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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 2:57 pm 

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This news was supposed to break this Monday during the home theater forum chat with Warner Bros., but apparently Warner has set up a made-to-order program for films not yet released on DVD. Here's a link to the current titles available, and Ronald Epstein's post over at home theater discussing the details.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 3:29 pm 
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Wasn't it mentioned at last year's, too? Something like that. It's been announced before, in any case.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 4:20 pm 
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And still no Mad Miss Manton or Panama Hattie. The presence of some great films here (Beast of the City, Idiot's Delight, personal favorite Once Upon a Honeymoon) does not bode well for their release on "legitimate" DVD.

Good news for those who have been waiting for some of these titles, though.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 4:24 pm 
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I'm excited about Altman's COUNTDOWN as well as LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL and ONE TRICK PONY.

The quality of these films (you can preview online) are all terrific, but I'm curious as to the casing and whether or not the DVDs are just DVD-Rs.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 4:35 pm 
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They've got to be DVD-Rs, right? Those recent "Lost RKO" discs were DVD-Rs, and I'm sure that was a test run for this project.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 4:37 pm 
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This is great news but it's a total drag they don't ship outside the U.S.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 4:38 pm 
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Matt wrote:
Those recent "Lost RKO" discs were DVD-Rs, and I'm sure that was a test run for this project.

Doubtful since TCM handled the Lost RKO set on its own through Movies Unlimited. It had nothing at all to do with Warner Bros.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 4:52 pm 
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Except for the obvious fact that TCM is owned by Time Warner and that they would surely be sharing sales figures with the people behind this.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 5:24 pm 
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I still don't think there's any evidence of a connection between the TCM RKO discs and these. The Lost RKO collection has been available for three months or so, has a few extras and consists of movies the TCM channel actually has the rights to sell. It's available internationally and comes shipped directly from Movies Unlimited.

This WB operation is a much more ambitious deal that surely was in the works for a little while. It's 150 movies so far. I wouldn't be surprised at all if regular DVDs are used.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 5:33 pm 
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Borzage's Three Comrades is there too!... :(


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:02 pm 

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Matt wrote:
And still no Mad Miss Manton or Panama Hattie. The presence of some great films here (Beast of the City, Idiot's Delight, personal favorite Once Upon a Honeymoon) does not bode well for their release on "legitimate" DVD.

Good news for those who have been waiting for some of these titles, though.

Yep, that's it exactly. They will never come out as full-release DVD.
The model is Smithsonian Folkways, among others. Burn to order. Soon every Warner title (I bet) that isn't out on DVD will be available this way - a boon for completists. But they will probably be DVD-rs with minimal art & notes.
Smithsonian Folkways at least prints out the full album notes with every CD.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:05 pm 
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HTF's Ronald Epstein clarifies they'll be DVDs in the thread there.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:12 pm 
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Interesting that one of these releases is The Temptress, which was already available in the Garbo Silents set. It's probably the same transfer, as it appears to be the only one of these Garbos that is tinted. Glad to see these coming out, though I still wish Love had been paired with Anna Karinina on its original release.

Souls for Sale was one of the TCM Young Composers Competition films; I wonder if it will feature the winner's score.


Last edited by dadaistnun on Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:13 pm 
My... God... Wichita!

Bring on Which Way to the Front? and Cracking Up!!!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:28 pm 
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planetjake wrote:
My... God... Wichita!

and The Big House! and Beast of the City! and Dusty and Sweets McGee! and Orphans!

DVD-Rs or not, this is a potential treasure trove.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:05 pm 
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Wonderful to have so many more of these available in some form, but I've never paid anything close to $20 for a single film from Warner. Only a couple of these make me want to start now. I understand that the price reflects the smaller batches of these titles compared to regular Warner Classics releases. I hope there will be special offers (e.g. for those purchasing multiple titles) but don't really expect to see any.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 8:29 pm 
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I guess this means we'll never see that elusive Gottfried Reinhardt box. In all seriousness though, this smells of the end of star-based boxed sets to me. A lot of these titles have heavy hitters and would normally have shown up as the "b-titles" in their boxes. I'm tempted by Bhowani Junction, 4 Horsemen, and Crisis-- and the widescreen titles have a disclaimer assuring they're in the right aspect ratio =D>

EDIT: This might sweeten the deal: XB392 gets you 25% off the entire order, single use


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:52 am 
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Bhowani Junction and Mannequin are more hot titles out there. A lot of these (and there are dozens worth owning)l had their day out as late era VHS or Laserdiscs (mid 90s). I presume the source material hasn't improved any, and coupled with sales projections have give rise to this second tier approach.

But what the fuck are they doing restircting them to US buyers only? Can't they at least make these things available online as " for fee" downloads? Are are they worried about all those ISOs getting out into the downosphere? THe market for these in France and the UK alone would be pretty neat.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:04 am 
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Countdown, Heart Beat, Westbound... This was the best news I´d heard all year until I tried placing an order. Damn them for not shipping internationally :cry:


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:58 am 
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souvenir wrote:
HTF's Ronald Epstein clarifies they'll be DVDs in the thread there.

Robert A. Harris says they're DVD-Rs:
Quote:
The discs themselves are burned, not pressed. None that I've seen have had any problems, and press vs. burn should not be a controversy.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:07 pm 
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Ah, what a well-organized ship those chaps at HTF run


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:08 pm 
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Then the rep selected his language in the most deceiving way possible:

WB Rep wrote:
The quality of these DVDs are what you would expect
from a studio like WB. They are not DVD-Rs being
slapped in an envelope. These are high quality releases
in their proper aspect ratio and manufactured to normal
studio standards.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:12 pm 
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He's not a rep, he's just the guy that runs HTF.

I ordered Beast of the City as a test. Free shipping, but $1.30 in sales tax!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:22 pm 
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In that case I have next to no confidence in this experiment anymore. If I wanted DVD-Rs, I'd go get them for a third of what Warner's asking on iOffer


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:41 pm 
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Matt wrote:
I ordered Beast of the City as a test. Free shipping, but $1.30 in sales tax!

Be sure to report back to us, Matt. I've been wavering on ordering half a dozen titles, but like others, I'm dubious on the quality.


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