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MGM:LISTEN GOOD:We're mad, mad, mad about It's a Mad,Mad, Mad, Mad World! (1 Viewer)

george kaplan

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2001
Messages
13,063
I think maybe I'll take all the money I won't be spending on MGM's subpar releases plus all the money I won't be spending on Warner's nonreleases, and invest in another laserdisc player so that if my current one ever breaks I can continue to watch my lds, including:
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World done right
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in widescreen
The Thin Man films
To Have & Have Not
etc., etc.
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"That audience - 12 to 19 year old pimply faced, mean spirited males - came, watched and went on to whatever god-awful other pursuits" USA Network CEO describing professional wrestling fans
 

Jeff Ulmer

Senior HTF Member
Deceased Member
Joined
Aug 23, 1998
Messages
5,582
While I've never seen the film, from all the hype here I would have bought it. However, I do feel that MGM should take the necessary time to release this (and all their other films) properly, using the best elements and all of them.
I hope you will reconsider your position on this title, as I know there are a lot of people upset by your current decision.
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Link Removed | Burt Lancaster is Link Removed | dOc
 

Arun Vajpey

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 18, 2001
Messages
51
I think it is important for us to keep this thread going on and on until MGM cannot fail to take notice. If anyone has other ideas on how to put more pressure on them, please post htem here. I have already mentioned this topic on other forums and called for support. Please do the same yourselves.
 

RAF

Senior HTF Member
Deceased Member
Joined
Jul 3, 1997
Messages
7,061
MGM still releases DVDs? I didn't realize that. I buy a lot of DVDs (that's an understatement) and, with the plethora of great titles coming from most of the other major studios, MGM isn't, in my estimation a major player any more.
Pity, because it wasn't too many years ago when the name of George Feltenstein was synonymous with quality home video.
Where have you gone George Feltenstein? (with apoplizes to Paul Simon)
wink.gif

I will not be purchasing any lackluster version of this title. Why should I? I have a perfectly good LD copy. Had the new title been the full version I would have been one of the first on line to acquire it.
Bad show.
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RAF
[Demented Video Dude since 1997]
[Computer Maven since 1956]
["PITA" since 1942]
Link Removed
 

Larry Gardner

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 1, 2000
Messages
163
George Kaplan:
The Thin Man Series - I have the LD boxset - what a treat indeed. The chemistry between Myrna Loy and William Powell is wonderful (like Spencer and Tracy).
Thank god I bought these when I did (as well as The Bette Davis collection).
I doubt we will ever see them on DVD (since they now belong to Warner Bros).
Robert Fowkes:
was synonymous with quality home video.
I wholeheartedly concur. When George Feltenstein's name appeared on a LD, it was like Fox's name appearing on a DVD today. I grabbed it up immediately. The That's Entertainment Anthology boxset was his greeatest achievement, I think (as well as the Gone With The Wind and Wizard of Oz LD boxsets).
It is too bad, but I had to stop purchasing MGM DVDs (until at least November). See my volunteer work takes me to senior citizens homes, I sometimes take my DVD films with me (I purchased a DVD player just for then). Since their TVs do not support closed captioning, and MGM doesn't support English subtitles, most of the films I would take cannot be watched by them. Of all studios, MGM has the most family fare movies in their library, and they canot be appreciated. Hopefully, this is going to change come November.
If MGM's philosophy is to release a bareboned release of IAMMMW now and a special edition later, I think they are economically shortsighted. People you will purchase this title are not going to be the average J6P, who do not understand the importance of this film (the best comedic talent Hollywood had to offer in it's heyday - vaudevillian, burlesque, stand-up comics - all in one film). They may purchase the bareboned version and forget about the SE - done the road.
Basically, they are splitting the revenues up - and I don't think that they would recoup their losses on creating a SE DVD for purchase later.
If they waited - what's the hurry anyway , we've waited this long - how many J6P have been screaming for this title - they could recoup any losses by having one DVD that would capture revenues from everyone.
Makes no sense at all. You would think that they would have learned a lesson from the Rocky boxset fiasco. I've hear that once the word got out - many people canceled their online purchases - and ordered just Rocky I. MGM was quite displeased with the results of the Rocky boxset results. It did nowhere their expectations (as I have read on dvdreview.com forum).
They are sure creating a name for themselves - MGM - from More Great Movies to Money Grabbing Movies.
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Peter M Fitzgerald

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 21, 1999
Messages
2,318
Real Name
Peter Fitzgerald
MGM,
I was looking forward to the IT'S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD DVD, but this approach you're taking with it, plus not following up on your promise to keep in touch with Ron Epstein about it, is both puzzling and disappointing. If all this new material is avaliable, with restoration experts more than willing to tackle the project, I'm at a loss as to why you wouldn't either:
a.) plan to incorporate all the material into a true "Special Edition", from the start
b.) postpone the release altogether, until such work could be done (certainly not an unknown practice, either on DVD, or earlier with some laserdisc releases)
c.) announce this as an initial release, with a super-duper edition waiting in the wings for patient fans (if you did this, I'm sure many fans would likely grab the lesser version as something to tide them over until the "super-deluxe" version hit store shelves)
d.) admit from the start that this release would be compromised, rather than giving Ron and others the runaround, getting their hopes up that this DVD would be something far more than it looks like it will ultimately be
I happen to be one of those fortunate enough to have the laserdisc box set, so the only advantage I'd see with a DVD containing the same material, would be an elimination of the laserdisc's side breaks. Not much of an inducement for me to trade up for the DVD edition, by itself. Less material (or the laserdisc's "roadshow" scenes separated from the main body of the film) than the laserdisc means no DVD sale, period.
I am a huge fan of Buster Keaton. If the newly-recovered footage (found after the laserdisc release, that you are apparently ignoring) includes more of his scene(s), and you incorporated it into the DVD (even if it is in somewhat rough condition), it would be a guaranteed purchase as far as I'm concerned. This goes for any other recovered footage, or new, substantial bonus material.
Unlike some others in this thread and elsewhere at HTF, I haven't entirely written you off as a company. I'm quite pleased with some of the DVD work you've done, particularly on the error-free James Bond films, and many of your AIP films, particularly X THE MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES, the DR. PHIBES films, and DILLINGER. There are several future MGM releases I'm looking forward to, and plan to buy (even pre-order).
But when it comes to "Special Edition" DVDs of high-profile MGM/UA catalog titles, frankly, it doesn't pay to be half-assed about it, once you've decided to take the SE route. This MAD WORLD release should be up there with your SE DVDs of THUNDERBALL and GOLDFINGER, especially since the newly-discovered material is yours for the taking (more or less), rather than, say, previous laserdisc edition material the hands of Criterion or Image, who wouldn't allow licensing it to you at all, or would charge too much $$$ for the privilege. Turning your back on something worthwhile that is offered to you is beyond my comprehension.
So, please, either postpone the IT'S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD DVD until it can truly be done right, or else endeavor to put out a proper SE DVD edition (incorporating the newly-found footage/materials) in the near future, after this initial, compromised release. Otherwise, you'll likely only succeed in alienating the very fans and customers you ostensibly want to attract, myself included.
Thank you for your time.
 

Arun Vajpey

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 18, 2001
Messages
51
Mr Fitzgerald,
I agree with most of your sentiments, except that given MGM's record with DVDs, I feel that once this "truncated version" of the DVD is released, too many non-connoisseurs may buy it up making MGM feel that it not worthwhile to make another longer disc. The film IS popular but at the same time an "oldie" from a young person's viewpoint. Whay is likely to happen if MGM go ahead and release this shorter version is that it will sell well enough without swamping the stalls. So, we are very likely to be left in a limbo situation where MGM have made a good profit on the DVD but not big enough to justify splashing out on an extended 'Roadshow' version. They may then decide to use the proceeds elsewhere.
Therefore, I think it is VITAL that we should keep up the pressure on them NOW.
 

Doug Bull

Advanced Member
Joined
May 7, 2001
Messages
1,544
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Real Name
Doug Bull
Hang your Head in Shame MGM.
It's obvious you don't understand the market place.
Time you pulled your head out of the Sand and started listening to the wants of the People.
You could start by employing somebody who understands Film.
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bob kaplan

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 5, 1999
Messages
766
Real Name
bob kaplan
i can only add my dissapointment. i guess too many of those that love movies have kicked the bucket at MGM.
 

Jimmy M

Second Unit
Joined
Feb 3, 2001
Messages
309
Short version: No roadshow, no sale.
Longer version: I have the boxed LD set, and if everything that is on this set were included on the DVD I would upgrade it. If the additional footage were included as well as restoration work done to it, it would become a "must buy and get as many people I know to buy one too" disc.
I can see no way that giving consumers the poorer version of a product can be viewed as an acceptable business practice.
Jimmy!
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"The way I live, kids would be redundant." - JMS
 

Scott Weinberg

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2000
Messages
7,477
Ditto to the overall mood. Why should I buy VHS quality product on DVD? I won't.
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Scott from Philly
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"Fatigue? I've been waiting for this my whole life...Fatigue is army clothes." --Allen Iverson, NBA Press Conf.
Go Sixers!
 

Arun Vajpey

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 18, 2001
Messages
51
Actually, the 2-tape VHS is the 185 minute 'roadshow version and has everything except the recently acquired, never-seen-before footage. Amazing then, that MGM are going back to stone age for the DVD!
 

Don Peskin

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Dec 31, 2000
Messages
189
I'm with you guys. Even though I spent almost $50 on the LD box-set, as soon as I saw this title I put it on my to-get list. Now it's off again. If I'm going to replace an LD it's to get something better, something more or at least even but no way less.
 
Joined
Jun 7, 1999
Messages
24
Wow, could MGM screw up it's public relations any more with this forum? I plan on actively telling people not to buy this disc, since the product is substandard and no care at all was put into creating this DVD. I hate the "quantity over quality" policy that MGM uses in regards to their product, and I will no longer be purchasing this disc. I will also be telling people in stores to wait for a re-release, since MGM will most likely put out the full roadshow version in another year or so, just to milk the cash cow a little more. We shouldn't have to waste our money on crap like this when there's a better version already out there.
 

Thomas B

Agent
Joined
Jan 7, 2000
Messages
45
This is absolutely AWFUL news on the DVD front! I have been waiting for the DVD release of this CLASSIC film for quite some time now, and to learn that this cut-down, diluted version will be released by MGM stirs DISGUST from my house. MGM has NO EXCUSE for this. This is, indeed, a FEEBLE effort on their part, and I shall NOT purchase this DVD, and will refrain from the purchase of any MGM products until I see a change in their logic along these lines. MGM, what a disappointment! Be ashamed. Very ashamed.
 

Arun Vajpey

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 18, 2001
Messages
51
Mr Epstein feels that MGM would have already started their replication of the shorter 154 minute version of "Mad World" DVD and so may not find it cost effective to go back and restart work on the 'Roadshow' version no matter how much pressure we put on them. But I just had a thought; what if we can persuade them to convert the work so as to aim for a 2-disc set similar to "Independence Day" with 2 complete movies ie the shorter version PLUS the 'Roadshow' one in the same package? That way, they would not be wasting the time and money spent so far on their cut down edition, although it will mean that the final product will be more expensive than originally announced and will take longer to come out. But I don't think any of us connoisseurs will object to that and the non-forum reading general public will be none the wiser anyway.
 

Greg_M

Screenwriter
Joined
Mar 23, 2000
Messages
1,189
I'm guessing a boycott on all MGM titles is the only (though probably impossible) way to show MGM/UA we are truly disgusted with their DVD output.
 

gregstaten

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 1, 1997
Messages
616
RAF:
George Feltenstein is alive and well and still in home video. He's over at Warner Bros. (at least he was last time I checked).
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Regarding MGM's moves with IAMMMMW, I'm frankly not very surprised. MGM has demonstrated time and time again that they don't "get it" like Fox, Paramount, Disney, Universal, New Line, Warner, and so on get it.
DVD is absolutely exploding. MGM representatives have been quoted many times that they see the growth of DVD has a major revenue opportunity. Sadly, it seems that the pinheads that make the decisions are more interested in maximizing pre-release profits by keeping their costs to the bare minimum required to get the release out the door. That means they recycle transfers that no other studio would waste their time with.
MGM needs to wake up and do some actual market research. As reported by Bill Hunt, Variety, and others, the studios that DO research (Disney and Fox, to use two recent examples) discover that extras, true restoration work, etc have a dramatic impact on sales (and therefore revenue).
If MGM management wasn't so focused on quarter-by-quarter numbers and rudimentary cost control, they'd realize far greater revenue than they are currently.
I keep hearing people say that MGM finally gets it. Though their releases do appear to be improving, this move demonstrates that they still don't get it. Perhaps the solution is to sack the entire Home Video management team. Obviously these folks would never make it at any other studio's home video department today. Maybe they'd be better off selling soap.
-greg
-greg
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Richard Stammer

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Aug 24, 1998
Messages
129
Location
Sarasota, Florida
Real Name
Richard
Just a note to add my voice to the outrage over the decision by the "suits" over at MGM regarding IAMMMMW which I WAS going to buy. I'm ready to join an organized boycott of this and all future MGM titles to send a message to MGM that their base fan support will not countenance this kind of treatment.
 

Arun Vajpey

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 18, 2001
Messages
51
I agree that an organised boycott of MGM DVDs over this and other issues would be difficult, but not impossible. The IAMMMMW topic is currently being discussed in the UK forums as well and there is a strong feeling there as well. I understand that MGM are rather heavily dependent upon their DVD market and the sales in the USA must far exeed those elsewhere. Moreover, in these days of chats and forums, consumers are not as cut off from the manufacturers as before. The problem though, is that only a small percentage of 'purists' like ourselves read forums like this one and the general public at large is unaware of their workings. My wife for instance, who likes IAMMMMAW very much, was totally unaware that there was a longer 'roadshow' version of the film. So, MGM are fully aware that protest as we might, there are thousands of non-forum members who will want to buy this DVD.
What we need is some form of organised boycott that can be extended to most buyers outside the forums. The only idea I can think of at the moment is to somehow involve as many ON-LINE DVD RETAILERS as possible in our protest. If they are supportive, we may just about hurt MGM enough, considering that a lot of DVDs are bought on-line.
But, as to how exactly we gain the on-line retailers' support, I have no idea. Perhaps one of the other forum members can come up with something.
 

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