Paramount silents on DVD?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Matt Stieg, Jan 19, 2004.

  1. Matt Stieg

    Matt Stieg Stunt Coordinator

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    Any chance Paramount will release some of their silents on DVD in this year? The Docks of New York, The Last Command, and The Wedding March are just a few of the silent classics they've got in their vaults. It'd be great to see these make it to DVD some day.

    Running Wild with W. C. Fields would be nice too, thanks to Universal owning Fields' Paramount output there's a sore lack of Fields on DVD.
     
  2. TimJS

    TimJS Second Unit

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    There was speculation that Wings might make it to disc (assume it is still Paramount), but so far, no soap.

    Would imagine if Paramount can't/won't release this Oscar winner that release of the titles you mentioned is rather unlikely.

    Still, one hopes that all studios eventually realize the prestige value of these properties...I was once told Sunrise was a 'ridiculous pipe dream'.

    Tim
     
  3. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Paramount really ought to launch a line of "Paramount Silent Classics."

    ...or at least license the films to Kino or Film Preservation Associates.
     
  4. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Which are Paramounts BEST silent films?
     
  5. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    we knowe that Sunrise has been available for a year now in R1 via that infamous mail in offer while we Brits get the opportunity to purchase it next week in a 2 discer.

    I am very interested in Wings, so there is hope yet
     
  6. Matt Stieg

    Matt Stieg Stunt Coordinator

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    My top two picks would be The Docks of New York and The Last Command, both directed by Josef von Sternberg. They're still available on video for only $7 at amazon. I'd really love for at least Docks to make it to DVD because the print is absolutely BEAUTIFUL, would look fantastic on DVD.

    Also, The Wedding March, directed by von Stroheim is another good one.
     
  7. Derek_McL

    Derek_McL Second Unit

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    Yes Matt I'd love to see all of those too particularly the Von Stroheim one but I think I agree with Tim, its a long shot when they won't even release Wings which won the best Picture Oscar.

    Having said that there aren't that many classic talkies Paramount has the rights too that aren't already out there. Only possibly The African Queen and Ace in the Hole so maybe a Paramount silents' line might happen (I believe there was one on VHS in the US). Wings is the only one of the films mentioned above I've seen and its not one of my favourites : the flying scenes are great but the rest of it I found pretty boring.

    For those of you interested there are actually a number of Paramount silent titles already available on DVD mostly those from before 1923 which are now in the public domain.

    Joan The Woman (1916) : A Jesse Lasky production but it is listed in The Paramount Story as the studio's biggest production in its first year.

    Male and Female (1919) and The Affairs of Anatol (1921) Sex comedies with Gloria Swanson, directed by Cecil B. Demille. Manslaughter (1922) is also available in a double feature with The Cheat (1915). On the same subject pity the new SE of The Ten Commandments (1956) doesn't look like its going to include the 1923 version.

    John Barrymore's version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde(1920).

    Rudolph Valentino's The Sheik (1921)(in a double feature with Son of),Blood and Sand (1922) and Cobra (1925) are all Paramounts.

    Louise Brooks in The Show Off (1926) (once again in a double feature with another title), The Secret Game (1917)(WW1 Spy story on the World War I Films of the Silent Era disc) and finally Clara Bow's It (1927) (a Kino with a documentary on her life and a forthcoming Milestone which I believe is released in March having been delayed from November last year).

    A reasonable selection there reflecting Paramount's reputation as probably the pre-eminent studio during the bulk of the silent era (possibly until MGM came on the scene and got into its stride in the mid 20s) but of course we want more.
     
  8. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie

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    Remember that Paramount began life as Famous Players-Lasky Pictures, a credit that appears in the opening titles to Wings.
     
  9. TimJS

    TimJS Second Unit

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    Derek:

    I couldn't agree more. I remember thinking to be truly special, this needs to have the '23 version. It went from a must-buy to a 'do-I-have-money-burning-a-hole-in-my-wallet' purchase.

    Sure hope if WB decides to reissue a Special Edition of Ben-Hur that the '25 would make the cut.

    Tim
     
  10. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    Tim

    what is wrong with the current Ben Hur ?
     
  11. TimJS

    TimJS Second Unit

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    Oscar:

    For one thing, it doesn't have the '25 version[​IMG]

    What I meant to say, is that if WB should, for whatever reason, reissue the title, I hope that the '25 version is included.

    I'm not aware of any shortcomings in the version currently available, but that is no obstacle to a good marketing dept.

    Tim
     
  12. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    I see what you mean.

    WB could release the '25 on its own as well ?

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Derek_McL

    Derek_McL Second Unit

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    Yes it did but it was generally known as Paramount from quite early on,certainly from the outbreak of the Great War. The shorter name caught on with the public : Famous Players-Lasky was a bit of a mouthful. It was the merger of Jesse Lasky's picture company with Adolph Zukor's Famous Players in 1916 which created the company. The mountain symbol came quite early too : I believe the DVD of Valentino's Blood and Sand (1922) has it in the opening credits not quite in the way we remember but superimposed on a bullfighting cape.
     
  14. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    Hi

    I never knew the origin with Paramount so thanks for the info


    [​IMG]
     
  15. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    The 1925 Ben-Hur could make a 2-disc set by itself. WB could have the restored Photoplay version with the Carl Davis score. They could record a commentary with Rudy Behlmer, probably. The 2nd disc could contain the 1931 sound re-issue version, the trailer, the 1925 MGM studio tour, and the segments from "Hollywood" and the 1959 version's making-of documentary on this version of Ben-Hur.
     
  16. Matt Stieg

    Matt Stieg Stunt Coordinator

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    Speaking of the silent Ben-Hur, any other TCM Archives Collection releases coming out? I've heard something about 2 more Chaney releases, but I think they should do something else before another Chaney release just for variety. I'd like a Buster Keaton Collection with The Cameraman and Spite Marriage (it's high-time they were on DVD anyway, what with all of Keaton's silents now on DVD except those two) as well as maybe a few talkies or shorts that he directed or starred in (he directed three shorts in 1938 that are in the TCM vaults, "Hollywood Handicap," "Streamlined Swing," and "Life in Sometown, U.S.A.").
     
  17. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    The shorts would probably be a better idea. As far as I know, his talkies at MGM were pretty mediocre.

    However, a 2-disc set would make sense if WB got the DVD rights to "A Hard Act to Follow" from Photoplay Productions. Putting the two silents on disc 1 (along with the shorts and other materials) and the doc on the second would make another good set.
     
  18. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    Can you say, THE WIND? THE CROWD? THE BIG PARADE? Along with the aforementioned Keaton films and BEN HUR: A TALE OF THE CHRIST, Warner Bros/Turner have plenty of fodder for some great silent DVD releases. Hope the Chaplin and Chaney sets are selling well...
     
  19. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The majority of the Paramount silent films no longer exist.

    Of the more important titles no more than about thirty have survived; half that number in 35mm elements... and complete.

    RAH
     
  20. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    A KISS FOR CINDERELLA is reportedly a terrific film but it's never been released on video in any form. Apparently LOC had a pristine print but I don't know whether it has since deteriorated.
     

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