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Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by M90GM, May 29, 2018.
Confession time: I actually prefer High Society over The Philadelphia Story.
Yep, I always thought the musical upgrade from Philadelphia to Society made a lot of sense and was a 'better' entertainment than its predecessor. I also feel that way about Silk Stockings over Ninotchka, even though I adore Garbo and love that movie too. My favorite Garbo, however, is Camille - hands down, jaw-droppingly tragic and beautiful. Close second, Garbo and Fredric March in Anna Karenina.
The Private Lives of Liz and Essex is a travesty on DVD, which is why I would hope WAC is getting around to doing justice to the movie at long last. Ditto for The Pirate, which suffers from so much aliasing it is virtually unwatchable in its current incarnation on DVD. I would love for WAC to aggressively pursue re-acquiring the rights to Meet John Doe - one of Frank Capra's very best movies, ever. Aside: it wouldn't hurt Universal Home Video to release the other Capra gem, State of the Union, to Blu either.
But back to Warner. National Velvet is a personal fav, but when WAC did their Liz thing a few years ago with Father of the Bride, Virginia Woolf, I had sincerely hoped Liz's first biggie for MGM would be a contender too - along with The VIP's and, of course, her Oscar-winning Butterfield 8. Sadly, none materialized. It's too late in the game to wait for 'anniversaries' to roll around to roll out a big and splashy Blu-ray release. Let's just open the floodgates and get to some of the better A-list stuff still tucked inside Warner's vaults.
RE: Marie Antoinette - the DVD was a stunner so I cannot see how a Blu wouldn't be a foregone conclusion. Ditto for Shearer's Romeo and Juliet. Both were remastered. The ones I would really like Warner to tackle are the ones that looked gawd awful on DVD - starting with Bathing Beauty, The Enchanted Cottage, Show Boat, That Midnight Kiss, Million Dollar Mermaid, Words and Music.
Till The Clouds Roll By ought to have come out by now. Warner re-acquired the rights and released a stunner of a DVD. We could also stand Annie Get Your Gun, The Harvey Girls and Good News - with Peter Lawford and June Allyson. Great collegiate fun with Joan McCracken doing her damnedest to eclipse the leads.
Films of social significance need to be out there again: starting with Executive Suite, Blackboard Jungle, The Brothers Karamazov and The Catered Affair. I also cannot believe WAC hasn't come around to Ryan's Daughter yet - the last of David Lean's epics MIA in hi-def.
I get it. I get it. Time and money needs to be spent. In some cases, a lot of it. Well, however/whatever it takes. Let's get on with it, folks. Original film elements, if they do exist, will not wait for some sunny day in the future. Figure out the logistics and get on with the heavy lifting. Art is art. Period. It deserves concerted preservation.
Considering how often most of us keep bringing up thirties titles that we want (including some that, at least on dvd, look like they should require less work to bring to blu), I can only wonder what must have happened that WAC doesn't seem to want to go near that decade. I mean, we do know from Mr. Harris in his review on 42nd Street that that was an expensive restoration and the remaining Busby Berkeleys would also be expensive, but we haven't seen any more, even licensed out (at least not yet, as we all wait for the '36 Showboat to be announced, hopefully by Criterion).
Has anyone streamed the HD version?
I like the look of High Society on VUDU; I thought we might have seen a good blu-ray by now.
I think relative performance and success is the key in waiting for release of favorites - but Warner dont seem to follow logic. like Queen from Outer Space? High Society had far more success commercially than Two Weeks in Another Town. Never So Few was neither successful nor critically acclaimed...there are numerous examples where Warner seem to be looking to find sales in hidden corners of their library. We need more films that have stereo soundtracks available, and preferably, Cinemascope ratio where can take advantage of the upgraded blu ray quality.
We watched 'annie get your gun' again a few weeks ago on our 150 inch projector screen.
It looked fantastic ... so good that it suggested the elements exist in fine shape for a move to Blu ray. And the same's true of 'The Harvey Girls' ... a fantastic quality DVDl.
Why do you believe that? What evidence can you provide to support your opinion? It's been obvious to most of us for a long time that the condition of the elements is the primary factor when Warner Archive decide which films to release on Blu-ray disc.
I don't know how some of us can't grasp that as the root cause why some of the most popular titles haven't been released on Blu-ray.
Past popularity means very little and in fact can even be a hindrance when the OCN has been overprinted and/or cut.
But that bing said in its most simple form it is an equation where Warner is putting in a certain amount of money to produce the digital assets and physical discs and in return they make a certain amount of money through sales and rights.
For most titles they will want to not spend much more than they get back and when a movie costs 20 times as much up front compared to another (let's say High Society or Raintree County compared to some B-movie horror or sci-fi) the expectation is usually NOT that it will sell 20 times as much as the general public that back then made the old blockbuster a success could not care less about it being released now on Blu-ray.
As the years pass the great musicals are gradually being released. Only three of my absolute favourites remain:
Three Little Words
The Belle of New York
I have at least a dozen that I'm breathlessly waiting for.
To be honest, I have been disappointed with the WAC blu-ray line. I'll admit to having a bias - I'm primarily interested in pre-1950 films, and WAC is woefully lacking in that area. You want to get me excited - announce some films with the likes of William Powell, Myrna Loy, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, the Marx Brothers, etc. Put out some films like Kings Row, Good News, Goodbye Mr. Chips, The Great Ziegfeld, Gentleman Jim, Three Little Words, and some silents like The Cameraman, Spite Marriage, Don Juan, etc. and I will be almost throwing my credit card at the WAC folks. As it is, WAC has provided little to pique my interest lately. To be clear, I'm not denigrating the films that the WAC folks do choose to put out. They have their fans, and they should be recognized. I just like to have some token recognition for what I like too occasionally. Also, I will point out that overall WAC has done a lot of good work with both the DVD-r and blu-ray lines, and I'm very happy to have the blu-rays of The Great Race, The Wheeler-Dealers, The Americanization of Emily, 42nd Street, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and several others sitting on my shelf. I almost feel like a school teacher encouraging the B+ student to get his/her grades up to an A, and some Errol Flynn titles might very well do that.
To give some contrast, if you want some examples of companies utterly failing in their responsibilities to their catalogs, look at Hallmark (when it still controlled the Hal Roach catalog - I'm glad that they don't control those films anymore, but I still refuse to buy Hallmark products), MGM (The Alamo - enough said), and Corinth Films (for the utter disregard it has shown to the Laurel and Hardy silents).
I bought High Society from iTunes when it was on sale I think for $4.99. The HD picture looks better than DVD (my guess, I never had the DVD) but the sound (which has apparently recently been remastered) is incredible for a film I had up to now only heard in mono.
If memory serves, I believe the stereo mix was created for the laserdisc release many years ago.
I see that High Society is being shown digitally at the TCM Classic Film Festival. I'm wondering if this is a new restoration that could possibly make it to blu-ray or the same from what's on Itunes HD. Maybe I'm just too much of a wishful thinker.
I don't think it's just "wishful thinking." We had been told by the Warner Archive people in the past, that they were aware of the demand for High Society on Blu-Ray, but the elements needed work. So, if there is now a DCP, it's likely that the work has been done. True, the TCM website doesn't say (as it does for some other titles) that this is a premier of a new restoration. But it sure looks that way.
It certainly does. I'm also curious about The Opposite Sex. Even though I may be blasted for even thinking the 1956 remake is even worth a watch, I think the beautiful metrocolor cinematography and eye-popping wardrobe by Helen Rose would be a real wowser on blu-ray. There is a DCP of this being shown at the TCM festival as well and I'm wondering if it's based on a new restoration. But really, if The Opposite Sex made an appearance on blu, would anybody really even buy it? According to the hateful things, I've heard tell other people say about it, maybe not...
I, for one, would buy a Blu-ray disc of The Opposite Sex. There is a certain eccentric here at HTF who likes June Allyson - can you believe that? - and I'm sure he would snap up a Blu-ray disc too.
It came out in the 1950s when a resentful older generation insisted that all new films and all new formats were garbage. Wide screen, color, stereophonic sound were all dismissed as spoiling "the art of cinema" and unnecessary. Remakes of popular films were equally scorned so Silk Stockings, for example, was hammered by Garbo idolaters. On this basis The Opposite Sex never had a chance because it was a remake of The Women, already out on Blu-ray disc.
It's time for a re-assessment of The Opposite Sex. Any film with that cast must be of interest. I might even re-assess June Allyson!
The Opposite Sex may not match The Women in effectiveness, but the cast is superb and the production enjoyable. Adding the men doesn't contribute much to the overall effect, and the songs, while tuneful enough, aren't necessary either. But the cast puts over the lines from the original play very well, and new additions don't harm it.
I'd buy a Blu-ray of it in a heartbeat.