Stairway to Heaven

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Fred_C, Oct 23, 2001.

  1. Fred_C

    Fred_C Agent

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    Anyone know if this is coming to dvd? I'm referring to the one with David Niven (quite old), and I'm not sure which studio has the rights to this.
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    Fred
     
  2. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    This is currently owned by Columbia.
    The correct title (under which it will likely be
    released) is that of the original version --
    A Matter of Life and Death.
    RAH
     
  3. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    I read an internet news article, earlier this year, that went into detail about Sony/Columbia working with Carlton (the film's current owner in the UK) to restore A MATTER OF LIFE & DEATH, beyond what was done a few years ago for earlier video and theatrical play. I believe it involved actually importing the film's negative to Hollywood to work on it, and the input of the film's cinematographer, Jack Cardiff, in the project. I'm not sure if this was a video restoration, ala NORTH BY NORTHWEST, or a true film restoration. It raised my hopes of a fine Region 1 "Special Edition" DVD release (I realize it's been out on Region 2 DVD, but the article indicated that the restoration will make it look even better than that version), but I haven't heard anything about it since.
    Forgive me if I'm getting any of this wrong, as my recall of the article's details are fuzzy. Think I'll do a search for the story, if it's still around. I remember it as being a "hard news" piece, rather than "Ain't It Cool News"-style rumor-mongering.
     
  4. Derek M Germano

    Derek M Germano Second Unit

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    I was fortunate to see A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH when the restored print played in New York City a few years back. The film looked nice, but I'm glad to hear that further work is being done on it. Hopefully, Columbia TriStar will release the end results on DVD (sometime soon).
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    Derek M. Germano
    THE CINEMA LASER
    DVD reviews, news and more...
    www.thecinemalaser.com
    [Edited last by Derek M Germano on October 23, 2001 at 06:43 PM]
     
  5. Fred_C

    Fred_C Agent

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    Does anyone know if Columbia is planning on releasing this?

    Thanks.
     
  6. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    Sorry for not posting about this sooner, but a month or so ago I found the link to the article I describe above, but the article is unfortunately no longer available on the American Cinematographer website (not even archived, as far as I could determine). It was actually from October 2000, rather than early 2001. Perhaps Columbia will give it a DVD release in 2002, since Sony/Columbia Tristar apparently sank quite a bit of $$$ into the restoration project. Not that I've heard anything more about it since reading the web article. [​IMG]
     
  7. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Given Columbia's track record with older releases (His Girl Friday, Lost Horizon, It Happened One Night, etc.), I'm sure AMoLaD will be a fine release. When they release it...
     
  8. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    Since this film is being dicussed in another thread,

    I thought I would revive it, along with some info

    Peter F posted in another thread in response to

    one of my queeries:

    Mark,

    Though A MATTER OF LIFE & DEATH was originally released to American theaters in 1946 by Universal, the current home video rights belong to Sony/Columbia Tristar. I believe this is due to a musical remake that Columbia had planned for Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta in the early 1980s, that never got off the ground (my stomach is eternally grateful for this). Columbia bought the rights to the film then, and have retained those rights to the present day, even though the remake was never done. There was a low-profile "Columbia Classics" VHS release of the film a few years ago, and the last TV broadcasts I saw, on BRAVO around that same time, sported a modern-style "Sony/Columbia Tristar TV Distribution" logo.

    There was an internet article written exactly a year ago, from the cinematographer.com website, on an extensive & costly restoration of A MATTER OF LIFE & DEATH by Sony (the article was an interview with Sony's Grover Crisp, centered on this film's restoration, which also involved the film's cinematographer, the great Jack Cardiff), but the website's archives don't go back that far now. I've heard nothing about it since, but from what I remember of the article/interview, it seemed likely that such an effort was done with home video/DVD in mind. Unless Columbia is forging a new DVD licensing relationship with Criterion, I'd expect Columbia to release A MATTER OF LIFE & DEATH on DVD themselves.

    Mark
     
  9. Rain

    Rain Producer

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  10. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    I cannot imagine Columbia-TriStar investing all that money

    in the film's restoration if we were not going to get a

    DVD release of it in the future.

    But, I will be more than happy to add my name to the

    list of people in the studio feedback thread.

    Mark
     
  11. Fred_C

    Fred_C Agent

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    Any new word on this?
     
  12. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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