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Discussion in 'DVD' started by MarcoBiscotti, Dec 22, 2007.
Dear Warner Bros. -- How's about a DVD release in the new year, please?
Marco: That's a great suggestion. Another great John Sturges western "Escape From Fort Bravo" is also long overdue for a DVD release.
However, the impression that many of us have is that the "powers that be" at Warners apparently don't have much regard for either the westerrn film genre or Robert Taylor. In the recent past Warners has done a wonderful job with other genres such as Film Noir, Gangster films, and Adventure films, but westerns have been treated as a poor relation.
Warners has more outstanding westerns in its library than all the other companies combined, yet in 2007 Warners released zero classic westerns from the golden age of Hollywood.
Robert Taylor was MGM's most bankable star in the 1940's and 1950's, yet only a miniscule number of his films have been released by Warners who control the MGM library. There are enough oustanding unreleased Robert Taylor films in Warners library for 3 or 4 good box sets. Apparently, the folks at Warners must think that Robert Taylor films and western genre films are unmarketable in today's world. However, I think the quality of many of these films is so high that I believe that they would be pleasantly surprised with the results if they made a genuine effort to release and market these films.
c Jim Bur
I think 2008 might be quite different in that regard.
Let's hope so Crawdaddy!
I've my expectations set high and your "speculations" have me eagerly awaiting announcements in the new year!!
Still no WATERLOO BRIDGE (1940)? To my way of thinking, it remains the most important MGM holding yet to be released....
It depends on how you define "most important"? IMO, I think "The Big House" or "Greed" are of the same importance as it pertains to film history. Anyhow, it is certainly debatable as other films can be classify as such too, but I expect this title to get a dvd release sometime in the near future.
Hopefully we see Rogue Cop in an upcoming Noir collection -- next to this wonderful cinemascope western, it's my most wanted Taylor not yet released.
The Broadway Melody of 1936 and 1938 are being released as part of the next Classic Musicals box set. Both star Robert Taylor.
I think The Bribe, Rogue Cop, The High Wall, Ride, Johnny Eager and Party Girl are great examples of film noir and Billy the Kid, Ambush, Ride Vaquero and Devil's Doorway are great westerns that could be released in box sets dedicated to these genres.
Other of his movies under WB control that I'd like to see are Waterloo Bridge (my favorite film from the 40's), Three Comrades (another winner), Song of Russia, A Yank of Oxford, Personal Porperty (in a Jean Harlow Collection), The Gourgeous Hussy (in a Crawford box set), Small Town Girl, His Brother's Wife (co-starring with his future wife Barbara Stanwyck) and, of course Quo Vadis. All those movies are highly entertaining and should be on dvd.
I'd also like to see Above and Beyond, an account of the first atom bomb drop on Hiroshima,in which Taylor played Col. Paul Tibbetts who commanded the mission. Also, the Walter Scott swashbuckler Quentin Durward would be a welcome release, along with many others that have been mentioned (particularly The Devil's Doorway and The Last Hunt). We definitely need more Robert Taylor.
I agree that Robert Taylor's films are seriously underrepresented when it comes to those available on DVD. Along with all the others mentioned in this thread, I'd like to see "The Last Hunt" (1956) on DVD as well.
Taylor generally played sympathetic roles throughout his career, but not in "The Last Hunt". Totally against type. His character was ruthless, sadistic, bigoted and totally beyond redemption.
I can come up with 3 different box sets based on his films:
1 - Billy the Kid
2 - Devil's Doorway
3 - Ride, Vaquero!
4 - The Last Hunt
5 - The Law and Jake Wade
6 - Saddle the Wind
1 - Johnny Eager
2 - High Wall
3 - The Bribe
4 - Conspirator
5 - Rogue Cop
6 - Party Girl
1 - Murder in the Fleet
2 - Three Comrades
3 - Escape
4 - Flight Command
5 - Above and Beyond
"Quo Vadis", of course, should be released on its own.
I watched Johnny Eager a few weeks ago on TCM for the first time in years. Easily one of Taylor's best performances. Van Heflin got lots of kudos for his supporting role as Eager's self-pitying drunk friend, but Taylor really dominates the film. As a ruthless slick gangster on parole, one keeps hoping there is a spark of good in him, but time and again he disappoints until the end of the film. The burst of emotion and self-sacrifice, after seeing him apparently devoid of feeling for most of the film is really striking. Those who think Taylor was little more than another "great profile" should see him as Johnny Eager.
THE LAW AND JAKE WADE is a major western and a true cinematic experience from the master of composition John Sturges. What he does with Death Valley is so different from 3 Godfathers, One-Eyed Jacks, and Spartacus you'd never recognize it as being the same location. The film also offers state-of-the-art CinemaScope and Technicolor. TCM aired a beautiful, spectacular print a few years ago. I think WHV would be pleasantly surprised at how popular the film would be on DVD.
I urge WHV to seriously consider releasing Robert Taylor on DVD, with THE LAW AND JAKE WADE the priority. But please, please, please, don't let Ned Price splash yellow all over this film like he did to The Searchers, Rio Bravo, Ben Hur, Gone With the Wind and every other color title in Warner Brothers' back catalog.
And don't forget "Westward the women", a nice film.
I'd buy every single title on Gallagher's noir/westerns list and not having seen any of the mentioned war films, I'd likely purchase these as well.
Please deliver some Robert Taylor in 2008 Warner Bros!!
It seems the way to release most 40s & 50s films these days is box sets (maybe the market is too small for individual titles).
A Robert Taylor western box set would be very welcome - it must happen sooner or later.
I think "Quo Vadis" is coming this year, but a western and film noir boxset with Robert Taylor films would be great. Some of his films in those genres are among my favorite films.