Category Archives: Celebrity Chatter

Iris Elba works “100 Streets” in the powerful ensemble drama

You know his voice from the characters he brought to life in a trio of Disney films: Zootopia, The Jungle Book and Finding Dory.  Then there was his role as the villain Krall in Star Trek Beyond.

For three years Iris Elba tried to get 100 Streets off the ground. He’s one of the film’s producers. It’s a “small” film, a powerful ensemble drama, the story of three disparate Londoners whose lives interweave in unexpected ways as they face major life changes. Fans of layered storytelling and multi-character movies won’t want to miss this moving portrait of contemporary London, available on Blu-ray and DVD March 7  from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Samuel Goldwyn Films. 

100 Streets follows the trio as they play out in one square mile of modern day London. A former rugby player, Max (Elba), struggles to find a life off the field while fighting to save his marriage to former actress Emily (Gemma Arterton).  Kingsley (Franz Drameh) is a small time drug dealer desperately seeking a way off the street.  While completing his community service for a misdemeanor, Kinsley meets Terence (Ken Stott), a local thespian, who gives him the push he needs out of his dead end life and into a very different, creative world. George (Charlie Creed-Miles), a cab driver, and his wife Kathy (Kierston Wareing) dream of having kids, but a devastating road accident puts their hopes on hold even testing their otherwise strong marriage. Anybody can make a wrong turn, but it’s the journey that allows us to find the right path.

Elba, so different from Max, loved the character, long past his prime. Says he: “I can relate to it. People in the spotlight tend to be scrutinized, every move they make. I guess you can say my star is rising or whatever, but what comes with that is a lot more inquisitive people who want to know who you are as a person and what life decisions you’re actually making. Because you’re an actor or sportsman people want to know that and they are curious. But it’s part of the job—if I didn’t want anyone to know anything about me, I would have probably gone for a different career path.

Criterion releases a stunning restored “Mildred Pierce”; pie not included

Michael Curtiz’s 1945 Mildred Pierce—a noir-tinged melodrama in which Joan Crawford portrays Mildred, a single mother hell-bent on freeing her children from the stigma of economic hardship—is a classic whose reputation hasn’t faded over the years. Its iconic performance by Crawford solidified the actress’ career comeback, winning Crawford her only Oscar.

As Mildred pulls herself up by the bootstraps, first as an unflappable waitress and eventually as the well-heeled owner of a successful restaurant chain, the ingratitude of her materialistic firstborn (a diabolical performance by Ann Blyth) becomes a venomous serpent’s tooth, setting in motion an endless cycle of desperate overtures and heartless recriminations.

Recasting James M. Cain’s rich psychological novel as a murder mystery, this bitter cocktail of blind parental love and all-American ambition is both unremittingly hard-boiled and sumptuously emotional.

A rare photo of Crawford during a “Mildred Pierce” audition

Ahead of its recent Criterion release, the decades-old frames of the film required a painstaking rehabilitation process. After a number of archival film elements were scanned at 4K resolution at Warner Bros.’ in-house Motion Picture Imaging lab in Burbank, the original camera negative of the film came to light, providing the basis for the majority of the restoration—that is, until the negative’s inferior final reel necessitated dipping into another archive altogether. The resulting presentation of Mildred Pierce, now available on Blu-ray and DVD, beautifully reflects the silken texture of that original nitrate stock, the luminosity of the black-and-white images accentuating the film’s stark themes of social ambition and familial loyalty.

For the full story behind the restoration—as well as an opportunity to get acquainted with the technical experts and state-of-the-art equipment at both Warner Bros. and Criterion—watch the video below, made by Criterion videographer Tara Young.

And the bonus tracks are Heaven sent!
  • New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New conversation with critics Molly Haskell and Robert Polito
  • Excerpt from a 1970 episode of The David Frost Show featuring actor Joan Crawford
  • Joan Craw­ford: The Ultimate Movie Star, a 2002 feature-length documentary
  • Q&A with actor Ann Blyth from 2006, presented by Marc Huestis and conducted by film historian Eddie Muller at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco
  • Segment from a 1969 episode of the Today show featuring Mildred Pierce novelist James M. Cain
  • Trailer
  • An essay by critic Imogen Sara Smith
  • New cover by Sean Phillips

It took three decades but “Film Threat” is back, wildly entertaining as ever

One of the treats found on the site

It’s taken a while, but it’s back.  After its premiere 32 years ago, Film Threat is back. The rogue brand that introduced film lovers to some of the great filmmakers of our time has been, maintaining its original goal to support and promote emerging filmmakers looking to make their mark . . . as well as remind people that it’s not about the sequel. Filmthreat.com will house reviews, features, interviews with emerging filmmakers and nifty stuff, all without taking itself too seriously.

Coos Chris Gore, Film Threat‘s founder and principal Chris Gore. “It’s hard to believe that Film Threat is back and I’m so excited. “Our number one reason for restarting Film Threat is the fans.  Over the years, they’ve asked me about Film Threat and without even realizing it, they’ve kept the brand alive.  So after a few challenges–nothing a true indie filmmaker hasn’t experienced–we got it together and I’m thrilled to announce our launch.  We also have a few fun projects planned and we hope you’ll follow our journey, share your stories and laugh with us along the way.”

Film Threat began as a photocopies fanzine started by Chris Gore and Andre Seewood. Only 500 copies of the first issue were printed and then distributed on the campus of Wayne State University on February 6, 1985. It was on that campus that Gore and Seewood earned a reputation as disruptors by playing pranks on the film department . . . even going so far as to fake Gore’s death to promote a film screening. Seewood left after a year and Gore continued to grow the magazine beyond its photocopied roots into a magazine.

Its history is the stuff of Hollywood scripts. Gore moved the magazine to Los Angeles in 1989 and opened an office at the Cherokee Building on Hollywood Boulevard. In 1991, Larry Flynt acquired Film Threat which then split into two magazines:  Film Threat was owned by Larry Flynt Publications, and Gore continued to champion underground filmmakers in the pages of the newsprint sister publication, Film Threat Video Guide (edited by David E. Williams).

Gore briefly left the magazine in 1995 and Film Threat was then headed up by Paul Zimmerman. After Flynt chose to end the magazine in 1996, the rights reverted back to Gore. During the paper crisis of the late ’90s, Film Threat printed its final issue in 1997.

The Film Threat website launched just before the print magazine’s demise in 1996. Only two issues of this new incarnation were published; a third issue was completed but never made it to the printer. Gore expanded the Film Threat website offering an email newsletter that contained reviews and news. The site grew with extensive coverage of independent films and film festivals.

Gore sold the website to Mark Bell in 2010. Bell headed up the site for the next five years with the rights reverting back to Gore in 2015. After an unsuccessful crowd funding bid in 2015, Gore chose to shut down the site for good. Amid overwhelming public outcry over the site’s absence, Gore launched a new Kickstarter campaign in 2016, resulting in the site’s return.  1,073 backers pledged $56,199 to help bring this project to life. Maybe this photo helped?

Film Threat can be found at www.filmthreat.com.

Cheesy, cheap and a true cult classic: Olive Films brings “Panther Girl of the Kongo ” to Blu-ray and DVD

Patty, Maxene and LaVerne promised that bongo, bongo, bongo, I don’t want to leave the Congo, oh no no no no no/Bingo, bangle, bungle, I’m so happy in the jungle, I refuse to go.

Spelling aside, we can’t wait to spend 12 chapters with Panther Girl of the Kongo that, at a cost  of $179,341, was the most expensive Republic serial of 1955.

When we say this is cheesy and cheap and oh-so-cultable, we mean it. The series was the penultimate ( 65 of 66) Republic serial, and was filmed in about two weeks. In order to make it possible to use significant stock footage from the earlier serial Jungle Girl, and cheaply pad out Panther Girl of the Kongo, a duplicate costume was used; as a result, Republic’s last female lead wore the same costume as its first!

The plot was a meld of serial fodder. Dr. Morgan is a mad scientist who is trying to nab sole access to secret African diamond mines (by way of the Republic backlot). In order to accomplish this he breeds giant “claw monsters to scare away any other inhabitants. Jean Evans, the Panther Girl, and her friend Larry Sanders encounter this plot while on a photo safari in the region.The star was Phyllis Coates, who played Lois Lane in the first season of the television series Adventures of Superman. Dr. Morgan was played by Arthur Space, best known as veterinarian Doc Weaver in 39 episodes of the TV series Lassie.

Olive Films releases release Panther Girl of the Kongo to Blu-ray and DVD.  Even audiences unfamiliar with serials can find plenty to enjoy. You may just not want to leave the Congo . . .

Mercy me! PBS Distribution is leading fans of great TV to “Mercy Street: Season 2”

Mercy me! PBS Distribution is leading fans of great TV to Mercy Street: Season 2, available on Blu-ray and DVD (and as a valentine) on February 14. The program will also be available for digital download.

What a small-screen saga! The critically-acclaimed Civil War-era drama takes place in the occupied city of Alexandria, Virginia, where allegiances blur, loyalties shift and the drama intensifies as the scope of the war pushes beyond Mansion House, the former hotel commandeered by northern troops to serve as a Union hospital.

The series follows the doctors, nurses and soldiers, as well as free, enslaved and contraband African Americans and other residents of the war-torn city, as they navigate the new world emerging from the most cataclysmic event in our country’s history.

Just how hot is the series? The first season of Mercy Street, that premiered in January 2016, reached a total audience of 14 million people. It is the second highest rated drama for the year to date on PBS, after Downton Abbey.

The second season picks up directly from the dramatic events at the end of the first season finale, continuing to explore life in the chaotic city of Alexandria, the complicated interpersonal dynamics of Dr. Foster, Nurse Mary and the Mansion House staff, the increasingly precarious position of the Green family and the changing world of the burgeoning black population. The second season will introduce a number of new elements, taking the viewer closer to the war and into the halls of Confederate power, all set against the intensifying war, starting with the Seven Days’ Battle and culminating with Antietam.

The new season also delves deeper into the lives of newly freed African Americans, exploring–among other areas–life in a contraband camp, where formerly enslaved African Americans are forced to confront horrific living conditions and disease, but also get a glimpse of freedom.

New actors and guest stars introduced in Mercy Street: Season 2 include:

· Patina Miller as Charlotte Jenkins, an educated contraband abolitionist activist who arrives in the first episode. A former slave who escaped to freedom years before through the Underground Railroad, Charlotte (a composite of numerous historical figures, most prominently Harriet Jacobs) offers education to other former slaves and helps with the sick who have contracted smallpox, which was epidemic during the Civil War.

· Brian F. O’Byrne as Allan Pinkerton, head of the Union Intelligence Service. The character is based on the real Allan Pinkerton, a Scottish emigrant and abolitionist who founded America’s first detective agency and successfully brought down some of the country’s most ruthless criminals.

·Bryce Pinkham as Major Clayton McBurney III, the new hospital chief.

· Lyne Renee as Lisette Beaufort, a stylish and bold Parisian who has a past with Dr. Foster and creates a stir in the hospital when she accepts a commission with the Union Army in medical visual documentation.

·Chris Wood as Captain Lance Van Der Berg, a handsome young Union captain lodging at the Green home when he strikes up a budding romance with Alice Green, who has ulterior motives for the courtship.

· William Mark McCullough as Larkin, a Confederate sympathizer in league with Jimmy Green, who helps formulate a plan to provide rebel fighters with munitions.

· Nyambi Nyambi as Caleb, a contraband who arrives at Mansion House Hospital searching for a particular woman.

Pickin’ and playin’ and reveling “The History of Rock in Fifty Guitars”

Here we are, strumming along to tell you about a nifty little book that traces the evolution of the guitar. And then some.

The pickin’ and playin’ began in the ’20s with experiments with steel cones and resonators. With these additions, the role of the guitar transformed from accessory to vital band member—introducing electronic amplification to the 20th century music scene. The new intensified sounds inspired a much more colorful style of playing, and in turn, a string of new genres from jazz and blues to skiffle and country.

With the growing beatnik movement rearing its head in the ’50s, a new musical landscape was in high demand and rock ’n roll was born with a guitar in hand. Bruce Wexler reveals the 50 most beloved guitars in rock history and the artists who played them in The History of Rock in Fifty Guitars (The History Press, $24.95).

What a crowd! There’s Jerry Garcia’s famous Tiger guitar, customized by Alembic; John Lennon’s Gibson-made “Revolution” Casino guitar heard on “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”;  Jimi Hendrix’s Fender Stratocaster that he played on the Woodstock stage; B.B. King’s Gibson ES-355 charmingly nicknamed “Lucille” and Kurt Cobain’s fusion Fender Jag-Stang.

Each vignette counting down the top 50 guitars offers insight into the history behind the guitars, the star-studded instrumentalists who played them and the hit songs and albums the guitars helped to compose. Many limited-edition tribute guitars are highlighted and enhanced with closeup shots detailing the guitar’s features—including gold-plated hardware, locking tuners, double-necks, P-90 pickups, f-holes and more—that make them entirely unique and groundbreaking. A book that traces the development of the guitar over seven decades of rock music, The History of Rock in Fifty Guitars will enthrall guitar aficionados and music buffs.

Idina Menzel and Nia Long star in a Lifetime remake of the sob story “Beaches”

You gotta have friends. Sometimes you gotta have remakes. It will be interesting if Idina Menzel and Nia Long can stir up more (read = better) memories and deeper sobs when they star as lifelong best friends in the remake of the Bette Midler-Barbara Hershey flick Beaches. The new flick, an Original Lifetime movie, premiers on Saturday, January 21 at 8 p.m. (ET/PT).

Want an earlier taste? Warner Bros. Records.  has already released a five-song soundtrack EP performed by Menzel. The disc features new takes on the classic songs “Wind Beneath My Wings” and “The Glory of Love,” as well as “I Can Hear the Music,” “I’ll Stand by You,” and “Last Time” recorded specifically for the movie. 

In this contemporary remake, Beaches follows the serendipitous meeting of two young girls on the Venice Boardwalk, who, though worlds apart in lifestyle, embark on an unexpected and lifelong friendship. CC (Menzel) is an aspiring singer trying to make it in Los Angeles until she is discovered by a director who gives her her first big shot. Hillary (Long) is the daughter of a prominent civil rights lawyer who struggles to find her own destiny. Their friendship—even with its ups and downs—sustains them for decades.

What does Bette think? She’s too busy preparing for the Broadway run of Hello, Dolly!,  revival opening in March and long sold-out.

Movie mavens, committed cineophiles: Welcome to Arrow Academy, whose first five releases are five star

We’ll march right the exciting news delivered by MVD Entertainment Group: MVD will be disturbing works in the U.S. by Arrow Academy, one of the world’s leading distributors of independent, arthouse and world cinema, beginning in March.
The label releases definitive and prestige edition films by revered maestros of cinema from across the globe, including filmmakers such as Federico Fellini, Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen, Stanley Kubrick, Fritz Lang, R.W. Fassbinder, Roberto Rossellini and Jean-Luc Godard.


Each of Arrow Academy’s five new titles feature :
– Definitive editions of classic arthouse films from across the world
– World class restoration and an award-winning label
– A label which goes above and beyond to release films in their original release format
– High-end and well-produced boxsets aimed at the cinephile audience
– New and insightful extras on each release

Film fanatics, movie mavens and committed cinephiles take note and save these dates!

March 7
Ludwig
He loved women. He loved men. He lived as controversially as he ruled. But he did not care what the world thought. He was the world.
A string of masterpieces behind him, the great Italian director Luchino Visconti turned his attentions to the life and death of King Ludwig II of Bavaria in 1972, resulting in an epic of 19th century decadence. 
Dominated by Helmut Berger in the title role, Ludwig nevertheless manages to find room for an impressive cast list: Romy Schneider (reprising her Elisabeth of Austria characterization from the Sissi trilogy), Silvana Mangano, Gert Fröbe, John Moulder-Brown and Trevor Howard as Richard Wagner.
As opulent as any of Visconti’s epic (Piero Tosi’s costume design was nominated for an Academy Award) Ludwig is presented here in its complete form in accordance with the director’s wishes and features the English-language soundtrack for the first ever on home video.

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
4K restoration from the original film negative
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
  • Two viewing options: The full-length theatrical cut or as five individual parts
  • Original Italian soundtrack with optional English subtitles
  • Original English soundtrack available on home video for the first time ever with optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Brand-new interview with Helmut Berger
  • Luchino Visconti, an hour-long documentary portrait of the director by Carlo Lizzani containing interviews with Burt Lancaster, Vittorio Gassman, Francesco Rosi, Claudia Cardinale and others
  • Speaking with Suso Cecchi d’Amico, an interview with the screenwriter
  • Silvana Mangano: The Scent Of A Primrose, a half-hour portrait of the actress
  • Theatrical trailer

Property Is No Longer A Theft
Having tackled the corrupting nature of power with Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion and taken an angry, impassioned look at labour relations with The Working Class Goes to Heaven, Italian master Elio Petri next turned his attentions to capitalism for the darkly comic Property is No Longer a Theft.

A young bank clerk (Flavio Bucci, the blind pianist in Dario Argento’s Suspiria), denied a loan by his employer, decides to exact his revenge the local butcher (Ugo Tognazzi) who is not only a nasty, violent, greedy piece of work but also one of the bank’s star customers. Quitting his job, the clerk devotes all of his time tormenting the butcher, stealing his possessions one-by-one, including his mistress (Daria Nicolodi).

 Told in an off-kilter fashion by Petri, abetted by the woozy sound design and another outstanding score by Ennio Morricone, Property is No Longer a Theft presents a caustic, blackly comic look at a corrupt society.
 
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS 
  • 4K restoration from the original film negative
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
  • New subtitle translation
  • Brand-new interview with actor Flavio Bucci
  • Brand-new interview with producer Claudio Mancini
  • Brand-new interview with make-up artist Pierantonio Mecacci
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Nathanael Marsh

Cinema Paradiso (Barnes & Noble exclusive)
Giuseppe Tornatore’s loving homage to the cinema tells the story of Salvatore, a successful film director, returning home for the funeral of Alfredo, his old friend who was the projectionist at the local cinema throughout his childhood. Soon memories of his first love affair with the beautiful Elena and all the high and lows that shaped his life come flooding back, as Salvatore reconnects with the community he left 30 years earlier. Presented in both the original award-winning cut and the expanded Director’s Cut incorporating more of Salvatore’s backstory, newly restored from original negative materials.

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS 
  • Restored from the original camera negative and presented in two versions: The 124 minute Cannes Festival theatrical version and the 174 minute director’s cut
  • Uncompressed original stereo 2.0 Audio and 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio options
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Audio commentary with director Giuseppe Tornatore and Italian cinema expert critic Millicent Marcus
  • A Dream of Sicily A 52-minute documentary profile of Giuseppe Tornatore featuring interviews with director and extracts from his early home movies as well as interviews with director Francesco Rosi and painter Peppino Ducato, set to music by the legendary Ennio Morricone
  • A Bear and a Mouse in Paradise – A 27-minute documentary on the genesis of Cinema Paradiso, the characters of Toto and Alfredo, featuring interviews with the actors who play them, Philippe Noiret and Salvatore Cascio as well as Tornatore
  • The Kissing Sequence Giuseppe Tornatore discusses the origins of the kissing scenes with full clips identifying each scene
  • Original director’s cut theatrical trailer and 25th anniversary re-release trailer
March 14
The Creeping Garden
The Creeping Garden is an award-winning feature-length creative documentary exploring the extraordinary world of the plasmodial slime mold as revealed through the eyes of the fringe scientists, mycologists and artists who work with them. Long overlooked by biologists, in recent years this curious organism has become the focus of much research in such areas as biological-inspired design, emergence theory, unconventional computing and robot engineering, much of which borders on the world of science fiction.

The film transports us from the laboratory into its natural habitat, depicting these otherworldly lifeforms using startling time-lapse macro-cinematography to reveal hidden facets of the world around us. 
The Creeping Garden is a unique exploration into a hitherto untapped subject matter, immersing the viewer within the worlds of the observers and the observed.
 
DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
  • Original 2.0 audio (uncompressed on the Blu-ray)
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • Audio commentary by directors Tim Grabham and Jasper Sharp
  • Biocomputer Music, a short film by Grabham on the first biocomputer music system, allowing a two-way musical dialogue between man and slime mold
  • Return to the Fungarium, a featurette revealing further treasures of the fungarium at Kew Gardens
  • Feeding Habits of Physarum, a featurette on the feeding preferences and dislikes of slime molds
  • Three cinema iloobia short films: Milk (2009), Rotten (2012) and Paramusical Ensemble (2015)
  • Angela Mele’s animated slime moulds
  • Gallery
  • US theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring two pieces of original artwork
The Creeping Garden soundtrack [Limited Edition Exclusive]
Bonus CD containing the rearranged soundtrack to The Creeping Garden by legendary producer and musician Jim O’Rourke

Story of Sin

The life of a beautiful, young and pious woman is thrown into chaos when her parents takes in a dashingly handsome lodger. Having embarked on a torrid affair, the lodger goes off to Rome to seek a divorce from his estranged wife.

Unable to live apart from her beloved, our hero leaves home only to fall prey to the infatuations and lusts of a band of noble admirers, unsavory criminals and utopian do-gooders . . .

The only feature Walerian Borowczyk made in his native Poland, Story of Sin transforms Stefan Zeromski’s classic melodrama into a deliriously surrealistic meditation on l’amour fou.

SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
  • 2K restoration from the original film negative
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
  • New subtitle translation
  • New 2K restorations from the original negatives of Borowczyk’s ground-breaking Polish shorts: Once Upon a Time (co-directed by Jan Lenica), Dom (co-directed by Lenica) and The School
  • New introduction by poster designer Andrzej Klimowski
  • New interview with Story of Sin lead actor Grazyna Dlugolecka
  • New interview featurette on Borowczyk’s career in Poland by Daniel Bird (co-founder Friends of Walerian Borowczyk)
  • New interview featurette on Borowczyk’s innovate use of classical music in his films by writer and filmmaker David Thompson
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Andrzej Klimowski

Judy Collins offers the perfect Valentine’s treat: “A Love Letter to Stephen Sondheim”

We cannot think of a better Valentine’s Day gift, even if it won’t be released until February 24. Judy Collins takes the audience through Stephen Sondheim’s remarkable treasure trove of music, interweaving stories of Broadway with her personal anecdotes in A Love Letter to Stephen Sondheim (MVD Entertainment Group). The musical treat was filmed in May 2016 at the Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver, Colorado.

“I have loved the songs and the shows of Stephen since recording ‘Send in the Clowns’ on my album Judith in 1974,” says Collins. (Her take on the tune earned Sondheim his only chart-topping song.)

“My version of the great Sondheim ballad garnered a Grammy, the top ten slot in Billboard twice in a decade, and is still played on the radio all over the world. Ever since the success, I have longed to sing the rest of Sondheim’s greatest songs. Now, I have the opportunity do to that. These songs glow with familiarity and inhabit the rooms and vistas of all our lives, scenes and melodies from A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, Sunday in the Park with George, Company, Merrily We Roll Along and Into the Woods. I pray to do justice to these great songs, and to their composer, one of our national treasures: Stephen Sondheim.”

All orchestrations are by Jonathan Tunick, who has been orchestrating Stephen Sondheim’s musicals for decades. Tunick’s genius orchestration were used by Collins for her “Send in the Clowns.”

Time Life celebrates Johnny Carson, his late-night gem and his friends in a new DVD series

Before the Seinfeld sitcom success, it started with Johnny’s couch.
Revisit that time with The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: Johnny and Friends featuring Jerry Seinfeld. This DVD includes three classic ’80s episodes, complete with commercials! Jerry Seinfeld is on Carson chum; other shows include Arnold Schwarzenegger, an 18-year-old named Andre Agassi and Oprah’s first Tonight Show appearance. Save the date: The recollections begin on January 10.
Featuring the best episodes from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, the Johnny and Friends series will include some of the best loved guests from The Tonight Show. Each DVD features full episodes-including original commercials-that showcase an amazing talent and true American icon who, across 30 years and 4,000 shows, paved the way for a late night TV revolution in memorable fashion.
The inaugural release stars Jerry Seinfeld before his eponymous sitcom rewrote TV history.  After his first appearance (May 6, 1981), Carson was impressed and Seinfeld became a frequent guest on The Tonight Show. In 1989, Seinfeld debuted on NBC, and by its fourth season, it had become the most popular and successful sitcom on American television.  This Johnny and Friends release features  pre-Seinfeld episodes, allowing home audiences to watch the evolution of the iconic comedian.
Episodes include: 
  • Show 1 (June 27, 1985) A true classic is now released from The Tonight Show Vaults!  Not only does this show feature an appearance by Jerry Seinfeld early in his career, but it also includes one of Johnny’s most famous sketches by The Mighty Carson Art Players: Mr. Rambo’s Neighborhood.
  • Show 2 (February 21, 1986) In this historic show from 1986, Seinfeld is joined by drag racer Shirley Muldowney, and that’s not all, watch as the future “Queen of all Media” meets the “King of Late Night” during the first appearance of Oprah Winfrey on The Tonight Show.
  • Show 3 (June 9, 1988) A star studded evening closes this DVD as Johnny’s guests include Seinfeld, Schwarzenegger and Agassi.