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My farewell to laserdisc


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#1 of 28 OFFLINE   Michael Warner

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Posted August 08 2008 - 08:34 AM

Today I realized that since I moved almost three years ago I hadn't watched a single laserdisc in my collection. So I boxed up 30 of my LDs, hauled them off to my local Half Priced Books, and traded them in for a paltry $35.

I kept the player (I figure I can craigslist it eventually for a few bucks) and a handful of LDs that I have framed for their cover art (Star Wars faces and various Criterions) but everything else is gone. The once rare widescreen Dragonslayer and Young Sherlock Holmes discs, those glorious DTS titles, widescreen versions of The Shadow and Innocent Blood that put the DVDs to shame, the theatrical cut of Last of the Mohicans, Matinee with the Mant short feature, etc.

Fortunately I got into LD well after DVD so I never paid much for the discs I had. The best part of the story? I traded in LDs and bought HD-DVDs -- one dead format swapped out for another. The store had a bunch of clearance HD-DVDs for seven bucks a pop so I couldn't resist. I guess in a few years I'll be starting another thread just like this one entitled "My farewell to HD-DVD."
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#2 of 28 OFFLINE   Walter Kittel

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Posted August 08 2008 - 08:54 AM

Not the theatrical cut of Last of the Mohicans! Say it isn't so. One reason why you'll have to pry my Laserdisc collection from my cold, dead hands. Posted Image

On a more serious note, good luck with the HD-DVDs. I have a sizable collection and plan on enjoying them for a number of years. If you have a Fry's nearby, they have been offering a number of HD-DVD titles for $9.99.

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#3 of 28 ONLINE   Bob Cashill

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Posted August 08 2008 - 09:00 AM

As my wife and I are clearing space for our blessed event I boxed mine up and gave them to my father for storage, which is tantamount to the same thing. I think I've watched one in three years. They've done time in storage before but this may be the end of the line.

#4 of 28 ONLINE   PaulDA

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Posted August 08 2008 - 09:26 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Kittel
Not the theatrical cut of Last of the Mohicans! Say it isn't so. One reason why you'll have to pry my Laserdisc collection from my cold, dead hands. Posted Image

On a more serious note, good luck with the HD-DVDs. I have a sizable collection and plan on enjoying them for a number of years. If you have a Fry's nearby, they have been offering a number of HD-DVD titles for $9.99.

- Walter.
I have my widescreen VHS copy and feel the same way (though I'm not all that attached to most of my other VHS tapes). I have the DVD as well (would have been a great "seamless branching" title, IMO) as I use the film in some classes and I don't want to risk my VHS copy anymore.

I narrowly missed the LD scene because my financial situation improved sufficiently to join it only after DVD was the clear successor. I've thought about it every once in a while, but I hardly have time to keep up with my current collection (and I have over 100 HD DVDs, so I'm no stranger to "dead" formats).
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#5 of 28 OFFLINE   Thomas T

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Posted August 08 2008 - 09:49 AM

I have so many laser discs still not available on DVD that I'm hanging on to them till doomsday. The uncut roadshow The Alamo and Hawaii (the current DVD releases are the cut versions), Ford's 7 Women, Ray's Party Girl and Born To Be Bad, the Japanese Song Of The South, Farrow's Five Came Back and his remake Back From Eternity, Tashlin's Susan Slept Here, Brando in Desiree, The Egyptian, Gance's Napoleon, , Vidor's The Big Parade, Lillian Gish in The Wind, Minnelli's The Cobweb and Two Weeks In Another Town, Looking For Mr. Goodbar, well ..... I could go on and on and on but I'm grateful to have them and many more and continue to watch them until their (hopefully) eventual DVD release.

Fortunately, I have two laser machines in working order.

#6 of 28 OFFLINE   David Norman

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Posted August 08 2008 - 10:24 AM

Just to add another since the theatrical version was on in HD last night -- the uncut version of Dead Poets Society that as far as I know was/is only available on LD.

If for no other reason it returns Lara Flynn Boyle to the film since she was cut entirely from the film despite have her name listed 4th or 5th in the end credits.
 

 


#7 of 28 OFFLINE   Jon Martin

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Posted August 08 2008 - 12:09 PM

I'm most surprised you got $35 for 30!! When I used to sell my collection on Ebay (4 years ago), I wasn't even getting that.

#8 of 28 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted August 08 2008 - 12:24 PM

I still have a lot of titles that also are not DVD. The Dawn of Sound Vols 1, 2, & 3. The above mentioned Roadshow releases of Hawaii, The Alamo and of course It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World. I could list several other titles including the Warner & MGM shorts collections, Wings, Samson & Delilah, The Buccaneer and the complete Betty Boop Collections. I still enjoy a laserdisc several times a year and love the whirr of the disc spinning.
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#9 of 28 OFFLINE   SilverWook

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Posted August 08 2008 - 01:33 PM

Couldn't you at least wait until 2015? Posted Image

I've pruned my collection a bit, but I don't think I'll ever give up LD's completely. At least I'm not as crazy as the people who keep 8-tracks around.

#10 of 28 OFFLINE   David_B_K

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Posted August 08 2008 - 01:49 PM

Not the theatrical cut of Last of the Mohicans! Say it isn't so. One reason why you'll have to pry my Laserdisc collection from my cold, dead hands.

The theatrical cut of Mohicans in DD was one of my prized laserdiscs. But the Region 2 DVD is the theatrical cut, so you might want to look into that.

I am hanging onto my player for some of the rarities-the aforementioned uncut The Alamo, Abel Gance's Napoleon, Criterion's Magnificent Ambersons, Criterion's Orson Welles' Othello, The Lighthorsemen, The Big Country with an essay on Jerome Moross' score, Wild Rovers, the uncut 1776 and Far From the Madding Crowd among others.

I've made DVD-Rs of most of them, but still hang onto the originals. If a DVD version comes out that has everything on the laserdisc and then some, I just throw the laserdisc away. I don't take them to Half Price Books anymore. I almost think they subtract from my total when I take laserdiscs!

#11 of 28 OFFLINE   Michael Warner

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Posted August 08 2008 - 02:35 PM

While I was there I took a peek at their LD selection (they have quite a few) and it was sad to see so many rarities and Criterions going for $2.99 a pop and still collecting dust. Like I said I've kept and still occasionally buy LDs strictly for their cover art as there's no way DVD or BluRay can ever beat that. It's just a shame that so many of them had such awful cover art -- usually for my favorite movies too.
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#12 of 28 OFFLINE   Richard M S

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Posted August 08 2008 - 04:52 PM

I sold 14 MGM musical laser discs last month and I ended up with a profit of about $13 - then after I sold them I realized I got rid of the CAV Ziegfeld Follies box set which has many unreleased recordings on the audio tracks -not on CD or on the DVD.

Meanwhile I too have about 250 boxed up, though about 50 on my shelves. The gems I have include The Judy Garland, Gene Kelly and Composer box sets which have lots of audio recordings found no where else, The Dawn of Sound Boxes 1 and 3, both Cavalcade of Vitaphone Shorts box sets, both Cavalcade of MGM Short box sets and the two Forbidden Hollywood collections.

#13 of 28 OFFLINE   Bryan^H

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Posted August 08 2008 - 05:38 PM

Instead of getting peanuts for my LD collection, and player I gave them to the Goodwill a few years ago. I was a bit sad, but I did enjoy it while I had it.


Hopefully someone is enjoying the collectionPosted Image

housekeeping 2.jpg

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#14 of 28 OFFLINE   Casey Neutron

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Posted August 08 2008 - 09:59 PM

Even though I rarely watch a laserdisc these days (maybe once or twice a year) I've yet to give up a single one. I spent the 90s building my perfect collection--about 150 titles, which may not seem like that many until you consider the average price was somewhere between $40 and $50 each. And I'm not a rich man. I still can't believe I paid the full retail price of $125 for the Criterion "Raging Bull." In fact, I was paying full retail for everything--there wasn't a Best Buy or any such equivalent in my town back then. I just couldn't imagine selling one of these for just a couple of bucks. I love my collection--it got me through the decade, and I want to leave it intact if only for nostalgia.

I've upgraded more than half my LD collection to DVD, and I'll continue to do so. Some of the faves in my collection that have yet to see an R1 DVD/BluRay release: Altman's "Brewster McCloud," Steven Soderbergh's "King of the Hill," "Roadracers," "Fearless" (widescreen), "Death Becomes Her" (widescreen), "The Public Eye" and some of the Criterions: "Repulsion," Bergman's "The Magician," and "Taxi Driver" with the Scorsese commentary.

This thread has put me a very nostalgic mood. Think I'll watch a couple laserdiscs this weekend.

#15 of 28 ONLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted August 09 2008 - 12:46 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard M S
I sold 14 MGM musical laser discs last month and I ended up with a profit of about $13 - then after I sold them I realized I got rid of the CAV Ziegfeld Follies box set which has many unreleased recordings on the audio tracks -not on CD or on the DVD.

Meanwhile I too have about 250 boxed up, though about 50 on my shelves. The gems I have include The Judy Garland, Gene Kelly and Composer box sets which have lots of audio recordings found no where else, The Dawn of Sound Boxes 1 and 3, both Cavalcade of Vitaphone Shorts box sets, both Cavalcade of MGM Short box sets and the two Forbidden Hollywood collections.


The very reason I haven't gotten rid of any of those MGM musical collections. The audio only tracks are still to be found nowhere else.

I also hung on to THE ULTIMATE OZ because of the audio only tracks and for John Fricke's commentary. Yes, he does the commentary on the most recent OZ DVD, too, but it's interrupted by recorded comments by others in the cast, and some valuable information from the ULTIMATE OZ commentary isn't there.

#16 of 28 OFFLINE   John Sparks

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Posted August 09 2008 - 01:54 AM

Also, the uncut Who framed roger rabbit, the Rescuers, war of the worlds in stereo and correct color, first recalled cover of Little mermaid, and the list goes on and on. Oh yeah, freeze framing the original King kong and seeing the frames showing the t bars holding him up that they didn't remove.

My signed beautiful covers of War of the worlds, Robinson crusoe on mars and others.
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#17 of 28 ONLINE   PaulDA

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Posted August 09 2008 - 05:15 AM

What are all these "uncut" movies to which several of you are referring? Are the DVD releases of these films missing significant amounts of footage? Are there reasons for this?
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#18 of 28 OFFLINE   John Sparks

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Posted August 09 2008 - 01:40 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulDA
What are all these "uncut" movies to which several of you are referring? Are the DVD releases of these films missing significant amounts of footage? Are there reasons for this?

In "WFRR" the midget baby has his middle finger going up the panties of the one of the secretaries at the beginning of the movie. When Jessica falls out of the car at the end, she's not wearing panties. There are more scenes I can't think of right now. In the "Rescuers", there are two frames that have a lady naked from the waist up looking out a window. Those are pretty significant and there are probably more, but that's all I can think of.

You can only see this on LD, the DVDs excised all that I stated!

I'm sure someone will chime in with more.
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Epson 9500 UB PJ(Avical ISFd); 110" JKP Affinity Screen; Panny BD30 Player; Tosh HDA1 Player; Definitive Speakers(center, towers, rear); Onkyo 608 A/V Receiver; Nevo Q50 Remote; TWC HD Cable Box; Panamax Line Conditioner.


#19 of 28 OFFLINE   ahollis

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Posted August 09 2008 - 03:39 PM

MGM released the laserdisc Roadshow versions of Hawaii with about 15 extra minutes that was cut out for the General Release. The DVD used the general release version but did include the Overture and Exit Music. They did not include the intermission. John Wayne’s The Alamo also had about 20 minutes that was in the Roadshow laserdisc release that is not in the DVD. The scenes that were cut from the Roadshow actually increased the viewers understandlmg of the characters and some plot. While I include It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World in this group, there is defiantly controversy on if the footage is outtakes or actually cut from the Roadshow. At the time of the release Stanley Kramer promoted the Laserdisc to be as close to the Roadshow version as the film can get.

I guess there are some people that are not sure of what Roadshow was, but in the 50’s and 60’s most film companies produced two or three event pictures a year. The films would be presented in theaters on a reserved seat basis and only shown twice a day, once in the afternoon and once in the evening. They would be a 70mm exclusive engagement at one theatre per major city. At the end of the Roadshow run, usually three to twelve months, it would then get a general release to other theatres in the major city and surrounding towns. This General Release would usually mean the overture and intermission was cut out along with the trimming of scenes and if a musical, sometimes complete songs. This was to allow for four showings a day at popular prices. Not every film was cut, but most were.


At each DVD release of those titles, there was a storm of questions and dare say protests that MGM should release the Roadshow versions. I myself even wrote to the person in charge of MGM Home Entertainment at the time concerning Hawaii, but never had a response.

I still have those laserdiscs and show them to friends that have never seen the films, especially IMMMMW. I will not part with them unless a complete DVD comes along and I am not holding my breath.
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#20 of 28 OFFLINE   PaulaJ

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Posted August 11 2008 - 02:48 AM

I've given away a good chunk of my LD collection to a friend who can't afford to buy many DVDs and is really happy to get the LDs, but I'm still holding on to many, some of which I doubt will ever see the light of day on DVD, like the Al Jolson collection with a number of extremely politically incorrect titles. Posted Image

It's great to have in my library all sorts of titles still unreleased on DVD, such as some Fox musicals, some Cagney films (like Blonde Crazy, Johnny Come Lately, A Lion in the Streets), the noir Western Blood on the Moon, the Buster Keaton M-G-M talkies set, several pre-Code Warner Bros. films, and lots more. Or to keep LDs with extras not included on the DVDs

Every now and then I want to see a film that hasn't been released on DVD but I have it on LD and I love being able to go to the shelf, pull it out and watch it.
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