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WHV Press Release: The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary UCE (DVD/Blu-ray)

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition
    Warner Home Video Celebrates the Beloved Classic
    with Spectacular New Blu-ray Version September 29
    16 Hours of Enhanced Content, Four of Which Are Brand New, Includes
    New Documentaries, Featurettes, a Sing-Along Track
    and Extraordinary Collectibles

    THE WIZARD OF OZ
    70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition



    Burbank, Calif. June 9, 2009 – It is difficult to imagine a motion picture more magical and more wonderful than Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's wonderful The Wizard of Oz. Over the last seven decades, the film has indelibly woven itself into America’s cultural consciousness: Is there anyone who doesn’t immediately think of the film upon hearing the words, “Dorothy,” “Toto,” “Emerald City,” “Ruby Slippers” and “Yellow Brick Road” -- or the lines to the song “Over the Rainbow?”

    Now, the colorful characters and unforgettable songs of Oz come alive as never before when Warner Home Video brings this cinematic treasure into the digital age with the September 29 Blu-ray release of The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition. The commemorative edition contains nearly 4 hours of all-new and never-before-available bonus features and is housed in numbered collectible packaging, and will be available for a limited time only for $69.92 SRP (DVD) and $84.99 SRP (Blu-ray Hi-Def).

    In order to bring all the visual splendor of The Wizard of Oz to the Hi-Def world of Blu-ray Disc, the film has been entirely remastered, with each of the original Technicolor camera negatives scanned using 8K resolution. From this scan, a final ‘capture’ master was created in 4K, yielding twice the resolution seen in the master utilized for the film's previous DVD release.

    Working in ‘full film Resolution’, extreme care was taken to ensure that all of the image fidelity contained in the original negatives was properly captured for this new presentation. The sounds of Oz will come alive on Blu-ray disc utilizing the full audio spectrum capabilities available through Dolby TrueHD audio. The net result is one of unprecedented quality that is sure to make The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Edition a benchmark in the history of the Blu-ray format.

    There will also be a dedicated official site for all Oz-related events and products: Warner Bros..
    The following components are ALL-NEW and exclusive to this release:

    The Dreamer of Oz – which makes its long-awaited home video debut. Also remastered the occasion, this full-length motion picture was an NBC-TV special event in 1990 and thrilled critics and audiences as it told the back story of author L. Frank Baum, "the Royal Historian of Oz.” John Ritter shines in the title role -- the man who defied all odds to create the famous characters and stories. Annette O'Toole beautifully co-stars as his supportive wife, with Rue McClanahan as his challenging witch of a mother-in-law.

    Victor Fleming, Master Craftsman -- a new feature-length documentary produced specifically for this release about the Hollywood director who, in the same year, miraculously brought both Oz and Gone With the Wind to the screen.

    Hollywood Celebrates It’s Biggest Little Stars-- a new featurette stars seven of the original "Munchkins of Oz" and tells the saga of the long journey, culminating in them receiving their own 2007 Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

    The Magic Cloak of Oz -- the first release of the complete 1914 silent film, including lost footage never before included in a home video presentation of this feature (produced by Baum himself).

    The Patchwork Girl of Oz -- another 1914 Baum-produced, feature-length silent film, new to Warner Home Video.

    The Wizard of Oz Sing-Along Track -- here making its home entertainment debut.

    Reproductions of Archival Material -- Extraordinary renderings of the original 1939 Oz campaign, exploitation, and press books. These materials constitute a Hollywood "holy grail" for Oz, Garland, and motion picture fans alike and, for decades, have been among the most sought-after and impossible-to-find collectibles.

    Behind The Curtain -- a 52-page miniature coffee-table book, assembled by pre-eminent Oz historian John Fricke. Encompassing much previously unpublished material, the deluxe volume includes behind-the-scenes Oz photographs, studio memos, and script pages for abandoned scenes and musical numbers.

    Exclusive Wizard of Oz Watch -- A collectible and numbered 70th Anniversary watch, incorporating art from the film and enhanced with genuine crystals. Available nowhere else, this beautiful timepiece was created specially for this DVD edition.

    And for the Blu-Ray Ultimate Collector’s Edition, the original extended version of “If I Only Had a Brain” performed by Ray Bolger has been remastered in hi-definition especially for this release.

    About the Movie

    Adapted from L. Frank Baum’s timeless children’s tale about a Kansas girl’s journey over the rainbow, The Wizard of Oz opened at Grauman’s Chinese Theater on August 15, 1939. The film was directed by Victor Fleming (who that same year directed Gone With the Wind), produced by Mervyn LeRoy, and scored by Herbert Stothart, with music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg. Ray Bolger appeared as the Scarecrow; Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion, Jack Haley as the Tin Woodman. Frank Morgan was seen in six different roles, including that of the "wonderful Wizard" himself. Dorothy was portrayed by a 4'11" sixteen year old girl who quickly earned her reputation as “the world’s greatest entertainer”-- the incomparable Judy Garland.

    The Wizard of Oz received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, and captured two Oscars® -- Best Song (“Over the Rainbow”) and Best Original Score -- plus a special award for Outstanding Juvenile Performance by Judy Garland. The film was an overwhelmingly popular and critical success upon its initial release and repeated its ability to captivate audiences when M-G-M reissued the film in 1949 and 1955. The film made a new kind of history with its network television premiere in 1956 on CBS. Nearly 45 million people tuned in for this initial telecast, marking the beginning of an annual tradition. Ever since, The Wizard of Oz has been shown virtually annually on network (and then cable) television; its magical story and heartfelt performances have enabled it to grow from a perennial classic to its current status as a treasured icon of popular culture.


    TWO DISC DVD SPECIAL FEATURES

    Disc 1
    · Remastered feature with Dolby Digital 5.1 Audio (NEW)
    · Sing-along Track (NEW)
    · Commentary by John Fricke with Barbara Freed-Saltzman (daughter of Arthur Freed), Margaret Hamilton, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, John Lahr (son of Bert Lahr), Jane Lahr (daughter of Bert Lahr), Hamilton Meserve (son of Margaret Hamilton), Dona Massin (MGM choreographer), William Tuttle (make-up artist), Buddy Ebsen, Mervyn LeRoy, and Jerry Maren
    · The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Storybook
    · Prettier Than Ever: The Restoration of Oz
    · We Haven’t Really Met Properly
    · Music and Effects Track
    · Original Mono Track


    DISC 2
    · The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Making of a Movie Classic [1990 TV special]
    · Memories of Oz [2001 TCM documentary]
    · The Art of Imagination: A Tribute to Oz
    · Because of the Wonderful Things it Does: The Legacy of Oz
    · Harold Arlen’s Home Movies
    · Outtakes and Deleted Scenes
    · It’s a Twister! It’s a Twister! The Tornado Tests
    · Off to See the Wizard
    · 3 Vault Shorts
    · Audio Jukebox Selection
    o Leo Is on the Air Radio Promo
    o Good News of 1939 Radio Show
    o 12/25/1950 Lux Radio Theater Broadcast
    · Still Galleries
    · Six Theatrical Trailers


    DVD & BLU-RAY HI-DEF ULTIMATE COLLECTOR’S EDITIONS
    Includes everything listed in the Two Disc SE as well as the following:

    Disc 3
    · Victor Fleming: Master Craftsman (NEW)
    · L. Frank Baum: The Man Behind the Curtain
    · Celebrating Hollywood’s Biggest Little Stars (NEW)
    · The Dreamer of Oz [1990 TV special] (NEW)
    · The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1910)
    · The Wizard of Oz [1933]

    Disc 4
    · His Majesty, The Scarecrow of Oz
    · The Magic Cloak of Oz [1914] (NEW)
    · The Patchwork Girl of Oz [1914] (NEW)
    · The Wizard of Oz [1925 feature]

    (Blu-ray Hi-Def will have Discs 1 & 2 and Discs 3 & 4 combined)

    Also included are unique premiums:
    · Collectible and numbered 70th Anniversary Wizard of Oz watch with genuine crystals
    · Replica of the original film budget
    · Behind the Curtain, A 52-page, coffee-table book
    · Reproduction of the original 1939 campaign book

    EXCLUSIVE TO THE DVD and BLU-RAY HI-DEF RAY ULTIMATE COLLECTOR’S EDITIONS
    · Digital Copy on Disc

    EXCLUSIVE TO BLU-RAY HI-DEF ULTIMATE COLLECTOR’S EDITIONS:
    · MGM: When The Lion Roars Documentary


    The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Edition
    Street Date: September 29, 2009
    Rating: G

    Blu-ray Hi-Def Ultimate Collector’s Edition
    $84.99 SRP

    Ultimate Collector’s Edition (SD)
    $69.92 SRP

    Two-Disc Special Edition
    $24.98 SRP
     
  2. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Great to see this officially announced. One of the first releases to be
    scanned in 8k so it should look STUNNING on Blu-ray. I remember when
    we visited Warner Bros. last year George Feltenstein told our group that
    it looked AMAZING. No doubt it will be a huge seller on Blu-ray.
     
  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Well I have a complaint. It's a shame that Warner is forgetting the little guy with a BRD player that can't afford spending $60 plus in purchasing this ultimate collection release of this great film. If you're giving the SD DVD release a more affordable version to purchase than why not BR owners?

    I'm very disappointed in Warner for forgetting those that have a BR player, but don't have the budget to buy such a expensive release and the same applies to their upcoming release of "Gone with the Wind" and past releases such as "Casablanca".





    Crawdaddy
     
  4. Jim_K

    Jim_K Well-Known Member

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    Hurray! Another Box-O-Junk Exclusive! For a recession-friendly/economy-in-the-dumpster $85 price too! First Casablanca now this. [​IMG] Next up Gone With the Wind, King Kong, North By Northwest, Ben-Hur, etc, etc.

    Thanks for sticking it to us BD owners yet again Warner.

    Obviously Warner didn't listen to this concern back when Casablanca came out. Either shame on us for not voicing it more strongly or shame on them for dismissing it.

    I'm so pissed that I won't be able to keep my comments civil so that's about all I'm going to say right now........until I cool off.
     
  5. Scott Merryfield

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    I concur. Casablanca is one of my favorite films, but I will not buy a BD version until Warner releases a more affordable option without all the extra junk. Same with WOZ and GWTW.
     
  6. RickER

    RickER Well-Known Member

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    I couldnt agree more. Why a basic DVD, but not one for Blu-ray? Makes this and the other titles a no buy for me. And as long as Warner is reading...i hate, HATE the cheap "books" like The Matrix and Batman came in too! (just in case you thought about putting a 2 disc Oz in one of those books, at a later time...dont. PLEASE!)
     
  7. Jay E

    Jay E Well-Known Member

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    I see that Warner is continuing it's practice of trying to gouge away as much money as they can from it's Blu-ray customers by offering only this over-priced option.

    What a great way to win over Blu-ray customers to your side...keep pissing them off[​IMG]
     
  8. Southpaw

    Southpaw Well-Known Member

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    I have to disagree.
    This set looks absolutely incredible. A timeless classic such as TWoO deserves this treatment and nothing less. We're not talking about Over the Top here. We're talking The Wizard of Oz at 8k resolution!!!
    It's not even close to $85 at retailers so I don't even know why people would quote that price. To me, it's worth that much to get everything that is included in this set.
    For $59 it's a steal.
    I guess it boils down to how much you feel you are getting for your dollar. In my opinion, you get a lot in this set.

    Thank you Warner!
     
  9. Christian Preischl

    Christian Preischl Well-Known Member

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    I agree that the set looks absolutely stunning, and it certainly is a great collector's item... for those that want it.

    I, as quite a few others, am not interested in all the extra crap (don't need another watch, thank you very much), I just want the 2 disc Blu-ray.

    So, ultimately, this set is too expensive (even at a discount) and a waste of shelf space. Two reasons why I won't be buying this.

    The only hope I have is that Warner'll release a disc-only edition overseas (They're certainly doing it with Woodstock in the UK).
     
  10. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Well-Known Member
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    Isn't it listed on Disc 2 of the DVD and thus will be on Disc 1 of the Blu-ray? Or am I reading the press release incorrectly?

    I was not going to get this until I read that there is new content. I wish they had gotten the rights to THE RUBY SLIPPERS OF OZ, a fabulous documentary about the discovery, sales, and controversies surrounding the several pairs of ruby slippers which have been sold, auctioned, stolen, and/or traded for decades.
     
  11. Scott D S

    Scott D S Well-Known Member

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    I agree as well. I sold my Casablanca DVD when the Blu was announced but I would've kept it if I knew they'd only release it in a box with the tchotchkes.

    If Casablanca is released on its own, I'll buy it in a heartbeat.
     
  12. Bleddyn Williams

    Bleddyn Williams Well-Known Member

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    I posted the same dissatisfaction over only offering an expensive BD set, but in my haste, posted in reply to Ron's announcement in the SD forum. I was wondering why folks weren't complaining about not getting a straightforward BD discs-only set! Good to see folk making themselves heard.

    I do not want a Wizard of Oz watch for a premium. I want the discs alone for a fair price! Digibook would have been nice.

    I do hope Jim K is wrong about those upcoming titles becoming "Ultimate Collectors Editions." I would love these titles in my library but I will not pay through the nose for a bunch of trinkets in a box. I might have to look overseas too.
     
  13. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Whoops there it is! I will amend my original post. Thanks, Matt.
     
  14. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Agree 100%. I won't be buying this. Way too rich for my blood.

    As much as I'd normally be SO enthusiastic about seeing this film after the 8k Ultra- "Full Film" Resolution magic was worked on it...I'll be waiting until a 2-disc BD version is eventually released after WB realizes it's mistake of only issuing an over-the-top special edition that most casual buyers will leave on the shelves when they see the pricetag. I'll bet a lossless audio track will sound pretty good, too! (Do we think there'll be a lossless 1.0 track as well? I'd hope so.)

    It is a confounding marketing move in this economy.
     
  15. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I posted this press release early this morning with a simple glance
    over its features. This is the reason why I first missed the inclusion
    of the Angela Lansbury documentary.

    What I also didn't notice was the fact that only the deluxe edition
    would be released to Blu-ray.

    Looking at this situation now, I have to agree with everyone else
    that a huge oversight was made here to those of us that don't need
    all these extras and simply want a more affordable 2-disc edition.

    While some may find $60 (Amazon) to be a bargain over the
    advertised price, I'm more concerned about how I am going to
    store this thing on my shelf.

    While I think Warner has put together a beautiful Collector's
    Edition I do think there has been a disservice done for those of
    us that just want a digibook Special Edition release. Of course,
    that will probably be the eventual plan but why make us wait?
     
  16. David Wilkins

    David Wilkins Well-Known Member

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    As far as I'm concerned it's not so much the money, I just don't want all that crap. Then there's storing all that crap. I at least would hope that there's a shelf compatible inner case for the disc(s). Either way, I have no intention of buying this set. And it pisses me off to have to wait god knows how many months, maybe a year, until the discs are offered as stand-alone.

    Another case of the rigid middle finger being flashed at the loyal consumer. This along with other examples gives me less than loving feelings for WB, and other studios for that matter. They seem to choose tone-deafness, with glee, over any consideration for the public.

    Have a nice day, Warner.
     
  17. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Listen I'm probably going to buy this release, but I'm not speaking from my own personal perspective. I'm thinking of those that don't have the discretionary funds to spend $60 on a single release, but would love to own this title on BRD with a no-frills release. It's not just about us, but about growing this format so that many households beyond those with the necessary means can see this great film in the best available home video format.




    Crawdaddy
     
  18. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Let's stop with the below the belt shots at Warner as we want them to listen to us without being insulted in the meantime.






    Crawdaddy
     
  19. David Wilkins

    David Wilkins Well-Known Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but have they (or any other studio) ever, listened to such criticism about packaging issues?
     
  20. Chris S

    Chris S Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, as much as I would love to have this on Blu-ray, I'm going to have to pass due to price. It's just too expensive for me at the moment. [​IMG] Very disappointing...
     

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