WB to release 3 Lon Chaney silents soon to DVD!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Patrick McCart, Jun 5, 2003.

  1. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Warner Home Video is tentatively releasing the Lon Chaney silent films The Ace of Hearts, Laugh Clown Laugh, and The Unknown to DVD soon. Michael Blake recorded commentaries for the three films.

    Also being released is Kevin Brownlow's "Man of a Thousand Faces" documentary about Lon Chaney and the stills recreation of London After Midnight.

    Ace of Hearts and Laugh Clown Laugh will have their orchestral scores from Turner Classic Movies while The Unknown will have its Alloy Orchestra score.

    It looks like Turner Classic Movies may be releasing them through their own banner...but this is all tentative.
     
  2. James Bergeron

    James Bergeron Supporting Actor

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  3. Bill Burns

    Bill Burns Supporting Actor

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    Outstanding news -- I can't wait to see these on disc. [​IMG]
     
  4. Jim Peavy

    Jim Peavy Supporting Actor

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    My sister (bless her!) tried buying this (the documentary) for me on VHS but it wasn't available. It's the one that played on PBS stations a year ago or so, correct? VERY cool it's coming out on DVD; it was excellent!

    I remember talking on this very forum about the stills recreation of London After Midnight and wondering if it would ever come out on DVD. We came to the conclusion 'prolly not. Glad to be proven (hopefully) wrong!

    Anybody know if the competing Phantom of the Operas from Kino and Kevin Brownlow to be released later this year are on schedule?
     
  5. Bill Burns

    Bill Burns Supporting Actor

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    The last I heard (which is just by virtue of on-line news and reports), Milestone's DVD (releasing through Image) of Kevin Brownlow's restoration of the re-release version is still set for 2003, along with several other Milestone releases of Brownlow/Channel 2 restorations (La Terre, The Blot, and Clara Bow in It -- a film which is already available in another, good edition from Kino), but none of these have been officially announced. I believe Brownlow's Nosferatu has been delayed until 2004 (don't quote me on this, but I think I read of that delay in a column by one of the Digital Bits writers), and another picture, The Chess Player, remains the only one officially announced for release by Image Entertainment themselves on their website: it's due July 29th, and with Phantom I believe this represents the complete group of restorations.*

    Phantom, in the last piece of news I found on it (several months ago, in a statement made by Milestone themselves, I believe), is set to include both the re-release and the original version of the film, among other bonuses; Brownlow's restoration is of the re-release version, reportedly due to the quality of elements involved, but should offer the usual dedication to quality associated with Brownlow, what will undoubtedly prove to be a lovely orchestral score, and a varying fps rate determined by Brownlow and Co. to best represent the needs of varying scenes in the picture. I'd anticipate other quality bonuses as well, behind-the-scenes materials, possibly a commentary (?) ... the disc is shaping up to be a major silent release. Hopefully a release date will soon be made known by Image.

    * I don't have time at the moment, but Image has just posted their August line-up. I'll check it later and update here (or someone else can post the info, of course) in the event they've announced any of the other films.
     
  6. Conrad_SSS

    Conrad_SSS Second Unit

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    What spectacular news! Lon Chaney was a truly amazing and unique artist, and his films deserve to be widely available on DVD.

    This must be what WB was hinting at about silents during their chat. I've not seen ACE OF HEARTS, but I caught both LAUGH CLOWN LAUGH & THE UNKNOWN on TCM, and I can't wait to own this whole collection.

    Most exciting of all to me is the new of Kevin Brownlow's documentary "A THOUSAND FACES". I am fond of everything Brownlow has done, but I think this piece can proudly stand along side his Keaton & Chaplin retrospectives, which along with the HOLLYWOOD mini-series, are (IMHO) among the best film-related documentaries ever produced.

    Certainly something to look forward to.
     
  7. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    The Milestone Collection DVD of Phantom of the Opera will be the "ultimate edition" for the film.

    It'll feature both the Photoplay Productions reconstruction/restoration and the 1925 version from 16mm.

    The PP version will feature the Carl Davis score, the 1929 Vitaphone soundtrack, a commentary by either Scott MacQueen or Michael Blake (I forgot which one of them is doing it) and the 16mm version will feature a piano score.

    It'll be a 2-disc special edition, so I'd buy it instead of Kino's DVD. Kino does a great job on DVDs, but they can't top a Photoplay DVD.

    Kino released The Penalty and Image released Nomads of the North/The Shock, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Oliver Twist, and Outside the Law/Shadows.

    Once Phantom is released, it's really Warner Bros' job to get the rest of the Chaneys on DVD. I think a few non-MGM titles are still awaiting release, but the bigger ones are with them.
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Patrick,
    Where are you getting your release information?






    Crawdaddy
     
  9. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    alt.movies.silent

    Michael Blake posted the information.
     
  10. Jim Peavy

    Jim Peavy Supporting Actor

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    Another Nosferatu?! Had not heard about this...
     
  11. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Well, Milestone's Nosferatu will be the first to feature an orchestral score. The others feature piano, organ, or electronic scores.

    Plus, it's the Photoplay restoration.
     
  12. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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  13. Scott David

    Scott David Stunt Coordinator

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    Is "Hunchback of Notre Dame" also going to be restored in the near-future?
     
  14. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    Hunchback is a tough one because IIRC no 35mm elements are known to exist any more, other than blowups from 16mm, so any restoration is starting out from very far behind the eight-ball. I wouldn't expect anything much better than the current Image disc, frankly.
     
  15. Bill Burns

    Bill Burns Supporting Actor

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    Robert Crawford wrote:
     
  16. Art_AD

    Art_AD Stunt Coordinator

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    You know what is really great about this possible Chaney release is that almost all of the films have never been available on tape or laser. That is not to say I wouldn't buy this disc even if it was the exact duplicate of the films on the MGM laser discs but it is good to see there is a different mix of films and different extras placed on the DVD. I think it is important for the studios to try to please / go the extra mile for the film collector and especially for the people that were/are laserdisc people by doing different combinations and additions (like the new Father of the Bride, Courtship of Eddi's Father, etc.).
     
  17. streeter

    streeter Screenwriter

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    I absolutely loved Laugh Clown Laugh and The Unknown and highly recommend them. I'll be picking these up (as well as the others) for sure.
     
  18. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Art: You're right.

    Turner released a LD with the silent The Unholy Three , The Unknown, and He Who Gets Slapped. I think they also did one with West of Zanzibar and The Unholy Three remake.

    Laugh Clown Laugh, Tell It To The Marines, Mr. Wu, While The City Sleeps, Where East Is East, Mockery, The Blackbird, The Road To Mandalay, The Monster, and the fragment of Thunder were never released.

    One interesting thing I found... The Ace of Hearts is from 1921. This is one of the two surviving Goldwyn films Chaney did...so it looks like they somehow kept the copyright to it. The Penalty apparently is being preserved by Turner, still...even though Kino did a DVD!
     
  19. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    well it certaoinly looks like the coming months are set for a revival in silents. thanks folks for all the info

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Scott Leopold

    Scott Leopold Supporting Actor

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    Great Chaney news! Of the 3, I've only seen The Unknown, and have been dying to get more Chaney on DVD.
     

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