GREAT MOVIES from 1970-2000 still MIA on Blu-ray

Nick*Z

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There are, of course, a good many classic movies that remain MIA on Blu-ray. Whether out of studio shortsightedness or merely what is perceived as a lack of interest from the public, or further to the point of some costly restoration, certain never to yield the badly needed dollars in return to make them viable releases, a vast portion of Hollywood's legacy remains unseen, unloved and unknown by the public at large. As the years pass, the prospect of renewing interest in these deep catalog releases continues to dwindle, and that is a shame.

But the even greater curiosity here is how many superb movies from the 1970's and 90's still remain MIA on Blu-ray - movies that, ostensibly, require no great preservation/restoration effort to re-launch them in hi-def and deservedly need to be seen again on home video in Region 1. What follows is a list of the most perplexing omissions from 1970-2000. Why none of these have made it to hi-def is, frankly, beyond me. These are movies that I really cannot believe have not had their hi-def debut as yet.

A Touch of Class (1973) Glenda Jackson and George Segal make wonderfully flawed music together in this frank and funny rom/com with a lot to say about extra-marital relations. (Rights holder: Warner Bros.)

Save the Tiger (1973) Jack Lemmon won the Oscar for his wonderfully disillusioned aging decent man desperate to save his near-bankrupt clothing company. (Rights holder: Paramount)

Murder on the Orient Express (1974) - a fantastically faithful, all-star offering from dir. Sidney Lumet, and featuring a mesmerizing turn by Albert Finney as Agatha Christie's famed detective, Hercule Poirot, investigating the brutal murder of a man who had everything to hide. Only available in the UK on Blu. For shame! (Rights holder: Paramount).

The Turning Point (1977) Anne Bancroft and Shirley MacLaine are two women whose lives are slavishly devoted to ballet. Great performances, multiple Oscar-nods and no Blu. Go figure (Rights holder: Fox).

Death on the Nile (1978) another brilliant all-star send up to Agatha Christie's famed mystery novel with the superb Peter Ustinov reincarnating a very different Hercule Poirot to unravel the baffling murders taking place aboard an Egyptian luxury liner. Superbly scripted and brilliantly acted by all. And nowhere to be seen outside of the UK on Blu-ray (Rights holder: Paramount).

Ordinary People (1980) Mary Tyler Moore plays an emotionally remote matriarch after the death of her beloved son, and the near suicide of his younger sibling, given uncharacteristic ballast by Timothy Hutton. Stellar performances from Donald Sutherland and Judd Hirsch and an Oscar-winning Best Picture besides. And no Blu-ray?!?! Are we serious. Alas, yes. (Rights holder: Paramount)

The Elephant Man (1980) - Sir Anthony Hopkins gives a monumental performance is this retelling of the perilous existence of John Merrick, the deformed human who became an medical oddity rife for exploitation. So far, only a region B locked disc from Studio Canal (Rights holder: Paramount).

Rich and Famous (1981) Jacqueline Bisset and Candice Bergan recreate the roles first made famous by Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins in this remake of Old Acquaintance (1943, and also MIA on Blu) as feuding friends who find a common ground on which to love one another, despite their feuds. Great score by George Delerues and directed by George Cukor - his last. (Rights holder: Warner Bros.)

Six Weeks (1982) - Dudley Moore and Mary Tyler Moore are an aspiring politico and wealthy cosmetic exec respectively who band together to give the latter's dying daughter her one wish, to dance the Nutcracker in New York's prestigious production, before she dies. Three-hanky weepy with wonderful performances and NO Blu-ray, despite a gorgeous HD presentation available on Amazon Prime. For shame! (Rights holder: Universal).

My Favorite Year (1982) - Mark Lynn Baker discovers that his idol played by Peter O'Toole is a raging alcoholic who jeopardizes his future as a writer of early TV comedy skits. Wonderful performances by both men. (Rights holder: Warner Bros.)

After Hours (1985) the barely remembered Griffin Dunne suffers through a series of crazy mishaps on route from his meaningless job to the next day's grind, encountering one crazy after another, that reminds him why sometimes a dull life is preferred over...well. Scorsese directs and Dunne gives this one his all. (Rights holder: Warner Bros.)

Pretty in Pink (1986) - Molly Ringwald's career as the quintessential teen who finds perfect romance despite great adversities was a role model for many a girl in the 80's. To date, this one remains the only movie from that successful spate of projects never to find its way to Blu-ray. (Rights holder: Paramount).

Outrageous Fortune (1987) Bette Midler and Shelley Long have slept with the same guy. Then they discover he is a double agent for the KGB. A brazenly funny romp from New York to New Mexico. Nine years of ballet, [email protected]#$ole! Hilarious stuff! (Rights holder: Disney)

The Abyss (1989) Yeah, I know. Cameron has been promising us this one forever. And while rumors abound that the wait for this brilliant underwater adventure might finally be over, I presume we can all agree, it's been LONG overdue. (Rights holder: Fox)

Reversal of Fortune (1990) - Jeremy Irons gave a brilliant Oscar-winning performance opposite the late (and very great) Ron Silver, as messrs Claus von Bülow and law professor, Alan Dershowitz respectively, and a deconstruction of one of the most legendary trials in recent U.S. history. (Rights Holder: Warner Bros.)

True Lies (1994) one of Schwarzenegger's best actioners, with a hilarious performance by Jamie Lee Curtis - never made available on home video except in a non-anamorphic DVD, which is akin to offering us a 16mm print to watch on our 4K sets. Disgustingly delayed by Cameron's participation again - or lack thereof. Ugh! and can we please get on with it?!? (Rights holder: Fox)

Murial's Wedding (1994) - the marvelous Toni Collette came to international renown in this Australian-produced comedy about a wallflower who discovers what life is all about after her best friend is stricken with a grave illness. Wonderful, poignant and charming - and nowhere to be seen except in a badly bungled Region 2 offering. (Rights holder: Disney)

I love Trouble (1994) Julia Roberts and Nick Nolte are the Nick and Nora Charles of their generation in this light-hearted crime caper from the winning team of Charles Shyer and Nancy Myers. In 1997 it was announced officially that a director's cut would be forthcoming on LaserDisc. But then DVD took hold, all plans for a director's cut were ditched, and, to date, only the theatrical cut is available - in Europe, and region free, but looking dated and in need of a new video master. (Rights holder: Disney)

While You Were Sleeping (1995) - charming Christmas-themed rom/com with the ever-winsome Sandra Bullock as a slightly depressed single gal desperately pining for Peter Gallagher's young Turk, that is, until she meets his more gentle brother, played with immeasurable charm by Bill Pullman. (Rights holder: Disney)

Jane Austen's Emma (1996) Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam romantically spar to perfection in this charming big-screen retelling of Austen's grand romance, again, only available in a horrendously bungled Region B release. (Rights holder - Disney).

Extreme Measures (1996) Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker and Gene Hackman are embroiled in a harrowing thriller in which real human subjects are being used for highly experimental and unorthodox spinal surgeries. Brilliantly scripted and bone-chilling besides. (Rights Holder: Warner Bros.)

The First Wives Club (1996) - Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler and Diane Keaton are middle-age gals scorned by their philandering husbands, reunited by the death of a beloved friend. A huge rom/com hit with no Blu in sight. (Rights holder: Paramount)

In and Out (1997) Kevin Kline's gay school teacher is outed during the annual Oscar telecast by a former student, sending his small town and his heterosexual fiancee into a tizzy. Huge laughs and some great character parts for Debbie Reynolds and Bob Newhart. (Rights holder: Paramount)

Runaway Bride (1999) Julia Roberts is a winsome bride many times over who just cannot get herself to the altar in this warm-hearted charmer that co-stars her Pretty Woman hunk du jour, Richard Gere as an enterprising reporter who sets out to expose the truth, but winds up falling in love with her instead. (Rights holder: Paramount).

An Ideal Husband (1999) - a lavishly appointed retelling of Oscar Wilde's 1895 play, made at the tail end of Hollywood's rekindled fascination with 'period' drama and starring a luminous Minnie Driver and Cate Blanchet and handsome Rupert Everett in this lover's triangle with tragi-comedic results. (Rights holder: Disney).

Anna and the King (1999) Andy Tennant's retelling of Siam's most enigmatic ruler and the Brit-born school marm who tamed his heart co-stars Jodie Foster and Chow Yun-Fat, and features some of the most gorgeous recreations of vintage Siam ever put on the screen. Breathtaking spectacle and compelling drama besides. So, where is it on Blu-ray. Oh right - no where! For shame!!!! (Rights Holder: Fox/Disney)

What Women Want (2000) Mel Gibson plays a chauvinist who gets his due when a freak accident allows him to get inside the head of the fairer sex, resulting in a more intimate understanding of the one woman whose heart he desperately wants to conquer. Helen Hunt co-stars. (Rights holder: Paramount)
 
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atcolomb

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Last year I did watch my dvd's of Save the Tiger & Reversal of Fortune so a Blu-ray upgrade would be nice along with Catch 22 & Parallax View. Like to see one of my very few VHS movies that are not on dvd or Blu-ray yet UFOria (1985) have a disc release soon.
 

Billy Batson

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My little list would all be from the early seventies:

Start The Revolution Without Me (1970)
Catch-22 (1970)
The Devils (1971)
Pat Garrett & Billy The Kid (1973)
The Last of Sheila (1973)
Ah, looking at the post below & thinking about Sean Connery, The Molly Maguires (1970)
(two Paramount titles...not looking good!)

There's a few others, but those six titles are the: punch the air & say yes!
 
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Peter M Fitzgerald

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Matt Hough

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From the 1970s, I'm waiting for The Music Lovers, The Turning Point, and The Day of the Locust.

I gave up waiting for the Agatha Christie adaptations and imported mine from Sweden. The last time I checked, Amazon Prime had Murder on the Orient Express in HD free for streaming, and it looked wonderful.
 

Billy Batson

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I'm surprised we haven't had The Music Lovers yet, it's not like it's Paramount (MGM I think). Maybe this year, I hope the delay is because there's a nice new HD transfer coming down the line.
 
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Tino

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Many of these titles are available in HD from iTunes. I think I paid $4.99 for most of them.
 

Dick

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Murder on the Orient Express
(1974) - a fantastically faithful, all-star offering from dir. Sidney Lumet, and featuring a mesmerizing turn by Albert Finney as Agatha Christie's famed detective, Hercule Poirot, investigating the brutal murder of a man who had everything to hide. Only available in the UK on Blu. For shame! (Rights holder: Paramount).

Available in U.K.from Studio Canal:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Ori...ds=orient+express&qid=1558994891&s=dvd&sr=1-9

Death on the Nile (1978) another brilliant all-star send up to Agatha Christie's famed mystery novel with the superb Peter Ustinov reincarnating a very different Hercule Poirot to unravel the baffling murders taking place aboard an Egyptian luxury liner. Superbly scripted and brilliantly acted by all. And nowhere to be seen outside of the UK on Blu-ray (Rights holder: Paramount).

Available in U.K. from Studio Canal (as well as EVIL UNDER THE SUN):
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Death-Nile...BQAK6G9AKQD&psc=1&refRID=T3HWV6CQ5BQAK6G9AKQD

Ordinary People (1980) Mary Tyler Moore plays an emotionally remote matriarch after the death of her beloved son, and the near suicide of his younger sibling, given uncharacteristic ballast by Timothy Hutton. Stellar performances from Donald Sutherland and Judd Hirsch and an Oscar-winning Best Picture besides. And no Blu-ray?!?! Are we serious. Alas, yes. (Rights holder: Paramount)

This will probably never happen. I don't think Studio Canal has foreign rights to it.

The Elephant Man (1980) - Sir Anthony Hopkins gives a monumental performance is this retelling of the perilous existence of John Merrick, the deformed human who became an medical oddity rife for exploitation. So far, only a region B locked disc from Studio Canal (Rights holder: Paramount).
Available in U.K. from Studio Canal:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Elephant-M...ords=elephant+man&qid=1558995096&s=dvd&sr=1-1


My Favorite Year (1982) - Mark Lynn Baker discovers that his idol played by Peter O'Toole is a raging alcoholic who jeopardizes his future as a writer of early TV comedy skits. Wonderful performances by both men. (Rights holder: Warner Bros.)

C'mon, WAC!

The Falcon and the Snowman (1985) Sean Penn and Timothy Hutton are two 'business' men selling US military secrets to the Russians in this understated spy thriller with few equals (Rights holder: presumably, MGM from Orion)

Currently available from Kino in the U..S.
 

StarDestroyer52

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The Shootist(1976). Once again, thanks Paramount.
 
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Kyrsten Brad

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For this posting, I went thru my postings on the old Favourite XX Movies Not Yet On Blu-ray threads (70s, 80s, 90s) and extracted & updated some of the listings. Also added a few movies. I did notice when reading those threads that quite a few of the films listed by the various folks have made their way to Blu-ray which is in itself a very encouraging sign that we may yet get HD versions of the following films in one medium or another (Blu-ray, online streaming).

I'll add in Rights holding labels as long as the posting remains open for editing.
====================================================================================================

1970s

An Unmarried Woman (1978)
: From Wikipedia, “The perfect life of wealthy New York City wife Erica Benton (Jill Clayburgh) is shattered when her stockbroker husband Martin (Michael Murphy) leaves her for a younger woman. The film documents Erica's attempts at being single again, where she suffers confusion, sadness, and rag

Arnold (1974): From IMDB, "Upon his death, Arnold marries his lover, Karen, in spite of his widow, and leaves deathtraps accompanied by audiotapes and his preserved and articulate corpse for those who cared only for his money."
From Brad, This is a rather obscure 1974 dark comedy with a tinge of real horror which I saw at age 14. Overshadowed big time in that time frame by that other horror classic, The Exorcist. But as a teenager, you got major cool points for going to see it.
One thing that my then 14 year old brain couldn't miss, a major requirement for most of the female cast, big breasts with dizzying cleavage. (Rights held by the Bing Crosby Estate)

Black Hole, The (1979): Disney's big 1979 sci-fi effort trying to cash in on the sci-fi craze spearheaded by Star Wars. Definitely Disney's "darkest" film to that date and has carved out a niche among sci-fi film fans all of whom would love a Blu. A HD version is available on Amazon Instant Video, I'll have to check it out. (Rights: Disney)

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979): Series & TV movie has been released on Blu, available on Amazon UK but the original theatrical version is still only in SD. (Rights held by Universal).

California Dreaming (1979): From Wiki; "A young man named T.T. moves from Chicago to California for the summer. He quickly becomes adapted to the new pace of life, learning several lessons along the way."
From Brad: Saw this movie at the 29 Palms USMC theater in 1979. We sure did get a good look at the gorgeous Glynnis O'Connor (Ode to Billie Joe) but the real "depth" to the film came near the end when Seymour Cassel's character passed on during a beach volleyball game.
Rights held by American International Pictures or whomever holds AIPs film rights)

Chiorboys, The (1977): A forerunner to the zanier police drama/comedies such as Police Academy (1984), this film could be describe as a dark comedy/drama mashup. It has its lighter moments to be sure but overall a rather dark film.
From Wiki: Los Angeles police officers experiencing various pressures at work unwind at night with drunken get-togethers (a.k.a. "choir practice") at MacArthur Park, where their pranks often go too far: among those there are a retiring cop, a small number of young cops, a bigoted one and a Vietnam vet with panic disorder.
Rights held by Universal.

Golden Girl (1979): Featuring lovely California girl Susan Anton, the film was pretty much rendered obsolete by the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Which probably explains why it never got any home media release I know of. Rights held by StudioCanal (I think)>

Lady In Red (1979): A early post-Nancy Drew effort here (created by Roger Corman) from the lovely, and still lovely to this day Pamela Sue Martin. Pretty much a roaring 20s era gangster movie featuring Robert Conrad as John Dillinger. As with a lot of Roger Corman's work, plenty of female eye-candy (and not so female eye-candy as well in the prison inspection scene which might take the casual viewer by surprise) along with plenty of guns & action. Available on DVD but no Blu yet. Rights held by Disney thru recent acquisition of 21st Century Fox library.

Malibu Beach (1979): A sentimental favorite of mine here despite it having basically no plot, no depth of character and basically no real redeeming social value, save for muscle-head Dugan (Steve Oliver) finding love at the very end. Just lots of California teenagers having summer fun, need I say more. I'll say this though, Kim Lankford was really quite good in this movie considering the script they gave her. Oh and NEVER call Dugan a turd.
NOTE: a few scenes from this movie were actually lifted straight up and shown in the intro credits to the 1982 teen-party flick The Beach Girls, notably the bikini-stealing dog scenes.

Ode to Billie Joe (1976): This was a tear jerker for high school girls back in 1976. Going with my girlfriend to see it that summer, she made sure to cover my eyes when there might be some female nudity (I don't believe there was but it was close).

Pretty Baby (1978): Brooke Shields rookie role and quite a controversial one due mostly to (non-sexual) nudity on her part. That and the portrayal of her character's virginity being auctioned off. But this film was a very deep look into the New Orleans brothel scene in the early 20th century. Available on DVD but a well-produced Blu would do this film justice. Note that Brooke Shields next two movies (Wanda Nevada and The Blue Lagoon) are out on Blu, though in limited availability. Wanda Nevada is available from Germany and The Blue Lagoon is currently a Twilight Time release, now sold out. (I have all three movies, one DVD and two Blus).

Skatetown USA (1979) : The last remaining film from The Devil's Unholy Collection Of 70s-80s Disco Films Intended to Forever Destroy Mankind's Sense Of Good Taste not to be released on Blu-ray. My big favorite for a Blu-ray release, though none seems to be coming as of yet. Nor was there ever any home media release ever (no VHS, LD or DVD). Sony currently holds the rights. However Sony can't seem to do anything with it due to music rights issues, very BIG music rights issues as this movie really had lots of late 1970s hit songs in it. It would be worth the effort though just to see Patrick Swayze in his first major feature role (and in the skating competition, he destroys all comers doing his own skating). ( Rights held by Sony).


Star Wars (Original Theatrical Cut, 1977): There seems to be a lot of demand in the classic film fandom for the original Star Wars. I'm rather partial to the updated versions myself but would love to have the original on blu as well for comparison purposes. That and a well-transferred blu might show how some of those 70s era special effects were done. There have been some “fan-edit” versions produced, notably the Harmy Despecialized Edition, but no official release though we continue to have hope with the coming release of Star Wars, The Rise Of Skywalker this year. Rights held by ?? (DIsney or Fox?).


1980s


Star 80 (1983): The sad story of Dorothy Stratten, well done by Mariel Hemingway. Rights held by Warner Bros.

Personal Best (1982): Another Mariel Hemingway film but this one tells a real good LGBTQ story of young girls training for the 1980 Olympics (boycotted of course). Rights held by Warner Bros.

Big Bad Mama II (1987): This would make an excellent double dipper with the 1974 original Bad Bad Mama (available on Blu) . In the original, nude scenes by Angie Dickinson at age 40 basically put most Playboy centerfolds to shame. And don't forget the gorgeous centerfold Julie McCollough playing a gun-toting teenage girl. Danielle Brisbois (a young girl in the TV series All In The Family I believe) appears as well.

Last Married Couple in America (1980): A rather interesting story about marriage and how no one seems to stay together anymore. Richard Benjamin and Natalie Wood play the lead couple (note this was Natalie Wood’s last completed film before her untimely passing). Avaliable on DVD but the soundtrack was definitely altered due to music rights. Most notably missing the song To Be Real by Cheryl Lynn. Rights held by Universal.

Paradise (1982): A bit of a ripoff of The Blue Lagoon (1980) with a pirate adventure motif, this one featuring a (nude at times) Phoebe Cates.

Private School (1983): A nice follow up to Fast Times at Ridgemont High for Phoebe Cates (film not officially connected to FTARH) but she's big time overshadowed by the drop-dead beauty of Betsy Russell, " the finest example of bare-back riding I've ever seen". Available online and it looks like its in HD.

Three Men And a Baby (1987): This has got to be one of the most glaring omissions when it comes to Blu-ray releases as this was a big hit for Tom Selleck, Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg back then. This one looks to be stuck in Disney’s “Touchstone Jail” as I call it as many Touchstone titles are definitely missing from Blu-ray. Rights held by Disney


1990s


Three Men And a Little Lady (1990): The hoped-for sequel to Three Men And A Baby. A decent follow-up but seemed to be missing some of the charm of the original. Rights held by Disney

Captain Ron (1992): Now what ever happened to this fun Caribbean family adventure film? Apparently still in Disney Touchstone limbo. Rights held by Disney

Six Days, Seven Nights (1998): Harrison Ford & Anne Heche in a dandy South Pacific couple adventure. Ditto the Disney Touchstone limbo. Rights held by Disney.
 
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Tino

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Black Hole, The (1979): Disney's big 1979 sci-fi effort trying to cash in on the sci-fi craze spearheaded by Star Wars. Definitely Disney's "darkest" film to that date and has carved out a niche among sci-fi film fans all of whom would love a Blu. A HD version is available on Amazon Instant Video, I'll have to check it out. (Rights: Disney)
Also available to Purchase on iTunes and vudu. Looks and sounds great too.
 
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AnthonyClarke

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I'm always on the lookout for 'Sleuth' (1972) and 'The Last of Sheila' (1973 -- and of course, 'Local Hero' (1983). The absence of these it totally bewildering. And where is the 1978 comic musical 'Bugsy Malone'? At least that's on a very decent Region B disc.
 

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Don't want to hijack this thread, but Star Trek: The Motion Picture Special Edition (1979) has not been released in anything other than standard definition for its 2000 DVD release. There has been a lot of clamoring for it in several Star Trek threads both on HTF and several other boards, but apparently the digital elements used to finish the special effects were only done in SD. Who knows if they'll ever be rendered in HD?
 

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Just a few from my wish list. (Not sure how great they are, but I'd like to have them on disc.)

Dragonslayer (1981) - I haven't seen this in ages, but still have fond memories of seeing it theatrically so long ago. I recall being impressed with the dragon FX and still remember the cloud effects which (I believe) were a staple of ILM during this era. (I think this is available on Prime, but I haven't taken a look at it on that platform.)

The Keep (1983) - I'm pretty sure this will never, ever be released, but I suppose I can list it yet again in a wish list thread. :) As I recall, I tried to watch this on Prime and it was a horrendous 4:3 version that was alive with motion artifacts and might have been one of the worst streamed videos I've ever experienced. Has it been replaced with a better version, assuming it is still on that platform? I have no idea.

I like some of the other choices already mentioned in this thread and am really surprised they haven't made their way to Blu-Ray.

While streaming options may exist for some of these titles; the subject line of the thread specifies Blu-Ray and that remains my preferred viewing option.

- Walter.
 

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