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Sony Pictures to Bow ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ Q&A Through BD Live

Robert Benton and Justin Henry

By Chris Tribbey | Posted: 18 Feb 2009

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — For the Blu-ray Disc release of Kramer vs. Kramer, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment got creative.

The day the Blu-ray hit stores, the studio hosted a screening of the film at the Fine Arts Theatre as part of Hollywood’s Finest — Live series. After the screening, writer-director Robert Benton and actor Justin Henry held a question and answer session with fans of the film in the audience. Sony will add those interviews in a five- or six-part series to its BD Live network in early March.

“I’m very anxious to see this, to see what it’s going to look like with this kind of quality,” Benton said of the Blu-ray picture. He added that he got his first Blu-ray player for Christmas.

“The resolution and quality is terrific,” he said. “It’s a resolution better than film. I never thought anything could be better than film.”

It’s been 30 years since Kramer vs. Kramer — an ahead-of-its time drama about a newly divorced father (Dustin Hoffman) in a custody battle with his ex-wife (Meryl Streep) —wowed the nation and won five Academy Awards, including best picture. Henry was only 7 years old when a casting director plucked him out of school for the part of Billy Kramer.

“I’m amazed at how well it’s held up,” he said. “The more I see the movie, the more I think Meryl’s performance stands out.”

Benton, who shared stories about how he just barely got Hoffman to take the role, and how awful the first version of the script was received, said he never could have predicted the critical success heaped on the film.

“I don’t think you could make it today, because there’s been a tremendous shift in film,” he said. “When this film was made, studios were still owned and run by entrepreneurs.

“It was the movie we all wanted to make … about our own frailties as a parent. About how flawed we all were.”

Added Henry, “It was really about going there and having fun, playing in the sandbox with Dustin Hoffman.”

The release includes a comprehensive making-of featurette.

Jason Allen, director of worldwide publicity for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment; Robert Benton, writer and director of Kramer vs. Kramer; and actor Justin Henry at the Hollywood's Finest — Live screening of Kramer vs. Kramer in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Feb. 17.


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