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Criterion Laserdisc Commentaries NOT on DVD (Yet)


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#1 of 32 OFFLINE   Gordon McMurphy

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Posted May 08 2005 - 04:54 AM

Following the Bad at Black Rock thread and the missing John Sturges Criterion Laserdisc commentary, I thought that we could look into other LD commentaries missing on DVD.

This list was originally compiled at the Criterion Forum by Narshty here, but that most excellent site requires registration, so here, for the benefit of all, are the unreleased-on-DVD Criterion LD audio commentaries and scholars' essays:

49th Parallel - film historian Bruce Eder (DVD rumored to be coming soon)
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen - director Terry Gilliam
The Adventures of Robin Hood - film historian Rudy Behlmer (different from Warner's DVD)
Bad Day at Black Rock - director John Sturges
Blackmail - screenwriter Charles Bennett, additional material written by Laurent Bouzereau and spoken by Stuart Birnbaum
Boyz N The Hood - writer/director John Singleton
Bram Stoker's Dracula - director Francis Ford Coppola, visual effects supervisor Roman Coppola, makeup artist Greg Cannom
Carrie - screenwriter Lawrence D. Cohen, De Palma expert Laurent Bouzereau
Casablanca - film historian Ronald Haver
Cat People - film historian Bruce Eder
Crash - director David Cronenberg (DVD rumored to be coming soon)
Damage - director Louis Malle
Darling - director John Schlesinger (only for 1st hour)
Dr. No - film historian Bruce Eder, director Terence Young, screenwriter Richard Maibaum, editor Peter Hunt, production designer Ken Adam
Evita - director Alan Parker
The Fisher King - director Terry Gilliam
From Russia with Love - Bond historian Steven Jay Rubin, director Terence Young, screenwriter Richard Maibaum, editor Peter Hunt
The Game - director David Fincher, actor Michael Douglas, screenwriters John Brancato and Michael Ferris, digital animation supervisor Richard "Dr." Baily, production designer Jeffrey Beecroft, visual effects supervisor Kevin Haug, visual effects producer Robyn D'Arcy, director of photography Harris Savides
Goldfinger - film historian Bruce Eder, director Guy Hamilton, screenwriter Richard Maibaum, editor Peter Hunt, production designer Ken Adam
The Graduate - film scholar Howard Suber
The Great Escape - director John Sturges, composer Elmer Bernstein, second unit director Robert E. Relyea, stuntman Bud Ekins, film historian Bruce Eder
Green for Danger - film historian Bruce Eder
Here Comes Mr. Jordan - Elizabeth Montgomery [daughter of star Robert Montgomery]
High Noon - film scholar Howard Suber
Invasion of the Body Snatchers - film scholar Maurice Yacowar
It's A Wonderful Life - film scholar Jeanine Basinger
Jason and the Argonauts - special effects creator Ray Harryhausen, film historian Bruce Eder
King Kong - film historian Ronald Haver
The Last Picture Show - director Peter Bogdanovich, actors Cybill Shepherd, Cloris Leachman, Randy Quaid
The Magnificent Ambersons - film historian Robert Carringer
The Man Who Fell to Earth - director Nicolas Roeg, actors David Bowie, Buck Henry
Menace II Society - two seperate tracks by co-directors, Albert Hughes and Allen Hughes
Midnight Cowboy - director John Schlesinger, producer Jerome Hellman
Naked - director Mike Leigh, actors David Thewlis, Katrin Cartlidge
A Night at the Opera - film historian Leonard Maltin [different from Warner's DVD]
Othello - director/historian Peter Bogdanovich, Welles scholar Myron Meisel
Pink Flamingos - writer/director John Waters [different from New Line's DVD]
The Player - director Robert Altman, screenwriter Michael Tolkin, director of photography Jean Lepine
Polyester - writer/director John Waters [different from New Line's DVD]
The Prince of Tides - director Barbra Streisand
The Princess Bride - director Rob Reiner, screenwriter William Goldman, producer Andrew Scheinman, actors Billy Crystal, Peter Falk
Robinson Crusoe on Mars - director Byron Haskin, screenwriter Ib Melchoir, actors Paul Mantee, Vic Lundin, production designer Al Nozaki, special effects designer Robert Skotak
Rome, Open City - film scholar Peter Bondanella
Sansho the Bailiff - film scholar Thomas Gunning
Scaramouche - director George Sidney, actor Stewart Granger, film historian Dick Dinman
Se7en - director David Fincher, actors Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, screenwriter Andrew Kevin Walker, production designer Arthur Max, special makeup effects designer Rob Bottin
She's Gotta Have It - writer/director Spike Lee, cinematographer Ernest Dickerson, sound designer Barry Brown, production supervisor Monty Ross
Shine - director Scott Hicks, actor Geoffrey Rush
Short Cuts - 1) film critic Pauline Kael; 2) film critic Michael Wilmington [both audio essays not appearing over the entire film]
Show Boat - musical theater expert Miles Kreuger
Singin' in the Rain - film historian Ronald Haver
Some Like It Hot - film historian Howard Suber, actor Jack Lemmon
Sweet Sweetback's Baaadassssss Song - actor/director Melvin van Peebles
Swing Time - Astaire scholar John Mueller
The Tales of Hoffmann - film historian Bruce Eder, director/P&P enthusiast Martin Scorsese (hopefully, this will appear in the near future on DVD)
Taxi Driver - director Martin Scorsese, screenwriter Paul Schrader
Tootsie - director Sydney Pollack
Ugetsu - media artist and critic Norman Yonemoto, Mizoguchi expert Keiko MacDonald, Japanese film expert Donald Richie (DVD is possible, although it won't happen in the next 12 months)
The Wizard of Oz - film historian Ronald Haver

----------------------------------------------------------

I have the Robinson Crusoe on Mars Laserdisc and extras on 2 DVDr discs and the commentary is a beauty.

The Man Who Fell To Earth track ought to have been licensed to Anchor Bay for their DVD, I feel. Criterion later lent them the LD commentary to Halloween, which was very generous, even if it cost an arm and a leg.

Scorsese's PA, secretary, or ol' Marty himself ought to get on the phone to Columbia and Criterion and get that Laserdisc commentary of Taxi Driver for next year's 30th Anniversay Edition Blu-Ray DVD.

The Midnight Cowboy track by John Schlesinger and producer Jerome Hellman is one I have wanted to hear for years. It now looks like MGM's planned 2-disc SE DVD has been scrapped due to the Sony takeover and we won't see Columbia's own SE until Blu-Ray, perhaps. Gah.

-----------------------------------------------------------

These Criterion LD tracks appear on DVD:

Bodies, Rest & Motion - director Michael Steinberg, writer Roger Heddon, producer/actor Eric Stoltz [R1 DVD from Image Entertainment]
Boogie Nights - writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson, actors Don Cheadle, Heather Graham, William H. Macy, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly & Mark Wahlberg [R1 2-disc DVD from New Line]
The English Patient - director Anthony Minghella, producer Saul Zaentz, author Michael Ondaatje [R1 2-disc DVD from Miramax]
Halloween - director John Carpenter, producer Debra Hill, actor Jamie Lee Curtis [25th anniversary DVD from Anchor Bay - R1 & R2 UK]
Monty Python and the Holy Grail - directors Terry Gilliam & Terry Jones [special edition DVD from Columbia Tristar]
Once Were Warriors - director Lee Tamahori [R1 DVD from New Line]
Raging Bull - director Martin Scorsese, editor Thelma Schoonmaker [R1 SE DVD from MGM]
Repulsion - director Roman Polanski, actor Catherine Deneuve [R2 DVD from Anchor Bay UK]
Sling Blade - writer/director Billy Bob Thornton [R1 2-disc DVD from Miramax - coming June 2005]
Trainspotting - director Danny Boyle, producer Andrew Macdonald, screenwriter John Hodge, actor Ewan McGregor [R1 2-disc DVD from Miramax, R2 2-disc DVD from Universal]

-----------------------------------------------------------

Maybe we could also compile a list of other LD commentaries that do not appear on DVD?


#2 of 32 OFFLINE   Jeff D Han

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Posted May 08 2005 - 06:15 AM

Thanks for the list, Gordon.Posted Image

You have answered my question about the Sling Blade
commentary (I was wondering if the 2 disc SE would have
the original Thornton track from the laserdisc).
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#3 of 32 OFFLINE   Mike Wadkins

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Posted May 08 2005 - 07:07 AM

Boyz N The Hood - writer/director John Singleton

is that better or worse than the one on the current dvd?

as to the The Fisher King, I had a 1999 uk tristar dvd promo showing items coming soon.
among them was the fisher king with all the extras on the laser listed .
was it planned???

#4 of 32 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted May 08 2005 - 08:40 AM

I would also note that the following Criterion laserdiscs have additional features that have never come over to DVD:

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND
-Reconstruction of the original 1977 release
-Multiple video interviews with the filmmakers & Still Galleries
(Obviously, a bunch of this is redundant with the Columbia release that followed but there's still a lot of gems here, and this disc is the only one that has the original 1977 version)

FORBIDDEN PLANET
-Documentary on the making of the film
-Workprint Scenes deleted from the final film
-Essay on the film by Allan Asherman
-"Fatal Planet" - the original screen treatment by Irving Block and Allen Adler

I also believe that the DEAD RINGERS Criterion DVD did not include "Crimes of the Future", but ported everything else over from the laser.

Your list is very helpful, though - and the number of MIA commentaries actually seems to be shrinking a bit with time...

#5 of 32 OFFLINE   Damin J Toell

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Posted May 08 2005 - 08:44 AM

Quote:
I also believe that the DEAD RINGERS Criterion DVD did not include "Crimes of the Future", but ported everything else over from the laser.


That's true, but Crimes of the Future and Stereo have both since been released on Blue Underground's 2-disc SE of Fast Company.

DJ

#6 of 32 OFFLINE   AnthonyL

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Posted May 09 2005 - 02:00 AM

Nice thread. I thought they announced THE GAME SE. Has that been put on hold?
AL

#7 of 32 OFFLINE   Gordon McMurphy

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Posted May 09 2005 - 02:23 AM

Quote:
Nice thread. I thought they announced THE GAME SE. Has that been put on hold?
Criterion has never officially announced The Game for DVD release. PolyGram are unlikely to license the rights to Criterion again for what would be a big-selling DVD. However, one wonders why PolyGram themselves have not created their own 2-disc SE.

Criterion's, The Game was pretty much the last great SE LD before DVD came on the scene (it was released on 8th July 1998 - a DTS edition followed in August from Image Entertainment). Even if timing had been better and Criterion had moved over to DVD, it would still have been non-anamorphic and we would be fighting a very different battle!

I'm not a fan of the film at all - Sean Penn as Michael Douglas' brother?! Preposterous, cop-out ending. But it was a great LD package and it is a much-admired film and all of Fincher's films now have lavish DVD editions and The Game still languishes in non-anamorphic, non-DTS, no-extras, bargain-bin DVD Hell. A Criterion 2-disc DVD would be one of their biggest sellers, no question. But it will probably never happen.


#8 of 32 OFFLINE   CraigL

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Posted May 09 2005 - 03:14 AM

Se7en has the best commentary I've ever heard...light years beyond the current SE release. I'm planning to convert all that I have over to DVD. Posted Image

#9 of 32 OFFLINE   Damin J Toell

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Posted May 09 2005 - 03:35 AM

Quote:
However, one wonders why PolyGram themselves have not created their own 2-disc SE.

Probably because the PolyGram library has been folded into Universal. Posted Image Universal is the distributor of the current barebones release (which is identical to the previous PolyGram release, studio logos aside).

Given that Universal and Criterion seem to have a nice working relationship on the DVD format, a Criterion release of The Game isn't necessarily unlikely at all.

DJ

#10 of 32 OFFLINE   Lyle_JP

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Posted May 09 2005 - 04:38 AM

Quote:
I would also note that the following Criterion laserdiscs have additional features that have never come over to DVD:

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND
-Reconstruction of the original 1977 release


To be fair, it wasn't a true restoration of the '77 version. Two cuts that were made for the '80 version remain cut in Criterion's version (an extra shot of Neary watching his happy neighbors outside while he builds the monument, and his escape from the helicopter), and one shot made for the '80 Special Edition can also be found on Criterion's disc (the shadow of the UFO falling over Neary's truck).

Criterion acknowledges that these "minor trims and alterations" to the '77 version were made at Spielberg's request.

-Lyle J.P.

#11 of 32 OFFLINE   CraigL

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Posted May 09 2005 - 04:46 AM

Not to turn this into a thread about The Game but there was supposedly a R2 SE coming out next month.

#12 of 32 OFFLINE   Mike Wadkins

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Posted May 09 2005 - 04:53 AM

^^ in the uk ?? or somewhere else as its not listed on amazon or play

#13 of 32 OFFLINE   Brook K

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Posted May 09 2005 - 05:15 AM

She's Gotta Have It is supposed to be an upcoming Criterion release. No idea if it will feature the old commentary, have a new one recorded, or both.
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#14 of 32 OFFLINE   CraigL

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Posted May 09 2005 - 07:26 AM

The Game info from Holland:

http://www.rodisc.nl...rodisc/364w.htm

#15 of 32 OFFLINE   Gordon McMurphy

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Posted May 09 2005 - 08:09 AM

Quote:
She's Gotta Have It is supposed to be an upcoming Criterion release.
Are sure about this? I heard that MGM were working on a SE. I don't know if they liscensed the Criterion commentary; my guess is that they didn't.

#16 of 32 OFFLINE   Mike Wadkins

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Posted May 09 2005 - 09:27 AM

as to the game not holding my breath at all as to it being all the criteron extras

#17 of 32 OFFLINE   oscar_merkx

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Posted May 09 2005 - 09:43 AM

Thanks Gordon for the fantastic thread and info
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#18 of 32 OFFLINE   Gordon McMurphy

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Posted May 09 2005 - 06:37 PM

Thanks, Oscar.

You should consider registering at the Criterion Forum, as there are people there who are incredibly knowledgable about the history, content and quality of Criterion Laserdiscs and much more besides. Trolls are super-super-rare over there. Hardcore cineastes and tech-heads. I'm not sure where I fit in, though!


#19 of 32 OFFLINE   Bill Williams

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Posted May 10 2005 - 01:47 PM

To add to Lyle's earlier comments about the Criterion CE3K LD, the box set also contains some additional trim footage that's found only on the LD and not on the Columbia Tri-Star DVD release. The set also contained really extensive liner notes on how to program your LD player to arrange the footage to play the film in its SE format.
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#20 of 32 OFFLINE   Damin J Toell

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Posted May 10 2005 - 01:51 PM

Quote:
To add to Lyle's earlier comments about the Criterion CE3K LD, the box set also contains some additional trim footage that's found only on the LD and not on the Columbia Tri-Star DVD release. The set also contained really extensive liner notes on how to program your LD player to arrange the footage to play the film in its SE format.


FWIW, although the programming guide said it would result in the 1980 SE version, it actually gives you a super-edit of both 1977 and 1980 scenes.

DJ


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