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Lost HBO "Classics"


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#1 of 8 OFFLINE   Louis Letizia

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Posted October 16 2011 - 05:07 AM

There were quite a few movies-obscure ones to be sure-that for one reason or another I felt compelled to watch as a teenager each time they were shown-but I have not heard from since. TRIPLE ECHO, PAPERBACK HERO , HE'S MY BROTHER and ONE RUSSIAN SUMMER at least received brief VHS releases-but the others such as KAMOURASKA , THE WILD LITTLE BUNCH , DOWN THE ANCIENT STAIRS, LOOKING UP, THE STOOLIE and THE NIGHT CALLER never did. None seem to be part of any package of films and rights may reside with their producers. ONE RUSSIAN SUMMER , as I remember it , was fairly brutal. Of all of these , I'd be most interested in PAPERBACK HERO -but have fond memories of the others. In the same vein- I am delighted to see that WB Archive is releasing the 1973 FROM THE MIXED UP FILES OF MRS. BASIL E. FRANKWEILLER (as THE HIDEAWAYS-guess after DEALING....etc, WB ran out of ink)- a gem of a movie. Cinema V released this to theaters but its video release (as THE HIDEAWAYS) was WB on tape and Platinum on DVD. How did WB aquire this? I'm assuming C5 did not own their films ( although Columbia released a slew of them on vhs in the day)-as this and the excellent Olympic doc , VISIONS OF EIGHT (released by Olive) went different routes. I'd also be interested as to where HAPPY MOTHERS DAY, LOVE GEORGE (RUN STRANGER RUN) resides.

#2 of 8 OFFLINE   Jeffrey:K

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Posted October 16 2011 - 11:40 AM

I assume that THE NIGHT CALLER is the Jean-Paul Belmondo film that aired on HBO in 1977. Although this movie is MIA on US home video, it did get a Region 2 DVD release in France under its original title PEUR SUR LA VILLE. The French release is now out of print I think, but it is a very nice anamorphic edition of the full two-hour version with an optional English audio track. (The US version, released by Columbia, was shortened to 91 minutes.) I don't know who has the US rights now, but in France it's owned by Studio Canal.



#3 of 8 OFFLINE   Louis Letizia

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Posted October 16 2011 - 01:19 PM

yes-that is the one. I was unaware of the French release-I'll search for it. The Columbia release was dubbed and had a very effective poster-and hbo promoted it as an American release. Columbia circa 1975-77 had any dubbed releases on hbo-LIES MY FATHER TOLD ME (I think this has a legit dvd release), OPEN SEASON and the exquisite JUST BEFORE NIGHTFALL with the beautiful Stephane Audran. Audran starred in a 1975 TEN LITTLE INDIANS, an Avco Embassy release. Is this now a Lionsgate property or did the producer retain the rights and as his 1966 and 1989 versions went to Warners-maybe WB owns the 75 version. While it wasnt very good-it chilled me with its score and the announcements by Orson Welles. I loved that soundtrack!

#4 of 8 OFFLINE   Jeffrey:K

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Posted October 16 2011 - 01:20 PM

Some of the obscure movies I remember watching on HBO back in the day - not sure I'd call all of them "classics" - and would love to have on DVD (but probably never will):


THE WONDERFUL CROOK (a Gerard Depardieu film that isn't even available in France)


SHOOT (Canadian tax shelter production that's probably in rights hell)


JURY OF ONE (Sophia Loren film; I think it's owned by Studio Canal)


THE NEXT MAN (an Allied Artists orphan that's been sold in incomplete, sub-VHS bootleg/grey market editions)


HOMEBODIES (black comedy/horror with cult appeal - who owns this film?)


REDNECK (Telly Savalas and Franco Nero in a really nasty, bizarre crime drama. It's not very good, to be honest, but it is offbeat and oddly memorable. Probably the most obscure of the obscurities in this list.)


MOONSHINE COUNTY EXPRESS (the rights apparently reside with the producer's family, and they're not licensing)


STUNTS (supposedly a New Line property, but it's been pirated)


SLEEPING CAR MURDER (early Costa-Gavras film; who owns it?)


SCALPEL (aka FALSE FACE; Avco Embassy originally released this movie - who owns it now?)




#5 of 8 OFFLINE   Louis Letizia

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Posted October 16 2011 - 01:40 PM

REDNECK (Telly Savalas and Franco Nero in a really nasty, bizarre crime drama. It's not very good, to be honest, but it is offbeat and oddly memorable. Probably the most obscure of the obscurities in this list.) MOONSHINE COUNTY EXPRESS (the rights apparently reside with the producer's family, and they're not licensing) I actually have a clamshell video release of REDNECK -legit-the company eludes me now. Not very good at all-but if you are a Francophile (as in Franco Nero).its a must. I also have MOONSHINE-I love this flick!-and I keep waiting for Shout! to announce its release thinking it as still a Corman property (as LADY FRANKENSTEINs recent release says-you never know with Roger what rights he pertained). It would be a perfect Lethal Ladies collection feature.

#6 of 8 OFFLINE   Jeffrey:K

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Posted October 16 2011 - 01:54 PM



Originally Posted by Louis Letizia 

REDNECK (Telly Savalas and Franco Nero in a really nasty, bizarre crime drama. It's not very good, to be honest, but it is offbeat and oddly memorable. Probably the most obscure of the obscurities in this list.)

MOONSHINE COUNTY EXPRESS (the rights apparently reside with the producer's family, and they're not licensing)

I actually have a clamshell video release of REDNECK -legit-the company eludes me now. Not very good at all-but if you are a Francophile (as in Franco Nero).its a must.
I also have MOONSHINE-I love this flick!-and I keep waiting for Shout! to announce its release thinking it as still a Corman property (as LADY FRANKENSTEINs recent release says-you never know with Roger what rights he pertained). It would be a perfect Lethal Ladies collection feature.


Shout! has stated on another forum that MOONSHINE is not Corman-owned and will not be part of its Corman DVD series. Pity, because I really love the film too.


REDNECK was released on VHS in the US by a small company called King of Video. There is a British DVD that is better than VHS but otherwise leaves much to be desired.






#7 of 8 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted October 16 2011 - 02:36 PM



Originally Posted by Louis Letizia 

Audran starred in a 1975 TEN LITTLE INDIANS, an Avco Embassy release. Is this now a Lionsgate property or did the producer retain the rights and as his 1966 and 1989 versions went to Warners-maybe WB owns the 75 version.
While it wasnt very good-it chilled me with its score and the announcements by Orson Welles. I loved that soundtrack!



I would LOVE to have that 1975 version of Ten Little Indians. No, it isn't very good; it's rather sluggish with performances ranging from good to awful, but I'd just love to see it again and to complete my collection of this story in its various movie versions. I have the other ones either on DVD or laser, but I never got that Avco Embassy one on home video, and only saw it once at the theater.




#8 of 8 OFFLINE   Dick

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Posted October 22 2011 - 02:31 PM

There are two HBO movies I very much wish would be released. One, COUNTDOWN TO LOOKING GLASS, was a videotaped newsroom thriller about anchors who are reporting the build-up to nuclear war, in the docu-style, a la SPECIAL BULLETIN (which is actually better). The other, THE BURNING SEASON, was released on VHS in 1994 but never made it to a disc. Sad, because it is such a powerful film, about the Brazilian activist Chico Mendes -- played by a superb Raul Julia -- in his tragic plight to save the rain forest from developers. What an amazing film! Does Warner Bros still distribute HBO material ever? If so, maybe this will turn up in the archives. If HBO is doing all of its own releasing, I'm afraid we'll never see it on disc, just as Hallmark for whatever reason neglected to release to video (in any form) their best made-for-t.v. film, PROMISE, starring James Garner and James Wood.