Ringing in the New Year from Twilight Time are two tantalizing “new” reasons to rejoice this coming January. One is a painstaking and remarkable restoration of a larkish John Huston/Humphrey Bogart co-production that’s been treated shabbily across the decades via inferior film elements and prints, now sparklingly returned to the original shape its makers originally intended. Another is a brand-new 4K-derived transfer of an exciting Cinemascope period action spectacle largely shot on breathtaking South African locations and directed for epic impact by Hollywood eminence Henry King. The other two selections are also historic in nature, respectively helmed by sublime storytellers Fritz Lang and John Schlesinger, that skillfully depict gripping tales of wild Western lore and cross-cultural World War II romance in tender and rousingly distinctive personal styles. You also get two superb actresses, Gene Tierney and Lisa Eichhorn, in their respective debut years on the big screen, as well as Gina Lollobrigida’s striking first introduction to the international filmgoing audience outside her native Italy. There’s also the first feature-film screenplay credits of future celebrated award winners Truman Capote and Colin Welland, and two superbly orchestrated scores by maestros Richard Rodney Bennett and Franz Waxman. All the above and more are ingredients of warming wintry watching in glorious 1080p high definition.
Arriving on hi-def Blu-ray January 22 are: Beat the Devil (1953), the 2016 Sony Pictures/Film Foundation Restoration of the Uncut Original Version, starring Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones, Gina Lollobrigida, Robert Morley and Peter Lorre, directed by John Huston, score by Franco Mannino; The Return of Frank James (1940), starring Henry Fonda, Gene Tierney, Jackie Cooper and Henry Hull, directed by Fritz Lang, score by David Buttolph; Untamed (1955), starring Tyrone Power, Susan Hayward, Richard Egan and Agnes Moorehead, directed by Henry King, score by Franz Waxman; and Yanks (1979), starring Richard Gere, Vanessa Redgrave, William Devane and Lisa Eichhorn, directed by John Schlesinger, score by Richard Rodney Bennett. Details of each disc will follow in December.