Charles S. Cohen, Chairman and CEO of the Cohen Media Group, today announced the arrival of the COHEN FILM COLLECTION – a world-renowned collection of rare cinematic gems, which will be meticulously restored and enhanced for generations to come. COHEN FILM COLLECTION (formerly The Rohauer Library), will include more than 700 films – from enduring Hollywood classics to foreign masterpieces and seminal avant-garde works – which will undergo complete digital restoration so that the best possible versions of these historic films are available across all platforms of delivery. Many of these films will be theatrically re-released, while others will join the Collection on Blu-ray and DVD.
The first release from The Collection, Tristana, is currently in theaters and will be debuting on Blu-ray and DVD this March. Coming to Blu-ray and DVD on February 19, 2013, will be The Thief of Bagdad, Douglas Fairbanks’ 1924 fantasy epic that marked a new peak for action cinema during the silent era. The Thief of Bagdad has been digitally restored in 2k from two 35mm negatives incorporating color tints and tones of the original release prints. Featuring state-of-the-art sound, the Carl Davis orchestral score and accompanied by audio commentary and numerous extras, The Thief of Bagdad Blu-ray and DVD release will set the standard for the other films to come from The Collection.
The COHEN FILM COLLECTION is truly vast in scope, ranging from the silent era to sound, from musical and comedy shorts to features, and from experimental works to British and foreign-language classics. The collection contains bodies of work by a roster of singular artists such as Buster Keaton, D.W. Griffith, Rudolph Valentino, Vivien Leigh and Harry Langdon. Many titles in the collection are rare; the collection has the only known materials for some films.
Exclusive licenses and contracts bring to the Collection original nitrate elements camera negatives, prints and other materials unavailable elsewhere, to assure the best High Definitions transfers possible.
Highlights of The COHEN FILM COLLECTION include:
- The General (1926). The Collection has the original nitrate camera negative of Buster Keaton’s Civil War comic masterpiece and is creating, in partnership with The Library of Congress, a 4K scan from a safety fine-grain positive master newly struck for the restoration. The Collection also includes Keaton’s Sherlock Jr., Our Hospitality, The Navigator, Go West and dozens of his remarkable short films.
- Intolerance (1916). D.W. Griffith’s awe-inspiring epic is receiving a 2K restoration that will include an orchestral score by world renowned composer Carl Davis. Other Griffith masterworks in the Collection include The Birth of a Nation (both the 1915 original and the 1930 cut), Broken Blossoms, Way Down East, Orphans of the Storm and many of the groundbreaking shorts directed by the “Father of Film.”
- Sudden Fear (1952). David Miller’s film noir, starring Joan Crawford and Jack Palance, is receiving a 2K restoration.
- L’Etoile de Mer (1928). This and other experimental shorts by the avant-garde photographer Man Ray will be released.
- Hangmen Also Die (1943). The Collection is working with Britain’s Pinewood Studios on a 2K restoration of this Fritz Lang film that will reinstate a short sequence not in the version currently available here.
- Song of Freedom (1936). One of six films in the Collection starring the singer-actor-activist Paul Robeson.
- Son of the Sheik (1926). Rudolph Valentino’s last film is being restored from nitrate material held at the Library of Congress. Valentino’s Blood and Sand and The Eagle are also in the Collection.
- Jamaica Inn (1939). The Collection will restore this period adventure, the last film Alfred Hitchcock made in England before moving to Hollywood and his first adaptation of a tale by Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca, The Birds).
- Fire Over England (1937). This historical drama marked the first screen pairing of Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier and is being restored to honor, in 2013, the 100th anniversary of Leigh’s birth. It’s one of four Leigh films in the Collection.
- The Strong Man (1926). Frank Capra’s first feature film stars Harry Langdon, generally regarded as one of the quartet of great silent-screen comics along with Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd (all of whom are also represented in the Collection). One of 14 Langdon films in the Collection.
- Douglas Fairbanks films. In addition to The Thief of Bagdad, the Collection includes such early Fairbanks titles as The Lamb and Double Trouble, both from 1915, as well as his later adventure classics The Mark of Zorro, The Three Musketeers, Robin Hood and The Black Pirate. Among the dozens of Fairbanks titles in the Collection is The Taming of the Shrew, a screen pairing of Fairbanks and his wife, “America’s Sweetheart” Mary Pickford.
- Musical shorts featuring priceless performances by Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Hoagy Carmichael, Bessie Smith, Rudy Vallee and Ethel Merman.
- The largest collection of surviving films starring the Talmadge sisters Norma and Constance, huge and powerful stars in the silent era, but largely forgotten today.
- Comedy shorts with W.C. Fields, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Robert Benchley and Milton Berle, among others.
- Forty years of British films, from the 1930s to the 1960s.
Under the stewardship, and guided by the vision of Charles S. Cohen, the preservation and restoration of the many classics in this unique film library will ensure that they are available to be enjoyed by generations to come. Through strategic partnerships with the most prestigious archives in the United States and abroad, titles will be selected on an ongoing basis to undergo the complete digital restoration.