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Pre-Code Hollywood Coll. from Universal (April 09)


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#1 of 62 OFFLINE   Marcel H.

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Posted January 21 2009 - 01:25 AM

Look what I found at Classicflix.com:

Quote:
No you are not reading a spoof announcement or a wish list, Universal has actually announced some catalog titles for release that haven't been released on DVD before. And not just any release, but a PRE-CODE release (no doubt trying to mimic Warner's successful line). A couple of longed for Cary Grant films, plus the lovely and vivacious Ida Lupino in Search for Beauty make up just some of the set.

The only special feature is listed as Forbidden Film: The Production Code Era. However, it's unclear whether it's a featurette or a full documentary. Also included is a reproduction of the Ooriginal "Production Code."

It will retail for $49.98, but is available at ClassicFlix.com for only $34.99. Details below.

EDITORIAL NOTE: Universal's output last year was dismal. And for those fence sitters out there - GET ON BOARD! I can hear the complaints now, high on price and slim on special features. But if you don't support sets like these, studios like Universal will produce less and less. Among others, we're still waiting for more Michael Shayne, Ma & Pa Kettle and the continuation of the Classic Western line they started. So do all you can to encourage releases like this because if we don't support the risk takers out there, they'll just find some other place to invest their resources.

--David Greenstreet

SYNOPSIS
For the first time ever, Universal opens its vaults to bring you 6 classic films from the most decadent era in motion picture history: Pre-Code Hollywood. In 1934, Hollywood was turned upside down by the enforcement of a strict “Production Code” that would change the way movies were made for the next 34 years. During the “pre-Code” period (1929 to mid-1934), censorship barely existed in Hollywood and filmmakers had free reign to make the movies they wanted and the public demanded. No subject was taboo including adultery, murder or sex. Starring screen legends Cary Grant, Fredric March, Claudette Colbert, Tallulah Bankhead, Randolph Scott, and Sylvia Sidney, the Pre-Code Hollywood Collection forever captures one of the most unique periods in cinema history.

The Cheat (1931, 74 min.)
A compulsive gambler (Tallulah Bankhead) will do anything to pay off her debt - including turning to a wealthy businessman behind her husband’s back.

Merrily We Go to Hell (1932, 78 min.)
An abusive alcoholic (Fredric March) reunites with a woman from his past and drives his wife (Sylvia Sidney) to drastic measures.

Hot Saturday (1932, 73 min.)
Scandal erupts after a young woman (Nancy Carroll) innocently spends the night with a notorious playboy (Cary Grant) and neglects to tell her fiancé (Randolph Scott).

Torch Singer (1933, 71 min.)
After giving up her illegitimate child for adoption, a notorious nightclub singer (Claudette Colbert) attempts to find her daughter through a children’s radio show.

Murder at the Vanities (1934, 89 min.)
While sexy musical revue “The Vanities” captivates an audience on its opening night, a murder investigation takes place backstage.

Search for Beauty (1934, 78 min.)
Olympic swimming champions (Buster Crabbe and Ida Lupino) are tricked into endorsing a racy magazine - and much worse.

BONUS FEATURES:

* Forbidden Film: The Production Code Era (Disc 1)
* Includes Reproduction of the Original "Production Code" Document
Classicflix.com Blog: UNIVERSAL: Pre-Code Hollywood Collection in April
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#2 of 62 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted January 21 2009 - 01:30 AM

Wow, I guess this will be the shock release of the year. I haven't seen any of the titles so this is a major Posted Image from me. Hopefully this means more collections throughout the year.

#3 of 62 OFFLINE   ColbyCo82

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Posted January 21 2009 - 01:33 AM

This is amazing news. Posted Image
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)


#4 of 62 OFFLINE   Simon Howson

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Posted January 21 2009 - 01:44 AM

Yeah I'll get this, it will go great with Warner's 3rd Forbidden Hollywood set. As the editorial note suggests, I hope it sells well and gets Universal releasing more catalogue titles.

Other the brilliant Touch of Evil set, and the Cinema Classics Comedies, I can't think of any other classics they released that weren't reissues, or reissues of reissues.

#5 of 62 OFFLINE   Charles Ellis

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Posted January 21 2009 - 02:18 AM

Well, I was hoping for a release of The Story of Temple Drake, which has been referred to as one of the more notorious films that led to tighter censorship.
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#6 of 62 OFFLINE   CineKarine

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Posted January 21 2009 - 02:28 AM

I have seen all 6 films and can vouch for the fact that they are all very worthy inclusions. That is an amazing surprise from Universal! TORCH SINGER is a superb showcase for Claudette Colbert (doing her own singing) and MURDER AT THE VANITIES may just be the campiest of all pre-codes. All the films are must-sees actually for various reasons.

I hope this set gets the Universal classics back on track!!!
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#7 of 62 OFFLINE   Simon Howson

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Posted January 21 2009 - 02:37 AM

Looks like this is going to be part of a "Universal Backlot Series", Classicflix have just put up a 75th anniversary edition reissue of Demille's Cleopatra (previously available in a box)
Cleopatra - 75th Anniversary Edition (Universal Backlot Series)

I hope the "Universal Backlot Series" will be like SPHE "Collector's Choice", or Fox's "Cinema Classics" lines.

Of course the only problem is some of these films are actually from Paramount, so it doesn't quite make sense.

#8 of 62 OFFLINE   Mario Gauci

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Posted January 21 2009 - 02:55 AM

It figures that Universal would come up with an official DVD edition of Mitchell Leisen's MURDER AT THE VANITIES (1934) since I've just acquired it from other sourcesPosted Image. Ditto for that surprising SE annoucement for CLEOPATRA (1934)...and smack on the 50th anniversary of Cecil B. DeMille's death, too!!

Anyway, I'm stunned by the sheer obscurity of the films included - apart from VANITIES, of course, and MERRILY WE GO TO HELL (1932). I'm not saying they aren't good or worthwhile but one would have thought that they could have at least thrown in a high profile title like the aforementioned THE STORY OF TEMPLE DRAKE (1933) as "the carrot to charm the rabbits in" so to speak.

In these hard times for the DVD industry, one can only applaud such bold studio releases, I guess, but I can't say I'll be too surprised if there won't be an encore in the near future...

#9 of 62 OFFLINE   Eric Peterson

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Posted January 21 2009 - 03:10 AM

WOW! This is monumental surprise and I will definitely be picking up.

Now where is Universal's Noir set w/ "The Glass Key" & "The Blue Dahlia" amongst many others?

#10 of 62 OFFLINE   MarcoBiscotti

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Posted January 21 2009 - 03:13 AM

WOW!!! This rules!!!

I wonder if this Backlot Series will be replacing their Cinema Classics line though?

#11 of 62 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted January 21 2009 - 03:57 AM

sounds great to me too!

#12 of 62 OFFLINE   ColbyCo82

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Posted January 21 2009 - 04:32 AM

I completely forgot about The Story of Temple Drake. Maybe that will be the "center piece" so to speak in volume 2 Posted Image Maybe they will throw in a talkie Clara Bow or Kay Francis film too. We can only hope
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)


#13 of 62 OFFLINE   JohnRa

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Posted January 21 2009 - 04:46 AM

This is great news. I have only seen "Murder at the Vanities." What a great opportunity to see more pre-code titles. Now I need to get busy on watching my backlog and see all of the "Forbidden Hollywood" sets.

#14 of 62 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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Posted January 21 2009 - 04:56 AM

Fan-bloody-tastic news.
So many films, so little time...
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#15 of 62 OFFLINE   Tim Tucker

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Posted January 21 2009 - 05:10 AM

I've only heard of Murder at the Vanities in Duke Ellington biographies over the years. I'm excited about finally getting to see it.
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#16 of 62 OFFLINE   Charles H

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Posted January 21 2009 - 05:12 AM

Fabulous news! Just the notion that Universal is willing to tap into their vast MCA reservoir is cause for celebration alone. The rarity of these titles alone almost usurps WB's admirable effo follow suit!orts. The astonishing MURDER AT THE VANITIES was available on VHS, and TCM did show an impeccable print of TORCH SINGER a couple of years ago, but MERRILY WE GO TO HELL, HOT SATURDAY, THE CHEAT, ans SEARCH FOR BEAUTY are/were beyond my wildest dreams. Hopefully, Universal's efforts will cue the post-THE ROBE Fox to follow suit.
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#17 of 62 OFFLINE   CineKarine

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Posted January 21 2009 - 05:17 AM

The artwork is here
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#18 of 62 OFFLINE   PaulP

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Posted January 21 2009 - 05:22 AM

Great news, cannot wait! Hopefully this'll do well enough for a Volume 2. Will be good to see that early Cary Grant film.

#19 of 62 OFFLINE   KellyVO

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Posted January 21 2009 - 05:33 AM

Great news! If Universal only would release another Deanna Durbin set!

I have always wanted to see Torch Singer so I just might have to pick this up!

By the Way isn't Murder at the Vanities the movie where they sing about "Sweet Marijuana?"
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#20 of 62 OFFLINE   Russell G

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Posted January 21 2009 - 05:35 AM

Love the artwork!