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Is the a market still for "Greed" or "The Big Parade", et al?


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#1 of 27 MattPeriolat

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Posted January 27 2012 - 03:07 PM

Blame re-watching When the Lion Roars for putting this bee in my bonnet.


I'm really quite surprised that given how long DVD has been around, we still have yet to see a DVD release for classic silent movies like "Greed", "The Big Parade" and many others. I understand that the Warner Archive is attempting to fill that hole (especially with the Lon Chaney silents, for example), but really... still nothing after all this time?


I guess I'm not just asking where these classic silents are, but if the market is still present for them, especially "Greed", though the movie may be more notorious than popular at this point.


So, what's the buzz on this? Frankly, I think we could use an all purpose silent movie thread to keep track on what is out from whom and what is still missing. All I can say so far is thank goodness for Kino and the Warner Archive or we'd have nothing aside from the Chaplins and the Keatons out there.


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#2 of 27 Justin Ray

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Posted January 27 2012 - 03:27 PM

I, too, am surprise that Greed and The Big Parade, as well as The Crowd and The Wind, have not made it to DVD. With Kino's frequent silent releases, as well as the popularity of the Chaplin films (now owned by Criterion), plus, the recent (as of Tuesday) release of Wings, the FIRST Academy Award winner for Best Picture, on DVD, silent films remain popular favorites for film fanatics and wondrous time pieces for new audiences. I still await for these titles to surface, wondering if it's damaged film elements, or a long process of putting these titles off that we've reached an era where WB wonders if a pressed release of these films would sell, that has kept the films off of the market for so long. Time will tell-- hopefully, before I, currently 26, have grandchildren or reside in a seaside rest home.

#3 of 27 MattPeriolat

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Posted January 27 2012 - 03:36 PM

Same here, in a sense. I'm not yet 35 but there is so much of movie history I have yet to see (still not seen anything by Griffin *hangs head in shame*) and more than anything, I want to build a library of as much as I can in good quality as possible so years down the line, I can pass down this love of the art form I have.


Thank you for reminding me about The Wind, I'm sure there are loads of others out there. Out of curiosity, I see a lot of the Harold Lloyd box sets released years ago are going out of print, at least from Amazon. Is there a planned reissue or something coming, because I sure would hate to think I've missed out on Safety Last or other classics.


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#4 of 27 Mark Oates

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Posted January 27 2012 - 03:46 PM

I'm surprised we do as well as we do for catalogue titles, given that the Studios regard such releases as strictly a niche market. Most of the Studios would be happiest sticking to releasing their latest product, or tried and trusted franchises or stars (I'm looking at you, Paramount).
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#5 of 27 MattPeriolat

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Posted January 27 2012 - 03:53 PM

We may actually have caught a break with Universal celebrating their 100th anniversary. One of their silents, Traffic in Souls, from 1913 is on their list of movies due for release this year. Understandably I'm NOT expecting a blu-ray, restored to perfection copy, but to see at least that glimmer from the vaults of a studio is quite nice.


As for Paramount... yeah, you'd think with their 100th, we'd be getting more, but I got a gut feeling we should count ourselves lucky we got Wings.


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#6 of 27 JoHud

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Posted January 27 2012 - 04:29 PM

I think the very high prestige silents like Greed are still in limbo waiting for a possible retail opening. Hopefully, success from Wings might lead to a few AAA silents being released by other studios, but they still seem to be dominantly released by boutique labels like Criterion or Flicker Alley. Even the WAC just releases a handful each year, though it will likely increase in the future. However, Wings is the first silent film I recall in recent memory getting shelf space at Wal-Mart and its ilk so hopefully it leads to more people getting interested in movies of the era. DVD-only releases by Warner Bros are pretty much freak releases like last year's Tracy/Hepburn set or the upcoming Vol 2 Charlie Chan set (could be blu, but I seriously doubt it). A DVD-only is dimly possible due to their potentially niche appeal as silents, but its really Blu-ray or MOD at this stage. The market seems to be improving a bit on deep catalog home video, so there's still hope.

#7 of 27 Patrick McCart

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Posted January 27 2012 - 05:02 PM

Why has Warner delayed The Big Parade for almost a decade since initially confirming a remaster? They can at least license out to Kino, Criterion, or Flicker Alley if they can't make the costs work for them.

#8 of 27 MattPeriolat

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Posted January 27 2012 - 05:16 PM

First I've heard about a remaster for The Big Parade, especially given what a unique piece of movie history it is, doing anti-war before All Quiet on the Western Front would come along a few years down the line. Come to think of it, kind of surprised we have not seen a MOD release for John Gilbert for that matter, given what a huge silent star he was back in the day.


As for Greed, I want to believe, given its reputation, that a commercial sale is still possible. I know most of the original movie is long since lost to time but whatever remains should be preserved and presented in the best possible format.


Like was said, with Wings getting the big release and All Quiet on the Western Front getting high profile as well (granted, it is not a silent, but a silent cut does exist and is being included in this reissue), you would hope interest in these classics will be revived. I sure hope so as to have the opportunity to enrich my collection thrills me.


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#9 of 27 Matt Hough

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Posted January 28 2012 - 12:36 AM

If Wings sells well, I wouldn't be surprised if Warners does a trumpeted release of The Big Parade if the materials are in good shape. I think they could have done a separate Blu of Ben-Hur instead of releasing it SD in the big box set of the 1959 version if they had not already released it years ago in the last Ben-Hur DVD box.



#10 of 27 MattPeriolat

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Posted January 28 2012 - 04:32 AM



Originally Posted by MattH. 

If Wings sells well, I wouldn't be surprised if Warners does a trumpeted release of The Big Parade if the materials are in good shape. I think they could have done a separate Blu of Ben-Hur instead of releasing it SD in the big box set of the 1959 version if they had not already released it years ago in the last Ben-Hur DVD box.



Agreed, although I am happy to get the silent Ben-Hur at all. Maybe WHV will consider doing a reissue of that later. Also happy to get the silent version of The Ten Commandments on that set. Truthfully, there are more silents out there and I think there is, pardon the expression, a market out there that is just not being heard by the studios. Hopefully Wings will change that, especially given places like Amazon have sold through their allotment and won't be shipping again for another two to three weeks. Good sign, I'd say.


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#11 of 27 Matt Hough

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Posted January 28 2012 - 09:12 AM

A very good sign. Glad to hear sales have been better than anticipated (even if the anticipation was low). Can only be good news.



#12 of 27 MattPeriolat

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Posted January 28 2012 - 06:15 PM



Originally Posted by MattH. 

A very good sign. Glad to hear sales have been better than anticipated (even if the anticipation was low). Can only be good news.



Well, here's a good question - are sales of Wings strong because of the fan base that has been waiting so long or are they strong because it IS the first Oscar winner and Oscar season just got going, so that is helping to drive demand?


Probably both, but either way you slice it, it is encouraging for the future and similar releases. I'd like to think if The Artist wins Best Picture, we may see a revival of interest in silents in the mainstream as well.


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#13 of 27 ahollis

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Posted January 29 2012 - 04:25 AM



Originally Posted by MattPeriolat 



Agreed, although I am happy to get the silent Ben-Hur at all. Maybe WHV will consider doing a reissue of that later. Also happy to get the silent version of The Ten Commandments on that set. Truthfully, there are more silents out there and I think there is, pardon the expression, a market out there that is just not being heard by the studios. Hopefully Wings will change that, especially given places like Amazon have sold through their allotment and won't be shipping again for another two to three weeks. Good sign, I'd say.


Best Buy is also showing it as back ordered too.  And like Amazon it is the Standard DVD, while both have copies of the Blu-ray available to ship now.  Are we sure that the DVD was delivered on it's release date of 1/24 or was it delayed and no copies have been shipped.  Has anyone received the DVD yet?



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#14 of 27 DavidBC

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Posted January 29 2012 - 08:01 AM

I grabbed the DVD at a Best Buy. They had a few of the Blu-ray in the new release section but only had one dvd back in the catalog section. I think perhaps Paramount overestimated the ratio of Blu to DVD buyers for this title, since the blu is still available on amazon. Regardless, it is a great release that is long (long) overdue and it appears to be a very successful one. With Oscar season on and The Artist getting attention as only the second possible silent oscar winner and other nominee Hugo being about film preservation they could not have released this at a more opportune time. I hope other studios are paying attention and will be willing to take some risks on their silent titles.
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#15 of 27 Michael Elliott

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Posted January 29 2012 - 08:42 AM

Kino, Image, Flicker Alley and countless other studios have released far less known titles that THE BIG PARADE, GREED and THE WIND so Warner has no excuses. They can talk film elements, sales and anything else until the moon comes home but I'm not going to buy it. I'm a large supporter of Warner and I'd say I was probably their biggest supporter on countless forums but there's simply no excuse for these titles not to have been released five years ago.

#16 of 27 cadavra

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Posted January 29 2012 - 09:54 AM

Everybody, please remember that most silents don't have music tracks. Creating one requires a composer, an orchestrator, the hiring of musicians and a studio (and recording engineers), rehearsals and then recording. All of this costs a great deal of money, which may not always be recouped by even a normal DVD release. Take an even strain. Mike S.

#17 of 27 Michael Elliott

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Posted January 29 2012 - 10:22 AM

I'm fairly certain both GREED and THE BIG PARADE have tracks unless someone can tell me I'm wrong. If money has to be spent it looks like GREED, THE WIND, THE CROWD and THE BIG PARADE would be worth spending it on and certainly more than titles like DESERT NIGHTS, CAPTAIN SALVATION, EXIT SMILING, THE PAGAN or the handful of William Haines titles that have been released. While someone such as myself is interested in Haines and DESERT NIGHTS, there's no question that legendary titles are going to appeal to a lot more people. Again, if these small guys can release stellar titles then there's no reason Warner couldn't have done something by now.

#18 of 27 PODER

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Posted January 29 2012 - 10:45 AM

Yes!!! Bring on more silents!! I'm eagerly awaiting GREED, THE BIG PARADE, NAPOLEON (with the Carl Davis score), THE CROWD, THE STUDENT PRINCE IN OLD HEIDELBERG and THE WIND, among so many others*. Plus the Kevin Brownlow series A CELEBRATION OF THE AMERICAN SILENT FILM. I'm guessing that STUDENT PRINCE will turn up on Warner Archive, but who knows if we'll ever see the others. I'm hanging onto my VHS copies until I learn otherwise. * The "so many others" would include CIVILIZATION, THE COVERED WAGON, FOUR HORSEMEN ..., and SADIE THOMPSON. Sigh ...

#19 of 27 Russell G

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Posted January 30 2012 - 10:38 AM

I want every film mentioned. Do a massive set like Fox did with the Murnau/Borzage films.


the 2hour or so Greed had a release on VHS with some type of soundtrack, and the extended version with all the still pictures played on TCM with some type of soundtrack, so I have no problem with those two versions coming out in a set looking as good as it can. I haven't seen the extended version, but that 2 hour one was one of the best films I've seen. I'd love to replace my copy of a copy of the VHS. Set up a a deal with Kino to share the costs and include their erich von stroheim pictures included in a boxset. Put a scandalous blurb on the box art and it would sell.



#20 of 27 Patrick McCart

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Posted January 30 2012 - 04:05 PM

Kevin Brownlow's Hollywood miniseries is held up due to cost of licensing the film excerpts, apparently.