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Warner Bros Archive Wish List 2022 and Beyond!! (1 Viewer)

mskaye

Screenwriter
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Apr 16, 2021
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Michael Kochman
I was watching my old Warner Archive DVD of the Fred Astaire/Jane Powell musical “Royal Wedding”, specifically the terrific “I Left My Hat in Haiti” number – and it reminded me of what an eye-popping wonder old style Technicolor was in its heyday. When I was a child in the 50’s going to Saturday matinee double features this is the kind of saturated color experience I was able to revel in on a regular basis. Once the 70’s dawned, everything seemed to shift into color corrected greyness, with a palette fixated on duplicating reality at its most humdrum. And it seems to me that’s been the norm ever since.
Thank goodness Warner Archive has been giving us so many beautifully restored Technicolor gems on Blu-ray. Especially MGM musicals. All in all, it’s made me feel considerably less bereaved.

Here are some MGM musicals I think we might reasonably expect on Blu over the next year or two:

NEAR CERTAINTIES
HIGH SOCIETY(’56) Bing, Frank,Grace Kelly,Louis Armstrong,Cole Porter
THREE LITTLE WORDS(’50) Astaire, Skelton,Vera-Ellen,Arlene Dahl
Mr. Feltenstein’s already mentioned this as being in the pipeline
THE BARKLEYS OF BROADWAY(’49)
I don’t like it but it’s historically important as the only Astaire/Rogers film in color and I think that’ll be enough to give it the green light
ROYAL WEDDING(’51) Astaire,Jane Powell, great original score
EASY TO LOVE(’53) Esther Williams,Van Johnson,Tony Martin
Mr. F. already indicated there’s more Technicolor Esther coming and this one has
some splashy Busby Berkeley choreographed aqua numbers
TILL THE CLOUDS ROLL BY(’46)
all-star Jerome Kern biography
WORDS AND MUSIC(’48)
all-star Rodgers & Hart biography (Judy’s in both this and the Kern picture)
BABES IN ARMS(’39) Judy & Mickey
THE MERRY WIDOW(’34) Maurice Chevalier,Jeanette MacDonald
Directed by Ernst Lubitsch, which gives it a snob appeal the Macdonald/Eddy musicals don’t seem to enjoy
A DATE WITH JUDY(’48) Jane Powell,Elizabeth Taylor
I have a hunch Feltenstein and his crew are fond of this one – and the presence of both Taylor and Carmen Miranda give it added commercial zip, at least among oldies fans.

DECENT CHANCE OF MAKING IT
LILI(’53) Leslie Caron
PRESENTING LILY MARS(’43) Judy Garland
BORN TO DANCE(’36) Eleanor Powell,James Stewart
BROADWAY MELODY OF 1938(’37) Eleanor Powell,Robert Taylor.Judy Garland
BROADWAY MELODY OF 1936(‘35) Eleanor Powell,Robert Taylor
THE STUDENT PRINCE(’54) Edmund Purdom,Ann Blyth,the voice of Mario Lanza
INVITATION TO THE DANCE(’56)
Gene Kelly -indigestibly arty but again something with snob appeal
JUPITER’S DARLING(’55) Esther Williams,Howard Keel, Marge & Gower Champion
The only widescreen musical Esther made - and it's uniquely set in Ancient Rome
THOUSANDS CHEER(’43)
A musical flag-waver from WW2; not a favorite of mine but the presence of Grayson,Kelly,Garland,Rooney etc makes it something of an event

UNLIKELY BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE
SWEETHEARTS(’38) MacDonald/Eddy
This one’s in color, which may give it an edge.
MAYTIME(’37) MacDonald/Eddy
ROSE MARIE(’36) MacDonald/Eddy

A DOZEN PERSONAL FAVORITES WITH NO CHANCE
THE KISSING BANDIT(’48) Frank Sinatra,Kathryn Grayson
A famous flop in its day – but I love it. A great original song score beautifully interpreted by Sinatra & Grayson turns this semi-swashbuckler into a kind of Technicolor crooneretta.
THE BELLE OF NEW YORK’(’52) Fred Astaire,Vera-Ellen
Another undeserved flop. A fantasy plot point that had characters literally dancing on air when they were in love seemed to be a deal-breaker for 50’s audiences. Personally, I don’t think Astaire ever had a more graceful or accomplished dancing partner than Vera-Ellen, Here they’re sublime.
I MARRIED AN ANGEL(’42) MacDonald/Eddy
THE FIREFLY(’37) Jeanette MacDonald,Allan Jones
GIVE A GIRL A BREAK(’53) Marge & Gower Champion,Debbie Reynolds,Bob Fosse
THE MERRY WIDOW(’52) Lana Turner,Fernando Lamas
I’m very fond of this one but I guess its only chance at Blu-ray release would be as a bonus feature on the Lubitsch version
TWO WEEKS WITH LOVE(’50) Jane Powell,Ricardo Montalban,Debbie Reynolds
THREE DARING DAUGHTERS(’48) Jeanette MacDonald,Jane Powell
RICH, YOUNG AND PRETTY(’51) Jane Powel,Danielle Darrieux,Vic Damone
I LOVE MELVIN(’53) Donald O’Connor,Debbie Reynolds
A nice spotlight showcase for the exuberantly talented Mr. O’Connor
EXCUSE MY DUST(’51) Red Skelton,Sally Forrest
I usually consider Red Skelton something of a gate-crasher in MGM musicals (though he’s
fine in “Three Little Words”). But this is a nicely crafted little song and dance piece about the
early days of the automobile. Likeable all round - with a nice sunny outdoorsy feel to it.
My wish list goes in a different direction than most here. I'd love blu rays of ... I AM A FUGITIVE...., G MEN, THE FIGHTING 69th, THE BLUE GARDENIA (though that one may be public domain.). 4k of THE WILD BUNCH (deserves a Criterion.) . Blu ray of PAT GARRET & BILLY THE KID (ditto.) 4k of WHITE HEAT (ditto.) I'd also like to see one or some of the better Buster Keaton sound films which are very rare and have their moments. And finally, GREED and THE CROWD.
 

Broomy

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Matthew
I’d previously listed some TV shows I’d love the archive to get to and completely forgot about The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (the original version obviously!). It still stands up today.
 

benbess

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mosquito coast.jpeg
 

Alan Tully

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Ten colourful titles I'd really like (maybe just two this year?):

Northwest Passage (1940)
Scaramouche (1952)
The Master Of Ballantrae (1953)-Flynn looking a bit worse for wear, but he still has that twinkle
Knight's Of The Round Table (1953)
Phantom Of The Ru Morgue (1954)- I'm happy with 2D
King Richard & The Crusaders (1954)- daft but enjoyable
Teahouse Of The August Moon (1956)
Up Periscope (1959)
She (Hammer-1965)
Start The Revolution Without Me (1970)

I don't mind a bit of b/w (I see I have 14 b/w Archive Blu-rays), but in these tired times we need a bit of colour.
 

Robert13

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Feb 21, 2007
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Robert
Would really like some attention to the whole Private Benjamin franchise. The movie has yet to get a proper remaster on BD. Even the DVD is still the pan&scan format...bleck!
Would be nice to see the TV series released (even on DVD!) for which Eileen Brennan won an Emmy. It's only 39 episodes! Would be great to see both released at the same time. I'd snap them up!
 

Robin9

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Ten colourful titles I'd really like (maybe just two this year?):

Northwest Passage (1940)
Scaramouche (1952)
The Master Of Ballantrae (1953)-Flynn looking a bit worse for wear, but he still has that twinkle
Knight's Of The Round Table (1953)
Phantom Of The Ru Morgue (1954)- I'm happy with 2D
King Richard & The Crusaders (1954)- daft but enjoyable
Teahouse Of The August Moon (1956)
Up Periscope (1959)
She (Hammer-1965)
Start The Revolution Without Me (1970)

I don't mind a bit of b/w (I see I have 14 b/w Archive Blu-rays), but in these tired times we need a bit of colour.
No interest in Bhowani Junction?
 

richardburton84

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Jack
Placing this here so as not to mislead people into thinking announcements have been made. Apparently, a restoration performed in 2018 of the 1924 Captain Blood will be screening at the Packard Campus Theater in June (the 1935 version will also be screened in June, but only from 35mm with no mention of a new restoration). Now, I have no idea if this means we might get a WAC release of the silent version or if it might be included as an extra with the aforementioned 1935 version, but it does raise the question of whether or not we might see such a release at some point in the near future.

The first film adaptation of Rafael Sabatini’s classic novel was also the swansong of Vitagraph, the last of the pioneer studios. Early silent film hero J. Warren Kerrigan stars along with resident Vitagraph leading actress Jean Paige in this 2018 reconstruction, which features the original color tinting and shots missing since the 1930s. Silent, with musical accompaniment by Andrew Simpson. Black & white, 110 min. (Digital)

 

Capt D McMars

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Placing this here so as not to mislead people into thinking announcements have been made. Apparently, a restoration performed in 2018 of the 1924 Captain Blood will be screening at the Packard Campus Theater in June (the 1935 version will also be screened in June, but only from 35mm with no mention of a new restoration). Now, I have no idea if this means we might get a WAC release of the silent version or if it might be included as an extra with the aforementioned 1935 version, but it does raise the question of whether or not we might see such a release at some point in the near future.



The Flynn 1935 version has beenon my hitlist for years...it would be nice to have the 1924 silent version as an extra!!!
 

Beckford

Second Unit
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Oct 15, 2021
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Ken
Among the potential WAC titles I’d love to see on Blu are the following, none of which I believe have ever made it to home video in North America:

MGM
MAN, WOMAN AND SIN(1927) John Gilbert, Jeanne Eagels
(Saw this only once – years ago – and was riveted). I believe I read somewhere about a recent restoration)

THE VIKING(1928) Donald Crisp, Pauline Starke
(This vivid color swashbuckler was announced for DVD release many years ago – but was then cancelled)

THE BISHOP MISBEHAVES(1935) Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Sullivan
(Terrific crime comedy with a supporting cast full of delightful eccentrics. Wish it could have been the start of a series; Edmund Gwenn and Lucile Watson make a gleefully endearing pair of snoops).

APACHE TRAIL(1942) Lloyd Nolan, William Lundigan
(and the equally entertaining remake (APACHE WAR SMOKE) MGM made 10 years later with Gilbert Roland and Robert Horton)

WARNER BROS
‘TIL WE MEET AGAIN(1940) Merle Oberon, George Brent
(Director Edmund Goulding's affecting take on the esteemed 1932 film “One Way Passage”. I like the second version even better)

BEYOND THE FOREST(1949) Bette Davis, Joseph Cotten
(I think it’s a dandy Davis showcase but I get the impression there are rights issues with this one)

SUGARFOOT(1951) Randolph Scott, Raymond Massey
(Retitled “Swirl of Glory” for TV showings years later to avoid confusion with Warners’ now long gone TV series “Sugarfoot”; that wouldn’t appear to be a problem now but this excellent Scott western somehow remains MIA on home video. Marvelous Adele Jergens gets to play a rare lead in a Technicolor semi-A.
I think I read she was cast at the last minute to replace Patricia Neal who, apparently preferring to avoid Saturday matinee westerns, went thataway).

THE BOUNTY HUNTER(1954) Randolph Scott, Marie Windsor
(One of Scott’s best pre-Boetticher westerns and also strangely absent from home video)


MONOGRAM/ALLIED ARTISTS
ALADDIN AND HIS LAMP(1952) Patricia Medina, John Sands
(Don’t know if WAC still controls this Walter Wanger production. But I’d love to see a Blu-ray release.
It’s a fun, imaginative entry in the cycle of Sword and Sand items that proliferated in the early 50’s)

DRAGOON WELLS MASSACRE(1957) Barry Sullivan, Dennis O’Keefe
(Tiptop western adventure that needs to be seen again. Mona Freeman and Katy Jurado provide the feminine component)

RKO
POWDERSMOKE RANGE(1935)
(Snappy, engaging RKO roundup of B western stars, most of whom were regularly plying their trade in less polished Poverty Row surroundings. Harry Carey, Bob Steele, Hoot Gibson and Tom Tyler head the cast).

SUNNY(1941) Anna Neagle, John Carroll
(Movie version of a once famous Jerome Kern stage musical set against a circus background. Imported British luminary Neagle charms – and dances like a dream).

YELLOW CANARY(1943) Anna Neagle, Richard Greene
(Effective WW2 espionage drama, set largely in Canada)

MYSTERY IN MEXICO(1948) William Lundigan, Jacqueline White
(One of my all time favorite RKO’s, played with style and charm by its two stars – under the assured direction of Robert Wise. There’s been at least one Region 2 release but never a domestic one).

ENCHANTED ISLAND(1958) Dana Andrews, Jane Powell
(South Seas adventure based on a tale by Herman Melville. It’s one of the RKO films distributed by another outfit after the studio ceased operation, in this case Warner Brothers. Saw and loved it many times as a kid).
 
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