Just in time for Father’s Day, Warner Brothers Home Video breaks the news that one of the ultimate “guy movies” ever made, John Sturges‘ Cold War thriller ICE STATION ZEBRA, is finally debuting on Blu-ray this October. Starring Rock Hudson, Ernest Borgnine, Patrick McGoohan and Jim Brown headline the cast of this fictional 1968 face-off between American and the Russkies on and below the frozen Arctic Circle at the top of the world. Based on the best-selling 1963 novel by spymaster author Alistair Maclean, this taut tale of espionage hinges on a crashed spy satellite near the North Pole and the Cold War conflict as East and West race to retrieve it first to gain the secrets locked inside.
While ICE STATION ZEBRA is not a perfect film by any means, its legacy cast a long cinematic shadow, as fans of Tom Clancy’s THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER (both novel and film adaptation) pay homage to several moments from the Hudson vehicle. Reportedly, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes watched the film over 150 times in the final years of his life, while other famous fans like director John Carpenter consider it a favorite guilty pleasure. There is an undeniable sense of espionage cool in the first half of the 148-minute film, thanks largely to McGoohan’s performance as an intimidating British agent clashing with Hudson’s no-nonsense sub captain. As passengers and crew make a perilous journey under the frozen Arctic ice caps to the titular weather station where the satellite’s crashed, dramatic and political tensions mount as suspicion and sabotage endanger the mission and perhaps the world.
This grand epic, shot in SuperPanavision70 and matched by Michel Legrand’s equally epic original score, has begged to be released on high-definition Blu-ray disc for years, and Warner will grant that wish when ICE STATION ZEBRA streets October 9, 2012. Warner Brothers lists a suggested retail price of $19.98 in their announcement product sheet.
While ICE STATION ZEBRA on Blu-ray is not yet available for pre-order via Amazon.com, interested viewers and fans can sign up for email alerts when the disc pre-order goes live.
Currently FilmEdge has no specific disc details on the Blu-ray release, but it’s probably a safe guess that the standard definition bonus features included on the 2005 DVD release will port over for the Blu-ray edition, including a vintage making-of featurette and trailer gallery. FilmEdge will update news on this release as it becomes available.