News in a nutshell: TCM announces their Essentials co-host alongside a wealth of other news; an opportunity for those visiting the Los Angeles area; and what’s new on DVD and Blu-ray.
Last week I discussed the rumors surrounding the new co-host of TCM’s The Essentials. Many signs pointed towards actress Sally Field joining the seat across from Robert Osborne. Today, TCM confirms that…yeah, it’s Sally Field. The new season of The Essentials kicks off March 7th with Roman Holiday. Other movies planned, although dates aren’t currently available: The Prisoner of Zenda, The More the Merrier, and Now, Voyager. A complete lineup of movies is expected at a later date. This was probably the worst kept secret for a few weeks, but I’m excited to see what kind of host Field is. This bodes well for her being at the upcoming TCM Film Festival in some form.
News is also slowly trickling out about the upcoming TCM Classic Film Festival. They just announced the world premiere of the long-lost Harry Houdini-starrer The Grim Game from 1919 will be at the festival in March. Since it is a silent film, composer Brane Zivkovic will conduct his new live score composed especially for the film. The Grim Game will also air on TCM sometime this year. The TCM Classic Film Festival runs March 26th-29th in Hollywood with the theme this year being “History According to Hollywood.” If all goes well, I’ll be covering the festival as it happens.
And, finally, TCM announced the lineup of films airing as part of 31 Days of Oscar, a month-long tribute dedicated to films that were nominated or won an Academy Award. This year marks the TCM premiere of The Artist (Best Picture winner, 2012) and The King’s Speech (Best Picture winner, 2011). Programming runs February 1st-March 3rd and will go in chronological order. You can learn more about the month’s films and the lineup at the 31 Days of Oscar homepage.
If you’re in the Los Angeles area you might want to stop by the TCL (formerly Grauman’s) Chinese Theatre over the next month. The site of many a TCMFF screening and the venue for the Academy Awards in the 1940s will be presenting an exclusive VIP Theatre Tour dispensing Oscar trivia. The standard VIP Tour is offered near daily, but in honor of the upcoming awards the VIP tour is being enhanced to cater to those wanting to learn more about the ceremony. And starting Monday, you can vote for your Oscar picks with special ballots given out at the theater; a select number of winners will receive movie passes and other gifts. Voting is only going on through February 15th. If you’d like to book a tour or learn more about the TCL Chinese Theatre stop by their website.
New on DVD and Blu-Ray
Warner Archive: Several interesting titles from Warner Archive this month. If you’re a fan of Shirley Temple B-sides you might want to snag copies of Kathleen (1941), Honeymoon (1947), and Adventure in Baltimore (1949). The studio’s also releasing three movies they dub “guilty pleasures:” Mamie Van Doren in Born Reckless (1958), The Wild Affair (1963), and William Shatner’s White Comanche (1968). All can be purchased, on-demand, via Warner Archive.
20th Century Fox: TCM isn’t the only one celebrating The Sound of Music’s 50th birthday. 20th Century Fox has announced a remastered Blu-ray and DVD of the film for its 50th. There will be a 2-disc Blu-ray, a single-disc DVD, and a 5-disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition containing the two aforementioned versions and the soundtrack. The only new bonus content is a 60-minute documentary of star Julie Andrews returning to Austria, site of the film’s on-location work. All three versions will be available for purchase (the earlier two are available for rent if you’re a ClassicFlix subscriber) March 10th.
Warner Home Entertainment: And from Warner proper, fans of Frank Sinatra, take note: The Frank Sinatra Collection is coming! The collection will have five of Sinatra’s titles, all on Blu-ray, with three films making their Blu-ray debut. Anchors Aweigh (1945), On the Town (1949), and Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964) will be newly remastered for Blu-ray. They’ll be in the collection, as well as available for individual purchase. You can purchase The Frank Sinatra Collection, Anchors Aweigh, On the Town, and Robin and the 7 Hoods on May 5th.
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.