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Will we ever see classics from Paramount?

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30 replies to this topic

#1 of 31 OFFLINE   MarcoBiscotti



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Posted September 26 2007 - 02:10 AM

Will we ever see the many great alan ladd titles, top-notch noirs, western and war films and classic horror like island of lost souls, etc. or are these films going to be withheld from the public forever? What will it take to get Paramount to actually release dvd's... a buy-out like the Sony-Fox-MGM deal? What are the chances that another company could just license out the majority of their classic catalog for distribution and home video? I find their negligence extremely frustrating, moreso than any other of the major studios. In my opinion, next to Warner Bros. they have one of the strongest classic film libraries. Many of these titles were released on VHS, so why isn't the studio doing anything with them now? I can't even think of the last time I even noticed a press release from them... Who feels the same way?

#2 of 31 OFFLINE   Bob Furmanek

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Posted September 26 2007 - 02:15 AM

MCA/Universal owns the pre-1948 Paramount library.

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#3 of 31 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted September 26 2007 - 02:18 AM

Yes, they own most of it and nothing else has changed since this thread was active concerning Paramount not releasing classic films to SD DVD.




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#4 of 31 OFFLINE   Corey



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Posted September 26 2007 - 03:14 AM

Nope. They don't care to.
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#5 of 31 OFFLINE   Greg_M



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Posted September 26 2007 - 04:08 AM

part of the reason is that few people are familar with those films and that equals low sales. I keep thinking that film companies should show trailers of older films at the multiplex (we usually get 10 - 12 right? - so what's one more) Image seeing a trailer promoting an older film and stating it is now on DVD. I'll best if the "Maginificent Seven" came on people who remember the theme song after the actual film has ended more than the trailers for some of the other unreleased films.

#6 of 31 OFFLINE   MarcoBiscotti



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Posted September 26 2007 - 04:18 AM

Wow, so it's Universal who's to blame for sitting on all those great Paramount noirs and not touching any of Ladd's pictures? I thought they had improved somewhat with the release of Double Indemnity last year and some of their previous announcements, but if so why are they not putting out any significant classics? Even their prominent horror catalog and monster pictures have not nearly been mined... really lame. Warner Bros. and Fox should merge together and buy over every other major Hollywood studio so that they own exclusive distribution rights to every last film.

#7 of 31 OFFLINE   Bruce Morrison

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Posted September 26 2007 - 04:29 AM

The only significant progress we've seen recently with Paramount's back catalog is the licensing deal they've done with Criterion, which has at last resulted in DVDs of classics such as 'If....' and 'Ace In the Hole'. Licensing deals of that kind with other independent labels might be the best hope of ever seeing releases of their relatively "deep catalog" items. I don't think the current Paramount management have any interest in doing their own releases of their back catalog, apart from periodic and utterly predictable re-issues of their best known films such as 'The Godfather' and 'Chinatown'. Sad but true.
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#8 of 31 OFFLINE   Will K

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Posted September 26 2007 - 04:31 AM

Granted, I'm not privy to sales data from the studios, but others like Warner and Fox as examples, seem to do well with classic films. From a movie buff and/or TV fan perspective, Paramount is just frustrating. It seems they have lack a lot of imagination when it comes to their product and what their customers want. A lot of issues have been discussed in other threads(lackluster, cookie-cutter SE's, mishandling of certain franchises, awful revisionist cover art, etc), but I think they grossly underestimate the market for classic/older films and why they are important.
I think that's a great idea. Even if the studios put together some mere slide graphics promoting their DVD's for the "pre-show entertainment," it could feasibly spark some interest and sales. Again, where is the imagination?
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#9 of 31 OFFLINE   Jay E

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Posted September 26 2007 - 04:44 AM

No matter how bad Paramount is, at least they have a deal set up with Criterion. Columbia on the other hand has no redeeming qualities.

#10 of 31 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted September 26 2007 - 04:46 AM

Universal has been releasing lots of the Paramount classics on DVD in the last few years, so I don't know what the big deal is. I think the two recent "Classic Western Roundup" sets are mostly Paramount titles. The Paramount library requires a lot of work, apparently. It's always worth it since every Paramount remaster I've seen from Universal in the last 3-4 years looks A+. Just in the last year or so, they've released sets of all (or nearly all) of their Cecil B. DeMille and Preston Sturges films. Also multi-film sets of Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, Mae West, Carole Lombard, and Marlene Dietrich. The new 2nd volume of W.C. Fields films is all Paramount except for Never Give a Sucker an Even Break. Paramount kind of sucks right now. They're re-releasing mostly, even if they're deserved (the first editions of To Catch a Thief and Chinatown had mediocre transfers) sometimes. But you don't see them releasing any of the silents, except for including the '23 The Ten Commandments on the SE of the '56 film. The silents they own include films by Josef von Sternberg, James Cruze, William A. Wellman, and Erich von Stroheim. If Universal owned the silents, we would have seen at least Wings and The Last Command (Emil Jannings Oscar-winning role) on DVD. Probably The Wedding March, too, since it's a Von Stroheim. A Josef von Sternberg set would be marketable since Paramount has Docks of New York, Underworld (scripted by Ben Hecht), The Last Command, and The Dragnet. I'm at least optimistic that some of the silents would be licensed to Criterion.

#11 of 31 OFFLINE   Jeff Willis

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Posted September 26 2007 - 05:03 AM

Marco, Your VHS question brings up something that I've wondered about for a long time. Who knows? Some legal/authoring issue differences with DVD releases vs VHS? Regarding Paramount, it's ironic that we sing praises to them over on the TV/DVD Bd as they are among the best studios to release the earlier TV series'.

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#12 of 31 OFFLINE   MarcoBiscotti



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Posted September 26 2007 - 05:23 AM

Equally frustrating is that I sold off my VHS collection of these titles years ago foreseeing their eventual release on DVD... looks like that one came back to bite me! Btw, thanks for hipping me to the "Classic Western Roundup" sets. I'd never seen those on any of the news sites and wasn't even aware of their releases. I'm looking forward to collecting those!

#13 of 31 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted September 26 2007 - 06:28 AM

Well, you are talking about what are basically different companies there - I think the number of older TV series released shot up when Viacom reorganized their assets and "Paramount Pictures" and "CBS-Paramount Television" became more or less autonomous entities.
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#14 of 31 OFFLINE   Corey3rd



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Posted September 26 2007 - 06:54 AM

Paramount TV now has a sugar daddy/outlet for their vintage shows in the Retro TV Network. Pretty much all of their hour long shows that have been coming out on DVD are featured on the channel. In our neighborhood RTN is featured on the local station's digital bonus channel. So this might be prompting Paramount to make HD transfers of the shows. And once the transfers are done, why not put out the DVDs to get extra cash from them? On the other hand when it comes to the films, Paramount/Viacom/MTV has no classic movie network so they don't feel obligated to focus anywhere except their major rentals.
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#15 of 31 OFFLINE   ahollis



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Posted September 26 2007 - 08:52 AM

I think the previous post hit the nail on the head. Warners has TCM channel as an outlet for re-mastering their films. Fox has the Fox Movie Channel; MGM has just announced a new satellite station along with their agreement with Comcast for on demand films. Columbia has made a deal with TCM, which is probably why the announced that they will look at their classics again. Universal has a deal with TCM and AMC. And Disney, well as long as the Disney Channel was running their older movies late at night, they were doing a great job on releasing their 60's and 70's catalogue. Since the programming change, they have hardly released any. The only studio that does not have a classics deal in place is Paramount. A deal in place usually will pay for most of the restoration, while the DVD releases are extra income. I guess what we need is TV-Land to start an afternoon movie with Paramount titles from the 50's and 60's.
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#16 of 31 OFFLINE   Ken Koc

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Posted September 26 2007 - 10:01 AM

Here's hoping Criterion will release LOVE WITH THE PROPER STRANGER and SUMMER AND SMOKE since I doubt that Paramount will:-(

#17 of 31 OFFLINE   Danny Burk

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Posted September 26 2007 - 01:26 PM

The only chance we have of seeing some of Paramount's silents is for them to be released by Criterion, and their silent releases aren't exactly plentiful. It couldn't hurt to write Criterion and ask them to consider releasing such important titles as WINGS, WEDDING MARCH, and the von Sternbergs. The latter could make a great "Eclipse" box set. Unfortunately, THE DRAG NET is lost. A great bonus, however, would be to include the single reel from CASE OF LENA SMITH that was discovered in the Orient a few years ago.

#18 of 31 OFFLINE   Dan McW

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Posted September 26 2007 - 03:32 PM

A package of Paramount films is supposed to begin airing on TCM in 2008. I've posted a link to the original press release in 2-3 other threads, but the press release seems to have disappeared from the "Turner Pressroom" site, which may be a bad sign. EDIT: I found that link in a recent post, and clicking it now brings up a Turner Pressroom page with the dreaded "an error has occurred" message.

#19 of 31 OFFLINE   Eric Peterson

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Posted September 27 2007 - 12:42 AM

Unfortunately, "Paramount Classic" is about as close to an oxymoron as it gets int he DVD world. I certainly hope that Universal starts doing something with the Noirs that they own. As for the titles, that Paramount owns, nothing will happen unless they license them (They're too bull-headed). Hopefully, the rumor of more titles coming to TCM is true. That happened last year, and several of those titles later came out on DVD.

#20 of 31 OFFLINE   Corey3rd



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Posted September 27 2007 - 02:23 AM

NBC-Universal has the Sleuth channel which would be a great outlet for their Noirs - even if they run them in the wee hours for DVR theater. But they'd rather run a marathon of Simon & Simon.
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