An ambitious silent-era Civil War epic that changed moviemaking forever – and still challenges audiences with its raw and innovative film techniques in a visceral storytelling mode still agonizingly controversial a century after it was made – headlines a four-film Twilight Time hi-def Blu-ray release roster, debuting on North American home video in a state-of-the-art 2015 restoration in its most complete, original and pristine form to again “write history with lightning,” as the sitting U.S. President at the time of its debut would proclaim. Perhaps less historic, but each in their way personal and powerful American sagas of destiny and self-determination are the three other titles joining it. One teams director Walter Hill and writer John Milius on a frontier tale about the final, defiant stand of a Native American legend. Another is director Paul Mazursky’s warmly observant New York tale of an artistic career in its struggling, nascent stage, infused with affectionate autobiographical detail and wry humor. Still another is an underappreciated exploration of an independent-minded woman’s self-realization in the face of small-town censure, based on a Samson Raphaelson play and anchored by a fabulous Jean Simmons title-role performance, finally available for home viewing in its original Cinemascope aspect ratio.
Coming May 22 are: The Birth of a Nation (1915): The Photoplay Productions Restoration, starring Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh and Henry B. Walthall, directed by D.W. Griffith, score by John Carl Briel; Geronimo: An American Legend (1995), starring Jason Patric, Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman, Wes Studi and Matt Damon, directed by Walter Hill, score by Ry Cooder; Hilda Crane (1956), starring Jean Simmons, Guy Madison and Jean-Pierre Aumont, directed by Philip Dunne, score by David Raksin; and Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976), starring Lenny Baker, Shelley Winters, Ellen Greene and Christopher Walken, directed by Paul Mazursky, score by Bill Conti. Details of each release will follow in April.