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Where's High Society on Blu Ray Warner's?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by M90GM, May 29, 2018.

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  1. OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    The Prodigal
    Raintree County
    John Paul Jones
    The Silver Chalice

    Add to that Helen of Troy and Land of the Pharaohs and that is 6 movies compare to the ones you mention.
    Greatest Story ever Told and War and Peace are not from Warner but from MGM and Paramount respectively.
     
  2. Message #42 of 91 May 30, 2018
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
    Randy Korstick

    Randy Korstick Producer

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    All 4 you mentioned have been noted by Warner as having problematic film elements. I wouldn't call The Prodigal and The Silver Chalice epics more soap opera dramas like Raintree County but Raintree was an epic by length and production. Raintree County would be the only one of the 6 that would be a big seller on Blu so I can't say I blame Warner if those are the only choices. Much better for them to put the money into Errol Flynn and Robert Taylor period adventures that would be bigger sellers.
    I see Greatest Story Ever told was released through MGM and Fox on Blu but War and Peace was released by Warner during their Paramount distribution deal for DVD and Blu Ray. Ben Hur was made by MGM but also released by Warner as was Gone with the Wind.
     
  3. Message #43 of 91 May 30, 2018
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
    OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    I think we are discussing semantics with what movies can be called historical epics - not much history in How the West Was Won either and both Gone With The Wind and Dr. Zhivago are more love stories in front of a historical background or as others would say soap operas but very well done of course ;) By any definition Warner does not like historical themed movies that much and I do not blame them, still they have not run out of titles they could release which was the starting point of all of this.

    As for Errol Flynn and Robert Taylor you may be right but as you say the elements probably play a much bigger role in what gets released as the costs to prepare a release will not be recovered even by the better sellers if the elements are too problematic.


    I think it is well known that Warner holds the rights to most of the MGM library with overall has resulted in many high quality releases but a reluctance to release titles that studios like MGM or Parmont would have no problem to release on Blu-ray with existing masters. Regarding War and Peace Warner just slapped an existing master that was prepared by Paramount a long time ago on a Blu-ray and the movie looks very bad so I would not count this as a proper Warner release, that was as you say a distribution deal. Before it was released stateside Paramount had already released it in Europe by the way.
     
  4. M90GM

    M90GM Agent

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    My point on the titles I regard as strange choices is based on a relative measure - combined critical and box office success on release.
     
  5. AnthonyClarke

    AnthonyClarke Screenwriter

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    On selfish grounds I'd love to see all the remaining Judy Garland titles (especially For Me and My Gal and The Harvey Girls) and all the Errol Flynns given Blu ray treatment, as well as, of course, Show Boat ... both sound versions.
    But there is an important clutch of movies which demand release in best possible Blu ray condition, even if they do not meet Warner's apparent policy of only releasing those movies which meet their own quality criteria.
    Those are the series of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers musicals, which are so historically and artistically significant that they demand the best possible conservation and highest possible quality Blu ray release. It would be good if Warners would deign to let us know which titles they are working on ... and for them to acknowledge the historical importance of so many of the titles they currently act as trustees of. Even sub-optimal releases would benefit from the higher specs of Blu ray release, especially for projection display. And we would forgive minor blemishes....
     
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  6. Richard M S

    Richard M S Supporting Actor

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    I would think the upcoming announcements during the next few weeks should be interesting. Last year in mid-September they announced the release of the restored The Sea Wolf, so with the holidays coming I am hoping for some true "Golden Age" titles.
     
  7. Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Screenwriter

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    Agreed! Warner's bounty of bona fide classics is obscenely rich and absent from hi-def for far too long. Personally, I don't think it has anything to do with 'selfish' reasons, Anthony, as yours is not the only one who desires a goodly number from the vaults to finally be released in hi-def. I would add to your list a few films and stars which are, thus far, wholly or almost entirely MIA in hi-def. By now, Norma Shearer's Marie Antoinette ought to have made the leap to HD. Ditto for her Romeo and Juliet, both film having undergone a restoration back in the early 1990's. We're also sorely lacking Clark Gable's illustrious MGM output. San Francisco, Red Dust, Boom Town, Honky Tonk, Idiot's Delight, Wife Vs. Secretary, and on and on. Jean Harlow...anyone? Dinner at Eight, pretty please. And then there is the cinema's sphinx: Garbo. 2018 and no Camille? Really?!?!? Queen Christina. Huh?!?

    Errol Flynn's The Sea Hawk and Captain Blood...for starters, also, a restored The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, which would kill two birds with one stone, as it co-stars that WB powerhouse, Bette Davis. Speaking of Davis - why not The Letter, Old Acquaintance, Now Voyager...just for a kick start? And we mustn't forget her rival - Joan Crawford. A Woman's Face, When Ladies Meet, Flamingo Road, Mannequin, The Damned Don't Cry. At the start of every summer I used to pray Warner would get around to honoring that perennial summer gal, Esther Williams with a big and splashy Blu release of Bathing Beauty, Million Dollar Mermaid and Easy to Love - her three biggest hit. But no. Another summer about to be filed away and no Esther to whet 'wet' our appetites.

    I'm forgetting far too many here that ought to get their due: Mario Lanza - The Great Caruso, That Midnight Kiss, and, The Toast of New Orleans; Jane Powell, A Date with Judy, Small Town Girl, Holiday in Mexico, Luxury Liner; Lana Turner, Green Dolphin Street, Johnny Eager; Greer Garson, Goodbye Mr. Chips, The Valley of Decision, Mrs. Parkington, Random Harvest. Robert Taylor, Ivanhoe, Knights of the Round Table, Personal Property, A Yank at Oxford. Stewart Granger, Scaramouche, Moonfleet. Grace Kelly, High Society and The Swan. Judy Garland, Broadway Melody of 1938, For Me and My Gal, The Harvey Girls, Summer Stock, The Pirate.

    It's saying something (though I am not sure what) that far too many of these BIG names have only been given a light smattering of acknowledgement on home video since we went hi-def. And 'personal favorites' aside, these were and are big pictures deserving of more public notoriety and certainly due a release on Blu. It's even more disheartening when we movies that were once considered 'B' and 'C' grade fluff, getting pushed ahead of the line of some of the A-list stuff mentioned herein, and so much more A-list it would take far too long to list here. Does the B and C stuff deserve a Blu release. In a perfect world - yes. Does it deserved 'front line' status. In any sane world, arguably, no. There's no shortage of high quality projects to keep Warner Home Video and the Archive humming and very, VERY, busy. But a lot of the aforementioned should be ready to go for a new to Blu release. Will they come our way? One can only speculate and hope for the best.
     
  8. revgen

    revgen Screenwriter

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    To be fair, the archival elements for B and C grade fluff are often in better shape than the top shelf films. The studios often overused the IP's and OCN's of their top films, leaving them in a state that requires extensive restoration efforts to look their very best.
     
  9. Astairefan

    Astairefan Second Unit

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    I agree, and I also wonder how much the AGE of the elements comes into play here, too. As I keep saying, the last year or so, WAC has been avoiding most pre-1954 movies, particularly a lot of the MGM musicals and 30s films in general (of course, let's not get into anything from the twenties, either). There is some hope that some of that stuff is coming, whether through WAC or licensed out to others, since it seems like at least the 1936 Showboat might be coming, likely through Criterion, since WAC's dvd is OOP, which, for THEIR releases should only happen if their rights have expired (not likely here), it's been given a new transfer (again, not likely, since it was not one of their early releases that would have needed it), or it's been licensed out to somebody. We all have our wants, and different stuff keeps coming out. I know I have enjoyed their blu releases for a number of the musicals that seem to be titles everybody keeps trashing, asking "why has this been released instead of something else *I* wanted?" I don't understand it, especially when some of those releases, like Hit The Deck, Kismet, and Deep in My Heart (among others) were released at a time when WHV was still releasing catalog titles on blu, and therefore, these titles SHOULD have been able to come out through WAC (however, I will begin to agree with similar statements about stuff that started coming out in 2016 when EVERYTHING was coming out through WAC).
     
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  10. dana martin

    dana martin Producer

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    Fonda, Cagney,Powell,Lemon,Bond,Ford........ when?
     
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  11. Rick Thompson

    Rick Thompson Screenwriter

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    If you mean Mister Roberts, I wonder about that, too.
     
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  12. Nick*Z

    Nick*Z Screenwriter

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    For me there are at least 50 must haves from Warner's vaults that I fear I won't be seeing anytime soon on Blu.

    They are (in no particular order)

    National Velvet
    Goodbye Mr. Chips (1939)
    Camille
    The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
    Now Voyager
    Holiday in Mexico
    Bathing Beauty
    That Midnight Kiss
    High Society
    Swing Time
    Rosalie
    San Francisco
    Around the World in 80 Days
    Boom Town
    Week-end at the Waldorf
    Dinner at Eight
    All This and Heaven Too
    Scaramouche (1952)
    Old Acquaintance
    The Prisoner of Zenda (1937)
    Broadway Melody of 1940
    Mrs. Parkington
    Random Harvest
    Adam's Rib
    Ryan's Daughter
    The White Cliffs of Dover
    The Valley of Decision
    The Harvey Girls
    The Brothers Karamazov
    Johnny Eager
    Million Dollar Mermaid
    Easy to Love
    Murder She Said
    Anna Karenina
    Wife Vs. Secretary
    When Ladies Meet
    A Woman's Face
    Captain Blood
    The Sea Hawk
    The Roaring Twenties
    Summer Stock
    The Great Ziegfeld
    Ziegfeld Girl
    The Thin Man
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    Love Finds Andy Hardy
    The Swan
    The Student Prince
    Maytime
     
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  13. JimMiller

    JimMiller Extra

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    Being a Technicolor nut, I would love to see Sweethearts (1938) on blu-ray. It does have historical significance being MGM's first 3-strip feature.
     
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  14. Astairefan

    Astairefan Second Unit

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    Except WAC has sadly admitted they don't have the elements to bring this one to blu, so I wouldn't expect it to come.
     
  15. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Producer

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    A fine list from Nick (& great to see Boom Town on another list), but I would only buy nine of them.
     
  16. Richard M S

    Richard M S Supporting Actor

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    I have been watching my dvds of classic MGM films lately. Since I have not seen many of these movies in decades it has been an interesting experience.

    Truthfully, some were absolute endurance tests (Jeanette MacDonald's operatic scenes were quite good but otherwise the first 90 minutes of San Francisco was so painful to watch I could not wait for that damn earthquake.)

    Still, some definitely hold up and would make fantastic blurays for modern audiences. The word "gaslight" has re-entered the lexicon of today's culture, so if Gaslight's elements are in good shape, Ingrid Bergman's first Oscar winner would make a fine, suspenseful bluray, and of course it has Angela Lansbury!

    The biggest surprise was Norma Shearer's Marie Antoinette. It had superb camera work and its literate script derives from a biography written by Stefan Zweig - the same writer of the stories used for The Grand Budapest Hotel over 70 years later! Though I think it has "improved with age" and would make a beautiful bluray, I just don't see Warner ever releasing it on bluray.
     
  17. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Producer

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    Yes I've been looking at DVDs lately (I'd forgotten how good they could look). I saw a couple from the Errol Flynn box, They Died With Their Boots On looks great & the elements certainly look good enough for a Blu-ray release, but The Sea Hawk doesn't look as good as I remembered, it's a bit dupey at times, it makes me wonder if Warner have the original elements in good order. I tried to look at The Private Life Of Elizabeth & Essex, but all those misaligned shots are very off putting. I remember thinking Dodge City was one of the worse looking films in the set, so there's always hope.
     
  18. warnerbro

    warnerbro Supporting Actor

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    HIGH SOCIETY was on TCM a few weeks ago in HD and looked so-so. It's in Vista-Vision which I believe was the most beautiful of all the early widescreen processes so it should look jaw-dropping. A fun movie!
     
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  19. Rick Thompson

    Rick Thompson Screenwriter

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    Of the unreleased musicals, I'd rather have a pair of actual Warner titles -- The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees -- than High Society. I like the Porter score, but the rest of it is too sedate and mannered for me.
     
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  20. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    I just rewatched The Pajama Game on DVD last week, and I fell in love with it all over again. What a hilarious and entertaining musical.
     
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