THE BOWERY BOYS on DVD: continuing discussion of Warner's eventual release plans (NEW UPDATE 10/2 Po

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Jul 24, 2007.

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  1. Rodney

    Rodney Supporting Actor
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    Great idea! Warners, please do this, and start releasing the Dead End Kids, err, the East Side Kids, uhm I mean the Bowery Boys.
    The Little Tough Guys?
    Just release 'em all!
     
  2. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    Chrono but now. If upon the odd chance something better comes along, rerelease them alongside the newer releases.
     
  3. Rod J

    Rod J Stunt Coordinator
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    I chose "best of" but the best of has to be in chronological order with some kind of information (booklet) identifying the cast and character names for each movie..
    One problem with a "best of" might be the same thing that happened with several of the Warner TV sampler discs: I found that the sampler was all I cared to see of the program - I liked the program but 4 episodes was enough.
    One other thought.. If releasing this delays "Magnificent Ambersons" or "Show Boat - 1936" by one day - DUMP THIS PROJECT.
     
  4. BrianRi

    BrianRi Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm ready, bring on the Boys! No need to wait, I'll take 'em in "Best of" or "Volume 1,2,3" type sets.
     
  5. WadeM

    WadeM Supporting Actor

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    I would not support a "Best Of" collection. [​IMG]
    I would support a "Vol. 1", "Vol. 2", "Vol. 3", etc. series, even if they're not in chronological order. [​IMG]
    They say that the particular film is not even a complete negative so I say don't release that film until you find a better copy, and try to work with Mr. Theakston above if needed. If that film has to wait until the final volume, then fine.
    Or, like others have said, you can mostly release them in chronological order like the Charlie Chans were done, and if there's a couple of movies that appear on later volumes, then fine.
    I think that numbers on the spines would be a good idea too.
     
  6. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Yes, I want them all too in the best condition that Warner can presently release them all. I am more of a East Side Kids fan, but I also enjoyed the Bowery Boys. Furthermore, they need to be in chronological order due to casting changes and such. I wouldn't want Bowery Boys films with Stanley Clements as lead then have some films with Leo Gorcey as lead show up later. The same applies to the Dead End/East Side Kids with Leo Gorcey then Billy Halop as lead kid. Some semblance of order needs to take place and it would be nice to have some historical perspective piece on the different cast members and what happened to them like Bobby Jordan's early death.
    Crawdaddy
     
  7. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    I support the idea of releasing them chronologically, but the idea of putting a number on the spine gave me a more detailed idea.

    There are 48 episodes, and I figure that 3 should fit fine on single disc. That give you 16 discs, and if you did 4 boxsets of 4 discs each, these could be released twice a year or thereabouts. That said, each disc should include 3 chronological episodes, and an appropriate number on the spine. Then after all of the sets are complete, the consumer can re-order them and have a complete chronological collection. This also would allow WB to postpone the release of episodes that are the most problematic in order to search for better materials and not require the re-release of said titles.
     
  8. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Another vote for a Dead End Kids collection along with whatever ESK films WHV feels they can profitably release. Hopefully at least the handful towards the end of the series that are still under copyright and haven't been exploited by the ALPHAs of the world can see the light of day. It would be wonderful if the others could be rescued from public domain status but I don't know if Warners can compete with the hundreds of thousands of $1 DVDs that have been sold of the early ESK titles.
    There is a very well done (but expensive) book that was published recently called FROM BROADWAY TO THE BOWERY that covers the various incarnations of the gang and gives some insightful background info on the actors. My wife gave to me as an anniversary present last year and I've enjoyed it immensely. A feature on the DVDs would most appreciated as well.
    Steve
     
  9. Lee Smith

    Lee Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    I voted for "Best Of ..." but I really think that release them as Volume 01, Volume 02, etc. might be the way to go.
     
  10. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    The numbers on the spine would obviously be silly if they are released in box sets with details illustrating the films on the packaging... rearranging them according to chronological release as they are issued would mismatch the sets and boxes.
    But if they are put out in regular/double amarays or even digipaks (the former I think would be preferred) than this sounds like a great way to go!
    I have a feeling however, that Warners might object as the spine numbering could confuse the non-discerning customers who are unaware of this. But I'd fully support that idea.
    Ideally however, I agree that complete box sets would not only be the best way to go, but probably profit best as well because so many would instantly jump on them, especially if timed around the holiday season. What a great gift that would make!
    As has been mentioned, going the individual route might make some less prone to purchase certain volumes containing films that they're less enthusiastic about... and after several purchases, customers might get their "fill" and their eagerness for future releases might wane. This is the benefit of comprehensive box sets. They contain all the films which equates to a great value for most, and the novelty of owning a brand new and definitive version of these films will delight so many people. I strongly feel this would be in the company's best interest, and possibly ours too if the future of the series is weighed in on early sales. Releasing them any other way could be a risk.
    I also agree with Robert that documenting the evolution of the films is very important and the great thing about DVD is that it places films in historical context. For many younger viewers, it's almost like film school in a box! It would be slightly schizophrenic to have the series jumping between years and casting changes. It wouldn't allow for a proper perspective on the films.
     
  11. Bob Gu

    Bob Gu Supporting Actor

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    Although this thread has around 800 views so far, only 34 votes have been logged with 58.82% voting for "Best OF" and 41.18% for "Chronological".

    VOTE FOR THE BOWERY BOY RELEASE OF YOUR CHOICE-- BUT VOTE!!!

    I voted for Chronological release. I'd like to see whatever MR HEX they have available in it's original release order. If they fine a superior print, include it as a bonus on a later volume. I don't consider that a double-dip.

    And Warner's should contact Jack Theakston. They could also take out an ad, or ask editor Bob King for help, over at CLASSIC IMAGES. Some of the long time CI readers who are film collectors are not online. Some of them don't even have VCRs or DVD players.

    LOG IN AND VOTE!!
     
  12. Hank Dearborn

    Hank Dearborn Supporting Actor

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    I am more of an East Side Kids fan and I'd like to see them start from the beginning with the Dead End Kids movies and work their way up. Chronological as the series went downhill over time, especially when Bobby Jordan left after the first 8 BB movies. They got sillier and sillier and went from being tough to pansies. Then Gabe Dell left as well. But back to the original point, if they haven't been able to get a better print after 60 years, I doubt they will find one now. Just release what they have, or else put an add in the Big Reel and pay to borrow one from a collector. I wonder if they even have decent elements on the East Side Kids films. I don't really collect movies at all but this is one series I would purchase.
     
  13. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    On another movie board, someone who used to spend time in the film vaults offered this suggestion:

    "As for the practical answer to the Bowery Boys dilemma-- I'd bet if Warners were to go through the vault in Inglewood where half of the (former) MGM stuff sits, they'd find all the Slip and Sach stuff they ever needed. The place was filled with prints of AIP stuff, Corman's Filmgroup, Monogram..."

    Just passing this on. Hope it may help.
     
  14. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Thanks for that tip, Joe.
    I also am amazed that with all the views to this thread, a majority
    don't want to take the opportunity to vote. Do they care? This is
    a real important issue for Warner Brothers and with all the Bowery
    Boys fans out there, I'm surprised we can't give them a better vote.
    Perhaps those discussing on the "other" website will honor us with
    their presence and make their voices heard as well. They are most
    welcome to HTF and on this particular topic, their opinion will count
    more over here than there.
    Hope to see a better response, and thanks in advance for taking the
    time to express an opinion.
     
  15. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    Well, Ron, I hope that WB won't take the too-few responses as any indication that the Bowery Boys are somehow not a good idea to release. While they're arguably not as popular as, say, Laurel and Hardy or The Three Stooges, let's also bear in mind that (obviously) the Home Theater Forum is not a complete representation of all the BB fans across the globe who want to own these films but may not know about this site.
     
  16. Jari K

    Jari K Producer

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    I agree with Jay here. I´m personally a big fan of "classics", but I have never seen any of the "The Bowery Boys"-movies. Like I did with e.g. "Abbott And Costello" and "Martin & Lewis", it would be great to see all/most of these from the start - in chronological order. I don´t like the "best of"-idea, which would take one film here, the other there, etc.
    I fully understand that it´s not easy to maintain the chronological order in 100%, so 80-90% is just fine. My point is, that if with certain films the search for the "best print" still goes on etc, it´s probably best to exclude those films and release them later on (when/if better source materials are found).
     
  17. Scott MacGillivray

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    I applaud Warner Home Video’s intention of releasing the Bowery Boys features to DVD.

    I realize that the master materials are in variable condition, which has been a stumbling block in offering the films chronologically. (After all, 48 features multiplied by seven reels of picture and seven reels of soundtrack is an awful lot of material to go through.) I would suggest avoiding the “chronological” idea and just packaging different assortments.

    There is a great deal of variety in the Bowery Boys library. Several of the early Bowery Boys films are not all-out comedies, and contain the crime-melodrama elements common to the earlier East Side Kids pictures. Many of the later Bowery Boys films are slapstick outings for the kiddie-matinee audience; they play like Three Stooges movies and were written and directed by Elwood Ullman and Edward Bernds of the Stooges’ crew. Also, the membership of the Bowery Boys team varies as the series progresses, and I think that fans would appreciate seeing the different gang members within a single DVD set. This is like saying, “Curly wasn’t the only third Stooge, let’s give Shemp a chance,” or “I like Spanky and Alfalfa, but I also like Stymie and Chubby.” I would personally love to see the underrated Stanley Clements on DVD; he replaces Leo Gorcey in the team’s final films.

    I think Warner can go two ways on the Bowery Boys. One idea is to have each volume being representative of the series as a whole, like a TV sampler including first-season, middle-season, and final-season episodes in the same set. This would give the fans a chance to see most of the various Bowery Boys members in one set, and would be an excellent demonstrator for the series, inviting more volumes to come.

    My own assortment would be SPOOK BUSTERS (spook show), JINX MONEY (crime story), either FIGHTING FOOLS (boxing) or HOLD THAT LINE (football), BLUES BUSTERS (musical), HOLD THAT HYPNOTIST (burlesque on pirate movies and “Bridey Murphy” reincarnation), and LOOKING FOR DANGER (military).

    My second suggestion is to program the films by theme, like Columbia has done with The Three Stooges, and Video Treasures did with Laurel & Hardy. Release the “spooky” comedies on one disc, the sports-themed comedies on another, the military comedies on another, the “Sach gets strange powers” entries on another, the crime-busting stories on another, and so on. For example:

    Spook shows: SPOOK BUSTERS, SMUGGLERS’ COVE, MASTER MINDS, GHOST CHASERS, THE BOWERY BOYS MEET THE MONSTERS, SPOOK CHASERS

    Sports: MR. HEX (pending good print source), FIGHTING FOOLS, CRAZY OVER HORSES, HOLD THAT LINE, NO HOLDS BARRED, JALOPY, UP IN SMOKE

    Military: BOWERY BATTALION, LET’S GO NAVY, HERE COME THE MARINES, CLIPPED WINGS, LOOKING FOR DANGER

    Strange powers: MASTER MINDS, BLUES BUSTERS, NO HOLDS BARRED, PRIVATE EYES, JUNGLE GENTS, HOLD THAT HYPNOTIST

    Crime-busting: BOWERY BOMBSHELL, NEWS HOUNDS, JINX MONEY, LUCKY LOSERS, JAIL BUSTERS, FIGHTING TROUBLE

    Exotic locations: BOWERY BUCKAROOS, FEUDIN’ FOOLS, LOOSE IN LONDON, BOWERY TO BAGDAD, CRASHING LAS VEGAS, IN THE MONEY

    Either of these ideas would offer an excellent cross-section of the entire Bowery Boys series, without the production problems of issuing the films chronologically.

    I love B pictures of the 1940s, especially the great supporting casts of character actors. The Bowery Boys pictures are filled with familiar faces from Hollywood’s golden age: Sheldon Leonard, Eric Blore, Frankie Darro, Douglass Dumbrille, Adele Jergens, Emil Sitka, Lyle Talbot, etc. I used to watch these features literally three times a day -- that’s how often the station in Massachusetts actually played them: morning, matinee, and late show -- and I enjoyed them again and again. I’m sure that Bowery Boys fans would jump at the chance to buy DVD versions and enjoy them repeatedly, as I have.

    Best wishes -- Scott MacGillivray
     
  18. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    I would propose a compromise. Have multiple volumes of the Bowery boys, but don't mix up the actual order ala the Looney Tunes. Instead each volume release is chronological. Let the first release be from the later years starting with one of the best bowery boys followed by the next five-ten releases, then release the other sets. It's chronological, but the release order emphasizes the highest quality material to spark interest in the series. This would keep people who want to view them chronologically from having to perpetually swap discs/sets, but would also provide people the oppurtunity to only buy one or two sets from the period of the bowery boys they enjoy most.
    No real idea how this would work, but if there are 48 films, it might go something like:
    Volume 1: Bowery Boys film number 30 to Bowery boys film number 39
    Volume 2: Bowery Boys film number 40 to film number 48
    Volume 3: Bowery Boys film number 1 to film number 9
    Volume 4: Bowery Boys film number 10 to number 19
    Volume 5: Bowery Boys film number 20 to number 29
     
  19. Rob W

    Rob W Supporting Actor

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    Chronological may be a dangerous way to go. Any of you who visit the TV on DVD forums are well aware of the dozens of tv series which have a season or two released and then abandoned. If the first films in the series are more serious and somewhat different from what the series eventually became, you are going to find a lot of casual fans & newbies who will likely pick up the first set as a sample, not like what they see compared to the later films, and pass on the second set. Warner then sees that sales are down and decides not to release the later films.
     
  20. Hank Dearborn

    Hank Dearborn Supporting Actor

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    But what about the many of us who are East Side Kids fans and who think the series better movies were the earlier ones before they got ridiculous. I like the films that were dramatic with some comedic elements as opposed to the ones that were just silly.
     

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