Universal Pictures to Celebrate Centennial with Restorations of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, FRANKENSTEIN, JAWS, DRACULA, and More

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Universal Pictures has been around for 100 years and to celebrate their 10-carat diamond anniversary, the studio has big plans for 2012.  The most exciting aspect of this celebration is the studio’s plan to restore and release 13 of their classic titles including All Quiet on the Western Front, The Birds, Buck Privates, Dracula (1931) , Frankenstein, Jaws, Schindler’s List, Out of Africa, Pillow Talk, Bride of Frankenstein, The Sting, and To Kill a MockingbirdTo Kill a Mockingbird will be the first out the gate with the release of the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy combo pack on January 31st.  The restorations will also be released as a limited edition collector’s set, and near the end of the year we can look forward to Blu-ray releases for Universal’s Classic Monster and Alfred Hitchcock series.  Here’s hoping the restorations are worthy of their movies.

Hit the jump for the full press release, which also includes info on Universal’s planned events and promotions for their centennial celebration.

universal-pictures-100th-anniversary-logoHere’s the press release:

UNIVERSAL PICTURES CELEBRATES 100 YEARS OF MOVIE MEMORIES

WITH YEARLONG CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION

100th Anniversary Activities Include Major Film Restoration, New Logo Unveiling, Home Entertainment Offerings, Theme Park Celebrations, Signature Events and

Sweeping Social Media Campaign

Los Angeles, January 10, 2012 – Universal will mark its 100th anniversary in 2012, and will commemorate its centennial with a yearlong celebration honoring the studio’s rich film history and cultural legacy. The campaign draws its inspiration from Universal’s extraordinary and diverse library of films, many of which will be highlighted throughout the year, and is designed to engage fans of all ages in the art of moviemaking.

A significant element of the centennial includes the extensive restoration of 13 of the studio’s most beloved titles such as To Kill a Mockingbird, All Quiet on the Western Front, Jaws, The Sting, Out of Africa, Frankenstein and Schindler’s List.

to-kill-a-mockingbird-50th-anniversary-blu-ray-cover-artUniversal Studios Home Entertainment will kick off the celebration in January with a special 50th anniversary release of To Kill a Mockingbird, debuting on Blu-rayTM for the first time ever. Throughout the year, Universal will pay tribute to other influential films in the Universal library with special events and Blu-rayTM releases of such iconic classics as Jaws and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, which celebrates its 30th anniversary.

Universal will reveal an updated animated logo tied to the centennial. The animated logo will make its first appearance in front of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax at its premiere in February, and for that film’s U.S. theatrical release on March 2nd. (The new static version of this logo is unveiled today and is featured at the top of this release.) Other activities surrounding the studio’s 100th anniversary include a vibrant social media campaign, special events, theme park activities, promotions and many surprises to engage fans throughout the yearlong celebration.

“This is a proud moment for all of us who’ve had the privilege of working at Universal Pictures,” said Ron Meyer, Universal Studios President and COO. “Our centennial is designed to bring special memories back to longtime movie lovers and fans, and to engage new audiences with our extraordinary library of films for the first time. Our goal, 100 years later, is to preserve, restore and continue the iconic legacy of this studio for generations to come.”

Fans and film enthusiasts can start celebrating online today at the official Universal Centennial website, http://Universal100th.com, a one-stop destination dedicated to Universal’s 100 years. The site, as well as a number of social media platforms, will bring the centennial to life online. Universal will be sharing archival content on its brand new Tumblr (http://universal100.tumblr.com/); fans of Universal classics on Facebook will find exclusives and special opportunities across their favorite pages; followers of @UniversalPics on Twitter can find the activities using the hashtag #Universal100; Foursquare users who check in at iconic Universal locations such as the studio and theme parks will be able to unlock special behind-the-scenes tips and content; and for those who are followers of fashion, Universal’s Pinterest account (www.pinterest.com/universal) will be drawing inspiration from favorite films for everyone’s Pinboards, starting with 10 inaugural titles of pop-culture classics such as The Breakfast Club, Scarface, Sixteen Candles, Bridget Jones’s Diary and Bridesmaids. These online initiatives will roll out throughout various times of the year and will tie back to the Universal Centennial official site.

universal-pictures-studio-lot-entrance-100th-anniversary-imageIn the spring, select fans will have the opportunity to attend a special gala anniversary celebration on the lot featuring many of the filmmakers and artists who shaped the studios history. In addition, the studio will spotlight the 100th Anniversary throughout various worldwide film festivals and other featured events, panels and activities.

On April 30, 1912, Universal Film Manufacturing Company filed its certificate of incorporation with the state of New York. In 1915, Carl Laemmle officially opened Universal City, the largest film production facility in the world. Throughout Universal’s 100 years, the studio has served as a home for many of the most talented filmmakers of all time (such as Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis, Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard, Peter Jackson, Spike Lee, John Hughes and Judd Apatow)  and created films that have touched the hearts of millions and fueled culture’s fascination with cinema. To share the profound legacy of its artists, the studio will highlight their careers with touching personal stories from filmmakers, talent, crews, employees and fans.

Universal’s key centennial activities included throughout the anniversary year are as follows:

·         Major Film Restoration Commitment

Universal will restore 13 films over the course of the centennial year. The restoration effort includes the following films: All Quiet on the Western Front, The Birds, Buck Privates, Dracula (1931), Dracula Spanish (1931), Frankenstein, Jaws, Schindler’s List, Out of Africa, Pillow Talk, Bride of Frankenstein, The Sting and To Kill a Mockingbird.

all-quiet-on-the-western-front-blu-ray-cover-art·         Unveiling of New Logo

Universal will reveal an updated animated logo at the February premiere of the upcoming feature Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax and at that film’s U.S. theatrical debut on March 2, 2012.  The updated logo will be used on all Universal Pictures films going forward, and will be integrated into all aspects of the company’s business as well.

·         Home Entertainment

Universal Home Entertainment will be introducing a limited edition 100th Anniversary Collector’s Series featuring some of the aforementioned film restorations on Blu-rayTM in collectible, book-style packaging showcasing rare movie memorabilia and brand new 10-minute video featurettes. In addition, special collections will be released throughout the year, culminating in the highly anticipated Blu-rayTM releases of Universal’s Classic Monster and Alfred Hitchcock series. A selection of movies that have shaped Universal’s legacy will also be released in commemorative packaging, many of them on Blu-rayTM for the first time ever.

·         Theme Park Celebrations

Universal’s Parks and Resorts will help highlight the campaign with centennial specific content and merchandise throughout both the Orlando and Hollywood locations. The Orlando resort will soon announce a specially themed entertainment experience that will celebrate Universal’s heritage. At the iconic Hollywood park, the world-famous Studio Tour features expert guides that will take guests on a tour through 100 years of moviemaking history on the Universal Studios production backlot. Tours are conducted daily, visiting TV and movie sets ranging from the early Universal Studios monster film classics to current productions.

·         Website and Social Media Campaign

Universal will be engaging fans across multiple social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr (http://universal100.tumblr.com/) and Pinterest. At the center of all online initiatives lies a rich, robust website dedicated to all things related to the yearlong celebration of Universal’s 100th Anniversary. For more information, please visit http://Universal100th.com.




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  • Farzan

    Awesome, go Universal. Love the new logo too

  • Mr. Grimble

    How lucky are we that Universal found a reason to restore and release a few catalogue titles. We’ll probably have to wait for another 100 years to see more catlogue titles being released.

  • Robb

    Fantastic news about the restorations. Now if we could only get them to re-release a few of those classics on the big screen!

  • EV M

    Clicked thru to their new site and watched the celebration reel. Nice to see the love for the AMAZING STORIES theme, that show embodied Amblin at its best. I wish they’d incorporated more of Williams’ Spielberg scores into the promo though…maybe the exhilarating ‘barrels’ cue from JAWS?

  • Northern Star

    How about a full restoration of the criminally-underrated Sly Stallone 1981 classic ‘Nighthawks’ – a movie twenty years ahead of it’s time – including the reinstatement of the scenes cut out by diktat of the studio…

  • Sugreev2001

    Definitely buying Schindler’s List,To Kill a Mockingbird and the Two Frankenstein movies.

  • spectic

    Universal has pulled this PR stunt before, most likely these are old ‘restorations’ done for DVD years ago.

  • Kenneth Henderson

    Universal should hunt out and use on some titles in this year a short film made in 1912 or 1915 of the original studios with the early logo on the building. I have not seen this in, maybe, 40 years.

    Universal made a number of very good serials from the beginning and many survive and were very good. Some were reissued like other films with another company name as were the trailers(sometimes only these new trailers survived due to Universal destroying original negs & other elements about 1947 for silver content). It would be nice if they could get a couple out for this anniversary year, if they still have the story rights. Two that are rare they might have or access to if they still exist in some form are from the early 1930s: The Jade Box, and, Clancy of the Mounted(1933). Rumors are that they were recently found but the storyline on that has stalled for the past year. For their rarity they are much requested or searched for.

    There lesser, lighter, 30s & 40s product and shorts(musical) have not had much mileage in my lifetime but their Paramount pre-1948 acquisition did in the early days of TV in my country but not so good on DVD. Actually it was MCA that bought the Paramount pre-1948 features, but not the shorts or cartoons, and MCA bought Universal and so it goes on with Decca Records in that 1950s story.

    I sure would like to see some of those light Wartime musicals & comedies they made with the likes of Olsen & Johnson, Peggy Ryan & Donald O’Connor etc.

  • Eric M

    Very disappointing that one of the most beloved romantic films of all time, ‘Somewhere in Time’, didn’t make the list, even though it’s loyal fan base has patiently suffered through past “anniversary” DVD releases featuring scanned grainy film prints and a flat 2.0 Dolby mono soundtrack. What a shame for Universal not to include this beautifully shot film. I just don’t get the point of creating a Bluray from an old B&W movie with an original mono track! What, the whites look whiter and blacks will looker blacker? Geez…

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  • Shaun Taylor

    Have just seen the Jaws Bluray, great restoration! 7.1 sound is supurb as is the picture quality! Still won’t get in the water!!

  • Karen Perez

    Looking forward hopefully to some of the older Universal movies to be put on DVDs: “Indiscreet”
    “This Happy Feeling” “Rosie” “Romanoff and Juliet” “The Wild and The Innocent” & “Operation Petticoat” Not much these days that is good without being rated PG-13 or worse. YUCK! Need some good stories that aren’t offensive.
    Sincerely & Respectfully, Karen

  • Karen Perez

    Looking forward hopefully to some of the older Universal movies to be put on DVDs: \"Indiscreet\"
    \"This Happy Feeling\" \"Rosie\" \"Romanoff and Juliet\" \"The Wild and The Innocent\" & \"Operation Petticoat\" Not much these days that is good without being rated PG-13 or worse. YUCK! Need some good stories that aren\’t offensive.
    Sincerely & Respectfully, Karen

  • Karen Perez

    Looking forward hopefully to some of the older Universal movies to be put on DVDs: \\"Indiscreet\\"
    \\"This Happy Feeling\\" \\"Rosie\\" \\"Romanoff and Juliet\\" \\"The Wild and The Innocent\\" & \\"Operation Petticoat\\" Not much these days that is good without being rated PG-13 or worse. YUCK! Need some good stories that aren\\\’t offensive.
    Sincerely & Respectfully, Karen

  • Karen Perez

    Looking forward hopefully to some of the older Universal movies to be put on DVDs: \\\\"Indiscreet\\\\"
    \\\\"This Happy Feeling\\\\" \\\\"Rosie\\\\" \\\\"Romanoff and Juliet\\\\" \\\\"The Wild and The Innocent\\\\" & \\\\"Operation Petticoat\\\\" Not much these days that is good without being rated PG-13 or worse. YUCK! Need some good stories that aren\\\\\\\’t offensive.
    Sincerely & Respectfully, Karen

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