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Columbia Unveils Interactive DVD Classics

NEW YORK -Sony Pictures and Columbia TriStar Home Video are launching this month the first in a series of interactive value-added DVD movies covering some of the studio’s most popular movie classics.

The first title in the series-Bridge On The River Kwai , starring Alec Guiness and William Holden-will be released Nov. 21 and will include a widescreen anamorphic representation of the film’s original format.

Audio soundtracks are presented in both two-channel and 5.1-channel Dolby Digital surround sound, and users will be able to listen to a separate music-only portion of the disc.

Bridge On The River Kwai will be released in two versions. The first, an expanded Limited Edition offering carrying a $39.95 suggested retail price, will use a DVD-9 dual-layer disc format including interactive DVD-ROM features with maps, battle strategies and screen savers.

It will also be packaged with a second disc, encoded on a DVD-5 disc and offering an hour-long documentary on the making of the movie, an earlier featurette on the film called theRise and Fall Of A Jungle Giant , still photos, and other features. A 12-page booklet based on the original souvenir book will also be added.

A second DVD version of the title with only one disc will be released later at a $24.95 suggested retail price.

Yuen Chung, Columbia Tristar Home Video DVD marketing manager, said her company is working on a string of similarly featured Interactive classic movie titles to follow throughout the course of the year.

Columbia classics in the series will includeClose Encounters of the Third Kind ,From Here To Eternity ,Kramer vs. Kramer ,Lawrence of Arabia ,The Natural ,On the Waterfront andPassage To India .