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Robert Harris on The Bits - 3/17/03 column - OFFICIAL THREAD


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#1 of 39 OFFLINE   Bill Hunt

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Posted March 17 2003 - 06:58 AM

Robert Harris' latest column is now available at The Digital Bits. This time around, Robert discusses the films of 20th Century Fox, both historically and as they've been released on DVD.

Finally, Fox

As always, click on the link to read Robert's comments and then come on back here to this official thread at the HTF to discuss, give feedback, ask questions of Robert and sound off as you will. Enjoy!
Bill Hunt, Editor
The Digital Bits
http://www.thedigitalbits.com
billhunt@thedigitalbits.com

#2 of 39 OFFLINE   Mark_vdH

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Posted March 17 2003 - 07:27 AM

Quote:
While it is only March, Sunrise* portends to be THE classic film release of 2003. If it were selling for over $100 a copy I would not be able to recommend its purchase more highly.
It is selling for over $100,- a copy on eBay......
http://cgi.ebay.com/....tem=3315458914

Please give it to "foreigners" to, Fox. Posted Image
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#3 of 39 OFFLINE   oscar_merkx

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Posted March 17 2003 - 08:59 AM

yes I would second that absolutely. No way I am going to pay that kind of money for any dvd.

Other than that great article once again, I learned once again more about the studio system from a bygone time.

How about more Errol Flynn movies on dvd

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#4 of 39 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted March 17 2003 - 09:39 AM

I find it very odd that there is so much free cash out there in this booming economy that someone would spend over a hundred dollars on EBay to purchase Sunrise rather than purchase three Fox classics at $14 each for a total of $42, send in their coupon and then throw the unwanted classics away...

These classics make wonderfully simple, yet elegant gifts, right for every occasion.

RAH

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#5 of 39 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted March 17 2003 - 09:40 AM

It's sad that negatives have been "misplaced" so often. It makes you wonder if the negative to All About Eve was lost due to someone leaving the film cans on top of their car and forgetting. Posted Image

Was The Day The Earth Stood Still restored from the negative, unlike the other films?

#6 of 39 OFFLINE   oscar_merkx

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Posted March 17 2003 - 09:50 AM

Robert

I know that we Europeans can buy the three Fox Classics for very little indeed. There is just a small snag that their offer is not available to us outside the US & Canada.

Do you have a possible solution for this then ?

Cheers

Oscar

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#7 of 39 OFFLINE   Brian PB

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Posted March 17 2003 - 10:19 AM

It's my understanding that the release of Ford's Grapes of Wrath--originally planned for June 3rd--has been postponed, and a new release date has not been announced.

#8 of 39 OFFLINE   Opi

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Posted March 17 2003 - 10:48 AM

Sadly, in Germany we can buy these beautiful films only as Vanilla versions without any useful / interesting bonus stuff besides the usual trailer Posted Image

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#9 of 39 OFFLINE   Craig Beam

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Posted March 17 2003 - 01:11 PM

Here's hoping 1944's JANE EYRE shows up at some point in this marvelous Studio Classics DVD series (it's under this same banner on VHS). After THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR (two more weeks!), it's my most-wanted Fox title from the 40's.

One oddity: THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR was released in 1947, yet the DVD cover scans floating around the internet read "Academy Award Nominee 1942." Wow, I guess the Academy was really ahead of the game back then! Posted Image Hopefully this error is fixed on the actual printed cover.

#10 of 39 OFFLINE   Joe Caps

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Posted March 17 2003 - 01:26 PM

Great reading this article - Fox is my favorite studio and there are many great films that they have never released in any format.
Oner thing about the article. Mr. Harris seems to think (or has been told) that the streo track did not survive for AFFAIR TO REMEMBER. the track on the DVD IS stereo. its just been badly transferred. And if worse came to worse (it did) Fox could have used the beautiful stereo track from the laserdisc master.It was encoded fro the original four track into Dolbu Surround mode and it sounds great. the DVD sound like the old DVD track. The new one should have been transferred in 4.0.
Mr.Harris - why is Fox releasing almost all of thier oldies in 30 instead of 4.0. thsi is so for the upcoming released of anastasia, Love is a Many Splendored Thing, Blue Max. Long HOt Summer, From the Terrace.
What gives?

#11 of 39 OFFLINE   AlanP

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Posted March 17 2003 - 01:46 PM

Well,
HOW ABOUT-
"PEYTON PLACE"
"RETURN TO PEYTON PLACE"
"HELLO DOLLY"
"TEN NORTH FREDRICK"
"THREE FACES OF EVE"
"VALLEY OF THE DOLLS"
"THE BEST OF EVERYTHING"
"THE THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN"
"MOVE OVER DARLING"
"ISLAND IN THE SUN"
"THE GIRL CAN'T HELP IT"
"SAY ONE FOR ME"
"WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER"
"BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS"
"A LETTER TO THREE WIVES"
"ALL OF THE SHIRLEY TEMPLES"
THE SOONER THE BETTER !!!!!


#12 of 39 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted March 17 2003 - 02:19 PM

We'll request further information from Fox re: the stereo tracks on upcoming releases.

The information that I received re: Affair was that the tracks had not survived. If they made it over to CBS-Fox, they may have gone missing at that point. Per Joe Caps comments, this is something to look into.

Re: oscar_merkx and foreign availability of the series and thus Sunrise, can you tell us whether these titles have been offically released overseas or simply shipped over?

As far as receiving Sunrise, its probably best accomplished via a friend in the States, who can act as a go-between for you. I know nothing about the legalities involved here, but if someone purchases US product for you and sends in the paperwork, it would seemingly work.

This is probably a question for Peter S.

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence


#13 of 39 OFFLINE   Piers C

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Posted March 18 2003 - 02:10 AM

Robert,

While I see that this question has already been asked above, can you shed any light on "Grapes of Wrath" being pulled from the release schedule?

I also recall that "Viva Zapata!" was included in the early list of titles for the Fox classics series. Are you aware of any plans to release this soon?

Thank you for another interesting piece.

-regards

#14 of 39 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted March 18 2003 - 03:51 AM

Thanks very much for the article Robert. Very nice capsule of the studio system and the studios themselves.

And, best of all, hope for the future as more classic movies of the period are restored.
¡Time is not my master!

#15 of 39 OFFLINE   DeeF

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Posted March 18 2003 - 04:35 AM

Excellent! as usual.

I have purchased all of these Fox classics, and my life is quickly being transformed by DVDs.

Some questions, if you have the time:

I noted in your article that certain widescreen musicals weren't given an *, presumably because you don't think they are worthy of purchase right now. Yes, I'm talking about the Rodgers and Hammerstein vehicles, very important to film history because they were the very first 65mm films. Any knowledge about the future of these on DVD? Several of them (Oklahoma!) are virtually unwatchable in their present form. At least one of them (The Sound of Music) needs a complete overhaul.

Second question, about Journey to the Center of the Earth:

Your comment is incredibly tantalizing to me. When you say, certain elements appeared other places, are you suggesting that actual shots of the movie can be seen in other movies? Or are you simply commenting on the influence of this movie over more recent, famous fare like Raiders of the Lost Ark.

I may be alone, but I am more grateful for the magnificent return of Journey/Earth than I am for the always enjoyable The Day The Earth Stood Still, which has never really been lost or unseen or faded (at least to the extent of this later, Cinemascope, miracle, which was so memorable from my youth).

Looking forward to The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, the connection of all these three being the superb scores of Bernard Herrmann, literally the Orson Welles or Alfred Hitchcock of music scorers.

P.S. You might want to fix The Ox-Box Incident to read The Ox-Bow Incident.

#16 of 39 OFFLINE   Claes Ljunghorn

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Posted March 18 2003 - 06:50 AM

Quote:
can you tell us whether these titles have been offically released overseas or simply shipped over?

Forgive me for trying to answer this one. I am also one of those people living outside of the US and being frustrated over the "Sunrise"-situation.

Classic Fox films are being released on PAL DVD in Europe. For example: Love is a many splendored thing (With 4.0 audio), Ghost and Mrs Muir, Viva Zapata and The Mark of Zorro are being released in the UK on April 7.

Even "The Big Trail" (1930) have a release date (May 5th), but so far no word about making "Sunrise" available here.

I can order the US-editions if I want to, but I can´t get "Sunrise" even if I pay for it. It is very stressful that there is a time limit on the US-offer. Maybe "Sunrise" will disappear forever from the video market after that date...

#17 of 39 OFFLINE   Jon Robertson

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Posted March 18 2003 - 07:15 AM

An excellent article, as ever. I'm sure Fox realise how big a release Sunrise is, and frankly it's berserk not to release it on its own. Don't they realise there are people just gagging for it who aren't in the USA or Canada?

I've bought All About Eve, How Green Was My Valley, The Day The Earth Stood Still and have The Ghost and Mrs Muir on pre-order. I'm from the UK, yet I've already lined their pockets, and would gladly do so again for a copy of Sunrise and yet I'm still not eligible for a copy of the disc?

To say I'm royally irked is as mild an understatement as I can make.

It's a sad day when the altered aspect ratio of Willy Wonka causes the whole internet DVD community to result in uproar, but the unavailability of Sunrise to most of the world causes barely a tremor.

#18 of 39 OFFLINE   Ken_McAlinden

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Posted March 18 2003 - 07:39 AM

Quote:
It's my understanding that the release of Ford's Grapes of Wrath--originally planned for June 3rd--has been postponed, and a new release date has not been announced.
According to Peter Staddon, they are slotting "The Song of Bernadette" into the June release where "Grapes..." had been scheduled.

Regards,
Ken McAlinden
Livonia, MI USA

#19 of 39 OFFLINE   Brian E

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Posted March 18 2003 - 07:52 AM

Quote:
Don't they realise there are people just gagging for it who aren't in the USA or Canada?

I'm sure Fox is very aware of the demand for this outside of the US & Canada. Could it be that since the BFI worked on the restoration that they have the rights to distribute in Europe thus there's no way for Fox to make it available there? Has Fox commented at all? Anyone checked with the BFI about a European release?

Just thinking out loud.
~Brian

#20 of 39 OFFLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted March 18 2003 - 09:03 AM

Re: DeeF...

My comments regard shots and situations from Journey being borrowed to be remanufactured as new scenes in other films, not as stock footage. And thanks for catching the typo. Email has been down to DigiBits since yesterday.

Also, re: typos, 16th amendment should read 13th. I confused the President with the Amendment.

RAH

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did." T.E. Lawrence



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