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Isn't it about time for The African Queen?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Casey C., Feb 25, 2006.

  1. Casey C.

    Casey C. Well-Known Member

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    (The most recent African Queen thread is titled "The African Queen on DVD in late 2005?" So I figure it's time for a new one.)

    From the Warner chat and reading the HTF it seems we've reached a turning point where the studios have put out quality releases of most A-list catalog titles and are now digging deeper into their catalogs and planning releases of many lesser-known titles. Which is great news for us movie buffs.

    Which makes it all the more perplexing that "The African Queen" has been left behind. I understand that the film is in poor condition and needs extensive restoration, but the same has been said for other titles that have been released the past few years. Why no "African Queen"?

    Can anyone confirm that Paramount is currently working on a restoration of the film, as opposed to just being in their "future plans"?

    Please Paramount -- don't make us wait for the 60th anniversary in 2011. [​IMG]
     
  2. JulianK

    JulianK Well-Known Member

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    The film's available on DVD in the UK, and it usually sells for less than ten bucks.

    Perhaps that might fill a void until a US edition comes along?
     
  3. walter o

    walter o Well-Known Member

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    quote=Casey C> Please Paramount -- don't make us wait for the 60th anniversary in 2011.


    Please don't give Paramount/Viacom any ideas. [​IMG]
     
  4. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    And a lot less than ten bucks, my dvd of The African Queen was free inside a newspaper I bought last year, not the best copy of the film but it'll do until a long overdue special edition comes along.

    Btw a dvd of the film Zulu Dawn is free inside a sunday newspaper tomorrow, I forgot which paper.
     
  5. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Well-Known Member

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    Guys, I think they mean a Region 1 NTSC version.

    I know this is a stretch, but this was on TV a few weeks ago, and it looked great! (65") Much better than what I remember from the last time I had seen it, and that was years ago. I'm not positive, but I seem to remember seeing some scratches back then, and they aren't there now.

    Point being, this hasn't been on TV for years, and seeing it now tells me that a release is coming this year. I have seen this happen with several other movies - they aren't on TV or CATV for years, and a few months after they show up again on TV, they come out!

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed! I want one too!

    Glenn
     
  6. Casey C.

    Casey C. Well-Known Member

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    Glenn: It does pop up on TCM once in a while, and they showed it earlier this month as part of their "31 Days of Oscar" series. Maybe that's where you saw it. But I hope you're right!

    ... and yes, I am talking about an R1 NTSC release.
     
  7. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Upon last talking to Martin Blythe over at Paramount
    before he left his position, we were informed that
    African Queen is on their schedule, but is
    in great need of restoration.

    This was two years ago, and that time frame is
    normal for restorations. I wouldn't be surprised
    if we saw the DVD released later this year.

    ...at least the studio has intentions of releasing it,
    and that should make all of you happy.
     
  8. ted:r

    ted:r Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate the TAQ is being worked on. But I've been appreciating that for several years now. I'd nominate TAQ as the most glaring film missing on DVD and I doubt that I'd be alone on that. What would it kill Paramount to issue a status report? A simple statement as to where it lies, what work is being done and an approximate time frame. I think a lot of people would be at least satisfied (and Paramount would gain a lot of good will) with a statement showing how important the studio considers this film.
     
  9. Joel Vardy

    Joel Vardy Well-Known Member

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    I've raised this issue for some years now with a rather tepid response. When I questioned The Bits on any evidence they might have that restoration/preparation for a DVD release was actually in the works I did not get a response. I fully agree with Ted that this is (or is in the top 3) of most glaring missing films on DVD. The lack of news is deafening. I have no confidence that any restoration is actually being done or if it was started that it hasn't been halted.

    I also saw a rather improved print of AQ on TCM recently and TIVO'ed it for the time being. Perhaps something is in the works but I don't see why Paramount can't be a bit more forthcoming if they are doing anything along the lines of carefully restoring this classic.

    Joel
     
  10. Michael Rogers

    Michael Rogers Well-Known Member

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    At the Dryden theater (part of the Eastman House museum, George Eastman is the founder of Eastman Kodak) I saw African Queen and thought it was great.

    Saw the movie as a kid and saw pieces of it off and on on TCM but this is the first time I really got to see it all the way through.

    What is this a DVD hold out? Is it a rights tangle?
     
  11. Jamie Summers

    Jamie Summers Member

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    it's out in the uk, has been for years, and very cheap.
    we have to order tons of stuff from you lot, so why not do as we do and get it from abroad eh?
     
  12. Joel Vardy

    Joel Vardy Well-Known Member

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    I've been asking for this one for the 9 years of the format's history. Paramount seems to have 'dropped' the ball after insinuating that they were restoring it for 'imminent' release (or within a 'reasonable' timeframe). This is my most anticipated title -- yet I've been disillusioned about its release time and time again. '06 is gone and '07 is going to be the last chance for an SD release. I'd say there is a 50/50 chance of seeing this ever released in this current format.

    What I've done is purchase the R2 (far from good quality), record it on TCM, and transfer it to my PVR (Archos AV500) on MP4 format. I can still trasform it to an MPEG2 for optical replay purposes (if I wish) or stick with my MP4 version and just play it back from that box on my HDTV.
     
  13. Dick

    Dick Well-Known Member

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    Well, we all know how this works. We get steamed and raise a lot of hell for years about titles not appearing, then it appears and we get all mushy ("It was certainly worth the wait!") and all is forgiven. AFRICAN QUEEN will show up eventually and all this energy used to get agitated about its no-show status will be forgotten in a heartbeat.
     
  14. Paul_Nyman

    Paul_Nyman Well-Known Member

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    A few weeks ago I sent an email to Bill Hunt (The Digital Bits) asking if any news was available on The African Queen. It's one of three films left unavailable on DVD yet from the old AFI 100 films of all time list. Never heard anything back from him? I wonder how long we all have to wait for it to be finally restored and released to DVD, HD-DVD and Blue-Ray.
     
  15. Adam_S

    Adam_S Well-Known Member

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    iirc, I thought the new head of Paramount home video didn't like any old films and thus she's put the kibbutz on most of their releases, perhaps including African Queen?
     
  16. GlennWD

    GlennWD Well-Known Member

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    I got tired of waiting for the DVD and bought the Laserdisc cheap off ebay. Loved watching it again for the first time in many many years, it deserves Warner like treatment.
     
  17. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Seems a lot of things changed since Martin left Paramount domestic.

    "African Queen" was on the fast-track for release when he was
    running the show, but as others have discovered, classics seem
    to have taken a huge setback since changing of the guard at the
    studio.

    I can only guess that since AQ was being restored, we will see
    this title sooner than later.
     
  18. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Well-Known Member

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    "Put the kibbutz"? Where'd THAT expression come from? [​IMG]

    ("Kibbutz" means "a communal farm or settlement in Israel"...)
     
  19. Haggai

    Haggai Well-Known Member

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    LOL, I was going to point out that out earlier...surely Adam just had a minor brain-lock in his intended use of the phrase "put the kibosh," which means exactly the right thing in this context. "Putting the kibbutz" on anything that doesn't involve milking cows or picking fruit does indeed make very little sense. [​IMG]
     
  20. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Just want to let everyone know that in this week's Weekly RoundUp, I am listing an R1 import of The African Queen. Don't know much about it.

    HERE is the listing at Amazon.com.

    [​IMG]
     

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