Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
 

DS Forums

 
 

Strange how some great movies never make it to DVD


Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-09-2013, 20:36
juliancarswell
Forum Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Just here, inside my head.
Posts: 3,660

I was just looking at Amazon for a copy of a great film staring Joe Pesci called "The Public Eye" only to find it never made it to DVD
"A superbly realised and absorbing classic. The film is based on the early press photography career of Weegee, before he published his first book in 1945." sums it up nicely.
It amazes me when you see some of the utter dross that fills the remainder bins at supermarkets etc.
What is the best film you have seen that has been cast out into the "No longer available" wilderness?
juliancarswell is offline   Reply With Quote
Please sign in or register to remove this advertisement.
Old 10-09-2013, 20:51
RebelScum
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 9,360
I was just looking at Amazon for a copy of a great film staring Joe Pesci called "The Public Eye" only to find it never made it to DVD
"A superbly realised and absorbing classic. The film is based on the early press photography career of Weegee, before he published his first book in 1945." sums it up nicely.
It amazes me when you see some of the utter dross that fills the remainder bins at supermarkets etc.
What is the best film you have seen that has been cast out into the "No longer available" wilderness?
The Public Eye got a Region 1 DVD release. It's available on Amazon.com
RebelScum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2013, 21:04
juliancarswell
Forum Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Just here, inside my head.
Posts: 3,660
The Public Eye got a Region 1 DVD release. It's available on Amazon.com

I'll get me coat.




At 61.00 for a new copy I think I'll pass. I presume that is because it is "out of press" for want of a better phrase

But you get my point? Tesco and Asda have copies of Nic Cage's The Wicker Man coming out of their ears.
.
juliancarswell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2013, 21:13
flashman1
Inactive Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 160
The major problem is with films not made by the Hollywood majors.
Lots of movies get licenced out to independent labels who only licence the film for a specified period then the disc gets deleted.

Bluray is even worse.
For some reason Sony/Columbia have low expectations for many films such as various Ray Harryhausen titles , Body Double , Christine and others and have licenced them to Twilight Time who only release Limited Editions of 3000 units so these titles run out fast .

Unfortunately its not cost effective for every film to remain in print.
In the US Warner have introduced the Warner Archive which is a Manufactured On Demand label where films they reckon won't sell many come out as MOD titles so more rare movies get releases.
In the US Sony and Universal have similar MOD programs .
Strange but some titles that are MOD in the US do come out elsewhere in Europe . Some titles previously released get deleted and reissued as MOD.

No lable seems interested in MOD in the UK yet .
Its a good idea to look at the sites of Amazon US, France , Germany , Spain and Italy where many titles released on Bluray and dvd just don't get released here .

Sometimes censorship is an issue but with others reasons unknown
flashman1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2013, 21:15
RebelScum
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Aberdeen
Posts: 9,360
Where are you looking OP? The price showing is $19.98

Yeah, it's a shame that some movies can be difficult to get in hard copy format; but on a brighter note, you can buy The Public Eye from iTunes for 9.99 to buy, or rent it for 3.49.
RebelScum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2013, 21:22
flashman1
Inactive Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 160
Where are you looking OP? The price showing is $19.98

.
Indeed - that's precisely what I was referring to.
It's one of the Universal Vault Series which is their MOD series.

The OP is clearly looking on the Amazon UK site where sellers will try and fleeces those unaware they can simply buy the title directly from the US
flashman1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2013, 21:28
grimtales1
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: St. Albans, UK, Team Wagner
Posts: 39,158
Body Double is a great movie but I wouldnt pay a premium to Twilight Time for it.
grimtales1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2013, 21:35
flashman1
Inactive Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 160
Body Double is a great movie but I wouldnt pay a premium to Twilight Time for it.
It worked out at 27 delivered .
You could always look at the films as investments.
I got Journey to the Centre of the Earth and Mysterious Island for similar prices and both now fetch well over 100.

You can always take a chance that a release will happen elsewhere .
Australia has Centre of the Earth later this year .
I'm just surprised at some of the titles that Sony have a low enough opinion of to let TT have them.

BTW - the Body Double disc is excellent and even has the 45 minutes of documentaries from the dvd.
One thing all TT discs feature that don't usually get included on other releases is the isolated music track - and the BD track is great.

I wanted Fright Night but not enough to pay the asking price but I think that was sold out before I even got a chance to order .
I know Christine was .
flashman1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2013, 23:49
Takae
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 9,004
Short version:
If a film is not available on any home entertainment media in any country or certain countries, it's usually safe to assume that it's to do with an ongoing legal issue.

Long version:
If we're talking about U.S. films, then the biggest reason are legal issues, ranging from the problematic copyright clearance (usually music soundtracks) to the ongoing lawsuits or legal ambiguity, which includes:

a) inheritance/estate issues, e.g. disputes over the copyright ownership of a film library, music or source materials (stage plays, radio plays, novels and so on).

b) Most films made before 1950s and certain films before 1970s are technically in public domain, mostly due to lack of copyright notices or failure to renew copyright, but the current copyright owners fight to block those films from becoming fully public domain, usually in form of:

1) owning or renewing copyrights of other elements (e.g. soundtracks, source materials or characters)
2) "losing" the original reels to ensure that the home entertainment media version (VHS, DVD, Laserdisc, etc.) would be the only ones available in public.
3) submitting certain titles to the national film registry.
4) remaking certain films

Examples: Carnival of Souls (1962), It's a Wonderful Life (1946), Charade (1963), A Farewell to Arms (1932), His Girl Friday (1940) and The Outlaw (1943), among other films, are technically in public domain.

Public domain means you're - technically - legally allowed to exhibit or distribute copies you make from the original reels of films in public domain, providing that all elements of each film are in public domain including characters, soundtracks and blah blah.

But you're not legally allowed to do the same with the home-entertainment version of same films (VHS, DVD, etc); the new version of the original/theatrical version, e.g. re-mastered, director's cut, colourised, new soundtrack, etc., or when certain elements of those films are still copyrighted, e.g. source materials. For instance, you can't make a copy of A Farewell to Arms because it's still protected under the copyright of Hemingway's novel, the source of the film.

Some studios also found a way to protect their supposedly public-domain works by remaking those films, e.g. declaring the original scripts as the sources of their remakes, which allows them to make the original script part of the copyright of a remake. This will block anyone's attempt from accessing the original film because the original script is now copyrighted. Dodgy, but as far as I know, no one had challenged that loophole successfully. Or dared not to.

Until then, most won't avail most of their supposedly public-domain films on any home entertainment media until they are 100% sure that their legal tactics to extend their copyright ownership are accepted, or just enough to allow them to sell distribution rights to home entertainment distributors in any country without getting a legal slap on their wrist.

c) self-imposed censorship, e.g. Song of the South (1946, although its soundtrack is still widely available).

The list goes on and on and on. And all that is the tip of a massive iceberg a.k.a. a giant labyrinth of copyright hell (I do laugh at myself for trying to lay it all out in plain English here).

It's a different story in each country, too. The legal stance on copyright protection varies from one country to another. Apart from government-funded films, most pre-1960s British films are still protected. One producer wanted to remake this British film: The Divorce of Lady X, but the copyright ownership was so unclear - e.g. no one knows who owns it - that he decided not to go ahead with the remake project because proving in court that it's in public domain (as the film's copyright registration has never been made) would be too expensive. On the other hand, most pre-1960s Japanese films are already in public domain (in Japan only, but I won't even go there with the notoriously complicated legal stance on the unauthorised 'official' distribution of those Japanese films in other countries).

So when in doubt, do assume lack of availability is to do with an ongoing legal issue.
Takae is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2013, 00:19
flashman1
Inactive Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 160
Apart from music soundtracks in some films there are no clearances required for the release of cinema films in either the UK or US.
The studio that owned it can release it whenever they want.
In the UK , unlike tv material films generally don't require any clearances from actors etc.
The Public Domain ruling of the US do not apply in the UK at all.

Unavailability is more likely down to the studios concerns for the potential sales and with older films the actual availability of decent materials
flashman1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2013, 00:26
Takae
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 9,004
The Public Domain ruling of the US do not apply in the UK at all.
Of course. What I was trying to say is that the legal issues IN the US usually have U.S.-based owners deciding not to sell distribution rights to anyone outside the U.S. for the time being. Better be safe than sorry, so to speak.

Unavailability is more likely down to the studios concerns for the potential sales and with older films the actual availability of decent materials
Yes. Some older films are in extremely poor condition. Some reels are accidentally deleted or lost. This still doesn't change the fact that the biggest reason for the rest is legal issue.
Takae is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2013, 00:47
flashman1
Inactive Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 160
Of course. What I was trying to say is that the legal issues IN the US usually have U.S.-based owners deciding not to sell distribution rights to anyone outside the U.S. for the time being. Better be safe than sorry, so to speak.



Yes. Some older films are in extremely poor condition. Some reels are accidentally deleted or lost. This still doesn't change the fact that the biggest reason for the rest is legal issue.
I disagree.
What legal issues are you referring to?
There are smaller independent / non Hollywood major films that have taken a while to appear usually as there is an issue over who owns the film because the original company or distributor no longer exists or a question mark over ownership because of buyouts.
For example - the Ted Turner / MGM / Warner buying and selling case seems to be a perfect example because ownership changes depending on when the film was made and whether its for tv screening or even home video distribution.
In the early days of dvd MGM released UK discs of Poltergeist and another film whose name escapes me but they were rapidly withdrawn and later released by Warner and don't even show up on some databases.

But in general I'm not sure what other issues there can be.
No permission from actors , writers or directors is required to release on home video unless they had a clause in their original contract but that would only be for more recent movies.

All these old Warner movies don't have legal issues but the Warner Archive / Universal Vault is simply bringing them out due to their poorer commercial prospects and the WA had hundreds if not thousands of titles available now

In the UK , ITV via Carlton own the largest library of films in the country thanks to acquisitions of the Rank , ITC and other libraries in the late 90's but scores of these films have never been released but not because of any legal issues - its down to the lower expected sales which is why ITV have licenced many films to other companies and why they have practically written off Bluray in the UK yet have licenced Bluray releases to other European companies who are happy with the prospective sales .
No legal issues there- just hundreds of films they don't think will sell which is why the majority don't get aired on the ITV channels either.
I expect its why they think Carlton Cinema failed
flashman1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2013, 01:31
Takae
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 9,004
I disagree.
What legal issues are you referring to?
It depends on each film, surely?

There are smaller independent / non Hollywood major films that have taken a while to appear usually as there is an issue over who owns the film because the original company or distributor no longer exists or a question mark over ownership because of buyouts.
For example - the Ted Turner / MGM / Warner buying and selling case seems to be a perfect example because ownership changes depending on when the film was made and whether its for tv screening or even home video distribution.
In the early days of dvd MGM released UK discs of Poltergeist and another film whose name escapes me but they were rapidly withdrawn and later released by Warner and don't even show up on some databases.
That's what I've been saying in my original response: "ranging from the problematic copyright clearance (usually music soundtracks) to the ongoing lawsuits or legal ambiguity" and for older and lesser known films, distribution studios' battle against public domain. Intellectual property is rarely that straightforward and easy.
Takae is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2013, 07:12
juliancarswell
Forum Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Just here, inside my head.
Posts: 3,660
I feel like a toddler who has walked into a room where all the adults are holding a conversation.
juliancarswell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2013, 15:03
Takae
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 9,004
I feel like a toddler who has walked into a room where all the adults are holding a conversation.
Sorry. I worked overtime last night and got carried away. My apologies. Just to let you know, I'm certainly no adult.

I'm also sorry for forgetting to answer your question: "What is the best film you have seen that has been cast out into the "No longer available" wilderness?"

There was a time during late 1990s or early 2000s when A Room With a View was bizarrely out of stock and out of print. Not the best film, but I was truly shocked that I had a hard time buying a copy for a relative who wanted it for birthday.

Is Bigger Than Life (1956) finally available? Yes, it is! Best news of the day.
Takae is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2013, 15:30
dee123
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 14,570
I'd love a proper release of Samuel Goldwyn's Porgy & Bess. Doubt that will ever happen though.
dee123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2013, 19:32
Grabid Rannies
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 3,284
It's such a minefield - and it's not even a given that, even when you do come across a digital release of that seemingly long-unavailable title you've been after, it's of good quality and, more often, 'as nature intended' it to be. I'm currently trying to pare down my VHS recordings to the bare minimum for transfer onto DVD, for the umpteenth time. Each time I hit a brick wall with the sheer amount of reported discrepancy and variation between releases.

My tapes are actually catalogued, beginning at 'AA00' (and going up in 100s to the approximately 'AO' sequence ). And what is on AA00? A recording of Zabriskie Point from BBC2 from some time in the 90s. No longer worth keeping, would be the cry, since DVDs in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio are now available from several sources. But, would it not be for the fact that a) the running time of all current DVDs matches the cinema running time, which for region 2 compatible means they are all unadjusted NTSC to PAL conversions - and I do not like watching my films 'judder' across the screen when the camera moves - and b) all these DVDs apparently do not have something which I was surprised to find called the 'acid rock' ending, which means that the original Pink Floyd noodling that accompanied the ambience of the final shot has been replaced by an ironically vapid choice of Roy Orbison song - no doubt due to that 'music rights' old chestnut already well covered in this thread. So, dusting off my VCR from the attic and finally getting round to doing a little investigation, what do I discover? Yes, that my hoary old (but PAL) BBC2 recording actually has the 'correct' ending that all the DVD releases are denied!!

Now for a 'purist' (self-confessed obsessive ) like me, the solution is that of course, a film so heavily built around visual composition is not worth watching at all really in anything other than the original aspect ratio, to which end my 16:9 BBC2 version just will not do. Apparently, modern TVs are now equipped to 'process' the NTSC frame rate - and a recent purchase of an uncut continental R2 release of Ken Russell's 'Crimes Of Passion' has given me a demonstration that that is true to an extent, although there is still undeniably a visual 'jitter' in camera movement but it is far less obtrusively 'rough'. So, I will be buying one of the DVD releases - but for posterity, I will have to get round to preserving the ending of my BBC2 recording onto digital media before junking the tape, so that I at least am able to have it as an accompanying, unofficial 'extra' for whichever disc I buy.
Grabid Rannies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2013, 21:04
flashman1
Inactive Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 160
Now for a 'purist' (self-confessed obsessive ) like me, the solution is that of course, a film so heavily built around visual composition is not worth watching at all really in anything other than the original aspect ratio, to which end my 16:9 BBC2 version just will not do. Apparently, modern TVs are now equipped to 'process' the NTSC frame rate - and a recent purchase of an uncut continental R2 release of Ken Russell's 'Crimes Of Passion' has given me a demonstration that that is true to an extent, although there is still undeniably a visual 'jitter' in camera movement but it is far less obtrusively 'rough'. So, I will be buying one of the DVD releases - but for posterity, I will have to get round to preserving the ending of my BBC2 recording onto digital media before junking the tape, so that I at least am able to have it as an accompanying, unofficial 'extra' for whichever disc I buy.
There's been an uncut R1 dvd of Crimes of Passion available for well over a decade although the first release was not anamorphic
flashman1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2013, 21:34
grimtales1
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: St. Albans, UK, Team Wagner
Posts: 39,158
Hey,
I had a look on Ebay for Body Double Blu rays but they seem very expensive
grimtales1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-2013, 22:19
flashman1
Inactive Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 160
Hey,
I had a look on Ebay for Body Double Blu rays but they seem very expensive
That's because its a Twilight Time Limited Edition release. These are limited to only 3000 units and Body Double sold out very quickly - not as fast as Christine or Fright Night but still quite quick
flashman1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-09-2013, 07:17
FirstChibi
Forum Member
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Liverpool
Posts: 136
The Drew Barrymore version of Babes in Toyland. I know, I know, it's an embarrassment to the film industry, but that is a childhood classic of mine and I can't get it on region 2 DVD anywhere
FirstChibi is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 03:11.