Wells to Paramount Home Video: 14 months ago (i.e., January 11th, 2012) a highly knowledgable source told me off-the-record that George Stevens Shane (’53) had undergone a high-def restoration and will probably be released sometime this year to meet this classic film’s 60th anniversary. The source was very specific and told me exactly what needed to be done, and said the work would almost certainly be completed by the end of 2012 or at the very latest early 2013 in order to make the anniversary.
Since then I haven’t heard a peep out of Paramount Home Video about this. Not a word, not a hiccup. Nothing.
The 60th anniversary of Shane‘s New York theatrical opening will happen on April 13th. Obviously that’s going to come and go without notice but will a Shane Bluray come out anytime in 2013? Why do all the three-strip restoration and the high-def tweaking and then just let it sit there, right?
I hope Paramount isn’t going to follow the path of Sony Home Video’s experience with From Here to Eternity, which opened four months after Shane. Sony’s Grover Crisp restored it beautifully and made it look better than ever before (I just saw it on high-def on TCM a few weeks ago), and yet FHTE never came out on Bluray and isn’t to my knowledge even available as a high-def download via Netflix or Amazon.
I wrote George Stevens, Jr. and asked what he knows, but he’ll probably blow me off. The levels of secrecy and deathray vibes and bureaucratic chess-playing in the home video realm are not to be believed. You have to go back to the Leonid Brezhnev era in Soviet Russia to find a similar mindset.
Update: It was announced on 2.13 by Turner Classic Movies’ Heather Sauter that Shane will play at the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood (4.25 through 4.28). Films that are shown at that festival are almost exclusively ones that have been digitally remastered and upgraded for Bluray release.