, Karl Hardman, Judith Riley, and Keith Wayne – opened fifty years ago this autumn, and for the occasion The Bits features a Q&A with author and film historian John Scoleri.

John Scoleri is the author of Latent Images: Night of the Living Dead (Dreams and Visions Press, 2019), and several books on artist Ralph McQuarrie, including The Art of Ralph McQuarrie: Archives (Dreams and Visions Press, 2015). He was co-editor (with Peter Enfantino and Robert Morrish) of The Scream Factory Magazine (Deadline Press, 1989-1997) as well as the 600+ page greatest-hits collection, The Best of The Scream Factory (Cemetery Dance, 2018). [Read on here...]

“This is a 1983 film with the director of the highest-grossing film of 1980, the cinematographer of the highest-grossing film of 1981, and Sean Connery starring as James Bond. What could go wrong?” – John Cork, author of James Bond Encyclopedia

The Digital Bits and History, Legacy & Showmanship are pleased to present this retrospective commemorating the 35th anniversary of the release of Never Say Never Again, the remake of 1965’s Thunderball and the final film in the long-running series to feature Sir Sean Connery as Agent 007.

Our previous celebratory 007 articles include Live and Let DieOctopussy, Casino Royale (1967), Tomorrow Never Dies, Die Another Day, Dr. No, The Living Daylights, The Spy Who Loved Me, You Only Live Twice, Diamonds Are Forever, Casino Royale, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, GoldenEye, A View to a Kill, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Goldfinger, and 007… Fifty Years Strong.

The Bits continues the series with this retrospective featuring a Q&A with an esteemed group of film historians and James Bond authorities who discuss the virtues, shortcomings and legacy of 1983’s Never Say Never Again. [Read on here...]

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