Recommend a classic pre-1970 for Warner to release on blu

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by benbess, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    Warner Bros has released some of my favorite classic film blu-rays with amazing picture quality, such as The Wizard of Oz, How the West Was Won, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, etc.


    My guess is that at once in while someone from Warner may glance at these forums. And since we had a whole thread to suggest titles to Paramount (and they seem to be listening), how about we try giving some suggestions for the many great titles in the huge Warner library. As we know, Warner owns not only its own films but much of the old MGM library, plus I don't know what else.

    It might help if we give a little bit of a reason why a film has fascination and has a good chance at commercial success with other blu-ray collectors like ourselves.


    I'll start. Warner produced miracles with the amazing blu-ray of the classic Hitchcock North by Northwest. If there's anyone who doesn't have it in their collection you should buy it asap.


    And Warner owns some other very strong Hitchcock titles as well. I'll pitch my two favorites:


    First, the 1950 Warner Bros. production Stage Fright, in beautiful black and white, is a wonderfully funny film that is as full of suspense as anything Hitchcock ever did. It's set in London, and has a great cast including Jane Wyman (fresh off an Academy Award), Alaster Sim (of Scrooge fame) and Marlene Dietrich (the one and only--and she even sings a funny and sexy song). The rest of the cast is great too. This one has a love story, a murder, disguises, mistaken identity, a beheading, a heroine who works to solve the crime and ends up in grave danger, etc. This film does have a bold and even controversial beginning, but it's a classic. I think it's in my Hitchcock top ten, and given that he made 50 films that's saying something.


    My second nomination is the 1951 Warner Bros. production Strangers on a Train. Another classic. This one is better known so I won't go on as long, but it's on a lot of people's top ten lists for Hitchcock.
     
  2. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    Oh, on that other thread we already have that science fiction classic The Time Machine, starring Rod Taylor (just before The Birds), and the wonderful and stunning Yvette Mimieux, Sabastian Cabot, etc. Sometimes in my family we say "He has all the Time in the World!"
     
  3. Ed Lachmann

    Ed Lachmann Supporting Actor

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    As a classic historical epic fan, I wish they would put these out in blu-ray someday, perhaps in a boxed set or two:

    The Silver Chalice

    The Prodigal

    Land of the Pharaohs

    Ivanhoe

    Knights of the Round Table

    Scaramouche
     
  4. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    Nice list. I'm a big fan of historical epics too (did you see my entry on War and Peace?). I'm ashamed to say I don't think I've seen a single one of these. Which one is your favorite, and why?
     
  5. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    Chronological list of WB films:


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Warner_Bros._films
     
  6. GMpasqua

    GMpasqua Screenwriter

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    There was an interview with George Feltenstein of WB in the NY Post a few weeks ago in which he mentioned the current state of catalog releases and why many are not out. You should read it, it will answer many of your questions. WB knows what they have, a list like this is really irrelevant



    link: http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/movies...uNwN1iTZDbMuGI
     
  7. Douglas Monce

    Douglas Monce Producer

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    Please please please, a high quality transfer and clean up of The Big Sleep, along the lines of what was done for The Maltese Falcon. I'd like to see both the 45 and 46 versions of the film on the set too.



    Doug
     
  8. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    With the thousands of titles they have I'm not sure they do always know which ones have large numbers of fans and therefore are more commercially possible. That's a great interview, but it has no mention of Hitchcock, The Time Machine, or any of the other titles mentioned so far.



    Some of their choices for titles to pick I agree with, and yet from a commercial perspective I could see how they would take a long time to earn the money back. I'm a Judy Garland fan, but A Star is Born, which they put a small fortune into restoring, is a tough sell I think. It's a brilliant film, but it is also to be blunt a downer, and more than that the film was cut significantly after first release and the footage was lost, or even destroyed on purpose, making it difficult to view for an audience beyond the dedicated fan imho. I think it's noble and good that they did that one, but there are many more titles, like The Time Machine or the Hitchcock titles, that would cost a fraction of what they spent on ASIB to restore, and yet my guess is that they would sell better on blu...Just my 2 cents.
     
  9. ShowsOn

    ShowsOn Second Unit

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    The Big Sleep, East of Eden, Land of the Pharaohs (a restoration please, the DVD is rather poor), Lust for Life, White Heat, The Wrong Man, The Asphalt Jungle, Badlands, The Bandwagon, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Naked Spur (ultra-resolution restoration).
     
  10. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    What a great list. +1 to all of them.


    I just saw The Naked Spur for the first time recently. What a classic Western. Jimmy Stewart is great. And there's a young Janet Leigh too.


    from wikipedia

    The Naked Spur is a 1953 American western movie directed by Anthony Mann and starring James Stewart in their third collaboration. The screenplay was written by Sam Rolfe and Harold Jack Bloom, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay - a rare honor for a Western. The original music score was composed by Bronislau Kaper and the cinematography was by William C. Mellor.

    The film was shot just north of Durango, Colorado.
     
  11. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    She Wore a Yellow Ribbon is perhaps my favorite of all the John Ford Westerns. Beautiful Technicolor camera work. And with John Wayne as the star, they are pretty much guaranteed to make money on this one. A classic. It's kind of a wistful and humanitarian role for Wayne, which is quite a contrast to The Searchers.
     
  12. MLamarre

    MLamarre Second Unit

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    The Magnificent Ambersons

    Giant

    Ryan's Daughter

    Mutiny on the Bounty 62

    Strangers on a Train

    Sergeant York

    The Cardinal

    Around the World in 80 Days
     
  13. John Morgan

    John Morgan Supporting Actor

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    Good list here, and I would add THE GREAT RACE. Also, WHITE HEAT, THE BIG SLEEP, YANKEE DOODLE DANDY.

     
  14. ShowsOn

    ShowsOn Second Unit

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    Yeah, pity the DVD looks like it is out of focus for the entire film.
     
  15. Cinescott

    Cinescott Supporting Actor

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    Two black and white classics:

    Days of Wine and Roses

    Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
     
  16. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    Do you think it was just a bad transfer, or is it a problem with the source material? I watched it on netflix streaming, and I have to say that given the limitations of that source it looked pretty good to me.
     
  17. benbess

    benbess Cinematographer

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    Does Warner own Ryan's Daughter? Oh yes, of course they would because it was MGM, wasn't it. Well that was filmed 70mm and so would be spectacular. Plus it wasn't a big hit, and so perhaps that makes it more likely that the elements are in good shape? I've heard people say that they've seen parts of a new print and that it looks amazing. The name of David Lean is a big selling point for blu-ray collectors. And this one is seriously underrated.
     
  18. ShowsOn

    ShowsOn Second Unit

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    I recall when the DVD was initially released that Robert Harris commented that it looked like it was transfered from an element that was badly made, either from lab error or just because the original negatives had shrunk at different rates. Of course Warner's ultra resolution digital process would be able to get the negatives to register perfectly. The problem is, it just isn't a high profile title, so it will probably only get the ultra res treatment when there are cheaper ways of acheiving the same result.


    I thought of another two titles that would greatly benefit from Blu-ray upgrades - Klute and McCabe & Mrs Miller.


    The existing DVDs are surprisingly good considering that they are pretty old, but both of these films, and particularly the latter, need HD in order to look their best. While both the directors have passed, it would be great if they received 4K restorations while Gordon Willis and Vilmos Zsigmond are alive in order to give their OK to the transfers. Once Warner has 4K masters then these films will effectively be saved forever.
     
  19. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Executive Producer
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    With all of the Warner, RKO, and most of the MGM films at their disposal, my list would be embarrassingly long.


    Among my most hoped for Blu-rays:


    MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS

    THE GREAT RACE

    THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM

    THE TIME MACHINE

    THE SEVEN FACES OF DR. LAO

    GIANT

    RAINTREE COUNTY

    STRANGERS ON A TRAIN

    GYPSY

    all three versions of SHOW BOAT


    and their 3D films:


    HOUSE OF WAX

    PHANTOM OF THE RUE MORGUE

    HONDO

    KISS ME KATE

    DIAL M FOR MURDER
     
  20. Ed Lachmann

    Ed Lachmann Supporting Actor

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    Well, perhaps they are not great art, but they sure are all a lot of fun. Paul Newman hated his role in "Silver Chalice", but it is a hoot of a film with exotic roman feasts, a wild-eyed Jack Palance as the sorcerer who attempts to fly, outlandishly arty sets and Virginia Mayo as the sultry hottie who tries to seduce everyone in the film. Another vampy campy feast is "The Prodigal" with a faux nude Lana Turner and a battle with rubber buzzards you'll never forget. Look for a young Joan Collins as the slave girl in "Land of the Pharaohs", along with Jack Hawkins and a really massive group of extras. This one does amaze at times and has a really interesting story line. The first on the list, though, should have been "Scaramouche" with Stewart Granger in what was to me his finest role. This is one to love, a true classic. "Ivanhoe" and "Knights" are gorgeous middle ages epics that would look smashing in blu-ray. In fact, they all would and certainly deserve it. I agree with you on "War and Peace", but it's the Bondarchuk one I'm holding my breath for. King Vidor, though, I'd love everything by him in blu.
     

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