Charlie Chan in London

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Sergio A, Jul 24, 2004.

  1. Sergio A

    Sergio A Stunt Coordinator

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    I was curious to know if anyone has picked this up yet?

    Sadly it's by the same company that has released the fairly ghastly Rathbone Sherlock Holmes titles in the UK, so my hopes aren't high.

    I used to love watching the Charlie Chan films on BBC2 in the early evenings about 15(?) years ago and it would be nice to get hold of decent looking copies on disc - the chances of Fox releasing them in the US seem rather small sadly after the decision to pull the newly restored editions from transmission after complaints of racism, which seems a very extreme position to take, even if the title role IS played by a Caucasian - clearly unnaceptable now, but surely these films should be viewable within their proper context.

    Sergio
     
  2. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Hi Sergio,

    I noticed this disc also. On a couple of other forums I put out a question about the quality of Orbit Media. The general consensus was that they are a better than Alpha (a U.S. Public Domain company), but still not major studio qualiy. Orbit also put out Bob Hope's long MIA "Cat and the Canary" to somewhat mixed reviews.

    I was also told (but was unable to confirm this with Orbit themselves since I can't find contact info for them) that this is the first in a series of Chan discs that they are planning. MGM has just announced that the Chanthology set (with the later Monogram features) will be released in R2 this fall so perhaps the Chan market is being developed in the UK.

    Believe me, I would love nothing more than to give my dollars to Fox Home Entertainment for legitimate R1 DVDs. However, as you said, chances of this are non-existent because Fox has gone on the record as saying they have no intention of releasing the beautifully restored 35mm versions that they printed up several years ago. The also restored Peter Lorre Mr. Moto series is also being buried in the Fox vaults.

    Sergio, I'm sending you a PM on a related topic.

    Steve
     
  3. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    Yeah, FOX is too busy producing wholesome and socially redeeming stuff like "Trading Spouces" too bother with objectionable stuff like 70 year old Charlie Chan movies.[​IMG]
     
  4. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    A fellow Chan fan who is also a HTF member bought this DVD and gave it a thumbs down. Framing issues and plays with a slow motion effect when viewed on his region free player (none of his other DVDs do this). (Thanks to Tom Mantan D for sharing his thoughts on this.)

    All the more reason that Fox US should get with the program and release these films.

    Steve
     
  5. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    For what it's worth, Orbit Media has apparently done well enough with their intital Chan DVD to continue the series.

    So far "London" and "Paris" have been released with "Opera" (with Karloff) and "Circus" on deck to be released next month.

    I haven't seen cover art for the latter two releases, but the original two both used original poster art.


    Steve
     
  6. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    They seemed pretty expensive compared to other releases last I checked but I may try them. Alpha has a Mr. Moto DVD, better than nothing but not as good as the one I saw on cable a while back, I thought it was on TCM but it may have been FMC, it was Mr. Moto's Last Warning.
     
  7. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    Tory,

    I've not heard good things about the quality of the Orbit DVDs. They did not use the restored 35mm films that Fox owns (they apparently used beat up 16mm prints). To be honest, you'd be better off tracking down someone who DVD-R'd the FMC showings.

    Regarding Mr. Moto's Last Warning: that film is in the public domain. Fox restored this, along with the other 7 Moto films, but only showed one on FMC. This is really frustrating since good prints of the Motos are darn near impossible to find, even among collectors. The Moto that aired on FMC was miles better than any Moto had looked in decades. Sadly, we'll probably never see the restored versions of the others.

    Steve
     

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