Possibility of Criterion or Special Edition of "Double Idemnity"?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Amy Mormino, May 24, 2004.

  1. Amy Mormino

    Amy Mormino Supporting Actor

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    I read that the previous summer bare-bones release of "Double Idemnity" was cancelled by Universal. Now, it could be for any number of reasons, but just maybe Universal is thinking of giving Criterion the rights. After all, the two have a good relationship ("Videodrome" is a Universal title getting a welcome Criterion treatment). Or perhaps Universal is working on its own special edition, though outside of the Monster titles, such a special edition for an older movie would be unusual for them.

    Anyhow, anyone have any information? This movie is one of my all-time faves and I'd love it if it got the deluxe treatment.
     
  2. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    We can only hope...

    ---
    So many films, so little time...
     
  3. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    that would be a dream come thru if that were to happen

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer

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    Every time I have asked about this, Criterion's rep always says as much it is a fav around there, they have not been given access to it.

    Also, Universal is re-releasing this film on DVD late this summer.

    If any film noir deserves an SE treatment, it would be this one, but I don't think it's happening.
     
  5. Michael Boyd

    Michael Boyd Second Unit

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    I think its cancelled.
     
  6. Amy Mormino

    Amy Mormino Supporting Actor

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    That's right. It was to be released, along with other noirs like "The Big Clock", this summer. But its not on the "Coming Soon" site for Universal anymore, which was what got me wondering if there's something in the works.
     
  7. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    If we're going to fantasize about a new dvd of Double Indemnity, then I'm going to fantasize that someone somewhere found the lost gas chamber ending and it's going to be made available on the new dvd. [​IMG]
     
  8. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

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    Indeed! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer

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    Well, the cancellation can only mean could things, I hope!


    Maybe it is time to ask Criterion about this title again!
    (It's been about 7 months since I last pestered them about it.)
     
  10. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    Well Universal have just released Spartacus in R2 with all the Criterion extras (and DTS sound!), so maybe they've done a swap!

    ---
    So many films, so little time...
     
  11. MatthewLouwrens

    MatthewLouwrens Producer

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    What lost gas chamber ending would that be?
     
  12. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    The originally shot ending of the film which shows Fred MacMurray being put to death while Edward G. Robinson watches.
     
  13. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Eric beat me to it. I have one book that actually has a still shot of the scene, so it was definitely filmed.
     
  14. rich_d

    rich_d Cinematographer

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    Please share with us the name of the book ...

    To my mind the only logical explanation for the pull is for a SE. As Universal has had a relationship with Criterion .... well I wouldn't bet the ranch but it certainly is quite possible.

    Well, we can hope ...
     
  15. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Actually it wasn't in the book I thought it was. It's in something called Entertainment Weekly The 100 Greatest Movies of All Time, which they put out back in 2000. It's more than a magazine, more like a paperback book, and surprisingly informative given the EW heritage. It's doubtful you could find it, but it might be in a library somewhere. If so, Double Indemnity is #50 on the list, on page 88 (picture on page 89). It shows Walter standing in the gas chamber surrounded by officials, with Keyes on the outside looking in, and looking sick to his stomach.
     
  16. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer

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    I wrote a short paper on Double Indemnity a little more than a year ago, and I think it was in the book that Cameron Crowe wrote that included a photo of the gas chamber scene.

    Granted, I checked out just about every Billy Wilder-centric book our library had, so I could be confused.

    If no one else posts it in the interim, I will try to hunt down that book in the next couple of weeks.
     
  17. Eric Paddon

    Eric Paddon Screenwriter

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    There's also a photo of the scene in the 1972 book "The Unkindest Cuts: The Scissors And The Cinema" by Doug McClelland, which is a fascinating early look at known scenes cut from movies in an era when there was no chance of ever seeing them again.
     
  18. ChristianB

    ChristianB Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm hearing fall 2004 for Double Indemnity: The Criterion Collection.

    Christian
     
  19. Craig S

    Craig S Producer

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    Source??? (and believe me, I hope you're right!)
     
  20. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    With respect to Criterion, the answer appears to be "No".

    In an email today from Criterion's Jon Mulvaney:
     

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