Barrie Maxwell article 2/17/04

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jo_C, Feb 16, 2004.

  1. Jo_C

    Jo_C Second Unit

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    Hopefully this particular response thread won't get ignored like the Cary Grant article thread was.

    Anyway, again Maxwell has done a great job with his article on detectives on DVD. And, of course, once again I get to fill in the blanks Maxwell didn't.

    The first Bulldog Drummond movie (1929), although financed by Samuel Goldwyn, was actually originally released through United Artists. Ironically, MGM now owns this title as part of the pre-1996 Samuel Goldwyn Company library. They did release a VHS of the first Drummond movie, I don't think it was ever on DVD...at least as of yet. HBO (the former video rights holder of the Goldwyn films) did indeed release this first on LaserDisc before MGM got a hold of the rights. The later Paramount/Drummond series was bought by an independent company called "Congress Films". They have been officially released on VHS (but not yet on DVD). The rights to the Paramount series are now held by Janus Films (which is a partner in the Criterion Collection).

    In the Dick Tracy section, Maxwell fails to mention the 1990 Warren Beatty film (or shall we say 'remake') of "Dick Tracy". It is technically part of the series, but on an unofficial level. The Beatty film is on DVD.

    The Universal "Sherlock Holmes" films also now have different rights holders. Universal sold the rights to Leo Gutman Inc. (another independent orphan company)--many of the Universal films used to be copyrighted by Gutman--and further years later Gutman sold them to Lorimar/Telepictures (today part of WB). Today they are at the hands of King World Enterprises (the ones responsible for the "Little Rascals" and "Wheel Of Fortune"), with MPI Home Video as home video licensee.

    And, as I have repeatedly mentioned elsewhere, Artisan (now Lions Gate) only has the video rights to the Republic library, Paramount (Republic's sister company) has all other ancilliary rights until next year when they assume the video rights.

    Whew! I hope I've made myself clear...another case solved, my dear Watson, wherever he is.
     
  2. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    I'm a big fan of Barrie Maxwell's excellent column.

    Thanks for filling in the blanks Jo_C.

    BTW, Paramount has already announced the release on DVD in Europe to some of the Republic library previously released by Artisan.

    ---
    So many films, so little time...
     
  3. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Great article by Mr. Maxwell. My thanks to him for doing such a great job with series of articles.

    Many of the best titles are controlled by Warners (Saint, Falcon, and Thin Man series). Hopefully the remaining Thin Man titles will be annouced soon. Perhaps the Saint and Falcon series (which are highly entertaining due to the acting of George Sanders and his real life brother Tom Conway) could be packaged in double bills similar to what Universal has done with their A&C/Kettle sets.

    The other most wanted titles (Charlie Chan and Mr. Moto) are being held hostage by unknown forces within Fox. I appreciate Mr. Maxwell's comment that there is more to the story that what is being said publically. (By the way, not to nitpick, but "Charlie Chan on Broadway" is misidentified as a Toler film when it is an Oland Film).

    Interesting, Warner Brothers does control what is perhaps the best Charlie Chan film overall, 1931's "The Black Camel". Co-starring Bela Lugosi (with Robert Young in a supporting role), it is the only Chan film to be shot in Hawaii. The photography is beautiful and the movie itself is wonderful. Most circulating copies of this film stem from a 1980's era showing on American Movie Classics. To my knowledge this film has not been shown on television since. I would like to see Warners release their Monogram films also.

    Fans of the Philo Vance series will be interested to hear that Hugh Hefner has offered to fund restoration of some of the Vance films. Hef was the driving force behind the Holmes restorations. The one downside to this that the restorations will be done by the George Eastman House, which in the past has limited viewings of restorations to researchers, etc.

    Steve
     
  4. DouglasBr

    DouglasBr Stunt Coordinator

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    Not represented by any film series, but a beloved detective nonetheless, is G. K. Chesterton's Father Brown character. I'd like to see Columbia release The Detective with Alec Guinness as the priest/detective (along with Peter Finch and throaty Joan Greenwood).

    Also, the brief BBC Father Brown series starring Kenneth More (late '70s or early '80s) would be a welcome release (though admittedly not a "classic") as well.

    All in all, another excellent piece by Mr. Maxwell.
     
  5. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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  6. Roger Rollins

    Roger Rollins Supporting Actor

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    This is incorrect. MGM only has a license on the classic Samuel Goldwyn Productions. They don't own the films, they inherited a license to distribute them which expires shortly. Unless MGM renews their deal with the Goldwyn family trust, the rights to those Goldwyn films will have yet another home.
     
  7. DouglasBr

    DouglasBr Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the enlightenment, John. Now to find that player. . . . (or wait for R1?)
     
  8. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Reading over the posts about the changing rights of these films it's a wonder that any studio can keep track of what they own! I wouldn't be surprised if this type of confusion is the reason some films stay unreleased.

    I really wish all of these series belonged to Universal. Then you know you'd be getting affordable "franchise collections" by the barrel full [​IMG]

    Steve
     

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