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Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Dick, Dec 16, 2019.
Yep, that covers just about all of my wants from Warners.
Great list - I would add The Prince and the Showgirl, a proper release of Around the World in 80 Days, and The Devils (I know, I know but they could license it out - it's a great film that has aged well.)
Personally, I'm mainly for seeing a few more musicals, particularly at least one Fred Astaire (for the first time in nearly three years from WAC), more Gene Kelly, more Judy Garland, more Ginger Rogers (musical or non-musical, I don't care), and, later in the year, I wouldn't mind seeing some more of their Christmas movies (or any combination of any of these).
Feltenstein mentioned in the latest WAC podcast that there were going to be several MGM and Warners musicals released in 2020.
I too want DANGEROUSLY; it’s an Oscar winner and Linda Hint’s performance is amazing.
Yes! And DISRAELI!
TOP HAT! BROADWAY MELODY OF 1936! KITTY FOYLE! GAY DIVORCEE!
What great news! I'll now await each month's announcements with even greater anticipation!
My main wants are silents and theatrical animation, as well as Around the World in 80 Days '56.
I do think Top Hat is probably a priority and Criterion releasing Swing Time first has probably more to do with it surviving with subpar elements, even though I think it's a slightly better film.
I also hope to see more silents from WAC this year even if they're only released on DVD-r (I certainly wouldn't complain about blu-ray though). One area where WAC deserves some criticism is its policy (perhaps corporate mandated) not to allow any funds to be used to record scores for silents. I hope to see this policy rescinded so we can see some silents liberated from the vaults. We don't elaborate Carl Davis-like orchestral scores for everything. Economical piano and organ scores will more than suffice. Look at Kino's work with their licensed Paramount silents for an example.
I had heard that in the podcast, and I was definitely thrilled by it (as long as it doesn't mean they have a bunch of re-releases planned with only one or two new-to-blu title planned, as that is why I was a little disappointed this year, with only 2 new-to-blu musicals). However, I'm not thrilled by the fact they are just saying Warner and MGM, as that lets out the remaining RKO Astaire-Rogers films (but not their final MGM film The Barkleys Of Broadway), as those RKO films ARE my most wanted (although, especially given Warner's track record of releasing Fred Astaire musicals on Blu-ray, I'd be surprised to see more than one a year).
We can hope that Mr. Feltenstein wasn't being exhaustive. I remember in one podcast last year, he mentioned working on a highly requested 1930s title, and within several months we had three highly requested 1930s titles announced. I didn't mind the two additional films. I guess we'll see.
I can't imagine scores being too much of a problem since a lot of them are existing on TCM masters. Only a few had canned tracks from the 60s like He Who Gets Slapped and The Unholy Three, which really aren't that inappropriate. I do recall a version of Cleopatra shown on TCM with a fairly awful score and Love had a live score with too much audience noise.
Though, I'd say one of the more obvious projects should be WB and Shout! Factory working together on a Scream Factory box of Lon Chaney's surviving MGM films.
There are still a large number of existing silents (mostly MGM but some WB and even First National) in the WB archive that currently lack scores and thus haven't been aired on TCM or been released on home video. Stuff like "The Fair Coed," "Her Cardboard Lover," "While the City Sleeps," "Man, Woman, and Sin," "Upstage," "The Fire Brigade," "Annie Laurie," and the Dane and Arthur films just for starters. Remember, MGM was the best in the industry when it came to preserving its library. If we count just what MGM preserved from what was left in the studio vaults, we're talking about 120 or so films. Some additional titles have been recovered from non-studio sources, but for the sake of argument let's not consider those since archival relations can be quirky at times (case in point - the inability of Warner to acquire the surviving two-color material on "The Mysterious Island" from Italy). I think about fifty or so MGM silents have been put out through the WAC (). Of course, the elephant in the room are the big titles like "Greed," "The Wind," "The Crowd" and "The Student Prince of Old Heidelberg," which we all want to see in their Photoplay editions with the Carl Davis scores. However, that still leaves a large number of films waiting to be scored, and under the current situation we won't be seeing them anytime soon due to WB's cheapness. Again, Warner has done a tremendous amount of superlative work, but this is one area where the company should be criticized.
I know some have criticized the canned Gold-Key scores for films like "He Who Gets Slapped" and others, but I have always thought that they work well for the most part. I'd rather see the attention given to films lacking scores. When WB permitted money to be spent on scores years ago, TCM was able to commission the likes of Jon Mirsalis and Robert Israel to score various films. Then there was the TCM Young Film Composers contest. To be honest, I thought most of the scores coming from those young composers were awful (especially the score for "The Patsy"), but at least the contest allowed a few silents to be widely seen again.
One silent that I'm surprised hasn't been put out yet is "While the City Sleeps." It had a recorded sound on disc score, and the discs have survived with one complete set at UCLA. The film is missing one reel, but that didn't stop WB from putting out "Laugh, Clown, Laugh." Sort of puzzling why it hasn't been put out since it is one of the best that Chaney made at MGM.
Another silent from WB that exists is John Stahl"s wonderful film "Memory Lane." I saw this several years ago at Film Forum and have wanted to see it again ever since. It's a First National production from 1926 and lacks a pre-recorded
score but it certainly deserves a release.
Please get 77 Sunset Strip & Hawaiian Eye out. There is plenty of interest and enough people would buy them to more than offset the costs with the music clearance issues.
I have to be honest and confess that I've never heard of the film, but I would be happy to make a blind purchase of it should WAC ever release it.
Never released in ANY format: Where’s Charlie? with Ray Bolger. At this point I’d even buy it if it was released on VHS.
Hopefully these will include the two Astaire/Vera Ellen films - Three Little Words and The Belle of New York.