The absence of the Western Genre in the Criterion Collection

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dome Vongvises, Oct 8, 2001.

  1. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    I love the Criterion Collection as much as the next guy, but can anybody explain the HUGE glaring omission of any movies from the Western genre? I was thinking about the vast variety of titles in the Criterion Collection when I stumbled upon this fact. What gives?
    P.S. I hope I'm not wrong in this question [​IMG]
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  2. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    Hmmm. That is an interesting question. Even their Laser Disc catalog is remarkably bereft of titles from the Western genre, with
    Bad Day at Black Rock
    High Noon
    Silverado
    being the only entries ( I believe ).
    - Walter.
     
  3. Mitty

    Mitty Supporting Actor

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    Well, they do have a number of Kurosawa films, which are eastern westerns...'Easterns' if you will.
    I think it may have something to do with the fact that the western, for the most part, is an American film phenomenon, and much of Criterion's library are world films; most of the American studios won't license to them anymore and the ones that do (Disney, Universal) don't have a lot of westerns in their vaults.
    Or something like that. [​IMG]
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  4. Calvin Cullen

    Calvin Cullen Stunt Coordinator

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    The studios own the rights to the good independent and foreign westerns. Not that there are a lot of either. I wonder why Criterion hasn't tried to release some of the better public domain westerns, though.
     
  5. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    Hmmm, that Criterion Collection chat is coming up on the 23rd of October. Maybe one of us can chime in on this fact. And for that matter, ask questions regarding the lack of animated (clay, cel, or otherwise) feature films as well.
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  6. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

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    Dome, that's quite an observation. I would love Criterion to work their magic on MANY Western titles:
    Once Upon A Time In The West
    Stagecoach
    The Searchers
    The Wild Bunch (oooooooh!)
    My Darling Clementine
    The Shootist
    The Paleface (Hey, it's a great Bob Hope comedy!)
    ...to name a few.
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  7. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    I've heard Criterion praised for having a nice variety of non-western films, but I never thought of it in this context before. [​IMG] I would love if they could get access to the Republic catalog since Artisan really does not seem to care about it very much. I still think that Criterion's laserdisc of High Noon was the best version ever on video. The THX DVD looks and sounds somewhat overprocessed.
    Since Criterion does not seem to be licensing titles from any of the major studios except Universal lately, most of the titles listed above would not be options. They may, however, have a shot at some pretty good James Stewart westerns such as Winchester '73, Bend of the River, Shenandoah, The Far Country, and Destry Rides Again.
    Regards,
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    [Edited last by Ken_McAlinden on October 09, 2001 at 08:54 AM]
     
  8. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    Good idea, Westerns and Animation are missing from Criterions catalog-we should bring that up.
    Especially animated films as they tend to make for great SE's with lots of production extras.
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  9. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Basically, Westerns sell. The good ones, anyway. Thus studios are less likely to sell home video rights to successful titles, because they'd lose out on the revenue stream. Yes, Magnificent Seven is a remake of Seven Samurai. But I bet in the U.S., M7 has outsold Seven Samurai by a wide margin.
     
  10. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    I can add a couple of fat chance titles that seem to be right up Criterion's alley:
    [*]El Topo[*]The Holy Mountain

    I say fat chance because these titles seem to be in rights hell - I doubt we'll ever see anything beyond the Japanese laser discs that are so hard, and expensive, to find.

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  11. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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  12. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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