Another plea to Warner: PLEASE start releasing your classic titles on DVD.

Jay E

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Every couple of months, I like to make a plea to Warner to start releasing their vast library of classic titles onto DVD. In the past year & 1/2, Warner has practically ignored this area of their library. Except for obvious titles such as Citizen Kane & Dr Zhivago,(titles that I give Warner many thanks for doing right), they have decided that most of their classic titles are not worth releasing.
Warner, there is a market for these films!!! We do not need major restoration or special editions in order for us to buy them. Starting up a classic title line at a $14.95 to $19.95 retail price, would make a wonderful auxiliary money maker for your DVD division. All we ask for is that the original aspect ratio is adhered to and that the prints are the best you can find.
These films deserve to be on DVD. These are a major part of our film history and of our culture, and need to be seen in the best possible format, DVD.
Again, I present a list of just some of the titles you control which need a home on DVD:
Adventures of Robin Hood
After Hours
Alice Adams
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
Angels With Dirty Faces
Anna Karenina
Around the World in 80 Days
Asphalt Jungle
Auntie Mame
Baby Doll
Bad and the Beautiful, The
Bad Day at Black Rock
Bandwagon, The
Beast From 20,000 Fathoms
Blackboard Jungle, The
Blow Up
Body Snatcher, The
Bringing Up Baby
Camille
Captain Blood
Cat People
Crimson Pirate, The
Crossfire
Curse of Frankenstein
David Copperfield
Day at the Races, A
Days of Wine & Roses
Devil Doll, The
Doctor X
Dial M for Murder
Dinner at Eight
East of Eden
Easter Parade
Executive Suite
Face in the Crowd, A
Far From the Maddening Crowd
Fearless Vampire Killers, The
Fountainhead, The
Fury
Freaks
Gaslight
Giant
Good Earth, The
Goodbye Mr Chips
Grand Hotel
Grand Prix
Great Race
Greed
Gunga Din
Haunting, The
High Sierra
Horror of Dracula
House of Wax
Humoresque
I am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang
I Confess
I Walked With a Zombie
Ice Station Zebra
Informer, The
King Kong
Klute
Letter, The
Life of Emile Zola
Little Caeser
Lost Patrol, The
Loved One, The
Lust for Life
Mad Love
Magnificent Ambersons
Mark of the Vampire
Mask of Fu Manchu
McCabe & Mrs Miller
Meet me in St Louis
Mildred Pierce
Mission, The
Murder My Sweet
Mutiny on the Bounty
Mystery of the Wax Museum
Night at the Opera, A
Night Moves
Ninotchka
Now Voyager - coming on 11/13!
Nun's Story, The
Oceans Eleven
Omega Man, The
Once Upon A Time in America
Out of the Past
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid
Performance
Petrified Forest, The
Petulia
Picture of Dorian Gray
Point Blank
Postman Always Rings Twice, The
Public Enemy
Queen Christina
Ride the High Country
Roaring Twenties, The
Ryan's Daughter
San Francisco
Scaramouche
Scarecrow
Seahawk, The
Set Up, The
Seventh Victim, The
Soylent Green
Stage Door
Straight Time
Summer of 42
Suspicion
Swing Time
Tale of Two Cities, A
Tarzan the Ape Man
Them
They Live By Night
Thin Man, The
Thing, The
THX 1138
To Have and Have Not
Top Hat
Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Valley of Gwangi
Village of the Damned
Wait Until Dark
Wanderers, The
Waterloo Bridge
What's Up Doc
Where Eagles Dare
White Heat
Women, The
Wrong Man, The
Yankee Doodle Dandy
Zabriskie Point
I hope that one day, you will see the light and that these films will see the light of day on DVD.
[Edited last by Jay E on August 23, 2001 at 07:51 AM]
 

Joel Turpin

Agent
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Apr 15, 2000
Messages
49
I'd like to second about 2/3 of that list, and many of the other title's I've just never seen. Releasing some of these film classics would go a long way toward repairing your recently damaged relationship with the home theater crowd (and make you some nice money, to boot)
Joel
 

Peter M Fitzgerald

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Peter Fitzgerald
Warner,
I third Jay E's thoughts on this matter, and his impressive list of titles (which only scratches the surface). While several of your older titles could admittedly use some sprucing up, you still seem to have found some pretty nice prints of many (admittedly not all, but many) of your classics, particularly the black & white Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer titles from the pre-Cinemascope era (before 1954), which you allow to air regularly on Turner Classic Movies, American Movie Classics and the Encore movie channels. You probably remastered many of them precisely for modern cable TV broadcasts. I seriously doubt there's much more restoration work you could do with them (or would, as several of these films wouldn't financially justify a NORTH BY NORTHWEST-style video makeover, as nice as that would be), so why not release 'bare-bones' and/or 'double-feature' DVDs, ala MGM and Universal?
If Universal can give us a bare-bones double-feature of the good, but relatively obscure 1930s-1940s horror films WEREWOLF OF LONDON/SHE-WOLF OF LONDON on DVD, neither of which have the iconic marketing 'hook' of Boris Karloff's Frankenstein Monster, or Lon Chaney Jr.'s Wolf Man, why can't you follow that example, and whip up say, a double-feature of MAD LOVE (1935) & DEVIL DOLL (1936), or THE BLACK SCORPION (1957) & THE GIANT BEHEMOTH (1959) (you released these two 1950s monster movie classics on LD not long ago, in the format's waning days, when you were licensing films to Image Entertainment, so what's preventing a DVD release on stuff like this, especially at Halloween time?), or a solid 'film noir' pair, like TENSION (1949) & ACT OF VIOLENCE (1950)?
Heck, I watched the William Powell/Myrna Loy screwball comedy classic LOVE CRAZY (1941) on your Turner Classic Movies channel last night, and the print was essentially crisp & spotless, and it was never prepared for LD release. Same deal with Anthony Mann's great Technicolor western, THE NAKED SPUR (1953), starring Jimmy Stewart & Janet Leigh (your TCM network plays a beautiful print of this at least once a month these days). I can see no reason why films like these, which were Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio productions that you now own, lock stock & barrel, couldn't get a bare-bones DVD release with a $14.95 or $19.95 list price.
You could also sell a ton of sci-fi, horror, crime, film noir, 'blaxploitation', and 'spaghetti western' movies from your Warner, RKO, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and Allied Artists libraries, if you started a budget line of DVDs, like MGM's popular "Midnite Movies" series. Everywhere I go on the internet, I see reviews of the latest "Midnite Movies" DVDs, and countless posts from fans (both casual & rabid), either ecstatic over their recent purchases of a pile of them, or drooling in anticipation of the release of the next batch of titles.
Conversely, your overall disregard for your vast treasure trove of classic-era films (greater than that of any other modern media conglomerate) on DVD, both famous & obscure, just won't wash. I sincerely hope you change your current marketing policy toward your extensive back catalog soon. I realize you can't release everything, and can't do it all at once, but you could be doing far, far better than you are currently in this regard. The Fall DVD slate (so far) of CITIZEN KANE, THE MUMMY (1959), and DR. ZHIVAGO is a good start. Let's see you build upon that in the next year, with a more prolific output. Thank you very much for your time. See you at the HTF chat in October.
Regards,
Peter M Fitzgerald
[Edited last by Peter M Fitzgerald on August 22, 2001 at 12:33 PM]
 

Chuck L

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Nothing at all could be said in my post better than the last one!
I too long for the day when Warner will open their vaults and release these long sought after titles. Many of them, I would not even have to think twice about grabbing them off the shelve and putting them in my home.
 

BarryR

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I COULDN'T AGREE MORE times a thousand!

Assuming Warners shows up for the online chat in October, I HOPE this issue will be addressed. It is INSANITY to have so much in the way of vintage Hollywood locked up and inaccessible because of some bean counters in the marketing department, or whatever. This is a SOLID market!!!!!!
 

Jay E

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I was happily surprised to see Now Voyager up for pre-order today at DVD Empire ( I edited my original post to add this info). I'm hoping that Warner is starting to see the light, but I don't want to get my hopes up too much. Hopefully the chat will clear up my doubts.
 

NeilEdwards

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I still have about 1,300 VHS tapes that I am waiting to replace with DVD's. Many, many, many are the WB classics.
You left off all the Busby Berkeley musicals, Golddiggers of 1933, 1935, 1937, In Caliente, Footlight Parade, Garden of the Moon, The Singing Marine ...
Then there are the Katharine Hepburn films that were done for RKO ... Including Bringing Up Baby.
 

Michael Boyd

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How about Ernst Lubitsch's TO BE OR NOT TO BE? Anyone else want to see this one?
Looks like WB released the VHS in 1996.
------------------
Michael Boyd
 

Greg_S_H

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Peter,
Another great post, as always.
Jay,
I would support the release of everything you listed, but I'd like to single out:
The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
The Public Enemy (1931)
G-Men (1935)
White Heat (1949)
Each Dawn I Die (1939)
I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1932)
Scarface: The Shame of a Nation (1932)
And, Warners needs to just release everything Bogart did that they own. I believe these are Warners:
Across the Pacific (1942)
Action in the North Atlantic (1943)
All Through the Night (1942)
Angels With Dirty Faces (1938)
The Big Shot (1942)
Bullets or Ballots (1936)
Chain Lightning (1950)
Crime School (1938)
Dark Passage (1947)
Dead End (1937)
Deadline - U.S.A. (1952)
Dead Reckoning (1947)
Enforcer, The (1951)
High Sierra (1941)
It All Came True (1940)
Petrified Forest, The (1936)
Roaring Twenties (1939)
Sahara (1943)
San Quentin (1937)
They Drive By Night (1940)
To Have and Have Not (1944)
Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The (1948)
Oh, and I don't feel like listing them, but they also need to release all their Jimmy Stewarts.
 

Larry Bevil

Second Unit
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Jun 18, 1999
Messages
284
There are many in this list of classic titles that I would buy. I didn't know that Treasure of Sierra Madre, Where Eagles Dare, and Yankee Doodle Dandy were now Warner titles. I was holding out some hope for an early release of these titles. But, since they are now Warner titles, my hopes have been dashed somewhat. How about it Warner - Surprise us!!
 

SteveGon

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Let's add Akira Kurosawa's Dreams to that list!
------------------

"Death's at the bottom of everything, Martins - leave death to the professionals!"
"Mind if I use that line in my next Western?"
 

Nick Eden

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202
Of all the titles listed I would buy about 98% of them.
Warners own so many good titles.
But rather than release The Thin Man, lets have a box set of all the Thin Man titles. What about a box set of Garbo's films? Lets not just have Top Hat, I'd buy a box set of all 10 Astaire/Rogers musicals.
It's good news that Now Voyager is coming, but I'd buy all Bette Davis movies released on DVD and we all know which company owns the majority of her films.
I'd also like to make a plea for the Ginger Rogers screwball comedy Bachelor Mother (RKO): this is one of the funniest films I have ever seen.
 

Patrick McCart

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Warners:
Please release more classic films..especially 1920's-1940's MGM films, 1920's-1948 WB films, and...
LOONEY TUNES SETS (There's LOTS of people ready to buy entire sets of LT DVD's!)
POPEYE CARTOONS (The classic Popeye cartoons have never been released to video...how about soon?)
AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS (Full special edition since it's been given the worst treatment EVER for a video since it's never been letterboxed on home video before. Not even TV masters are letterboxed!)
------------------
P.S.: There's no P.S.
 

David Lambert

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I'm now told that My Favorite Year is one of the titles that went over to WB from MGM. So I guess this is the place to ask for that title! It's not exactly an older one, and I guess "classic" depends on your opinion.
But, darn it!, I *WANT* that title on DVD!!!!!!!

Clash of the Titans too, please!
------------------
DAVE/Memphis

[Edited last by David Lambert on August 26, 2001 at 12:09 PM]
 

Doug Bull

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There are very large numbers of Hollywood Musical Lovers just waiting to purchase the Major MGM and Warner Bros Classic Musicals that have yet to find their way to DVD.
The MGM list..
"The Bandwagon"
"Meet me in St Louis"
"Kiss me Kate"
"Easter Parade"
"Silk Stockings"
"High Society"
"The Boyfriend"
"Deep in my Heart"
"The Harvey Girls"
"Hit the Deck"
"The Student Prince"
"Kismet"
"Love me or Leave Me"
"Lovely to look at"
"Summer Holiday"
"That's Entertaiment" pts 1, 2 & 3
"Till the Clouds Roll By"
"Two Weeks With Love"
"Words and Music"
"Ziegfeld Follies"
also Anamorphic remasters of "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" and "Brigadoon"
"Showboat"(1951) is also in urgent need of a remaster and should include the Stereo Soundtrack that was featured on the Laserdisc.
And finally, let's not forget the McDonald/Eddy and Garland/Rooney Musicals.
Warner Brother list...
"Mame"
"Finians Rainbow"
"Calamity Jane"
"Damn Yankees"
"Night and Day"
"Rhapsody in Blue"
"Robin and the Seven Hoods"
"Tea for Two"
"Yankee Doodle Dandy"
also as mentioned on an earlier post, all of the Busby Berkeley classics.
Finally, let's not forget the Astaire and Rogers RKO Radio Titles.
Warners it's up to you, you've got them, please show some compassion and share them with everybody.
------------------
 

BarryR

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Though I commend WB for announcing the forthcoming release of the 1933 LITTLE WOMEN, I'm nonetheless puzzled about the choice. I can think of a billion other films from that era I'd rather have than LITTLE WOMEN, so I don't understand who's making these selections, and why. Why not follow up last year's 42nd Street with all the other Golddigger musicals, for instance? To me these titles would be a bit more easily marketable (hey, Cagney is in FOOTLIGHT PARADE!). Keep going through the catalog, though, WB--if you can release 1933's LITTLE WOMEN maybe anything is possible!!

[Edited last by BarryR on August 28, 2001 at 08:43 AM]
[Edited last by BarryR on August 28, 2001 at 08:44 AM]
 

Greg_M

Screenwriter
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Mar 23, 2000
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1,189
Still waiting for Warner catalog titles:
Auntie Mame
The Great Race
Fanny
Finian's Rainbow
Damn Yankees
and widescreen versions of
Arthur & Private Benjamn
 

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