RAINTREE COUNTY on Blu?

Andrew Budgell

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I asked the Warner Archive on FB whether we'd get more Elizabeth from the Archive, and for an update on 'Raintree County,' This was their response:



More Liz from WAC? Sure thing... As for RAINTREE, the prospects are looking a bit more optimistic than they have in the recent past. Cross your fingers....
Here's hoping 'Raintree County' WILL be released on Blu-ray and not part of the Archive.

Cross your fingers, everyone!
 

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Thanks for the update. My fingers are definitely crossed for Raintree County. I've actually never seen it but I've heard enough about it to buy the Blu-ray as soon as it appears.
 

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Elizabeth Taylor retrospective, including a 3 hour 8 minute version of Raintree County:
http://criterioncast.com/2011/04/28/film-society-of-lincoln-center-hosting-elizabeth-the-golden-age-elizabeth-taylor-retrospective/#more-14439
It also says they will be playing a 4 hour version of Cleopatra.
I just noticed a listing for a Cleopatra film on IMDB starring Angalina Jolie and with David Fincher listed as director:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0914843/combined
If this goes ahead, I wouldn't be surprised if Fox release Cleopatra on Blu-ray around the same time in order to cash in.
 

Andrew Budgell

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I asked about RAINTREE COUNTY again on the Archive Facebook page, and this was their response:
WHV considering for the future, but certainly not any time soon. This will be a very costly undertaking.
So I guess nothing has really changed, but I live in hope! I'd also like to see NATIONAL VELVET released on Blu-ray, as well. Elizabeth Taylor is woefully underrepresented on Blu-ray. Only the documentary, "That's Entertainment!", which she participated in, has been released in North America, but of course "Cleopatra" has been released elsewhere, and will apparently be released here this year for its 50th Anniversary. Andy
 

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Elizabeth Taylor is most likely to appear on Blu-ray with A Place In The Sun, Butterfield 8 or Suddenly, Last Summer. Raintree County is of more interest to people who haven't seen it than to those who have. Nigel Patrick is the best thing in it.
 
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Mark-W

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Robin9 said:
Raintree County is of more interest to people who haven't seen it than to those who have. Nigel Patrick is the best thing in it.
It is of interest to Clift fans and also folks with some interest in his face-damaging car accident as it has shots with him before and after the accident, sometimes within in the same scene. Personally, I would love all three Taylor-Clift collaborations on Blu: Suddenly Last Summer , A Place in the Sun, and Raintree County.
 

Andrew Budgell

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Robin9 said:
Elizabeth Taylor is most likely to appear on Blu-ray with A Place In The Sun, Butterfield 8 or Suddenly, Last Summer. Raintree County is of more interest to people who haven't seen it than to those who have. Nigel Patrick is the best thing in it.
I'd love all of those films as well, but I'm really keeping my finger's crossed for "Raintree County", even if it does at times seem bleak. I've been asking WB about this title for years in HTF chats and now on Facebook. I think they had to try to locate a better print (I think that's what they told me in 2005 or 2006), and when they did, the market for classic film on home video had changed. It did win the 2012 HTF Most Wanted Catalog Title. Here's hoping they can find some way to make fans of this film (and those who want to see it for the first time) happy...
 

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Andrew Budgell said:
Here's hoping they can find some way to make fans of this film (and those who want to see it for the first time) happy...
I caught it on TCM last year and really enjoyed it. I think I remember reading (here or elsewhere) that they had also started some work on the bonus features some years ago, but that got halted as well. It would be really nice if they gave this movie the deluxe treatment a la Gone With The Wind's 2009 box set.
 

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Hi Albert! So glad that you enjoyed "Raintree County". Yes, I had posted almost 6 years ago that during the 50th Anniversary celebrations for the film (can't remember where they were) WB or TCM or someone had shot interviews with people who were extras on the film for future bonus material. I came across this interesting post this evening on Film Score Monthly's message board. I guess the reason the film is so problematic is because the full Roadshow Version doesn't exist anymore in 65mm. The 14 minutes or so that were cut out only exist in 35mm, which is why those scenes are so jarring and appear faded when we watch the restored Roadshow version on TCM. Here's a link to that thread (it's the fifth post down): http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?pageID=2&forumID=1&threadID=78870&archive=0
 

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The Warner Archive Collection just posted on their Facebook page the following about Raintree County on blu: "WHV considering for the future, but certainly not any time soon. This will be a very costly undertaking."
 

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PaulaJ said:
The Warner Archive Collection just posted on their Facebook page the following about Raintree County on blu: "WHV considering for the future, but certainly not any time soon. This will be a very costly undertaking."
Looks kinda bleak.
 

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Image Trends Inc, Cinerama Inc. and Dave Strohmaier did wonderful digital restorations of the three-panel Cinerama films. If they did the work on Raintree it would not "be a very costly undertaking". But, I don't think that will happen.
 

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RolandL said:
Image Trends Inc, Cinerama Inc. and Dave Strohmaier did wonderful digital restorations of the three-panel Cinerama films. If they did the work on Raintree it would not "be a very costly undertaking". But, I don't think that will happen.
Hi Roland! How would Image Trends/Cinerama/Strohmaier be able to do this less expensively, and why would WB not want to go that route?
PaulaJ said:
The Warner Archive Collection just posted on their Facebook page the following about Raintree County on blu: "WHV considering for the future, but certainly not any time soon. This will be a very costly undertaking."
Hi Paula! Yes, that was in response to my question which I posted above. :) I guess all we can do is keep our finger's crossed... I actually started a Facebook page last night petitioning its release. I know, I know, probably won't do much good, but if nothing else I'll be able to share some of the hundreds of rare photos my friend has allowed me to use from her collection. Here's the link...please hit the "like" button! :) http://facebook.com/RaintreeOnBlu
 

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Andrew Budgell said:
I actually started a Facebook page last night petitioning its release. I know, I know, probably won't do much good, but if nothing else I'll be able to share some of the hundreds of rare photos my friend has allowed me to use from her collection. Here's the link...please hit the "like" button! :) http://facebook.com/RaintreeOnBlu
Awesome, I just joined. I like the pictures of the previous home video releases.
 

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I just pulled my copy with a 1999 date and claims it is the reconstructed version with almost 15 minutes of film restored to the film as it looked in it's 1957 premiere engagements plus Operation Raintree documentary as a bonus. Hey I am huge fan of the movie and even have read the book. I also have both soundtracks that were put out on the film. Screen Archives has the latest which is great!! I wonder what this cost factor is? I have the latest VHS copy too. Is that the longer version because it did seem that I looked at scenes which I had not watched before. TCM now broadcasts in HD. The tapes I know do not look the greatest on my HD TV.
 

Andrew Budgell

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Thanks for liking the page, Albert! Glad you enjoyed that photo album chronicling the VHS and Laserdisc releases...it's fun seeing the cover art over the years! I've got hundreds of photos to add until WB finally releases this film on Blu-ray! :D Mark, I believe the 1999 WB VHS was the first time the entire film had been reconstructed on VHS. That's the version that TCM airs. The added 14-15 minutes of the film is very jarring compared to the rest of the film because it doesn't exist in 65mm like the rest of the film, so that's where the problem (and expense) is.
 

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Andrew Budgell said:
Hi Roland! How would Image Trends/Cinerama/Strohmaier be able to do this less expensively, and why would WB not want to go that route?
They scanned 65mm composite elements if I am not mistaken and Warner doesn't really work that way, they would want to go back to the camera negative for Raintree County. Quality is of course an issue, just compare what Warner got out of HTWWW to what the other Cinerama releases look like. The difference is huge but even more so the difference in budget. Raintree County deserves better than a stopgap solution release and hopefully the market for a special edition that could be marketed as first time in its original aspect ratio and on DVD/Blu-Ray should be significant. Add to that the resultant rights for airing this on HDTV later down the road and maybe in 4k when it finally comes around. By the way: I looked at your facebook face, makes me want to watch Raintree County again and it almost makes me want to go and get that MGM LD release except for the fact that it will not come remotely close to my screening of a 35mm Technicolor print about 2 years ago - I will need a Blu-Ray to get a more comparable viewing experience to that :D
 

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Hi Oliver! Thanks so much for the great information--I always learn so much here at the HTF. Sounds like if WB do go ahead with "Raintree County" in the future, it could yield some beautifully results if it's done correctly. Do you or anyone else here have any idea of approximately how much it would cost to restore "Raintree", and how many copies (minimum) WB would want it to sell to be worth their investment? I hope they see the value, like you said, in marketing it as the first time in its original ratio and for the first time on DVD/Blu-ray. Thanks so much for checking out the page! I really appreciate that! I missed a screening of "Raintree" at the Bell Lightbox in Toronto almost two years ago and am still kicking myself for that! Here's hoping we get our Blu-ray! :D Thanks again for the great response!
 
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Andrew Budgell said:
Hi Roland! How would Image Trends/Cinerama/Strohmaier be able to do this less expensively, and why would WB not want to go that route?
I don't know how. I was just talking to them at the Cinerama festival and they claimed they could have restored HTWWW for less and produced a higher quality image.
 

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