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WHV Press Release: New Documentary plus 50 Restored WB Classics to make DVD debut!


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#1 of 72 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted February 06 2008 - 02:42 AM

[img]http://static.hometheaterforum.com/imgrepo/6/60/images_wb85.jpg">

YOU MUST REMEMBER THIS:
THE WARNER BROS. STORY

New Documentary is Centerpiece of
Warner Home Video’s Year-Long
Celebration of Studio’s 85th Anniversary
Directed by Richard Schickel, Narrated by
Clint Eastwood and Produced in Partnership with PBS’ American Masters, Comprehensive Five-part Work Documents Studio’s Storied History
from Rin Tin Tin to Harry Potter

MORE THAN 50 RESTORED WARNER BROS. CLASSICS TO MAKE DVD DEBUT THROUGHOUT ANNIVERSARY YEAR

Burbank, Calif., February 5, 2008 – On April 24, 1923, four brothers from Youngstown, Ohio (Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack L. Warner) officially incorporated their new motion picture company which to this day continues to entertain the world with great films.

Throughout 2008, Warner Home Video (WHV) will celebrate Warner Bros. (WB) Studios’ 85th anniversary with an initiative that will debut more than 50 new-to-DVD feature films along with its centerpiece, You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story, an illuminating new documentary produced, written and directed by award-winning filmmaker and Time magazine Senior Film critic Richard Schickel. Clint Eastwood narrates.

As part of the partnership with American Masters, You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story will be broadcast nationally as a three-part special in September 2008.

Susan Lacy, the creator and executive producer of American Masters, which is produced by Thirteen/WNET New York, noted "Given our long co-producing relationship with Warner Bros. -- on such projects as George Cukor, Gene Kelly, Judy Garland and John Ford/John Wayne - it is thrilling and appropriate that American Masters can bring You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story to PBS."

“PBS’ American Masters is acclaimed for its exceptional documentaries illuminating our collective past, whether through individual achievements, or in this case, through the vision of a film studio,” said John F. Wilson, Sr. Vice President and Chief TV Programming Executive, PBS. “Exploring this impressive body of Warner Bros. films to more fully understand America’s unique place in history will be a wonderful and entertaining journey for our viewers.”

The DVD debuts in September. Simultaneously, a 550-page full-color companion book -- written by Schickel and George Perry, with an introduction by Eastwood -- will be published worldwide. George Perry is the former The Times of London film critic and is the author of many books on film.

In the documentary, Schickel chronicles the history of Warner Bros. in an unprecedented way, using excerpts from hundreds of Warner Bros.’ films to illustrate how many of the studio’s films have served as a mirror of the values, mores and attitudes of the eras in which they were produced.

“This documentary is definitely in Richard’s DNA. His fascination with Warner Bros. goes back to his boyhood in Milwaukee where the only theatre in town was owned by Warner,” said George Feltenstein, Senior Vice President, Theatrical Catalog Marketing, and Warner Home Video. “It’s a groundbreaking work that, rather than dealing with executive intrigue, contract disputes or casting couch adventures, focuses on the studio’s films as a microcosm of America’s cultural and social history. It’s a unique cinematic achievement which has never been attempted on this level ever before - for this or any studio.”

To help celebrate the 85th anniversary year, from the vast WB library among the industry’s most celebrated movies, more than 50 are being restored for their DVD release this year including: All This And Heaven, Too, The Beast With Five Fingers, Black Legion, Brother Orchid, Deception, Flamingo Road, Gold Diggers Of 1937, Inside Daisy Clover, Kid Galahad, Lady Killer, The Mayor Of Hell, Night Nurse, None But The Brave, Pete Kelly’s Blues, San Antonio, Thank Your Lucky Stars, Three On A Match, Virginia City and Watch On The Rhine.

New special editions of Warner Bros. Pictures favorites including Bonnie and Clyde, Cool Hand Luke, Gypsy, Risky Business, and Splendor in the Grass are also set for the anniversary year celebration. A number of other new-to-DVD special editions and thematic box sets drawn from Warner’s classic MGM and RKO collections will also be part of this anniversary slate.

Each quarter of 2008 will be marked with the release of several timeless collections, such as Frank Sinatra, Dirty Harry, Gangsters, Super Heroes, Musicals, Westerns, Oscars and more.

On August 31, the Hollywood Bowl’s “Big Picture” night will honor the studio’s magnificent movie music legacy with a special Warner Bros. musical concert to be held at the famed 18,000 seat amphitheatre. The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, led by one of Hollywood’s foremost composers, David Newman, will perform music to accompany pivotal and well-known scenes from classic Warner Bros. films.

More about the Schickel Documentary

Clint Eastwood, who has worked with Richard Schickel on a number of projects, will narrate the documentary. The creative force behind many earlier works about Warner’s talented stars and directors, Schickel now takes on the task of telling the studio's entire history, with each sequence underscoring the crucial roles Warner Bros. and its films have played in portraying our society, a role the studio still plays today, some 85 years after its incorporation.

Through the use of rare archival interviews, some of which have not been seen for decades, as well as a great deal of newly photographed material, Schickel celebrates the colorful legacy of Warner Bros. throughout the decades, featuring cleverly assembled film clips from literally hundreds of films. Each of the documentary's hour-long sequences focus on a specific period in the studio's history, from the silent movie days and the development of sound, the depression, WWII, the advent of television, the onset of new technologies, and even the broadening and diversification of media companies in recent years.

Schickel engagingly retraces the legendary insights and demystifies the myths of some of Hollywood’s most magnificent productions such as The Jazz Singer, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Casablanca, Yankee Doodle Dandy, To Have and Have Not, A Streetcar Named Desire, Giant, Bonnie and Clyde, The Exorcist, All The President’s Men and the Batman and Harry Potter films; and talent from the likes of legends such as Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Paul Newman, James Dean, Doris Day, James Cagney, Joan Crawford, Paul Newman, Warren Beatty, Clint Eastwood, Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Robert DeNiro, Barbra Streisand and George Clooney. As the films from Warner Bros. studios have served as a roadmap and mirror of our social history, You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story is sure to be viewed as an entertaining and unique roadmap to the colorful history of Hollywood and filmed entertainment.

For more information about Richard Schickel and his work, visit

#2 of 72 ONLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted February 06 2008 - 02:52 AM

I hope Warner is willing to do a chat this year so we can hear more details about their 2008 releases. I must be honest, that many people are disappointed to what they've heard so far as we see little or no mention of any John Garfield, Spencer Tracy, Elizabeth Taylor and Jean Harlow films which are some of the stars that have been requested here for years. In fairness to Warner, I see How the West Was Won and some other westerns mentioned in the release along with some musicals that I think includes An American in Paris and Gigi. If you're a big Frank Sinatra fan then you must be very happy on those releases. Crawdaddy

#3 of 72 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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Posted February 06 2008 - 02:56 AM

As others have said in other threads, as much as I'm looking forward to the titles announced, I can't help feeling slightly underwhelmed at the news that 'more than 50' classics are to make their debut. An 'anniversary' year with far fewer classic releases than in previous years? Doesn't make any kind of sense.
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#4 of 72 ONLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted February 06 2008 - 03:03 AM

John, I must say that I'm disappointed too, but if these classic releases are not selling enough units to justify their releases then I can understand why Warner is cutting back. I really hope more information will follow, but it's no secret that the dvd market has become stagnant and these movie studios are still companies trying to make a profit.

#5 of 72 OFFLINE   ColbyCo82

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Posted February 06 2008 - 03:04 AM

Sorry
Most Wanted on DVD: The Trial of Mary Dugan (1929), Strangers May Kiss (1931),  Letty Lynton (1932), Her Wedding Night (1931), 24 Hours (1931), The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu (1930), Unfaithful (1931),  While the City Sleeps (1928), The Greene Murder Case (1929)


#6 of 72 OFFLINE   ColbyCo82

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Posted February 06 2008 - 03:07 AM

I, too, am a little disappointed. I was looking forward to some silent films (Big Parade, Greed) and maybe some early talkies (Warner Bros was the vitaphone pioneer after all)
Most Wanted on DVD: The Trial of Mary Dugan (1929), Strangers May Kiss (1931),  Letty Lynton (1932), Her Wedding Night (1931), 24 Hours (1931), The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu (1930), Unfaithful (1931),  While the City Sleeps (1928), The Greene Murder Case (1929)


#7 of 72 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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Posted February 06 2008 - 03:16 AM

That I fully understand (and I've felt for a while that Warner was overstretching itself); it's the oddity of the somewhat dubious anniversary celebrations coupled with this slightly deflating news. It's like telling me I'd just won the lottery...and then getting a call saying my cheque for $1 is in the post. Better to have left the whole 85th Anniversary bruhaha alone IMHO. It's a bit of a facer, though, to think that we've see the best of DVD from Warner? It's a possibility I suppose.
So many films, so little time...
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#8 of 72 OFFLINE   kenNew

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Posted February 06 2008 - 04:16 AM

Great about How the West Was Won. And I'm very keen to find out what's in amongst the Warner Westerns collection. But should we be worried that there's no mention of Quo Vadis and Raintree County?

#9 of 72 ONLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted February 06 2008 - 04:20 AM

If both of those titles have undergone the restoration work we've being hearing then eventually Warner will release both of them to recoup some of the costs.

#10 of 72 OFFLINE   Charles H

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Posted February 06 2008 - 04:50 AM

I would hope that WB has not abandoned their "Controversial Classics" Collection. Probably the "ControversiaL" label characterizes the WB film more than any other film studio, and there are plenty of titles that merit inclusion: WILD BOYS OF THE ROAD, A MODERN HERO, HEROES FOR SALE, CONFESSIONS OF A NAZI SPY, THEY WON'T FORGET, MISSION TO MOSCOW, and I WAS A COMMUNIST FOR THE FBI--which incredibly enough was nominated for a Best Documentary Oscar. It is great to see BLACK LEGION coming out on dvd, although it more comfortably belongs in a "Controversial" box than a "Tough Guy" collection. And a serious commentator would have a field day with WONDER BAR, which is so controversial today that it will probably never see the light of a dvd release.
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#11 of 72 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted February 06 2008 - 04:55 AM

I'm looking forward to more info to, particualrly on a new Noir set, and the bowery boys. That said, lots of title announced to sneak my money away!

#12 of 72 OFFLINE   Bruce Morrison

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Posted February 06 2008 - 05:02 AM

I find it strange that they've put so much emphasis on a list of special editions, some of which have already been announced and most of which have previously appeared as special editions anyway. This seems to be more about Blu-ray releases than enhancing the regular DVD catalogue. On the other hand, there is no mention of titles such as 'Far From The Madding Crowd, 'Cabaret', 'The Man Who Would Be King' and 'The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981), all of which are badly needed in new or re-mastered editions. And still no mention of the previously promised special edition of 'LA Confidential'. I share other people's disappointment over this announcement, especially after it had been built up so much.
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#13 of 72 OFFLINE   Ken Koc

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Posted February 06 2008 - 05:09 AM

Where is O'Toole's GOODBYE MR CHIPS?
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#14 of 72 OFFLINE   CineKarine

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Posted February 06 2008 - 05:17 AM

Maybe it's all in the point of view, but I am not disappointed a bit. I am very thrilled with the news we have gotten and the hints via some titles of other forthcoming collections.

50 new to DVD titles does not seem very plausible though. Just add up the new titles from the already announced collections (Sinatra, Davis, Crawford, Musicals, Gangsters, Pre-Codes) and you have around 50 already!!!!

So once you add Lorre and Karloff, Busby Berkeley vol. 2 (surely Warner will not release Gold Diggers of 1937 as a single release, it has to be a collection!), Errol Flynn Westerns, Classic Westerns (not counting previously released titles), Natalie Wood (not counting previously released), any way you look at it, that makes MANY, MANY more than 50 new to DVD titles!!!

Pete Kelly's Blues and Thank Your Lucky Stars will also be part of some kind of collections I am sure, so that still adds more yet. And the Holiday Collection may or may not be new to DVD titles as well Posted Image

I am one of those eagerly waiting for the Harlow films, the Show Boat "trilogy", Waterloo Bridge, etc. too, but I find much to be enthusiastic about in today's news!
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#15 of 72 OFFLINE   Pete York

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Posted February 06 2008 - 05:27 AM

Maybe I'm being a pollyanna, but I never expected this to be the WHV business plan for 2008 in toto. Does anyone think these 8 sets and change are all they're releasing re classics all year? Surely there are myriad reasons why some stuff can and others can't be announced. There's a good point made in the 'speculation' thread, these are only WB films being talked about. Then again, if Crawdaddy and Hodson are bummed... I suppose the chat will tell all and if there isn't a chat, that will tell even more!

#16 of 72 OFFLINE   Andrew Budgell

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Posted February 06 2008 - 05:31 AM

I posted this in the other thread, but would like to post it again here: The one glimmer of hope I have is that the 50 are films that were made originally made at Warner Bros. I hope they wouldn't release just 50 catalog titles in total. Andy

#17 of 72 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted February 06 2008 - 05:31 AM

This is all getting a bit "Waaaaah! My favorite titel wasn't announced AGAIN!" Really, how many companies shoot their announcement wad all at once in Febuary? I'm sure way more things are getting announced, these are probably the sure things, with many more details to follow. The main reason for that press release I think is for that documentary, with everything else being "Look! Look at our legacy and the tie ins we have!" as opposed to an actual "Here's what you get this year." thing.

#18 of 72 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted February 06 2008 - 05:33 AM

I'm not sure. The majority of the "big" Warner titles are out there. A lot of the big titles people are still waiting on are from RKO and MGM.

#19 of 72 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted February 06 2008 - 05:35 AM

Both of those are my POV too. I can't imagine that they've just announced everything that they're doing for the next 11 months already.

#20 of 72 OFFLINE   CineKarine

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Posted February 06 2008 - 05:37 AM

I was just thinking there might be some misinterpretation? In the paragraph below from the press release, the classics listed are original WB films ONLY (no RKO, MGM or Monogram), which makes sense considering this is what they are celebrating! The way I see it, the 50 classics are those of WB only, not counting other studio libraries.

But fill up the boxsets with titles from the other studios or add collections with MGM and RKO films and that's how it amounts to much more than 50 any way we look at it! Posted Image


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DVD wish list: The Accused (48), Margie (46), I'll Get By (50), The Constant Nymph (43), The Voice of the Turtle (47), The Barretts of Wimpole Street (34), Her Twelve Men (54), The Lost Moment (47), I Walk Alone (48), The Glass...




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