1. Guest,
    If you need help getting to know Xenforo, please see our guide here. If you have feedback or questions, please post those here.
    Dismiss Notice

Houdini (1953)---comments?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Craig99, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. Craig99

    Craig99 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2007
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just watched this over the weekend; last time I remember seeing the movie was on a black and white TV (think it was NBC Saturday Night at the Movies, or something) so it was wonderful to finally see it in color! However, compared with some other DVDs of 1950s films (War of the Worlds, This Island Earth etc.) I thought the picture quality could have been better. Colors were very nice, but lots of artifacts/grain in some scenes.

    Anyway, it was a great flick and long overdue on DVD.
     
  2. Malcolm Cleugh

    Malcolm Cleugh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Messages:
    362
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is one of the cheapo releases from Legend Films of licensed old back cataolgue titles from Paramount. Would therefore not expect the same care, attention and money spent on them as one of the official Paramount releases, of other films they own from same era e.g. original War of the Worlds.

    Also I have read that that most of these Legend Films releases are on single layer DVD5s so you would expect more compression issues than if a dual layer DVD9 had been used.

    Given these films were never likely to be released by Paramount we should be grateful they are getting an official release at all.
     
  3. ahollis

    ahollis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Messages:
    6,283
    Likes Received:
    1,315
    Location:
    New Orleans
    Real Name:
    Allen
    I ordered a bunch of the Paramount titles from Legend and was very surprised at the quality. While it they are not the best thing ever released I was apprehensive coming from Legend Films. Since the company is a niche and mostly does colorizing of black & white films I had no idea what to expect. I also remember seeing “Houdini” on the NBC Saturday Night at the Movies at my cousin’s house who had the only color set for ten blocks. Even after these number of years I remember the color a lot more radiant than the DVD. The colors on the DVD should have been more dazzling since it was a three-strip Technicolor production, but again I do not know what Legend had to work with or what Paramount gave them. I am glad to finally have Houdini, Those Daunting Young Men, Serial, The Skull and others that have evaded me over the years whether DVD or laserdisc.

    I notice in August that Paramount is going to re-release just about every 80’s catalog title they have produced on DVD so far under the heading “I Love The 80’s.” The titles range from Airplane to Terms of Enderment. I can only image if they used their marketing skills with a series of un-released titles on DVD using that same heading and more such as “I Love the 70’s’ and I Love The 60’s.” Maybe we would see “A Separate Piece”, “American Hot Wax”, “Once Is Not Enough”, “Friends of Eddie Coyle”, “Looking for Mr. Goodbar”, “Such Good Friends”, and others. Hopefully Legend had a success with the titles and will do another group of films and if they do, one of my suggestions is “Skiddoo.”
     
  4. Charles H

    Charles H Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Messages:
    1,526
    Likes Received:
    0
    If Legend can do WON TON TON, THE DOG WHO SAVED HOLLYWOOD, then why not SKIDOO? Does Legend have any licensing agreement with Paramount beyond those already released or announced?
     
  5. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Messages:
    856
    Likes Received:
    61
    Frankly, I don't know what the bickering is about. I thought the DVD of HOUDINI was quite nice, aside from the color being boosted up a little too much. Legend does their transfers on state-of-the-art equipment, so if you've got an issue with grain, take it up with the cinematographer or the state of the elements.
     
  6. Richard--W

    Richard--W Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2004
    Messages:
    3,527
    Likes Received:
    166
    HOUDINI looks fine to me. I'm satisfied with the transfer and the color. All in all I have no complaints about any of the Legend / Paramount releases, except for the difficulty in ordering the latest titles from Best Buy. Whomever made the decision to release them as Best Buy exclusives needs to get his head examined.

    George Pal, the producer, invested HOUDINI with the same sense of wonder that made all his films memorable and entertaining. I can't recommend it highly enough.
     
  7. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    1,779
    Likes Received:
    0
    Skidoo is owned by the Preminger estate. His wife hates the film, so I doubt she will allow it to be released.
     
  8. ahollis

    ahollis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Messages:
    6,283
    Likes Received:
    1,315
    Location:
    New Orleans
    Real Name:
    Allen

    That explains why TCM showed a pan-scan version of Skidoo a few months back. Paramount had no reason to up-grade the print from its original TV showings.

    That is a shame, while the film was dreadful it does have its champions and it is something to see. I guess we put this on the same category of movies that are caught in owner’s hell like Porgy and Bess and The Hanging Tree. Glad the Berlin estate decided to allow people to view Annie Get Your Gun again after years of being locked up.

    Does anyone know if “Hurry Sundown” has some kind of rights issue or is it also owned and locked by the Preminger estate? It seems that this film along with “Skidoo”, “Such Good Friends” and “Tell Me That You Love Me Julie Moon” are missing from the DVD market and were all produced by Otto Preminger Films. I know that Warner HV released “The Cardinal” and “Advise and Consent”, which one must assume a deal was made with Mrs. Preminger. Those four films that Paramount released would look good on my shelf (hint, hint someone).

    Back on the topic, there are a lot of Paramount titles from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s that are just caught in Paramount hell. Here's a toast that Legend and Paramount can make another deal for another 30 films.
     
  9. George Reis

    George Reis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2005
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    16
    I've been happy with all the Legend releases I've seen so far. They've really taken a big bite out of Paramount's catalog this year, releasing titles we'd probably would never have seen on DVD had it not been for their deal.

    I hope they can get more from Paramount, as well as tap into the resources of other studios who are still sitting on hundreds of unreleased titles.
     

Share This Page