Image's Buster Keaton's discontinued?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rain, Aug 16, 2001.

  1. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    I'm not 100% sure of this, but it looks like Image may have discontinued some Keaton titles, including The General and Our Hospitality/Sherlock Jr. They don't seem to be listed as being available anywhere, including http://www.image-entertainment.com.
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  2. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    DVDPlanet shows both of these titles as being in stock, as well as the others in the Art of Buster Keaton series. The Chaplin discs are being discontinued next month; is that the source of some confusion?
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  3. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    Nope, that's not the source of confusion. As I said Image's own website shows none of the Keaton titles I mentioned. Some retailers may still have some in stock, but that doesn't mean much.
    What leads you to believe they are discontinuing the Chaplins. That seems foolish unless it's a rights issue. Those have got to be among Image's best sellers.
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    [Edited last by Rain on August 16, 2001 at 02:05 PM]
     
  4. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    If it's not too much trouble, could you list the titles you think are in danger? I only have three so far, and I've been taking it slow. Time to ramp it up if they're going away.
    And, which Chaplin DVDs are being eliminated? I haven't gotten around to getting those, either. If it's Gold Rush, I don't think I'll get it, anyway. I'd rather have the original cut.
     
  5. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    My understanding is that it affects the Chaplin-owned films, i.e., the features. The Essanays and Mutuals are public domain, I'm pretty sure. The First National shorts I'm less certain about. The license that disc producer David Shepard had from the Chaplin family for at least the features expires in September of this year. The family has now officially taken the position that in the future they will ONLY release the versions of the films that Chaplin re-edited in his dotage (the "daddy" versions). I know that this affects The Kid, Woman of Paris and King in New York very heavily (King in New York will lose about 20 minutes of footage), and most of the others to some extent or another. So if you're a Chaplin fan, buy them now or weep a year from now.
    My December, 2000 interview with Shepard, where he touches on these matters, is posted at Digitally Obsessed. The Chaplin family has since confirmed that they do not intend to release the restored versions in the future. Perhaps they're Warner executives...
    Sadly, the version of The Gold Rush on the Image discs is already the "daddy" cut, and thus will no doubt continue to be inflicted upon us.
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    [Edited last by Mark Zimmer on August 16, 2001 at 03:22 PM]
    [Edited last by Mark Zimmer on August 16, 2001 at 03:23 PM]
     
  6. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    Thanks for the info, Mark. In a mad dash of panic, I just picked up City Lights and Modern Times. The others I want are The Kid, Monsieur Verdoux, The Circus and maybe The Great Dictator. I may pick up The Gold Rush, but I don't like it any better than you that this is the "daddy" version.
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  7. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    If the family is only releasing the versions he altered later, is there any chance the Chaplin Revue will be released soon? I don't know what he altered as far as content, but at least they remained silent. Plus, the new scores were terrific.
    Okay, after doing a little research, I found the Chaplin Revue was essentially released, in the form of A First National Collection and The Kid/A Dog's Life.
    [Edited last by Greg_S_H on August 20, 2001 at 05:01 PM]
     
  8. Stu Rosen

    Stu Rosen Second Unit

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    I know about the different cuts, but why are the later cuts called the "Daddy" cuts?
     
  9. Jeff Adkins

    Jeff Adkins Screenwriter

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  10. Michael Boyd

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    The only Chaplin disc on Amazon I could find that had David Shepard's name on it was The Circus. Most of the others had negative reviews on the quality of the release. One even said it was a direct pirating of a print David Shepard had worked on.
    I had never heard of David Shepard until this post. Great articles.
    So I guess my question is what SHOULD I look for in a Chaplin DVD. The 4 disc set of City Lights, Great Dictator, Gold Rush and Modern Times got some pretty good reviews. Was this Shepards work?
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  11. Jarod M

    Jarod M Stunt Coordinator

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    Michael,
    If that set that you're referring to is from Image, then yes, those are the releases produced by David Shepard. I reviewed most of them for DVDFILE. They are solid though not spectacular releases. I felt the image quality could have been a little better-most of them are laserdisc rehashes, resulting in a somewhat soft picture. And in one case (Modern Times I think) excessive window-boxing was used. But I urge everyone to buy these Image releases while you still can.
     
  12. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    The Chaplin discs from Image Entertainment are all Shepard's work.
    They're called the "daddy" cuts because he made them in old age, when he had his children with Oona, and, no doubt, because the trust with the rights to the films benefits daddy's children.
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  13. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    I've now had the chance to take a look at the following Image titles:
    Buster Keaton
    The General
    Seven Chances
    Our Hospitality/Sherlock Jr.
    Charlie Chaplin
    Modern Times
    City Lights
    For those of you who are interested, I would highly recommend picking these up before they are all gone. They look terrific, certainly better than any theatrical prints I've ever seen.
    The windowboxing on City Lights and Modern Times is not as bad as I've been led to believe by some reviews.
    The colour sequence has been restored to Seven Chances and though it looks worn, it's still very cool to see. The General has a colour tint as it originally had and I've only ever seen it in straight B&W before.
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  14. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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  15. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    What happens when a title goes out of print? Do the stores keep their on-hand copies until they are sold, or do they pull them and send them back to the distributor? If the former, I think I'll be safe in proceeding somewhat slowly in completing my Keaton/Chaplin collections. If the latter, I better get a move on! [​IMG]
     
  16. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    I have noticed that stores around here tend to keep the items on the shelves until sold. However, they don't usually stay there long.
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    "People always clap for the wrong things." - J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
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    Please sign the online petition against Warner Brothers' recent non-OAR releases. Click here.
     
  17. Nathan_H

    Nathan_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Are the Keaton films going to be re-issued by someone else (perhaps in a different version, like the Chaplin)?
     
  18. Jacques

    Jacques Extra

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    A few months ago, I watched THE GOLD RUSH for the first time, with Chaplin's voice-over. Great, great film, but having him narrate the action onscreen felt quite weird. Now, I've just read about all of these other changes coming to some of his works, and I wonder if anyone can shed some light on why he felt that these alterations were necessary? In particular, I'd like to hear why he chose to narrate THE GOLD RUSH.
    I find myself in something of an ethical bind here... I always endeavor to support the director's vision, but in this case... I'm nonplussed. I'd really like to see the original version. Is this perhaps available in another region? Was this revisiting of the film an indulgence of his senility, perhaps? [​IMG]
     
  19. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    OK, here's the deal on the Keatons straight from Kino, via an email exchange I had with them this morning:
     
  20. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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