Welcome to the DVD/Blu-Ray/4K Section of the Ben Johnson Fan Page
News about home video releases of Ben Johnson's films and TV shows
Coming November 14 on 4K UHD/Blu-ray:
THE LAST PICTURE SHOW
One of the key films of the American seventies cinema renaissance, The Last Picture Show is set in the early fifties, in the loneliest Texas nowheresville to ever dust up a movie screen. This aching portrait of a dying West, adapted from Larry McMurtry’s novel, focuses on the daily shuffles of three futureless teens—enigmatic Sonny (Timothy Bottoms), wayward jock Duane (Jeff Bridges), and desperate-to-be-adored rich girl Jacy (Cybill Shepherd)—and the aging lost souls who bump up against them in the night like drifting tumbleweeds, including Cloris Leachman’s lonely housewife and Ben Johnson’s grizzled movie-house proprietor. Featuring evocative black-and-white imagery and profoundly felt performances, this hushed depiction of crumbling American values remains the pivotal work in the career of invaluable film historian and director Peter Bogdanovich.
Black & White
4K UHD + BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
4K digital restoration of the director’s cut, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
One 4K UHD disc of the film presented in Dolby Vision HDR and two Blu-rays with the film and special features
Texasville (1990), the sequel to The Last Picture Show, presented in both the original theatrical version and a black-and-white version of Peter Bogdanovich’s director’s cut, produced in collaboration with cinematographer Nicholas von Sternberg
Two audio commentaries, featuring Bogdanovich and actors Cybill Shepherd, Randy Quaid, Cloris Leachman, and Frank Marshall
Two documentaries about the making of the film
Q&A with Bogdanovich from 2009
Screen tests and location footage
Introduction to Texasville featuring Bogdanovich, Shepherd, and actor Jeff Bridges
Excerpts from a 1972 television interview with filmmaker François Truffaut about the New Hollywood
English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
PLUS: An essay by film critic Graham Fuller and excerpts from an interview with Bogdanovich about Texasville, with a new introduction by Bogdanovich biographer Peter Tonguette
Cover by F. Ron Miller
Coming June 27 on Blu-ray:
Kino Lorber has now provided the details for the Will Penny special edition Blu-ray to be released on June 27, 2023.
Hollywood legend Charlton Heston (Secret of the Incas, The Big Country, Ben-Hur) stars as Will Penny, an aging cowboy on a hard-luck streak. He’s out of work, out of money, and staked out to die in the desert by a gang of ruthless outlaws. Moments before death, Will is taken in by the beautiful Catherine (Joan Hackett, Support Your Local Sheriff), who is heading west with her young son to join her husband. As Catherine nurses Will back to health, he catches a glimpse of a lifestyle he’s never known. Suddenly, Will has two more problems to deal with: he’s in love with another man’s wife, and the outlaw gang is on its way back to finish him off. Heston’s favorite film in which he appeared, the elegiac Will Penny was written and directed by Tom Gries (100 Rifles, Breakout, Breakheart Pass), shot by Lucien Ballard (The Wild Bunch), and finely cast with Donald Pleasence, Bruce Dern, Ben Johnson, Slim Pickens, Clifton James, Anthony Zerbe, Jon Gries and Lee Majors.
Product Extras :
Brand New HD Master - From a 4K Scan of the 35mm Original Camera Negative
NEW Audio Commentary by Author/Screenwriter C. Courtney Joyner, Film Historian Henry Parke and WILL PENNY Script Supervisor Michael Preece
Remembering WILL PENNY: Featurette with Charlton Heston and Jon Gries (13:20)
The Cowboys of WILL PENNY: Featurette with Charlton Heston and Jon Gries (3:26)
Optional English Subtitles
Released May 30 on DVD:
Liberation Hall will release Sam Peckinpah's "Noon Wine" on DVD on May 23. Previously available only as an extra on the out-of-print Twilight Time Blu-ray of The Killer Elite, this will be a standalone disc. Peckinpah wrote and directed "Noon Wine," an adaptation of the Katherine Anne Porter novella, for the television anthology series ABC Stage 67. It aired on November 23, 1966 and received rave reviews, resurrecting Peckinpah's career from the disastrous production and reception of Major Dundee.
Ben has a supporting role as a sympathetic sheriff.
Royal Earle Thompson owns a dairy farm in southern Texas during the late 1890s. His farm is fairly unproductive, due in part to Thompson's laziness and distaste for most of the required labor on a farm. Thompson lives with his wife, Ellie, and two small sons, and while Ellie is continually ill, she does her best to perform her domestic duties around the farm.
One day, Olaf Helton presents himself at the farm and the taciturn Swede asks Farmer Thompson for a job and is hired on the spot. Helton proves to be an invaluable asset and after nine years pass, the dairy farm is thriving, thanks to Helton's incomparable work ethic One day, an offensive and irritating stranger named Homer T. Hatch shows up at the farm. saying he is there to "locate" Helton. Thompson takes an immediate dislike to Helton due to his grating banter and subtle insults. Hatch eventually reveals he is a bounty hunter, and Helton is an escaped mental patient. Thompson has a vision of Hatch driving a knife blade into Helton's stomach.and rushes to Helton's defense, striking Hatch with an axe blade and killing him. Meanwhile, Helton flees.
After a perfunctory trial, Thompson is acquitted on the ground of self-defense/defense of another but Thompson continues to relive the killing, endlessly reviewing possible options, other paths he could have taken. Worse, though he is legally "not guilty," the community regards him as not innocent, and fears that he has become an outcast.. In a climactic scene at home, Thompson realizes that even his wife is afraid of him and that their now nearly grown sons no longer trust him. Dressed in his best, Thompson writes a note of explanation, how he never meant to kill Hatch. Poignantly, Thompson puts no blame on Helton, observing that had Hatch come hunting him instead of Helton, his friend would have done the same for him.
Directed by Sam Peckinpah and produced by David Susskind and Ariel Melnick. Based on a novel by Katherine Anne Porter. Starring Oscar winners Jason Robards and Olivia de Havilland.
Released May 23 on DVD:
BONANZA: THE COMPLETE SERIES (Box set with 112 discs)
BONANZA: INDIVIDUAL SETS OF THE 2ND, 12TH, 13TH, AND 14TH SEASONS
Ben's fans will be delighted with the release of the 12th season, which contains "Top Hand," Ben's third and final episode for Bonanza. Ben gives a powerful performance as a Ponderosa trail boss seeking redemption for an alcoholic past who has to fend off challenges from a younger rival. Plus there's a lot of ridin' and ropin'. You can read the press release with all the details at The Digital Bits.
Released on May 16th on Blu-ray:
Jaded, cynical, edgy. The iconic Burt Reynolds (Shamus, Heat) is Lt. Phil Gaines, a case-hardened Los Angeles detective who finds himself drawn into a dark, complex puzzle that involves the death of a teenaged girl. Complicating his investigation is his sizzling relationship with an icy hooker, played by cinema goddess Catherine Deneuve (Belle de Jour, Mississippi Mermaid), who has a dangerous connection to the case—one of her high-powered clients is a main suspect. Moreover, the victim’s unstable father blurs the focus of Gaines’ investigation even further by embarking on his own erratic, inept sleuthing. Ben Johnson, Paul Winfield, Eileen Brennan, Eddie Albert, Ernest Borgnine and Jack Carter also star in a suspenseful, gritty tale of urban corruption and murder directed by the legendary Robert Aldrich (The Dirty Dozen, The Longest Yard).
•Brand New HD Master – From a 4K Scan of the 35mm Original Camera Negative
•NEW Audio Commentary by Film Critics Alain Silver and James Ursini, Authors
of WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO ROBERT ALDRICH?: HIS LIFE AND HIS FILMS
• Theatrical Trailer
• 8 TV Spots
• Limited Edition O-Card Slipcase
• Optional English Subtitles
•Color 120 Minutes 1.85:1 Rated R
The final film of screen icon Steve McQueen (The Great Escape, Bullitt, The Getaway) shows the dynamic talent of the late, great actor in one of his most memorable roles: the true story of Ralph “Papa” Thorson, a modern-day bounty hunter. Thorson’s exploits are detailed as he pursues a number of fugitives who have skipped bail. The chase comes full circle when he becomes the quarry of a vengeful psychopath (Tracey Walter, The Silence of the Lambs). McQueen’s multi-dimensional performance as Thorson, a man born in the wrong age, is counterpoint to the explosive action in The Hunter. Directed by Buzz Kulik (Warning Shot, Shamus) and featuring Eli Wallach (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly), Kathryn Harrold (Raw Deal), LeVar Burton (TV’s Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Ben Johnson (The Wild Bunch).
•Brand New 2022 HD Master – From a 2022 4K Scan of the Original Camera
•NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historians Steve Mitchell and Nathaniel
•2 TV Spots
•Optional English Subtitles