The absence of the Western Genre in the Criterion Collection

Dome Vongvises

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I love the Criterion Collection as much as the next guy, but can anybody explain the HUGE glaring omission of any movies from the Western genre? I was thinking about the vast variety of titles in the Criterion Collection when I stumbled upon this fact. What gives?
P.S. I hope I'm not wrong in this question

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Walter Kittel

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Hmmm. That is an interesting question. Even their Laser Disc catalog is remarkably bereft of titles from the Western genre, with
Bad Day at Black Rock
High Noon
Silverado
being the only entries ( I believe ).
- Walter.
 

Mitty

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Well, they do have a number of Kurosawa films, which are eastern westerns...'Easterns' if you will.
I think it may have something to do with the fact that the western, for the most part, is an American film phenomenon, and much of Criterion's library are world films; most of the American studios won't license to them anymore and the ones that do (Disney, Universal) don't have a lot of westerns in their vaults.
Or something like that.

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[Edited last by Mitty on October 08, 2001 at 02:18 AM]
 

Calvin Cullen

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The studios own the rights to the good independent and foreign westerns. Not that there are a lot of either. I wonder why Criterion hasn't tried to release some of the better public domain westerns, though.
 

Dome Vongvises

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Hmmm, that Criterion Collection chat is coming up on the 23rd of October. Maybe one of us can chime in on this fact. And for that matter, ask questions regarding the lack of animated (clay, cel, or otherwise) feature films as well.
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JasenP

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Dome, that's quite an observation. I would love Criterion to work their magic on MANY Western titles:
Once Upon A Time In The West
Stagecoach
The Searchers
The Wild Bunch (oooooooh!)
My Darling Clementine
The Shootist
The Paleface (Hey, it's a great Bob Hope comedy!)
...to name a few.
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Ken_McAlinden

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I've heard Criterion praised for having a nice variety of non-western films, but I never thought of it in this context before.
I would love if they could get access to the Republic catalog since Artisan really does not seem to care about it very much. I still think that Criterion's laserdisc of High Noon was the best version ever on video. The THX DVD looks and sounds somewhat overprocessed.
Since Criterion does not seem to be licensing titles from any of the major studios except Universal lately, most of the titles listed above would not be options. They may, however, have a shot at some pretty good James Stewart westerns such as Winchester '73, Bend of the River, Shenandoah, The Far Country, and Destry Rides Again.
Regards,
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Livonia, MI USA
[Edited last by Ken_McAlinden on October 09, 2001 at 08:54 AM]
 

JonZ

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Good idea, Westerns and Animation are missing from Criterions catalog-we should bring that up.
Especially animated films as they tend to make for great SE's with lots of production extras.
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Carlo Medina

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Basically, Westerns sell. The good ones, anyway. Thus studios are less likely to sell home video rights to successful titles, because they'd lose out on the revenue stream. Yes, Magnificent Seven is a remake of Seven Samurai. But I bet in the U.S., M7 has outsold Seven Samurai by a wide margin.
 

alan halvorson

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I can add a couple of fat chance titles that seem to be right up Criterion's alley:
[*]El Topo[*]The Holy Mountain

I say fat chance because these titles seem to be in rights hell - I doubt we'll ever see anything beyond the Japanese laser discs that are so hard, and expensive, to find.

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Ken_McAlinden

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But I bet in the U.S., M7 has outsold Seven Samurai by a wide margin.
Is that proof that "westerns sell" or that "discount priced Special Editions of Engish language films with iconic American movie stars sell".

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Ken McAlinden
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george kaplan

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Bad Day at Black Rock
I would disagree with this being a western (except in the sense that Mad Max is a western).
But sticking with the more traditional genre, I'd vote for:
Magnificent Seven
Man with no name Trilogy
High Noon
Butch Cassidy
Unforgiven
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