HTF Members: Help a Gazette Reporter with his article

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    Hi. I am the arts and entertainment reporter for the
    Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.

    The "Why hasn't it been released on DVD" situation has
    improved a great deal the last few years, but there
    are still some strange gaps like "Eraserhead," "The
    Spirit of St. Louis," "Sergeant York," "A Face in the
    Crowd," "Night of the Iguana," "Top Hat," "Ninotchka,"
    "Swing Time," "Johnny Guitar," "Repulsion," "Ruby in
    Paradise," "Prospero's Books," "Metropolitan," "Sammy
    and Rosie Get Laid," "My Brilliant Career," "The Tango
    Lesson," "Gates of Heaven," "Reds," "The Grey Fox,"
    "She's Gotta Have It," "Au Revoir Les Enfants," "A
    Dry White Season," "Raise the Red Lantern," "High
    Hopes," "Household Saints," "Life is Sweet," "Monsieur
    Hire," "Paperhouse," "Santa Sangre," "El Topo,"
    "Siesta," and "Vincent and Theo" among others.

    Any insight into why any and all of these titles
    haven't made it to DVD yet? What are some of the
    issues involved? Is part of it that DVD as a
    technology wasn't part of some of the original
    contracts for obvious reasons?

    Thanks for your help.

    Steve Penhollow
    The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
  2. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

    Nov 15, 2004
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    The basement of the FBI building
    Actually Eraserhead is out but it's only available through since he owns the rights to the movie.
  3. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

    Sep 2, 2003
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    ^ correct.

    and wasn't Johnny Guitar scheduled or at least proposed for release in the near future?

    Studios own lots of movies, they eventually get put out. In the rare occassiont here are contending rights issues surrounding a title which places it's distribution license in limbo and therefore takes longer to prep for DVD. At the same time, digital restoration for classic films involves much time, effort and financing. There's only so much of each of those elements that can be devoted to different projects in a given time period.
  4. john mcfadden

    john mcfadden Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 11, 2003
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    What about "Howard the Duck ? or Harry and the Hendersons ??? or even Doctor Detroit ???

    Always about Classic cinema .....sigh..

    BTW I am serious ...!
  5. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

    Aug 2, 2001
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    • "A Face in the Crowd" is due out in the upcoming "Controversial Classics" boxset in May.
    • "Spirit of St. Louis", I mentioned at last year's Warner Chat and they said that it was being restored and as I recall was planned for sometime in 2005. (The real missing Billy Wilder title is "Ace in the Hole")
    • I believe that "Swing Time" & "Top Hat" are due in an Astaire/Rogers boxset that is rumored to be out by years end.
    • "Lust For Life" & "Night of the Iguana", I believe were both selections in the WB online voting poll. Neither of them were selected, but I believe WB said even the losers would make it to DVD in a fair amount of time, so I wouldn't count them out for this year either.
    • "Sergeant York" is a huge missing title from the Howard Hawks' cannon. I'm not sure what the status is for this one, but rest assured it will be on my shelf when it's released.
    • "Ninotchka" is rumored to be in a Greta Garbo boxset for her 100th birthday which is also believed to be scheduled for late this year or early next year.
  6. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator

    Oct 9, 2001
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    Rensselaer, NY

    As far as I'm concerned, 1973's "Best Picture" winner, The Sting has yet to be released on DVD since it has not been released in its original aspect ratio. It is the only "Best Picture" Winner of the last fifty years not to be presented on DVD in its proper form.

    Many of us here at the HTF cannot understand why Universal Studios won't release The Sting the way the filmmakers intended for it to be seen. If you are unaware, The Sting was shown in theaters in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio ("widescreen")...while released on DVD in 1.33:1 aspect ratio ('fullscreen").

    From the HTF Mission Statement:

    We the members of the forum are interested in the film product to be recorded and reproduced as closely as possible to the way the original creator(s) of that particular film intended. We respect the integrity of all artists involved in creating the original film as well as those who helped bringing the product to a form suited to be used in a home theater environment.
  7. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

    Aug 3, 2002
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    Eraserhead - David exclusive

    The Spirit of St. Louis - I imagine that it's being worked on

    Sergeant York - I haven't heard anything

    A Face in the Crowd - Coming soon

    Night of the Iguana - Warner have already made a transfer of this, so it is coming.

    Top Hat - Problems with elements?

    Johnny Guitar - Paramount own the Republic films now, and are carefully making safety negatives of each film, but haven't gotten around JG yet. Universal own the UK rights and are about to release the film bare-bones.

    Repulsion - The Koch version is OOP. The UK Anchor Bay disc is excellent and even contains the Criterion Laserdisc commentary with Deneuve and Polanksi.

    My Brilliant Career -

    Gates of Heaven - MGM boxed set of Morris has been delayed

    Reds - Paramount recently made a print from the newly retimed negative, presumably for a DVD release? I guess that getting Warren Beatty in to record interviews and commentaries is a hard task, though.

    Santa Sangre - Anchor Bay released an excellent 2-disc last year in the UK. Do they own the USA rights, too?

    El Topo - Alan Klein no longer holds exclusive rights, but no one is 100% certain who has picked up the DVD rights.

    Vincent and Theo - There is a UK edition. No word on a US edition.

    I hope I was of some help, Ron.
  8. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

    Dec 31, 2003
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    Real Name:

    Mr. Harris' column at the Bits contains some good news about "Sergeant York". Look for it in 2006.

  9. Jeff_CusBlues

    Jeff_CusBlues Supporting Actor

    Jun 19, 2004
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    As an aside, I'm not sure why Steve had to go through Ron to get his request posted, but as a Fort Wayne resident, I appreciate all the replies and hope this is research for a future article. I read Steve's column all the time and enjoy it. His latest Sunday column concerned the new Looney Tunes series Loonatics. He was less than complimentar, and expressed a lot of the same opinions as heard in this forum. Here is a link to Steve's article.

    Sorry to hijack the thread. I was just glad to see Steve consult this forum.
  10. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

    May 16, 2001
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    Georgia (the state)
    Real Name:
    Patrick McCart
    Lust for Life has appeared on Turner Classic Movies in remastered form... and it looks fantastic.

    Reds also appeared on Turner Classic Movies in remastered form. It had excellent image quality, too.

    By the way, the UCLA Film & Television Archive performed the restoration on A Face in the Crowd. From the original acetate camera negative and soundtrack negative, no less!

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