What's the latest news on grand old epics?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ken New, Oct 25, 2002.

  1. Ken New

    Ken New Agent

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    When I started reading HTF a couple of months ago it looked fairly probable that Miramax were working on DVDs of the Samuel Bronston epics, especially '55 Days at Peking' 'El Cid' and 'Fall of the Roman Empire'.

    Since then, things seem to have gone very quiet although someone at a movie collectors fair in London told me recently that the above movies could be on the shelf as early as January.

    There are other spectaculars that studios were apparently working on, like 'Around the World in 80 Days' (1956) and that too is now difficult to get news on.

    Has anyone heard anything about any of these discs in the last month?

    Ken New
     
  2. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 1999
    Messages:
    8,800
    Likes Received:
    3
    I'm interested in these titles too. It now seems that Warner, a studio which once eschewed it's classic catalog, is now the leader of the "classics on DVD" pack! time for the *other* studios to play catch-up.

    I'm sure it's just a matter of time. These classics have sold well and Warner and all the other studios know it. It's probably more an issue of restoration and resources that keeps these titles delayed.
     
  3. JohnN

    JohnN Agent

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2000
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    0
  4. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    1,542
    Likes Received:
    643
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Real Name:
    Doug Bull
    Word of warning !

    I'm not too sure of the originality of those region 4 discs.
    It's possible that they have come from a Laserdisc or lower source.

    I purchased "Fall of the Roman Empire" and while the disc is reasonably sharp, colourful and is 2.35:1 Letterbox, most importantly it is NOT Anamorphic.
    The stereo soundtrack is 2 channel only and is just average and not very expansive. There is no Overture/intermission or Exit Music.

    The disc contained longish random scenes from both the "55 days at Peking" and "El Cid" DVDs and if they are a sample of the other discs, then I can tell you that both looked absolutely awful and are only 4:3 Mono.

    The best advice is to wait for the NTSC Region 1 official copyrighted restored editions, no matter how far off.
     
  5. Jeff_HR

    Jeff_HR Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2001
    Messages:
    3,594
    Likes Received:
    0
    I bought the R4 Fall of the Roman Empire that is mentioned above & concur with the thoughts on it. I will wait for the R1 version of 55 Days at Peking, which is my favorite of the three.
     
  6. Alistair_M

    Alistair_M Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2002
    Messages:
    276
    Likes Received:
    0
    The region 4 releases are really not to be recommended.

    I understand that most of the epics incl Quo Vardis, El Cid and Fall of the Roman Empire are to be special editions in 2003.

    I would suggest we wait for these.

    In the meantime - there's an excellent release of Ben Hur out there. I'd also recommend Cleopatra 5 Star release.


    Sid the Sloth.
     
  7. Ken New

    Ken New Agent

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks everyone. This HT Forum really works, doesn't it. But still no news about the Miramax work and when they hope to have the disks ready.

    Here's another one to think about - "Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines". Fox, the producers, have generally been pretty good with discs from this era (vis "Cleopatra" "Patton") but they have never issued a widescreen version of "Magnificent Men", not even on VHS.
     
  8. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 16, 2001
    Messages:
    7,555
    Likes Received:
    186
    Location:
    Georgia (the state)
    Real Name:
    Patrick McCart
    I'm pretty sure Miramax's new DVDs for these 3 films are from restored elements. I highly doubt any other region could have that advantage.

    As for Eighty Days, it looks like the DVD will be from a new 65mm interpositive from the original negative, which recently had restoration work done. (No idea how extensive or how well it was done, though.)

    I really wouldn't be surprised if WB makes this a 2-disc special edition. The film has never been properly presented on home video, nor in theatrical showings since the 1950's. Among supplements which exist in the Library of Congress are 65mm outtakes, 3 deleted scenes (alternate prologue and 2 musical numbers with Eddie Fisher), various trims and behind the scenes footage, and even plenty of coverage of the premire.

    Best of all, the fidelity of Todd-AO sound ought to transfer very well to Dolby Digital 5.1.
     
  9. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    7,626
    Likes Received:
    1
    that is great news about Eighty Days, can hardly wait
     
  10. Jim Peavy

    Jim Peavy Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2002
    Messages:
    724
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is the one I'd like. Great film. Also, will the Claudet Colbert orig. version of Cleopatra come out anytime soon (or maybe it's out already)?
     
  11. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 16, 2001
    Messages:
    7,555
    Likes Received:
    186
    Location:
    Georgia (the state)
    Real Name:
    Patrick McCart
    The 1934 version of Cleopatra was originally released by Paramount, so it is with Universal now.
     
  12. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    1,542
    Likes Received:
    643
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Real Name:
    Doug Bull
    A Widescreen, extras filled Special Edition of "Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines" was released on Laserdisc.

    What I would dearly love to see is a fully restored "How The West Was Won"

    The existing, ex35mm Cinemascope, non Anamorphic, 2 channel sound DVD, is a travesty of mammoth proportions.

    With todays technology, Warners could do wonders with this 3 Camera Cinerama Spectacle.

    It is a true Classic Western Epic and deserves special treatment.
     
  13. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 16, 2001
    Messages:
    7,555
    Likes Received:
    186
    Location:
    Georgia (the state)
    Real Name:
    Patrick McCart
    I think a How The West Was Won Special Edition is VERY likely.

    Warner Bros. recently made some prints off the negatives, which are in excellent condition.
     
  14. Danny_N

    Danny_N Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2001
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    23
     
  15. Ken New

    Ken New Agent

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    And speaking of adventure at sea, how come John Huston's 'Moby Dick' has only been released in full frame?
     
  16. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 1999
    Messages:
    2,246
    Likes Received:
    157
    Ken,

    That's because that's the way "Moby Dick" was shot-- I just went to a screening of it last month in Hollywood with Ray Bradbury in attendance and was equally surprised that it was shot 1.33:1.

    The print, by the by, was in atrocious condition.
     
  17. Ken New

    Ken New Agent

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Mark,

    I didn't know that about Moby Dick. I thought that 16:9 ratio had taken over mainstream cinema from about 1953, although I'm still trying to get confirmation on that. Anyway, if Moby Dick is original ratio, maybe I'd better get ahold of a copy of the DVD. Sorry you had a disappointing film show but I envy you rubbing shoulders with Ray Bradbury.

    Thanks also to other people for their comments on 'Bounty', 'HTWWW' and 'Magnificent Men' - I would join you in buying copies if they ever hit the streets.

    But no release dates from Miramax then on the Bronston epics?
     

Share This Page