Long awaited classic DVDs such as EAST SIDE KIDS comedies available but at what cost?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Jul 31, 2003.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
    Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    47,670
    Likes Received:
    5,060
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    I hate to advertise or bring attention to a
    company that not only doesn't advertise with
    this forum, but even more concerning, I know
    very little about.

    I received a catalog from a company called
    OLDIES.COM. I was absolutely surprised
    that this company had DVD titles that I have
    been anxiously awaiting for one of the major studios
    to release.

    http://www.oldies.com

    What especially caught my eye were no less than
    14 EAST SIDE KIDS comedies being offered
    on DVD. You have any idea how many times posts
    went up in this forum over the past 6 years asking
    for the studios to release these titles?!

    Something seems to be real fishy about this
    operation, and I'll explain why right now....

    The company is offering these titles at $5.95
    each or 5 for $25. 5 DVD titles for $25?! Are
    you nuts?!

    In the back of my mind I can't help but think
    these are public domain titles that some company
    picked up, threw on DVD with absolutely no
    restoration work, and is pawning them off at
    the most attractive price it can.

    If you look through their COMEDY section I
    think you would be amazed at the stuff being
    offered here -- titles which I have never seen
    offered by any of the major studios.

    Are these bootlegs? If they are, the company
    has gone to great lengths to advertise their
    products. There are bundles of these catalogs
    being sent through the Postal Service.

    Would I feel safe ordering any of these titles?
    Absolutely not. But I am curious.

    Anyone have any experience dealing with this
    company? What do you think about the titles
    being offered here, and why do you think they
    are being offered for the first time on DVD at
    such an outrageously low price?

    Look forward to comments.
     
  2. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1998
    Messages:
    8,936
    Likes Received:
    347
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Real Name:
    Dennis
    They say the actual source is "Alpha Video" whoever they are. Alpha video DVD's are also available from http://800-buy-movies.com/studios/dvd-APH.htm . Alpha Video shows up enough on Google that I would guess they may be legit....

    Isn't it odd how many small time players are springing up? People are always amazed when I pull out my DVD set of James Burke's "Connections" - they never heard of the source, Ambrose Video www.ambrosevideo.com . And Connections for sure is legit.
     
  3. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    7,626
    Likes Received:
    1
  4. Rodney

    Rodney Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2001
    Messages:
    961
    Likes Received:
    320
    Ron:

    These are all public domain, and the quality varies. Most are not very good, and none have been restored from what I can tell.

    For more information on the serials they offer, check out Serial Squadron and go to the forum, they discuss them there.

    I am tempted to get the Junior G-Men set, since it is only $10.00. Remember, you get what you pay for.
     
  5. William Miller

    William Miller Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2000
    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    3
    Alpha is now releasing about 20 titles a month.

    They are all public domain titles or titles that Alpha seems to think or hope are public domain titles.

    The covers are great!

    The price is low!

    They are releasing many obscure titles!

    Now, if you want to actually watch any of them, that's another story.

    Restoration? Are you kidding? They grab any old thing they can. VHS tapes. Copies of VHS tapes. Copies of copies of VHS tapes. TV prints. Battered old 16mm prints. I keep buying them despite the poor quality. I just love old movies. But if they were priced any higher, I wouldn't buy any of them. This way, I only throw $5 down the toilet each time I buy one. Every once in a while, I watch one that is "not too bad". About 2 in 10. No, make that 1 in 10.

    Alpha could start a new trend in DVD collecting. People can buy them and look at the covers and trade them with each other. Sort of like expensive baseball cards. You really can't do anything with baseball cards except look at them. And that is my recommendation for these DVD's. Buy them...look at the packaging...file them away in your collection. But don't watch them. Then you will be happy.

    These are all very strange comments coming from someone that has over 200 Alpha DVD's in his collection.
     
  6. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2001
    Messages:
    13,063
    Likes Received:
    2
    I got burned a couple of times early on by Madacy. This sounds like it would be just as bad.
     
  7. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2002
    Messages:
    4,668
    Likes Received:
    4
    I bought a Bowery Boys, etc... DVD recently at Best Buy, 1 with Bela, and the quality was abysmal. Sub-VHS... Full of cuts, etc... wasn't worth the 5.95 I paid. Don't know the studio but I'll check.
     
  8. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
    Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    47,670
    Likes Received:
    5,060
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    One of the studios really needs to
    get The Bowery Boys out on DVD.
     
  9. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2001
    Messages:
    11,380
    Likes Received:
    38
    The items below are for sale in both Costco and Borders, which tends to lend an air of credibility to Alpha's right to sell what they are selling. I say "lends", because oftentimes even the legit retail chain buyers are fooled:

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]




    This is the nice way to describe it. William might be more accurate with his post. "Baseball cards"...I like that! [​IMG]
     
  10. John Sparks

    John Sparks Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2001
    Messages:
    1,302
    Likes Received:
    239
    Location:
    Menifee, CA
    Real Name:
    John Sparks
    Alpha puts out CRAP...period!!![​IMG]
     
  11. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1998
    Messages:
    8,936
    Likes Received:
    347
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Real Name:
    Dennis
    Looks like we're going through the whole alphabet with purveyors of crummy DVDs: Alpha, Delta..... too bad Madacy isn't a letter.....
     
  12. AlanBrom

    AlanBrom Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2003
    Messages:
    405
    Likes Received:
    0
  13. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2000
    Messages:
    3,647
    Likes Received:
    1,346
    All 48 Bowery Boys films retored on DVD is on the top of my dream list. Would be instant buys if they are released.
    East Side Kids are ok and I would buy them if they had better releases but The Bowery Boys is the cream of the Crop for these films IMHO.
     
  14. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
    Owner

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    47,670
    Likes Received:
    5,060
    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein
    Here's the question of all questions....

    What's the difference between the East Side
    Kids and The Bowery Boys?

    I thought they were one of the same team that
    comprised of Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall.

    Always thought they just went by both names, or,
    that the East Side Kids was an earlier name from
    around the time Angels With Dirty Faces was
    made.
     
  15. Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2000
    Messages:
    3,647
    Likes Received:
    1,346
    Ron
    The Dead End Kids, East Side Kids and The Bowery Boys all featured Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall. The main differences were:

    Dead End Kids(1936-1940): This is where they started as tough NYC/Brooklyn "type" Street Kids. As Dead End Kids they generally played it straight with a little comedy. They were part of major films starring Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney and Others such as "Angels with Dirty Faces". They made around 10 of these pictures

    East Side Kids(1940-1945): Monogram Studios signed the boys to new contracts and renamed them "The East Side Kids". Here they starred in a series of low budget films that took the melodrama of the Dead End Kids and mixed it with some Slapstick comedy. Sort of a 50/50 mix. There were a little over 20 of these pictures.

    Bowery Boys(1946-1958): Leo Gorcey and Monogram Pictures revamped and renamed the series. Leo Gorcey added his father Bernard Gorcey who played "Louie" the sweetshop owner to the mix. This is where they would always hang out. The series initially started out similar to the East Side Kids but quickly turned to Pure Slapstick Comedies. This format had the most success and ran the longest with 48 of these pictures.

    I left out many smaller details but this is the quickest way I could explain the differences. Hope this helps.
     
  16. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1998
    Messages:
    8,936
    Likes Received:
    347
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Real Name:
    Dennis
    Those guys played "kids" from 1936 through 1958??!!?? They were like in their 40's by the time they were through.
     
  17. AlanBrom

    AlanBrom Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2003
    Messages:
    405
    Likes Received:
    0
    All the actual "Bowery Boys" titles are owned by Warner Bros.
     
  18. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 1998
    Messages:
    30,410
    Likes Received:
    5,676
    Location:
    Michigan
    Real Name:
    Robert
    Actually, the "Dead End Kids" and the "East Side Kids" were from the lower east side of Manhattan not Brooklyn.

    Warner produced the "Dead End Kids" which starred Billy Halop along with Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Bobby Jordan, Gabriel Dell and Bernard Punsley.

    Monogram produced the "East Side Kids" starred Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Bobby Jordan, Gabriel Dell, Sunshine Sammy Morrison and David Gorcey.

    I'm a big fan of both series of films as well as the later series of films "The Bowery Boys".




    Crawdaddy
     
  19. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 1999
    Messages:
    1,958
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Real Name:
    Brian
    Oldies.com is the web site of the Collectables label. I can't vouch for the quality of their DVD releases, as I've never viewed any, but they are a very well-known music reissue label, concentrating on oldies, hence the web site name. They have put together some great CDs, things that have never been issued on CD elsewhere. They're a legit operation.

    However, I do think they are only distributing these DVDs -- I don't think they produce them themselves.
     

Share This Page