Though the official anniversary is not until August, this year marks the FIFTIETH anniversary of the release of George Pal’s THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM (1962). It was released in the oft maligned Cinerama format, which was basically 3 screens – two of which, one on the left and one on the right, were curved around the sides of the theatre to give a full perspective feel. Unlike other attempts in the format, George Pal filmed it on one camera, and the prints were modified. The previous attempts at the format used THREE cameras and the screens had to be synced up. I can’t even imagine the nightmares a non digital projectionist had trying to DO that.
At any rate, There was a laser disk release quite a few years ago, but it was not the full screen image and was missing several parts, such as the brief prologue, the overture, intermission and entr’acte. The version that’s aired on TCM has all of those back, PLUS the full image, but the sides are a little warped, because those parts were never intended to be seen ‘straight on’. I KNOW there’s software that can easily fix that distortion. So let’s PLEASE see this come out this year.
It’s fairly common knowledge that I’m a huge fan of George Pal’s work. He was a pioneer of the outer space science fiction film, inspiring many. DESTINATION MOON (1950) was creating a huge buzz when it was being made, with mainstream articles in many magazines and TV interviews. His CONQUEST OF SPACE (1955) featured a funeral in outer space. Gene Roddenberry stated on film (THE FANTASY FILM WORLDS OF GEORGE PAL (1985)) that Director Nicholas Meyer was inspired by that scene when he planned Spock’s funeral scene in STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN (1982).
His fantasy films are wonderful as well. I’ve already reviewed 7 FACES OF DR. LAO (1964) and tom thumb (1958) here. They’ll soon be joined by reviews of DOC SAVAGE, THE MAN OF BRONZE (1974) and ATLANTIS THE LOST CONTINENT (1961).
We have most of his work on DVD, but currently, BROTHERS GRIMM has NEVER been released on DVD and THE NAKED JUNGLE (1954) and WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE (1951) are both out of print from Paramount at this time. Considering that CONQUEST OF SPACE was released nearly at the same time as NAKED JUNGLE (also from Paramount), I wouldn’t be surprised if it was soon out of print as well.
So can we find out if we can get all of George Pal’s work out there for all to enjoy?