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Lionsgate Honors John Wayne's 100th Birthday

26 Feb, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

In celebration of American movie icon John Wayne's 100th birthday (May 26), Lionsgate May 8 will release a series of double feature DVDs and special-edition gift sets.

Prebook is April 11.

The pre-Father's Day releases include a mix of war, action and westerns titles and will retail for $14.98 per double feature and $24.98 for each gift set.

The six separate double feature sets include Sands of Iwo Jima and Flying Tigers; Flame of Barbary Coast and Santa Fe Stampede; Westward Ho and The Fighting Kentuckian; The Fighting Seabees and Wake of the Red Witch; Dark Command and A Lady Takes a Chance; and Dakota and In Old California.

The John Wayne gift sets feature four films on one DVD.

The war, action, drama box set includes Tigers, Red Witch, Iwo Jima and a collector's edition of The Quiet Man — the latter a 1952 film that co-starred Maureen O'Hara and Barry Fitzgerald.

The westerns box set features Dakota, Fighting Kentuckian, Takes a Chance and a collector's edition of the 1950 film Rio Grande, from director John Ford.

Lionsgate decided to showcase Wayne buying back the Republic library of public domain titles from Paramount Pictures last year, according to Allison Levy, marketing brand manager.

“We knew his 100th birthday was coming up and it would be great retail promotion,” said Levy.

The DVDs and box sets will be marketed in corrugated displays with the emphasis on Wayne's iconic stature and the discs' retail value.

The actor holds the Hollywood record for number of leading roles with 142.

“We want retailers to know what a great deal the double features are,” Levy said.

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