A Few Words About A few words about...™ Lubitsch Musicals

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Robert Harris, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The Criterion "Eclipse" series of films is a new line of products of Criterion quality, but without the long established addition of Criterion extras.

    One such release that caught my eye is number 8 in the series -- four very important early musicals directed by Ernst Lubitsch for Paramount between 1929 and 1932, that in many ways set the stage for many that were to follow from other filmmakers.

    All in their proper aspect ratios, and looking better than they have in decades are: The Love Parade, Monte Carlo, The Smiling Lieutenant and One Hour with You. The players include Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald (before she made her move to M-G-M), Claudette Colbert and Miriam Hopkins.

    For those with an interest in quality early talkies and the history of the cinema, this set -- with each film nicely packaged in single slim packs -- is a major release.

    Available on line at around $45 for the set, this is also a Criterion bargain.

    Highly Recommended.

    RAH
     
  2. haroldS

    haroldS Stunt Coordinator

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    I presume they are under license from Universal. And I agree about the quality of the set. Universal, is acting a lot like Paramount now, rather then issuing never released titles, even as part of the Franchise Collection, they are triple dipping titles, like the recent "Imitation of Life". Wouldn't it be better if they admit their lack of interest in the 1930s and 1940s titles and license other companies, like Image and Criterion, to have an opportunity to release them?
     
  3. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I have all four on my Netflix queue out of curiosity. On TCM, I caught the tail end of The Smiling Lieutenant and it looked like fun.

    Universal deserves a bit of slack, though. They did release a lot of good Franchise Collection sets last year with new titles, as well as the Cinema Classics line. Maybe their low output has to do with their remastering efforts since they usually put out some stunning DVDs, even if there's not many extras. It's a double-dip, but their Cinema Classic remaster of All Quiet on the Western Front was one of the highlights of 2007 (along with the equally great DVDs of Arabian Nights and Scarface '32).
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Universal is doing the proper (and noble) thing here.

    Lacking interest to bring them out themselves, they're licensing.

    This is great for everyone.

    The normal reaction in the industry would be "If we wanted to bring them out we would. If there was a market for them, we'd release them. Since we find that there is no market, we'll not release."

    This ethic is based upon the fear that someone else might release and be successful. Better to not release and not license.

    Bravo to Universal for licensing to Criterion!

    RAH
     
  5. Charles H

    Charles H Screenwriter

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    BROKEN LULLABY (THE MAN I KILLED), the only "serious" Lubitsch talkie would make a great Criterion DVD....and Fox "needs" to license CLUNY BROWN to Criterion if they do not intend to do anytrhing with it. Next to TO BE OR NOT TO BE, CLUNY BROWN is my favorite Lubitsch.
     
  6. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

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    Even though Universal released it on VHS, I wish they'd license KING OF JAZZ (1930) to Criterion! The Lubitsch releases are wonderful, but I'd like to think other Universal/Paramount titles from the same era could see the light of day on DVD.
     
  7. Art_AD

    Art_AD Stunt Coordinator

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    I hope they license "Paramount on Parade" & "Alice In Wonderland" & if not part of a future WC Fields collection "If I Had a Million" (Only If I had a million was ever released and it was only for a short time in the beginning days of laserdisc on the "Discovision" series discs)
     
  8. WadeM

    WadeM Supporting Actor

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    Seeing Claudette Colbert /Miriam Hopkins singing "Jazz Up Your Lingerie" was quite entertaining. The Smiling Lieutenant & One Hour With You were my favorites from this collection.

    I've been waiting a long time to see more musicals with Maurice Chevalier after seeing Love Me Tonight on DVD a while back.
     

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