Where's Lubitsch?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jaime_Weinman, Jun 17, 2002.

  1. Jaime_Weinman

    Jaime_Weinman Supporting Actor

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    While we're talking about the lack of Billy Wilder on DVD (and just where is One Two Three, come to think of it?) I'd like to bring up the matter of Wilder's mentor, Ernst Lubitsch. Apart from a couple of silents and the minor That Uncertain Feeling, there are no Lubitsch movies on DVD, an astonishing state of affairs for one of the greatest directors of film comedy. Where are:
    Warners: Shop Around the Corner, Ninotchka, To Be Or Not To Be, Merry Widow
    MCA/Universal: Design For Living, One Hour With You, The Smiling Lieutenant, and above all the sublime Trouble in Paradise
    Fox: Heaven Can Wait (no relation to the Warren Beatty movie, which was a remake of a different film; this is Lubitsch's only Technicolor movie, and the VHS and Laserdisc simply didn't do justice to the incredibly beautiful color photography), Cluny Brown
    I would buy any and all of these movies. Trouble in Paradise is particularly essential because it's never even been on VHS.
    Anyone else wishing for Lubitsch on DVD?
     
  2. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    I've only seen To Be Or Not To Be and Trouble In Paradise, but would buy both in an instant.
     
  3. Michael Boyd

    Michael Boyd Second Unit

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    To Be Or Not To Be was one of my 10 requests in the HTF top ten request thread awhile back. Great movie. First saw it in Barcelona in a theater that showed classic films every thursday, original language, Spanish subs. Apparently the film was banned until the 70s while Spain was under the Franco regime.

    I've been considering ordering the region 2 French version since that's supposed to be the best out there right now.
     
  4. Bob_L

    Bob_L Supporting Actor

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    Speaking on behalf of the worlds' movie-going public...
    Lubitsch WHO? [​IMG]
    Speaking for myself, you just listed a number of reasons why I continue to hang onto my laserdiscs.
    And that includes a WONDERFUL letterboxed print of "One, Two, Three." Man, folks who think MTV invented rapid-fire entertainment have never seen James Cagney's speed-of-light performance in this flick -- one of the greatest (and unaccountably forgotten) film comedies of all time.
     
  5. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    I'd certainly buy The Shop Around the Corner, Ninotchka and To Be or Not To Be.
     
  6. Carrol M

    Carrol M Stunt Coordinator

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    Count me in for Lubitsch!
    Trouble In Paradise is one of my very favorite movies from the early 'studio' days. I was lucky enough to capture the film, recently, off of TCM. I used the Ultimate TV recorder and I have it saved on the hard drive. [​IMG]
    Come on Universal...if you can provide TCM with a copy of this film for broadcast, can't you put together a nice barebones disc of the film?
    Carrol
     
  7. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    I'd buy most of them. When, oh when, will the studios realize that there IS a market for these titles?
     
  8. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    I was going to post a thread similar to this. It's a terrrible shame that Lubitsch is basically non-existent on this great new format. I've only seen Ninotchka, The Shop Around the Corner, & Bluebeard's Eighth Wife, but I recently recorded 3 movies off of TCM and am looking forward to watching them. I would buy any of the titles that you mentioned in an instant.
     
  9. Jay E

    Jay E Cinematographer

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    Shop Around the Corner, Trouble in Paradise & To Be or Not to Be are my 3 most wanted Lubitsch titles.Trouble in Paradise especially as I don't own it on Laser. Regretably all 3 are owned by Warner & Universal. Warner is doing a better job in releasing their catalog titles, but when it comes to pre-1960 films, they are really falling short. Universal just doesn't release enough of their film library, but they have always been that way, even back in the days of laser.
     
  10. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    That was my exact reaction to the Billy Wilder thread. Complaining about the "only" dozen or so Wilder titles on DVD seems funny given the lack of films from Lubitsch. The only Lubitsch talkie available is "That Uncertain Feeling" which was done by Roan and a few PD crap quality companies, IIRC. I think the "You've Got Mail" DVD has a few clips from "Shop Around the Corner" in the supplements [​IMG]
    At least Criterion and Universal broke the Preston Sturges drought with two excellent titles.[​IMG]
    Fred Astaire and James Cagney also remain grossly underrepresented on DVD (Paging Warner Home Video! Paging Warner Home Video!).
    Regards,
     
  11. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    Speaking of Preston Sturges, I've always loved the Lubitsch gags from Sullivan's Travels -- I guess at some point the movie going public must have know who Lubitsch was...
    Anyway, yes, it's criminal that his movies aren't out there -- any number of them fully deserve the Criterion treatment.
    Ted
     
  12. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    One more small touch of Lubitsch unavailable on DVD:
    The multi-director, all-star episodic fun-fest IF I HAD A MILLION (1932, Paramount), in which Lubitsch directed the short, funny bit with Charles Laughton as a low-level employee of a mammoth company, who goes to pay the CEO a visit; the non-Lubitsch portions of the film are good too, especially W.C. Fields vs. the "road hogs". The film is controlled by MCA/Universal these days, and was released as an early laserdisc, and the Laughton bit was excerpted in the previously-mentioned Lubitsch LD set, I think.
     

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