A&E’s history lesson

Cabler unspools Welles remake in January

A&E focuses on 1918 in the upcoming weeks with a pair of dramatic features.

Sunday’s “The Lost Battalion,” starring Rick Schroder as an American Army major, is set during the decisive World War I Argonne Forest battle. The film details the story of several hundred young British soldiers who were trapped by German troops while being bombarded by U.S. friendly fire. Russell Mulcahy directs.

On Jan. 3, A&E will unspool a remake of Orson Welles’ 1942 film “The Magnificent Ambersons,” which was based on Booth Tarkington’s 1918 Pulitzer-winning novel. The updated tale about the decline of a powerful Midwestern family stars Madeleine Stowe, Bruce Greenwood, James Cromwell, Jennifer Tilly and Gretchen Mol, and is directed by Alfonso Arau.

“We shot Orson Welles’ script,” says Allen Sabinson, A&E’s senior VP, programming. “We didn’t hire a new writer. The script was a work of art, but the (original) movie was not.”

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