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We got MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD in December and ONE MORE RIVER in January...

 

LITTLE ACCIDENT (1930) Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Anita Page

OUTSIDE THE LAW (1930) Edward G. Robinson, Mary Nolan

RECKLESS LIVING (1931) Ricardo Cortez, Mae Clarke

UP FOR MURDER (1931) Lew Ayres, Genevieve Tobin

CHEATING CHEATERS (1934) Fay Wray, Cesar Romero

THE COUNTESS OF MONTE CRISTO (1934) Fay Wray, Paul Lukas

EMBARRASSING MOMENTS (1934) Chester Morris, Marian Nixon

LET'S TALK IT OVER (1934) Chester Morris, Mae Clarke

MADAME SPY (1934) Fay Wray, Nils Asther

ONE EXCITING ADVENTURE (1934) Binnie Barnes, Neil Hamilton

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> {quote:title=PrinceSaliano wrote:}{quote}We got MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD in December and ONE MORE RIVER in January...

>

> LITTLE ACCIDENT (1930) Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Anita Page

> OUTSIDE THE LAW (1930) Edward G. Robinson, Mary Nolan

> RECKLESS LIVING (1931) Ricardo Cortez, Mae Clarke

> UP FOR MURDER (1931) Lew Ayres, Genevieve Tobin

> CHEATING CHEATERS (1934) Fay Wray, Cesar Romero

> THE COUNTESS OF MONTE CRISTO (1934) Fay Wray, Paul Lukas

> EMBARRASSING MOMENTS (1934) Chester Morris, Marian Nixon

> LET'S TALK IT OVER (1934) Chester Morris, Mae Clarke

> MADAME SPY (1934) Fay Wray, Nils Asther

> ONE EXCITING ADVENTURE (1934) Binnie Barnes, Neil Hamilton

I've seen "Up For Murder" - a now out-of-business online entity had good copies for sale. As for the rest of them, they appear to be quite rare. Your only hope might be a DVD-R set Universal is planning this year called "Universal Rarities" in celebration of their centennial. I don't know what will be in it, but given the sad state of classic film restoration over at Universal, I wouldn't hold out much hope for material from the 30's and 40's. Unfortunately, Universal also holds all of the Paramount films from the 30's and 40's too.

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I hadn't heard of this "Universal Rarities" collection. It sounds great...but, as you say, their track record is not the best. They tend to re-release the same stuff over and over again, and then wonder why sales are flat (a Universal exec recently stated that the last Universal Horror DVDs had disappointing sales...could that be because they have re-packaged Frankenstein and Dracula about 45 different times since the birth of VHS? How many more people are going to buy them?)

 

They did give is a pre-code set a few years ago, and some of the franchise sets were good, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

 

I'd love if they stared a MOD system like Warner Archive...and let have all the 30s & 40s Paramount titles.

 

Edited by: ChorusGirl on Jan 5, 2012 2:12 AM

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> {quote:title=ChorusGirl wrote:}{quote}I'd love if they stared a MOD system like Warner Archive...and let have all the 30s & 40s Paramount titles.

>

> Edited by: ChorusGirl on Jan 5, 2012 2:12 AM

The Universal Rarities set is supposed to be MOD, so maybe they'll take some chances since they'll have a minimal potential loss.

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EXACTLY...Universal repackages and reissues their classics (their horror classics in particular) WITHOUT doing anything truly major in the way of digital restoration....they keep force-feeding us the same movies time and again. No wonder the last issues didn't sell well.

 

I've said this before elsewhere, but Universal needs to spend serious time and some money and film vault-hunting and do proper restorations of their horror classics, and THEN maybe their interest and sales will pick up on them. Every reissue has next to nothing in the way of different or improved bonus features,

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I love how they keep reissuing THE INVISIBLE MAN without having the decency to "pay the two dollars" and have the original source music play on the radio in Kemp's study. They dubbed in a horrible ****-tonk piano version of "Hearts and Flowers" instead of the original dance band tune "La Rosita". HOW MUCH COULD IT COST???

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I've said this a number of times around here, but I feel that Universal needs to divest itself of those early classic films that it is doing nothing with. Either through sale or donation (for the tax write off). Convey to parties that will be bound to restore and release. I don't care if they sell *Paramount On Parade (1930)* for $5!! That would be $5 more than what they are getting by keeping it in a vault gathering dust and decomposition! Actually, they are in a minus position with these unreleased properties, as they incur storage and insurance costs over time; they are liabilities to their balance sheet.

 

I have no confidence in Universal as an owning organisation as it pertains to these properties. We can't have such a large block of our early historic and film legacy held hostage to their indifference.

 

I urge any reading here who are in the film business, in the video business, to contact them and make an offer for any specific properties of interest. Let's put Universal out of it's misery with these old films. Let's do it soon! These films are physically deteriorating with the passage of time!

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Universal, celebrating its centennial this year, announced that it is restoring the following films: *All Quiet on the Western Front,* *The Birds*, *Abbott and Costello's Buck Privates, Dracula* (1931), the Spanish-language *Dracula* filmed on the same set at night, *Frankenstein, Jaws, Schindler's List, Out of Africa, Pillow Talk, Bride of Frankenstein, The Sting* and *To Kill a Mockingbird*.

 

Each restoration costs between $250,000 and $600,000 to do and takes between three to six months to complete. Restoration on the films began last year and the films will be released throughout this year as part of the Universal centennial.

 

Universal senior VP, Michael Daruty spoke about the restorations last month and said, ""This restoration effort was not about marketability and whether we're gonna sell enough DVDs. That is what we do on a daily basis, but this was a commitment by the company to say, 'We're gonna devote funding and most probably continue that effort year over year, to try and preserve and restore the legacy of the company. We're here to spend the money on these 13 titles and some others, whether we're gonna get our money back in that first year or not.' It's really refreshing."

 

More from COO Ron Meyer, "There will be a number of films in collectible book style packaging with memorabilia. It's an area for us to frankly show off and give the audience something they've never seen before."

 

Daruty's team proved Meyer right by showing horrifying damage magically repaired in the coming releases. In Universal's classic monster cinema (which you can expect to see promoted next Halloween), loud hisses, pops, and crackles vanish, making scary footsteps audible. *To Kill a Mockingbird* loses the appalling graininess in a courtroom closeup. *In Out of Africa*, Meryl Streep loses a weird wobble in her walk possibly caused by projectors that enlarged the sprocket holes. *Pillow Talk* erupts with dazzling color and detail. *Jaws* practically bites your nose off.

 

So, when you wonder why studios aren't churning out restorations fast enough, it's important to consider the money and logistics involved.

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I saw the list of films to be released. There is but one classic film and that is All Quiet on the Western Front. The rest are recent popular films that have all been released before. Help us viewers out and stop sitting on your library.

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> There is but one classic film and that is All Quiet on the Western Front. The rest are recent popular films that have all been released before

 

The list includes restorations of *Dracula*, the Spanish language *Dracula*, *Frankenstein*, *The Bride of Frankenstein*, *Buck Privates*, *The Birds* and *To Kill a Mockingbird*.

 

Those who have been clamoring for restorations of Universal's horror films are getting their wish come true.

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Digitising is not necessarily the same thing as restoration, and costs no where near as much. Of course it's ideal to do a full restoration. (It's possible that some titles can be released without a full restoration)Letting the original sit in the can is neither of those. Even the release of an unrestored version is better than no release at all! Letting the origianls decompose just makes any postponed restoration all the more expensive down the line.

 

Universal needs to explore it's options. They can give or donate some of these properties to a not for profit archive. (Tax write off) A non-profit can raise donation money towards restoration. I still think they should also consider selling the collection piecmeal to interested and qualified parties. Other possibilities are release through the internet on a a pay for view basis, like through Netflix or some other arrangement. Universal is no babe in the woods, it's a media conglomerate!

 

Edited by: ThelmaTodd on Jan 10, 2012 2:18 PM

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A few of Paramount's 1930's that I would love to see:

 

"Street of Chance" 1930

William Powell and Jean Arthur

 

"Manslaughter" 1930

Claudette Colbert and Frederic March

 

"Girls About Town" 1931

Kay Francis and Joel McCrea

Geroge Cukor's first Hollywood studio film.

 

"His Woman" 1931

Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert

 

"Dancers in the Dark" 1932

George Raft and Mariam Hopkins

 

"Hot Saturday" 1932

Nancy Carroll, Cary Grant and Randolph Scott

 

"No Man of Her Own" 1932

Clark Gable and Carole Lombard

 

"Crime Without Passion"1934

Directed by Ben Hetch and Charles Mac Arthur.

Claude Rains first full on screen role

 

"Glass Key" 1935

George Raft and Edward Arnold.

Dashell Hammett's classic first outing...

 

I don't know if some or any of the films have seen the light of day since they were first shown or if some even exist. But it would be something to see them for the first time. Plus all the other that have disappeared for one reason or another....

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Universal has announced that it will be offering films from their library via MOD. (Much like the Warner Archive).

 

> Universal needs to explore it's options. They can give or donate some of these properties to a not for profit archive. (Tax write off) A non-profit can raise donation money towards restoration. I still think they should also consider selling the collection piecmeal to interested and qualified parties.

 

The problem with that is that non-profits aren't in a position to take over the costs of digitizing and releasing DVDs. Due to the economy, many non-profits are struggling with donations to cover costs for works they are already doing.

 

The Film Foundation works with the various studios to help with underwriting restorations. But even with Marty Scorsese out there talking on their behalf and reminding us all how important our cinematic heritage is, the Foundation isn't exactly rolling in dough. Kevin Brownlow, perhaps the preeminent archivist of our time, struggles to raise money to restore films via Photoplay. Each year, non-profits such as UCLA Film Archives and George Eastman House must make choices of which films from their holdings they can restore because there isn't money enough to restore them all.

 

Whether its just digitizing films and making them available via MOD or restoring films for the future, it all costs money and as Kevin Brownlow and David Shepard have stated publicly, classic films, especially silents and early talkies, are a very niche market.

 

That doesn't mean it shouldn't be done but until we as a society value our cinematic heritage, films will languish on the shelf whether they are in studio vaults or non-profits.

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Hi lzcutter,

 

 

What isn't working is what they are now doing, which is largely nothing. This is not a small mom and pop operation- they are a major player with a lot of connections. I still say then let them sell the stuff to whoever wants to make a go with it. The whole issue begs another question, as to why so many films of that early vintage, even obscure ones owned by others have managed to be released over the years, while so many of their titles have not. They have not released many of these films even on VHS, when that was a hot market. They have held this stuff for many decades, allowing it to detriorate.

 

I'm never going to stop being critical of Universal. They should've "gotten out of the kitchen" with this stuff 20 years ago, when the originals were in better shape.

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Well it is too bad Bill Gates isn't a big fan of classic movies. He could underwrite the entire process.

 

But really where should the money come from. One cannot expect the Feds to pony up any money. There is the Libary of Congress but their funds are limited and I assume they would only be able to afford to 'save' a very limited number of movies (assuming those that make these type of decisions are even interested).

 

So the best option are non-profit shops but as you noted their funds are also very limited. The end result will be that some of these works will be lost forever.

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> {quote:title=lzcutter wrote:}{quote}Universal has announced that it will be offering films from their library via MOD. (Much like the Warner Archive).

>

> > Universal needs to explore it's options. They can give or donate some of these properties to a not for profit archive. (Tax write off) A non-profit can raise donation money towards restoration. I still think they should also consider selling the collection piecmeal to interested and qualified parties.The problem with that is that non-profits aren't in a position to take over the costs of digitizing and releasing DVDs. Due to the economy, many non-profits are struggling with donations to cover costs for works they are already doing.

>

> The Film Foundation works with the various studios to help with underwriting restorations. But even with Marty Scorsese out there talking on their behalf and reminding us all how important our cinematic heritage is, the Foundation isn't exactly rolling in dough. Kevin Brownlow, perhaps the preeminent archivist of our time, struggles to raise money to restore films via Photoplay. Each year, non-profits such as UCLA Film Archives and George Eastman House must make choices of which films from their holdings they can restore because there isn't money enough to restore them all.

>

> Whether its just digitizing films and making them available via MOD or restoring films for the future, it all costs money and as Kevin Brownlow and David Shepard have stated publicly, classic films, especially silents and early talkies, are a very niche market.

>

> That doesn't mean it shouldn't be done but until we as a society value our cinematic heritage, films will languish on the shelf whether they are in studio vaults or non-profits.

Actually, from the UNIVERSAL press releases that I have read, these *restorations* will be offered on blu-ray and be available for sale in retail stores, not via MOD.

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> Actually, from the UNIVERSAL press releases that I have read, these restorations will be offered on blu-ray and be available for sale in retail stores, not via MOD.

 

Sorry if you took what I wrote about the restorations to mean they were only going to be released via MOD. That's not what I meant.

 

What I said was that Universal has announced that it will be *offering films from their library via MOD.*

 

I didn't say or mean to imply that the films they are restoring were only being offered via MOD.

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  • 9 months later...

> {quote:title=PrinceSaliano wrote:}{quote}We got MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD in December and ONE MORE RIVER in January...

>

> LITTLE ACCIDENT (1930) Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Anita Page

> OUTSIDE THE LAW (1930) Edward G. Robinson, Mary Nolan

> RECKLESS LIVING (1931) Ricardo Cortez, Mae Clarke

> UP FOR MURDER (1931) Lew Ayres, Genevieve Tobin

> CHEATING CHEATERS (1934) Fay Wray, Cesar Romero

> THE COUNTESS OF MONTE CRISTO (1934) Fay Wray, Paul Lukas

> EMBARRASSING MOMENTS (1934) Chester Morris, Marian Nixon

> LET'S TALK IT OVER (1934) Chester Morris, Mae Clarke

> MADAME SPY (1934) Fay Wray, Nils Asther

> ONE EXCITING ADVENTURE (1934) Binnie Barnes, Neil Hamilton

Come on, TCM. Let's get this done!

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> {quote:title=PrinceSaliano wrote:}{quote}

> > {quote:title=PrinceSaliano wrote:}{quote}We got MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD in December and ONE MORE RIVER in January...

> >

> > LITTLE ACCIDENT (1930) Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Anita Page

> > OUTSIDE THE LAW (1930) Edward G. Robinson, Mary Nolan

> > RECKLESS LIVING (1931) Ricardo Cortez, Mae Clarke

> > UP FOR MURDER (1931) Lew Ayres, Genevieve Tobin

> > CHEATING CHEATERS (1934) Fay Wray, Cesar Romero

> > THE COUNTESS OF MONTE CRISTO (1934) Fay Wray, Paul Lukas

> > EMBARRASSING MOMENTS (1934) Chester Morris, Marian Nixon

> > LET'S TALK IT OVER (1934) Chester Morris, Mae Clarke

> > MADAME SPY (1934) Fay Wray, Nils Asther

> > ONE EXCITING ADVENTURE (1934) Binnie Barnes, Neil Hamilton

> >

> Come on, TCM. Let's get this done!

I would love to see TCM air ALL OF THE ABOVE plus

 

NIGHT RIDE (1930) Edward G. Robinson, Joseph Schildkraut, and Barbara Kent

NIGHT WORLD (1932) Boris Karloff, Lew Ayres, Mae Clarke, Hedda Hopper, and George Raft

EAST OF BORNEO (1931) Charles Bickford, Rose Hobart, Georges Renavent, Lupita Tovar, and Noble Johnson

EAST OF JAVA (1935) Charles Bickford, Elizabeth Young, Frank Albertson, and Sig Ruman

SECRET OF THE BLUE ROOM (1933) Lionel Atwill, Gloria Stuart, Paul Lukas, Edward Arnold, and Onslow Stevens

THE MAN WHO RECLAIMED HIS HEAD (1934) Claude Rains, Joan Bennett, and Lionel Atwill

SECRET OF THE CHATEAU (1934) Claire Dodd, Alice White, Osgood Perkins, and Jack La Rue

DOUBLE DOOR (1934) Evelyn Venable, Mary Morris, Anne Revere, and Kent Taylor

LIFE RETURNS (1935) Onslow Stevens, George P. Breakston, Lois Wilson, and Valerie Hobson

THE GREAT IMPERSONATION (1935) Edmund Lowe, Valerie Hobson, and Murray Kinnell

NIGHT KEY (1937) Boris Karloff, Waren Hull, Jean Rogers, and Alan Baxter

THE BLACK DOLL (1938) Donald Woods, Nan Grey, Edgar Kennedy, and C. Henry Gordon

THE MISSING GUEST (1938) Paul Kelly, Constance Moore, William Lundigan, and Edwin Stanley

THE HOUSE OF FEAR (1939) William Gargan, Irene Hervey, Dorothy Arnold, and Alan Dinehart

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> {quote:title=infinite1 wrote:}{quote}

> > I would love to see TCM air ALL OF THE ABOVE plus

> >

> > ...DOUBLE DOOR (1934) Evelyn Venable, Mary Morris, Anne Revere, and Kent Taylor...

 

I agree it would be great to se all of those Universals on TCM. But actually DOUBLE DOOR is a Paramount movie. (And that's another subject: all the rarely seen Paramounts from the 1930's that we'd love to some day see on TCM).

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