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  1. Top News Stories

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    • The Fearless Vampire Killers

    • When Roman Polanski's horror comedy was first released in the United States, MGM wanted to make sure everyone knew it was a farce by saddling it with a longer title - The Fearless Vampire Killers, Or Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are in My Neck (1967). The director was less than pleased and he had reason to be upset. Not only did Martin Ransohoff, the American executive producer, change the original title from the more eloquent Dance of the Vampires, he also chopped out 16 minutes of footage, redubbed some of the actors' voices, and tacked on an opening animated credit sequence which began with the famous MGM lion transforming into a grinning, fanged vampire.

      Despite Ransohoff's changes, The Fearless Vampire Killers remains one of the most visually dazzling and entertaining horror parodies in the history of the genre. At a glance, the plot appears fairly conventional. A vampire hunter (Jack MacGowran) and his inept assistant (Roman Polanski) conspire to rescue the beautiful Sarah (Sharon Tate) from the clutches of the evil Count von Krolock (Ferdy Mayne), a vampire who has been terrorizing the local village. Polanski, however, takes the traditional vampire myth and spins some amusing variations on it, like his introduction of both a Jewish vampire (he's immune to the sign of the cross) and a homosexual bloodsucker into the plot. Most striking of all is the way Polanski is able to transition smoothly from knockabout slapstick sequences to scenes that are genuinely dark and disturbing, like von Krolock's descent through the snow-covered skylight as Sarah takes her bath.

      It was always Polanski's intention to parody the genre in an affectionate manner and he had very definite ideas about the casting as well. He conceived the part of Professor Abronsius for Jack MacGowran (they had worked together previously on Cul-de-Sac, 1966) and envisioned that character as "a snow-dusted Albert Einstein." The part of Sarah was originally slated for Jill St. John, but the producer had a "new discovery" he wanted Polanski to cast in the role - Sharon Tate. The director was doubtful at first whether she could handle the role, but he soon discovered that Tate was "more than just stunning to look at." (They fell in love on the set and married a short time later.)

      In his autobiography, Roman, Polanski discusses some of the difficulties in filming The Fearless Vampire Killers: "Our first month's outdoor filming became a series of ingenious improvisations, mainly because the last-minute switch from one location (Austria) to another (Ortisei, an Italian ski resort in the Dolomites) had left us so little time to revise our shooting schedules. The fact that we were filming in Italy entailed the employment of a certain number of Italian technicians, and that, in turn, bred some international friction. Gene Gutowski (the film's European producer) rightly suspected that the Italians were robbing us blind.

      "One of my minor problems was Terry Downes. I'd hired this young former middleweight boxer because his face and physique were perfect for Kukol, Count von Krollock's hunchbacked servant. Terry was one of the gentlest men imaginable, despite his looks, and his part required no previous acting experience. He did, however, develop a couple of quirks when drunk. One was to perform a weird striptease act, the other to vent his hatred of Germans....He celebrated his first night on location by picking a fight with some German guests in the hotel bar....from then on, he was never left unsupervised in the evenings.

      "Hans Mollinger acted as stuntman for all the really dangerous scenes. Our trickiest moment came during the sequence in which Kukol tries to prevent Abronsius, Alfred, and the inn-keeper's daughter from fleeing the vampire count's castle. Hans, doubling for Terry Downes, had to grab a coffin and hurtle down the snow-covered slopes to cut them off at the pass. We made several takes with Hans using a coffin mounted on runners - the three of us galloping along in our horse-drawn sleigh, Hans overhauling it on his bizarre toboggan. The first time he was a little early. I altered the timing slightly to bring him in closer. On the fourth take I overdid it: Hans shot across our front, shaving the shaft of the sleigh with his head and only narrowly missing the horses' hooves. That, needless to say, was the take I used. Roy Stevens and I played stuntmen, too. I ignored Filmways' s instructions and did all my own skiing as Alfred."

      Despite numerous production headaches, Polanski had a marvelous time making The Fearless Vampire Killers. His cinematographer, Douglas Slocombe, was quoted by Ivan Butler in his book, The Cinema of Roman Polanski, as saying, "I think he (Roman) put more of himself into Dance of the Vampires than into another film. It brought to light the fairy-tale interest that he has. One was conscious all along when making the picture of a Central European background to the story. Very few of the crew could see anything in it - they thought it old-fashioned nonsense. But I could see this background....I have a French background myself, and could sense the Central European atmosphere that surrounds it. The figure of Alfred is very much like Roman himself - a slight figure, young and a little defenseless - a touch of Kafka. It is very much a personal statement of his own humour. He used to chuckle all the way through."

      The Warner Video DVD of The Fearless Vampire Killers was approved by Polanski himself and it's the widescreen 107 minute version which was distributed in Europe. It would have been fun to compare it to the 98 minute U.S. release which featured the aforementioned animated credit sequence but that's not an option on this release. You'll have to refer back to your old laserdisc copy. Instead the extras are slim but of interest. Besides the theatrical trailer which plays like a slapstick farce in the style of Abbott and Costello ("Two men on a vampire hunt. Simple? They certainly are."), there's an obscure but lavishly produced featurette, The Fearless Vampire Killers 101, which stars Max Wall as Professor Cecil Havelock Montague Ph.D, LL.D, B.A.T. Although it's a light-hearted attempt to convey the film's comedic tone while spoofing vampire lore, the humor falls flat but the letterboxed transfer looks smashing. As for The Fearless Vampire Killers, it's an impressive transfer that draws attention to the macabre fairytale quality of the film though the colors aren't quite as rich as one would hope. But Komeda's distinctive music score comes through brilliantly and this is a must-have disc for any horror buff.

      For more information about The Fearless Vampire Killers, visit Warner Video. To order The Fearless Vampire Killers, go to TCM Shopping.

      by Jeff Stafford

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  1. New Books

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    • Elizabeth and Michael

    • By Donald Bogle

      One of the country's leading authorities on popular entertainment presents an eye-opening and unique biography of two larger-than-life legends--Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson--and their unlikely yet enduring friendship.

      From the moment Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Jackson met, they were hooked on each other. He peered into her violet eyes and was transfixed; she, in turn, was dazzled by his talent, intrigued by his sweet-tempered childlike personality, and moved by the stories she had already heard about his troubled early life. Soon a deep friendship blossomed, unexpectedly unlike anything either had ever experienced. Through thick and thin, through their various emotional upheavals, through the peaks and valleys of their careers, through their personal traumas and heartaches, through the unending health issues and extreme physical pain that each experienced, and through the glare of the often merciless public spotlight, their bond held them together, and their love for each other endured.


      Donald Bogle skillfully recreates the moving narrative of Taylor and Jackson's experiences together and their intense emotional connection, without shying away from the controversies that swirled around them. Through interviews with friends and acquaintances of the two stars, as well as anonymous but credible sources, Elizabeth and Michael emerges as a tender, intimate look at this famous "odd couple" and a treasure to their millions of fans.

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    • Robert Wagner's I LOVED HER IN THE MOVIES: Memories of Hollywood's Legendary Actresses

    • By Robert Wagner and Scott Eyman

      In a career that has spanned over sixty years, Robert Wagner has witnessed the twilight of the Golden Age of Hollywood and the rise of television, becoming a beloved star in both film and TV. During this time, he became acquainted, both professionally and socially, with many of the greatest female screen personalities of all time. I LOVED HER IN THE MOVIES: Memories of Hollywood's Legendary Actresses (On-sale: 11/15/16) by Robert Wagner, with co-author Scott Eyman, provides an intimate and revealing account of the charisma of these women on film, why they became stars, and how their specific emotional and dramatic chemistries affected the choices they made both as actresses and as women.

      I LOVED HER IN THE MOVIES offers a privileged look behind the scenes at some of the most well-known women in show business. Among Wagner's subjects are Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Gloria Swanson, Norma Shearer, Loretta Young, Joan Blondell, Irene Dunne, Rosalind Russell, Dorothy Lamour, Debra Paget, Jean Peters, Linda Darnell, Betty Hutton, Raquel Welch, Glenn Close, and the two actresses whom he ultimately married, Natalie Wood and Jill St. John. In addition to offering perceptive commentary on these women, Wagner examines topics like the strange alchemy of the camera--how it can transform the attractive into the stunning, and vice-versa--and how the introduction of color brought a new erotic charge to movies--one that enabled these actresses to become aggressively sexual beings in a way that that black and white films had only hinted at.


      Robert Wagner is the star of such films as A Kiss Before Dying, The Longest Day, The Pink Panther, and most recently, the Austin Powers franchise. On television, he starred in It Takes a Thief (with Fred Astaire), Switch (with Eddie Albert and Sharon Gless), and Hart to Hart (with Stefanie Powers). He has recently appeared on Two and a Half Men and NCIS. He is married to actress Jill St. John.

      Scott Eyman is the author of eleven books about the movies, including Lion of Hollywood: The Life of Louis B. Mayer (which the Wall Street Journal called one of the five best books ever written about Hollywood), Empire of Dreams: The Epic Life of Cecil B. DeMille, and more recently, John Wayne: The Life and Legend.

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    • King of Jazz: Paul Whiteman's Technicolor Revue

    • King of Jazz: Paul Whiteman's Technicolor Revue tells the story of the making, release, and restoration of Universal's 1930 Technicolor extravaganza King of Jazz. Authors James Layton and David Pierce have uncovered original artwork, studio production files, behind-the-scenes photographs, personal papers, unpublished interviews, and a host of other previously unseen documentation. The book offers a richly illustrated narrative with broader context on the film's diverse musical and theatrical influences. The story concludes with an in-depth look at the challenges Universal overcame in restoring the film in 2016. Additionally, the book's appendix provides a comprehensive guide to all of the film's performers, music, alternate versions, and deleted scenes.

      King of Jazz was one of the most ambitious films ever to emerge from Hollywood. Just as movie musicals were being invented in 1929, Universal Pictures brought together Paul Whiteman, leader of the country's top dance orchestra; John Murray Anderson, director of spectacular Broadway revues; a top ensemble of dancers and singers; early Technicolor; and a near unlimited budget. The film's highlights include a dazzling interpretation of George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," which Whiteman had introduced to the public in 1924; Walter Lantz's "A Fable in Jazz," the first cartoon in Technicolor; and Anderson's grand finale "The Melting Pot of Music," a visualization of popular music's many influences and styles. The film is not only a unique document of Anderson's theatrical vision and Whiteman's band at its peak, but also of several of America's leading performers of the late 1920s, including Bing Crosby in his first screen appearance, and the Russell Markert Dancers, who would soon become Radio City Music Hall's famous Rockettes.


      James Layton is Manager of the Museum of Modern Art's Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Center. Prior to this he worked at George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, where he curated two gallery exhibitions and the website Technicolor 100. Layton has also acted as Cataloguer and Workflow Coordinator at the East Anglian Film Archive in Norwich, UK, and is co-author of the Image Permanence Institute's informational poster Knowing and Protecting Motion Picture Film (2009).

      David Pierce is an independent film historian and archivist. He was formerly the Head of Preservation and Curator of the National Film and Television Archive at the British Film Institute. His articles have appeared in numerous journals, and his report on the survival of American silent feature films was published by the Library of Congress in 2013. He founded the Media History Digital Library, providing free online access to millions of pages of motion picture magazines and books.

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    • THE ESSENTIALS: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter

    • By Jeremy Arnold
      Forward by Robert Osborne

      Since its inception on Turner Classic Movies in 2001, The Essentials has become the ultimate for movie lovers to expand their knowledge of must-see cinema and discover or revisit landmark films that have had a lasting impact on audiences everywhere.

      Based on the hit series, THE ESSENTIALS by Jeremy Arnold showcases 52 must-see movies from the silent era to modern times. Readers can enjoy one film per week, like on the show, for a year of great viewing, or indulge in a movie-watching binge-fest. Each film is profiled with entertaining discourse on why it's an Essential, and running commentary is provided by TCM's Robert Osborne and Essentials guest hosts past and present: Sally Field, Drew Barrymore, Alec Baldwin, Rose McGowan, Carrie Fisher, Molly Haskell, Peter Bogdanovich, Sydney Pollack, and Rob Reiner.

      Featuring full-color and black-and-white photography of the greatest stars in movie history throughout, THE ESSENTIALS is the ultimate curated guide to 52 films that define the meaning of the word "classic."


      Jeremy Arnold, a writer and film historian, is the author of Lawrence of Arabia: The 50th Anniversary, a coffee-table book companion to that film's Blu-ray release. In addition to his work for numerous film trade publications, he has written over five hundred programming articles for the Turner Classic Movies website and contributed audio commentaries and historical essays to the DVD and Blu-ray releases of classic films.

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  1. DVD Reviews

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    • Dick Dinman & George Feltenstein Salute Kelly & Astaire Musicals!

    • DICK DINMAN & GEORGE FELTENSTEIN SALUTE KELLY & ASTAIRE MUSICALS: Warner Home Video and it's Warner Archive continue their celebrated tradition of releasing the greatest musicals of dancing legends Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire in pristine Blu-ray quality with the respective Blu-ray releases of Kelly's IT'S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER and Astaire's FINIAN'S RAINBOW and producer/host Dick Dinman welcomes back Warner Home Video's Sr, Vp. of Classic and Theatrical Marketing George Feltenstein as both explore the immense challenges and difficulties both films faced during each of their production periods and the myriad of reasons that both films are far more popular today than they were in their initial releases.

      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

      COMING SOON: TRACY & HEPBURN! SCOTT & McCREA!! TABONGA!!!

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    • Dick Dinman Salutes Undervalued Star Van Johnson!

    • DICK DINMAN SALUTES UNDERVALUED STAR VAN JOHNSON: Kino Lorber's KL Studio Classics division has just released on Blu-ray a sparkling brand new 4K restoration of the riveting suspense thriller 23 PACES TO BAKER STREET and producer/host Dick Dinman welcomes noted author and classic film aficionado John McElwee to the show as both pay tribute to the versatile and undervalued 23 PACES TO BAKER STREET star Van Johnson.

      PLUS: "Dick's Picks" salutes KL Studio Classics Blu-ray releases of I WAKE UP SCREAMING, Elia Kazan's BOOMERANG, THE HOUSE ON 92nd STREET, THE LODGER, Preston Sturges' BEAUTIFUL BLONDE FROM BASHFUL BEND, Fritz Lang's WESTERN UNION, Henry King's DAVID & BATHSHEBA and PRINCE OF FOXES, NO HIGHWAY IN THE SKY, THE SICILIAN CLAN and BOY ON A DOLPHIN (stunning new 4K restoration!).

      EXTRA!
      DICK DINMAN SALUTES COHEN'S CHABROL COLLECTION!


      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

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    • Dick Dinman & William Wellman Jr. Salute BATTLEGROUND!

    • DICK DINMAN & WILLIAM WELLMAN JR. SALUTE "BATTLEGROUND!": BATTLEGROUND remains producer/host Dick Dinman's all-time favorite WW2 film and distinguished actor, writer and producer William Wellman Jr. rejoins Dick as both salute William Wellman's Oscar-winning once in a lifetime epic military drama which has just been beautifully remastered on Blu-ray by the Warner Archive.

      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

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    • Dick Dinman & Eddie Muller are ON DANGEROUS GROUND!

    • DICK DINMAN & EDDIE MULLER ARE "ON DANGEROUS GROUND": The Warner Archive has just released an astonishing looking (and sounding!) Blu-ray rendition of Nicholas Ray's dark yet hypnotically beautiful film noir ON DANGEROUS GROUND which features a steely yet sensitive performance from noir icon Robert Ryan that easily ranks up there with his finest efforts ever and producer/host Dick Dinman and his guest "Czar of Noir" Eddie Muller dissect the various qualities which make this film so captivatingly unique (including the plaintively emotional score by Bernard Herrmann which was one of his two favorites).

      PLUS: SHORT TAKES: Kino's Kl Classics' THE HOUSE ON 92nd STREET, DAISY KENYON and Cohen Film Collection's SUDDEN FEAR.

      COMING ATTRACTIONS: The Warner Archives' BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK and Twilight Time's KISS OF DEATH.

      The award-winning DICK DINMAN'S DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR is the only show devoted to Golden Age Movie Classics as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray. Your producer/host Dick Dinman includes a generous selection of classic scenes, classic film music and one-on-one interviews with stars, producers, and directors. To hear these as well as other DVD CLASSICS CORNER ON THE AIR shows please go to www.dvdclassicscorner.com or www.dvdclassicscorner.net.

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  1. Press Release

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    • Alec Baldwin to Host TCM's THE ESSENTIALS


    • Legendary Late Night Host David Letterman, Emmy and Golden Globe® Winner Tina Fey and Oscar-Winning Director William Friedkin Set to Join as Special Guests Throughout the Season.

      Premieres May 6 & Airs Saturdays at 8 p.m.



      Turner Classic Movies announced that Emmy® winner and Oscar® nominee Alec Baldwin will host The Essentials, TCM's popular franchise showcasing "must see" classic films. Joining Baldwin each week throughout the season will be one of three special guests: late-night television icon David Letterman, acclaimed actress, writer and comedian Tina Fey and legendary filmmaker William Friedkin. Together, Baldwin and his guests will introduce a hand-picked classic and offer color commentary on its cultural significance, its influence on other films, behind-the-scenes stories and their own personal reflections. The new season of The Essentials, which airs every Saturday night, premieres May 6 at 8 p.m. (ET).

      The Essentials will kick off with special guest David Letterman joining Baldwin to discuss a plethora of poplar classics including:
      • The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) - airing May 6
      • East of Eden (1955) - airing on May 13
      • No Time for Sergeants (1958) - airing on May 27
      • The Big Sleep (1946) - airing on June 16

      Tina Fey will make her guest appearance starting on June 24 to discuss her favorite classic films including:
      • Rear Window (1954) - airing June 24
      • The Lady Eve (1941) - airing on July 1
      • The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) - airing on July 8
      • Singin' in the Rain (1952) - airing on August 5

      Rounding out the entertaining new season, William Friedkin will join Baldwin to highlight another round of notable films such as:
      • The Quiet Man (1952) - airing on Aug. 12
      • The Manchurian Candidate (1962) - airing on Aug. 19
      • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) - airing on Sept. 2
      • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) - airing on Sept. 23

      Baldwin takes over The Essential's hosting duties following the death of his close friend and colleague, Robert Osborne, who hosted the franchise from 2006 to 2015. A longtime friend of TCM and supporter of classic films, Baldwin has appeared frequently on the network, including as co-host of The Essentials with Robert Osborne from 2009 to 2011. He demonstrated his skill as an interviewer in 2008, when he joined one of his idols, Gene Wilder, for an hour-long discussion at Wilder's home in the special Role Model: Gene Wilder. Baldwin turned the tables on Osborne in 2015 by interviewing the longtime TCM host for Private Screenings: Robert Osborne, a one-hour special that premiered as part of TCM's 20th Anniversary celebration. This past October, Baldwin was the on-air host for a month-long look at the world's greatest and most influential documentaries for TCM's Spotlight showcase.

      "I have some big shoes to fill hosting The Essentials, and I plan on doing Bob proud with this new season of The Essentials," said Baldwin. "Dave, Tina and Billy each bring a unique perspective to the movies in our lineup, and they have some fascinating, and even surprising, insights to share as we shine a spotlight on some of our favorite 'must-see' films from over a century of epic moviemaking."

      Additionally, select titles from The Essentials will also be available at 30,000 feet through Delta Studio, Delta Air Lines' industry-leading, free in-flight entertainment collection. Delta operates the world's largest in-flight entertainment-equipped fleet, offering up to 300 movies, 750 TV shows, 100 foreign film titles, 2,400 songs, 18 channels of live satellite TV on select aircraft and a selection of games on aircraft with seat-back entertainment systems.

      To view a promo and for more information including a complete schedule, bios, images and film information, please visit tcm.com/essentials.

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Sabrina (1954) DVD
$5.45
was $8.98
Some Like It Hot DVD
$11.21
was $14.98
The Randolph Scott Round-Up: Volume 2 DVD
$11.21
was $14.98
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  • Wednesday, March 20, 2011

  • Removed: 10:00pm Springfield Rifle
    12:00pm Casablanca
    Added: 1:00pm Virginia City
    12:15pm Casablanca
  •  
  • Wednesday, March 20, 2011

  • Removed: 10:00pm Springfield Rifle
    12:00pm Casablanca
    Added: 1:00pm Virginia City
    12:15pm Casablanca
  •  
  • Wednesday, March 20, 2011

  • Removed: 10:00pm Springfield Rifle
    12:00pm Casablanca
    Added: 1:00pm Virginia City
    12:15pm Casablanca