"The Whistler," "The Falcon," "The Saint" from the '40s -- when on DVD?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by marcSV, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. marcSV

    marcSV Extra

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    Does anybody have any information about whether "The Whistler" series from the '40s with Richard Dix, Columbia/Sony, "The Falcon" series with George Sanders and Tom Conway and "The Saint" series of the early 1940s with Sanders, RKO/Warner Bros., have any chance of being officially released on DVD by the studios in question? There must be a lot of people who wish they would. Anybody know anything?
     
  2. Garrett Adams

    Garrett Adams Supporting Actor

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    The Whistler knows... but he ain't talking. On second thought maybe it's the Shadow who knows.
     
  3. marcSV

    marcSV Extra

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    That could be answered with: on third thought, apparently you don't know. I was asking a serious question.
     
  4. marcSV

    marcSV Extra

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    There were VHS editions of "The Saint" and a couple films of "The Falcon" were released on VHS too as RKO Double Features some years ago. The logic was that after Warner Bros. found out that "The Thin Man" on DVD sold well, it might be commerically viable to release the Sanders-Conway "Falcon" and "Saint" on DVD. They have always been popular with collectors; that goes for "The Whistler" too. But, in regard to "Whistler" prospects, Columbia/Sony seems to be a bit asleep when it comes to older, classical films. Maybe I'm wrong; maybe it'll change. There is some hope for Warner Bros. putting out the two Sanders-Conway series, I hope! That's why I asked the question in the forum whether anybody has heard hearsay on the topic.
     
  5. Aki K

    Aki K Agent

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    I don't know if is of any interest to you, but I just bought a Falcon box set here in Finland. It contains the first nine films of the series. The soundtrack is in original English with Finnish subtitles. Haven't had time to look at it yet, though, so i can't comment on the picture quality.

    http://www.videodivari.fi/index.asp?...ShowItem=27388
     
  6. Mike*HTF

    Mike*HTF Supporting Actor

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    Aki K - are the subs removable? The site didn't mention. Interesting cover art by the way.
     
  7. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    At the last Warners chat, they were asked about their mystery series...it was hinted that the Falcon/Saint were in the pipeline (as were the 30s Perry Mason films). Warners did confirm they are planning on releasing their Monogram Charlie Chan holdings as well as oft requested "Black Camel". No dates for any of this was given.

    As far as the Columbia series go...given their track record with their "A" series films I wouldn't give much hope for their "B" series. The best chance they have for release is if a 3rd party like MPI were to license them. Most of them exist in good condition as the Encore Mystery channel ran a series of Lone Wolf/Crime Doctor/Boston Blackie/Whistler films in the late 90s. TCM has the original Whistler movie on their schedule sometime in the next couple of months.

    Steve
     
  8. Aki K

    Aki K Agent

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    As far as I can tell, the subs are not removable. I took some screenshots but the subs don't appear on these, for some reason.

    Naturally this is a region 2 PAL-release. The cover art shown in the link was that of the back cover, by the way. Here you can see the front cover. The release consists of 3 DVDs with 3 films on each disc.

    As mentioned, I took some screenshots of the first disc. Here's the disc menu. The title card of the Gay Falcon looks like this. And finally two screencaps from A Date with Falcon and The Falcon Takes Over.
     
  9. marcSV

    marcSV Extra

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    Are these licensed editions from Warner Bros. by a Finnish DVD manufacturer? I have terrible experience with bootlegged editions, so anything bootlegged isn't so interesting. Are there Finnish series of RKO titles, which are commercially manufactured and at some level of quality visually and aurally?How is the sound and picture? Was it licensed from Warners?
     
  10. Aki K

    Aki K Agent

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    I don't know all the details, but I am 100% certain that these are NOT bootlegged. The set is published in co-operation with Panvision (a Scandinavian publisher: www.panvision.com) and The Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE, the Finnish equivalent to BBC). They have also other sets such as Cary Grant RKO 5 movie box, Katherine Hepburn 3-movie box and a few individual titles. And I just noticed that there is also The Saint box with 8 movies on offer.

    YLE shows a lot of old RKO movies regularly on TV as matinees. I guess they must have some kind of licensing deal, but unfortunately I don't know the details.

    The sound and picture quality seems fine to me: the quality varies from one film to the next in the Falcon box, but it's never less than good. Of course I haven't managed anything but a sneak peek, but the screenshots should give some idea of to the quality of this particular release.
     
  11. GregoryMesh

    GregoryMesh Supporting Actor

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    While Warner controls RKO titles in U.S., other studios own them in other coutries. Universal owns it in U.K., Columbia in Italy, etc. Thus many of them show up on DVD in different countries. But only Warner has the best elements of these films, so that's why other studio have to use 16mm, video and laserdisc masters for their releases. They are legit, just not the best possible quality.
     
  12. marcSV

    marcSV Extra

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    Can you recommend a Nordic or simply a Finnish Web site selling Finnish DVDs, like the one you showed, that might have some English on it? I looked at the Web site, but unfortunately the Finnish language is not so easy to read; I tried guessing, but it is too risky. I'd even be grateful if it would be French or German. I am afraid of simply guessing and clicking. Help!
     
  13. Aki K

    Aki K Agent

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    Unfortunately, I cannot. This seems to be purely a Finnish release. All the sites I've used here have hardly any english on them.

    All I can suggest is to e-mail one of these stores and make inquiries. Rest assured: they all speak English! [​IMG]

    Below are a couple e-mail addresses for stores I've found to be reliable (replace at with @)
    Videodivari (infoatvideodivari.com)
    DVDnet (quote from their site: IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ORDERING OUR PRODUCTS TO ABROAD, PLEASE EMAIL US myyntiatDVDNET.fi, SO WE CAN NEGOTIATE ABOUT DETAILS)

    Both of these have both the Falcon and Saint boxes in stock at this time.
     
  14. Irina

    Irina Second Unit

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  15. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    TCM has been running FALCON and SAINT movies lately and a mini-marathon in scheduled in March. Has anyone heard anymore about timing of a WHV release?

    Also, TCM just entered into an arrangement with Sony to show many of the old Columbia mystery films. As a result there will be a lot of BOSTON BLACKIE, CRIME DOCTOR, LONE WOLF, and possibly WHISTLER films shown in coming months (many are on the March schedule). Will this increased exposure translate into a DVD release of any of these films? Highly doubtful, but Sony has managed a surprise or two in the last year (Buster Keaton, Boris Karloff, etc.).

    Steve
     
  16. PaulaJ

    PaulaJ Supporting Actor

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    >At the last Warners chat, they were asked about their mystery series...it was hinted that the Falcon/Saint were in the pipeline (as were the 30s Perry Mason films). Warners did confirm they are planning on releasing their Monogram Charlie Chan holdings as well as oft requested "Black Camel". No dates for any of this was given.


    Isn't The Black Camel a Fox film? Why would WB be releasing it?
     
  17. GregoryMesh

    GregoryMesh Supporting Actor

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  18. nostalgic TV guy

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    My apologies for reviving such an old thread. I've been trying to get the Finnish copies of the Falcon series for a while now, and finally got them from a Finnish Web Site called 'Record ShopX'. I was able to order the 3-DVD set and paid through PayPal as I did not want to send my credit card info halfway around the world. I couldn't get a repsonse from any of the other Finnish resllers that I tried (even though they all supposedly speak English).

    The prints are a bit grainy (probably from 16mm) but acceptable. It's cool to see the lightly colorized pictures on the sleeve of the box set and in the menus.

    The DVD's are in PAL format and need an international DVD player that will play PAL discs in region 2.

    And yes, the Finnish subtitles are removable. I have Nero 6x (with Nero Recode) and Recode let me make a copy of the DVD's with the subtitles removed. (The Finnish subtitles are annoying and removing them is a big improvement.)

    None of the Falcon series have been yet released on DVD, despite Warners promises from 2006/7 that they were "in the pipeline".

    BTW, I did find bootleg copies of the entire Falcon series on Ebay (including the final 3 films starring John Calvert) but the quality was mediocre, including a bit of freezing/skipping in a couple of films).
     
  19. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    Tip from another forum; Editions Montparnasse has just released this eight film, four disc Saint set in France; review with screencaps here (click on the titles at the bottom of the page). I can't help feelong that - once upon a time at least - Warners would have produced a set that would easily trump that.
     
  20. Marcel H.

    Marcel H. Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the tip. I'm holding out for a possible Warner set but just in case they will be Archive titles, I'm going to buy the French discs, like with Berlin Express, The Search, Experiment Perilous and Mr. Lucky.
     

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