A Few Words About A few words about... Fox's September vault titles

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Robert Harris, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Fox Home Video seems to take a rather low key methodology of releasing their vault titles.

    With just the right amount of publicity to make writers aware that they exist, the new releases appear at vendors with little fuss, muss or bother.

    The problem is that some of their releases, which are of quite high quality, may fall beneath the radar of the final purchaser, and that's a bad thing.

    September's eight titles are inclusive of three, possibly four, which should be brought to your attention.

    Mike Leigh's Career Girls (1997) is a wonderfully crafted production about two Scottish roomates who find themselves together again, several years after graduation. This is a terrific character piece that takes off once you get past the first reel or so.

    Gene Kelly's 1967 A Guide of the Married Man may get lost among the other '60s comedies, many of which do not hold up today as entertainment value. This one does, and it would be a pity to have it passed over simply because people may not know what it is. The cast and concept are both terrific, and the film is worthy of attention.

    Art Carney won the Academy Award for Best Actor of 1974 for his wonderful portrait of an older gent who, facing the demolition of his apartment, takes off for Los Angeles with this sidekick Tonto, who happens to be a cat. Harry & Tonto is another worthwhile film with a great performance from Mr. Carney.

    The fourth which I'll mention is A Man Called Peter, one of the studio's 1955 CinemaScope productions, which tells of Peter Marshall, a Scottish minister who became the pastor of the Church of the Presidents in Washington, D.C. This was one of the better films of the era dealing with religion. Marshall is played by Scottish actor Richard Todd.

    There are many highly visible titles that make their way to the marketplace every tuesday. I'd hate to see films such of these, which are deserving of the public's attention, getting lost in the shuffle.

    RAH
     
  2. Jeffrey Nelson

    Jeffrey Nelson Screenwriter

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    What's the name of the Art Carney film?
     
  3. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    Career Girls features a lead performance by Katrin Cartlidge, which for my money, is reason enough to view this film. I certainly miss this fine actress whose life ended far too abruptly.

    A Guide For the Married Man is one of my favorite comedies from the '60s and works as a cultural time capsule. Great work from Walter Matthau and Robert Morse in this film. A very funny film with a large ensemble cast. I watched this DVD this past weekend and was very pleased with the presentation of a film of its vintage.

    I certainly agree that there are a lot of worthy catalog titles that are easy to overlook when they receive scant, or no, shelf space at the local retailers. Thank goodness for online sales resources.

    - Walter.
     
  4. ZackR

    ZackR Supporting Actor

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    It is Harry and Tonto.
     
  5. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    I'd been waiting years for Guide for the Married Man, so this didn't slip past my radar, but I applaud Robert for his efforts to get the word out on these!
     
  6. BrianHass

    BrianHass Stunt Coordinator

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    Mr. Harris,
    Is the 1941 Dressed to Kill apart of the Fox's September vault titles you're discussing? I was surprised to see this title come out of nowhere. I've never seen the movie, but it seems to me it would fall under their excellent Fox Film Noir Collection. Do you happen to know why this isn't included?
     
  7. Bradley-E

    Bradley-E Screenwriter

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    I bought HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL not realizing it was FULL FRAME only. Wikes! Guess I need to chase down the Warner Version.
     
  8. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Fox has released, possibly as a distributor, as series of films available elsewhere, that are either licensed from others, public domain, or both.

    The main appeal of these titles, inclusive of House on Haunted Hill, Prelude to Murder, Terror by Night, and others...

    are new, "beautifully restored colorized versions" from Key Video.

    The jacket reads "The amazing colorization, created with a new cutting-edge digital technology, breathes new life into this classic film."

    At least they're appropriately marked "original full frame edition."

    I hate it when I'm forced to view full frame productions letterboxed, so they're doing something special here.

    Right.

    Purchase your House on Haunted Hill from Warner, not Fox.

    Fox does some things really beautifully when it comes to DVD. This isn't one of them.

    RAH
     
  9. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    In January of 2004, Fox made the following comment on HTF



    Now, they've decided that a random entry from the more obscure Michael Shayne series (Dressed to Kill) is more salable and they've released that instead. In color to boot (without seeing a copy I can't confirm this; Amazon says it is colorized.)

    The ironic thing is that I would buy Dressed to Kill (and any other Shayne film) if it was original B&W and perhaps released as part of a Shayne collection.

    Is it possible that with the exception of their high profile Noir line and the occasional genuine classic that comes out under the "Studio Classics" banner that Fox is conceding the classic film market to Warners and thus not attempting to get the most out of their catalog, either publicity wise or release wise?

    I sure hope not. Perhaps it's time for the good folks at FHE to schedule another HTF chat to drum up interest in upcoming releases and to see what we the consumers would like to see them come out.
     
  10. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

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    Steve, I have the 1941 Dressed To Kill DVD. It is B&W with no colorization.
     
  11. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Yes and it looks very good.




    Crawdaddy
     
  12. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    it is bizarre that Dressed To Kill would get released all on its own, totally out of the blue, with absolutely no tie-in to anything else- not even the other Mike Shayne movies.
    a small budget set of the entire series i could understand -but 40s Mike Shayne is still not a franchise that is likely to elict more than shoulder shrugs from 95% of the aisle walkers at Best Buy.

    however i am glad to see this released as i'm a big Mary Beth Hughes fan and i just don't expect to run across a lot of her work on this format. and actually, i like Lloyd Nolan a lot, too. i know i have a VHS copy of Blue, White and Perfect floating around somewhere(another in the Shayne series with this duo), and it was amusing. slight, but entertaining.
    i expect the same of DTK, which is why a set of several films would have made a little more sense (and substance).

    oh, and if this film is anything in the mode of B,W,aP, it really doesn't qualify as Noir. Detective,yes. Bleak and nhilistic, no.
     
  13. Ken Koc

    Ken Koc Screenwriter

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    Lets not forget that "The Innocents" and " Mr Hobbs Takes A Vacation" were also released that day as well with same lack of promotion.
     
  14. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Thanks to those who confirmed the good news about the '41 Dressed to Kill being in B&W. Neither my BB or Borders carried this so I couldn't get first hand knowledge.

    Mr. Hobbs is an underrated comedy. I couldn't find that one either.
     
  15. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Mr. Harris,

    I have copies of all the above mentioned titles
    and I am planning to start viewing them shortly.


    Been looking forward to this for a long time.
    I have always wanted to see this film, based on
    the fact that Carney won Best Actor for it.

    Please continue to recommend titles for all
    of us to watch. Without your words about To
    Kill A Mockingbird
    , I would have never
    discovered that classic.

    There are so many people like myself on this
    forum who are dying to discover some great
    quality classic fare -- especially with all
    the crap that Hollywood is putting out these
    days.

    You are doing more of a service to this forum
    and its members than you realize. Thank You.
     
  16. Charles H

    Charles H Screenwriter

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    I never understood the marketing or distribution of Fox product. They either "second guess" themselves or forget what they are releasing. There is another thread here about JULIA, which apparently did make it to a couple of Best Buys. What became of PINKY and A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN (the latter was reviewed in "Playboy")? WHAT A WAY TO GO! and HISTORY OF THE WORLD: PART I were secret releases without fanfare and many retailers don't carry them. And you need a Private Detective to find what or if there are special features.
     
  17. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Those of the Fox September releases I've seen all have a loud, obnoxious and worst of all unskippable (though FF does work) rant about downloading movies being theft. Considering this is being watched by someone with an actual DVD in their hands, presumably not stolen, this seems way off the mark to me. I was really alienated by them and hope that Fox knocks this crap off soon. I've downgraded all their September discs I've reviewed because of this thing.
     
  18. FrancisP

    FrancisP Screenwriter

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    If I looked at Fox's September releases I'd think it was a
    company that I never heard from. You've got PD titles that have been done as well or better by other companies or
    direct to video releases for the most part. Fox has some pretty good titles locked up and this is the best they can do. It's a shame.
     
  19. CherylWI

    CherylWI Stunt Coordinator

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    [Fox has released, possibly as a distributor, as series of films available elsewhere, that are either licensed from others, public domain, or both.
    At least they're appropriately marked "original full frame edition."

    I hate it when I'm forced to view full frame productions letterboxed, so they're doing something special here.

    Right.

    Purchase your House on Haunted Hill from Warner, not Fox.

    Fox does some things really beautifully when it comes to DVD. This isn't one of them.]

    RAH




    Mr. Harris, are you saying that the previous release of House on Haunted Hill is the one to get rather than the new colorized one? I've been waiting to hear reviews about the new release before I purchase.
     
  20. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

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    No mention yet of the 1962 Cabinet Of Caligari with Glynis Johns which was part of the September Fox vault line up. Though it has its detractors, I'm on the thumbs up side.
     

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