Fritz Lang: Where's the rest?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Eric Peterson, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    Fritz Lang was one of the masters of Film Noir, yet there are several of his highly praised films still unavailable on DVD and a number of lesser films that are also absent. I would like to narrow down, who owns the rights to these films. This will focus on his Hollywood output. I realize that several of these are available in other regions, but the hassles of ordering those along with the extra costs are something I only take on rarely.

    • You and Me (1938) - A crime drama starring George Raft and Sylvia Sydney. This was released on VHS by Universal, so I would assume that they are still the rights holder.
    • Western Union (1941) - A Robert Young/Randolph Scott western that was produced by Fox. This was released on DVD by Fox in Region 2 only, and on VHS.
    • Ministry of Fear (1944) - A highly acclaimed film noir starring Ray Milland. This was produced by Paramount and released on VHS by Universal. Where's the DVD?
    • Secret Beyond the Door (1948) - Another highly acclaimed film noir starring Joan Bennett. This was distributed by Universal, but I can't find any record of it on home video. Does Universal own the rights to this too?
    • American Guerilla in the Phillipines (195) - A Tyrone Power war film that was produced by 20th Century Fox. I found a copy on Amazon, but I question it's authenticity. Does Fox still own the rights to this too?
    • Rancho Notorious (1952) - An excellent western starring Marlene Dietrich. This was an RKO production, so I would assume that this is now in WB's hands. I've never heard any substantial rumors about this title though, and that really shocks me. Available in WB Archive
    • Human Desire (1954) - I caught this film noir on TCM last week and thoroughly enjoyed it. How can you lose with Glenn Ford and Gloria Grahame. This was a Columbia production, so I would assume it's a Sony property. Maybe we'll see this in one of their Noir sets later this year. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
    • Moonfleet (1955) - Swashbuckling adventure starring Stewart Granger. Available in WB Archive
    • While the City Sleeps (1956) - One of Lang's most respected Noirs and stars Dana Andrews and George Sanders. This was an RKO production, so likely under WB's control now. I can't understand what is holding this title up? I would have thought this would have been a candidate for one of their earliest Noir boxes. Available in WB Archive
    • Beyond a Reasonable Doubt (1956) - Another noir with Dana Andrews along side Joan Fontaine. Yet another RKO production, and Lang's last film in Hollywood. Where's the DVD? Available in WB Archive

    I'm absolutely shocked that films of this caliber can still be missing from the format. Several of which saw VHS releases.

    Does anybody have any info that I've missed?
     
  2. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Cinematographer

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    REASONABLE DOUBT has been remade with Michael Douglas, which might get the original out of the vaults.
     
  3. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    Both are also available in the UK as well as Rancho Notorious.
     
  4. Miguel M Santos

    Miguel M Santos Stunt Coordinator

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  5. Fabian Kusch

    Fabian Kusch Agent

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    WESTERN UNION and MINISTRY OF FEAR are also out in Australia. Both feature audio commentaries by Australian film scholars.

    HUMAN DESIRE is out in Spain. As opposed to the hard-to-get Japanese DVD, this features only a passable 4x3 tranfer, but it's better than nothing.
     
  6. Mark B

    Mark B Supporting Actor

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    HUMAN DESIRE was broadcast on TCM recently from a very clean widescreen master.
     
  7. Charles H

    Charles H Screenwriter

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    SECRET BEYOND THE DOOR was announced as coming out on dvd at one point, but was pulled at the last moment by LionsGate. LionsGate is also "sitting on" (probably literally) MOONRISE, THE DARK MIRROR, PITFALL, Welles' MACBETH, THE SPECTRE OF THE ROSE, CAUGHT, and CASBAH.
     
  8. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    Also TRY AND GET ME (aka THE SOUND OF FURY), BEWARE MY LOVELY, PRIVATE HELL 36, Robert Siodmak's (THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF) UNCLE HARRY, Don Siegel's RIOT IN CELL BLOCK 11, SHACK OUT ON 101, PLUNDER ROAD, JENNIFER, MAGIC TOWN, MR. PEABODY & THE MERMAID, HOPPITY GOES TO TOWN, etc.
     
  9. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    It really makes you hope that when this contract expires, Paramount either keeps these titles are gives them to Criterion or somebody who will actually do something with them. Criterion could do amazing things with some of these titles.
     
  10. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    Updated the first post! There's still a lot to desire in Lang land!!
     
  11. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer
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    According to IMDB, While the City Sleeps was independently produced. It was released on VHS by some outfit called United Home Video. It may be that WHV does not have the rights to release it itself.
     
  12. Marcel H.

    Marcel H. Supporting Actor

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    Last year, WAC said on Facebook that they're working on While the City Sleeps and Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. I guess, they'll get an Archive release in the distant future.


    You and Me (Du und Ich) is out in Germany in a very nice edition from Koch Media.

    American Guerilla in the Phillipines (Guerilleros En Filipinas) has been released in Spain from Fox/Impulso.

    Beyond a Reasonable Doubt will also be released by Exposure Cinema in the UK in 2011.
     
  13. Dan McW

    Dan McW Second Unit

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    FWIW, Republic released SECRET BEYOND THE DOOR on VHS.
     
  14. leopardman

    leopardman Auditioning

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    Just thought I'd say that SECRET BEYOND THE DOOR is coming to DVD here in the UK in November. It is Region free aswell! Don't know about the print/extras though. Secret Beyond the Door DVD - Amazon
     
  15. Robin9

    Robin9 Cinematographer

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    The Exposure DVD of Beyond A Reasonable Doubt is from a low quality print with a lot of damage.
     
  16. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Cinematographer

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    WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS and BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT were added to the Warner Archive a few months ago.
     
  17. Thomas T

    Thomas T Cinematographer

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    I had placed an order with Amazon.co.uk for Beyond A Reasonable Doubt since I was very happy with Exposure's While The City Sleeps. I didn't want the faux wide screen of the Warners Archives version. But I got an e-mail from Amazon.Uk that Exposure's Beyond A Reasonable Doubt is no longer available. I wonder why it's been pulled because its only been on the market for a couple of months. I guess I'll have to seek out the Spanish DVD. http://www.thecinemascopecat.blogspot.com
     
  18. WaveCrest

    WaveCrest Producer

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    This is just a theory (and could very well be wrong), but could Exposure have also been affected by the warehouse fire which affected Network?
     
  19. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    I updated the first post to show the availability in the archive. Personally, I don't consider anything in the archive to be a proper release and even when on sale, I consider them to be over-priced. I will continue to wait and spend my money with studio that put out proper releases. My money that used to go to WB, now goes to Criterion and other labels.
     

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