Ideas for Warner-owned silent film/early sound DVDs

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Patrick McCart, Jun 6, 2002.

  1. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Since WB is currently has the most major studio silent films under copyright, why not make up some ideas for DVDs of them?

    Here's a few I came up with...

    The Lon Chaney Collection
    - The Unknown
    - HE Who Gets Slapped
    - The Unholy Three (1925)
    - The Unholy Three (1930) (with alternate ending)
    - London After Midnight: A Recreation (using stills and script excerpts, a "recreation" of this lost film)

    The Buster Keaton Collection
    - The Cameraman (restored version) with original score
    - Spite Marraige w. original score
    - Sidewalks of New York (a talkie, though)
    - Parlor, Bedroom, and Bath
    - Speak Easily
    - The Passionate Plumber
    - What! No Beer?
    (Note: Many of these aren't very long, so this may simply be a 2 or 3 disc set)

    Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
    - Restored full-length version w. Carl Davis score in PCM 2.0
    - 1931 sound version
    - Excerpt from the Ben-Hur documentary...only the first half which is about the silent version(s)
    - Art gallery
    - Excerpt from "Hollywood" about the film
    - Commentary by Rudy Behlmer

    The Big Parade
    - Restored version w. Carl Davis score in PCM 2.0
    - Commentary by Rudy Behlmer

    Greed
    - 4-hour reconstruction with Robert Israel score
    - 130 min. Kevin Brownlow restoration with Carl Davis score
    - Photo Gallery of lost scenes

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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  3. Scott Leopold

    Scott Leopold Supporting Actor

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    Patrick, those are some great choices. I'd love to have The Unknown and The Unholy Three on DVD. Of the Lon Chaney films I've seen, these two are my favorites--although I think anything with Lon Chaney is worth owning.

    I recorded Spite Marriage off TCM Sunday night. It's a very enjoyable film with great comedic sequences in it. I'd definitely buy this on DVD (I'm still waiting to buy the rest of the Keaton DVD's as soon as I've got the cash to spare). I've not seen the others, but would buy them simply on the grounds that they're Buster Keaton films.

    Ben Hur is another excellent choice for a DVD release. It's also another I recorded off TCM long ago. I enjoyed it easily as much as the Charleton Heston version.

    I've not seen Greed or the Big Parade, but would buy both based on the comments I've read here and elsewhere.

    The two Lon Chaney 2-packs are being worked on for Kino. I believe one of the Kino newsletters had all the details. I know none of the above films were included, but the only movie I can remember is The Shock. It'd be nice if the major studios would give the same credit to the silent films in their catalog as Kino & Image do the films they produce. Unfortunately, it appears as though the major studios don't view their silents or other older classics as being profitable (as seen by the absence of such films as Little Ceasar, Public Enemy, Scarface, The Jazz Singer, and pretty much all silents owned by the major studios). I remember reading in one article a short interview by the heads of one of the major studio's (forget which one) home video department. When asked about their silent catalog, he replied that they don't want to produce DVD copies because they're afraid they won't turn a profit. They won't turn them over to another company, such as Kino or Image, though, because they don't want to split the profits with them. The whole thing strikes me as a catch-22. Hopefully, they'll eventually realize there is an audience for these movies, and either produce them on their own, or allow other companies to do so. Either that, or the legislation being promoted by some in Hollywood in regards to films restored by the Library of Congress will eventually be passed. Basically, it states that the rights of any film restored by the Library of Congress will stay with the rights holder for a period of time (say 10 years), during which time they may do as they please with the movie. After that period has expired, since the restoration was done by the LOC, the film, and the high-quality restoration the LOC produced, will basically fall into the public domain. Anyone who wants to view, show it theatrically, or produce it for the home video market will be able to do so with the highest quality print available (although I think a minor stipulation of the bill would require Madacy to still seek out the crappiest prints around). This would encourage the studios to produce them while they could, and would guarantee the eventual availability of the films to the public. The LOC, by the way, restores more films than any other body, and does so at tax payer expense. They have done many high-quality restorations of both obscure films and classics (including Meet John Doe), that have fallen back under the control of the studios, and are currently just sitting in vaults, unavailable to the public.
     
  4. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I think the two Lon Chaney double feature DVDs are of films he made before going to MGM.

    Still, a great thing. The pre-MGM Chaneys made by Kino and Shepard look great.
     
  5. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    I'm not sure if Warner owns any of these titles. But I would love to see.
    John Ford Collection
    Any John Ford films that have survived the ravages of time. He made quite a few silents, but I don't know which ones in particular are the best besides "The Iron Horse" which is currently being prepared for DVD release.
    Howard Hawks Collection
    Hawks made about a half dozen silents including
    A Girl In Every Port
    The Cradle Snatchers
    Road To Glory
    Paid To Love
    Tod Browning Collection
    Many of his films were w/ Chaney, but almost all dealt w/ weird macabre subjects and I would love to see some of these films. I like the idea of the reconstructed "London after Midnight" and both versions of "The Unholy Three"
    Other possible compilations could be Greta Garbo, early Joan Crawford films.
     
  6. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    Catch 22 indeed Mr Leopold! A film sitting in a vault earns NOBODY any $$$. Maybe one day a light will go on & I'll have some faint understanding of that sort of corporate thinking.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    Let's not forget THE CROWD and THE WIND!! The laser transfers of these were too soft.
     
  8. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

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    What a waste of time talking about old films--and silent ones too! Who cares??????
    I DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Randy A Salas

    Randy A Salas Screenwriter

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  10. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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  11. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Since we're on the subject of silent films, is anyone else interested in seeing some Harold Lloyd films on DVD?
     
  12. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    There have been a few posts here that the Harold Lloyd films will be coming out next year.
    I would love to have The Wind, an outstanding film. Aside from Metropolis, it's my most wanted silent that isn't on DVD. The VHS had a short interview with Lilian Gish. Is that also on the LD?
     
  13. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    Yes, THE WIND was paired with THE CROWD for laser release. I wasn't happy with the picture quality - the transfers were too soft. Hope the eventual DVD will be sharper and have proper tinting.
     

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