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Beckford

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An optimistic tip of the hat to one of Hollywood's golden years. - involving titles that likely fall under the Warner Archive umbrella. Not an exhaustive list of their 1935 holdings, but certainly the ones I'd most like to see get a new lease on life as shiny new Blu-rays.

It's probably just a matter of time for these three:
GOLD-DIGGERS OF 1935(Warner Bros)
From start to finish my favorite Busby Berkeley movie. In fact, one of my favorite movies ever - and certainly the one I like best from 1935.

CAPTAIN BLOOD(Warner Bros)
The swashbuckling super-hit that started it all for Errol Flynn. And it still stands up magnificently.

TOP HAT(RKO)
I've read that Blu-ray slowpoke Criterion may have snagged the rights to this one. They did bring us the sublime "Swing Time" a few seasons back, But this is also pinnacle Astaire-Rogers and somebody needs to get it out pronto.

Reasonable Possibilities:
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM(Warner Bros)
Gleaming, star-stuffed one of a kind extravaganza. Who knew Mickey Rooney, Joe E. Brown and Hugh Herbert would turn out to be such delightful purveyors of Shakespeare? The whole thing's mounted and choreographed like - well, like a dream. One that includes cheerful Dick Powell, pugnacious James Cagney, imposing Victor Jory, alluring Anita Louise and a meltingly young Olivia de Havilland in her screen debut. Bard purists beware. But for lovers of 30's Hollywood at its most phantasmagoric, this one's for you.

ALICE ADAMS(RKO)
One of the best movies Katharine Hepburn ever made. Directed by George Stevens and featuring Fred MacMurray, uniquely terrific in a star-making role.

SYLVIA SCARLETT(RKO)
More Hepburn, this one a cult favorite with a (sort of) gender-bending premise. George Cukor directs. Cary Grant, Edmund Gwenn and Brian Aherne all add superb onscreen support.

Long Shots and Super Long Shots
THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII(RKO) and SHE(RKO)
Neither movie is perfect. For example - as Ayesha in "She" - Helen Gahagan is all dignity, zero sex appeal. But both films provide multiple pleasures. Besides which, I can seldom resist either Ancient World spectacles or H. Rider Haggard.

THE BISHOP MISBEHAVES(MGM)
Delightful but largely forgotten mystery comedy that spotlights a cast of wonderful older character actors. Edmund Gwenn, Lucile Watson and Etienne Girardot all get to share the limelight - each in tiptop form.

THE PAYOFF(Warner Bros)
Claire Dodd, Warners' glamorous resident vixen in the 30's, usually had to strut her stuff on the sidelines. This one showcases her more directly. As James Dunn's faithless but fascinating wife, she makes every step toward her eventual come-uppance addictively watchable.

NAUGHTY MARIETTA(MGM)
The folks at Warner Archive don't seem to harbor much affection for operetta. Feeling (perhaps rightly) that its fan-base has by this time dwindled to commercial insignificance. But as part of that fan base, I can't help wishing for some Jeanette MacDonald/Nelson Eddy teamings on Blu. My favorites are "Rose Marie" and "The Girl of the Golden West". But this 1935 opus was the one that initiated their long series of box office hits. And was also an Oscar nominee for Best Picture in 1935.

TRAVELING SALESLADY(Warner Bros)
Wisecracking fun with Joan Blondell and Glenda Farrell, And - as if that's not enough - I remember chuckling non-stop at obscure vaudevillian Bert Roach, hilarious as an unlucky third wheel in one situation after another.

I LIVE MY LIFE(MGM)
An unfortunate cop-out ending kind of mars this one right at the finish line. But otherwise it's lots of fun. With Metro production polish and an above-average rom-com script embellishing the ins and outs of the unlikely romance between heiress (Joan Crawford in full 30's glamour mode) and archaeologist (the always excellent Brian Aherne).

ROMANCE IN MANHATTAN(RKO)
The premise is pretty much all there in the title. A gently agreeable teaming of Ginger Rogers (in appealing pre-40's form) with European charmer Francis Lederer, then touted for big-time Hollywood stardom. And he nearly made it.

POWDERSMOKE RANGE(RKO)
Amiable round-up of some of the era's favorite movie cowboys - Harry Carey, Bob Steele, Hoot Gibson, Tom Tyler, Wally Wales and more. All interacting in a story that's entertaining and crisply organized. Each star gets a chance to shine, making this a kind of B plus deluxe item sure to please genre fans.

That's it for my 1935 list. Now, c'mon WAC, wave that wand!
 
Last edited:

Robert Crawford

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An optimistic tip of the hat to one of Hollywood's golden years. - involving titles that likely fall under the Warner Archive umbrella. Not an exhaustive list of their 1935 holdings, but certainly the ones I'd most like to see get a new lease on life as shiny new Blu-rays.

It's probably just a matter of time for these three:
GOLD-DIGGERS OF 1935(Warner Bros)
From start to finish my favorite Busby Berkeley movie. In fact, one of my favorite movies ever - and certainly the one I like best from 1935.

CAPTAIN BLOOD(Warner Bros)
The swashbuckling super-hit that started it all for Errol Flynn. And it still stands up magnificently.

TOP HAT(RKO)
I've read that Blu-ray slowpoke Criterion may have snagged the rights to this one. They did bring us the sublime "Swing Time" a few seasons back, But this is also pinnacle Astaire-Rogers and somebody needs to get it out pronto.

Reasonable Possibilities:
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM(Warner Bros)
Gleaming, star-stuffed one of a kind extravaganza. Who knew Mickey Rooney, Joe E. Brown and Hugh Herbert would turn out to be such delightful purveyors of Shakespeare? The whole thing's mounted and choreographed like - well, like a dream. One that includes cheerful Dick Powell, pugnacious James Cagney, imposing Victor Jory, alluring Anita Louise and a meltingly young Olivia de Havilland in her screen debut. Bard purists beware. But for lovers of 30's Hollywood at its most phantasmagoric, this one's for you.

ALICE ADAMS(RKO)
One of the best movies Katharine Hepburn ever made. Directed by George Stevens and featuring Fred MacMurray, uniquely terrific in a star-making role.

SYLVIA SCARLETT(RKO)
More Hepburn, this one a cult favorite with a (sort of) gender-bending premise. George Cukor directs. Cary Grant, Edmund Gwenn and Brian Aherne all add superb onscreen support.

Long Shots and Super Long Shots
THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII(RKO) and SHE(RKO)
Neither movie is perfect. For example - as Ayesha in "She" - Helen Gahagan is all dignity, zero sex appeal. But both films provide multiple pleasures. Besides which, I can seldom resist either Ancient World spectacles or H. Rider Haggard.

THE BISHOP MISBEHAVES(MGM)
Delightful but largely forgotten mystery comedy that spotlights a cast of wonderful older character actors. Edmund Gwenn, Lucile Watson and Etienne Girardot all get to share the limelight - each in tiptop form.

THE PAYOFF(Warner Bros)
Claire Dodd, Warners' glamorous resident vixen in the 30's, usually had to strut her stuff on the sidelines. This one showcases her more directly. As James Dunn's faithless but fascinating wife, she makes every step toward her eventual come-uppance addictively watchable.

NAUGHTY MARIETTA(MGM)
The folks at Warner Archive don't seem to harbor much affection for operetta. Feeling (perhaps rightly) that its fan-base has by this time dwindled to commercial insignificance. But as part of that fan base, I can't help wishing for some Jeanette MacDonald/Nelson Eddy teamings on Blu. My favorites are "Rose Marie" and "The Girl of the Golden West". But this 1935 opus was the one that initiated their long series of box office hits. And was also an Oscar nominee for Best Picture in 1935.

TRAVELING SALESLADY(Warner Bros)
Wisecracking fun with Joan Blondell and Glenda Farrell, And - as if that's not enough - I remember chuckling non-stop at obscure vaudevillian Bert Roach, hilarious as an unlucky third wheel in one situation after another.

I LIVE MY LIFE(MGM)
An unfortunate cop-out ending kind of mars this one right at the finish line. But otherwise it's lots of fun. With Metro production polish and an above-average rom-com script embellishing the ins and outs of the unlikely romance between heiress (Joan Crawford in full 30's glamour mode) and archaeologist (the always excellent Brian Aherne).

ROMANCE IN MANHATTAN(RKO)
The premise is pretty much all there in the title. A gently agreeable teaming of Ginger Rogers (in appealing pre-30's form) with European charmer Francis Lederer, then touted for big-time Hollywood stardom. And he nearly made it.

POWDERSMOKE RANGE(RKO)
Amiable round-up of some of the era's favorite movie cowboys - Harry Carey, Bob Steele, Hoot Gibson, Tom Tyler, Wally Wales and more. All interacting in a story that's entertaining and crisply organized. Each star gets a chance to shine, making this a kind of B plus deluxe item sure to please genre fans.

That's it for my 1935 list. Now, c'mon WAC, wave that wand!
Well, George Feltenstein already stated during one of "The Extras" podcast that he recently viewed a 1935 movie that's been worked on by WA. If I had to guess, it's one of the first three movies you mentioned in your post. Personally, I hope it's "Captain Blood", but WA loves to release musicals so those other two movies are a distinct possibility.
 

RobertMG

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Well, George Feltenstein already stated during one of "The Extras" podcast that he recently viewed a 1935 movie that's been worked on by WA. If I had to guess, it's one of the first three movies you mentioned in your post. Personally, I hope it's "Captain Blood", but WA loves to release musicals so those other two movies are a distinct possibility.
Thank you both of you for those two great posts! Captain Blood! 1936 The Great Zeigfeld is strangely MIA did Mr F ever mention that one?
 

RobertMG

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Excellent suggestions so far, to which I would add "David Copperfield".
Thats the one I forgot I seem to remember Mr F saying before they found the original OCN on this in England?
 

richardburton84

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THE LAST DAYS OF POMPEII(RKO) and SHE(RKO)
Neither movie is perfect. For example - as Ayesha in "She" - Helen Gahagan is all dignity, zero sex appeal. But both films provide multiple pleasures. Besides which, I can seldom resist either Ancient World spectacles or H. Rider Haggard.

Per the Kino Lorber Insider, the rights for the 1935 She are with Cohen, so it seems to be one of the few RKO films Warner didn’t get. It’s been a long while since I last saw She, but I recall liking it and it has a superb Max Steiner score. KL Insider’s quote on She:

The rights are with Cohen, part of the same package that included Sudden Fear, The Old Dark House, etc.

 

RobertMG

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Per the Kino Lorber Insider, the rights for the 1935 She are with Cohen, so it seems to be one of the few RKO films Warner didn’t get. It’s been a long while since I last saw She, but I recall liking it and it has a superb Max Steiner score. KL Insider’s quote on She:



Was it because the producers owned the film not RKO?
 

richardburton84

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I think it might have been part of the Raymond Rohauer library, which is owned by Cohen. I recall Buster Keaton had a print of the film which he gave to Rohauer (the library also includes a lot of Keaton’s films). That said, I’m not entirely sure how the rights to this film eluded Warner.
 

Bert Greene

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Haven't seen it in ages, but I recall liking a little RKO item "We're Only Human" (1935), starring Preston Foster and Jane Wyatt. It was a sort of a hybrid crime-story and domestic-drama, I believe. Used to have an off-air recording of it, back when TNT used to air the Warner library, before TCM started up. Maybe it's not all that much of a film, but something about it lingered pleasantly in my memory. I always hoped the Warner Archive line of mod-dvds would put it out, but they never did. In fact, there were quite a lot of RKO's that I liked which never made it to that line.
 

Robert Crawford

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Profitability is the key factor for any of these 1935 movies making it to Blu-ray. Some nice film titles were mentioned, but how many of them will actually make WA a profit so they can release more titles on Blu-ray later on? That’s what George Feltenstein and his bosses have to consider in their decision-making process. That’s the bitter pill, we as film buffs have to swallow because that’s the reality of the current home video market.
 

RMajidi

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Profitability is the key factor for any of these 1935 movies making it to Blu-ray. Some nice film titles were mentioned, but how many of them will actually make WA a profit so they can release more titles on Blu-ray later on? That’s what George Feltenstein and his bosses have to consider in their decision-making process. That’s the bitter pill, we as film buffs have to swallow because that’s the reality of the current home video market.

I recall Mr Harris saying on more than one occasion that the main driver of preservation and restoration efforts at the major studios is securing assets for the long-term, with disc and other releases being a secondary consideration.

That made sense and gave me comfort that even if I didn’t end up benefitting directly through releases in the short term, the works themselves would not be lost to time.

Have I misremembered/misunderstood this, or have those priorities ceased to exist due to what I read in another thread about modern studio bosses no longer having a clue about their own rich heritage?

In short, is WAC’s chief remit to generate short-term profits, or to preserve and restore works for the long term, or a shifting combination of both?
 

Robert Crawford

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I recall Mr Harris saying on more than one occasion that the main driver of preservation and restoration efforts at the major studios is securing assets for the long-term, with disc and other releases being a secondary consideration.

That made sense and gave me comfort that even if I didn’t end up benefitting directly through releases in the short term, the works themselves would not be lost to time.

Have I misremembered/misunderstood this, or have those priorities ceased to exist due to what I read in another thread about modern studio bosses no longer having a clue about their own rich heritage?

In short, is WAC’s chief remit to generate short-term profits, or to preserve and restore works for the long term, or a shifting combination of both?
The only thing I know is that George Feltenstein has been mentioning the viability of ROI more often during his recent podcast appearances. Furthermore, restoration is one expense, but releasing titles onto Blu-ray is another expense that needs to return some profitability.
 

Beckford

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Excellent suggestions so far, to which I would add "David Copperfield".
"David Copperfield" is definitely one of the top Blu-ray candidates Warner Archive has among its vintage properties. A warmly remembered film with an instantly recognizable title, based as it is on one of the most famous of all novels. I've little doubt it would quickly join the company's list of steady best sellers. And I'd be happy for all those eagerly awaiting its Blu-ray appearance.
I didn't include it on my own list because it's not an unqualified personal favorite. There's certainly lots to admire in it, though. Looming large among its strengths are the performances of Edna May Oliver and Basil Rathbone. We know them both from other roles, yet here they actually seem to be the Dickens characters sprung fully and vividly to life. It's unfortunate that the Academy didn't institute acting awards in the supporting category till 1936. Had they done it a year earlier I've no doubt Oliver and Rathbone would have both been nominees. In fact, I bet they'd each have won.
But some of the other casting in MGM's film I find problematic. At this point, both Lionel Barrymore and W.C. Fields had already established indelible and very American screen personae. And in "David Copperfield" neither does a thing to extend or vary the images that had made them famous. I've never cared much for Barrymore as a film actor but I'm a big Fields fan. Yet any time either is onscreen in "Copperfield" it just takes me out of the picture. Performances that might have been fully effective in a different setting just seem to interrupt the flow here.
Also - and this might be true to some extent in the original novel - the character of David seems so much more interesting as a child than as an adult. Of course, a large part of that comes from the fact that Freddie Bartholomew has star quality, Frank Lawton not to much.
Yet David Lean's mostly marvelous adaptation of "Great Expectations" in the 40's faced variations of the same problem. Anthony Wager is an absolutely sensational young Pip; as his grownup counterpart John Mills is ... well .. John Mills. An excellent actor, of course but hard to accept as a version of the boy audiences fell in love with in the first half. The dual casting of Estella in the same film constitutes even more of a problem. Jean Simmons' performance as young Estella is so brilliantly original that anyone playing her as an adult has a devilishly hard act to follow. Even an actress as gifted as Valerie Hobson. Besides which, Hobson never for a moment looks like someone Jean Simmons would have grown up to be. I've always thought that - in spite of her extreme youth at the time - Simmons was already actress enough to play the older Estella as well ... and carry it off. But I suppose it would have been awkward having adult David played by a different actor while adult Estella remained Jean Simmons.
Anyway, as so often happens, I digress. Whatever nitpicky reservations I might have about MGM's "David Copperfield", I have no doubt it would make a bang-up Blu-ray release. One that would certainly sell well enough to keep the Archive happily humming. Which is certainly what we all want.
 
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jayembee

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Per the Kino Lorber Insider, the rights for the 1935 She are with Cohen, so it seems to be one of the few RKO films Warner didn’t get. It’s been a long while since I last saw She, but I recall liking it and it has a superb Max Steiner score.
Was it because the producers owned the film not RKO?

I think it might have been part of the Raymond Rohauer library, which is owned by Cohen. I recall Buster Keaton had a print of the film which he gave to Rohauer (the library also includes a lot of Keaton’s films). That said, I’m not entirely sure how the rights to this film eluded Warner.

She and The Last Days of Pompeii were produced by Merian Cooper when he was involved with the short-lived Pioneer Pictures, while he was still working for RKO. Cooper produced them at Pioneer, and distribution rights were farmed out to RKO to fulfill his contract with them. Becky Sharp was another feature made at Pioneer for RKO distribution, which is why that's not owned by Warner, either. It's not quite clear to me how Warner ended up keeping the rights to The Last Days of Pompeii.

Anyway, Jack is right about Keaton having a print of She that he turned over to Rohauer (along with prints of his own films). The Kino DVD of She was licensed from the Douris Corporation, which was the owner of the Rohauer Collection before Cohen got their hands on it.
 

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