Criterion and Paramount

The scuttlebutt on Criterion, Eclipse, and Janus Films. Lists and polls are STRONGLY discouraged.
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Narshty
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Criterion and Paramount

#1 Post by Narshty » Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:30 pm

Jeff wrote:Definitely Licensed from Paramount
If...
Ace in the Hole
Robinson Crusoe on Mars
Days of Heaven
The Naked Prey
The Furies
The Spy Who Came In From the Cold
White Dog

Sternberg silents (The Docks of New York, The Last Command, Underworld)
The Friends of Eddie Coyle
Downhill Racer
Harold and Maude
Rosemary's Baby
Medium Cool
Seconds


Maybe Licensed From Paramount
Nashville
The Wedding March


Denied by Criterion staff (as part of the first batch, but possibly part of the second batch beginning June 2012
Face to Face (email from Tamara to me)
One-Eyed Jacks (email from Turrell to me)
The Mattei Affair (email to member Alain3000 from Tamara)
Don't Look Now (email to member kaujot from Tamara)
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (email to member Derek Estes from Tamara)
I emailed Jonathan Turell a while ago to express my good cheer over Robinson Crusoe on Mars and asked if it was worth contacting Paramount to ask them to licence other titles, such as White Dog, Face to Face or Ace in the Hole.

This morning I recieved:
Thanks, Jon. Glad your looking forward to it. It was one of my favorites growing up – subject for another blog. Also think you'll be happy with several other Paramount titles as they're on your list.

Happy New Year -
I don't know if that's a direct confirmation of all three titles (although it certainly sounds like it), but it does let the cat out of the bag that there are at least a handful of Paramount titles on the horizon. Maybe Fox and New Line's willingness to licence out "specialist" titles convinced them to take the plunge (not to mention Paramount's newfound distaste with its own back catalogue)? Anyway, it's a grand way for Criterion to start 2007.

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justeleblanc
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#2 Post by justeleblanc » Tue Jan 02, 2007 3:01 pm

Isn't Turell awesome! About Ace, I wonder if there are any other Wilder titles that rest in Paramount's control? I feel like this is the closest we've gotten to an Ace confirmation yet (though it still isn't a direct confirmation). Face isn't a surprise, but still great news!

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Cinephrenic
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#3 Post by Cinephrenic » Tue Jan 02, 2007 4:03 pm

Ace in the Hole was playing at NYFF and a Wilder title was rumored to be coming from Criterion from a Mulvaney response. Many thought this was the out-of-print Double Indemnity, but it is looking like the leads are stronger with the Turrell response. If there is a deal, it sucks that the Bertolucci's wasn't a part of it, even though the editions of Conformist and 1900 are good.

If a deal is indeed in place, we could see um... Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray), Macbeth (Orson Welles), If... (Lindsay Anderson), The Mattei Affair (Rosi) from Criterion. :lol:

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justeleblanc
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#4 Post by justeleblanc » Tue Jan 02, 2007 4:37 pm

Cinephrenic wrote:If a deal is indeed in place, we could see um... Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray), Macbeth (Orson Welles), If... (Lindsay Anderson), The Mattei Affair (Rosi) from Criterion. :lol:
The Welles isn't far fetched, considering that Chimes and Othello have already been rumored at various times... a Welles/Shakespeare box would be a no brainer.

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Gigi M.
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#5 Post by Gigi M. » Tue Jan 02, 2007 4:41 pm

Cinephrenic wrote:Ace in the Hole was playing at NYFF and a Wilder title was rumored to be coming from Criterion from a Mulvaney response. Many thought this was the out-of-print Double Indemnity, but it is looking like the leads are stronger with the Turrell response. If there is a deal, it sucks that the Bertolucci's wasn't a part of it, even though the editions of Conformist and 1900 are good.
Come on man... Novecento and especially The Conformist are the deals of the century. Great transfers, great audio (including 5 different tracks on The Conformist), solid interviews, etc; plus everything for under $10 and $14 dollars.

As much as I love Criterion, I'm extremely happy with my Paramount Bertolucci's. I can see Paramount putting the same effort on Ace and White Dog.

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Lino
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#6 Post by Lino » Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:01 pm

Cinephrenic wrote:If a deal is indeed in place, we could see um... Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray), Macbeth (Orson Welles), If... (Lindsay Anderson), The Mattei Affair (Rosi) from Criterion. :lol:
I would buy that lot in a heartbeat! And please bring on Face to Face in both the TV mini-series and the theatrical feature.

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Highway 61
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#7 Post by Highway 61 » Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:01 pm

While I hope a Criterion/Paramount relationship comes true, I don't believe Paramount would ever license the Wilder title. Given the film's infamy and unavailability, they could turn it into a major seller like Once Upon a Time in the West. I suspect Paramount also prides themselves on the long relationship they had with Wilder, so they would want to release the movie under their name. The Welles, Anderson, and Fuller titles, on the other hand, I can see them licensing.

Edit: I had know idea Paramount owned Face to Face. There's absolutely no question that Criterion will release it if Paramount opens their vaults to them.

Narshty
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#8 Post by Narshty » Tue Jan 02, 2007 6:17 pm

I had no idea Paramount owned The Mattei Affair - it's pretty much Alex Cox's favourite film and I've wanted to see it for a long time. It would seem like a dead cert - Paramount wouldn't know what to do with it and Criterion would lap it up.

I can easily see Paramount licensing them Ace in the Hole - they've already let Robinson Crusoe on Mars go and people have been sending in requests about that one for years. Paramount, it would seem, no longer has any interest in "marginal" titles (witness the only film they kept from the Republic library - It's A Wonderful Life - with all those other wonderful films sent packing).

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Highway 61
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#9 Post by Highway 61 » Tue Jan 02, 2007 6:25 pm

Narshty, what exactly happened to the Republics titles? Did they sell them?

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#10 Post by Narshty » Tue Jan 02, 2007 6:38 pm

Highway 61 wrote:Narshty, what exactly happened to the Republics titles? Did they sell them?
They let Lionsgate buy the complete library back, except for It's A Wonderful Life which they recently released with a new transfer. Oddly enough, this comes after Paramount making extensive backup elements for a large chunk of the Republic catalogue which they apparently still have in their possession (the physical elements that is, as opposed to the rights to distribute them - full list here, though few of the most desired ones seem to be on there). But now Criterion has relationships with both Lionsgate and Paramount, they could potentially work as a happy mediator/distributor to get at least a few of the Republic catalogue out in high-quality editions.
Gigi M. wrote:As much as I love Criterion, I'm extremely happy with my Paramount Bertolucci's. I can see Paramount putting the same effort on Ace and White Dog.
Really? Paramount have refused to release the latter film in America for 25 years now. I'd be very interested to know how many people, even on a board like this, have seen it in a legitimate, non-bootleg form in its original version (I raise my hand proudly; my local rental shop has a copy of the UK video release from the 1980s). It's one of Fuller's best films by a landslide (next to Shock Corridor, it's his most sheerly powerful) but has been buried in its home continent since its completion (due in part to ludicrous boycott threats from the NAACP while it was filming). Even Mandingo got a proper theatrical and video release.

fred
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#11 Post by fred » Tue Jan 02, 2007 6:56 pm

Maybe that's changing. I don't know where they sourced the print, but Film Forum is screening this (as part of a double bill with Bertolucci's Luna) in their Morricone series on February 20th.

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Gigi M.
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#12 Post by Gigi M. » Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:39 pm

Narshty wrote:Really? Paramount have refused to release the latter film in America for 25 years now. I'd be very interested to know how many people, even on a board like this, have seen it in a legitimate, non-bootleg form in its original version (I raise my hand proudly; my local rental shop has a copy of the UK video release from the 1980s). It's one of Fuller's best films by a landslide (next to Shock Corridor, it's his most sheerly powerful) but has been buried in its home continent since its completion (due in part to ludicrous boycott threats from the NAACP while it was filming). Even Mandingo got a proper theatrical and video release.
You're probably right about White Dog. I think Ace will be release under Paramount as their great edition of Sunset and their new edition of Stalag 17. On the other hand, why they haven't release it already???

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Derek Estes
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#13 Post by Derek Estes » Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:22 pm

Gigi M. wrote:I think Ace will be release under Paramount as their great edition of Sunset and their new edition of Stalag 17. On the other hand, why they haven't release it already???
The thing is, Ace In The Hole isn't as recognizable to the non film buff as say Sunset Boulevard, Sabrina and Stalag 17 each of which have a larger audience due largely in the fact that they have been easily available for years, unlike Ace in the Hole. It is surprising that it was pulled from Paramount's schedule when they released Detective Story, it seemed like a logical combination. I could only see Paramount releasing this if they are planning a larger Wilder collection, or starting some sort of Noir promotion. But, Paramount has not seemed too dependable with their back catalog, unless it has John Wayne in it (not that I'm complaining, the Batjac films have been the best Paramount releases in years).

And don't forget, Stroheim's The Wedding March!

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What A Disgrace
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#14 Post by What A Disgrace » Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:25 pm

Silent Sternburg, folks. Silent Sternburg.

Also, wouldn't it be a gas if the first Western in the collection were Covered Wagon?

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domino harvey
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#15 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jan 02, 2007 11:39 pm

a proper Johnny Guitar would be the release of the century

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Floyd
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#16 Post by Floyd » Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:19 am

What is that??!! White Dog from Criterion? Best company ever. Calming..

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Cold Bishop
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#17 Post by Cold Bishop » Wed Jan 03, 2007 3:43 am

This is probably not the right thread, but for anyone who hasn't seen Ace in the Hole, Turner Classics is playing it under it's Big Carnival title on the 24th.

buskeat
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#18 Post by buskeat » Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:02 pm

I thought I heard something about Paramount severely scaling back their DVD classics releases. It'd make sense to license some films to Criterion if they're not interested in going through the trouble themselves. I swear I saw an "Ace in the Hole" DVD announced in 2006 and then retracted once the powers-that-be changed.

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justeleblanc
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#19 Post by justeleblanc » Wed Jan 03, 2007 3:20 pm

buskeat wrote:I thought I heard something about Paramount severely scaling back their DVD classics releases. It'd make sense to license some films to Criterion if they're not interested in going through the trouble themselves. I swear I saw an "Ace in the Hole" DVD announced in 2006 and then retracted once the powers-that-be changed.
I can't find it, but someone on this forum once linked to a Paramount email saying they only planned on releasing 7 of their classic films in 2007. Does anyone remember what I'm talking about?

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colinr0380
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#20 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:26 pm

Derek Estes wrote: The thing is, Ace In The Hole isn't as recognizable to the non film buff as say Sunset Boulevard, Sabrina and Stalag 17 each of which have a larger audience due largely in the fact that they have been easily available for years, unlike Ace in the Hole.
To get to a wider audience they should perhaps play up the fact that The Simpsons did a version of the film in one of their early seasons, in the episode Radio Bart.
Narshty wrote:I'd be very interested to know how many people, even on a board like this, have seen it in a legitimate, non-bootleg form in its original version (I raise my hand proudly; my local rental shop has a copy of the UK video release from the 1980s). It's one of Fuller's best films by a landslide (next to Shock Corridor, it's his most sheerly powerful) but has been buried in its home continent since its completion (due in part to ludicrous boycott threats from the NAACP while it was filming). Even Mandingo got a proper theatrical and video release.
I saw it when Channel 4 did a season of Fuller films in 1997. White Dog, Park Row and Pickup on South Street all got their first (and so far only) showings, along with Shock Corridor. Luckily I taped White Dog and would agree that it is a very powerful piece of work - another one of those films where a lot of the criticism seems to have come from people who have only read or heard about the controversial nature of the material (which the film being unavailable has only made worse), or who stormed out partway through without seeing how it reached its (heartbreaking) resolution.

It is also a film that needs to be shown to at least add to the debate currently occuring here over dogs attacking people and what responsibility their owners have over their behaviour through encouraging and rewarding aggression in their pets.

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Alain3000
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#21 Post by Alain3000 » Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:40 pm

Maybe there's hope for Borsalino as a possible criterion release.

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HerrSchreck
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#22 Post by HerrSchreck » Sun Jan 07, 2007 3:40 am

I just hafta say, as I've been accumulating a bunch of the recent Paramount DVDs, including THE CONFORMIST, WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE, WAR OF THE WORLDS, STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS, and many more. These discs are cheap as gravel and-- and this is really the point-- WB & Criterion's telecine supervisors/colorists don't have a fucking thing on these guys. Paramount's transfers consistently stun the living fuck out of me. With Universal's telecine coming up to speed as well (exemplified by the beautiful Lugosi set, Dietrich, THIS ISLAND EARTH, etc etc), WB & CC aint the only games in town anymore.

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Gordon
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#23 Post by Gordon » Sun Jan 07, 2007 12:57 pm

I agree, Schreck, but if only Paramount and Universal were as prolific as Warner.

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Gigi M.
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#24 Post by Gigi M. » Sun Jan 07, 2007 1:10 pm

HerrSchreck wrote:I just hafta say, as I've been accumulating a bunch of the recent Paramount DVDs, including THE CONFORMIST, WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE, WAR OF THE WORLDS, STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS, and many more. These discs are cheap as gravel and-- and this is really the point-- WB & Criterion's telecine supervisors/colorists don't have a fucking thing on these guys. Paramount's transfers consistently stun the living fuck out of me. With Universal's telecine coming up to speed as well (exemplified by the beautiful Lugosi set, Dietrich, THIS ISLAND EARTH, etc etc), WB & CC aint the only games in town anymore.
That's exactly what I tried to point out earlier. The Conformist and 1900 are one hell of a deal.

Narshty
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#25 Post by Narshty » Sat Jan 27, 2007 2:26 pm

I wonder if Criterion will spring for Cassavetes' Too Late Blues? It's impossible to find anywhere and people seem to look kindlier on it now than they did at the time. I'd leap at the chance to see it.

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