More Warner Classics

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Douglas R, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    Davisdvd reports that Warner Bros are releasing some early all-black films on DVD next January, namely Cabin the Sky, The Green Pastures and Hallelujah, all with commentaries and extras. These are all, I think, rarely shown, and again demonstrate Warners continuing committment to making classic material available on DVD.
     
  2. Charles H

    Charles H Screenwriter

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    The release of these racially sensitive but historically important films by WB should be a model for other studios (Pay attention, Disney and let SONG OF THE SOUTH go free!). They have scholarly commentaries by Donald Bogle and Black artists from these periods (twenties, thirties, forties) that will frame HALLELUJAH!, THE GREEN PASTURES, and CABIN IN THE SKY in the correct context.

    Look to WB to show again how it should be done...
     
  3. Ken Koc

    Ken Koc Screenwriter

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    Very cool news.
    BTW are "Shoes of the Fisherman" and "Nuns Story" still coming in DEC? Any specs?
     
  4. Paul Borges

    Paul Borges Stunt Coordinator

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    Hallelujah!
     
  5. Richard M S

    Richard M S Supporting Actor

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    Wonderful, wonderful news. I have not seen the other 2 films, but I know they have historical value and I know Warners will produce the best available version of these films.

    But Cabin In The Sky is especially welcome, I just love this film. The amount of talent involved is amazing. It was a breakthrough film for many, most especially Vincente Minnelli and Lena Horne.

    Plus the tornado scene incorporates unused twister footage shot for The Wizard of Oz!

    Fox should now release Stormy Weather!
     
  6. AlanP

    AlanP Supporting Actor

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    Where is "ISLAND IN THE SUN" ???
     
  7. Charles H

    Charles H Screenwriter

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    While these Black classics are musically-based, I would hope WB gets around to releasing BRIGHT ROAD and THE WORLD, THE FLESH, AND THE DEVIL.
     
  8. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    I was waiting for these! I own The Green Pastures on VHS, and I'm confident Warner will bring out excellent DVD versions.


    Cees
     
  9. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    Can anyone please explain why WB is so liberal minded and accepting when it comes to controversial installmentsd in it's live action film catalogue, yet the potential for lesser offensive animated properties is continually treated as an ugly bastard stepchild? Even popular classics like Tom & Jerry have been utterly mishandeled on every DVD release to date, yet these more obscure and less subversive releases are backed thoroughly by the studio! How can this company be so amazing in one department, yet so blatantly double-sided and contradictory in another? It's baffling to me...
     
  10. Andrew Budgell

    Andrew Budgell Screenwriter

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    I believe its quite simple.

    The Tom and Jerry films are popular to a mass market of both adults and of course children.

    These early black films are going to be purchased by a niche market of collectors and film historians, who fully understand them based on the different times in which they were made.

    Andy
     
  11. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    I don't think that's true. These are being released on the Tuesday before the Martin Luther King, Jr holiday, so I have to believe Warner will be marketing them to the African American audience (in addition to other cinema lovers). The commentary tracks are by African American scholars and entertainers (including surviving stars of the films such as Lena Horne and Fayard Nicholas).

    This is a facinating project that clearly attempts to provide context for these films and not shy away from potential controversies.

    Bravo, Warner!
     
  12. Jaime_Weinman

    Jaime_Weinman Supporting Actor

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    The impression I get is that the animated catalog is sort of half in the hands of the classics department, and half in the hands of the "family entertainment" department. The Looney Tunes cartoons were restored with the intention of releasing them as kid-friendly discs, but George Feltenstein successfully lobbied to have them released in sets targeted to the adult collector. With Tom and Jerry, WB was planning to release complete chronological sets, but chickened out and settled for a purely kid-friendly (and cut) set.

    In other words, these films can get released because WB doesn't have to be talked out of considering them kiddie entertainment.
     
  13. David Grove

    David Grove Stunt Coordinator

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    Bring it on!

    DG
     
  14. ChrisPearson

    ChrisPearson Second Unit

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    Here's the full item from DavisDVD:


    That's it in a nutshell. I notice Warner's classics department doesn't have problem including non-PC cartoons like Bacall to Arms as extras on its LA features – its all a matter of context and attitude. If only animation were not handled by a separate department at Warners – it does a huge disservice to these classic films.

    But to return to topic: I applaud Warner's courage and sensitivity in releasing these vintage features in this manner. Its rare that one encounters a division of a large entertainment company as *intelligent* as this.
     
  15. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Excellent News regarding these classics![​IMG]





    Crawdaddy
     
  16. FrankXS

    FrankXS Stunt Coordinator

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    Great news on Cabin in the Sky, Green Pastures and Hallelujah......all worthy classics. What is the guess for the first box set of 2006 ? Could it be Classic Gangsters Vol 2 ? Warners has dangled so many tempting packages for us. Keep them coming George and company !!!!
     
  17. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    Peckinpah!
     
  18. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    That's still quite hyppocritical of WB if that's the case...


    I had Zip.ca'd "In Search Of Dr. Seuss" last week just to see what it was about. Completely painful to watch. Blatantly aimed at an audience of 5 year olds with absolutely over the top trite juvenile condescending nonsense that was clearly not suited for anyone above an elementary school grade level.

    Yet surprisingly enough, included as a bonus feature was one of the most stereotypical-ridden social and racialy controversial laden WWII propaganda SNAFU cartoons featuring every extreme ethnical caricature in the book from Japanese to German, Russian (well you get the idea... the entire axis!) along with boozing, smoking and partial nudity to boot!

    Now I'm perfectly fine with all this, it's by no means a complaint and I feel that as a society we are capable enough to determine what we can watch for ourselves and do not need such responsibilites passed to studios and ratings boards... but if WB is going to pretend like this is such a significant and crucial matter and single handedly censor and withhold certain classic films... how than can they go and pull somkething so double-sided?

    I guess this is pretty O-T so I'll end it here. I'm very happy about these releases and will be purchasing all on street date to support... btu WB should reconsider it's stance or perhaps department management in certain aspects because quality fluctuates greatly between these terrific classic films and the animated classics and it's not fair to consumers and supporters who are passionate about this stuff.

    That's all.
     
  19. MichaelScott

    MichaelScott Stunt Coordinator

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    why do people think they haven't released those classic cartoons because they are afraid to release them?I mean gheez there is a ton of WB cartoons classic or non-classic that haven't come out yet. Hell , I can't beleive they haven't released Pinky and the Brain yet. To be honest allot of those non PC oldies weren't that great..just because there classic or controversial doesn't make them good or funny or worth releasing.
     
  20. Richard M S

    Richard M S Supporting Actor

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    I am hoping their first box set is the long-awaited Esther Williams collection, but Lena Horne is a also nice way to start the year.
     

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