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Gently down the stream....favorites that never reached video in the u.s.


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#1 of 26 Louis Letizia

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Posted January 07 2012 - 11:23 AM

Streaming to me is like oldschool tv watching on local tv stations. No frills, poorest quality and yet I am compelled to watch -especially movies I've never seen or always hoped to revisit. Netflix , Amazon and Hulu each have movies that never reached video of any kind in the U.s. The reason I include this in this section is that I believe streaming to be a springboard to greater MOD or predssed disc releases. A proving ground for the studios. Recently VIGILANTE FORCE , THE MANCHU EAGLE MURDER CAPER MYSTERY ,HARRY IN YOUR POCKET , GOLDEN NEEDLES and THE CHRISTINE JORGENSEN STORY -all never released here on vhs , and each sought after by cinephiles-went from streamed to mod discs -many with trailers. The lost ones of encountered -for better or worse-were a treat to capture or recapture. Most are from the 70s-and here are my favorite finds: MOMENT BY MOMENT : NETFLIX and Hulu each played this briefly and I'm glad I was able to catch up with this notorious bomb. It lived up to its hype -but it was still compelling. While Lily Tomlin was horrendous-Travolta at least tried to portray a complex character. And theres always that /'yvonne Elliman song! TWILIGHT TIME: Netflix is running this fine drama starring Karl Malden in one of his last roles. Costar Jodi Thelen was poised to be a superstar after 1981's FOUR FRIENDS -but that never happened. Besides a voice in AMERICAN POP -this interesting actress hasnt worked nearly as much as she should have. MESSAGE FROM SPACE: I was always intrigued by this STAR WARS clone from Japan.I dont think it was a clone at all . It was more akin to THE SEVEN SAMURAI which begat BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS which came 2 years after this. I also see Disneys TREASURE PLANET being influenced by this -especially the Pirate Galleon spaceship as well as MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS withits female villain It didnt disappoint AT LONG LAST LOVE : If any movie deserved a hd cleanup -this would be it. I wish NF would release stats on their streamed films like boxoffice figures. I have a feeling this does very well. Its a guilty pleasure of mine. SECRET LIFE OF PLANTS:I always read about this in the zines but never thought it truly existed. I love it! I'm amazed that Paramount released this. My new obsession is my subscription to Variety Archives . This was indeed released to theaters. I'd put it in a category with THE HELLSTROM CHRNICLE. SYLVIA: I was bowled over when I discovered NF had this. Ever since seeing HARLOW -I am infatuated with Carroll Baker-truly one of the legendary beauties. SYLVIA is a crisp, black and white puzzle film -sorta in kin with FEDORA. THE LAWYER : The theatrical warmup to one of my favorite quickly cancelled series of the 70s -Petrocelli. Barry Newman is a god as VANISHING POINT is one of my top 10 favorites. I've shown many 20 somethings (my nieces, nephews and their friewnds-and surprisingly they like VP as well. THE LAWYER was fun to see. Wthout NF would I have had the chance? SHEILA LEVINE IS DEAD AND LIVING IN NEW YORK : My warped Top Ten list of 1975 not only includes AT LONG LAST LOVE , BUT THIS LEGENDARY FLOP. as well. I thought Jeanne Berlin was very poignant and never understood the critics hatred of this. For anyone who cares my other 10 '75 releases: DAY OF THE LOCUST , THE FORTUNE , NIGHT MOVES , DOG DAY AFTERNOON , TOMMY , JAWS, NASHVILLE and THE SUNSHINE BOYS. THIEVES:If Carroll Baker is one of the most beautiful blonde actresses-Marlo Thomas would be in the brunette category. Stunning looking. She gave a performance in THIEVES that threw me for a loopAs far removed from That Girl as you can get. Plus the Manhattan scenes of the 70s were nostalgic. As if it couldnt get hotter -Marlo Thomas later portrayed Jennifer Anistons Mom in Friends-a great fantasty arose from that! There are dozens more. I love dvds and vhs -and ownn thousands of them. Ideally there is nothing like going into your room and browsing your library with equal parts nostalgia and being able to hold a beautiful box art in your hand and read the copy. At nearly 50 my eyesight and hearing are not in peak form. I'm watching 1080 but only seeing 720 and my 5.1 (we are talking above the waist now) is barely coming through as 2.0. As much as I love surround sound and crisp images -my body is fooling itself. So -as my TWILIGHT TIME grows ever faster I enjoy the low tech way of watching movies again. I am a teenager again with a scratchy LP , a skipping vhs and a tv that had tiny , tinny speakers. And yet-with all of that -I grew to be a vast movie lover-like we all areIf you love something so much-you'll take it where you can get it. Is The Great Gatsby a lesser read in papoerback as it is in a leather bound volume? I'll be interested to find if others have embraced streaming for the criteria I have. At 48 i have taken my head out of my butt and proudly put it in the Cloud. In the comfort of my armchair I have vigorously like a trout swam up the stream. From that same couch I have floated down the Amazon never knowing Hu Lou would pick as his next movie. But as we watch Cinema Now giving us all hese choices -I am enjoyng that this great medium has still the Vudu to do what it does to me -get me passionate about films

#2 of 26 Matt Hough

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Posted January 08 2012 - 12:34 AM

At Long Last Love got a thorough playoff on the Fox Movie Channel over the holidays. Seems like it was on every day or every other day, and I watched it all the way through a week or two ago for the first time since I saw it at the theater.


Bogdanovich has completely revamped the opening ten-fifteen minutes after the credits with two musical numbers featuring the secondary leads that I had never seen nor heard before (definitely not on the soundtrack LP). Thus, all four leads now get an opening song to themselves before they start mixing and matching.


The print used on the FMC is soft and dirty and not very appealing. It's also a 4:3 transfer (the credits were letterboxed and then the frame expands to fill 4:3) which I suspect destroys some of the carefully planned Laszlo Kovacs frame compositions, and, alas, Cybil Shepherd's performance hasn't acquired any charm or poise over the decades since I first saw it.


What I like the most about the movie is that it manages to include every verse of those great Cole Porter songs. Of course, since the director was convinced that live singing was the way to go, the lyrics often get swallowed or lost as the actors desperately gulp for breath in order to sing and move at the same time.


Is the version that streams any better than what I've described?



#3 of 26 ahollis

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Posted January 08 2012 - 03:08 AM

If there was a good transfer of AT LONG LAST LOVE, I would surmise that either Twilight Time or Shout would be interested in putting it out.  I could see Twilight Time and SAE working on this together with Twilight putting out the Blu and SAE re-issuing the soundtrack.  Of which the double album LP is still on my self.

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#4 of 26 Louis Letizia

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Posted January 08 2012 - 03:18 AM

The same version you described is whats on Netflix now. I saw this at Radio City Music Hall on its original run but cannot remember which version. Bogdanovich seems to disown this. I hope Shout! has this -i'd like to see the trailer again. Other streaming premieres: UNMAN, WITTERING AND ZIGO: another seemingly lost film that I always read about. Its on Amazon. Great suspense flick. MIXED COMPANY : This was repeated ad nauseum on HBO in the day. Its a sweet litle movie-one of the few leading roles for Joseph Bolgna. MADE FOR EACH OTHER: This Fox comedy has an interesting history. Written by Bologna and his wife Renee Taylor (who gained fame later as The Nanny's mother) after their Oscar nominated screenplay for LOVERS AND OTHER STRANGERS the previous year-its a movie of its time. It had a theatricall rerelease in the 80s-but never caught on. Taylor is over the top -as usual-adding some Ham to the Bologna already there. THE PUBLIC EYE: One of Oscar nominee Topols rare leading roles-its an interesting thriller with Mia Farrow. CHILD'S PLAY : A favorite of mine now . Its the Sidney Lumet/ James Mason starrer thats chilling. WC FIELDS AND ME: Hulu rescued this from extinction. I loved this as a teen and thought Steiger as Fields was incredible. A great companion piece to the same years -and studios- GABLE AND LOMBARD. CRAZY JOE: Hulu. One of the better GODFATHER ripoffs , but unlike LEPKE and VALACHI PAPERS -this Peter Boyle starrer never made it to video. Funny how Boyle was an everyday Joe in 3 different movies within 5 years.JOE , CRAZY JOE and TAIL GUNNER JOE. YOUNGBLOOD : American International gave this genre loving teenager a thrill in May 1978. It released -all in the same month -JENNIFER , THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN , HERE COME THE TIGERS, YOUNGBLOOD and SUNNYSIDE. Good to see YOUNGBLOOD again. Now if they would only show SUNNYSIDE.

#5 of 26 Matt Hough

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Posted January 08 2012 - 08:24 AM

I'd love to see Child's Play again. Haven't seen it since its theatrical run.


I really liked W.C. Fields and Me (enjoyed the book as well) when I saw it in the theater all those years ago (liked it far more than Gable and Lombard which I thought was quite terrible). Certainly would like to see Steiger's turn as Fields again.



#6 of 26 ahollis

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Posted January 08 2012 - 08:44 AM



Originally Posted by MattH. 

I'd love to see Child's Play again. Haven't seen it since its theatrical run.


I really liked W.C. Fields and Me (enjoyed the book as well) when I saw it in the theater all those years ago (liked it far more than Gable and Lombard which I thought was quite terrible). Certainly would like to see Steiger's turn as Fields again.


Steiger was great as W.C. Fields and I with you on wanting to see it again.  Perhaps it will get into the Universal MOD program this year.


"Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That`s how the best pictures get made" - William "Wild Bill" Wellman


#7 of 26 ahollis

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Posted January 08 2012 - 08:53 AM



Originally Posted by Louis Letizia 

The same version you described is whats on Netflix now. I saw this at Radio City Music Hall on its original run but cannot remember which version. Bogdanovich seems to disown this.

Well if it is the same transfer, then there must not be a new one out there, so the possibility of Shout or Twilight grabbing this is nil.  I know Twilight has said they will not release anything unless it is anamorphic OAR since the problems with Violent Saturday.  Shout is also on that band wagon also on most titles.  The clips on You Tube are horrible.

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


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#8 of 26 Worth

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Posted January 08 2012 - 09:42 AM

I recently noticed that The Keep is available on Netfix streaming. I haven't had a chance to watch it yet, but I checked out the first couple of minutes - it's in anamorphic widescreen (SD only) and the picture quality appears to be about on par with an average-looking DVD.
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#9 of 26 Aunt Peg

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Posted January 08 2012 - 09:24 PM

I recently noticed that The Keep is available on Netfix streaming. I haven't had a chance to watch it yet, but I checked out the first couple of minutes - it's in anamorphic widescreen (SD only) and the picture quality appears to be about on par with an average-looking DVD.

Does anyone know why Paramount haven't released this Michael Mann gem. Surely it would be a reasonable seller. Strange that Olive hasn't picked it up.

#10 of 26 Worth

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Posted January 09 2012 - 03:17 AM

Does anyone know why Paramount haven't released this Michael Mann gem. Surely it would be a reasonable seller.

The main reason keeping The Keep from DVD is copyright issues with it's score which are discussed here:

...it seems that the major problem surrounding the issues are between the film's publishers, Paramount, and the musicians of Tangerine Dream themselves. While details are tricky to actually get hold of, the main sticking is to do with ‘Exploitations Rights' of the music for the film. It seems that, due to some contractual issues, Tangerine Dream didn't own the rights to the soundtrack of the film. In fact, music company Virgin and Paramount did. However, this didn't stop the music group releasing albums and work which used part of the score from The Keep.This would seem a pretty straightforward case, until you take into account the fact that the film's own score is, in turn, variants and adaptations of music that Tangerine Dream had already released. As you can see, legally this is messy. The legal issues surrounding who owns the rights to publish the isolated score and what can and cannot be used in other works have been going on for nearly thirty years, and as such, have stopped the release of the movie on any other media apart from VHS and LaserDisc, missing the DVD market completely.

And there's also the fact that the film was a flop on release and Michael Mann doesn't seem particularly keen on revisiting it.
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#11 of 26 ahollis

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Posted January 09 2012 - 03:43 AM

I am not going to deny that there could be some rights issues, but every time the question arises as to why Paramount has not put out a DVD of a certain film, it seems that the standard answer is; oh there are music rights, or producer rights that are preventing it.


With Hurry Sundown, Skiddoo, and Such Good Friends, it was because the Otto Preminger estate would not allow it the release, then miraculously they they were released by Olive Films with no questions asked.  Looking For Mr. Goodbar is a prime example of, oh they can not release it due to music rights, yet it has been confirmed by another company that it has been leased out to a third party and we should see it this year.  Come Blow Your Horn was said not to be available because of the Frank Sinatra estate, but Olive has it on schedule.  The same with the Jerry Lewis films, Lewis owns them and will not allow Paramount to release them, yet we have three more this month from Olive by way of Paramount.  It would almost seem that the Paramount lawyers have been very busy untangling webs of rights for Paramount to let someone else make money of them.

I don't understand why people just don't think that Paramount is not interested in releasing it's Library on DVD or Blu-ray and has for the past several years leased titles to a third party.  First Legend, then Criterion, and finally Olive and Shout.  There have been hopes that the Republic contract with Lionsgate is about to expire, it won't until around 2015. but I don't think Paramount will do anymore with the library then Lionsgate did with it.  They could again lease titles to a third party, but I actually doubt it since the elements are in poor condition.

Paramount's 100 Anniversary is coming up and the rumor is that they will release Samson & Delilah, finally.  I will be interested in hearing what else they intend to release.  Olive has some great films for this year to tie into that anniversary.  Perhaps the other missing in action titles will appear through some outlet, if not Paramount themselves, then Criterion or Shout.

PS - Not sure how much I trust 'Den of Geek."

"Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That`s how the best pictures get made" - William "Wild Bill" Wellman


#12 of 26 Jon Hertzberg

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Posted January 09 2012 - 03:51 AM

There are so many previously very difficult to see titles now available through Netflix and Crackle and the like. In particular, THE OUTSIDER and DEADHEAD MILES (both Paramount) have never been on home video and haven't been broadcast on television in decades. Both are on Netflix Instant and have been for the last year or so. THAT SUMMER!, a British Columbia title that was never actually released in the U.S., starring Ray Winstone and featuring a stellar punk / New Wave soundtrack, is now available for free on Crackle. Often, yes, the prints shown are outdated television masters, but they are far from unwatchable and much better than what we previously had to show for these films...nothing.

#13 of 26 Louis Letizia

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Posted January 09 2012 - 06:07 AM

This is precisely the point-it gives us movielovers a chance to see movies we've only read about. The fact that they are not of high quality doesnt really matter since most of us saw these on small screen tv's on cable or in less than stellar prints in theaters. Its sort of refreshing to see the "crackle" in the films -it adds to the retro feel. Recently watching Columbis MOVs of SHADOW OF THE HAWK and WHITE LINE FEVER I was amazed how pristine the images were-but also had a sigh that the experience wasnt me discovering it channel surfing in the 70s and watching it and loving it no matter how it looked. Movies -which should now all be called FILMS -have become elitist. Movies have become people -they are afraid to age naturally and so get facelifts. But like Joan Rivers and others the gloss of a facelift on an old body can be less than appealing-and downright a bit eerie. But that also depends on your source material. I'm all for films being rescued -but in natural terms. Blu Rays of seventies films -some anyway-that were not up to par to begin with seems Frankenstein like in a Ted Turner Colorization way. Why bring life to something that isnt dead to begin with? Why add unnatural sheen to a film when a similar process called colorization was deemed blasphemous by many? Are these modern day Frankensteins abby normal? Streaming is a happy medium. It allows us to spend time with an old friend that we havent seen in 30 odd years or aquantances we've only heard or read about. Does the look of a dear old friend who hasnt aged well with time going to make you not embrace them? I feel grateful to have the oppurtunity to see these. THE OUTSIDER is an excellent example. It was raved about upon its release -to one theater in ny in 1980 -but seemingly vanished. I have watched it countless times on netflix and think its one of the 80s best FILMS -which on nf -looks fine. Crackle also is amazing. They have 1975s STARDUST- never on video. It is beautiful to see . Discovering a film on Netflix , Amazon and the like is the closest I have yet come to that thrill of hreceiving the HBO guide in the mail and getting very excited on t what was on each month. With these streaming channels we have all taken a "Q" from mthe cable programming legends of yore. Instead of the Z channel I have an L channel with literally thousands of films to program. It thrills me to no end. And with all the strewaming I subscribe to I can gh have it all for $28 a month-1/4 of a satellite/cable subscription with no repeats ad nauseum! Cable indeed has its place. I am endeared to HBO forever -they and Showtime continue to amaze me with their original programming. And while their film selection is limited -it still is less cstly then paying ala carte. We-the movielovers-are the winners

#14 of 26 Nebiroth

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Posted January 09 2012 - 06:11 AM

Well, the ones that can afford the subscription and necessary broadband package, anyway

#15 of 26 Louis Letizia

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Posted January 09 2012 - 08:01 AM

With due respect, and my head bowing in shame , I realize the setup costs can be alot. Its not so much the twenty eight bux a month as the hardware costs. Sorry if I sounded arrogant about it-I'm just an idiot sometimes-i speak (or write) before i think. THAT SUMMER actually played at the marvelous , late and lamented Thalia house in Manhattan arounf 1979-198. Oh, how I miss that house! It had deals with playing movies first run -and seemed to have a particular hook with Columbia. It released -when no others would-foreign Columbia releases such as NO SEX PLEASE WHERE BRITISH ; THE NATIONAL HEALTH ; BROTHERS KAMARAZOV as well as THAT SUMMER and others. This is where I also casught up with- on the big screen -HOMEBODIES , VISIT TO A CHIEFS SON and DANDY, TH ALL AMERICAN GIRL (aka SWEET REVENGE) all of which never played New York

#16 of 26 Nebiroth

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Posted January 09 2012 - 08:14 AM

Nah no need to apologise you didn;t come across as anything like that Just pointing out that this model of consuming movies/TV does involve fairly high costs, not just the subscription to the streaming service but a broadbanfd package that will support it (ie fast enough and sufficient useage allowances), The broadband is a hidden cost that lots of folks forget to factor in to the equation. My broadband is fast enough but the monthly cap is way too low for something like that Also I guess that some users might not even have a good enough connection available to them - here in the UK at least you could run into problems in remote or rural areas My city has just been newly wired with direct-to-home optical fibre by a cable TV operator. But I can;t afford the subscription to their TV/broadband service :(

#17 of 26 Jon Hertzberg

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Posted January 09 2012 - 08:25 AM

THAT SUMMER actually played at the marvelous , late and lamented Thalia house in Manhattan arounf 1979-198.

Very interesting, Louis. According to Sony, by way of Marc Edward Heuck, the film never played in the U.S. They do apparently have a 35mm print at the ready for an enterprising programmer. Sadly, the Thalia is before my time. You ever make it to Symphony Space?

#18 of 26 Louis Letizia

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Posted January 09 2012 - 08:58 AM

I havent been to the Symphony Space. I've been to the Bam in Brooklyn -some nice programming. I frequent the Film Forum and Film Society of LC. How is Symphony Space?

#19 of 26 Jon Hertzberg

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Posted January 09 2012 - 09:28 AM

I havent been to the Symphony Space. I've been to the Bam in Brooklyn -some nice programming. I frequent the Film Forum and Film Society of LC. How is Symphony Space?

Yes, BAM is great. I'm regularly there as well as FF, FSLC (showing way too many DVDs these days in place of prints), MoMI, MoMA, 92Y Tribeca, Anthology, IFC Center, Light Industry. Based on a lot of the things you mention here, seems you would dig the programming at 92Y Tribeca, if you haven't already been there. They do lots of '70s and '80s stuff that doesn't really play anywhere else in town. I mention Symphony Space because it's in the same location as the Thalia; it's a mixed media venue, but they do some film.

#20 of 26 Richard Kaufman

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Posted January 09 2012 - 05:05 PM

I used to go to the Thalia and the Regency, both on the upper west side--wonderful rep houses, now sadly gone. Several years ago I sat next to W.C. Fields' grandson, who is a judge in Los Angeles, at a dinner. I asked him why the Steiger film has never come out on home video and he said, "Because I won't let it." It seems the family despises the film and the way it portrays Fields, and they have prevented its home video release. A shame. It's not a great film by any means, and Valerie Perrine is putrid, but it's certainly one of Steiger's better late roles and shouldn't be lost.




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