What's with Universal's back catalog?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Will K, Sep 4, 2002.

  1. Will K

    Will K Screenwriter

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    Yes, this is a bit disheartening. I could easily think of a dozen U titles I'd pay good money for. In fact, I can't immediately recall the last DVD I bought from them.
     
  2. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

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  3. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    Universal is sitting on not only the catalog of Universal studios, but they also control most of the the 30s & 40s Paramount catalog. They seem to be gradually re-releasing various titles that they had licensed to Image and others, but there really does not seem to be a lot of catalog momentum from them. Their music arm, UMG, seems to be absolutely catalog reissue-happy, though with their "Ultimate Edition" CDs and such.

    Regards,
     
  4. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    Universal wasn't very active in releasing their catalog titles on Laser either, although their DVD output is even slower. Thank God Criterion has a license agreement with them or we may not have seen any Sturges, Sirk or Von Sternberg titles on DVD. Too bad Paramount can't get back their catalog titles from them, they would definitely do a better job in getting them out.
     
  5. Frank PW

    Frank PW Stunt Coordinator

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    A strange company indeed. With record profits being generated from other studios releasing old TV shows Mash , Friends etc.

    Universal, the undaunted wallflower seems content to sit alone at the end of the dance hall while all the other studios court us for our entertainment dollar.

    To bad. It has such a great catalog.

    F
     
  6. Rollie

    Rollie Stunt Coordinator

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    How about FLASH GORDON: THE CRITERION COLLECTION!
    Seriously though, I'd like to see Universal re-release Collector's Editions of their early DVDs which were licensed to IMAGE.
     
  7. Jonathan Perregaux

    Jonathan Perregaux Screenwriter

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    At least they put out some rather enjoyable Alfred Hitchcock titles on DVD, as well as Jaws, American Grafitti, The Blues Brothers and the Jurassic Park series. I agree that things seem slow for them as far as new releases are concerned. Looking at my collection now, I find that they are my least favorite studio as far as motion picture content goes. DVD releases by Fox, Paramount, Dreamworks, Criterion and MGM top my list of most-watched favorites, with Universal trailing far behind in interest level.
    As for Howard the Duck, you're kidding right? Please tell me you're kidding. That movie was the worst!
     
  8. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

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  9. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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  10. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    I would kill for Kolchak: The Night Stalker on DVD.
     
  11. Douglas Bailey

    Douglas Bailey Second Unit

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    James' thoughts correspond with my own: recently, Universal just hasn't been releasing all that much that's of interest to me.
    I own a total of 100 Universal DVDs. Of those, 27 date from 1998, 21 from 1999, 21 from 2000, 28 from 2001... and a mere three come from 2002: Legend (Ultimate Edition), Gosford Park and the new edition of Cat People.
    Only two of my current pre-orders are for Universal titles: the E.T. Ultimate Gift Set and the Back to the Future Trilogy. And in both cases I'm considering cancelling my pre-order because I really only want one disc out of the set (the 1982 cut of E.T., the first BttF movie).
    If they are in financial trouble, maybe they should learn a few things from MGM, whose balance of cut-price bare-bones discs and full-fledged SEs seems to be bringing in considerable profit for their home-video division.
    doug
     
  12. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    Re: Baretta

    I'm pretty sure that Robert Blake's current, er, "legal troubles" have them looking at that series more seriously.

    Jan
     
  13. Thomas T

    Thomas T Producer

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    To reiterate what everyone is saying, Universal is sitting on a goldmine of catalog releases and doesn't seem particularly interested on releasing them on DVD. Every other studio now seems to be opening up their vaults and giving out the goodies but Universal's vaults appear firmly locked.
    Though to be fair, they have released or will soon release just about all the Bob Hope films they own except for The Cat And The Canary.
    Among the many classics in their vaults:
    Musicals like Thoroughly Modern Millie, Flower Drum Song, Sweet Charity. Historical epics like Anne Of The Thousand Days and Mary, Queen Of Scots. The Anthony Mann/James Stewart westerns, Winchester 73, Bend Of The River, The Far Country. Preston Sturges films, Miracle Of Morgan's Creek and Hail The Conquering Hero. Film noir like The Killers (1946 & 1964), Criss Cross, The Big Clock and Phantom Lady. More Douglas Sirk like Imitation Of Life, Tarnished Angels and Magnificent Obsession. Sci-fi classics like Incredible Shrinking Man, the two Creature From The Black Lagoon sequels, Tarantula, The Deadly Mantis, The Leech Woman, Doris Day comedies like Lover Come Back and The Thrill Of It All and so many more.
    Come on, Universal, open up those vaults!
     
  14. TheBat

    TheBat Producer

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    MGM international released a special edition of conan the destroyer. they had an interview with the composer and the comic book writers of conan from marvel.. they also had commentary by a couple of the actors and the director. They didn;t have the rights to the cut footage.. only unversal has the right to that footage. I really want to see that uncut footage. It was going to be "R" until they made some cuts for a PG rating, and that failed. I have a site on actress sarah douglas. she played queen taramis in the conan the movie.. alot of her favorite scenes were cut for a PG rating including a love scene with arnold.
    www.sarah-douglas.
    I also conducted a really nice interview with Greg Carson. He was the dvd producer for the conan the destroyer se from MGM.
    JACOB
     
  15. Roger Rollins

    Roger Rollins Supporting Actor

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    Universal doesn't own THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN'S CREEK. Paramount retained that one.

    I found it odd that Universal would release all those obscure Bob Hope films, and neglect the more popular films of the 30s and 40s they control.

    Even in terms of television distribution, they are a studio that is clueless about exploiting their classic library. Running a close second is Fox.
     
  16. Randy_M

    Randy_M Supporting Actor

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    I would buy a bunch of the titles in Thomas T's list, especially the Sci-fi and Doris Day films....I've been waiting for Lover Come Back since the day I got my player.
     
  17. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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  18. Martin Jeeves

    Martin Jeeves Supporting Actor

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    I heard that Soderbergh's "KING OF THE HILL" was tentatively coming later this year and that an S.E. of Walter Hill's "STREETS OF FIRE" starring Diane Lane was under-consideration. I don't know what the current status on these or other catalog titles are nowadays though. Maybe things have changed.
     
  19. soop.spoon

    soop.spoon Supporting Actor

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    Sadly, it also seems that they've stopped licensing titles out to Anchor Bay as well. This was an awesome arrangement for the fans... we got a nice chunk of forgotten favorites and B-movies from Universal's rich catalog, all of which had anamorphic transfers and most of which had at least a trailer and a commentary track. Repo Man and I'll Never Forget What'is'name are two of my most watched DVDs.
     
  20. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    I also agree that Universal has really dried up in releasing their catalog titles. [​IMG]
    They've taken my spot as my #1 least liked studio in regards to their catalog output (Replacing Warner who seems to be turning things around - albeit rather tentatively). I don't think I've bought a single DVD from Universal this year. I guess they don't need my money.
    Off the top of my pointy head (some have already been mentioned) here are some great titles they're sitting on.
    Sturges comedies
    Palm Beach Story
    Miracle of Morgans Creek
    Hail the Conquering Hero
    Vintage Westerns
    Winchester '73
    Bend of the River
    Far Country
    Lonely are the Brave
    Coogan's Bluff
    Great Northfield Minnesota Raid
    Vintage Horror
    Island of Lost Souls
    Black Cat
    Raven
    Incredible Shrinking Man
    Tarantula
    Creature sequels
    Brides of Dracula
    Curse of the Werewolf
    Gorgon
    Crime thrillers
    Killers
    Charley Varrick
    Sugarland Express
    There's probably many more I'm forgetting.
     

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