Classic movies on the big screen
Spartacus and Citizen Kane aren’t the only restored film classics coming our way. Other vintage performances now being prepared for theatrical and subsequent video and laserdisc release include:
A franker version of A Streetcar Named Desire, the 1951 adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ stage play that brought stardom to Marlon Brando. Five minutes of new material, discovered about 18 months ago, includes footage clipped from the rape scene (in which Brando’s Kowalski attacks the fantasy-obsessed Blanche DuBois, played by Vivien Leigh) and some charged moments that the Catholic Legion of Decency demanded be cut prior to Streetcar‘s release. Warner Bros. will open the restored film in New York and L.A. early this fall, with video and laserdisc releases to follow by year’s end.
Alfred Hitchcock’s ”director’s cut” of his 1951 thriller, Strangers on a Train. According to Warner Bros. preservationist Mike Arick, it is ”considerably darker” than the film that was released. Hitch’s first cut casts an ambiguous, not-so-glossy light on the romance between tennis player Guy Haines (Farley Granger) and his fiancée (Ruth Roman), and delves more deeply into the personality of the villain, Bruno Anthony (Robert Walker). No release date has been set, but Strangers will probably come after Streetcar.
The Guns of Navarone, the 1961 adventure thriller starring Gregory Peck, David Niven, and Anthony Quinn. Superbly crafted with top-notch special effects, Navarone has been deteriorating badly. Columbia Pictures expects to open the film later this year to commemorate its 30th anniversary.
David Lean’s classic 1957 antiwar melodrama, The Bridge on the River Kwai, starring William Holden, Alec Guinness, and Jack Hawkins. Columbia has only recently given approval for work to begin on Kwai, regarded by most film historians as Lean’s best work. The project could take weeks or months, depending on the condition of the original materials. Kwai is unlikely to hit screens before the late spring or summer of