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Discussion in 'DVD' started by TimJS, Jul 30, 2003.
Up on DVDPlanet's site...
WB's Lon Chaney Collection
Mo money Mo money!
Not mentioned in DVDPlanet's summary, but it'll also include the London After Midnight reconstruction from Turner Classic Movies.
The Ace of Hearts, The Unknown, and Laugh Clown Laugh will also feature Michael F. Blake commentaries. The Unknown will have the Alloy Orchestra score while the other two will have the orchestral scores made for TCM.
If you're not much of a Chaney or silents fan, this is a wonderful way to start.
A real nice price too. These will be added to my library.
Worth the price alone just for the sensational Kevin Brownlow documentary. Brownlow's work is always excellent, but his Chaney bio-doc is insightful, fascinating, and quite moving. It has to be among Brownlow's very best work, and that's saying something.
I know Warner hinted at some silents being "upcoming" in their HTF chat, but I never expected something quite so substantial. Can't wait for this one!
Ah, fantastic! I'm glad these are still hitting in late October. I may have to break the bank in Monte Carlo (all dues to Lawrence of Arabia fans) to afford everything, but 2003 is proving a truly magnificent year for film enthusiasts.
Just pre-ordered this, sounds like a great DVD.
Just buying Warner DVDs alone (Looney Tunes, Bogart films, Giant Beast films...) I'm going to be broke when Christmas rolls along. I just hope my friends & relatives will understand.
If the documentary is among Kevin Brownlow's very best work then this set indeed will be worth it for that alone. Everything Mr Brownlow does concerning silent films seems to turn to gold.
Cover Art is up at DVDPlanet.
No mention of the LAM reconstruction...
There's been discussion on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection thread that Warner Bros. is unsure of that property, and strong sales are important in sending a strong message that we want more of the same. I hope consumers send a similar message with The Lon Chaney Collection, due the same day, as this set, if it sells well, will undoubtedly serve to encourage further silent commitments from this studio and others.
Together these sets should make perfect gifts, and I hope many are unwrapping both before year's end.
About LAM... Michael Blake mentioned on alt.movies.silent that the reconstruction would be there.
WB is probably refraining from putting it on the cover since movie buffs are VERY touchy about that film. Just putting "stills recreation" may not keep people from sending in angry complaints on why they were tricked.
I'll definitely be picking this set up.
Is it for certain that "London After Midnight" will be included? It seems odd that it wouldn't be mentioned on the cover. I definitely want that on DVD, but I wonder if WB is saving it for a Volume 2?
Also, is this the first DVD with TCM's backing? I hope they become involved with more DVDs.
i'm really concerned about this release.
not so much because i think WB will drop the ball- i don't.
it's just that, in this time frame, there is just an awful lot of highly anticipated and expensive material being released-
tons of box sets, summer blockbusters, etc.
i hope they have realistic expectations here, because i would hate for slow sales to translate into no more silent material.
Frankly, the Chaney material, apart from the upcoming Phantom, are not high on my list, but i hope to someday own a good copy of The Wind and Don Juan.
i also hope that they don't lump in early 30's pre-code material in with the silents in their mindset if the silents fail to take off ("obviously nobody wants really old stuff unless it has a really big star")
i may end up picking this up anyway out of curiosity, and because i'm really worried this will amount to the WB silent film equivilent of Fox and the Mary Tyler Moore Show.
but this fall is going to very, very expensive.
somethings got to give.
Chaney is one of the best selling silent actors however, mostly for his timeless portrails of extremely odd charactersl. Top that off with most baby boomers growing up reading about him in magazines like FAMOUS MONSTER OF FILMLAND, who will always remember his memorable monster makeups (although he only did a few legitimate horror roles).
Also on the slate is a restoration of Chaney's first film with Tod Browning, THE WICKED DARLING, which has a bit of nitrate decomp to have fixed. This is unofficial news, and it will NOT be Warner putting it out.
If this set does do well in the sales, which I'm sure it will, the next set will probably have THE UNHOLY THREE, HE WHO GETS SLAPPED and WEST OF ZANZIBAR.
I am extremely excited about this release. This is turning out to be one great year for silent film fans. This set, the Phantom 2-disc SE, and He Who Laughs are all must-buys for me. Now if they'd only announce Harold Lloyd on DVD...
THE UNHOLY THREE is a masterpiece. Quite possibly my favorite of all the Browning/Chaney collaberations. The 1930 sound version is interesting too, but just doesn't have the impact that that 1925 has.
All of the Non-MGM films that Chaney starred in that survive are PD. Those are By The Suns Rays, The Oublette, Dolly's Scoop, The Scarlet Car, The Wicked Darling, False Faces, Paid in Advance, When Bearcat When Dry, Victory, Nomads of the North, The Penalty, Outside the Law, The Trap, Flesh and Blood, The Light in the Dark (AKA Light of Faith), Oliver Twist, Shadows, The Shock, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Phantom of the Opera as well as most of the incomplete/fragmented pieces, although most of those belong to collectors who do God knows what with them.
I'm not sure what the case is with Ace of Hearts (actually a poor selection if I might say so in the Chaney set), since it's a film made in 1921, but apparently the Turner collection owns it.
Warner/Turner owns the following and has them in their posession:
He Who Gets Slapped, The Monster, The Unholy Three, The Blackbird, The Road to Mandalay (incomplete abridged version), Tell It to the Marines, Mr. Wu, The Unknown, Mockery, Laugh, Clown, Laugh, While the City Sleeps, West of Zanzibar, Where East is East, The Unholy Three.
WB still owns the rights to ALL of the MGM Chaneys. Everything else falls under PD.
WB actually DOES "own" The Penalty. It's the only other Goldwyn picture still existing (along with The Ace of Hearts).
I'm guessing that The Penalty became PD, which allowed Kino to do their DVD. Some have complained about Kino's score for The Penalty, so that would be a good chance for WB to commision another orchestral (or at least organ/piano) that is a little more conventional.
Since the other sets won't have much in terms of extras (unless they produce new documentaries), I think we could at least 3 more sets.
No US film released before 1923 is still under copyright, so Ace of Hearts and The Penalty should be PD.
Yes, tints, intertitles, scores and restorations all fall under copyright protection.
However, if you were to discover another print of say THE PENALTY or ACE OF HEARTS, you would probably be free to market it yourself.