Streaming platforms may dominate the conversation for most of the year, but is it too impersonal to give a streaming service subscription as a gift? This holiday season, physical media reigns– DVDs and Blu-rays of your loved one’s old and new favorite films make the perfect gifts. Some of this year’s most thoughtful gifts come from Olive Films, and we’ve put together this ultimate gift guide to help you out.
For the Cinephile…
OLIVE SIGNATURE: Johnny Guitar
Widely panned at its release, this bizarre Nicholas Ray-directed Western starring Joan Crawford, Mercedes McCambridge, and Sterling Hayden has been gaining popularity recently, cementing its status as a cinephile cult favorite. In September, Johnny Guitar came to Olive Signature on DVD and Blu-ray, mastered from a new 4K restoration and featuring loads of entertaining and informative bonus materials. The Olive Signature edition of Johnny Guitar is sure to thrill (and likely impress) any cinephile on your gift list.
- Introduction by Martin Scorsese
- Audio commentary with historian and critic Geoff Andrew
- “Tell Us She Was One of You: The Hollywood Blacklist and Johnny Guitar” – with historian Larry Ceplair and blacklisted screenwriter Walter Bernstein
- “Johnny Guitar: A Feminist Western?” – with critics Miriam Bale, Kent Jones, Joe McElhaney and B. Ruby Rich
- “Free Republic: The Story of Herbert J. Yates and Republic Pictures” – with archivist Marc Wanamaker
- “Johnny Guitar: A Western Like No Other” – with critics Miriam Bale, Kent Jones, Joe McElhaney and B. Ruby Rich
- “My Friend, the American Friend” – Nicholas Ray biographical piece with Tom Farrell and Chris Sievernich
- “Johnny Guitar: The First Existential Western” – an original essay by critic Jonathan Rosenbaum
- Theatrical trailer
Olive Signature: Johnny Guitar is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Perhaps best known for his silent works, Abel Gance is remembered as one of the major figures of early cinema. Haunted by the suffering he witnessed during World War I, he created the silent J’accuse (1919) to serve as the ultimate indictment of war. He eventually remade J’accuse, possibly his most personal film, in 1938 utilizing the newly available technology of sound. If his original film is a lament of World War I, his remake is a plea for peace during the looming threat of World War II. For the film’s final act, Gance, always a technological innovator, used special effects that were ahead of their time to create a climax that walks the line between surrealism and horror. Despite the film’s great importance, the DVD and Blu-ray of J’accuse (1938) have only been available since November 15th, so this gift will give the cinephile on your list the opportunity to catch up with a long-neglected piece of film history.
J’accuse (1938) is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.
To share with the whole family…
Olive Signature: The Quiet Man
Like countless people across the country, you might have grown up watching The Quiet Man with your parents or your grandparents. Now, you can revisit this classic with your own children. The Quiet Man is now available from the newly launched Olive Signature on DVD and Blu-ray. With pristine video quality, bonus features that will enchant the whole family, and sleek packaging, you can be proud to give any Olive Signature DVD or Blu-ray to a loved one.
- Mastered from 4K scan of original camera negative
- Audio commentary with John Ford biographer Joseph McBride
- “A Tribute to Maureen O’Hara: with Hayley Mills, Juliet Mills, and Ally Sheedy”
- “Don’t You Remember It, Seánín?: John Ford’s The Quiet Man” – a visual essay by historian and John Ford expert Tag Gallagher
- “Free Republic: The Story of Herbert J. Yates and Republic Pictures”
- “The Old Man: Peter Bogdanovich Remembers John Ford”
- “The Making of The Quiet Man” – written and hosted by Leonard Maltin
Olive Signature: The Quiet Man is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Olive Signature: The Night of the Grizzly
A film can turn any night into a wonderful shared experience between generations, and The Night of the Grizzly exemplifies this. It’s a simple but exciting Western about a family, a town, and a killer bear. This is the type of film that simply doesn’t get made anymore.
- New High-Definition digital restoration
- Audio Commentary by film historian Toby Roan
- “Blood on the Claw: How Cheyenne Bodie Became a Movie Star” – an essay by C. Courtney Joyner
- “The Legend of Big Jim Cole” – interview with Clint Walker
- The Night of the Grizzly World Premiere archival footage
- “At Home with Clint Walker and His Home Gymnasium” – archival interview
Olive Signature: The Night of the Grizzly is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.
For the classic-loving in-laws…
Olive Signature: High Noon
Many people find parents-in-law to be the most difficult family members to shop for. You want to impress with a sleek and elegant gift, but you also want something that strikes an emotional chord. High Noon is considered one of the greatest Westerns of all time, and with a new 4K restoration used for this DVD and Blu-ray, you can give your in-laws the gift of reliving a classic in the best presentation since its theatrical run.
- “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 Hollywood Blacklist and High Noon” – with historian Larry Ceplair and blacklisted screenwriter Walter Bernstein
- “Oscars and Ulcers: 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
Olive Signature: High Noon is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Strategic Air Command
Directed by the great Anthony Mann and starring James Stewart, June Allyson, and Frank Lovejoy, Strategic Air Command is one of the absolute classics of aviation film. Its greatest claim to fame is its stunning aerial photography, which was filmed in breathtaking Vistavision. Also having the distinction of being the only movie to ever highlight the B-36 Peacemaker, this newly debuted DVD and Blu-ray will thrill any fans of Jimmy Stewart, classic film, or aviation.
Strategic Air Command is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
For the 80’s-obsessed…
American Ninja 1-4
Remember this gem from the days of the video store? The 80’s kid in your life surely will. Full of cheesy moments and goofs that endeared them to kids everywhere, Cannon Films’ American Ninja series packed enough ninja action to launch a wave of martial arts obsession amongst young people across the US. American Ninja, American Ninja 2: The Confrontation, American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt, and American Ninja 4: The Annihilation are each on DVD and Blu-ray from Olive Films with bonus features that will appeal to the 80’s kid in all of us. All four films together would make an awesome and thoughtful gift!
American Ninja is available on DVD and Blu-ray from Olive Films.
American Ninja 2: The Confrontation is available on DVD and Blu-ray from Olive Films.
American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt is available on DVD and Blu-ray from Olive Films.
American Ninja 4: The Annihilation is available on DVD and Blu-ray from Olive Films.
Here’s another offering from Olive Films sure to create wild nostalgia. When a lab accident leaves a high school student with telekinetic powers, it’s a comic free-for-all in this raunchy comedy starring Scott Baio, Willie Aames, Heather Thomas, and Felice Schachter. Encouraged by his hormonally minded friend to put his powers to good use, he exacts revenge on school bullies, cheats a little at sports and improves his luck with the girls, culminating in a prom scene reminiscent of Carrie … with laughs.
Zapped! is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
For the Sci-Fi Lovers…
The Monster of Piedras Blancas
The Monster of Piedras Blancas, only recently debuted on DVD and Blu-ray, had become a sort of Holy Grail of monster b-movies. Shot over the course of two weeks, the film was produced with a final budget of $29,000. This micro-budget necessitated a resourceful craftsmanship from the filmmakers that resulted in the endearingly campy monster flick that fans know and love. Its shocking (for the time, at least) gore also earned it a place in the hearts of many young horror fans.
The Monster of Piedras Blancas is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe
One of the reasons we at Olive Films love classic Sci-Fi so much is because it can be an unbelievable amount of zany, innocent fun. If that’s what you’re looking for in a gift to a Sci-Fi fan, look no further than the complete serial Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe. This set contains all twelve pulse-pounding episodes of the tv series-turned-theatrical serial.
Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe is available on DVD and Blu-ray.
December 6, 2016