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Hitchcock in the thirties (1 Viewer)

george kaplan

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I'll just say that on the two best titles in that set: The 39 Steps and The Lady Vanishes, that it would be well worth it to spring for the criterion versions.
 

Patrick McCart

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Avoid!

It's a public domain set (How else would you get 12 movies for under 50 dollars?) and the quality is probably awful.

Criterion has editions of The Lady Vanishes and The 39 Steps, Kino has great Jamaica Inn, and Criterion has a few laserdiscs of others.

I'd wait...most public domain DVD's look like crap.
 

Lars Vermundsberget

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I've got one of the Criterions and the other one is arriving soon, so I think I see this the way you do :)
I will wait until there is some info on the quality. I understand that this is too cheap to be great, but I will consider buying the set if it happens to be better than awful...
 

Randy_M

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I own LaserLight editions of Young and Innocent, Sabotage, and The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), and these are perfectly acceptable. Sure, I would replace them if Criterion editions came out, but they are films I treasure, and will hang on to the PD verions for now...

Cheers
 

Robert Harris

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No matter what anyone tells you, these films are NOT in the public domain.

In purchasing the various "PD" versions, you are in contravention of both federal and international copyright treaties.

Authorities may track you down, come to your home (battering down your door) and remove the offending discs.

Seriously, those who purchase these discs not only help to promote piracy, but end up with rather offensive versions of film which were beautifully photographed.

Having seen the Criterion version of one of the films mentioned in this thread (in a hidef master), the difference is astounding -- leaving these pirated copies as just so much trash.

Do not support video pirates.

RAH
 

MartinTeller

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Robert, I trust that you, of all people, know what you're talking about... but how can this be? I see these in every single DVD store I walk into. How is it that they can get away with selling these and not pirated copies of, say, Boogie Nights?
 

Damin J Toell

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i know that in the case of those films originally released by Gainsborough (e.g., The Lady Vanishes), Carlton Films filed a "notice of intent to enforce a copyright restored under the Uruguay Round Agreements Act" in 1997. It's a rather tricky and technical topic, but, in general, foreign works that fell into the public domain the U.S. at some point are entitled to having their copyright restored, provided that the copyright owner follows the necessary steps. Presumably, Carlton Films assumed ownership of the Gainsborogh library at some point and sought to restore their American copyright. Apparently, however, they (and/or their legitimate American rights holders/licensees) have not worked very hard to enforce the renewed copyrights, as evidenced by the numerous bootleg versions available. Sadly, litigation may simply be too costly for them. However, I presume that Criterion has properly licensed all of their releases from legitimate American rights holders/licensees ( Rank Organisation, Gaumont, & ABC). If that's the case, it's yet another reason to go for the superior Criterion versions where available.
How is it that they can get away with selling these and not pirated copies of, say, Boogie Nights?
In the case of Boogie Nights, Warner has a lot of money and lawyers to scare off and stop bootleggers. The rights holders in the cases of the Hitchcock films, however, are likely much less well-off than Warner.
DJ
 

Lars Vermundsberget

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It turns out that this release has been delayed, so hardly anyone could be expected to have seen it at this moment.

BUT, when (or if) it becomes available, are you, Mr Harris, saying that amazon.com is offering an illegal product here?
 

Robert Harris

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"Are you, Mr Harris, saying that amazon.com is offering an illegal product here?"

Re: Mr. Vermundsberget's query...

I don't know the situation in Norway, or if Amazon has facilities there, but yes. Amazon sells illegal dvds in the United States. They may well not be aware of it. It should also be noted that most of the major chains and independents also sell illegal dvds. I've mentioned it to several people at Sam Goody and others. Generally the salesperson nods at me as if I'm an axe-murderer, waits until I'm out of sight and then smiles knowingly. Whew... another idiot customer. I don't believe that I can be clearer on this.

RAH
 

oscar_merkx

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Mr Harris

would you be able to tell me what exactly is a Public Domain film ?

also I wanted to sneak in a question about the 1927 Wings dvd that is supposed to come out in 2003 via Paramount in another thread that is being discussed at this very moment. Would you be involved with the production of this DVD and do a documentary on this film

Kind regards

Oscar Merkx
 

Bjorn Olav Nyberg

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I must say I am incredibly surprised by Robert Harris post... Personally I do agree pirated titles should be avoided, but I am astounded to hear that amazon sells pirated discs, or that a studio like Rhino would even release such material. Wouldn't these companies both take huge risks in doing so? Especially Rhino who I was of the impression they licenced just about everything they released? This can't be good for business if they do? But how are we to know which companies to trust if we can not even trust Amazon to sell legal titles?
 

Robert Harris

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I have nothing to do with any upcoming DVD of Wings.

However, I'm certain that Paramount will do a superb job with it, whenever it is released.

Re: Rhino -- two points.

1. I have no idea specifically what Hitchcock films they may have on their Hitch in the 30s set, therefore I cannot speak specifically about Rhino; Amazon gives no information with a running time of 999 minutes. There is nothing on Rhino's web site which gives a clue to what is on their new set. With a May release date, one will soon know.

2. I have not said that Rhino does not license their product. Some of their releases are public domain, for which they may well have licensed good elements or masters. Nothing wrong here.

In general, however, Laserlight, Ryko and others are way left of legal in their releases of Hitchcock titles.

While a few may still be in the public domain -- a very tricky issue which I will not get into here -- see your local copyright attorney -- films such as The 39 Steps, The Lady Vanishes, Young and Innocent, Sabotage, The Lodger, Secret Agent, The Man Who Knew Too Much and others are all under the protection of international copyright treaties.

RAH
 

Bjorn Olav Nyberg

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Just for reference, these are the included movies according to Amazon's web page:

Contains 12 features on 6 double-feature DVDs: "The 39 Steps/The Lady Vanishes," "Jamaica Inn/Rich and Strange," "Juno and the Paycock/Blackmail," "Murder!/The Lodger," "Secret Agent/Sabotage" and "Young and Innocent/The Man Who Knew Too Much."

I checked the Criterion DVD of The 39 steps, and it does indeed say that is was licensed. Somehow I had got the impression The 39 steps was public domain as well.
 

Dave Barth

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Just repeating what I read once here: sometimes you would want to license a film even when it is in the public domain, if the copyright holder had the best elements available or you otherwise wanted to secure their participation in the project.
 

Lars Vermundsberget

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I'm bringing up this old thread again with a slightly rephrased question:

Are there any good and legal versions of the following early Hitchcock titles available?

Blackmail

The Lodger

Sabotage
 

Danny_N

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Blackmail
There's a German DVD from Kinowelt/Arthaus available which reportedly is very good. It has both the sound and silent version of Blackmail and as an extra a screentest of Anny Ondra with Hitchcock. Of course this is R2 and PAL but seeing that you are from Norway that shouldn't be a problem.
 

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