No official release date yet, but Amazon.com has a pre-order page and publicity material for the 70th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray restoration of Citizen Kane, with a new DVD remaster of The Magnificent Ambersons set to be released simultaneously. Ambersons is currently OOP in the US and the UK edition is rather shabby, so let’s hope they’ve found a good source negatives for the new transfer. (Though don’t get your hopes up — it’s still gonna only be 88 minutes.) The Kane Box set appears to include the PBS documentary The Battle Over Citizen Kane from in the current DVD set, as well as RKO 281, the HBO behind-the-scenes dramatization of the film’s production, (with Liev Schrieber as Orson Welles, James Cromwell as Hearst, and John Malkovich as Herman Mankiewicz.) Looks like assorted reproduction lobby cards, booklets and other doodads will jack up the price to 80 bucks for the whole shebang. (what? No snowglobe?) The pre-order cost of $55.99 will save you $5 off buying Ambersons separately.
These past 2 days, I’ve been in Blu-ray nirvana. It’s also been tentatively announced that Arrow Academy in the UK will be issuing a Blu-ray edition of Bertolucci’s The Conformist later this year — one of my all-time favorites films which was honored with a special screening in Cannes yesterday afternoon. Arrow’s first forays in the Blu zone with Diabolique and The Bicycle Thieves have been impressively comparable to Criterion editions with a wealth of special features, but unfortunate cropping on all 4 sides of Diabolique has me holding off to wait for the Criterion in a few short weeks.
If I had to guess on a release date for the Citizen Kane box set, Tuesday September 6th would be sweet. September 5th, 1941 is the day Kane opened across the US in 1941.