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Discussion in 'DVD' started by flagbrothers, Apr 3, 2009.
Does anyone know if these titles will be released soon?
Apparently the other Miriam Collection Bronston titles (El Cid, Fall of the Roman Empire) didn't sell very well, so the chance of the others being released is slim.
Those titles were scheduled but sales were bad on the first two releases so they were cancelled. Too bad because I have both "El Cid" and "Fall of the Roman Empire" - both in the special collector's pacakage and both are first class presentations! Don't know why they did not sell?
I ended up getting Korean copies of the European official releases of "Circus World" and "55 Days at Peking" and they don't look bad except for some film shrinkage issues.
I wanted to add that I am wondering why Bronston's first epic "John Paul Jones" (1959) hasn't made it to DVD when it was released on VHS in 1994 and has Bette Davis in it!?!
And when a descent DVD version of "Jack London" (1943) will surface? I have the Mill Creek copy - are there others out there?
Both titles were released for the Asian market in anamorphic widescreen 16 x 9 with the audio in dolby surround 4.0. I purchased both of them and the video is pretty good considering how old the movies are.
I purchased them without hesitation as I was concerned they would not be released in region 1 because of the poor sales of the other two titles. It is unfortunate because there did seem to be interest in owning the 4 titles.
Unfortunately, when El Cid and Fall of the Roman Empire were released there were some negative reviews about the quality of the video. I purchased both of those titles and the video is okay I never expected them to be the same quality as newer titles. The economy also doesn't help the sale of catalog titles as many have cut back on their buying habits.
Maybe it is 4 channel and the way I am reading the info from my player says Dolby Digital 3/1
Considering the way the films looked prior to restoration by the Rank company in England, I think it was on par with that of Criterion.
From what I could see the original sources were on par with old worn faded public domain titles and damaged. They even fixed tears from what I heard!
But people seem to want total "perfection" at times and overlook all of the rest that came with these packages!
I am happy with the Korean market titles in general and for the prices. I asked Weinstein about the other titles but never got a reply. Too bad they became jaded over it because there is a market for these films. Actually any Bronston title. I wanted to have at least his Epics in order knowing how he put profits from one film into the next until he went bankrupt. His earlier works are harder to obtain and like I said, would like to find one of his first "Jack London" on a decent DVD copy. There are some excellent featurettes about Bronston and his films on the El Cid and Fall DVDs.
Of course they say that "The Fall of the Roman Empire" was the film they coined the phrase "They Don't Make Them Like Than Any More" from. Last of the great classic epics in the true sense of the word and a feast for the eyes to behold even though the plot and acting is flawed. Too much showcasing and repitition that is repeated in his other films of this era.
City Without Men (1943 Columbia) Linda Darnell - Edgar Buchanan (Alpha DVD)
Jack London (1943 United Artist) Michael O'Shea - Susan Hayward (Public Domain)
John Paul Jones (1959 Warner) Robert Stack - Bette Davis (Warner title not on DVD)
King of Kings (1961 MGM) Jeffrey Hunter - Siobhan McKenna (Warner DVD)
El Cid (1961 Allied Artist) Charlton Heston - Sophia Loren (Weinstein DVD)
55 Days at Peking (1963 Allied Artist) Charlton Heston - Ava Gardner (Korean DVD)
The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964 Paramount) Sophia Loren - Stephen Boyd (Weinstein DVD)
Circus World (1964 Paramount) John Wayne - Claudia Cardinale (Korean DVD)
Savage Pampas (1966 Comet Pictures uncredited) Robert Taylor - Ron Randall (OOP BCI DVD)
Dr. Coppelius (1966 Izaro/Childhood uncredited) Walter Slezak - Claudia Corday (Spanish film not on DVD)
Brigham (1977 Sunset Films) Maurice Grandmaison - Richard Moll (not on DVD) (story of Brigham Young)
Fort Saganne (1984 AAA) Gérard Depardieu - Catherine Deneuve (French film R-2 only DVD)
I am sure Miramax must know now, if not then, that by not putting the money and effort into making these films look spectacular that it would ultimately cause all of them not getting released.
The sooner they lose the home video rights the better and I hope that a better company like Warner will be able to do Samuel Bronston justice.
Steve... I fail to see any major flaw in these transfers even using 120Hz 3-D filtering on a 42" set. I am happy with the results. It would be unrealistic for a "Warner type restoration" using their ultra process or expect 1080 quality and that is assuming that they could get their hands on them. One they "possibly" could being an Allied Artist release but the other was a Paramount release and neither has a mass appeal today. The 70mm process in itself is flawed and I am sure Weinstein and the Rank Organization did the best with the negatives in their condition which apparently were in poor quality and Genius with the final transfer.
I am wondering if the retail price was a bit high why more people did not buy them but on the other hand you have to look at the extras included.
For "Fall of the Roman Empire" 3-disc collector's edition: There was a commentary track, a promotional film, a making of featurette, 2 more featurettes about the real rise and fall of Rome, featurette about Timokin's score, trailer, filmographies, still galleries, and the complete set of Encyclopedia Britannica Educational films about Ancient Rome which used the location sets to produce them. Then you also have the complete color reproduction of the 1964 souvenir program booklet, six color production stills, and special packaging. How much would a box set like this cost if Warner was to produce it and how many people would buy it?
"El Cid" 2-disc was similar and it included a featurette about Samuel Bronston's life and career. All top notch additions and not the usual crap fluff fillers on most sets. I wish more box sets were of this first class presentation. Yes, I am a proud owner of both Special Editions. I am sure the Weinstein's would have given us equal quality and value with the other two films.
These films are NOT in need of restoration, merely preservation. I'm uncertain how one might use Warner's Ultra-rez process where there is nothing to "rez."
The 70mm process is not "flawed."
Excuse me, but wasn't both films released in both a special edition set and just the film set? I know people talked about the high price, but I believe the just movie set was priced within line. The special editions also include program and stills and was just as jam packed as Warners did with HOW THE WEST WAS WON. I am the proud owner of both special editions and would not even think or purchasing the other editions. With that said, I am no sure that price had anything to do with the poor sells. The 2 disc EL CID sold on Amazon for around $19.00 at the time of the release, while the Special Edition was at $30.00. I think it was all the so called experts that complained about anything they could and there is now a stigma about both DVD releases. I am not sure it was the releases as much as just wanting to complain about the Weinsteins and there is alot to complain about. This is just my opinion and I do not want to hurt any feelings or step on toes so I apologize if I offended anyone.
While I think EL CID is the best movie of the bunch, I find that 55 DAYS IN PEKING to be better film than FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. I am also a John Wayne buff so CIRCUS WORLD is better than all except EL CID to me. I want the overture, intermission and exit music.
I don't think that they will turned over to another company or Weinstein will loose the rights. I just hope that they will release the two films to DVD for everyone to enjoy.
Did they have negatives? Previous discussions suggested that Weinstein used existing prints as the basis for these transfers. I don't understand why these titles did not sell. Warner Bros took the time and money to make Quo Vadis a success and that film is probably less well known than El Cid and Fall of the Roman Empire. Maybe Weinstein simply had unrealistic expectations of how much profit they could make from these titles.
I think there might be a difference between the marketing of Warner Brothers and Genius. Also they put out three editions of El Cid and two of Fall of the Roman Empire. Too many to choose from. They should have just had a bare bones and the Special Edition and let the Special Edition be limited as Disney does with their tin.
As I recall, when the Miriam Collection was announced, these were to be special DVD releases of upscale product that they indicated they were not looking to make a huge profit on these, but to give them the releases they they deserved. I would guess that their funding woes are really to blame for the the cancellation of 55 Days and Circus World. However due to the sales of John Wayne films, Circus World would have been the first or second I would have released. I am sure that the sales numbers would have been better than the two they released, though I do admire El Cid. It is still a title that is wanted and would still sell well if released. Too bad, they could not come up with a Memorial Day release and promotion for the film. With the few titles announced it would fill a huge void.
I have the Korean DVD of Circus World and there is no Overture, Intermission or Exit music. But, you aren't missing much as the laser disc had them and they just played the same song 'Its the Circus..." that is played with the opening titles for the Intermission and Exit music. The Overture on the laser disc was only 15 seconds. The sound on the Korean disc is 4.0 and there is separation on the front three channels but I hear no sound coming out the surrounds.
This is also available as part of the R1 Catherine Deneuve Collection.
I find "Circus World" the weakest of them due to lack of budget while filming. It was a poor performance that Wayne gave and he was sick during the shoots - getting ready to have a lung removed. I don't know why you think "El Cid" wouldn't have sold? It was sought after for a long time and considered one of the better historical epic films. And it has Charlton Heston of "Ben Hur" and "Planet of the Apes" fame in it. Though Sophia Loren was a box office draw in the 1960s, few know her today. I believe the spectacle factor of all that Bronston put into the "Fall of the Roman Empire" sets that became a worldwide fascination while they stood and the 70mm views is the draw factor here. As I said it is considered the "last" true epic film and that in itself is another draw, movie history. None of the films were epic as far as acting was concerned and the direction was poor. Too much grandstanding, showcasing, and repetitive scenes such as troops marching as though he was trying to prove a point that he has the largest number of extras and all are properly costumed. He wanted to show off what he spent rather than tell a story..
Gave up waiting and ordered 55 Days at Peking from a Dutch company through Amazon, took just 4 days to arrive. No extras, English 2 track stereo, 2.35 ratio. Cost just £6.80 inc postage. I'll save it for the weekend.
55 Days At Peking  [Dutch Import]: Amazon.co.uk: Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, David Niven, Flora Robson, John Ireland, Harry Andrews, Elizabeth Sellars, Robert Helpmann, Kurt Kasznar, Leo Genn, Nicholas Ray: DVD
I just had a look John, yep it is, PQ is pretty good, very watchable. I wasn't expecting much for the price, the vobs take up about 6 gigs so that should do me until it gets a rerelease on blu, if ever.
Thanks - sold!
That last screen shot looks better than the one on dvdbeaver - http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/DVDRev...dvd_review.htm