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Announcing the Cohen Film Collection of Restored Cinematic Classics


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#1 of 21 Ronald Epstein

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Posted February 04 2013 - 05:12 AM





ANNOUNCING THE LAUNCH OF THE


COHEN FILM COLLECTION


Cinematic Classics Directed by Griffith, Keaton, Hitchcock 

and Many More Are Among 700 Films to Be Restored


'Tristana' Currently In Theaters And

Douglas Fairbanks' 'The Thief of Bagdad,'Arrives In February 


COHEN FILM COLLECTION WEB SITE


CLICK HERE TO SEE THE ENTIRE CATALOG



New York, NY  - Charles S. Cohen, Chairman and CEO of the Cohen Media Group, today announced the arrival of the COHEN FILM COLLECTION - a world-renowned collection of rare cinematic gems, which will be meticulously restored and enhanced for generations to come. COHEN FILM COLLECTION (formerly The Rohauer Library), will include more than 700 films - from enduring Hollywood classics to foreign masterpieces and seminal avant-garde works - which will undergo complete digital restoration so that the best possible versions of these historic films are available across all platforms of delivery. Many of these films will be theatrically re-released, while others will join the Collection on Blu-ray and DVD.


The first release from The Collection, Tristana, is currently in theaters and will be debuting on Blu-ray and DVD this March. Coming to Blu-ray and DVD on February 19, 2013, will be The Thief of Bagdad, Douglas Fairbanks' 1924 fantasy epic that marked a new peak for action cinema during the silent era. The Thief of Bagdad has been digitally restored in 2k from two 35mm negatives incorporating color tints and tones of the original release prints. Featuring state-of-the-art sound, the Carl Davis orchestral score and accompanied by audio commentary and numerous extras, The Thief of Bagdad Blu-ray and DVD release will set the standard for the other films to come from The Collection.


The COHEN FILM COLLECTION is truly vast in scope, ranging from the silent era to sound, from musical and comedy shorts to features, and from experimental works to British and foreign-language classics. The collection contains bodies of work by a roster of singular artists such as Buster Keaton, D.W. Griffith, Rudolph Valentino, Vivien Leigh and Harry Langdon. Many titles in the collection are rare; the collection has the only known materials for some films.


Exclusive licenses and contracts bring to the Collection original nitrate elements camera negatives, prints and other materials unavailable elsewhere, to assure the best High Definitions transfers possible.


Highlights of The COHEN FILM COLLECTION include:


  • The General (1926). The Collection has the original nitrate camera negative of Buster Keaton's Civil War comic masterpiece and is creating, in partnership with The Library of Congress, a 4K scan from a safety fine-grain positive master newly struck for the restoration. The Collection also includes Keaton's Sherlock Jr., Our Hospitality, The Navigator, Go West and dozens of his remarkable short films.


  • Intolerance (1916). D.W. Griffith's awe-inspiring epic is receiving a 2K restoration that will include an orchestral score by world renowned composer Carl Davis. Other Griffith masterworks in the Collection include The Birth of a Nation (both the 1915 original and the 1930 cut), Broken Blossoms, Way Down East, Orphans of the Storm and many of the groundbreaking shorts directed by the "Father of Film."


  • Sudden Fear (1952). David Miller's film noir, starring Joan Crawford and Jack Palance, is receiving a 2K restoration.


  • L'Etoile de Mer (1928). This and other experimental shorts by the avant-garde photographer Man Ray will be released.


  • Hangmen Also Die (1943). The Collection is working with Britain's Pinewood Studios on a 2K restoration of this Fritz Lang film that will reinstate a short sequence not in the version currently available here.


  • Song of Freedom (1936). One of six films in the Collection starring the singer-actor-activist Paul Robeson.


  • Son of the Sheik (1926). Rudolph Valentino's last film is being restored from nitrate material held at the Library of Congress. Valentino's Blood and Sand and The Eagle are also in the Collection.


  • Jamaica Inn (1939). The Collection will restore this period adventure, the last film Alfred Hitchcock made in England before moving to Hollywood and his first adaptation of a tale by Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca, The Birds).


  • Fire Over England (1937). This historical drama marked the first screen pairing of Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier and is being restored to honor, in 2013, the 100th anniversary of Leigh's birth. It's one of four Leigh films in the Collection.


  • The Strong Man (1926). Frank Capra's first feature film stars Harry Langdon, generally regarded as one of the quartet of great silent-screen comics along with Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd (all of whom are also represented in the Collection). One of 14 Langdon films in the Collection.


  • Douglas Fairbanks films. In addition to The Thief of Bagdad, the Collection includes such early Fairbanks titles as The Lamb and Double Trouble, both from 1915, as well as his later adventure classics The Mark of Zorro, The Three Musketeers, Robin Hood and The Black Pirate. Among the dozens of Fairbanks titles in the Collection is The Taming of the Shrew, a screen pairing of Fairbanks and his wife, "America's Sweetheart" Mary Pickford.


  • Musical shorts featuring priceless performances by Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Hoagy Carmichael, Bessie Smith, Rudy Vallee and Ethel Merman.


  • The largest collection of surviving films starring the Talmadge sisters Norma and Constance, huge and powerful stars in the silent era, but largely forgotten today.


  • Comedy shorts with W.C. Fields, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Robert Benchley and Milton Berle, among others.


  • Forty years of British films, from the 1930s to the 1960s.


Under the stewardship, and guided by the vision of Charles S. Cohen, the preservation and restoration of the many classics in this unique film library will ensure that they are available to be enjoyed by generations to come. Through strategic partnerships with the most prestigious archives in the United States and abroad, titles will be selected on an ongoing basis to undergo the complete digital restoration.



Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#2 of 21 Russell G

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Posted February 04 2013 - 07:00 AM

Some of these upcoming releases will put Kino out of business.


I'm awaiting reviews.



#3 of 21 Richard V

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Posted February 04 2013 - 07:17 AM

Quite a collection. Perusing the list, a few really caught my eye, that I would love to see restored to Bluray quality. Vampyr, The City of the Dead, Daughter of Horror, and The Old Dark House. All horror movies, have seen two of them (City of the Dead, and Daughter of Horror, both of which caught on AMC, but quality wasn't too good), really looking forward to pristine restorations.
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#4 of 21 JoeDoakes

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Posted February 04 2013 - 07:27 AM

Maybe Robert Harris knows this. The press release says Tristana will be "restored in 2k." The press release for Criterion's upcoming release of Ministry of Fear said the same thing. Does that mean that they didn't do a 4k scan? If so, is it that much cheaper to do a 2k scan than 4k? thanks

#5 of 21 JoHud

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Posted February 04 2013 - 07:56 AM

Curious if the Cohen Media Group will eventually re-release what Kino has already released on blu. Kino culled many of its past blu-ray releases, particularly silent-era material, from the same prints used in this film library that now comprises the Cohen Film Collection. If so, does the Cohen Media Group now own those same restorations? The most anticipated from a home video standpoint are the Norma Talmadge films and the British films (particularly Val Guest) since previous licensors mostly overlooked these films. Of course, Keaton aside, the lions share of these films have not been released on blu-ray yet and this is a great opportunity to see that a reality. Unlike Kino which licenses from several libraries along with having its own, Cohen only seems to own this one and will hopefully do more with it than its previous owners.

#6 of 21 Moe Dickstein

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Posted February 04 2013 - 08:02 AM

I don't know that they have home vid rights to some of these. Vampyr is with Criterion.
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#7 of 21 Spencer Draper

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Posted February 04 2013 - 08:12 AM

Some of the greatest of classics are in here; Keaton, Griffith, even Whale, Chaney, Lang, and so many more. The three that jumped out to me as in most need of definitive video releases are the '25 Phantom with as much of both versions as possible, the 1923 Hunchback, and The Old Dark House of which Kino's DVD transfer is abysmal.

#8 of 21 Ed Lachmann

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Posted February 04 2013 - 08:16 AM

What would be even more interesting is if the Cohen Media Group would cut a deal with Kevin Brownlow's Photoplay Productions and finally give up BDs of FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE, THE WIND, THE STUDENT PRINCE IN OLD HEIDELBURG and THE CROWD, all with the Carl Davis orchestral scores, and ORPHANS OF THE STORM with the John Lanchbery score. Or, if this doesn't happen, maybe Kino can step in and turn this challenge into victory. The original studios have no interest in releasing them and, unless I'm mistaken, the restored films could be negotiated through Photoplay itself as the rights issues would seem to have expired (could be wrong about this, though).

#9 of 21 Russell G

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Posted February 04 2013 - 08:19 AM

I'd love to see 1923 Hunchback, and we have needed a remastered The Old Dark House special edition for years. They can bundle it with The Cat and the Canary (1927) for a cool double feature.


Also, I dare to dream that Kubricks "Fear and Desire" is a part of this so we can get a new Bluray with all the short films in region one.


I'm curious to see what's going to happen with the DW Griffith films. Kino seemed on their way with their "Ultimate" editions, I was hoping for another "Masterworks" set from them in Blu, like they did with the "Ultimate Buster Keaton" bluray set.



#10 of 21 jacksparrow900

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Posted February 04 2013 - 10:27 AM

I read somewhere that Hunchback was coming out this year on blu ray. I know Milestone is working on The Phantom Of The Opera. I see it pointless to release The General again on blu ray.

#11 of 21 Russell G

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Posted February 04 2013 - 10:33 AM

I saw nothing wrong with my Image bluray of Phantom. It has an audio issue that was corrected via replacement disc. It looked fine to me.



#12 of 21 Michael Elliott

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Posted February 04 2013 - 10:50 AM

Personally I wish they were working on some of the 400+ Griffith films that have yet to get any sort of release. If there was a way to release all of his films in the order of their release then I'd gladly pick up each one of them. Grapevine quit releasing their Griffith volumes over a year ago so I'm really hoping something is coming down the pipe.

#13 of 21 Ignatius

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Posted February 04 2013 - 11:43 AM

Problem with that collection is that it lists all the physical elements they have, but not whether they have the rights. They absolutely do not have the rights to Vampyr, I don't think they could claim the rights to the more famous German silents, and I don't believe they have the rights to the earlier Paul Robeson works. The history of the collection and its origins are detailed here in a PDF originally posted at Nitrateville by Mike Gebart. It's certainly an incredible collection of materials but there may have to be some legal wrangling involved before some of it sees the light of day.

#14 of 21 dana martin

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Posted February 04 2013 - 01:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spencer Draper 

Some of the greatest of classics are in here; Keaton, Griffith, even Whale, Chaney, Lang, and so many more.

The three that jumped out to me as in most need of definitive video releases are the '25 Phantom with as much of both versions as possible, the 1923 Hunchback, and The Old Dark House of which Kino's DVD transfer is abysmal.
      
      would gladly buy all three if done corectly, although the Hunchback Ultimate Edition was really a treat in the extras department


Originally Posted by Russell G 

I'd love to see 1923 Hunchback, and we have needed a remastered The Old Dark House special edition for years. They can bundle it with The Cat and the Canary (1927) for a cool double feature.


Also, I dare to dream that Kubricks "Fear and Desire" is a part of this so we can get a new Bluray with all the short films in region one.


I'm curious to see what's going to happen with the DW Griffith films. Kino seemed on their way with their "Ultimate" editions, I was hoping for another "Masterworks" set from them in Blu, like they did with the "Ultimate Buster Keaton" bluray set.


After spending a little over an hour skimming through that 147 page download of their library, consider me truly excited to see what comes from this. I did not see Kubrick’s Fear and Desire as previously mentioned in hopes of getting the two remaining short subjects released as well. My understanding was that those 2 shorts , Day of the Fight and Flying Padre were RKO/ Pathe shorts so the negatives should be controlled by WB?? Possibly the next Digibook (Lolita ) they could be included.


Back to the topic at hand I can’t wait to see what will come out of this great collection and if we here could embrace them to get an insider on the forum would only sweeten the pot. I do have one request, if at all possible, if they do own the negative, a proper restoration and release of White Zombie. Somehow I see a lot of my finances spent on a “Big” C on the cover, hopefully we can start with the Father of Cinema and have definitive versions of Griffith.


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#15 of 21 Deepak Shenoy

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Posted February 04 2013 - 03:04 PM

Kino was just about done releasing their Keaton titles on Blu (with the standalone College coming out in March) and now these titles may be released again by Cohen ? I would definitely buy them again if these titles underwent some Criterion-quality digital clean-up but that seems unlikely. -D

#16 of 21 JoHud

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Posted February 04 2013 - 05:31 PM

I don't think Cohen has any claim to the "Lost Keaton" Educational Keatons, so those will probably be Kino-only unless Kino decides to lease the HD transfers elsewhere later on. If these are released again, it will probably be with the same transfers only with different Cohen Film Collection packaging. However, I don't see them doing that until many years later since Kino probably has some sort of deal going regarding the Rohauer Library derived blu-rays that they have released recently. Also, I hope the restoration of Jamaica Inn includes the restoration of the opening and closing title cards containing the original production credits. None of that "The Rohauer Company Presents" nonsense with the altered 1982 copyright fake title card that is on the UK disc.

#17 of 21 John Weller

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Posted February 05 2013 - 06:57 AM

I saw nothing wrong with my Image bluray of Phantom. It has an audio issue that was corrected via replacement disc. It looked fine to me.

The original 1925 cut needs an HD upgrade with the proper tints and surviving Technicolor inserts.

#18 of 21 John Weller

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Posted February 05 2013 - 06:59 AM

Personally I wish they were working on some of the 400+ Griffith films that have yet to get any sort of release. If there was a way to release all of his films in the order of their release then I'd gladly pick up each one of them. Grapevine quit releasing their Griffith volumes over a year ago so I'm really hoping something is coming down the pipe.

I keep hoping someone gets around to One Exciting Night and The Sorrows Of Satan. Incidentally, the Cohen's listing for One Exciting Night mistakingly uses a still from the lost 1930 version of The Gorilla.

#19 of 21 Brianruns10

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Posted February 06 2013 - 04:47 AM

The original 1925 cut needs an HD upgrade with the proper tints and surviving Technicolor inserts.

Wouldn't do much good. The 25 version is for all intents and purposes a lost film. It survives through murky 16mm "Show At Home" prints, no two of which seem to be alike, so what we have now as the 25 version is really more of a Frankenstein, cobbled together from bits and pieces of several prints. And having viewed the 25 version, I just don't think you'd get much out of an HD upgrade. They're that murky and dupey. And it wouldn't do to try to reconstitute the '25 from the '29/30 version because that is comprised of alternate takes and angles, and wouldn't match up. it seems most probable that it was created from a second or B negative for foreign releases to theaters not yet equipped for sound (while the states got the sonorized '29 version which is today a totally lost film). To muddy things further, the lone surviving technicolor insert was apparently created for the '29 sound version, as it was printed via the dye transfer method which did not come into use until, IIRC, late 1928. It is apparently a fragment saved from the otherwise lost sound version. So really, there IS NO surviving true version of Phantom, only various versions cobbled together from surviving elements of unclear origins. You can thank Universal Studios for that...between their wholesale junking of their silent archives in the 40s, and the current manner in which they are mistreating the Hitchcock films they own, they've established themselves a nice legacy as the Philistines of cinema.

#20 of 21 Brianruns10

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Posted February 06 2013 - 04:51 AM

Why, if they have the OCN of "The General," are they relying on a struck fine grain for the restoration? Scan the OCN in 4K for a proper DI, and make a preservation master from that.




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