One day I’ll get back on schedule with the news, I promise! However, all we can do is process the dearth of news items currently casing the interwebs including a new biopic in the works, details on this weekend’s Oscar telecast, a heap of TCM content and more!
How many biopics are we up to now? The upcoming Mary Pickford biopic immediately springs to mind, along with the Trumbo story, a possible Monty Clift biopic with Matt Bomer, and a Mischa Barton led Jean Harlow story. Oh, and let’s not forget the incomparable Bette Midler playing Mae West. Almost forgot that one! Well, according to Variety there’s one more to add to the group. I’m surprised no one’s tackled the love affair between Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy which lasted for over twenty years and spawned eight movies. Permut Presentations and Reunion Pictures hope to detail the relationship with their untitled biopic. So far, very few firm details have been announced. All that’s known is the producers hope to start shooting in the next 12 months and are seeking a director and leads. Permut is the bigger company here, although they’ve failed to put out any huge productions over the last year, while Reunion is listed as an executive producer on Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner reboot. Just who could they secure to star as Hepburn and Tracy? I’d be interested in Jessica Chastain playing Katharine, or just get Cate Blanchett to reprise the role which won her an Oscar. As for Tracy, no actor has the look so would probably have to undergo extensive makeup. George Clooney? Leave your casting suggestions in the comments, and also feel free to let me know which biopics you’re looking forward to.
If you’re a movie fan in any way, you probably have plans to watch the Academy Awards on Sunday night. However, classic film fans might want to tune in for a rumored reunion with all three of Judy Garland’s children to honor the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz. The Academy hasn’t confirmed any of this, but various news outlets are reporting Liza Minnelli along with Joey and Lorna Luft will be taking part in some type of commemoration of the movie. The “theme” of this weekend’s Oscar ceremony is tributes, so this makes sense. Those in the know are aware of the tempestuous relationship between Garland’s three children, but it’s nice to know they’re willing to get together to take part. The Academy Awards air Sunday, March 2nd on ABC.
With the festival inching ever closer what more could they possibly announce? It seems like every week there’s something new happening to the point where I truly fear I’ll have to make tough decisions about what to experience if, fingers crossed, I make it there. The Opening Night Gala screening’s been announced: a screening of the newly restored Oklahoma! with live appearance by Shirley Jones. As for additional special guests Kim Novak, Ryan O’Neal, Exorcist director William Friedkin, and Wolf of Wall Street editor Thelma Schoonmaker are scheduled to appear. If you don’t have enough screenings it’s also been revealed that screenings of Bell, Book, and Candle, Paper Moon, and Grey Gardens are happening. I’ve mentioned how TCM is secretly creating this festival to be all things Kristen, and boy it’s becoming more apparent; I mean, Paper Moon is one of my favorite films. And don’t forget Martin Scorsese’s frequent editor Thelma Schoonmaker! The TCM Classic Film Festival runs April 10th-13th in Hollywood. Limited passes are still available.
Fans of TCM’s airing of Johnny Carson episodes, Carson on TCM, are in for a treat as it’s been announced new segments will air March 4th. The series returns at 8pm every Tuesday, starting with a 1976 interview Johnny Carson did with Jimmy Stewart. New interviews set to air throughout the month include Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Julie Andrews, and Sean Connery.
New on Blu-ray/DVD
Warner Archive: Warner Archive is celebrating five years as one of the premier manufactured-on-demand DVD companies and as a birthday present to you (funny how that works), the company is releasing James Whale’s legendary 1936 musical, Show Boat, on DVD for the first time! On top of that, they’re releasing three James Cagney features: Winner Take All (1932), Here Comes the Navy (1934), and The Oklahoma Kid (1939). That’s on top of last week’s releases: The Vitaphone Comedy Collection Volume 2 featuring Shemp Howard, and What Price Hollywood?. As for what’s new on their Warner Instant channel it’s a month devoted to war features and the Wild West with Destination Tokyo (1943), Watch on the Rhine (1943), and Quantrill’s Raiders (1958) just a few of the new movies you can instantly stream online.
Criterion: Criterion’s announced their May titles and boy are they awesome! They’ve announced a four-disc set (2 DVDs and 2 Blu-rays) for Howard Hawks’ immortal Western, Red River (1948) with all new features such as a rarely seen original theatrical release version (the version Hawks preferred), a 2K restoration of the alternate version, an interview with director Peter Bogdanovich and critic Molly Haskell, and more. They’re also releasing Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole (1951) with a 3-disc set (2 DVDs and 1 Blu-ray) and the same features as their previous 2-disc set. Red River hits shelves May 27th while Ace in the Hole releases May 6th.
Universal: Universal is putting out another multiple-feature pack devoted to a particular actor, and this time it’s Bob Hope The 4-dsic Bob Hope Classic Comedy Collection isn’t anything amazing but includes ten of Hope’s comedies such as Give Me a Sailor, Thanks for the Memory, and The Cat and the Canary. You can purchase it on April 29th.
Fox Archives: Just to remind you what’s dropping from Fox Cinema Archives in the next few weeks. You can purchase Margin for Error (1943), Mother Wore Tights (1947), and Sing, Baby, Sing (1936) starting March 11th.
Olive Films: Olive’s been quiet for a few months after experiencing scheduling delays, but their back with two films hitting shelves in May: Jimmy Cagney in Johnny Come Lately (1943), and the Marx Brothers in Love Happy (1949); Love Happy’s claim to fame is having a pre-Hollywood legend, Marilyn Monroe in it. Love Happy and Johnny Come Lately are each receiving Blu-ray and DVD releases, both on May 6th.
A freelance film critic whose work fuels the Rotten Tomatoes meter. I've been published on The Hollywood Reporter, Remezcla, and The Daily Beast. I've been featured in the L.A. Times. I currently run two podcasts, Citizen Dame and Ticklish Business.