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The Message & Lion of the Desert Blu-rays

Posted August 16, 2013 10:43 PM by Webmaster

Anchor Bay EntertainmentAnchor Bay Entertainment and Trancas International Films have announced the Classic Collector's Edition Blu-ray releases of director Moustapha Akkad's The Message (1976), starring Anthony Quinn and Irene Papas, and Lion of the Desert (1980), starring Quinn and Oliver Reed. Each historical epic makes its U.S. high definition debut on November 12th.

Official Synopsis: Courage. Destiny. History. To some, these are but mere words. For a rare few, they are just beginning of a heroic journey towards fulfilling a greater purpose. Featuring some of Hollywood's greatest stars, including Anthony Quinn, Rod Steiger, Oliver Reed, John Gielgud and Irene Papas, The Message and Lion of the Desert were written by H.A.L. Craig.

Beginning in 7th century Mecca, The Message tells the conflict between its powerful leaders and Muhammad, who attacks the greed and cruelty rife in this profligate community. After a revelation from God, Muhammad takes up arms against Mecca. Muhammad came to be known as the prophet, the servant, and the bearer of good tidings, and unified Arabia under one religion, one God, preaching the Message. ("The makers of this film honor the Islamic tradition, which holds that the impersonation of the Prophet offends against the spirituality of his message. Therefore, the person of Mohammad is not shown.")

Lion of the Desert begins in 1929: Benito Mussolini (Steiger) has been at war with Bedouin patriots for decades, the point of contention being the Italian colonization of Libya. Mussolini has appointed General Rodolfo Graziani (Reed) as governor to Libya, confident that he can crush the rebellion. However, Omar Mukhtar (Quinn) a teacher and humanist, yet skilled in desert warfare has assumed leadership of the resistance. Led by Mukhtar, the Bedouin troops fight on horseback, using guerrilla tactics against the formidable forces of the Italian Army.

Both films are presented in 1080p with DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround. Special features have yet to be detailed.


Source: Blu-ray.com | Permalink | United States [Country settings]

News comments (8 comments)


Dvd Aficionado
 - Aug 16, 2013

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I've been waiting for LION OF THE DESERT since the UK release is region locked.

However, I'm pretty sure that the o.a.r. of LION OF THE DESERT presented on the US disc will be identical with that on the UK disc, which is incorrect :-(

Well, at least it's on blu-ray.

Nailwraps
 - Aug 17, 2013

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Alright Anchor Bay!!!

Hopefully they'll present Lion Of The Desert in it's correct 2.35:1 ratio this time (the DVD was cropped to 1.78:1 for no reason).

fpas
 - Aug 17, 2013

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The UK blu-ray edition of Lion even is 1:1.78, also released by Anchor Bay. So I hope they do it right this time. Fingers crossed. But I suspect....

deadhatetheliving
 - Aug 17, 2013

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With ever new announcement I am more and more disappointed by Anchor Bay...Well, besides Halloween 35th Anniversary.

EricJ
 - Aug 17, 2013

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The Message...Is that the movie where Muhammad is depicted as Harvey, the Invisible Prophet?

PT Ryan
 - Aug 18, 2013

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Interested to see if The Message comes with both versions of the film (with different casts, in English and Arabic).

ditcin
 - Aug 18, 2013

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I remember being in the theater with my brother to see THE SENTINEL when we first saw the trailer for what is now call, THE MESSAGE. Originally it was entitled, MUHAMMAD: MESSENGER OF GOD. We were excited only because it looked so grand and epic - also because my brother was history major. (He was offered to teach and Hunter University and later offered a position with the Federal Government to work in foreign American embassies) We never did get to see since it was taken out of the theaters due to bomb threats in other parts of the world and especially when a NY theater was taken hostage by savage Muslims (big surprise!) because the film contained "the prophet's" name and were against his story being told in the film - yet the producer/director was Muslim. Anyway. That was 1977 and not much has changed - and I bet most thought the attack on the Twin Towers was the first terrorist attack on America, let alone NY. NOT. These people have always been wacky my brother always stated.

bboisvert
 - Aug 18, 2013

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FANTATIC news. I'd be happy to retire my DVDs of these two...


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