Double Indemnity - candidate for Criterion release ?

Deepak Shenoy

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jul 3, 1998
Messages
642
Let me start by saying that Double Indemnity: CC is just wishful thinking on my part at this point. I have not heard even a rumor that suggests that Criterion may be releasing this title. But why not ? It fits the "criteria" (pun intended) for being a Criterion release. It is a classic film-noir movie from 1944 that is owned by Universal. It is considered quite an important film (ranked #38 on the AFI Top 100 list). While Universal may be too busy releasing Ultimate Editions of their latest Mummy sequel or their latest gross-out teen comedy, they may not find a title like Double Indemnity commercially viable. Here is where Criterion could step in (taking advantage of the special licensing arrangement they seem to have with Universal - Sullivan's Travels and The Lady Eve which are classic movies from the same time period, are owned by Universal) and release a digitally remastered version of Double Indemnity (the previous release by Image was very poor in quality) along with whatever extras they could muster up. Whaddya say - Criterion ?
 

SteveGon

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Deepak, I like the way you think!

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He thought on homeland, the big timber, the air thin and chill all the year long. Tulip poplars so big through the trunk they put you in mind of locomotives set on end. He thought of getting home and building him a cabin on Cold Mountain so high that not a soul but the nighthawks passing across the clouds in autumn could hear his sad cry. Of living a life so quiet he would not need ears. And if Ada would go with him, there might be the hope, so far off in the distance he did not even really see it, that in time his despair might be honed off to a point so fine and thin that it would be nearly the same as vanishing.
-- Charles Frazier, Cold Mountain
 

Nate Anderson

Screenwriter
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I also like the way you think!
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"What if he honks in the car?"
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Bruce Morrison

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 16, 2001
Messages
543
I would definitely buy a Criterion edition of Double Indemnity if it ever happens. The existing DVD is worse than the old Universal laserdisc.
 

Randy_M

Supporting Actor
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Oct 25, 2000
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Peoria, AZ
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Randy
Yep, one of the greatest films ever made, IMHO...I'm glad to have the present version (beats my old off-tv VHS), but I'll take an improvement any day...
 

george kaplan

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Mar 14, 2001
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As long as we're engaging in wishful thinking, wouldn't it be amazing if they somehow found the lost footage of the gas chamber?

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13-time NBA world champion Lakers: 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1972, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988, 2000, 2001
 

streeter

Screenwriter
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May 24, 2001
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Michael
I'd buy Double Indemnity again as a Criterion Collection... but I'd rather see Universal do this title themselves, maybe with a new documentary or some other bonus features. It would be a shame to see a film as wonderful and important as Double Indemnity become another 'number' in the Criterion Collection.
 

Deepak Shenoy

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jul 3, 1998
Messages
642
Michael,
I don't understand your comment. So, what if it is a number in the Criterion Collection ? A lot of great classics such as The Third Man, Sullivan's Travels, Seven Samurai, Spartacus, etc have numbers assigned to them in the Criterion Collection. But they have all received top-notch treatment with the best picture and sound quality possible and in most cases the DVDs were packed with extras.
I can't say the same for Universal. One example is the Hitchcock classic Shadow of a Doubt. The documentary was nice (I have to give Universal credit in the extras department), but the picture and sound quality were pathetic (IMHO). The constant specks and dirt on the picture could have been easily cleaned up with the digital restoration software used by Criterion. Also, the soundtrack was interrupted in several places by some loud jarring sounds and had clicks and pops all over the place. I was sad to see Hitchcock's own personal favorite treated this way.
I do understand that the major studios cannot afford to lavish the proper attention on classic titles that do not sell much. In those cases, they should just license the titles to Criterion so that Criterion can give the titles the treatment they deserve, and sell the DVDs at a higher pricepoint (which I would be willing to pay).
 

Stefan Andersson

Second Unit
Joined
May 12, 2001
Messages
293
Dear Criterion/MCA,
I support the suggested new DOUBLE INDEMNITY DVD.
UCLA showed a restored print a few years ago.
Criterion: a good companion release would be the
Volker Schloendorff documentary on Mr. Wilder.
Also commentary with Mr. Wilder and/or C. Crowe.
 

Brook K

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2000
Messages
9,467
I would certainly purchase a Criterion release of this title.
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My DVD Collection
 

Jay E

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 30, 2000
Messages
2,483
The Image release of this film on DVD was a insult to this great film. It and "The Crying Game" are the only DVDs that I have returned due to poor presentation.
This film cries out for a Criterion or Universal special edition!
 

BradC

Grip
Joined
Jul 31, 2001
Messages
19
I would buy a Criterion version of this film in a heartbeat. However I would imagine that Universal plans on rereleasing this one themselves.
 

Darren D

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 23, 2001
Messages
51
I hope Criterion stays the hell away from this film and Universal does it. Criterion NEVER subtitle / CC their extras though they are quick to advertise that the film is "subtitled for the deaf and hard of hearing." For $30 and $40 a pop the deaf and HOH such as myself get screwed because for our money we only purchase the film, nothing else. Criterion didn't even take the time to respond to TWO polite inquiries I made about this.
I quit buying the things, and no one in my city rents them. I'm shit out of luck as far as their fine films go...a GREAT selection of flicks that have among them movies that I've wanted to see for years.[
]
 

Tom-G

Screenwriter
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Mar 31, 2000
Messages
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Location
Pittsburgh, PA
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Thomas
I just saw Double Indemnity at a used DVD store, but I didn't buy it because I wanted to do some research on it first (like price and possible re-release).
This film does deserve Criterion's attention. I'd love to see it issued. Is the current version out of print? How bad is the quality?
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As for the bad rap about the characters--hey, I've seen space operas that put their emphasis on human personalities and relationships. They're called "Star Trek" movies. Give me transparent underwater cities and vast hollow senatorial spheres any day. --Roger Ebert on The Phantom Menace
 

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