PBS To Release Third Classic Reading Rainbow Compilation This Winter

Courtesy:  PBS/PBS Distribution

Courtesy: PBS/PBS Distribution

Reading Rainbow (the classic Reading Rainbow) returns again this winter with another new collection of classic episodes.

PBS and PBS Distribution will release Reading Rainbow: Miss Nelson is Back in stores and online on Tuesday, January 12th. The series’ latest collection of classic episodes, its third so far, this collection will include four more classic episodes. Each episode will be presented in its entirety exactly as it was presented in its original broadcast. In this latest collection LeVar meets famed magician Harry Blackstone while comedian/actress Ruth Buzzi reads the timeless children’s book Miss Nelson Is Back. The story, written by James Marshall and Henry Allard, follows its title character as she pretends to be out sick, only to return as the vile Viola Swamp in order to get her students to behave. Little do they know that Viola is in fact Miss Nelson. That is just one of the great stories featured in this collection. Naomi Judd reads Our Big Home, which connects to LeVar’s trip to the United Nations. The two work together to discuss how everyone in the world is connected and it turn presents a message about peace. Veteran actress Helen Mirren is also included in this collection as she reads How To Make Apple Pie and See the World. This story follows a woman who goes to great lengths in order to get the ingredients that she needs for an apple pie. Those lengths tie this episode back in to the previous episode in which LeVar takes a trip to the United Nations building in New York. In the set’s final episode, young audiences get to go on a train ride with LeVar while actor Brian Dennehy reads Kate Shelley and the Midnight Express. As with the previous episode, one could argue that this episode ties into its predecessor considering the travelling. The episode’s featured story follows its title character as she witnesses a train crash and has to rush to the nearest train station to get help. All four episodes are just as great for today’s youth as for those that were themselves kids in the episodes’ original broadcasts. And audiences of all ages can watch them together when the DVD is released in stores and online on Tuesday, January 12th.

Reading Rainbow: Miss Nelson is Back will retail for MSRP of $6.99. It can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=80523506&cp=&kw=reading+rainbow+miss+nelson+is+back&origkw=reading+rainbow+miss+nelson+is+back&sr=1. More information on this and other titles from PBS and PBS Distribution is available online now at:


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MPI, Cohen Media Group Making Their Name With Their Latest Uncovered Classic

Courtesy:  Cohen Media Group/mpi media group

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group/mpi media group

The partnership between Turner Classic Movies and Warner Home Video has made the two companies leaders in re-issuing cinema classics.  Universal Studios is a close second thanks to the recent re-issues of Cape Fear, its Alfred Hitchcock Essentials collection, and it Universal Monsters collection. Now two more companies are staking their claim in the classic movie world.  Those companies are Virgil Films and Cohen Media Group.  Early in 2013, the two companies partnered for the release of what is one of the single greatest classics of all time in the Thief of Bagdad.  Now months later, they have released an even lesser known classic in Perfect Understanding.

The plot of Perfect Understanding rests in the agreement between Swanson’s Judy and Olivier’s Nicholas that could be equated to an open marriage.  Right off the top, it’s obvious just how original this is, considering social norms and values of America in the early 1930s.  The agreement between the couple is meant in order to break the trend that the couple sees among its friends.  Neither wants to end up like their friends.  Ironically enough, it is because of the agreement that the couple reaches the point of its friends.  The ensuing story is unlike anything that fans of the rom-com genre have seen since.  It’s obviously not just another typical boy meets girl-loses her-gets her back in the end story.  It’s almost Shakespearian in a way when one really goes back through the story a couple of times and analyzes it at a much deeper level.  It should also be noted here that despite a run time of an hour and half, the story actually moves along at a relatively easy pace.  This, along with the largely original story is another positive to this unearthed gem of a classic film.

For a film of its era and its style, Perfect Understanding could very well have been much longer and less able to relate to viewers, even today.  Luckily, it didn’t do that.  And roughly eight decades after it premiered it’s still as funny today as it was in its premiere.  Taking into account the film’s age, it’s incredible that it still sounds and looks as good as it does to this day.  What audiences see and hear is largely what audiences heard when the film first premiered so long ago.  It is a true testament to those charged with restoring the film to its original glory.  And now thanks to those individuals, a whole new generation of film buffs can enjoy this rare classic.

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