That's why I'm thrilled to announce that I've just learned that the good people at The Film Detective are feverishly working behind-the-scenes to bring a Special Edition (Blu-ray and DVD) release to 1961's Battle Of The Worlds to the consuming public. It's set to hit the shelves (as they say) on August 9th ... and I'll be copying and pasting the relevant publicity materials below in just a few precious moments.
Here's the film's plot summary as provided by our friends at IMDB.com:
"A runaway asteroid dubbed 'The Outsider' mysteriously begins orbiting the Earth and threatens it with lethal flying saucers."
For what it's worth, this is a release I'm particularly excited to report upon today for a few key reasons. First, I've never seen a complete cut of it. Yes -- like so many -- I've seen the usual chopped up bits and pieces and a vastly truncated cut on syndication television from back in the days of my reckless youth; so I do have a vague recollection of it. But second -- much more important -- I've always been a fan of screed legend Claude Rains. Though this was made toward the late end of the actor's career -- and I've read he was largely 'stuck' into this picture solely to serve as a box office name draw -- I'm nonetheless interested in seeing what he can do with this material in the full unvarnished glory. That's a 'Battle' worth the price of admission, so far as this viewer is concerned.
And yes, yes, yes: I've done my homework. I'm aware that the film isn't exactly highly regarded (much less respected) amongst the cinema intelligentsia of today; but longtime readers of this space know of my fondness for these bygone features. I just find them more entertaining -- even the half-baked entries -- than I do so much of what I see today. Call me an 'old soul' if you must, but I've earned it.
In any event, details are below. Read 'em and weep tears of joy, my friends!
As always, thanks for reading ... and live long and prosper!
on Special-Edition Blu-Ray & DVD, August 9th
Independent Sci-Fi Classic Returns With Beautiful, Out-of-This-World Scan
From Original, Archival Elements
A runaway asteroid dubbed “The Outsider” mysteriously begins orbiting the Earth and threatens it with lethal flying saucers. Filmed in Italy at the height of the country’s sci-fi craze, this independent classic stars Golden Age-star Claude Rains (Casablanca, The Invisible Man, Notorious), Bill Carter, Umberto Orsini, Maya Brent, Jaqueline Derval and Renzo Palmer. Cinematography by Marcello Masciocchi.
Noted in Science Fiction: The Complete Film Sourcebook (1984), Battle of The Worlds was praised as, “an astonishing piece of cinema … uncannily beautiful and garish.”
Esteemed director Antonio Margheriti blesses viewers with his ‘60s thriller, ripe from the period of such Italian filmmakers as Sergio Leone, Mario Bava and Dario Argento.
Coming to special-edition Blu-ray and DVD, Battle of the Worlds is a highly anticipated release from TFD, presented from a 4k scan of an original 35mm archival print.
- Original essay by author Don Stradley, Margheriti’s World;
- Full-length commentary track by film historian Justin Humphreys;
- All-new original production, A Cinematic Outsider: The Fantastical Worlds of Antonio Margheriti by Ballyhoo Motion Pictures; and
- An insert with a special surprise for TFD fans.
Battle of the Worlds will be available on Blu-ray ($29.95) and DVD ($19.95) on August 9 or fans can secure a copy by pre-ordering now at: https://www.thefilmdetective.com/world
About The Film Detective:
The Film Detective (TFD) is a leading distributor of restored classic programming, including feature films, television, foreign imports and documentaries and is a division of Cinedigm. Launched in 2014, TFD has distributed its extensive library of 3,000+ hours of film on DVD and Blu-ray and through leading broadcast and streaming platforms such as Turner Classic Movies, NBC, EPIX, Pluto TV, Amazon, MeTV, PBS and more. With a strong focus on increasing the digital reach of its content, TFD has released its classic movie app on web, Android, iOS, Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV. TFD is also available live with a 24/7 linear channel available on Sling TV, STIRR, Plex, Local Now, Rakuten TV and DistroTV. For more information, visit www.thefilmdetective.com.
For more than 20 years, Cinedigm has led the digital transformation of the entertainment industry. Today, Cinedigm entertains hundreds of millions of consumers around the globe by providing premium content, streaming channels and technology services to the world's largest media, technology and retail companies.
Battle of the Worlds
The Film Detective
Original Release: 1961 (Color)
Running Time: 84 Minutes
SRP: $29.95 (Blu-ray) / $19.95 (DVD)
Release Date: August 9, 2022 (Pre-order Now)
UPC Code: #760137105008 (Blu-ray) / #760137105015 (DVD)
Catalog #: FB1022 (Blu-ray) / FD1022 (DVD)