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Will WB, Universal and MGM-UA Go the Olive Films/Twilight Time Route?


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#1 of 14 OFFLINE   Eastmancolor

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Posted November 14 2012 - 05:43 AM

It would be wonderful if the above studios would license some of their catalog titles to companies like Olive Films or Twilight Time. Where Warner Bros is concerned, just look at all of those WB, MGM and RKO titles that will likely never see a Blu-ray release. It's taken this long just to get MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS and THE MALTESE FALCON. Never mind titles like RED DUST, BRINGING UP BABY, BHOWANI JUNCTION and RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY. The only way those last two titles can be viewed in HD is on streaming sites like Vudu and the films aren't even shown in the original aspect ratio. Then there's Universal that's sitting on all of the pre-1948 Paramount titles, not to mention their own films that they produced. MGM-UA has made HD masters of many of their titles, yet very few have hit Blu-ray. If Olive Films can release long forgotten Paramount weepies like WHERE LOVE HAS GONE and Twilight Time thinks there's a market for Fox's THE ROOTS OF HEAVEN, then why can't WB, Universal and MGM sign on so that everything from CHINA SEAS to THEATER OF BLOOD could be released in Blu? Yes, there's Warner Archive, which is great, but DVD-R just doesn't cut it on many titles. And at the rate WB is going, Blu-ray will be long gone before they've gotten to anything but their absolute biggest catalog hits. We'll probably get another upgrade on the Batman movies long before we ever see the Val Lewtons, the Fred and Gingers or any great silents in any quantity. For Universal, though they certainly have put out some very nice catalog titles in Blu-ray of late, what about the Bob Hope and Marx Bros films and tons of great work from the likes of Bing Crosby, Jack Oakie, Carole Lombard and others. Never mind the long forgotten, but often great, pre-code films like CROSS COUNTRY CRUISE and TERROR ABOARD. Anyway, with companies like Olive Films releasing a couple of dozen or more Paramount/Republic titles a year and Twilight Time covering the Fox and Columbia's, it would be nice if the other studios would get on board too. Since they can't possibly ever get to 90+% of their libraries for Blu-ray release, they should at least license them to those who can.

#2 of 14 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted November 14 2012 - 05:54 AM

I highly doubt Warner would. It's taken Criterion, what, 3-4 years to square things away for Badlands?


Universal has been licensing titles to Shout Factory lately in addition to Criterion. If anything I see more titles going to Shout if they decide to increase their outsourcing.


MGM (when not talking about their general distribution deal with Fox) has licensed titles to Criterion, they've started to license to Shout Factory, and I believe the upcoming Adventures of Mark Twain (1986) from Magnolia is a MGM license, but I could be wrong about that.


"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


#3 of 14 OFFLINE   Moe Dickstein

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Posted November 14 2012 - 12:48 PM

The question with WB is does Badlands represent a one off for Malick or could this be the beginning of them doing a select few titles per year with WB? Something like Magnificent Ambersons is the perfect example of something WB should license to Criterion. They've only wanted to put it out as a bonus to Kane on Amazon because the elements aren't to their standards, but CC has the supplement package they created for the LD of the title and could do some cleanup work if new elements aren't going to be found anytime soon. WB is really the only studio that doesn't license as a rule. Every other studio has started to.
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#4 of 14 OFFLINE   Jason_V

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Posted November 14 2012 - 03:59 PM

I'd agree in principle, but we also need to take into account the ability of outfits like Olive, Criterion and especially Twilight Time to put out more titles even if the studios license to them.  Based on the information we got a few weeks back at the HTF meet, TT may be very close to their current monthly output maximum.  My memory is fuzzy on the exact numbers talked about, but I do remember the question was asked and we should never expect a "massive" release schedule.  Remember how big TT actually is and that should inform that part of the conversation.


Criterion seems like the most likely outlet for increasing production, though even that presents problems in my mind.  The more releases, the harder it is to control QC and put out worthy product.



#5 of 14 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted November 14 2012 - 09:50 PM

Originally Posted by Moe Dickstein 

The question with WB is does Badlands represent a one off for Malick or could this be the beginning of them doing a select few titles per year with WB?
Something like Magnificent Ambersons is the perfect example of something WB should license to Criterion. They've only wanted to put it out as a bonus to Kane on Amazon because the elements aren't to their standards, but CC has the supplement package they created for the LD of the title and could do some cleanup work if new elements aren't going to be found anytime soon.
WB is really the only studio that doesn't license as a rule. Every other studio has started to.

That's what I thought prior to the LA Meet, but I was wrong.








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#6 of 14 OFFLINE   Moe Dickstein

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Posted November 15 2012 - 06:13 AM

What are the other issues at play with Ambersons? I'm a big fan of this one so would love any updates you can share with us
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#7 of 14 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted November 15 2012 - 06:30 AM

Originally Posted by Moe Dickstein 

What are the other issues at play with Ambersons? I'm a big fan of this one so would love any updates you can share with us

Let's just say it has nothing to do with a possible BD release being of less quality than what Warner is used to releasing as BD titles.


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#8 of 14 OFFLINE   Moe Dickstein

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Posted November 15 2012 - 06:31 AM

Good to know that, will hope for Badlands opening the path to Criterion for Ambersons then...
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#9 of 14 OFFLINE   Oliver Siegel

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Posted November 15 2012 - 06:35 AM

Perhaps,Warner handed off Ambersons to Criterion?

#10 of 14 OFFLINE   Eastmancolor

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Posted November 15 2012 - 06:45 AM

Glad to read today that Warner Archive will be adding Blu-ray. GYPSY, DEATH TRAP and FEARLESS are in the initial offering. I know the last two weren't released originally in the correct aspect ratios so they will be a definite improvement. GYPSY should also be wonderful in 1080p. It looks great on the hi-def streaming sites.

#11 of 14 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted November 16 2012 - 04:55 PM

FYI, the MGM deal with Shout Factory is definitely paying off for horror fans so far. They just announced 6 more titles for their Scream Factory label for release in 2013:


The Burning (1981)

Day of the Dead (1985) (was previously released by Anchor Bay in 2007)

The Fog (1980)
The Howling (1981)
Lifeforce (1985)
Night of the Comet (1984)


"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 14 OFFLINE   GMpasqua

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Posted November 17 2012 - 03:28 AM

Originally Posted by Eastmancolor 

Will WB, Universal and MGM-UA Go the Olive Films/Twilight Time Route?"


In Hollywood where everyone copies everyone else?  ...Hmmmm



#13 of 14 OFFLINE   Bob Cashill

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Posted November 17 2012 - 03:56 AM

Universal already has gone that route, licensing horror titles like HALLOWEEN II and III to Scream Factory and PORTRAIT OF A LADY, SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION, etc., to its parent, Shout Factory, for Blu-ray release. (The studio gave them DVD or MOD releases.)

#14 of 14 OFFLINE   Billy Batson

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Posted November 17 2012 - 04:01 AM

Well I hope MGM/UA get something worked out with someone, they have a lot of great/favorite movies unreleased on Blu.




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