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Blu-ray Wish List, Year by Year


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#1 of 194 benbess

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Posted December 11 2011 - 07:40 AM

Like many of you, I've been thrilled by how good most classic films look on blu-ray. Even the first King Kong from 1933 has really benefited from the blu-ray treatment. Let's go year by year, starting somewhat randomly at 1925, and suggest films that would make good blu-rays. Like our VistaVision year by year of several months ago, I suggest we go fairly rapidly--perhaps a year every few days--and stop when we reach the dawn of the ago of television--1950. So that's a quarter of a century of movie history. If possible, recommend films that are not only entertaining and critically acclaimed, but--if possible--films for which you know a decent print or negative of some kind still survives. Like with our VistaVision year by year, I hope folks will post some of those great old Hollywood posters. For each year, as a reminder, I'll try to post the wikipedia page for that year, starting with "1925 in film" according to that online ecyclopaedia: http://en.wikipedia....ki/1925_in_film My nominee for that year is one of the funniest films ever made--Charlie Chaplin's epic comic adventure, The Gold Rush. I think I heard somewhere that wishes will come true with this one, as Criterion may well have a blu-ray for us sometime in 2012. If it looks anywhere close to as good as Criterion's Modern Times, it'll be terrific... What other films from 1925 (or earlier!) do you think might make good blu-rays? (I do realize that most of the recommendations will never make it to blu-ray--but we can dream, right? And even if they aren't ever on blu-ray, some of us can search out worthy films we haven't seen on DVD, netflix streaming, etc.) http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/ http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

#2 of 194 Matt Hough

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Posted December 11 2011 - 08:20 AM

Well, we could have had a good 1925 movie on Blu-ray already if Warners had given us the silent version of Ben-Hur on Blu instead of a repeat of the DVD we already had.


The silent version of The Merry Widow might also make a sparkling high definition disc.



#3 of 194 benbess

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Posted December 11 2011 - 08:47 AM

Well, we could have had a good 1925 movie on Blu-ray already if Warners had given us the silent version of Ben-Hur on Blu instead of a repeat of the DVD we already had. The silent version of The Merry Widow might also make a sparkling high definition disc.

I've only seen a minute or so of the 1925 Ben-Hur, but I've heard good things about it. That does seem like a missed opportunity. Does a decent print or negative exist? I've never heard of The Merry Widow before (except in Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt). Any chance you'd tell us a little of why you like it? http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/ http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

#4 of 194 benbess

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Posted December 11 2011 - 09:12 AM

The Phantom of the Opera has just made it onto blu-ray. This is a creepy classic! The blu-ray apparently has some problems, and so I've been holding off to see if they get fixed. Look at these great posters...Has anyone here seen the blu-ray of this one. Just as Gold Rush is one of the funniest classic films, this is one of the scariest, imho....What a face!! http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/ http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

#5 of 194 Matt Hough

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Posted December 11 2011 - 09:46 AM

A silent musical, The Merry Widow! Two of the biggest stars of the era in a typically lavish MGM production and directed by the volcanic Erich von Stroheim. It was one of the year's biggest hits.



#6 of 194 benbess

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Posted December 11 2011 - 09:53 AM

silent musical??? What especially do you like about it? Hey, what about this one. I like the 1951 version, which has quite a solid blu-ray... http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

#7 of 194 benbess

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Posted December 11 2011 - 01:26 PM

Battleship Potempkin is also one from 1925. And by the way, I've rethought it and decided--if we can even make it that far--to stop at 1950. This one is also on blu-ray. I saw it long ago in a college film class, but I'd like to see it again. Considering everything, it's good we have at least some films on blu-ray or coming up from 1925....Another that might make it to blu-ray as part of a boxed set is Hitchcock's first film from this year, The Pleasure Garden, which is currently being restored by the British Film Institute... http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

#8 of 194 Matt Hough

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Posted December 11 2011 - 01:58 PM

"Silent musical" was a (very lame) joke. The Merry Widow, of course, is a famous operetta, and I understand at some showings at small theaters that didn't have their own orchestra but wanted something more than a piano accompaniment, records of the songs recorded from the show were sometimes played during certain scenes just to give theatergoers a sense of the stage show.



#9 of 194 benbess

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Posted December 13 2011 - 01:06 AM

Anything from 1926? Isn't The General already on blu-ray? How does it look? http://en.wikipedia....ki/1926_in_film http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

#10 of 194 Matt Hough

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Posted December 13 2011 - 02:32 AM

The General looks very good on Blu-ray. It's such a great film and most welcome in high definition, especially after years of substandard releases.


1926 was Garbo's breakthrough year, so it migfht be fun to have Flesh and the Devil, her biggest hit of the year, in high def.



#11 of 194 benbess

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Posted December 13 2011 - 10:19 AM

The General looks very good on Blu-ray. It's such a great film and most welcome in high definition, especially after years of substandard releases. 1926 was Garbo's breakthrough year, so it migfht be fun to have Flesh and the Devil, her biggest hit of the year, in high def.

I should look for a copy of The General. I watched it once long ago, and I didn't like it as much as I like Chaplin. But I realize Keaton is just a different thing, and needs to be appreciated for what he does--which is terrific. In general, though, are there "Chaplin people" and "Keaton" people," just like there tend to be "Letterman people" and "Leno people"? I'm a Letterman person myself, not that I'm ever up that late to see him these days....But I imagine there are people who like Keaton and Chaplin equally, and perhaps someday I'll become one of those... The Garbo film sounds fun! Any quick comments as to why you like it. Haven't seen any Garbo from the silent era, and I'm sure I'm missing something. The poster and title sure make it sound pre-code racy....! http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

#12 of 194 benbess

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Posted December 13 2011 - 10:40 AM

Hitchcock's first brilliant thriller was made in 1926, I think, but wasn't released until 1927...It is being restored by BFI, and I hope we have a blu-ray by the end of 2012... http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

#13 of 194 Matt Hough

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Posted December 13 2011 - 02:18 PM

Garbo's first American silents cast her as a femme fatale and are rather silly in retrospect, but Flesh and the Devil has her coming in between two best friends and is my favorite of her silent movies.



#14 of 194 benbess

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Posted December 13 2011 - 09:58 PM

1927! http://en.wikipedia....ki/1927_in_film Amazingly, we are getting the long lost Wings in January....with Skywalker sound restoring the sound effects! Who here has seen this film? Can anyone tell us a little about what it's like? From wikipedia: The film, completed with a budget of $2 million, was the first film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture (then called "Best Picture, Production") for the film year 1927/1928 (and was the only silent film to win), and won a second Academy Award for Engineering Effects. Primary scout aircraft flown in the film were Thomas-Morse MB3s and Curtis PW-8s. The film was written by John Monk Saunders (story), Louis D. Lighton and Hope Loring and edited by Lucien Hubbard, and was produced by Lucien Hubbard, directed by William A. Wellman, with an original orchestral score by John Stepan Zamecnik, which was uncredited. The movie was shot at Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas between September 7, 1926 and April 7, 1927.[6] A sneak preview was shown on May 19, 1927 at the Texas Theater on Houston Street in San Antonio. The Premier was held at the Criterion Theater, in New York City, on August 12, 1927.[7] The film is one of the first to feature a male-on-male kiss – a fraternal one – in the death scene near the end. It is also one of the first widely released films to show nudity.[8] Clara Bow's breasts can be seen for a second during the Paris bedroom scene when army men barge in as she is changing her clothes. In the Enlistment Office, nude men undergoing physical exams, can be seen from behind, through an open door, which is opened and closed. This film was released a few months before the MPPDA list of "Don'ts and Be Carefuls" was established.[9] Producer Lucien Hubbard hired director Wellman because of his World War I aviator experience. Arlen, Wellman, and John Monk Saunders had all served in World War I as military aviators. Arlen was able to do his own flying in the film and Rogers, a non-pilot, underwent flight training during the course of the production, so that, like Arlen, Rogers could also be filmed in closeup in the air. Lucien Hubbard offered flying lessons to all, and despite the number of aircraft in the air, only two incidents occurred, one involving Dick Grace, a stunt pilot and the other was a fatal crash of a United States Army Air Corps pilot.[10] The original Paramount release was color tinted and had some sequences in an early widescreen process known as Magnascope, also used in the Paramount film Old Ironsides (1926). Some prints had synchronized sound effects and music, using the General Electric Kinegraphone (later RCA Photophone) sound-on-film process.[3] As the original negatives are lost, the closest to an original print is a spare negative stored in Paramount's vaults. Suffering with decay and defects, the negative was fully restored with modern technology. For the restored version of Wings, the original music score was re-orchestrated. The sound effects were recreated at Skywalker Sound using archived audio.[15] The restored and remastered version of Wings, presented in high-definition, is scheduled to be released on DVD and Blu-Ray on January 24, 2012, coinciding with the centennial anniversary of Paramount. http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/

#15 of 194 Matt Hough

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Posted December 14 2011 - 12:12 AM

In the first year of the Academy Awards, there were actually two categories that were deemed the highest a film could win. Wings won Best Production and Sunrise won Artistic Quality Production. Since the second category was dropped after the first year, there were no other winners of that award, and several years later, in order to clarify standings, the official winner of Best Picture for 1927-1928 was named Wings by the Academy.



#16 of 194 Jim_K

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Posted December 14 2011 - 02:18 AM

1926

http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/ http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/


1927

http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/ http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/


http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/ http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/


Death before Streaming!


#17 of 194 Rob_Ray

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Posted December 14 2011 - 03:21 AM

I'm a little late to this thread, but I can't let 1925 slip by without one of MGM's all-time biggest hits, The Big Parade. With the exception of Ben-Hur, silent films don't come any bigger than this epic tale of John Gilbert's experiences in World War I. This is the one that made John Gilbert a star and was one of the few silent films to earn a major re-release in the talkie era. Another MGM epic from this era that would be worthy of the BluRay treatment is King Vidor's The Crowd, a tale of one everyman's wish to stand out from the crowd.

#18 of 194 Martin Teller

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Posted December 14 2011 - 03:53 AM

1924: The Saga of Gosta Berling 1925: The Big Parade 1926: A Page of Madness 1927: Napoleon

#19 of 194 benbess

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Posted December 14 2011 - 11:55 AM

Love these posters! Have you seen these? They look great...

#20 of 194 benbess

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Posted December 14 2011 - 11:55 AM

I'm a little late to this thread, but I can't let 1925 slip by without one of MGM's all-time biggest hits, The Big Parade. With the exception of Ben-Hur, silent films don't come any bigger than this epic tale of John Gilbert's experiences in World War I. This is the one that made John Gilbert a star and was one of the few silent films to earn a major re-release in the talkie era. Another MGM epic from this era that would be worthy of the BluRay treatment is King Vidor's The Crowd, a tale of one everyman's wish to stand out from the crowd.

I would like to see both of these.....I've heard about them for so many years.




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