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missing HAMLETS

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Joe Caps, Jan 19, 2019.

  1. Message #21 of 28 Feb 4, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
    PMF

    PMF Producer

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    To BD or not to BD?
    For many, the absence of this particular Hamlet remains a quizzical Criterion mystery.
    File Under: Olivier Twist.
     
    battlebeast likes this.
  2. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    I'm a big fan of this version as well. Nicol Williamson's may very well be my favorite on screen performance of Hamlet.
     
  3. battlebeast

    battlebeast Cinematographer

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    I’m watching HAMLET (1948) on TCM right now and it looks very good! Now I really
    Can’t understand why Criterion won’t release this on Blu.
     
  4. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I’ve said it before and I guess I’m saying it again - for any serious collector of physical media in 2019 and beyond, it’s just essential. As the market for physical media continues to fracture and decline, we’re going to continue to see more and more titles coming out on disc only here or there instead of everywhere. If you want to prolong your participation in the hobby of collecting physical media, a region free player is a must. I think the widespread release of catalog titles in physical media for Zone A could be a lot closer to the end than anyone here wants to imagine. Physical releases from places like the UK and Germany may give us another few years and I’m not going to close myself off to that.
     
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  5. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    One of two reasons, most likely: either they no longer have the rights to that title (or have DVD rights only), or the sales of the DVD edition were such that they do not believe that a Blu-ray edition would be profitable at this time.
     
  6. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    I thought Criterion would've released the Olivier Hamlet by now as well. It's a well known adaptation of the film and is a Best Picture and Best Actor winner.

    But studios seem a bit Shakespeare shy in general. Here are some of the more marketable adaptations that are still unreleased on Blu-ray in the US:

    Henry V (1944) directed by and starring Laurence Olivier
    Hamlet (1948) directed by and starring Laurence Olivier
    Julius Caesar (1953) with Marlon Brando, James Mason, John Gielgud
    The Taming of the Shrew (1967) with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton
    Romeo and Juliet (1968) directed by Franco Zeffirelli
    Hamlet (1990) with Mel Gibson, Glenn Close, Helena Bonham Carter, Ian Holm
    Othello (1995) with Laurence Fishburne and Kenneth Branagh
    Twelfth Night (1996) with Helena Bonham Carter, Toby Stephens, Ben Kingsley, Nigel Hawthorne, Richard E. Grant
    A Midsummer Night's Dream (1999) with Michelle Pfeiffer, Kevin Kline, Christian Bale and Stanley Tucci
    Love's Labour's Lost (2000) directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh
    The Merchant of Venice (2004) with Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons

    I imagine a few would do well with Twilight Time, Kino, or Olive. But it doesn't seem anyone cares. :(
     
  7. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    I believe Hallmark Hall of Fame was still shooting on videotape in 1970, so 480i is probably as good as it gets for that one.
     
  8. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I think it's not so much the Shakespeare connection in and of itself, and more that catalog titles basically aren't selling on disc anymore. The amount of money it could take to license one of those titles and then prepare it for a physical media release may exceed what said release could reasonably be expected to gross.
     

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