MARCH OR DIE (Columbia 1977) -- widescreen and uncut ?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Richard--W, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    Does anyone know if there is a proper release of this title somewhere? Australia or Asia, perhaps?

    March Or Die cost Columbia a reported $9,000,000 to make, which was a HUGE budget back in 1970s. It was trimmed of footage just before release. The theatrical release was 104 minutes. It failed miserably at the box office, reporting a paltry $1,000,000. A longer and differently edited version aired once or twice on television, although I did not see it myself.

    Does anyone know what the correct running time is supposed to be?

    Columbia / Sony released March or Die on a double-feature disc with The Domino Principle. Customers complained that both films are in poor quality, pan & scanned, and in the case of March Or Die, cut. But constant references to the longer version suggest that it is in release somewhere.
     
  2. Jeffrey:K

    Jeffrey:K Second Unit

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    MARCH OR DIE was released theatrically in the US by Columbia Pictures, but it was Lew Grade's ITC Entertainment that produced and financed it. Columbia/Sony never had any home video rights to this movie. These were retained by ITC, which subsequently licensed a VHS release from Magnetic Video Corporation and, more recently, a DVD from Lions Gate. The pan/scan double feature DVD you mentioned was the Lions Gate release.

    Lions Gate currently holds the US rights to almost all of the ITC features from 1974 through 1983. Of these, only CAPRICORN ONE and ON GOLDEN POND have proper anamorphic widescreen releases. All of the others were from old, often p/s masters.

    The UK and other European releases of these films have fared no better: all pan/scan or, in a few cases, non-anamorphic widescreen. Granada Ventures, which currently owns the ITC catalog, seems to be supplying the same crappy video masters for all the worldwide DVD releases.

    So, the answer to your question is that the pan/scan double feature DVD appears to be the best and only current viewing option.

    (I actually saw MARCH OR DIE when it opened theatrically in 1977, and again when it played on HBO a year later. HBO listed the running time as 107 minutes, but I'm pretty sure it was the same version that I watched earlier in a cinema and that is now on the DVD. As you noted, extra footage was incorporated for the network TV showing.)
     
  3. caaraa

    caaraa Auditioning

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  4. Worth

    Worth Screenwriter

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    ITC has actually released a number of blu-rays in the UK that are very good - Capricorn One, The Eagle Has Landed, The Boys From Brazil, The Ipcress File, The Company of Wolves - all or most of which are region-free.

    Maybe they'll get around to releasing March or Die, as well.
     
  5. Jeffrey:K

    Jeffrey:K Second Unit

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    You're right. I had completely forgotten about the UK blu-rays. They also released a very good special edition DVD of THE EAGLE HAS LANDED in the UK.
     
  6. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    Thanks, both of you, for your input.

    I found this 2009 release:

    http://www.amazon.fr/%C3%A9tait-une-fois-L%C3%A9gion/dp/B002Q79U8S/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1303320827&sr=1-2

    and this 2006 release:

    http://www.amazon.fr/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000E1MVIO/dvdaficiona01-21

    in France.

    Whether or not they are cut or uncut is the question. The timing of 105 minutes, considering it is PAL, may indicate a longer cut than what's been released here.

    I find the higher-pitch of the 4% PAL speed-up distracting but I may try the 2009 release.
     
  7. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

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    Another domestic release, with conflicting reports as to whether it's uncut or cut:

    http://www.amazon.com/March-Die-Gene-Hackman/dp/B0007CIM1K/ref=pd_bxgy_d_img_a
     
  8. walter o

    walter o Supporting Actor

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  9. kingfish

    kingfish Screenwriter

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    jef films also released raid on entebbe. the quality of the release was very bad imho.
     
  10. Professor Echo

    Professor Echo Screenwriter

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    MARCH OR DIE has recently been shown on, I believe, SHOWTIME HD or another HD pay cable network in anamorphic widescreen. I recorded it on a DVD-R but haven't watched it yet so I don't know what version it is.
    As noted, the U.S. network television presentation was a different cut and featured a happy ending. It's my understanding that three different endings were filmed for different markets?
    When this movie was new, I recall the headline for the TIME magazine review, which may have meant to be derogatory, but which I found endearing: "INSTANT LATE LATE SHOW."
     
  11. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Cinematographer

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    "Audiences marched into the theater, and died."--Gene Hackman. But the HD print of the 104m version is good quality.
     
  12. Jeffrey:K

    Jeffrey:K Second Unit

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  13. Worth

    Worth Screenwriter

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  14. kingfish

    kingfish Screenwriter

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    i am wondering if the hen's tooth release is in widescreen. i know a number of years ago they released the boys in company c with andrew stevens.
     
  15. Dave B Ferris

    Dave B Ferris Screenwriter

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    I picked up the Hen's Tooth release at Barnes & Noble yesterday (having previously placed a special order). I have not watched the DVD yet, but I did note that the back cover states a running time of 107 minutes. I *think* the back cover also states "anamorphic".
     
  16. Hasslein

    Hasslein Second Unit

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    Well? :)
     
  17. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Cinematographer

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    I bought it, too. It's anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1) and runs 107 minutes. English mono 2.0 and no extras. The transfer is good if not extraordinary. It doesn't have any of the added-for-network-TV footage mentioned in the IMDB "alternate versions" entry.
     
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