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Universal: How about Alan Ladd, Ray Milland, Gary Cooper #2 Boxset & Ronald Colman


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#1 of 28 Jim Bur

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Posted June 05 2006 - 10:27 AM

Unviversal has over the last year and a half or so developed a passion for releasing their classic films in sets devoted to an indivdual star. We've seen sets for, among others, W.C. Felds, Gary Cooper, Marlon Brando, Bela Lugosi, Carole Lombard, Mae West, Marlene Dietrich, and most recently John Wayne, with a Boris Karloff set on the way. Many of the recent sets show a willingness at long last to release many of the outstanding films made at Paramount in the 1930 and 1940's.

Alan Ladd and Ray Milland, along with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, were probably Paramount's biggest box office stars in the 1940's. It seems time for a boxset for each of these neglected stars.

Arguably, Alan Ladd's five best films for Paramount in the 1940s' were film noir classics This Gun For Hire (1942), The Glass Key (1942), and the Blue Dahlia (1946), the spy thriller, O.S.S (1945), and the nautical adventure Two Years Before the Mast (1946). These films would seem the most logical for a Ladd boxset, however since This Gun For Hire was already released a couple of years ago as part of their Film Noir series, Universal might want to consider including The Great Gatsby (1949) for historical interest, as it was the first sound film of the novel (I believe Warner Baxter starred in the silent version), assuming they have the rights to this film Perhaps someone with knowledge on this issue can comment on whether or not Universal has the rights to release this film on DVD, or whether Paramount or some other party retained the rights to this film. If Universal doesn't have the rights to The Great Gatsby then they might want to consider including Saigon (1948), which was Ladd's final collaboration with Veronica Lake.

With regard to Ray Milland, he has already had 5 of his films released by Universal as part of other collections, however he did so many excellent films for Paramount, there is still plenty left over from which to make an outstanding boxset. Obviously his most famous film, The Lost Weeked, was long ago released on DVD, and there probably isn't need in to include that film in a Milland boxset. In addition, his great adventure film Bea Geste, in which he co-starred with Gary Cooper and Robert Preston was last year included in the Gary Cooper box set. The nautical historical epic Reap the Wild Wind, co-starring John Wayne, was released long ago on DVD. In addition, The Big Clock was released a couple of years ago as part of Unviversal's film noir collection, and Golden Earrings was recently released as part of the Marlene Dietrich set, and there would probably be no need to include those films.

I would suggest that a Ray Milland boxset include the film noir/Fritz Lang directed classic Ministry of Fear (1944), the classic Hollywood ghost film, The Univited (1944), the excellent Billy Wilder directed romantic comedy, The Major and the Minor (1942), the superb offbeat Faustian drama, Alias Nick Beal (1949) (assuming Universal has the rights to that film), and the technicolor western, California (1946), co-starring Barbara Stanwyck. As an alternative Universal might want to consider including the Willam Wellman directed aviation epic, Men With Wings (1938).

Another actor who deserves to have many more of his films released on DVD is Ronald Colman. As far as I'm aware Colman did only two pictures for Paramount, and none for Universal, so Universal would not have enough of his films for a full boxset. However, the two films Colman made for Paramount, are two of the greatest films of the 1930's, the Frank Lloyd directed/Preston Sturges scripted adventure classic, If I Were King (1938), and the William Wellman/Rudyard Kipling classic, The Light That Failed (1939). These films could be released on one DVD, as a two for one, and such a release would surely rank as one of the best, if not the best, classic films release of the year.

Universal also appears to have enough good Gary Cooper films left over to produce a reasonablly attractive 2nd box set of his films. Among others, there is the maritime adventure classic Souls at Sea (1937), the early Americana/Cecil B. DeMille adventure classic Unconquered (1946), which was one of the biggest box office hits of the 1940's, the Ernst Lubitch produced/Frank Borzage directed jewel thief/romantic comedy film, Desire (1936) co-starring Marlene Dietrich, and two other DeMille epics, North West Mounted Police (1940), and the World War II epic, The Story of Dr. Wassell.

One final point. I hope Universal can find a way to release Canyon Passage (1946), arguably, along with Destry Rides Again, the best western ever made by Universal. The star of the film, Dana Andrews, worked primarily for Fox, so he doesn't have enough films with Universal for a boxset, however this film is so outstanding that Universal should consider releasing it on its own.

#2 of 28 John Hodson

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Posted June 05 2006 - 11:16 AM

Jim; you nearly gave me a heart attack - seeing your thread title, I thought this was a done deal...
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#3 of 28 JohnPM

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Posted June 05 2006 - 11:20 AM

Me too. For a minute there, I was ready to break out the champagne.

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#4 of 28 george kaplan

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Posted June 05 2006 - 11:33 AM

Posted Image I too thought this was an announcement. :sigh:
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#5 of 28 richardWI

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Posted June 05 2006 - 11:48 AM

darn it, so this isn't happening? sigh.

#6 of 28 Jim Bur

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Posted June 05 2006 - 11:56 AM

Sorry folks, I had meant to add a question mark after the title heading-I didn't mean to cause any unwarranted euphoria. However, maybe it does demonstrate the kind of elated repsonse Universal would receive if it followed through with putting out these sets.

#7 of 28 Pete York

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Posted June 05 2006 - 12:05 PM

Presumaby DOUBLE INDEMNITY sells through the roof, then maybe Universal is inspired to at least knock out some of those noirs on your list, Jim.

#8 of 28 Robert Crawford

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Posted June 05 2006 - 12:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bur
Sorry folks, I had meant to add a question mark after the title heading-I didn't mean to cause any unwarranted euphoria. However, maybe it does demonstrate the kind of elated repsonse Universal would receive if it followed through with putting out these sets.
I've edited the thread title because it was very misleading.




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#9 of 28 Sammy-G

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Posted June 06 2006 - 02:10 PM

I've been jonesing for a Ray Milland collection for a long time now. I'd also like to see some of his films with Paulette Goddard. If Uni is planning on continuing with their Glamour Collections, I can't think of a better candidate than Paulette. Her two others with Bob Hope (The Ghost Breakers has been available for some time) also might be a safe place to start.

Perhaps now that they’ve released many of their big names in collections, they'll start going for the 'second-tier' stars (second-tier to the Average Joe, I mean).
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#10 of 28 RafaelPires

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Posted June 06 2006 - 02:59 PM

Ray Milland and Paulette Goddard are essential to me, but before, we really need two glamour collection: Claudette Colbert and Barbara Stanwyck.

#11 of 28 reneerose

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Posted December 31 2012 - 08:01 PM

how could we urge Universal to put out respective box sets for Milland and Holden. A large amount of Paramount pics need release. Or a Mitch Leisen boxset. Really want to see Men With Wings. Arise My Love and Skylark would make a great second Colbert volume.

#12 of 28 Robin9

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Posted December 31 2012 - 10:02 PM

how could we urge Universal to put out respective box sets for Milland and Holden. A large amount of Paramount pics need release. Or a Mitch Leisen boxset. Really want to see Men With Wings. Arise My Love and Skylark would make a great second Colbert volume.

At this late stage in the DVD game, the most we can realistically hope for is that some of the missing films will come out on Universal's Vault series. For those who can play Region 2 DVDs, Arise My Love is now available in Spain. According to Thomas T, the picture quality is good. I'll probably buy it myself in the next few weeks.

#13 of 28 Camps

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Posted January 01 2013 - 01:23 AM

What's really screaming for a release are the ultra-rare '40s Paramount horror-mysteries -- Among the Living, Man in Half Moon Street, The Mad Doctor. Throw in Universal's Mystery of Marie Roget if you want to keep it an all-'40s set. Or consider tossing in Terror Aboard ('33). If there are rights issues, it would be nice of Universal Home Vid to let people know via boards like this,or start a Facebook page or blog or some marketing outlet (maybe via TCM.com if they can't do it themselves) -- like Warner Archive has done.

#14 of 28 Charles H

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Posted January 01 2013 - 02:09 AM

SOULS AT SEA was released on dvd ;at year as part of the TCM Rarities Collection. CANYON PASSAGE was released on DVD on one of the Western Collections. DESTRY RIDES AGAIN has been released several times (e.g.Jimmy Stewart Collection)s. It would be wonderful to get MEN WITH WINGS, SKYLARK, SEALED VERDICT, ALIAS NICK BEAL, and UNTAMED out on dvd.
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Posted January 01 2013 - 02:54 AM

Im all for Among the Living :) Happy New Year !

#16 of 28 Charles H

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Posted January 02 2013 - 01:46 AM

.....And William Holden? THOSE WERE THE DAYS, I WANTED WINGS, THE REMARKABLE ANDREW, THE FLEET'S IN, BLAZE AT NOON, DEAR RUTH, STREETS OF LAREDO, ? It would be nice if they brought out the all-star VARIETY GIRL (1947). It did come out on VHS.
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#17 of 28 JoeDoakes

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Posted January 02 2013 - 05:11 AM

This is such an old thread. It's amazing how many of these are still unreleased. I'm up for any Alan Ladd, Ray Milland, Gary Cooper or horror/mystery titles that Universal can release. I really wish that they would do more.

#18 of 28 JoeDoakes

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Posted January 02 2013 - 05:11 AM

This is such an old thread. It's amazing how many of these are still unreleased. I'm up for any Alan Ladd, Ray Milland, Gary Cooper or horror/mystery titles that Universal can release. I really wish that they would do more.

#19 of 28 JoeDoakes

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Posted January 02 2013 - 05:11 AM

This is such an old thread. It's amazing how many of these are still unreleased. I'm up for any Alan Ladd, Ray Milland, Gary Cooper or horror/mystery titles that Universal can release. I really wish that they would do more.

#20 of 28 JoeDoakes

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Posted January 02 2013 - 05:16 AM

I must have the most sensitve "Submit Reply" button in the world. Someone with access, please delete my duplicate posts.




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