Arrow Video, with domestic sales and marketing expertise provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has a new 2K restoration (from the original film elements) of writer/director John Milius’ 1973 cult gangster classic, Dillinger, ready for release as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack on Apr. 26.
American International Pictures — James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff — had the luck of the Irish with Dillinger. Milius was on fire as a screenwriter during the early 1970s and could have taken his script for the film to any of the major studios — Warner Bros. was over the moon with such scripts as Magnum Force and Jeremiah Johnson — but Milius wanted to move behind the camera and direct.
AIP gave him that chance. They were not disappointed, Dillinger turned out to be an A-list film in every aspect … from the script, to the cast, which toplined Warren Oates as John Dillinger and Ben Johnson as his nemesis, FBI agent Melvin Purvis, to the final production (filmed on location), which was released during the summer of 1973.
Other cast members included Richard Dreyfuss as Baby Face Nelson (American Graffiti would be released theatrically several weeks after Dillinger), Harry Dean Stanton, Geoffrey Lewis, Michelle Phillips and Cloris Leachman as the “Lady in Red.”
As to bonus goodies for the Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack release of Dillinger from Arrow Video, there are three newly-prepared video sessions — one featuring producer Lawrence Gordon (Oscar-nominated for Field of Dreams, plus such films as Die Hard, 48 Hrs., Predator and Boogie Nights); the second features Jules Brenner, the director of photography (Helter Skelter, Outlaw Blues, The Return of the Living Dead, etc.) and lastly, Barry De Vorzon (Oscar-nominated for Bless the Beasts & Children, plus such films as The Warriors, Xanadu, Bobbie Jo and the Outlaw, etc.) who composed the music for the film.
Author and film critic Stephen Prince (“The Warrior's Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa,” “Savage Cinema: Sam Peckinpah and the Rise of Ultraviolent Movies”) provides commentary and there is a photo gallery.