The MGM/ABC Pictures combo doesn't look good and here's why and what should be done

Discussion in 'DVD' started by ChristopherBlig, Jul 18, 2004.

  1. ChristopherBlig

    ChristopherBlig Stunt Coordinator

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    I noticed on much of the upcoming news that MGM was releasing a good portion of the ABC Pictures library with even some titles that have never seen the proper light of day in any other medium. Some that are out now and some that are upcoming are good news that they're being released but the bad news is that the majority is being released in a full-frame format.

    This has been apparent in the last couple of months and some have grown to greener pastures with other DVD companies only to be reverted to it's inferior rights (Straw Dogs).

    The biggest bad news was the release of Charly in full frame format to DVD. Here's a movie that goes down in award history with not only a Best Actor win but a big highlight of the power that ABC Pictures had in the late sixties and seventies.

    To top it off, it was filmed in Techniscope 2.35:1. Now how this can be an oversight is beyond me. I think of the whole fiasco surrounding Willy Wonka a few years ago with a big campaign over not having a wide presentation which came with positive results in the form of a wide DVD (even being filmed Spherical can make a difference).

    It seems to me that most of the ABC titles (Prizzi's Honor, Lovers and Other Strangers and others) have not been improved by the MGM moniker and given a wasted treatment with nothing added to an previously released product.

    I fear there will be no improvement and it will only be a matter of a long time when another company will get the rights to these films and give it the proper DVD treatment the films deserve. If only Fox got the rights back, many ABC feature films (most from the sixties to the early to mid eighties) can properly see the light of day for it collaborated in a distributing sense and could open the possibility for a few more additional materials (trailers, notes, etc.)

    Even the They Shoot Horses, Don't They commentaries (which are both treasures and a prime example of a commentary being the full backstory to the entire making and result of a finished film from all points of view)that have been lingering on in laserdisc can finally be heard by cinephiles that have no time for that obsolete format to see it in the premier format of DVD.

    It's never too late to recall Charly and display it the way it was meant to be seen wide. I implore MGM to do the right thing before we carry on with the full frame debacle in October.

    I welcome comments on this matter from all sides.

    Thank you

    Christopher Bligh
     
  2. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Charly has a lot of split-screen shots, so the P&S version ought to be a piece of crap.

    The faster Warner buys MGM, the sooner they stop being cheap on the films they release. Warner has never released a 2.35:1 film to DVD in pan & scan only.

    Again... the sooner, the better.
     
  3. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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    I can only second that.
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    One might surmise that this has less to do with M-G-M being a complacent licensee and more with the rights holder not wishing to deal with proper mastering of inherited product.

    A similar problem will most likely exist with the Selznick library, much of which has recently been properly preserved and / or restored, inclusive of the production of new masters.
     
  5. Ken Koc

    Ken Koc Screenwriter

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    I have a very good 2.35:1 R2 DVD version of CHARLY. The transfer is fine and after watching it recently I just cannot imagine it in an Pan and Scan version. I can't believe MGM has such careless disregard for this Oscar Winner! Can we start a petition?
     
  6. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    I've been wanting to own CHARLY on R1 DVD for several years now, but will definitely shun a non-OAR release.

    Disney should've provided an anamorphic widescreen master for MGM. What a sad, sorry state of affairs. I hope this gross mistake is rectified someday in the near future.
     
  7. ChristopherBlig

    ChristopherBlig Stunt Coordinator

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    Disney nor Warner Bros. have ever owned the rights to this film. It was released by ABC Motion Pictures and distributed on video by Fox first then Anchor Bay. It has never seen the light in Region 1 DVD
     
  8. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    Simply put, Disney owns the ABC Pictures library. Remember that little merger a few years back? Yes, Disney first licensed some of the library out to Anchor Bay for DVD release, and now they've done the same with MGM, but Disney owns the library.

    DJ
     
  9. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    What would be the point of "Charly" in pan&scan unless it was put out by those dollar-store companies??? I have this on CED videodisc (1982 20th Century Fox transfer) already with some of the most embarrassingly bad panning and scanning you ever saw (the opening credits pan left to right so you can read them all!) Only one shot is shown in the split-screen parts.
    I saw it on TV a few years ago where it looked moderately better; the split-screens were letterboxed and they squeezed the opening credits. Even if a good transfer of this doesn't exist, what's the point of putting out a bad one???
    If Disney owns these films now why can't they put them out themselves?
     
  10. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    I don't understand, Chris; is there a new DVD of They Shoot Horses with both commentary tracks?
     
  11. ChristopherBlig

    ChristopherBlig Stunt Coordinator

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    Gordon,
    If you read what was said in the previous paragraph, you would see what I'm saying...Believe me I wish those commentaries found a home on DVD

     
  12. ChristopherBlig

    ChristopherBlig Stunt Coordinator

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    good responses, keep them coming
    let's give the MGMers something to think about quick
     

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