The Way to Present the Classics
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TCM’S CLASSIC CRUISE
2013 got off to a great start with Laureate’s directors, Ken & Anne Barnes being invited to attend the Turner Classic Movies movie-themed Celebrity Cruise. Sailing from Miami across the Caribbean stopping at Grand Cayman and Cuisimil in Mexico, this was a star-studded event that played host to 1500 movie buffs.
Here, to welcome everyone aboard, was l-to-r TCM’s host, ROBERT OSBORNE, with some of the star personalities, ARLEEN DAHL, SALLY ANN HOWES, NORMAN LLOYD, DEBBIE REYNOLDS and seated, MICKEY ROONEY.
The cruise, which took place aboard Celebrity’s appropriately-named Constellation, consisted of lectures, quizzes, wine-tasting, dancing, a 1920s evening and ,of course, movies screened at the ship’s three cinemas.
All of the stars were
interviewed about their films and took part in question and answer
2012 – A YEAR OF CELEBRATION
2012 is a year that marks several milestones. Our dear Queen Elizabeth 11 celebrates 60 years on the throne, it’s the year that the UK hosts the Olympics, but for film buffs two of the greatest Hollywood studios – Universal and Paramount – each celebrate 100 years of film making.
Universal are marking the occasion with a host of special DVD and Blu-ray releases of some of their most famous films of the last 100 years including “All Quiet On The Western Front” (1930), “Frankenstein”(1931), “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1962), “The Sting”(1973) and many others. They are also releasing a newly-restored Blu-ray edition update of Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane” utilizing all of the “extras” that were originally produced back in 2003 by Laureate Presentations including an exclusive documentary “Anatomy of a Classic” hosted by Barry Norman – written, produced and directed by Laureate’s Ken Barnes, who also provides an absorbing feature-length audio commentary.
Paramount are following suit with some of their most memorable films in new Blu-ray and DVD editions including Alfred Hitchcock’s “To Catch a Thief” (1955) and “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” (1961) and several others of iconic status. Alas, Paramount are unable to present all of their greatest films of the 1930s and 1940s due to the fact that their entire catalogue up to 1949 now belongs to Universal – who have made sure that a large slice of those classics have found their way onto DVD and will be appearing in Blu-ray in the not-too-distant future.
Stay tuned for more news soon.
NEWS UPDATE - SEPTEMBER 2011
We’ve been so busy this year that there has been little time to keep up to date. So in this report, we’ll be looking both backward and forward.
Firstly, following Clint Eastwood’s Emmy-nominated film “Johnny Mercer – The Dream’s On Me” written by Laureate’s Ken Barnes for TCM, Ken has been commissioned to research and write a new similar documentary on Academy Award-winning lyricist,Sammy Cahn. Tentatively titled “I’ve Heard That Song Before,” this will be for 2013 transmission (Sammy’s centennial).
BLU-RAY goes LARGE
For classic film buffs who have invested in large screens and Blu-Ray, 2011 has been a bumper year. March saw the release –in the U.S.A. (just in time for Easter) – of Paramount’s spectacular new Blu-Ray presentation of Cecil B. De Mille’s gargantuan 1956 production of:
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
To call it a special
edition is an understatement. The restoration work on this much-loved
classic – supervised by Paramount’s Ron Smith - has to be seen to be
What Paramount can do, Warner Brothers can also do and this September will see their much-anticipated Blu-Ray version of the 1959 Academy Award-winning-blockbuster:
Described as “the 50th
Anniversary Edition” (despite being 52 years old) This, too, is a
momentous release with a host of dazzling “extras", and is also
available in two versions.
Discs One and Two present
the movie with the first disc ending at the intermission point. This,
like “The Ten Commandments”, has been restored on a frame-by-frame from
the original 65mm camera negative and remastered in stunning 1080p High
Definition for maximum picture and audio clarity.
Disc Three: Special Features:
New feature-length documentary “Charlton Heston & Ben-Hur: A Personal Journey” featuring never-before-available footage from the Heston Family Archives.
Two more documentaries: “Ben-Hur – The Making of an Epic” narrated by Christopher Plummer and “Ben-Hur – The Epic That Changed Cinema”.
Highlights from the 1960 Academy Awards telecast.
“Charlton Heston-The Ben-Hur Diaries.” Reproduction of Charlton Heston’s personal diary from January,1958 to April 1960.
Exclusive book with rare photos,production art & reproductions from the original pressbook – and other goodies. Release date: September 27,2011. Here’s what the set looks like:
More news soon. Stay tuned.
NEWS UPDATE - AUGUST 2010
NEWS FROM THE U.S.A.
of LAUREATE’S SPECIAL EDITION DVD of
2011 will mark the 70TH Anniversary of this Capra classic and to celebrate the event, VCI ENTERTAINMENT will be releasing the much-praised Laureate Special Edition for the first time on the U.S. market in November with a new updated restoration.
Chock full of enticing
extras including a feature-length audio commentary by Laureate’s KEN
BARNES with exclusive audio comments from FRANK CAPRA
NEW BING CROSBY DVD BOX SET
All set for November release in the U.S. is a new Universal box set of SIX Bing Crosby films – Five new to DVD:
Crosby collectors will revel in this new collection which features College Humor (1933), We’re Not Dressing (1934), Here Is My Heart (1934), Mississippi (1935), Sing You Sinners (1938) and Welcome Stranger (1947).
A top entry in Universal’s Backlot series, all six titles come from Crosby’s halcyon years as the world’s most popular entertainer. Of the six films only “We’re Not Dressing” has been previously issued on DVD as part of a Carole Lombard collection. Classic stuff which crowns a great year for Crosby collectors.
And that’s not all ! Paramount are also releasing a new Blu Ray release of “WHITE CHRISTMAS” in the USA on November 2nd. Bing’s legion of fans will have no trouble deciding what they want for Christmas this year.
More next time
NEWS FROM THE U.S.A.
March 2010 sees the release of TWO ALL TIME CLASSICS
1. The newly restored version of
THE AFRICAN QUEEN
Starring Humphrey Bogart &
Making its DVD debut in the USA, this classic film based on CS Forester’s novel is presented in FOUR different versions - Read more
2. A CHERISHED ALBUM FIRST TIME ON CD
An international best seller on its original vinyl release in 1977, BING CROSBY’S last album – produced by LAUREATE’S KEN BARNES in London in September of 1977 just one month before the singer’s untimely death, this award-winning collection has been unavailable since 1982 due to contractual complications. As a result, it has become the most sought-after of all Crosby’s recordings. Now, finally, the legalities have been ironed out with the Crosby family gaining complete ownership of the album and releasing it as a Collector’s Choice De Luxe Edition. Read more
NEWS UPDATE - JANUARY 2010
THE JOHNNY MERCER CENTENNIAL
Date November 18, 2009
A life-size bronze statue of Johnny Mercer
(1909-1976) was unveiled in Savannah’s Ellis Square. The ceremony was
attended by various City and State dignitaries receiving full media
coverage – TV, press and radio, etc. Read more...
NEW ALBUM RELEASE
Working from the original 16-track analogue tapes, KEN BARNES supervised the new digital re-mixing and remastering of Johnny Mercer’s classic 1974 London recordings. Now available as a double CD from Amazon Read more...
Legendary Hollywood director and actor, CLINT EASTWOOD acted as Executive Producer of a new feature-length documentary on the life and times of JOHNNY MERCER which was co-funded by the Johnny Mercer Foundation, Turner Classic Movies, Warner Home Video and BBC’s Arena. Read more...
Watch out for more developments in 2010.
Blu-ray Disc (also known as BD or Blu-Ray) is an optical disc storage medium designed to supercede the standard DVD format. Read more...
NEWS UPDATE - AUGUST 2009
TWO IMPORTANT CENTENARY EVENTS
In the last year, LAUREATE has participated in celebrating the centenaries of two important artists of the 20th century. Master film maker, David Lean and master songwriter Johnny Mercer. Each in his own way is unique, both made an indelible impression in their respective fields and both were recipients of Academy Awards for their individual contributions to the world of film.
DAVID LEAN (1908-1991)
LAUREATE is pleased to
announce their own choice for the DVD Box Set of 2009 -
JOHNNY MERCER (1909 – 1976)
LAUREATE’S KEN BARNES – who knew and worked with Johnny Mercer – has been busy researching and writing the script for a film documentary on Mercer’s life. Read more...
NEWS UPDATE - FEBRUARY 2009
High Definition television (HDTV) is rapidly completing
its transformation from a high-end luxury technology enjoyed primarily by
affluent early adoptors, to a mainstream product dominating the shelves of
high street retailers. Industry estimates of HDTV household penetration
surpassed 50 per cent last year – with sales of high definition sets
expected to triple in just the next few years. Put simply, HDTV’s roots
have taken hold and the reasons for that are many – including regulatory
influences that are pushing consumers towards DTV purchases along with
decreasing retail prices, expanding HD programming options and a greater
consumer emphasis on picture and sound quality. Read more...
Since this website has always catered for the classic film buff, it’s a pleasure to announce that 2009 will see 50th Anniversary Blu-Ray editions of Hitchcock’s “North By Northwest” and Read more...
2009 marks the hundredth anniversary of the birth of
classic songwriter, JOHNNY MERCER. To commemorate this event, a special
two-hour film documentary is currently in production for international
showing later this year.
NEWS UPDATE - JULY 2008
Now that the high definition format war is over – that Sony’s Blu-ray has emerged the winner and Toshiba’s HD-DVD has gone the way of the dodo – movie buffs are currently being inundated with a veritable deluge of titles in the Blu-ray format. The great majority of the films currently on release are new, or at least recent, titles. To the film companies, of course, this makes perfect sense. Their new films – flops and hits alike – represent massive investments that must be recouped as soon as possible. Also the one thing they have in common is they are all produced under the latest state-of-the-art technical conditions and are perfectly compatible with Blu-ray’s high definition delivery. This may be good news for the Harry Potter – X Men generation, but what about the collectors of classic films? Read more...
This worthwhile four-day event covering the life and career of the great Fred Astaire took place at Oriel College, Oxford from June 21 to 24 and was organised on a most efficient scale by two very gifted ladies Kathleen Riley (from Australia) and Chris Bamberger (from the U.S.A.) and attended by Astaire experts and admirers from all over the world. Read more...
NEWS UPDATE - JANUARY 2008
For more than two years now the DVD has been standing on the threshold of a new era in home entertainment. High Definition. But with this new era came an old problem. The battle of two formats to win over a new generation of DVD buyers is very much akin to the early days of video tape and the conflict between VHS and Betamax. That battle, of course, was won years ago by VHS which itself was eventually swallowed up by the DVD – the fastest developing area in the history of home entertainment. Read more...
NEWS UPDATE - SEPTEMBER 2007
A BUMPER YEAR FOR BOX SETS
2007 is proving to be an amazing year for DVD box
sets on both sides of the Atlantic.
WARNERS LEADS THE FIELD
On the American side of the spectrum, Warners – as
usual – lead the way with their ongoing “Signature Collection” series
which, this year, offers sets devoted to such charismatic stars as
KATHERINE HEPBURN, GARY COOPER and JAMES CAGNEY...
FOX FOLLOWS WARNERS
Laureate members will remember that three years ago we held a forum on the films of 20th Century Fox in which scores of members sent in their requests for many neglected films from musicals – like “Daddy Long Legs” and “Sun Valley Serenade” – to Film Noir titles such as “Laura” and “Kiss of Death” and the films of Tyrone Power. Read more...
We have just received word of the publication of three highly desirable books that are sure to have an appeal to many of Laureate’s members and visitors. Read more...
THE BIG BAND WITH A DIFFERENCE
Back in 1973 when the record industry were pinning their hopes on the arrival of quadraphonic sound, Ken Barnes, one of the busiest independent record producers in London, was commissioned by Pye Records to produce some albums that would exploit the new 4-channel concept of audio entertainment. He selected a big band with a difference. Read more...
NEWS UPDATE -- FEBRUARY 2007
NEWS UPDATE - NOVEMBER 2006
NEW ON DVD
NEW ON CD
THE BIG NEWS for FRANK SINATRA collectors is the all-new Warner Brothers Box set SINATRA-VEGAS
NEWS UPDATE !
* for UNIVERSAL PICTURES (UK) LIMITED
All text & Pictures © Laureate Company. Design © Karen Edwards 2002/2010