I have to disagree about the WB archive being 'good' to Garson fans. While Mrs. Parkington, Madame Curie and Random Harvest have passable transfers, The Valley of Decision, and When Ladies Meet look as though they've been fed through a meat grinder. Ugly, murky prints with too much distortion, poor contrast levels and in some cases chroma bleeding. The audio on both also leaves much - VERY MUCH - to be desired. It would be nice to see Warner get off their lump and honor some of filmdom's finest stars in Blu-ray box sets - Garson being a primary example.
In addition, am I the only one who cannot believe its 2013 and we still have NO definitive box set on Blu of Clark Gable - MGM's undisputed 'king' or Norma Shearer - MGM's proclaimed 'queen of the lot'?!?!? While there's been a trickle of titles on legit DVD and a flood of less than stellar junk pumped into the archive (Honky Tonk and Idiot's Delight are an abomination!) we don't have either of these iconic stars represented in hi-def (save Gable in GWTW). To exclude the latter would have been sacrilege!
But Warner needs to stop being a repository for their own and other studio's vintage titles. They currently own the rights to their own library as well as the RKO, MGM, Selznick and most recently acquired Paramount libraries. And what of this has come to Blu-ray in the last 18 months?!?!? NOTHING! Okay, granted - I'm not pouring over the budgets to see what's feasible but I can guarantee you one thing - the studio is big enough - and moneyed enough - to give us at least two classic releases per month per year. So 24 titles in twelve months - fully restored (or to the best of their ability given the state of surviving elements, so on and so forth).
You can point to titles like the recently released 'Ultimate Gangster' set, but I have to tell you - Warner didn't go back to original elements for these. The same imperfections plaguing their DVD releases are glaringly evident in 1080p. Same digital files bumped up to a hi-def signal doesn't cut it for me. It shouldn't for anyone else either. Especially when we're getting next to nothing coming down the pipe line from WB. It's time the studio became more aggressive and proactive in releasing titles.
We need NEW rescanned transfers of ALL the Val Lewton horror classics - in time for Halloween. We need some of the more iconic musicals released to Blu: Calamity Jane, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Student Prince, For Me And My Gal, The Band Wagon. We need the Astaire/Rogers movies out on Blu. We need more Garson, and Gable and Crawford in Mildred Pierce in hi-def. Frankly, I can't believing Warner didn't jump on this latter title for Blu-ray. We need the rest of WB's Oscar winning best pictures out on Blu yesterday: The Great Ziegfeld, The Greatest Show on Earth, Around the World in Eighty Days, The Life of Emile Zola.
We need WB to get aggressive on supporting the older classics. Personal opinion, of course, but I'd like to cast my vote for the following titles for consideration immediately: The Prisoner of Zenda (Ronald Colman version), Goodbye Mr. Chips (1939), The Women (1939), Random Harvest, The White Cliffs of Dover, The Valley of Decision, Mrs. Parkington, Cabin in the Sky, Marie Antoinette (Norma Shearer), Romeo & Juliet (Norma Shearer), The Broadway Melody (all of the movies in this franchise), Show Boat (both versions), A Night at the Opera, A Day at the Races, Bad Day At Black Rock, Bells Are Ringing, When Ladies Meet, A Woman's Face, Mildred Pierce, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Auntie Mame and Giant.
These are just the tip of my iceberg but they give you a good idea of how much stuff is MIA currently and how deprived we all are for their absence from the collective consciousness. And the aforementioned ought to come to us in NEW hi-res scans - not regurgitated video files bumped up to a 1080p signal. Make the effort. Take the time. We're all counting on you!