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Sony says "NO" to WITCHFINDER GENERAL DVD, Midnite Movies in serious trouble!

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#1 of 124 OFFLINE   George Reis

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Posted April 11 2006 - 08:43 AM

Greetings from vacationland in sunny Florida!

I have been in contact with Philip Waddilove, producer of WITCHFINDER GENERAL (aka CONQUEROR WORM). After MGM spent years and lots of dough on a pristine, restored new DVD transfer of the film, Waddilove was lead to believe that it was on Sony's October '06 schedule. Apparently, this is not the case and Sony has little interest. This is how Waddilove replied to me:

"I'm at a loss for words. Why MGM would go to the trouble of a total restoration without releasing the DVD of "Witchfinder General" is beyond comprehension. However, exactly the same fate has befallen "The Buttercup Chain", my other movie (with Columbia) now also hidden away in the vaults at Sony. On several occasions I was informed by James Owsley (Director of Restorations at MGM) that Witchfinder was definitely on their October 2006 release schedule. But, apparently, the principal at Sony doesn't greenlight DVDs of anything older than ten years!!"

Yes my friends, it's obvious that Sony's ownership of the MGM catalog is the worst thing that could have ever happened, and as editor of DVD Drive-In who spearheaded a petition to continue the Midnite Movies, I am totally fed up. The decision to put titles in the Midnite Movies series that don't fit the bill, and not continuing the fine work that the old regime had started confirms this.

If you would like to voice your opionion, outrage or make suggestions, I urge everyone who reads this who wants the Midnite Movies series to continue as it should, write to Chris Franchino, who manages MGM catalog marketing, at Chris_Franchino@spe.sony.com .

#2 of 124 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted April 11 2006 - 09:50 AM

I've sent an email. This is just disgusting.

I also don't expect anything to happen.Posted Image

#3 of 124 OFFLINE   Justin_S



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Posted April 11 2006 - 10:01 AM

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Words cannot do justice to how much I despise Sony. E-mail sent.

#4 of 124 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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Posted April 11 2006 - 10:21 AM

So many films, so little time...
Film Journal Blog
Lt. Col. Thursday: Beaufort; no preliminary nonsense with him, no ceremonial phrasing. Straight from the shoulder as I tell you, do you hear me? They're recalcitrant swine and they must feel it...

#5 of 124 OFFLINE   Paul Arnette

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Posted April 11 2006 - 10:38 AM

It is fairly evident to me that the only reason Sony wanted to buy MGM was to get their hands on the Bond and, possibly, the Rocky franchise. Why don't they just admit what we already know, and sell the remainder of MGM's titles to Warner Bros.

I #$%^*&( hate Sony. Posted Image
Universal Blu-ray Discs I will not be buying while they're offered only as Blu-ray + DVD 'flipper' discs:

The Jackal
, Out of Africa, and Traffic.

#6 of 124 OFFLINE   Gordon McMurphy

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Posted April 11 2006 - 10:45 AM

Oh, fucking hell. Posted Image

#7 of 124 OFFLINE   walter o

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Posted April 11 2006 - 10:55 AM

Yep, this isn't the only film MGM went through the trouble making new masters from the negatives, or doing major restoration work. Vernon Becker told me MGM spend $30,000 dollars restoring his film DAGMAR'S HOT PANTS (thats rights, DAGMARS HOT PANTS!), for the negatives had damages, only for it to be buried at Sony's hands. Sad, really.

#8 of 124 OFFLINE   George Reis

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Posted April 11 2006 - 10:58 AM

Damn, I would love to see something obscure like DAGMAR'S HOT PANTS come out as well! Damn shame this is all in the hands of Sony! Thanks all for your support! We can only try!

#9 of 124 OFFLINE   ThomasTreasure



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Posted April 11 2006 - 12:42 PM

So much for any hope of a legit R1 DVD of MESSAGE FROM SPACE. Posted Image

#10 of 124 OFFLINE   MatthewA


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Posted April 11 2006 - 01:02 PM

Man, Sony sure knows how to piss of fans of just about every movie genre, don't they?

Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I am going to boycott The Walt Disney Company until then. And while you're at it, PLEASE stop dropping DVD/laserdisc extras from Blu-ray releases of other films.

#11 of 124 OFFLINE   Steve.P



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Posted April 11 2006 - 01:03 PM

Bastards! Witchfinder General is one of my all-time favourites, and a key slice of late-'60s British cinema. John Coquillon's photography is stunning. The current R0 Metrodome/Prism release simply doesn't do it justice. But while I love the Midnite Movies series, I truly believe that Witchfinder General is in another league entirely. It really deserves the two-disc special edition treatment.

#12 of 124 OFFLINE   Jeff Swindoll

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Posted April 11 2006 - 01:13 PM

If someone is collecting specimens to send to Sony regarding their mistreatment of the Midnite Movies, I'll gladly fill a jug Posted Image.

Unfortunately, this only (potentially) confirms our worst fears about Sony's acquisition.

Unfortunately, this is par for Hollywood. This first thing new studio heads do is the kill all the projects of whomever they're replacing. Obviously its the same with the DVD division. Dont want the old fella getting all the glory, no matter how good the projects.

They're happy re-releasing stuff that MGM already did. Such as the Magnificent Seven redo (but that was over ten years old?)
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#13 of 124 OFFLINE   JeffMc


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Posted April 11 2006 - 01:21 PM

Oh my gawd, what a friggin idiot this Sony honcho must be! I know I'm not alone out there when I say that most movies made in the last 10 years are lousy and are the LAST things I want to buy on DVD. All that untapped potential in their vaults and they are simply going to sit on it and let it rot because it's "ten years old". Is this insanity or what?!? I don't see a positive outcome for any of this in the near future, however. We can carry on hope that regimes will change, the idiots in power get booted out, or some other buyout happens someday. But right now, the loonies have taken over the asylum and are holding all the films prisoner.

#14 of 124 OFFLINE   MattHR



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Posted April 11 2006 - 01:25 PM

It's almost enough to make me drop my preference for Blu-ray and support HD-DVD! Almost. Posted Image Posted Image

#15 of 124 OFFLINE   George Reis

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Posted April 11 2006 - 02:27 PM

I couldn't have said it better!

#16 of 124 OFFLINE   AlanBrom


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Posted April 11 2006 - 02:36 PM

Sony is simply the worst! This would have made a great double feature with BLOOD ON SATAN'S CLAW, but Sony has to screw everything up as usual. Don't they have a f'ing clue? All those A.I.P. titles that will never see the light of day now! E-mail sent...

#17 of 124 OFFLINE   MattHR



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Posted April 11 2006 - 04:31 PM

I'd like to think not, but I wonder if they are withholding these, and other similar genre titles, due to this announcement:

Comcast, Sony Unveiling Horror Channel

#18 of 124 OFFLINE   JerryKILL


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Posted April 11 2006 - 06:49 PM

The following quote from the Comcast-Sony article sums it up for me: "It will be supported by advertising..." Even if I had cable (which I don't), I would not watch any films interrupted by commercials. Way back when I did have cable (not since the late 90s), AMC (American Movie Classics) was one of my favorite channels. Then along came advertising, and I never tuned in to AMC again.
"It is the unique power of cinema to allow a great many people to dream the same dream together and to present illusion to us as if it were strict reality. It is, in short, an admirable vehicle for poetry."

-Jean Cocteau, The Testament of Orpheus

#19 of 124 OFFLINE   Cees Alons

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Posted April 11 2006 - 07:01 PM

It is one of my reservations about Blue-Ray. I'm beginning to seriously think it's in the wrong hands. Cees

#20 of 124 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted April 11 2006 - 07:08 PM

Hey, no one ever accused Sony of being smart. These Midnight Movies always did well because of the cheap price IMO. What's Sony do? They not only raise the price but they also (for their next batch) release titles that no one really wants. What's that mean? That means they'll probably have poor sales and then think that no one wants these MM anymore. Oh well, time to order that SE R2 version of this film.

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