Monday, January 01, 2007

It's a New Year, and You Know What That Means...

...A whole different group of works will reach the arbitrary milestones of their 50th or 25th anniversaries. With all the anniversary DVD editions, reunion specials and last-minute filler articles you might expect.

The problem this time around is that the two years covered under the 50/25 rule are 1957 and 1982, and neither seems at first glance to have been a particularly distinguished year. Especially when it comes to movies. The Best Picture winner for 1982 was freakin' Gandhi -- which, sure enough, has a 25th anniversary special edition DVD coming -- but even apart from that, 1982 is the year of E.T., which already had a big and largely ignored anniversary reissue five years ago, and the year of Tootsie, which doesn't really hold up except for the amazingness of Bill Murray.

1957 wasn't a great year movie-wise either, certainly nothing to compare to the bumper crop of 1956 or 1959. There will be tributes to the sanctimonious The Bridge on the River Kwai, but I'd unhesitatingly say that the best movies of 1957 were Sweet Smell of Success, the glorious last gasp of the original film noir cycle, and Frank Tashlin's Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?, the epic satire that, according to Jonathan Rosenbaum, almost destroyed Tashlin's career. Sweet Smell really deserves a 50th anniversary re-release and DVD edition, but probably won't get one.

There are some other works that will probably get some attention. This will be the 50th anniversary of West Side Story, requiring people to point out patiently, once again, that the original Broadway production was not a failure and the Broadway cast album alone sold a million copies. Also it's the 25th anniversary year of Cheers -- reunion, anyone?

What are some books, movies, shows, anything that are in for their 50th or 25th this year?

Meanwhile enjoy a clip from Rock Hunter and be glad that Joan Blondell was cast in this scene instead of Fox's original choice, Thelma Ritter.


Anonymous said...

It's an 80th rather than a 25th or 50th anniversary, but we're supposed to get Jolson's Jazz Singer this year.

Anonymous said...

Of course, they also do 30 year anniversaries, and there's a lot of talk of a 30th anniversary set of Star Wars. (Yes, already).

Anonymous said...

isn't 1957 the year of vertigo?