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Friday, May 27, 2016

Olive Films Releases Campy Cult Sensation, Still-Relevant "Blaxploitation" Drama, and Classic British Film Noir

CHICAGO, IL – Olive Films, a boutique theatrical and home entertainment distribution label dedicated to bringing independent, foreign, and classic films to DVD and Blu-ray, is excited to announce that June 21st will be the Blu-ray debut of seven films including the campy cult sensation I’ll Take Sweden (1965), Laurence Fishburne’s still-relevant film debut Cornbread, Earl, and Me (1974), and the British film noir Appointment with Crime (1947).

“We're ecstatic about the wide array of June offerings. I’ll Take Sweden is pure cult classic fun at its campiest, and we hope the Blu-ray gives it a new life,” said Alex Kopecky of Olive Films. “Even though it’s been over 40 years since Cornbread, Earl, and Me was released, its themes are more relevant than ever. Another great offering this month, Appointment with Crime sheds light on the often underappreciated but fascinating world of British film noir.”


This 1965 Bob Hope feature flaunts the star comedian’s attempt to appeal to young audiences and create a socially relevant film. A well-meaning misfire in both of those categories, this film has gone down in history as a cult classic of ultimate 1960’s camp. Among these attempts to be relevant, the film features former teen idols Tuesday Weld and Frankie Avalon as hip young characters and tries to take on contemporary hot-button issues of premarital sex and free-loving society.

Audiences cite several of the movie's aspects as the best sources of campy delight. Some love how Bob Hope always appears either with a hat or under strategically cast shadows to conceal his receding hairline. Others point to the obviously-not-Sweden filming locations, with California scenery and boat registrations clearly visible. But really, it’s a culmination of the corny one-liners, musical numbers, and out-of-touch themes that lend the film its irresistible campy charm. Olive Films brings it to Blu-ray for the first time ever and to a new DVD on June 21.


Another film receiving its Blu-ray debut and a new DVD from Olive Films in June is Cornbread, Earl and Me, the first feature with then-age-13 Laurence Fishburne (as Laurence Fishburne III), also starring Tierre Turner, basketball star Jamaal Wilkes (as Keith Wilkes), Moses Gunn, Rosalind Cash, Madge Sinclair, and Antonio Fargas. In the film, Chicago adolescents are forced to face adulthood early when their idolized friend is shot dead by police after being mistaken for a criminal. With the courtroom proceedings that follow, this film provides a devastatingly relevant 1974 perspective on the stories that seem to be now on the news every day.

Olive Films also invites reviewers and audiences to join the debate as to whether or not Cornbread, Earl and Me qualifies as “Blaxploitation” cinema. On one hand, the film contains no over-the-top action, and it does not present the racial "us vs them" themes typical of the genre. On the other hand, the cast contains many classic Blaxploitation actors as well as a quintessential soundtrack with an original song by The Blackbyrds.


Appointment with Crime, another Blu-ray debut and DVD offering from Olive Films this June, represents an often-overlooked genre of British film noir. While American film noir draws heavily from German expressionism, many scholars have pointed to French poetic realism as the greater inspiration to the style of British film noir. The heightened aestheticism that defined poetic realism is certainly present in the 1947 film directed by John Harlow and starring William Hartnell, Robert Beatty, Joyce Howard, Raymond Lovell, and Herbert Lom.

About Olive Films

Olive Films is a Chicago-based boutique theatrical and home entertainment distribution label dedicated to bringing independent, foreign, documentary, and classic films to life. Its catalog boasts over 500 titles ranging from Hollywood classics to contemporary titles. More information about Olive Films may be found at

Other Olive Films June Titles

Blu-ray debut of If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969), directed by Mel Stuart, starring Suzanne Pleshette, Ian McShane, Murray Hamilton, Mildred Natwick, Peggy Cass, Norman Fell, and Vittorio De Sica with cameo appearances by John Cassavetes, Ben Gazzara, Joan Collins, Anita Ekberg, Senta Berger, and Robert Vaughn.

Blu-ray debut of The Return of a Man Called Horse (1976), directed by Irvin Kershner, starring Richard Harris, Gale Sondergaard, Geoffrey Lewis, and William Lucking, photographed by Owen Roizman.

Blu-ray debut of Stagecoach (1986), directed by Ted Post, starring Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Elizabeth Ashley, Waylon Jennings, John Schneider, Anthony Newley, and Anthony Franciosa, with appearances by Merritt Butrick, Mary Crosby, June Carter Cash, Jessi Colter, and David Allan Coe.

Blu-ray debut of A Home of Our Own (1993), directed by Tony Bill, starring Kathy Bates, Edward Furlong, and Soon-Tek Oh.


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