Thursday, December 10, 2009

How Many of Your Requests Made It?

Did anyone fare any better with their desired DVD titles, or did you just dub them off of TCM?

Last December I posted an entry about my Unreleased DVD Wishlist. And only one, Johnny Eager (1942), was released, and even that was through the Warner Archives, the burn-to-order DVD syndicate that has offered some truly interesting titles, but not as many from the Golden Age as I would've liked. They're also a bit expensive ($19.95 a shot) for something with varying quality. Warner Archives only ships to US locations, so international movie-lovers have to find alternate means to getting these. Oh, there's also a disclaimer for Warner Archives titles:

"Important Note: This film has been manufactured from the best-quality video master currently available and has not been remastered or restored specifically for this DVD and Digital Download release. Click here to preview this film's video quality."

My hat's off to WB for providing a few minutes of video footage--most of which looks fine--but the whole concept just leads me to believe that the DVD "revolution" as far as pre-1950s films go, is essentially over. I still hold out hope that Warner Brothers will issue a DVD box of the "Fast" films and that someone will have the moxy to treat us to William Powell's Thin Man knockoffs made for RKO and Columbia (reviews are here and here).

Since the major companies aren't interested in DVDs much anymore, I guess I'd better quit complaining and buy a DVD recorder and start the revoultion on my own.

Here's My Money, where are the DVDs?


  1. I've also had mixed feelings about the Warners Archives. On one hand, I get so excited to see how many rare titles are now available. But then I feel disappointed that they're basically just throwing these pics on the market with very little care. If streaming really is the direction we are headed, I would be glad to see these titles available in that format. I mean, if they're not going to restore the movies, at least make them more convenient to see.

  2. Haha, totally. Why do they insist on holding so many films hostage??? I was actually quite happy to find that a movie on my wish list was released: "Four's A Crowd" with Errol Flynn, Rosalind Russell, Olivia de Havilland and Patric Knowles. Yay!!!

  3. Aggre C.K. there are mixed feelings here. I just purchased two that were on sale and a coupon got them at a fairly cheap price. While quality is a concern I am glad they are making film available. Now only if they wre cheaper.

  4. Piggybacking on John's comment, I just picked up 4 titles from the Archive for %50, free shipping. Between sales & email discounts, you can get more reasonable prices. I just figure that if I can buy a few titles, it's my vote for them to put more rare titles out there - even if the quality is iffy.

  5. I got several Mitchell Leisen films from an Italian boxset (R2) and "Theodora goes wild" and "Too Many Husbands" on the icons of screwball comedy series. Have you try R2 in the UK, France or Spain? Occasionally there are some treasures to be found (e.g. 2 French boxsets dedicated to Douglas Sirk) although it does require some homework to find out about their quality. Universal owned titles, which include RKO in several European countries, are frequently licensed or released even without a R1 release.

  6. Glad one of your wishlist has been issued, anyway, CK - hope you get more luck this year with the other titles. As a Brit, I'm so fed up about Warner Archive - as they refuse to ship internationally, the titles are only available from other websites such as ebay at roughly double the price, so that's around $40 each, plus international postage! What's more, they won't allow us pesky foreigners to buy downloads of the movies via their website either! I do hope for a change of tack, as some of the titles they are issuing are tempting, but not for more than twice the price. Must agree it would be much better if they actually restored the movies and let people stream them.

    On a cheerier note, a movie I'd been hoping for that was released in the UK this year was the late Cagney classic 'Man of a Thousand Faces' - I snapped it up right away. And I'm also so pleased to have the latest Forbidden Hollywood box set of Wellman movies, on import but I managed to get a good deal. Judy

  7. Since the major companies aren't interested in DVDs much anymore, I guess I'd better quit complaining and buy a DVD recorder and start the revolution on my own.

    That's what you should be doing all of the time-you'll usually have to, since not everything will be on DVD. Smart man.


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