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Snorky's DVD Talk


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I agree with Edgecliff. Some of these films had VHS releases, but most all are yet to be on DVD. "Hollywood Revue" was on laserdisc, and Our Blushing Brides has never been on home video, As for "Song of the South"....I assume you know why that isn't released? Hint: It's the same reason Palmy Days, The Singing Fool, and most of the other Eddie Cantors and Al Jolson early talkies are not on DVD.

 

"Beggars of Life" has never been on any home video format because it's from Paramount. If you ever find a silent Paramount film on DVD, it is definitely not studio authorized. Paramount could care less about its classic films. vintagefilmbuff.com and grapevinevideo.com often have some of these. They are legitimate businesses, but the transfers are less than perfect and in the case of vintagefilmbuff - EXPENSIVE. However, if you want to see some of the Paramount late silents/early talkies it's the only place I know of to get them.

 

For us early talkie fans you left out a few more : "It's A Great Life" (1929) and "Lights of New York" (1928) come to mind as films never on VHS or DVD. "A Matrimonial Bed" (1930) is a great pre-code farce that never made it to home video along with most everything Marie Dressler ever did.

 

Some possibly good news: Eddie Cantor's Whoopee is going to be on DVD as of next week as part of a giant musical collection entitled "Hollywood Musicals" by MGM/Fox. However, it is not being released as a single and I refuse to pay $500 just to see Whoopee. The rest of that package is basically just a repackaging of stock.

 

Some definite bad news: Snorky, probably few classic releases are in our future for probably the next year. Bad economies tend to homogenize entertainment, and classic movie fans are a niche market. Be prepared for lots of Blu-ray releases of titles you already have and lots of new films with big explosions that are devoid of a soul or a plot. However, I notice you tend to like post-1960 films too, so maybe it will be less of a drought for you than for others.

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MGM has just announced the release of 4 of the Hitchcock films that were in the expensive box set as single DVD's including THE PARADINE CASE so hopefully WHOOPEE will also be released as a single DVD too! Meanwhile I am hanging onto my laserdisc of WHOOPEE. BTW I doubt if MGM/FOX will be selling a lot of those expensive musical box set DVD's. Most musical collectors already own much of the selection in this box set and I also can see the list price being slashed sometime after the first of the year!! I can't understand what someone was thinking at FOX.

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I've seen several releases like this lately - building an uber-expensive box set out of what is essentially DVDs already in release. In the case of the Hollywood Musical set, the only new DVDs are Whoopee, Kid Millions, and the Goldwyn Follies. Every other disc in the set has been released either individually or in some other set. Thus, most fans of the UA/MGM-Fox musicals probably already have these DVDs. The other package similar to it is the Columbia Best Pictures Collection. In every case, as far as I can tell, this is also just a repackaging of stock. I guess this is a way to make big money on a DVD set without actually taking a chance since you didn't actually produce anything new to begin with.

 

I, too, think it will wind up being drastically marked down after the first of the year. Maybe a 100 dollar gold box deal of the day on Amazon?

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