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why on earth is there no decent release for The Scarlet Pimpernel ('35)?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Paul_Scott, Dec 11, 2005.

  1. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

    Jul 19, 2002
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    having grown up a big comic book fan, i was surprised and delighted the first time i finally saw this film, as it was (along with Zorro) the basic prototype for the big golden age superheros like Superman and Batman.
    for anyone who hasn't seen the movie, or avoided it thinking it would be 30s creaky and dull, you are missing out on a very lively and fun costume actioner. Howard is fantastic as the dashing night rider/justice avenger who hides his identity behind an effete disguise. and Merle Oberon (sadly underrepresented on DVD) is at her most beautiful and luminous as his decieved wife.

    now i know this has been released on a cheap budget disc from madacy, which i avoided due to that label rep, and i've also seen it for a $1 from some no name label in Wal-Mart- which i also never picked up.
    last night i stumbled across a showing of it on TCM and was startled to see what looked like an excellant print of the film. it looked spectacular for its era with a rich, deep greyscale and little to no print damage that i could detect.

    if this is really in the public domain, like the madacy and other rleases would suggest, why doesn't someone like WB or Criterion release this, especially given that such a fine transfer seems to exist and the current exploitable potential of a superhero prototype property?
  2. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

    Sep 28, 1998
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    Real Name:
    Yes, long overdue.

    Same is true for A TALE OF TWO CITIES.
  3. Charles H

    Charles H Screenwriter

    Jan 7, 2004
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    Sony owns (I think) the official rights via their buyout of MGM/UA. The same print that you saw on TCM was brought out on VHS as a "Vintage Classic" by MGM/UA a couple of years ago. (I think that Samuel Goldwyn may have owned the distribution rights at one time.)
  4. Jim Peavy

    Jim Peavy Supporting Actor

    Aug 12, 2002
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    They seek him here,
    they seek him there,
    those Frenchies seek him everywhere!

    Is he in heaven?
    Is he in hell?
    That damned elusive Pimpernel!

    A nice DVD of this would be terrific. I've only seen cruddy, PD prints. What is the best DVD of this out there?
  5. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

    Jun 19, 2002
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    A bit of an overstatement. It's not on DVD because... a LOT of movies aren't on DVD, and there isn't enough money to restore these and put them out.

    Why on EARTH isn't The African Queen on DVD, or The Heiress, or Reds, or...?

    thousands of others
  6. MichaelScott

    MichaelScott Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 24, 2005
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    Agree..why on earth isn't the oh .. almost 250 classic(30's-50's) titles on my want list not out..all I would buy without a second thought. I would even take so-so crappy prints like Alphas then nothing at all.

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