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Your thoughts on Kino-Lorber Blu-rays (2 Viewers)

Astairefan

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Surprised we have not heard anything about Crosby's "A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court" boy oh boy that Rhonda Fleming in Technicolor hubba hubba!
I don't know why you're so surprised about that. Kino's Insider has stated on numerous occasions that Bing Crosby is NOT a big seller, and I could have sworn they indicated that they did NOT add any Bing Crosby titles when they added more stuff to their third deal this summer (leaving only The Emperor Waltz and Blue Skies as their only Bing Crosby representation from the first part of their third deal with Universal). Realistically, we've probably gotten his biggest sellers represented on blu already, and, short of there being HD scans of any of his remaining films, we likely won't get anything more from Kino (unless The Emperor Waltz has sold well, or the not-yet-given-a-release-date Blue Skies does well enough when it comes out that they want to release more).
 

RobertMG

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I don't know why you're so surprised about that. Kino's Insider has stated on numerous occasions that Bing Crosby is NOT a big seller, and I could have sworn they indicated that they did NOT add any Bing Crosby titles when they added more stuff to their third deal this summer (leaving only The Emperor Waltz and Blue Skies as their only Bing Crosby representation from the first part of their third deal with Universal). Realistically, we've probably gotten his biggest sellers represented on blu already, and, short of there being HD scans of any of his remaining films, we likely won't get anything more from Kino (unless The Emperor Waltz has sold well, or the not-yet-given-a-release-date Blue Skies does well enough when it comes out that they want to release more).
I don't know why you're so surprised about that. Kino's Insider has stated on numerous occasions that Bing Crosby is NOT a big seller, and I could have sworn they indicated that they did NOT add any Bing Crosby titles when they added more stuff to their third deal this summer (leaving only The Emperor Waltz and Blue Skies as their only Bing Crosby representation from the first part of their third deal with Universal). Realistically, we've probably gotten his biggest sellers represented on blu already, and, short of there being HD scans of any of his remaining films, we likely won't get anything more from Kino (unless The Emperor Waltz has sold well, or the not-yet-given-a-release-date Blue Skies does well enough when it comes out that they want to release more).
Yes all good points But "A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court" is probably one of his best pictures and along with "White Christmas" the last of his big box office success. Forgot High Society!
 
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Astairefan

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Yes all good points But "A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court" is probably one of his best pictures and along with "White Christmas" the last of his big box office success. Forgot High Society!

Looks like a new HD master available from Umbrella Entertainment!

I wasn't trying to argue the quality of the film. I've seen it, I enjoyed it quite a bit, and would be quick to buy it on Blu-ray myself if it was made available. I don't quite understand why you bring its box office success into the equation, as success back during its original theatrical release doesn't necessarily mean that it is still popular (otherwise, we would have gotten more of the Deanna Durbin films from Kino, since I thought she was originally popular enough at the box office that she helped save Universal Studios from bankruptcy). But, given that it does appear to have an HD scan done, then I do think it will likely be made available. The only question is, how well Kino's previous Bing Crosby releases have done. If they have sold well enough, then Kino might try to license it in a future deal and release it. If they haven't sold well, then it will likely be made available as part of Universal's MOD program.
 

RobertMG

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I wasn't trying to argue the quality of the film. I've seen it, I enjoyed it quite a bit, and would be quick to buy it on Blu-ray myself if it was made available. I don't quite understand why you bring its box office success into the equation, as success back during its original theatrical release doesn't necessarily mean that it is still popular (otherwise, we would have gotten more of the Deanna Durbin films from Kino, since I thought she was originally popular enough at the box office that she helped save Universal Studios from bankruptcy). But, given that it does appear to have an HD scan done, then I do think it will likely be made available. The only question is, how well Kino's previous Bing Crosby releases have done. If they have sold well enough, then Kino might try to license it in a future deal and release it. If they haven't sold well, then it will likely be made available as part of Universal's MOD program.
Agree with you, maybe the correct strategy to releasing his films would have been a box of his lesser titles and the films that over the years have been the most popular on tv etc as single releases.
 

Astairefan

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Agree with you, maybe the correct strategy to releasing his films would have been a box of his lesser titles and the films that over the years have been the most popular on tv etc as single releases.
At this point, I really don't think anything other than single releases would be the way to go. I'm sorry, but Kino's Insider has repeatedly stated that their actor/actress box sets from last year were poor sellers (a fact that you can tell by the sheer fact that Kino seems to have abandoned the idea of doing any more actor/actress sets, outside of the *possible* set of Maria Montez/Jon Hall films they referenced that may or may not happen). And that was with big, still fondly-remembered stars like Barbara Stanwyck, Cary Grant and a few others (and all those sets were more or less their lesser films). The way the Insider talks about Bing, I can't help but think that a box set of his films would fare more like Kino's Deanna Durbin set (and, unlike Bing, audiences haven't turned AGAINST her, she's just been forgotten with the passage of time).
 

LeoA

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I wonder why they think Bing doesn't sell. All they've released that feature him to the best of my knowledge are the Road movies and the recent release of The Emperor Waltz. And if the Road movies were such sales duds, I wonder why they've not been shy at trying a lot more Bob Hope.

While I sadly think a lot of what's unreleased for his films are relatively obscure these days like Here Comes the Waves, I sure hope someone gives us quality releases for 'Welcome Stranger' (Any fan of Going My Way and the Bells of St. Mary's will love this one) and 'A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court'. The latter to the best of my knowledge remains a big film for classic movie aficionados that enjoy Hollywood's Golden Age and a big omission on Blu-Ray.

At least Bing fans will hopefully get High Society in the not too distant future from Warner Archive.
 

Thomas T

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I wonder why they think Bing doesn't sell. All they've released that feature him to the best of my knowledge are the Road movies and the recent release of The Emperor Waltz. And if the Road movies were such sales duds, I wonder why they've not been shy at trying a lot more Bob Hope.

While I sadly think a lot of what's unreleased for his films are relatively obscure these days like Here Comes the Waves, I sure hope someone gives us quality releases for 'Welcome Stranger' (Any fan of Going My Way and the Bells of St. Mary's will love this one) and 'A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court'. The latter to the best of my knowledge remains a big film for classic movie aficionados that enjoy Hollywood's Golden Age and a big omission on Blu-Ray.

At least Bing fans will hopefully get High Society in the not too distant future from Warner Archive.
Crosby isn't well regarded by the non geriatric nostalgia crowd. He's no Frank Sinatra! I suspect Blue Skies got a KL release because of Fred Astaire, not Crosby and The Emperor Waltz is a Billy Wilder film so there's some appeal to the Wilder fanboys and "auteur" crowd. I don't recall KL saying the Road movies bombed and without Bob Hope, Crosby is Hopeless (sorry I couldn't resist) which is why Hope is getting more releases but Crosby is not.
 

LeoA

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As a 38 year old classic movie fan, that's news to me that we're not supposed to like Bing Crosby.

And considering that all they've released for Bing movies until last summer have been the Road movies and if Kino Lorber is avoiding licensing more Crosby movies due to low sales in the past, it by default sadly means those underperformed.

But to blame Bing is a mistake I think. Perhaps the Road formula just isn't a big hit with their customer base? Much like Bob Hope's filmography that has thankfully been given many chances by Kino since they binge released the Road movies, I hope they revisit Bing's catalog of classics in the future. Hopefully Blue Skies sells well when it releases and they don't put all the credit on Fred Astaire's name for it selling well (A name that I would think means even less to the "non geriatric" crowd in 2021).
 

Astairefan

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I wonder why they think Bing doesn't sell. All they've released that feature him to the best of my knowledge are the Road movies and the recent release of The Emperor Waltz. And if the Road movies were such sales duds, I wonder why they've not been shy at trying a lot more Bob Hope.

While I sadly think a lot of what's unreleased for his films are relatively obscure these days like Here Comes the Waves, I sure hope someone gives us quality releases for 'Welcome Stranger' (Any fan of Going My Way and the Bells of St. Mary's will love this one) and 'A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court'. The latter to the best of my knowledge remains a big film for classic movie aficionados that enjoy Hollywood's Golden Age and a big omission on Blu-Ray.

At least Bing fans will hopefully get High Society in the not too distant future from Warner Archive.

As a 38 year old classic movie fan, that's news to me that we're not supposed to like Bing Crosby.

And considering that all they've released for Bing movies until last summer have been the Road movies and if Kino Lorber is avoiding licensing more Crosby movies due to low sales in the past, it by default sadly means those underperformed.

But to blame Bing is a mistake I think. Perhaps the Road formula just isn't a big hit with their customer base? Much like Bob Hope's filmography that has thankfully been given many chances by Kino since they binge released the Road movies, I hope they revisit Bing's catalog of classics in the future. Hopefully Blue Skies sells well when it releases and they don't put all the credit on Fred Astaire's name for it selling well (A name that I would think means even less to the "non geriatric" crowd in 2021).
I sincerely doubt that it's as simple as you are making it out to be. Kino has said they think he is a poor seller, yes, but they never said it was for any of their releases. After all, I would suspect that they are likely to have some access to sales data for stuff released by Universal on DVD. And you're assuming that people bought the Road films for Bing. That may not be entirely accurate. After all, we are talking about somebody who died WAAAAAAY back in 1977, which is now more than forty years ago, while Bob Hope lived way beyond, finally passing away after celebrating his centenary in 2003, which is less than twenty years ago (and he was, to the best of my knowledge, still active on television into the 1990s). If we want to be realistic, the marketing for the Road films (at least, in the way of packaging) for most of the last two decades has focused a LOT more on Bob Hope than Bing Crosby. I know the DVDs I had were part of the Bob Hope Tribute Collection line on DVD, with one or more Road films included in various Bob Hope DVD collections over the years (whereas they were never connected as much to Bing until Universal compiled all the Bing Crosby films they had released on DVD up to that point as part of the Bing Crosby Silver Screen Collection). Now, I do think we will get more of the Universal-owned Bing Crosby films on blu. That I am certain of. As I said before, the only question is which ones Kino thinks would be worthwhile (that at least have HD scans). I personally think A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court has a shot, and I suspect We're Not Dressing (1934) will as well (more so because of Carole Lombard's presence, since Kino has released a bunch of her stuff). Anything else would be more likely to come from Universal's MOD line (unless ClassicFlix can make a deal with Universal and want some of the Crosby films).
 
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LeoA

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If we're looking at high profile visibility for most of the stars in the average 1930's-1950's Kino Lorber release, only a handful have had much in recent decades. Most remain known in declining numbers due solely to what they accomplished back in the day. And during the 1940's, one of the biggest names on radio and the silver screen was Crosby.

I'm not privy to Kino's decisions and I'm not about to tell them how to run their business. But what I will do is remain puzzled why his name is apparently a negative when evaluating a potential title for release, while dozens of lesser known stars from the same era enjoy releases from this label.

That said, I'm very glad Kino Lorber exists (Their releases outnumber any other publisher's for number of discs in my Blu-Ray collection by a wide margin), even if the Bing Crosby fan in me isn't quite thrilled that a particular star apparently is to be avoided by them.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I think it comes down to, they’ve tried releasing his titles and they didn’t sell well for them.

For some of those other titles you’ve alluded to, some of them cost less to license so they can be profitable even if they don’t sell in as high numbers. Some of them haven’t been released as widely in any format, so there’s more demand for them. Sometimes Kino has to agree to release a bunch of titles they’re not interested in and expect to lose money on, in order to gain access to other titles that will be bigger sellers and make up for those losses.

When the Kino Insider says that a title or an actor or director didn’t sell well for them, I tend to take that at face value. It’s not about whether the movies are well made or whether the people at Kino personally like them. If they fail to sell, at a certain point, a business is going to make a decision to stop throwing good money after bad, and put their efforts into products that might sell better rather than ones they know firsthand won’t.
 

AnthonyClarke

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Leo A said
As a 38 year old classic movie fan, that's news to me that we're not supposed to like Bing Crosby.

Well, what would you know, Leo? I mean, double your age and add another year for good luck and .. well, and ... well ....
ok , forget it.
Anyway, when I was 38 I knew EVERYTHING! And I won't say how old I am (though you may have guessed!
 

LeoA

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I think you've gotten the wrong impressions from my posts, Anthony.

I'm not out to tell anyone their business or act like I know all the answers. I've simply been expressing my disappointment along with a fair bit of confusion on why Bing Crosby is a name that they want to avoid while releasing scores of classics from his contemporaries like Claudette Colbert.

While I treasure every disc they put out of films from stars like her and I'm happy Kino Lorber sees this era as lucrative enough to remain active in, it's been very much news to me in the past 12 hours to learn that Bing Crosby is no longer viewed in the same tier today in the eyes of publishers (And Home Theater Forum members alike) as greats like Jean Arthur, Bob Hope, and Fred MacMurray.

I wasn't aware he's apparently been forgotten. Much unfortunate in my eyes, but I can't fix it.
 

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