Has Paramount quit releasing classic films to SD DVD?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Paul Borges, Jun 26, 2006.

  1. Danny Burk

    Danny Burk Second Unit

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    No, it's owned by Universal (like most Paramount films from 1929-49). It *is* out in a R2 version. I've not ordered it because I've seen comments to the effect that it could use some cleanup and restoration, so I'm waiting awhile to see whether an improved R1 becomes available in the near future.
    I finally gave up waiting on AFRICAN QUEEN and ordered a R2 from Amazon UK. Hopefully, that action will trigger a restored R1 to become available tomorrow [​IMG]
     
  2. Vincent-P

    Vincent-P Second Unit

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    Paramount and Universal for worst DVD studio of the year? Methinks y'all forget a outfit who seem to have bought dictionaries without the word quality in them: Lionsgate.
     
  3. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    Paramount seems to only be interested in releasing films that they can some how connect to John Wayne. Either John Wayne starred in it, John Wayne produced it, John Wayne's best friend was in it, or somebody who looked like John Wayne was in it. As much as I love their recent boxset of Thrillers, the idea of putting John Wayne's name on the box is really quite silly. I'm surprised that they haven't had return problems with people buying them because they think John Wayne stars in them.
    Paramount seems to have anybody in their office who has any clue as to what they own. They own one of Billy Wilder's masterpieces "Ace in the Hole", and it continues to rot away in their vault. Wilder was one of the greatest directors that Hollywood has ever seen, and this film is routinely picked as one of his top 10 if not top 5 films. (Personally, I put it at #3 behind "The Apartment" & "Double Indemnity").
    The insane thing is that their library is not that deep, so for them to harvest the remaining great films should really be quite easy. I bet that it could be filtered down to less than 100 titles (That have not yet been released) that really demand a release. This in no way compares to WB, Fox, or Universal who in some cases have in excess of one thousand titles waiting to be released.
    Paramount should be embarrassed by their output. [​IMG]
     
  4. Mark Edward Heuck

    Mark Edward Heuck Screenwriter

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    My first guess is that old demon, music clearance; before SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, MR. GOODBAR had quite the kickin' disco soundtrack, and it is probably quite expensive to relicense it all. (A good chunk of the tracks came from Sony Music, notorious for charging high fees)
    The other concept that again, I don't think enough people consider, is that studios who have excelled at catalog releases have a means beyond DVD to exploit the investment: WB has Turner Classic Movies, Fox has Fox Movie Channel, Universal has USA Network, Sleuth, and Sci-Fi channel. As such, if they blow a bundle on new transfers and supplements of old movies, they can spread the costs to the cable units, who in turn broadcast the movies and supplements as programming. Paramount does not have the same sort of synergy -- the cable channels that they have direct control over like Spike or the MTV Networks are not the place they can exploit old movies they own, barring youth-oriented fare like FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF. At best, they have to pray they can sell them to a rival channel like TCM, as they did with the Batjac package. So they are less inclined to throw money around.
     
  5. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Very good points. Incidentally, on the TCM message board, their programmer posted recently that they've entered a deal with Paramount to air their classic films (specifics weren't posted) so there will be an outlet for at least some of these films.
    Classic Columbia films also have no outlet. TCM mentioned in the past that they'd try to license some of their library (particularly some of their "B" series films), but I haven't seen much evidence of any success with this yet.
     
  6. FrancisP

    FrancisP Screenwriter

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    Paramount's catalog is not deep enough to support an entire channel. Networks like TCM has always been an option. I got a number of Paramount titles off of AMC before it became just another channel with commercials.

    If Paramount doesn't want to release their classic tiltles then license them to third parties. Then these titles can get the proper treatment they deserve and Paramount doesn't lose a dime.
     
  7. John H Ross

    John H Ross Screenwriter

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    Terrrrrific. Paramount's classic film scores (and there are a LOT) are already under permanent lock and key while other studios (especially Fox and MGM) flung their gates wide open. And now it looks like they're doing the same with their actual movies. Shame on you, Paramount. Shame on you.

    John
     
  8. Danny Burk

    Danny Burk Second Unit

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    Unfortunately, their policy is NO third-party releases. None. David Shepard tried everything to persuade them to allow third-party releases of some of their silent treasures, of which there are many...they wouldn't budge.
     
  9. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    After successfully releasing many Great Westerns, the output has stopped.

    There are still many more Paramount titles waiting for a release, including my favourite, PONY EXPRESS with Charlton Heston.
     
  10. FrancisP

    FrancisP Screenwriter

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    So they can't figure out how to sell classic film titles and they won't license them to someone who can. I get the feeling that the brighest minds in the business are not exactly working at Paramount Home Video. I guess the bootleggers will be happy to know they won't have any competition.
     
  11. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Sigh. . .where's Martin Blythe when we need him?
     
  12. Bruce Morrison

    Bruce Morrison Supporting Actor

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    Absolutely. Paramount seem to have no awareness at all that there is clearly a large market for a DVD of 'Ace In The Hole' if they would only release it. I wouldn't even care if it had no extras - I just want this great movie in a good quality transfer.
     
  13. Charles H

    Charles H Screenwriter

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    Next to ACE IN THE HOLE, the most disturbing part of the debacle is the cancellation of the Martin-&-Lewis Collection (particularly after the artwork had been posted and I suspect that the dvds had actually been produced). Does Jerry Lewis have any video control over these or any of his solo films?

    The tragedy of this is that not only does Pararamount fail to understand or recognize its audience but it has squandered its own history.
     
  14. Pete York

    Pete York Supporting Actor

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    I don't understand this at all. Where are the people who put out the excellent THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN'S CREEK DVD less than a year ago? Did that tank so badly as to sour them on classic releases forever? Well, as mentioned up thread, if Paramount chooses to do nothing with these movies, somebody will make money off them, but it won't be Paramount.
     
  15. Mark Oates

    Mark Oates Supporting Actor

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    Can anybody put me straight? Is Paramount still part of Viacom, and is Viacom still run by Sumner Redstone? Because I seem to remember about twelve months ago Redstone saying that Viacom would be stepping up its exploitation of its back catalogue.

    Has something happened since then? Or have the suits at Paramount just turned round and said "f*ck off, Boss, there's no money in it."?
     
  16. Phil Menard

    Phil Menard Stunt Coordinator

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    Paramount has also "postponed" its foray into HD-DVD at the last minute. I wonder if a spin-off or a merger is about to take place?
     
  17. Nick Zbu

    Nick Zbu Stunt Coordinator

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    We should hope. I can't see how sitting on their back catalogue is going to be of any use to them. Seems incredibly short-sighted.
     
  18. Jason_V

    Jason_V Producer

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    Now there is a good soul who did everything he could to keep us all in the loop.
    It is impossible for me to believe that one of the films my father always watched when I was a kid when it was on (The African Queen) is nowhere to be found in 2006. Who hasn't heard of this flick? Do a single disc and Special Edition--NOT Limited Edition--release.
     
  19. ChrisRose

    ChrisRose Stunt Coordinator

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    Hope TCM licensed Bing's films! Next time he's Star of the Month, maybe they'll actually run some rarities that aren't on DVD.
     
  20. PatWahlquist

    PatWahlquist Supporting Actor

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    I have forwarded this thread to my contact at Paramount to see if they'd be willing to comment, either directly or through me. I'll let you know if I hear anything.
     

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