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Wuthering Heights (1939) still has no Blu-ray release? (1 Viewer)

Thomas T

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Generally, he's stiff and hammy, continually feeding lines in blaring tones to the second balcony, though Wyler did manage to evoke what is probably Olivier's best performance in film a little over a decade later in "Carrie", an adaptation of "Sister Carrie" which is not to be confused with the Stephen King novel.
Stiff and hammy? Are we talking about the same actor? Wuthering Heights, Carrie, Rebecca, The Entertainer, Spartacus, Richard III, Hamlet, Sleuth, Pride And Prejudice, The Prince And The Showgirl, Henry V well, I'll stop there. How one can be stiff and hammy perplexes me! It's like someone generally being loud and quiet! But hey, it's all personal isn't it? I find Henry Fonda a (generally) stiff actor and Cate Blanchett a (generally) hammy actress, yet people wet themselves over them as actors. ;)
 

titch

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I have the Pioneer Special Edition Laserdisc, released in 1995, which was transferred from a fine grain master positive. This must have been from the 1989 restoration. It was my first viewing of this classic and I fell in love with it. Warner and then Warner Archive released Samuel Goldwyn's The Best Years Of Our Lives in a stellar blu-ray.
 

Nick Eden

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Didn't the Samuel Goldwyn Company (1979) or Samuel Goldwyn Jr. personally own Goldwyn senior's library of films? He presumably would be an heir to his father's estate. The Samuel Goldwyn Company(1979) logo fronted the Goldwyn senior's films for many years prior to being replaced by the Miramax logo. Whether that was a distribution deal between Sam jr and his company or whether the Samuel Goldwyn Company owned the films, I do not know. When Orion purchased the Samuel Goldwyn company wouldn't that have included the Goldwyn Senior films or would they have stayed with SG jr? There has been no mention of the sale of those films, just distribution deals. Since Junior is no longer alive are the films a part of his estate or were they part of the Samuel Goldwyn Company (1979). It does get comfusing.
Very confusing indeed. I'm just a simple, avid viewer of old films, who would love to see this film (and many others) getting the blu ray treatment.
 

jayembee

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I did see a WAC dvd version, and would love to see an upgraded edition, for sure. Maybe in the next 2-3 years there's a possibility?

The DVD I have is an old snapper under the HBO Home Video label. That label released about 20 Goldwyn films on DVD from Sep 1997 to June 1999. MGM/UA re-released about half of them, along with another half-dozen that HBO had not released, in the 2001-2005 timeframe.
 

Robert Crawford

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The DVD I have is an old snapper under the HBO Home Video label. That label released about 20 Goldwyn films on DVD from Sep 1997 to June 1999. MGM/UA re-released about half of them, along with another half-dozen that HBO had not released, in the 2001-2005 timeframe.
I have the same HBO DVD which is over 25 years old now.
 

Ronald Epstein

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To provide an update on the previously mentioned upcoming release of THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER...

I spoke with George at Warner who asked me to pass on that a new master was planned until Warner came to the conclusion that full restoration was required, and there is no timeframe at the moment.
 

Matt Hough

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To provide an update on the previously mentioned upcoming release of THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER...

I spoke with George at Warner who asked me to pass on that a new master was planned until Warner came to the conclusion that full restoration was required, and there is no timeframe at the moment.
Thanks for the update, but I'm disappointed a bit because I really love that movie and was looking forward to seeing it in top-notch quality sooner rather than later. Oh, well.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Thanks for the update, but I'm disappointed a bit because I really love that movie and was looking forward to seeing it in top-notch quality sooner rather than later. Oh, well.

I hear you. This is my most-wanted Archive title at the moment. At least the good news is that we know the title will get a release, and when it does, it will look spectacular. I can tolerate the wait for the end result.
 

lark144

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Stiff and hammy? Are we talking about the same actor? Wuthering Heights, Carrie, Rebecca, The Entertainer, Spartacus, Richard III, Hamlet, Sleuth, Pride And Prejudice, The Prince And The Showgirl, Henry V well, I'll stop there. How one can be stiff and hammy perplexes me! It's like someone generally being loud and quiet! But hey, it's all personal isn't it? I find Henry Fonda a (generally) stiff actor and Cate Blanchett a (generally) hammy actress, yet people wet themselves over them as actors. ;)
Thomas, thank you for your witty and beautifully argued post. I would love to agree with you, but cannot. Anyway, I'll try to be more specific. Of course, this is my opinion. I would say that Mr. Olivier's performance style is so unabashedly theatrical , he manages to be simultaneously stiff and hammy. I know that sounds like a contradiction in terms, but I would say Olivier is unique in this regard. Many people go rhapsodic over his performance in RICHARD III, for instance. Now, while it might have been impressive in a theater, it doesn't work at all for me in the intimacy of a film. By stiff, I mean his characterizations are inauthentic as well as superficial, allied with his tendency to play to the second balcony, and bray, for no reason that appears connected to either characterization or emotion. His way of moving and speaking never seems to change from film to film--for me, that is--no matter what role he is playing. It's mannered and repetitive. And then, along with this, he shouts much of his dialogue, miming some kind of vague feeling, though what it is is never clear, which I define as hammy. So I see it as both. For me, this is present in almost all the films you mention and it always makes me cringe. CARRIE, as I mentioned in my previous post, is the exception. He's remarkable in it; subtle and real and moving, his gestures, posture and voice all connected with the emotions and transformations that character experiences, in a manner that's even more affecting than what's in the novel, for this viewer, anyway. In the others, he's playing Olivier the "great actor" instead of essaying a specific character, exuding superficiality and pomposity. Clearly, you love his work. Why else spend time watching these things anyway? But I think it's ok if I disagree. I love Olivier's intelligence, which he brings to every performance, and which is why I continue to see those films, even if I find his acting disappointing. I also love his direction of HENRY V & RICHARD III, I only wish he had hired another actor. But the visual and dramatic settings are so dynamic and involving, his performances work for me conceptually, in spite of their inadequacies.
 
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bujaki

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I tend to agree that Olivier is at his best in Wyler's Carrie. His acting is as subtle as Ralph Richardson's in The Heiress, another Wyler winner.
 

ScottHM

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I thought the film was pretty good, though a bit too sappy for my tastes (particularly the deathbed sequence at the end). However, it was interesting to watch the young Laurence Olivier and David Niven give commendable performances.
I haven't seen this film in years, however I seem to recall that neither of the leading characters were very likeable, and so I don't have fond memories of it. Maybe I'll revisit it some day.
---------------
 

Robin9

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Thomas, thank you for your witty and beautifully argued post. I would love to agree with you, but cannot. Anyway, I'll try to be more specific. Of course, this is my opinion. I would say that Mr. Olivier's performance style is so unabashedly theatrical , he manages to be simultaneously stiff and hammy. I know that sounds like a contradiction in terms, but I would say Olivier is unique in this regard. Many people go rhapsodic over his performance in RICHARD III, for instance. Now, while it might have been impressive in a theater, it doesn't work at all for me in the intimacy of a film. By stiff, I mean his characterizations are inauthentic as well as superficial, allied with his tendency to play to the second balcony, and bray, for no reason that appears connected to either characterization or emotion. His way of moving and speaking never seems to change from film to film--for me, that is--no matter what role he is playing. It's mannered and repetitive. And then, along with this, he shouts much of his dialogue, miming some kind of vague feeling, though what it is is never clear, which I define as hammy. So I see it as both. For me, this is present in almost all the films you mention and it always makes me cringe. CARRIE, as I mentioned in my previous post, is the exception. He's remarkable in it; subtle and real and moving, his gestures, posture and voice all connected with the emotions and transformations that character experiences, in a manner that's even more affecting than what's in the novel, for this viewer, anyway. In the others, he's playing Olivier the "great actor" instead of essaying a specific character, exuding superficiality and pomposity. Clearly, you love his work. Why else spend time watching these things anyway? But I think it's ok if I disagree. I love Olivier's intelligence, which he brings to every performance, and which is why I continue to see those films, even if I find his acting disappointing. I also love his direction of HENRY V & RICHARD III, I only wish he had hired another actor. But the visual and dramatic settings are so dynamic and involving, his performances work for me conceptually, in spite of their inadequacies.
I suggest you watch Term Of Trial and Bunny Lake Is Missing.
 

lark144

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I suggest you watch Term Of Trial and Bunny Lake Is Missing.
He's not bad in BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING but it's only a glorified cameo, so he wasn't really given the opportunity to sweat and strut.
 

Stephen_J_H

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Didn't the Samuel Goldwyn Company (1979) or Samuel Goldwyn Jr. personally own Goldwyn senior's library of films? He presumably would be an heir to his father's estate. The Samuel Goldwyn Company(1979) logo fronted the Goldwyn senior's films for many years prior to being replaced by the Miramax logo. Whether that was a distribution deal between Sam jr and his company or whether the Samuel Goldwyn Company owned the films, I do not know. When Orion purchased the Samuel Goldwyn company wouldn't that have included the Goldwyn Senior films or would they have stayed with SG jr? There has been no mention of the sale of those films, just distribution deals. Since Junior is no longer alive are the films a part of his estate or were they part of the Samuel Goldwyn Company (1979). It does get comfusing.
Any Goldwyn titles released by WB have been productions from Samuel Goldwyn Sr., for example: Guys and Dolls, Hans Christian Andersen and The Best Years of Our Lives. While you might think his son would inherit the library, it's not a safe assumption to make, given that the rights would be held by Samuel Goldwyn Productions, a different entity from The Samuel Goldwyn Company. The rights to the majority of the Samuel Goldwyn Productions are currently held by The Samuel Goldwyn Family Trust and home media distribution rights are with Warner Bros., While Paramount Global holds theatrical distribution rights through Miramax.
 

Robert Crawford

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Any Goldwyn titles released by WB have been productions from Samuel Goldwyn Sr., for example: Guys and Dolls, Hans Christian Andersen and The Best Years of Our Lives. While you might think his son would inherit the library, it's not a safe assumption to make, given that the rights would be held by Samuel Goldwyn Productions, a different entity from The Samuel Goldwyn Company. The rights to the majority of the Samuel Goldwyn Productions are currently held by The Samuel Goldwyn Family Trust and home media distribution rights are with Warner Bros., While Paramount Global holds theatrical distribution rights through Miramax.
Again, I'm not sure that distribution deal is still active between the two entities.
 

jayembee

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Again, I'm not sure that distribution deal is still active between the two entities.
I suppose the easiest way to determine that would be whether the Goldwyn films released by WAC -- such as Dodsworth, The Best Years of Our Lives, and Hans Christian Anderson -- are OOP or not. I don't think they are, but it would also depend on whether WAC gets to continue selling copies already pressed versus being able to press more.
 

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