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Tennessee Williams Film Collection on March 28

Discussion in 'DVD' started by GregoryMesh, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. GregoryMesh

    GregoryMesh Supporting Actor

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    CD Universe has the following titles listed for March 28, 2006 from Warner Brothers.

    Tennessee Williams Film Collection
    A Streetcar Named Desire - Special Edition (1951)
    Baby Doll (1956)
    Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - Special Edition (1958)
    The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961)
    Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)
    The Night of the Iguana (1964)

    The list price for the boxset is $79.98
    A Streetcar Named Desire is $26.99 and all others are $19.97 (which means Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is likely only 1 disc edition).
     
  2. dave bula

    dave bula Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for passing this along, Gregory. It sounds like a typical recent Warners set. The two choicest plums are getting the special edition treatment, while the other films of lesser interest to some folks are not getting it. Just like with the Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Steve McQueen, and other recent sets. Although I'm a bit surprised that Cat appears likely (from the price) to be only a 1-disc SE. Well, they know that the biggest draw should be Streetcar, which has only been available in a featureless "strippo" since the dawn of the DVD era in March, 1997.

    I may change my mind as the release date approaches, but my initial reaction is to plan on getting just Streetcar and Cat.
     
  3. willyTass

    willyTass Second Unit

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    Let's hope warners give Streetcar the same facelift they gave Sunset
     
  4. Shawn Cornwell

    Shawn Cornwell Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow, this will probably be my top box set of the year. Warners mentioned several Williams titles due in 2006 during the last chat (I asked them about "Baby Doll" and "Sweet Bird"), so I was hoping they'd all end up in a box set. I guess I can retire my ancient "Cat" DVD now, and finally get "Streetcar" in the Special Edition format it warrants. Of the other titles, "Doll" in particular is a great film long overdue for a release on DVD. Thank you Warners!
     
  5. Charles H

    Charles H Screenwriter

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    How about LAST OF THE MOBILE HOT SHOTS--directed by the ubiquitous Sidney Lumet--in its original "X" rating?
     
  6. David Jay

    David Jay Stunt Coordinator

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    Awesome news! Thanks Gregory.

    I've only seen Streetcar and the Rose Tattoo, but I've always really liked Tennessee Williams' style and how it's adapted for the screen. Definitely another buy for me, from Warners.
     
  7. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    It might not need that much work... I mean, the SE version of Strangers on a Train (same year) just had traditional restoration and it looked nearly perfect.
     
  8. Charles H

    Charles H Screenwriter

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    ...And PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT? With a commentary by Lois Nettleton, Anthony Franciosa, and Jane Fonda?
    I believe that Fox owns the video and cable rights to THE GLASS MENAGERIE (1950), the very first Williams adaptation to the screen. It's a fascinating example of how to Warner Brotherize a provocative Williams play and it is not without it charms. The Max Steiner music and Irving Rapper direction pretty much "pitch" the movie as a reworking of NOW VOYAGER in a tenement apartment and the casting of recent Oscar-winner Jane Wyman suggests JOHNNY BELINDA Redux. But the cast is quite good (including Wyman). Kirk Douglas in his anti-hero mode (CHAMPION, ACE IN THE HOLE, DETECTIVE STORY) brings unusual edge to "The Gentleman Caller." And I think that Gertrude Lawrence as Amanda (a part that Tallulah Bankhead campaigned for and screen-tested) is a fascinating choice offering both divahood and vulnerability. The film even literalizes Belle Reve as a flashback.
     
  9. Roger Rollins

    Roger Rollins Supporting Actor

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    Fox has ALL rights to THE GLASS MENAGERIE which was produced by one-time agent, later film-producer Charles K. Feldman at Warners, with full Warner input. The same with STREETCAR the following year.

    Warner Bros. lost their distribution rights to both films after seven years, and Feldman later made a deal with Fox for both STREETCAR and GLASS MENAGERIE. Feldman took the rights back to STREETCAR when they lapsed, but Fox kept MENAGERIE. STREETCAR later traveled to United Artists, then Lorimar. When Feldman died he left the ownership of the film to the Motion Picture & Television Fund. Warners got STREETCAR "back home" with its purchase of Lorimar, but had to negotiate a new distribution deal with the MP&TF to continue distribution. As it is one of their crown jewels, I doubt they'll let it go again.

    I can understand why Warner Home Video wouldn't include PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT in this set. It bears virtually no trademark of Williams' writing, especially on screen, since it is basically a comedy, and one that hardly any one except we die-hard movie and theater buffs know about.

    THE LAST OF THE MOBLE HOT SHOTS has even more going against it, in that it was a notorious failure, and although Sidney Lumet has made some of the greatest films of all time, he's certainly turned out several clunkers. IMHO, this is one of them, and it got slammed by critics upon release.

    If these films were to be included in the Warner set, that would mean that they would require new HD transfers, authoring for DVD, creation of menus, packaging, etc. These costs really add up, big time, as was explained to me by several friends in that part of the industry.

    I would guess that economic reasons (and marketing savvy) precluded the release of these two other titles in the set.

    Meanwhile, I'm thrilled at the concept of at last having all the new releases, a remastered CAT, and STREETCAR getting Warners' peerles 2-Disc treatment. This looks to be another winner for Warner.
     
  10. Mark Edward Heuck

    Mark Edward Heuck Screenwriter

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    Thank you, Roger, for the astute explanation on the presence and/or absence of titles from this collection. I like knowing the nuts and bolts of these situations.

    I'm still just a wee bit surprised they didn't do LAST OF THE MOBILE HOT SHOTS. I have seen it get cable play in recent years, presented with the entire Panavision image squeezed rather than pan-scanned (old transfer, or artistic decision to make it look even more absurd?). And WB did give it a VHS release in the format's waning days, unsure if it was the same print. For the expense they would incur to master it and prep it for DVD, I would think if they made it a box-set exclusive as opposed to a regular release, they could effectively "shift the burden" to the other well-liked movies. WB seems to have better catalog title sales than most majors, and I think it is because they do these interesting packages that encourage people to buy in bulk and take chances on lesser-known films. Thus I think not including HOT SHOTS is a missed opportunity. I doubt Williams fans would protest if a clunker was included among the greats.
     
  11. Andrew Budgell

    Andrew Budgell Screenwriter

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    I'm looking forward to the new CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF DVD. Hopefully it will include some good special features. As I side note, I had the great privilage of meeting Dame Elizabeth (my all time favourite!) at the Britannia Awards two weeks ago. So sweet, a true legend!

    Andy
     
  12. willyTass

    willyTass Second Unit

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    "Streetcar might not need that much work"??

    Warners can do way better than the transfer they released circa 1997
     
  13. Charles H

    Charles H Screenwriter

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    I don't think that THE LAST OF THE MOBILE HOT SHOTS was ever done in Panavision. Lumet made a conscious decision NEVER to do anything above 1.85. I applaud WB for including the abberations (THE STAR, NEVER TOO FEW, TOM HORN, THE DAMNED DON'T CRY, THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX) as deliberate decisions in their Signature Collections (I would have loved ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE in the McQueen Collection) if only as a demonstration that goes beyond the obvious and, therefore, into the unexpected. I feel the same way about THE LAST OF THE MOBILE HOT SHOTS and PERIOD OF ADJUSTMENT. Sometimes, the failures tell us more about our successes. THE GLASS MENAGERIE (1950), historically, tells us a lot about Williams' adaptation issues with Hollywood (where he was coming from in 1950) and BOOM (Universal; 1968)--ghastly as it is--tell us where those issues ended up nearly 20 years later.
     
  14. Ken Koc

    Ken Koc Screenwriter

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    Terrific News!!! I can't wait for the boxset. I also wish the "Period of Adjustment" made it to the boxset.
     
  15. Jing_B

    Jing_B Stunt Coordinator

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    Last week with 2-Discs versions of Network and Dog Day Afternoon now Streetcar Named Desire... It never seems to stop doesn't it[​IMG] ? The rate at which theyre all coming is breathtaking to say the least. Bring on The Searchers Next!
     
  16. Mark B

    Mark B Supporting Actor

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    BABY DOLL! Great news. Thanks WB.
     
  17. Thomas T

    Thomas T Screenwriter

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    Terrific news! I can't wait until March! I, too, would not have minded Period Of Adjustment as part of the collection but I never EVER want to see the horror that is Last Of The Mobile Hot Shots again!
     
  18. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    I've been waiting for Baby Doll too. I haven't seen the others beyond Streetcar, but might go for the box if the price is right.
     
  19. ted:r

    ted:r Second Unit

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    This is fantastic news! I've been coveting Sweet Bird and Iguana for years! Thank you, powers that be at WB!

    As for the others mentioned, especially Mobile, I do hope they will be released at a future date. But right now, this is one gift horse whose teeth I will not be checking!
     
  20. Deepak Shenoy

    Deepak Shenoy Supporting Actor

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    Cool ! We finally get the long-awaited Streetcar reissue. In the first 3 months of 06 alone, Warner will be reissuing 5 titles as 2-disk SEs - Wild Bunch, 3 of the titles in the Controversial Classics 2 box and now Streetcar. That leaves us with just a handful of titles (as far as I can remember) that are badly in need of new transfers and SE treatment - Searchers is the most obvious one, then there is Cool Hand Luke and hopefully Maltese Falcon. Hopefully we will see these in 06 as well.

    -D
     

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