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Blu-ray Boxset: A Much Welcomed Upgrade that Brings 'The Magnificent Ambersons'
on May 12, 2011
Just in time for the 70th anniversary of "Citizen Kane," this September will see the release not only of "Citizen Kane" in 1080p HD, but also the release of the much sought after "The Magnificent Ambersons." Much has been written here about "Citizen Kane" and whether it truly deserves the title of "greatest movie ever made," so I will only say that it was an innovative film during its release that greatly impacted decades of filmmaking to come. That said, it is up to the individual viewer to decide whether they find the rise of Citizen Kane and his media empire to be "boring" or "completely enthralling."
Either way, this release brings with it an amazing extra that has yet to see the light of American home vide, "The Magnificent Ambersons." Welles' follow up to "Citizen Kane," and an adaptation of the 1918 pulitzer prize winning novel, "The Magnificent Ambersons" has widely been hailed as one of Welles' most brilliant films. This comes in spite of the fact that the studio cut the film down from Welles' 148min envisioned cut, with the cut footage presumably lost to the world since its preview release. Yet, even at a brisk 88 minutes, "The Magnificent Ambersons" still remains a remarkable tale of class and family dynamics. The film has been remastered, and will be a much welcomed DVD considering that it was previously available solely via shoddy bootleg copies and imports. The DVD will be exclusive to Amazon, but it is worth noting that it will be bundled along with the "Citizen Kane" in its own separate casing with its own UPC. In other words, it is highly likely WB will keep it as an "Amazon Exclusive" for a year before releasing it to all retailers as a stand alone release. So those who do not feel like upgrading to Blu or shelling out 80 bucks just for "Magnificent Ambersons," can rest assured that a stand-alone release will undoubtedly follow.
Aside from the much-lauded "Magnificent Ambersons," the boxset [1 Bluray/3 DVD Set (counting "Magnificent Ambersons")] will also host a bevy of other special features. These include:
~ 2 Audio Commentaries (One by Roger Ebert, the other by Peter Bogdanovich)
~ "The Battle Over Citizen Kane" (A 113min Feature Length American Experience Documentary, presented on DVD)
~ "RKO 281" (83min 1999 HBO Docudrama telling the story of Welles' battle with Hearst over the film, presented on DVD)
~ Interviews with Ruth Warrick (Actress: played Emily Norton) and Robert Wise (Film Editor)
~ Reproduction of the Original Theatre Pressbook
~ A Hardcover Book Full of Glossy Photos/Backstory/Interviews (Almost identical in composition to "The Wizard of Oz"/"Gone With the End" Ultimate Collector's Set books)
~ 10 Printed Correspondence Memo Reproductions
~ 5 Printed Lobby Cards
~ Correspondence between Welles and the Studio concerning the film
~ 2 Radio Broadcast Recordings of Orson Welles' performances
~ 1941 Movie Premiere Newsreel
~ Vintage Featurettes & Theatrical Trailer
~ Storyboard Gallery
~ Photos/Ads/Memorabilia Gallery
~ Uncompressed Monaural Audio