Trailer: The Magnificent Seven (and the Earlier Versions)

Posted on April 29, 2016 at 3:10 pm

Denzel Washington, Vincent D’Onofrio, Matt Bomer, Ethan Hawke, Vinnie Jones, Peter Sarsgaard, and Chris Pratt star in the remake of “The Magnificent Seven,” and they’ve released a teaser trailer:

This is a good reminder to catch up on the two earlier versions, both excellent. The 1960 all-star Western with Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner, James Coburn, and Charles Bronson has one of the best-remembered scores of all time, by Elmer Bernstein.

It was based on the brilliant “Seven Samurai” from director Akira Kurosawa.

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For Your Netflix Queue Original Version Trailers, Previews, and Clips

The Jungle Book: Original Versions

Posted on April 16, 2016 at 3:35 pm

This week’s splendid new “Jungle Book” from Disney may inspire families to check out the books that inspired it by Rudyard Kipling. Children may prefer his “Just-So” stories and “Rikki-tikki-tavi,” about a curious mongoose who saves the day.

Families may also want to watch the original live action version of the story, starring Sabu.

Or Disney’s 1994 live action version, starring Jason Scott Lee and “Games of Thrones” star Lena Headey.

And of course there is the classic Disney animated version, the last film personally supervised by Walt Disney himself, with some of the all-time best Sherman Brothers songs. Like the new film directed by Jon Favreau, this version has outstanding voice talent, including Sebastian Cabot (Bagheera the panther), George Sanders (Shere Kahn the tiger), and Sterling Holloway (also the voice of Winnie the Pooh) as Kaa the snake.

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Based on a book Movie Mom’s Top Picks for Families Original Version Rediscovered Classic Talking animals

Original Version: The Man from UNCLE

Posted on August 13, 2015 at 3:24 pm

This week’s 1960’s spy story, “The Man from UNCLE” is based on a television series from the 1964-68 of the same name. It was inspired by the James Bond films, and Bond creator Ian Fleming even contributed to the original concept, including coming up with the names Napoleon Solo and April Dancer (who would appear in the spin-off, “The Girl from UNCLE”). After a decade of westerns, spies were everywhere on television in the mid-60’s, from the very serious (“Secret Agent”) to the very silly (“Get Smart”). “The Man from UNCLE” was glamorous, witty, and sexy, like the Robert Culp/Bill Cosby series “I Spy.”

In the series, Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn of “The Magnificent Seven,” which is also being remade) teamed up with a Soviet spy named Ilya Kuryakin (David McCallum, now better known as Duckie on “NCIS”). UNCLE stands for United Network Command for Law and Enforcement and is a super-secret CIA-ish sort of enterprise with an international reach. The headquarters was reached by going through a tailor shop (this year’s “Kingsman: The Secret Service” paid tribute to that). The boss spy is a Brit played by Leo G. Carroll. The idea that an American and a Soviet would join forces was very daring in the midst of the Cold War, but they had a mutual enemy known as THRUSH, a super-powerful force bent on total world domination.

Here’s the original opening credits.

It was so popular that it inspired some feature films with the same cast.

Guest stars included Nancy Sinatra:

Here’s a look behind the scenes.

And Vaughn discusses his role:

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Based on a television show Original Version Spies
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