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Warner Archive Discussion Thread (The Announcements/The Films)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Sep 18, 2009.

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  1. BradleyS

    BradleyS Stunt Coordinator

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    That's a bit strong -- do you have any evidence to support your contention that the Esther Williams sets are not big sellers, other than your own intuition? The fact that Warners would gamble on a retail release of Vol. 2 when they're hardly releasing anything else on pressed disc would indicate they think Vol. 2 has strong sales potential. I'm not a Williams fan, but it seems reasonable that she has enormous nostalgic appeal in a way that Fritz Lang and Mervyn LeRoy simply don't. I'm not talking about classic movie buffs here as much as regular Joes and Janes in their sixties and seventies -- the crossover audience that makes a catalog boxed set successful.
    I share your frustration about the cutbacks in classic movie releases, but your post suggests that Warners is just arbitrarily deciding to release and market the Esther Williams box rather than something else. I think you should give them a little more credit. They've been at this a while, and they have sales figures that you and I lack.
    As far as the other stars you mentioned (Cary Grant, Edward G. Robinson, Ava Gardner, etc.), all of their well known films have already been released on disc. There is an audience of fans who will buy anything with their favorite star's name on it, but this is a limited group. As plummeting sales have shown, most DVD buyers are satisfied with the number of catalog titles they own, and aren't looking to clutter their shelves with anything more.
    I understand why people are clinging to the good ol' days of classic DVD releases, but the format is in its final years and the fact is not everything is going to get released onto a pressed disc. You will still be able to buy a download or a DVD-R, or record a film off cable, but expecting the studios to flood the market with low-priced classics against all economic reason is a bit much. One can reject the new burn-on-demand model for classic films, but you're missing out on a lot of good movies.
     
  2. kagemusha98

    kagemusha98 Second Unit

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    I am hoping that THE CHAPMAN REPORT will be released .
     
  3. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    "it seems reasonable that she has enormous nostalgic appeal in a way that Fritz Lang and Mervyn LeRoy simply don't"

    Exactly! We film buffs live in our own little world, often forgetting that the average Joe wouldn't know Fritz Lang from Mervyn LeRoy or RANCHO NOTORIOUS from THEY WON'T FORGET! But everybody knows Esther Williams. When you go into a store like CostCo and see Esther Williams it's because she's mainstream. You're not going to find Fellini's NIGHTS OF CABIRIA or Allan Dwan's SLIGHTLY SCARLET there.
     
  4. Tim Tucker

    Tim Tucker Screenwriter

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    And here's a post from over in the Esther Williams V2 thread that's relevant:

    But let's get this thread back on topic now.
     
  5. RUrahrah

    RUrahrah Stunt Coordinator

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    I guess this is an announcement of sorts as what to expect for Warner Archive pricing in the marketplace:

    http://www.deepdiscount.com/DVD---Warner-Brothers-Archive-Collection_stcVVcatId476497VVviewcat.htm

    It also speaks volumes re many other issues expressed in these forums.
     
  6. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    But I never made such a statement. I was merely contesting the idea that Esther Williams has more viable market potential than star names like Cary Grant, Ava Gardner, Alan Ladd and known directors like Lang, etc. on the unfair basis that the latter has not even been made available to the buying public outside of niche retailers and the official Warner website, and at that, only available for US distribution at ridiculously inflated prices on dispensable media. I'm sure the Esther Williams sets are profitable given that there are future volumes slated for release. But who's to say these others are any less so... with the above mentioned names as selling points if marketed as such, well I'm highly dubious !
     
  7. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    But this is exactly my contention with this ridiculous Archive program

    If the majority of first-rate product from Hollywood's "golden age" has already been released and all that's left is the throwaway vehicles from stars and directors who'll simply sell to hardcore cinephiles on name recognition (which is not acurately representative but I'll agree with in a general sense) AND furthermore Mr. George Feltenstein has already put himself on record as criticizing the studios for poor marketing decisions as to past releases... how then does one justify this company pushing their second-rate product out at prices double that of the first rate output we've seen from standard retailing discs, yet in addition, ported from old video masters and on questionably mastered dvd-r media??

    Criterion launched a hugely popular program called the Eclipse line for the everyman... it's the successor to Warners failed attempt at these Archives. All of these titles could have succeeded under another company's control. WHV made some very poor decisions as far as I'm concerned, in terms of their execution of this line.
     
  8. soop.spoon

    soop.spoon Supporting Actor

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    Just got an email about the five new sci-fi titles. They all look interesting and I'd love to check them out. But for $100 + shipping? Seriously? $100? That is just outrageous.

    Why not take the time to create a nice 5 disc bundle before sending out the promo email?

    City Beneath The Sea
    Man From Atlantis
    Genesis II
    Planet Earth
    Earth II

    C'mon... $100? Really?
     
  9. cajunhillbilly

    cajunhillbilly Screenwriter

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  10. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    "But for $100 + shipping? Seriously?"

    Orders over $60 eliminate the shipping charges and with a 25% coupon or promotional code, it's $75 plus tax. No doubt still too high for your taste but .....

    I hate to break the news to you Marco but outside of film buff circles, no one knows who Alan Ladd is any more.
     
  11. Jon Hertzberg

    Jon Hertzberg Screenwriter

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    Quote:
    Woh, hold up, Thomas T. In the same way you have critiqued Marco's contentions about the public's awareness of Alan Ladd, don't you think it's a little bit of stretch, maybe a tad presumptuous, to say, "Everybody knows Esther Williams."? Last I checked, films such as Ladd's SHANE remain in the public consciousness, either through countless TV screenings or film school classes or, more likely, the comedy routines that have parodied the film's iconic scenes ("Come back, Shane!") over the years. The film has showed up on every AFI "best-of" list, not to mention won an Academy Award, so it's always going to be on clip reels of the best films ever made. You know, the kinds that play every year during the Oscar telecast. Esther Williams' oeuvre? Not so much...
    The Esther Williams set is in Costco because they pretty much get around to carrying every Warner box set at one point or another. I know because I've been scouring Costco's DVD shelves for years now. :)
     
  12. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    I stand by my statements that Esther Williams is better known than either Alan Ladd or SHANE by the average Joe.

    Try this experiement next time you're in CostCo, Jon. Ask the average Joe, "Do you know who Alan Ladd is?" and more likely than not you'll get blank stares. If you ask "Do you know who Esther Williams is?" even if they've never seen any of her movies, it's more likely you'll get a response of "Isn't she the one who swims?".

    Only recently on JEOPARDY, three intelligent well educated contestants had no idea who Natalie Wood was!?! If these "knowledgeable" types didn't know who Wood was, why would the "average" Joe know who Alan Ladd is? Ladd's SHANE may be in the public's consciousness (though I suspect rather the film buff's consciousness than the general public's) but that doesn't mean they know who he is. KING KONG and MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET may remain in the public's consciousness too but I doubt they'd know Fay Wray and John Payne from Claude Rains and Thelma Ritter.
     
  13. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    Even if people recognize the names of the actors, these particular films are not well known. At all. So let's say you come across someone who does know who Alan Ladd is because of Shane. What are the odds that they are aware of any of these other films of his besides Shane? Pretty low, IMO.

    With Esther Williams, even if they don't know the names of the films, they know they're the ones she swims in, and that's what they want.

    I consider myself fairly film savvy, though not to the degree of many people in this thread. However, to the rest of my family and most of my friends (even other film savvy friends), I blow them out of the water with my film knowledge. And even then I have heard of maybe a dozen - maybe - of the films released in the archive so far. That's some perspective right there.
     
  14. BrianRi

    BrianRi Stunt Coordinator

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    Cyber Friends and Neighbors,

    Please, I implore you. I beg of you. I prostrate myself before you!

    Please, please, please (did I mention the word "please" yet?) take this lively discussion regarding the merits or demerits of Ms. Williams to the other thread. I'm a sensitive and simple soul, and am often given to migrane headaches around such lively and vigorous discussions. This thread is for Warner Archive film announcements and information pertaining to that subject. The Ms. Williams set is not part of the archives.

    So again I offer my supplication: please!

    Thank you very much.
     
  15. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor
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    Has anyboy received any of the latest wave of WA titles? I am interested the Joe McDoaks shorts and how they look.
     
  16. Jobla

    Jobla Supporting Actor

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    I'm not here to argue about either Esther Williams or Alan Ladd. However, I feel that if I asked an "average joe" (say, somebody under the age of 45) about those performers, I bet that "average joe" wouldn't have heard of either of them. Obviously, I'm not referring to any of this forum's visitors.
     
  17. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    I finally got around to watching Idiot's Delight tonight. It's an older tape master, I believe. There's a good bit of dirt, speckles, some scratches, and the reel change markers all in evidence. Contrast is on the low side for the first 45-50 minutes, but the grayscale looks better, more solid in the film's second hour. Sound is hissy throughout.
    The disc includes the trailer.
     
  18. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor
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    I think you are right of it being from an older tape master, however I still have the laserdisc and this transfer is so much better than the disc. I only wish WA would have had the fore-thought to include the second ending. I do not feel it would have taken to much trouble to do so, anymore than adding trailers. It was a very enjoyable film and a lot of fun to watch.
     
  19. Corey

    Corey Screenwriter

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    I love Idiot's Delight. It's so nice to see Norma give her best Garbo impersonation.
     
  20. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor
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    Let's not forget Gable singing and dancing.
     

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