Great Job, Warner on "Them!" DVD!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Robert Crawford, Aug 3, 2002.

  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I've been one of Warner's biggest critics on this forum about their DVD release policy, but I must commend them for doing a superb DVD presentation on one of the best sci-fi films produced in the 1950's, "Them!". This 1954 classic film details mankind's battle with giant radiation-mutated ants. The movie was originally scheduled to be filmed in color, but Jack Warner cut the budget once he found out how much money was spent in building the giant ant models used in the movie. However, some people involved with the film's production believed that black and white photography worked best for the movie because the ant models were beautifully made and their vibrant coloring might have made them less menacing, if filmed in color. Anyhow, the video presentation of "Them!" is gorgeous. Yes, black and white photography can be beautiful! Also, the mono soundtrack is very good.
    The dvd features the original trailer, still photographs of the movie, footage montage of certain scenes, as well as some information about other movies featuring mankind's battles with the insect world. It's too bad that both, James Arness and James Whitmore, the two male leads who are still with us, were not available for some audio commentary or at least their take on this classic film.
    Anyhow, Warner, we're still waiting on "The Thing From Another World" and countless other classic films you hold in your film library. I just hope you realized the true treasures you have in your possession and remember, the people that grew up watching those films from Hollywood's Golden Era aren't getting any younger. However, I must admit that the films you released lately on dvd from that era have been excellent presentations such as "Citizen Kane", "Now Voyager", "The Women", "Little Women", and "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon". Keep up the great work and if it's possible, give us more of them in larger quantities. By the way, we want all of "The Thin Man" movies on dvd and not just the first one.[​IMG]
    Crawdaddy
     
  2. Brad Vautrinot

    Brad Vautrinot Stunt Coordinator

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    Crawdaddy, I couldn't have said it better. Them! and The Thing From Another World are my absolute favorite Sci/Fi movies from the 50's and both hold up well today. I'm glad to hear that WB did right with Them! and I can now retire my LD. My LD of The Thing is the uncut release and one of my personal "treasures". I hope that WB will eventually release this classic in the original form with the appropriate extras.

    I have the Thin Man series on LD and these movies are among my top favorites. It will be a dream come true if all of them are released on DVD.

    My hat's off to Warner Brothers for their excellent releases of these older but much beloved movies. Excellent job!
     
  3. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Robert, thanks for the reminder - I forgot about Them! coming out.
    I'll third the request for more Thin Man titles. Keep 'em coming, Warner! [​IMG]
     
  4. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    Robert,
    Kudos for giving this release the attention it deserves. [​IMG] I'm glad Warner did a good job with the transfer. My copy should get to me by Monday. [​IMG]
    I'll always have a soft spot for vintage sci-fi/horror/fantasy films.
    As a youngster growing up in the dark ages before VCR's & Cable TV [​IMG] some of my fondest memories were catching these classics on the Saturday creature feature shows on Television. This probably put the "bug" in me early on to have a strong desire to have my own collection of films one day.
    I've said this before a while back and I'll say it again for those who've never seen THEM!:
    Watch THEM! and Cameron's Aliens back to back for an eye-opening double feature. Decide for yourself if its an homage, a blatant rip-off or completely coincidence. [​IMG]
    Obviously I agree 100%. [​IMG]
     
  5. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    looking forward to picking up Them, this week.
    i just hope the delay for Wolfen isn't a bad sign.

    i'll fourth the Nick & Nora love-fest in this thread.
    i'm very surprised that WB would release only the first movie like that.
    i thought for sure if they were just going to put out 1 Powell/Loy film to test the waters it would have been Libeled Lady.
    Then i would have expected a box set of the TM's soon afterward.
    here's hoping they catch on quick.
     
  6. Roger Rollins

    Roger Rollins Supporting Actor

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    THEM is one of my favorite sci-fi flix and I'm sure Warner has done their usual excellent job in bringing this to DVD. I can't wait for my copy to arrive. I too, am delighted that Warners has done such an astounding and impressive job in finaly opening up the doors to the 'classics vault' in the last 12 months, after too many years of ignoring the concept.

    But WHY must so many posts that acknowledge a specific studio's achievement (in this case WB) then turn into a"but why don't you" , or "why didn't you" complaint or plead? How about just saying "job well done" and acknowledge the achievement?

    You can bet that WB tried to get Arness and Whitmore to do a commentary, and you can also bet the actors (or their 'people') said "no", for whatever reasons. Maybe their age. Maybe money. Don't forget, that 'Arnold' not withstanding, the studios can't afford to, nor set the precedent, to pay people to do these things beyond a modest honorarium.


    I'm sure THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD will be released when WB finds source material suitable enough for DVD. Lest we forget the horrendous condition of the RKO film library. If they were to release the master currently on view via VHS and TCM, they would be pelted with rocks from many people, especially those who habituate these forums. Give them time.
    They know THE THING is an important film that will be a big seller.

    As to THE THIN MAN, of course a boxed set of all six films would be terrific, and make a great deal of sense. But even the "old" MGM/UA released the first title on LD several years before the whole box followed. If the first does well, let's hope the rest will follow.

    Regarding Mr. Scott's comment about LIBELED LADY, I couldn't agree more that this is a great, great film. But it is also a not-very-well-known film (undeservedly) beyond film buff circles. It deserves to be released, and in a deluxe treatment as the LD was. But surely one can recognize that the first THIN MAN film is undoubtedly more popular and marketable in this era when your average DVD buyer's idea of an "old classic movie" is...gulp...STAR WARS!
     
  7. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    And since we're speaking about genre-specific catalog titles under Warner's control, we might also mention Robert Wise's The Haunting again--thousands of true fans are waiting for that title.

    Alas, I screwed up when pre-ordering Them!, having lumped it with some releases coming out two weeks from now. So I must wait. Drat!

    But Crawdaddy's post tells me I have one helluva disc coming my way. I just love "atomic age" cautionary tales. After all, everybody in Los Angeles is aware of the damage that could be caused by giant, irradiated mutant ants. It's one of the many ongoing hazards we live with on a daily basis here.
     
  8. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    Warner recently restored this film just last year & released it on VHS only. [​IMG]
    I don't quite know the reasoning behind withholding a DVD release for this film unless the restoration job wasn't good. [​IMG]
    I haven't seen the the restored version so I'm unable to judge it for myself.
     
  9. Roger Rollins

    Roger Rollins Supporting Actor

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    The VHS of THE THING was not a restoration. It was a repackaging of the same master TCM had been showing. Not up to snuff for DVD.
     
  10. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Roger,
    Because I'm not you and how I communicate my thoughts and concerns about this subject matter is strictly my personal point of view.




    Crawdaddy
     
  11. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    Well whatever. The package does state "Digitally Re-mastered" and there was talk here last year that this was in fact restored by Warner.

    But seeing as how you've seen the VHS and I haven't then I'll take your word for it.
     
  12. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    But does this dvd contain the COLOR title?
     
  13. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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  14. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    Great, I'm glad they restored the color title!

    Actually THEM was going to be shot in color AND 3-D right up until a day or two before filming; then budget cuts resulted in flat/black and white. Too bad!
     
  15. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Well, maybe not too bad--see Crawdaddy's original post. In color, the ants might have inspired nothing more than a desire to pet the creatures rather than run like hell from them! [​IMG]
     
  16. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Robert, thanks for the positive review of this title. My copy of Them! is in transit, and I am really looking forward to seeing this old sci/fi classic again. I have very fond memories of Saturday afternoons watching this movie when growing up. It's good to hear that WB produced a fine transfer of this underrated gem.
     
  17. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Can't wait to get this classic as well.

     
  18. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    I don't think THEM would have been such an effective movie if shot in color. B&W when well shot, as it was in THEM, really makes a good scifi Horror story shine. I figure I'm going to have to go to an Etailer to get this title I'm sure Best Buy if they carry it will get one. The Thing is really in the upper eschelon of 50's Scifi, this along with The Day the Eart Stand Still, deserve 2 disk sets and the Royal Treatment
     
  19. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    I'm aware that it's a marketing gimmick as far as CD's are concerned.

    It's been a few years since I've paid any attention to VHS but I don't remember any covers labeled with the term "Digitally-Remastered". If they are labeling VHS this way then this is something that they must have started doing recently.
     
  20. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    To address an earlier issue in this thread, vis. the desire to bolster a positive notice with requests for more catalog titles from the studio:

    It should be noted that not only does Warner have its own vast back catalog to address, but the studio is also sitting on the pre-1986 catalog titles of MGM as well as that of RKO. So the grumbling about missing classics on DVD that another studio might already have released are well justified. Warner is sitting on hundreds of titles thousands upon thousands of enthusiasts would buy instantly.
     

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