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Columbia Classics


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15 replies to this topic

#1 of 16 OFFLINE   MarcoBiscotti

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Posted December 23 2007 - 01:09 AM

Why are these discs so overpriced?

With the exception of Criterion's library, these are the only studio releases I can think of that have never received a price reduction in the half-decade plus that they've been around. Even online at the most inviting discount/promotional offers, they sell for way more than any singular catalog title ever should, and they are dated as far as transfer quality, awful packaging and so on...

I've held off purchasing some of my favorite films of all-time (His Girl Friday, It Happened One Night, etc.) for this very reason, hoping that eventually Sony would come to their senses and revisit these films, affording them the care and resources so deserving, with brand new transfers and the full treatment... but I can see now that is unlikely to happen. I plan on finally picking up the separate Cary Grant and Frank Capra Collections this week -- I understand these are essentially the same discs to marginally variable degree.


But what about other entries in this antiquated series; films like Anatomy Of A Murder, Born Yesterday, The Lady From Shanghai, etc.

Will we ever see these titles revisited in some more adequate fashion in future or are the Criterion-priced, eight-year old discs going to serve as the final representation of these films in this current medium?


Is it time to concede and give in to the mediocrity of these overpriced titles, taking what I can get? At the very least, does anyone predict to see similar and more affordable/economicaly priced collections similar to Monsieurs Grant and Capra of somewhat recent?

Why not simply turn out a "Columbia Classics Collection" with remaining films like The Last Hurrah, Queen Bee, A Raisin In The Sun, Sahara, etc. sourcing existing discs from leftover stock?


What's the forum consensus with this line?

#2 of 16 OFFLINE   Simon Howson

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Posted December 23 2007 - 01:25 AM

I completely agree they are over priced in R1. Infrequently Columbia issue some of them in Australia for AUD$10 or AUD$15, i.e. 1/2 or 1/3 of the price of the R1 versions (even though they are identical, just with PAL transfers). The only problem is there are hardly any of them out in R4. I've given up getting them from the U.S., I wait for them to be discounted in Region 2 where you can get 2 or 3 for the price of 1 U.S. version. This year I got Picnic, The Big Heat, Waterloo, Bridge on the River Kwai 2 disc and a few others from the U.K for AUD$15 each posted. The only problem is there are a few that haven't been released anywhere except in the U.S. for example The Eddie Duchin Story, which I would love to see, but aren't willing to pay ~US$22 for.

#3 of 16 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted December 23 2007 - 02:22 AM

I finally recorded COVER GIRL off TCM on a DVD-R because I wasn't willing to pay that inflated price.

#4 of 16 OFFLINE   Corey

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Posted December 23 2007 - 09:25 AM

Amazon had a sale a few months ago. The single discs were $15.
Corey's most wanted R1 dvds:

Little Darlings (1980), My Cousin Rachel (1952), The Deep Blue Sea (1955), The White Cliffs of Dover (1944), Born to Be Bad (1950), Ivy (1947), Reckless (1935), Springtime in the Rockies (1942), The Barretts of Wimpole Street

#5 of 16 OFFLINE   Tory

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Posted December 23 2007 - 09:50 AM

I've gotten some new for 2 dollars.
Hungry enough to eat a turnip and call it a turkey.

 


#6 of 16 OFFLINE   KellyVO

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Posted December 23 2007 - 12:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattH.
I finally recorded COVER GIRL off TCM on a DVD-R because I wasn't willing to pay that inflated price.


I did the same thing myself a couple months ago.

Yeah I wish they would re-visit them but I doubt it will happen. I think most of Judy Holliday's movies on dvd are out of print now too, at least on amazon.
Most Wanted on DVD: Dragonwyck (1946),  Little Nellie Kelly (1940), Bachelor Mother (1939), Tin Pan Alley (1940), Mother Wore Tights (1947), The Devil and Miss Jones (1941),  Penelope (1966)Fox Please release Betty Grable Vol. 2!

#7 of 16 OFFLINE   WadeM

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Posted December 23 2007 - 12:47 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcoBiscotti


But what about other entries in this antiquated series; films like Anatomy Of A Murder, Born Yesterday, The Lady From Shanghai, etc.

Will we ever see these titles revisited in some more adequate fashion in future or are the Criterion-priced, eight-year old discs going to serve as the final representation of these films in this current medium?



I've been waiting for them to redo Anatomy of a Murder for a long time now. Looks like I'll just wait for a Hi-Def release now if this format war is ever resolved. There's quite a few movies I never bought on DVD the first time around, including that one, because the studios didn't do them right...and, yes, Columbia generally overpriced their stuff anyways while offering mediocre products...

#8 of 16 OFFLINE   MarcoBiscotti

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Posted December 23 2007 - 09:36 PM

So I guess the forum consensus is... Columbuia sucks.

#9 of 16 OFFLINE   Simon Howson

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Posted December 23 2007 - 09:48 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcoBiscotti
So I guess the forum consensus is... Columbuia sucks.
To their credit, when they release classic films the quality is generally very good. I re-watched The Violent Men today for the first time in a couple of years, and the picture and sound quality is as good as a 1955 film from Fox or Warner.

When they do release classic films they do so in good quality, they just don't seem very interested in increasing revenue by selling more at lower prices.

#10 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted December 24 2007 - 01:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcoBiscotti
So I guess the forum consensus is... Columbuia sucks.
I wouldn't say that and doing so will not get you the desire result you want from them. I think some of the films not release initially in their OAR will have that shortcoming corrected in future releases. Films like Anatomy of a Murder, Ship of Fools and Cowboy.





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#11 of 16 OFFLINE   MarcoBiscotti

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Posted December 24 2007 - 03:02 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Howson
To their credit, when they release classic films the quality is generally very good. I re-watched The Violent Men today for the first time in a couple of years, and the picture and sound quality is as good as a 1955 film from Fox or Warner.

When they do release classic films they do so in good quality, they just don't seem very interested in increasing revenue by selling more at lower prices.

Some of their releases, such as The Violent Men, are indeed excellent and reasonably priced as well. Top-notch quality and an all-around fine effort. For some reason this seems to hold true with most of their classic western series. But that same quality does not reflect many of the company's classic film releases, especially those issued prior to the past few years...


What I was more specifically referring to within this thread (though it's certainly not limited strictly to this series) was the out-dated line of DVD's bearing the branding of "Columbia Classics" atop the cover.

#12 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted December 24 2007 - 03:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcoBiscotti
Some of their releases, such as The Violent Men, are indeed excellent and reasonably priced as well. Top-notch quality and an all-around fine effort. For some reason this seems to hold true with most of their classic western series. But that same quality does not reflect many of the company's classic film releases, especially those issued prior to the past few years...


What I was more specifically referring to within this thread (though it's certainly not limited strictly to this series) was the out-dated line of DVD's bearing the branding of "Columbia Classics" atop the cover.
Several of those titles have undergone new HD transfers recently so expect them to look much better the next time they're released.

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#13 of 16 OFFLINE   Corey

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Posted December 24 2007 - 05:39 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Crawford
Several of those titles have undergone new HD transfers recently so expect them to look much better the next time they're released.

Which ones??
Corey's most wanted R1 dvds:

Little Darlings (1980), My Cousin Rachel (1952), The Deep Blue Sea (1955), The White Cliffs of Dover (1944), Born to Be Bad (1950), Ivy (1947), Reckless (1935), Springtime in the Rockies (1942), The Barretts of Wimpole Street

#14 of 16 OFFLINE   Matthew H

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Posted December 24 2007 - 05:47 AM

Columbia has never been an advocate for their classic film library. Hell, look how long it took to get the Three Stooges released in a way that wasn't totally ripping people off! These are the same people that would sell Stooge discs with an MSRP of $30 (never discounted until recently) with only 5 shorts on it at a time, with one or two releases a year.

They don't and still don't care about their vintage films/shorts/cartoons.. hell did anyone even know they had an animation department back in the 30s/40s? Most don't.

But, to their credit, the prints on the new Stooges disc are phenomenal - I mean they look like they could have been filmed yesterday. That's not to say we'll get a second volume (since none has been announced yet), but they did do a fantastic job with the remastering process. I guess they got sick of people like me bitching about it.

Face it, Columbia isn't Warner when it comes to classic cinema.. but then again a lot of other companies aren't, either.
Matt

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#15 of 16 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted December 24 2007 - 06:24 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey
Which ones??
I am not at liberty to say all of them, but I wouldn't be buying Ship of Fools, Midnight Express, Kramer vs. Kramer or any classic film not previously released in its OAR. Also, I expect LOA to be release in 2008 on Blu-ray with a possible new SD-DVD release.





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#16 of 16 OFFLINE   Thaellar

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Posted December 24 2007 - 10:33 AM

While we are talking about Columbia, Barrie Maxwell over at digital bits had this to say:

"Considering the really good series films that Columbia is sitting on (Boston Blackie, Lone Wolf, Whistler, etc.), it's unfortunate that Jungle Jim may be the one to get the go-ahead. For if it doesn't sell well, we may never see the others."

C'mon Columbia...get with the program. I would buy Blackie, LW and Whistler in a heart beat. Release them all.
Thaellar


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