Two Western Masterpieces coming from Olive Films

Olive Films will be bringing two Western classics in new 4k restored editions to Blu Ray on September 20th: Fred Zinneman’s HIGH NOON starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly and Nicholas Ray’s JOHNNY GUITAR starring Joan Crawford and Sterling Hayden. Both of these releases will be part of a new speciality label called Olive Signature.

 

HIGH NOON Synopsis: The myth and poetry of the old west come alive in Fred Zinnemann’s (Julia) classic western, High Noon (1952). One of the great treasures of the American cinema, the film stars the legendary Gary Cooper as lawman Will Kane, a marshal who stands alone to defend a town of cowardly citizens against a gangof killers out for revenge. Engaged in the fight of his lifetime, Kane stands to lose everything when the clock strikes noon– his friends, his honor, and his Quaker bride, played by Grace Kelly inoneof her first screen roles. Unfolding in real time, the tension builds aswe race ever closer to the climactic duel from which the film takes its name. For his career-defining role, Cooper would go onto win the Oscar for Best Actor. High Noon’s stellar cast also includes Lloyd Bridges (Try and Get Me), Thomas Mitchell (It’s a Wonderful Life), Katy Jurado (Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid), Otto Kruger (Saboteur), Lon Chaney (The Wolf Man), Henry Morgan (Strategic Air Command), Jack Elam (Hannie Caulder) and Lee Van Cleef (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly).

High Noon won a total four Academy Awards including Best Editing, Best Score (Dimitri Tiomkin, The Old Man and the Sea) and Best Song, “Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin’,” written by Tiomkin and Ned Washington and sung by Tex Ritter. High Noon also received Oscar nominations for Best Picture (Stanley Kramer, producer), Best Director (Fred Zinnemann) and Best Screenplay (Carl Foreman).

Special Features: NEW 4K restoration • Optional English SDH subtitles • “A Ticking Clock” – Academy Award nominee Mark Goldblatt on the editing of High Noon • “A Stanley Kramer Production”” – Michael Schlesinger on the eminent producer of High Noon • “Imitation of Life: The Blacklist History of High Noon” – with historian Larry Ceplair and blacklisted screenwriter Walter Bernstein • “Ulcers and Oscars: The Production History of High Noon” – a visual essay with rarely seen archival elements, narrated by Anton Yelchin • “Uncitizened Kane” – an original essay by Sight & Sound editor Nick James • Theatrical trailer – BUY FROM AMAZON

 

JOHNNY GUITAR Synopsis: Johnny Guitar stars Oscar winner Joan Crawford (Best Actress, Mildred Pierce) as Vienna, a saloon owner with a sordid past. Persecuted by the townspeople, Vienna must protect her life and property when a lynch mob led by her sexually repressed rival, Emma Small (Oscar winner Mercedes McCambridge, Best Actress, All the King’s Men), attempts to frame her for a string of robberies she did not commit. Enter Johnny Guitar (Sterling Hayden, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb), a guitar-strumming ex-gunfighter, who once was —and perhaps still is—in love with Vienna. With the leads at their operatic best, the table is now set for an epic showdown in this one-of-a-kind western from director Nicholas Ray (Rebel Without a Cause).

A bizarrely veiled allegory for the McCarthy-era Red Scare, Johnny Guitar was misunderstood upon its initial release. One of the most original takes on the western genre — the women are far tougher than the men —Johnny Guitar is praised by fans, filmmakers, and critics alike as groundbreaking.

Boasting superb supporting performances, Johnny Guitar features Ernest Borgnine (Marty), Scott Brady (The China Syndrome), Ward Bond (The Searchers), Paul Fix (To Kill a Mockingbird), Royal Dano (The Outlaw Josey Wales) and John Carradine (Stagecoach). Notably, Johnny Guitar’s indelible title song was a collaboration between the Academy Award-winning composer Victor Young (Around the World in Eighty Days), and co-writer and songstress Peggy Lee.

Special Features: NEW 4K restoration • Optional English SDH subtitles • Video Introduction by acclaimed director Martin Scorsese • Audio commentary with historian and critic Geoff Andrew • “Tell Us She Was One of You: The Blacklist History of Johnny Guitar” – with historian Larry Ceplair and blacklisted screenwriter Walter Bernstein • “Is Johnny Guitar a Feminist Western?: Questioning the Canon” – with critics Miriam Bale, Kent Jones, Joe McElhaney and B. Ruby Rich • “Free Republic: The Story of Herb Yates and Republic studios” – with archivist Marc Wanamaker • A critical appreciation of Nicholas Ray with critics Miriam Bale, Kent Jones, Joe McElhaney and B. Ruby Rich • “My Friend, the American Friend” – Nicholas Ray biographical piece with Tom Farrell • “Johnny Guitar: The First Existential Western” – an original essay by critic Jonathan Rosenbaum • Theatrical trailer – BUY FROM AMAZON

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Peter

Editor-In-Chief of The Grindhouse Cinema Database/Furious Cinema contributor. Pete is a rabid movie geek who enjoys everything from wild n’ crazy exploitation/cult flix to big budget mainstream classics. His other interests include: graphic design, cartooning and music.

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