MGM will release a boxed set of DVDs containing four major films from acclaimed director John Frankenheimer. The set includes the DVD debut of The Young Savages which marked Frankenheimer's first collaboration with Burt Lancaster. They would go on to make a number of critically-praised films together including The Train, which is also included in the set. The collection will be released January 22nd.
Here is the official MGM press release:
INNOVATIVE CAMERA ANGLES, CAPTIVATING CAR CHASES AND SOCIALLY RELEVANT STATEMENTS CHARACTERIZE ONE OF CINEMA’S FINEST
THE JOHN FRANKENHEIMER COLLECTION
Young Savages, The Manchurian Candidate, The Train and Ronin
Four Eclectic United Artists Films From The Celebrated Director
Available Together On DVD January 22
LOS ANGELES – From Burt Lancaster and Frank Sinatra to Robert De Niro, director John Frankenheimer has guided the acting powerhouses of Hollywood and his views on important social issues, philosophical topics and the use of unusual camera angles and blocking techniques made him one of the most celebrated filmmakers in cinema history. MGM Home Entertainment brings together four films that illuminate the vision of a cinematic genius when The John Frankenheimer Collection arrives on DVD January 22, 2008, highlighting the director’s renowned career.
Part of the United Artists family, The John Frankenheimer Collection is being released as part of a larger United Artists 90th Anniversary campaign, an 18-month global celebration that honors the films, directors, actors and music that represent the studio’s rich filmmaking heritage leading up to the 90th anniversary of the studio in 2009.
The best of Frankenheimer is showcased in the collection including the 1961 film The Young Savages, a film that first teamed him with Burt Lancaster (Zulu Dawn, The Island of Dr. Moreau) and is the story of a young boy murdered by a New York gang along with the 1965 film, The Train, a World War II action-drama set in the final days of Nazi occupied Paris, which once again teams Frankenheimer with Lancaster and earned an Oscar? nomination for its script.
Also included in the gift set is Frankenheimer’s most iconic film, The Manchurian Candidate, starring the legendary performer Frank Sinatra (Kings Go Forth, Guys and Dolls) in the story of a Korean War veteran brainwashed by the Chinese government in a plot to assassinate the presidential candidate. Rounding out the collection is Ronin, the espionage thriller starring Robert De Niro (Stardust, The Good Shepherd) and featuring Frankenheimer’s trademark elaborate car chases.
The John Frankenheimer Collection will be available for the suggested retail price of $39.98 U.S./$45.98 Canada.
Based on Evan Hunter’s bestseller “A Matter of Conviction,” The Young Savages is set in an East Harlem mired in racial tension and gang violence. While prosecuting the three Italian teens who murdered Robert Escalante (Jose Perez), a blind 15-year-old blind Puerto Rican from a rival gang, Assistant D.A. Hank Bell (Burt Lancaster) learns that there’s more to this case than meets the eye. Also starring Dina Merrill, Edward Andrews, Telly Savalas and Vivian Nathan, The Young Savages is a gritty film replete with “genuine suspense, continual action and brutality" (Los Angeles Examiner).
Paris, August 1944. With the Allied army closing in, German commander and art fanatic Colonel von Waldheim (Paul Scofield) steals a vast collection of rare French paintings and loads them onto a train bound for Berlin. But when a beloved French patriot is murdered while trying to sabotage von Waldheim's scheme, Labiche (Burt Lancaster), a stalwart member of the Resistance, vows to stop the train at any cost. Calling upon his vast arsenal of skills, Labiche unleashes a torrent of devastation and destruction loosened rails, shattered tracks and head-on collisions in an impassioned, suspense-filled quest for justice, retribution and revenge. Inspired by an actual event and highlighted by spectacular stunt work and visual effects, The Train is "an edge-of-your-seat, thrilling, suspenseful and superior film"(The Motion Picture)
Presented in black and white with feature length audio commentary by director John Frankenheimer and a music only track highlighting Maurice Jarre’s score.
The Manchurian Candidate
Eerie, shocking, daring, thrilling and mesmerizing, The Manchurian Candidate will leave you breathless (People)! Featuring an all-star cast, including Angela Lansbury in an Oscar(r)-nominated performance, this chilling and controversial (Leonard Maltin) film may be the most sophisticated political satire ever made (Pauline Kael). When a platoon of Korean War G.I.s is captured, they somehow end up at a ladies garden club party. Or do they? Major Bennett Marco (Frank Sinatra) can't remember. As he searches for the answer, he discovers threads of a diabolical plot orchestrated by the utterly ruthless Mrs. Iselin (Lansbury) and involving her war hero son (Laurence Harvey), her senator husband (James Gregory) and a secret cabal of enemy leaders.
In a world where loyalties are easily abandoned and allegiances can be bought, a new and deadlier terrorist threat has emerged free agent killers! Featuring "high-octane action" (Gene Shalit, "Today"), a "first-rate cast" (L.A. Daily News) and exhilarating car chases that "are nothing short of sensational" (The New York Times), Ronin is "the real deal in action fireworks" (Rolling Stone) directed by "a master of intelligent thrillers" (Roger Ebert). The Cold War may be over, but a new world order keeps a group of covert mercenaries employed by the highest bidder. These operatives, known as "Ronin," are assembled in France by a mysterious client for a seemingly routine mission: steal a top-secret briefcase. But the simple task soon proves explosive as other underworld organizations vie for the same prize...and to get the job done, the members of Ronin must do something they've never done before trust each other!
Rich in history and devoted to creating powerful, quality films, United Artists (UA) was formed in 1919 by Mary Pickford, Charles Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith to encourage progressive filmmaking, giving each star the authority and autonomy to create the films about which they were most passionate. The studio responsible for creating some of the finest films of all time including iconic film franchises ROCKY, PINK PANTHER and JAMES BOND and critically-acclaimed and award-winning features RAGING BULL, SOME LIKE IT HOT, WEST SIDE STORY, ANNIE HALL, MIDNIGHT COWBOY and RAIN MAN, contains a library of nearly 1,000 feature films and boasts more than 80 Academy Award?-winning classics.
One of the qualities that makes Cinema Retro unique is our dedication to making movie fans aware of niche market DVDs and books they might not otherwise be aware of. As regular readers know, publishers Dave Worrall and Lee Pfeiffer recently finished a major book about the making of John Wayne's epic The Alamo for Sundown Entertainment publishers. In the course of our research, we became aware of the good folks at Playset Magazine, a publication dedicated to the toy soldier playsets baby boomers cherished as kids. Turns out that the magazine's publisher Rusty Kern and his wife Kathy were in the process of putting the finishing touches on a unique DVD titled At the Alamo that examines the film versions of the famous battle through the most unusual angles imagineable. This is a wonderfully wacky hodgepodge of a project that incorporates recreations of the battle through elaborate dioramas featuring the original Marx playsets from the 1960s, an interesting history of the phenomenally popular Walt Disney TV series (including a recent exclusive interview with Fess Parker), coverage of the Wayne version of the film and a tour of the movie's sets that still stand in Brackettville, Texas, a visit to the actual Alamo shrine in San Antonio - and if that isn't enough- hand's on advice about how to build your own Alamo diorama. The only thing the Kerns left out is the kitchen sink.
Playset Magazine publisher Rusty Kern serves as the able guide through all things Alamo
As bizarre as the DVD sounds, it's completely engrossing from beginning to end. Rusty Kern makes an amiable and knowledgable guide - and unlike some of the big name TV talk show hosts, he knows how to ask a question then shut up and let the subject answer. For a homegrown, low budget project, the DVD boasts good production values including skillfull editing and fine use of composer Mike Boldt's rendition of Dimitri Tiomkin's classic score for the Wayne movie. It's a truly great way to - well, "Remember the Alamo!" This is one of the most creative and enjoyable DVDs of the year.
has recently released a newly mastered,
letterboxed edition of one of my all time favorites, the one , the only, the
original, Walking Tall.This film was the sleeper hit of 1973,
playing for months (remember when
films would have a long theater run?) and utilizing various ad campaigns to
appeal to every possible audience.. Note the two ad campaigns accompanying this
article; one points to the dramatic qualities of the film; the other its violent content.
There was even a campaign, at the end of the run that played up the aspect of
Buford’s deputy Obra to sell it as a Blaxploitation films!
this ad campaign appealed to traditional action-oriented audiences...
To summarize for those who may not remember or haven’t had
the chance to view this 70’s classic; Buford Pusser (Joe Don Baker) returns to
his rural southern home with his family to start a new life and leave his
career as a wrestler behind him. He finds that the county isn’t the same: it’s
now overrun with bootleggers, gambling, prostitution and corruption.Rallying locals who are equally disgusted by
these developments, Pusser gets elected sheriff. Soon he and his family and
friends are subject to threats and violent attacks. Pusser finds himself
virtually alone in a seemingly Quixotic battle to maintain law and justice.
Whereas this was a ‘inspired by true life events’ story, the original Bufford
Pusser did act as an advisor throughout the entire production. The film spawned
several sequels and a remake starring The Rock. Sadly, the real life Pusser did
not live to see any of them. He died in a car accident that many consider suspicious
before the first sequel went into production.
...while this ad campaign sold Walking Tall as a family film.
Walking Tall is
not a major Hollywood production and benefits greatly in that it was filmed in Tennessee. The movie had been shot full frame with the
intention of being projected in a letterboxed format, masking the top and
bottom.Showings on ABC & TBS (in
heavily edited form), rental prints in 16mm, VHS & Rhino DVD releases have
all utilized a full frame transfer, showing boom mics and lights. The new transfer corrects these flaws. Not
only is the pre-print material in great shape but hides what was certainly not
originally intended to be seen.
Our only regret with this release is that there are no bonus
features, not even a trailer, However, the film’s power makes it a recommended
buy, especially at its very reasonable retail price. Now if only Paramount issues a
complete box set that includes the official sequels…the life & legend of
Bufford Pusser are certainly worth documenting.- Bill Duelly