"Vertigo," other classics coming back to theaters
October 8, 1996
Web posted at: 10:55 p.m. EDT
From Correspondent Sherri Dean
NEW YORK (CNN) -- A look through the
current movie listings might give an old-
time movie buff a feeling of nostalgia: the
movie pages are filled with re-releases of
Kim Novak's performance in the Alfred
Hitchcock classic "Vertigo" will not die,
thanks to a million-dollar plus restoration
followed by its current re-release. "Every
time you watch it, you find new things.
That was what was so great about
Hitchcock," the actress recently told CNN.
Audiences who regularly watch old films on
videotape may not realize that more than
half of the movies made before 1950 are
lost forever. Films made between 1950 and
1975 are also in danger of fading away.
So film restoration experts James Katz and
Robert Harris are playing their part in
keeping some of the classics alive. They
spent two years restoring "Vertigo," frame
(20 sec./774K QuickTime movie)
"Everything we do is patchwork," said Katz.
"Every scene has a different problem and a
different requirement, and every aspect of
the sound track has a different problem."
When Vertigo was first released in 1958, it
did poorly at the box office after
receiving negative reviews. Today's
critics are calling the movie a
Other movies in the same period suffered
similar fates, often undeservedly. "Those
were the great days of movies in the period
of 'Vertigo,'" said Walter Cronkite. "It's
time for some of those to come back."
"Giant" is another classic that is staging
a comeback, bringing Elizabeth Taylor, Rock
Hudson and James Dean back to the big
screen. Taylor looks as lovely as ever in
the newly restored George Stevens classic,
now coming to a theater near you.
The French film "Belle de Jour," which
starred Catherine Deneuve as a housewife
who led a double life as a prostitute,
shocked audiences when it was first
released in 1967. Last year in re-release,
it pulled in $4 million.
Distributor Miramax Films said its
multimillion dollar take made it a hit,
considering that most non-English language
films earn less than $1 million each in the
United States. "I think in America people
are more ready to see the film than 25
years ago," Deneuve said.
How do restorers decide whether a film
should be re-released? "It has to be a
film that has some lasting value, that it
wasn't the trendy film of 1960 or 1970,"
said George Stevens, Jr., son of the
Other classics are being prepared for their
second release in theaters. One, the 1971
Oscar winner "The Garden of the Finzi-
Continis," is scheduled for November
release. There are reportedly plans to
bring back "Bonnie and Clyde."
(25 sec./968K QuickTime movie)
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