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SONY pre-80's catalog and the Harryhausen Poll

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#1 of 30 OFFLINE   GMpasqua



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Posted July 14 2010 - 11:04 AM

Why is it that of the ten or so catalong titles reaseld so far by SONY half are Ray Harryhausen films? Now they are taking a poll as to what the next Ray Harryhausen blu-ray release will be. Doesn't anyome at SONY know they have many other films and not every one is a Ray Harryhausen fan? Okay, Someone at SONY is a Harryhausen fan, but come on, what about the rest of us who are not? Can't they distrubute the titles a bit more evenly? There are dozens of other Columbina titles I would rather see released.

#2 of 30 OFFLINE   Bradley-E



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Posted July 14 2010 - 11:42 AM

So far they have released 7Th Voyage of Sinbad, It Came From Beneath the Sea, Earth vs, Flying Saucers, 20 Million Miles to Earth (all released back in 2007/2008) and Jason and the Argonauts last week.  What else has been released?   5 titles in 2 years is not an over saturation to me.

#3 of 30 OFFLINE   GMpasqua



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Posted July 14 2010 - 11:56 AM

It's when all they've released in the last two years are ten titles - half being RH films. We also got: The Professionals, In Cold Blood, Easy Rider and Dr Strangelove and Midnight Express. Half of SONY's pre-80's catalog is Harryhausen

#4 of 30 OFFLINE   Brian Borst

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Posted July 15 2010 - 01:46 AM

It does seem much, but they probably sell well.
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#5 of 30 OFFLINE   GMpasqua



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Posted July 15 2010 - 05:35 AM

gee, I wonder how the other catalog title would sell? Oh, we don't know, because they were never released SONY please spend all your time on Ray Harryhausen and forget about "Lawrence of Arabia" "Bridge on the River Kawi" "Funny Girl" "Oliver" "1776" "Bell Book and Candle", "a Man For All Seasons" "Nicloas and Alexandra" and all the great Black and White Films in your catalog. Remember - Only Ray Harryhausen fans buy blu-rays

#6 of 30 OFFLINE   Adam_S



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Posted July 15 2010 - 08:16 AM

there a link to this poll?

#7 of 30 OFFLINE   cineMANIAC



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Posted July 15 2010 - 08:46 AM

Besides the obvious event titles like Lawrence of Arabia, Guns of Navarone and the like, what are other pre-80's Columbia titles in dire need of a hi-def release?  I swear I can't think of a single film (again, besides the obvious big ones) I absolutely need from Sony. I think maybe this studio doesn't have as vast a library as, say, MGM does. But, yes, it does seem like all they care about is Ray Harryhausen movies.
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#8 of 30 OFFLINE   GMpasqua



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Posted July 15 2010 - 11:00 AM

There's "Picnic" and "Pal Joey" (which were remastered for an August 2010 DVD but not Bly-ray)??? There's "Bye Bye Birdie" (which needs a remaster it doesn't look so good on HD) The 70 MM "Lord Jim", even "MacKennas Gold" which was really got screwed on DVD thus far, Even "1776" which should look great on Blu-ray being recently remastered and recut. SONY, at least give us SOME  Variety. Of the remaining films SONY issued 2 are Black and White "Dr Stranglelove" & "In Cold Blood" so that really only leaves "The Professionals" "Midniht Express" and soon "Tommy" as the only other color films outside of the Ray Harryhausen  titles

#9 of 30 OFFLINE   Dave B Ferris

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Posted July 15 2010 - 11:21 AM

Based on previous posts to other threads here at HTF, there is a fair amount of support for the Boetticher/Scott films (all in color) to be released in BR.

#10 of 30 OFFLINE   Adam_S



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Posted July 15 2010 - 03:12 PM

Originally Posted by GMpasqua 
SONY, at least give us SOME  Variety.

Of the remaining films SONY issued 2 are Black and White "Dr Stranglelove" & "In Cold Blood"

It sounds as though you think its a bad thing they've released black and white films, these particular two black and white films are incredibly gorgeous films, and look exceptional on bluray, Strangelove in particular is superb, reference quality, in my opinion.


#11 of 30 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted July 15 2010 - 04:04 PM

Sony does have the rights to a lot of great Frank Capra films, but I imagine the black & white 1.33:1 nature, as well as rougher condition of the film elements, has the marketing people that set the budgets a bit wary. Seriously, though, of all the major studios that still own their own catalog, Sony's is a bit hard to sell for HD. They had few compelling color films until the late 50s, have pre-50s titles not in the best of shape (especially the well regarded popular films), and it does take some effort to sell the idea of catalog HD. Even the Black & White Harryhausen titles had the marketing help of the authorized colorized versions on the discs.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932

#12 of 30 OFFLINE   Derek M Germano

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Posted July 15 2010 - 04:52 PM

As the Harryhausen titles go, FIRST MEN IN THE MOON is the one I am looking forward to on Blu-ray.  General classics... A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH needs to be on Blu-ray.

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#13 of 30 OFFLINE   GMpasqua



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Posted July 15 2010 - 05:12 PM

I would love "A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH" on Blu-ray (too bad Ray didn't work on it!)

#14 of 30 OFFLINE   GMpasqua



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Posted July 15 2010 - 05:20 PM

Releasing black and White films is not a bad thing, more Black and white films should be released on Blu-ray. "Casablanca" looks great on Blu-ray.

What I'm really saying is that Sony has released 3 color catalog titles on Blu-ray (Wow, let's break the piggy bank) and 5-6 Ray Harryhausen  color Blu-rays, so the scales are a bit uneven.

I have nothing against the Harryhausen films and glad they look so good, but SONY has so many other color films to release, it's a shame they are concentrating only on one genre. I'm sure if Sony released half a dozen westerns or musicals and little else people would complain about the rest of the catalog. If Sony were releasing other catalog titles I wouldn't mind all the Harryhausen titles (and those are for a limited market, not everyone is a big fan)

I would rather see "Lawrence of Arabia" "Oliver!" "1776" "Picnic" "Bye Bye Birdie"  "Mackennas Gold" and "Bridge on the River Kawi" released on Blu-ray before "First Men in the Moon" or "Mysterious Island"

By the way: the Sony web site lists "Bridge on the River Kawi" along with "Jason and the Argonauts " and "Tommy" as comming to blu-ray this season (So far "Jason " has been released and"Tommy" is coming in Sept, so Bridge should be anounced soon.

And again, I have nothing against the Harryhausen films, but would like to have the choice to by other catalog titles as well

#15 of 30 OFFLINE   Jim_K


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Posted July 16 2010 - 02:00 AM

While I agree that Sony should be releasing more older titles I'm very happy they've released 5 of the Harryhausen titles.

I anxiously await the remaining Columbia Harryhausen films, Mysterious Island, Golden Voyage of Sinbad, First Men in the Moon, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger and 3 Worlds of Gulliver.

I also want the following Epic/War classics

Das Boot

The Bridge on the River Kwai

The Guns of Navarone

Lawrence of Arabia

The following classic Westerns

Major Dundee

The Man from Laramie

3:10 to Yuma


The Tall T (or the entire Boetticher set)

The following classic Horror films:

Curse of the Demon

All the Hammer Film Collections (but especially Brides of Dracula, Revenge of Frankenstein, The Gorgon, Kiss of the Vampire and Curse of the Werewolf ) - edited due to a brain lapse

The Karloff Collection, especially The Black Room

The Creeping Flesh

Torture Garden

Any and all Film Noirs (at the very least, their greatest.....The Big Heat )

The Capra and Hawks classics

Last but not least:

Taxi Driver

A Matter of Life and Death

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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#16 of 30 OFFLINE   Dick



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Posted July 17 2010 - 03:56 PM

Jim - I would like to see Sony release all the titles you mentioned, too, except for BRIDES OF DRACULA, KISS OF THE VAMPIRE and CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF, which are owned by Universal.

#17 of 30 OFFLINE   Jim_K


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Posted July 18 2010 - 02:19 AM

[quote]Originally Posted by Dick [url=/forum/thread/302198/sony-pre-80-s-catalog-and-the-harryhausen-poll#post_3711111]  You're right of course.  I got a little overzealous and got the Hammer sets mixed up.

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#18 of 30 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted July 18 2010 - 02:26 AM

Studios don't release one film rather than another because they "like" one more than the other or because they have no taste or for any other non-business reason.  They release what they think will sell (based on experience and market research, not wishful thinking), what is easiest to physically remaster, and films where the rights are least entangled.

Blu Ray is still not as mainstream as DVD, which means the market skews towards cinephiles and towards people with more disposable income - which means it tends to skew a bit older.  Ray Harryhausen is not only a major figure in movie history, a huge influence on generations of filmmakers and technicians like Lucas, Speilberg, Phil Tippet and Dennis Murren, his films are a cherished childhood mermory for lots of Blu Ray fans.  Finally special effects films of all stripes tend to more obviously benefit from the Blu Ray treatment.  Yes a film like The Searchers looks gorgeous on BD, especially if you study it closely.  But it doesn't "pop" in comparison to all earlier editions the way Jason and the Argonauts does.

With limited resources, it isn't surprising that Sony went for these films rather than some of the other titles you mention, many of which have other issues that could be holding  up their Blu Ray debuts:

1776 still needs work.  The DVD "restoration" is missing footage, bits of songs and has other technical problems that have to be addressed before many of the film's fans will consider buying it yet again.  The film also turns 30 in 2012, and we all know how fond the studios are of round numbers and anniversaries.

Lawrence of Arabia will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2012.  Is anyone seriously surprised that Sony didn't rush out an edition in 2009 or 2010?

Some of the other films may have murky rights issues - the Pythons own virtually all their own stuff, for instance, and they are notoriously picky about how it is handled.  Not to mention notoriously hard to get to agree on anything.  Other material, like McKenna's Gold, are probably in serious need of restoration - and in some cases the cost of doing that vs. the likely sales simply makes it impossible.  A few years ago I saw the DVD of McKenna's Gold, a favorite film of mine from TV broadcasts when I was a kid, and frankly I don't think it holds up.  Unlike Jason or Where Eagles Dare, which are hokey but still fun, McKenna was utterly lacking in the magic I remembered.  It seemed to me a insane western and not the classic I had thought.  If my reaction is typical (and I don't know how well the film sold on DVD, I just know I didn't by a copy) Sony may not think it worth the expense to do this one on Blu Ray.



#19 of 30 OFFLINE   Rick Thompson

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Posted July 18 2010 - 02:51 AM

Any chance of "The Big Country" getting released? It's one of those wide vista films that look great on Blu, has a big name cast (Peck, Heston, Simmons, Baker, Ives, etc.) and a name director (Wyler). Not to mention the botched DVD release, and here I refer to the missing copper wash over the opening credits. They came out black and white. For some reason, nobody checked it against the film -- or even against the VHS releases, which had it correct! It's not like this is buried in the picture; it's right at the beginning. If a full restore is out of the question (and I have no idea how well the still-available DVD has sold), I'd even settle for a corrected DVD.

#20 of 30 OFFLINE   John Hodson

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Posted July 18 2010 - 03:30 AM

Excellent call; a hugely under-rated western that would look gorgeous in Blu, but it's in MGM's roster isn't it?
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