Restorations help make old movies new again


The new James Dean stamp is selling well, and a 40th-anniversary reissue of his last movie is set for theatrical release this fall.

The 1971 film of Roald Dahl's children's book, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," is scheduled for a 25th-anniversary reissue.

The box-office success of Jackie Chan's "Rumble in the Bronx" has inspired Miramax to arrange a wider release for one of his earlier Hong Kong classics.

Everything old is new again, mostly because reissues are relatively cheap to mount and almost always profitable.

Here's what's coming in 1996.

"Super Cop," Friday. This spectacular Jackie Chan movie first appeared several years ago under a different title: "Super Cop: Police Story III."

"Who Killed Teddy Bear?" Aug. 16. Strand Releasing is bringing back this campy 1965 curio, with Sal Mineo, Juliet Prowse, Elaine Stritch and Jan Murray.

"The Garden of the Finzi-Continis," mid-August. Sony Classics is restoring Vittorio De Sica's 1970 drama about a wealthy Jewish family that realizes that living in seclusion in Italy will not save them from the Holocaust.

"Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," September. The title was altered from Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "Giant," September. When he was killed in a car wreck in September 1955, Dean had two unreleased films in the can ("Rebel Without a Cause" came out in the fall of 1955), and director George Stevens spent more than a year editing this one. The result was worth the wait: a rich, sprawling, 201-minute Texas soap opera.

"Vertigo," September or later. The major revival event of the fall will be this elaborate 70 millimeter/digital sound reconstruction of the haunting James Stewart/Kim Novak mystery that is widely regarded as Hitchcock's greatest achievement. Originally filmed in VistaVision and released in mono, the movie has never looked or sounded quite like this before.

Pub Date: 7/21/96

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