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Posted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:31 pm
by Precious Doll
dws1982 wrote:Before I buy it, I'm wanting to hear something about the quality of Raoul Walsh's Along the Great Divide, and I'm also wondering if some of the widescreen films they offer are going to be anamorphic. Because in this day, on widescreen films, no anamorphic transfer = no sale.

Promises in the Dark, Heart Beat, Dusty Sweets and McGee are all in anamporhic widescreen.

During the credit sequence of Heart Beat thin black bars appear at the top and bottom of the screen. When the first scene starts they disappear indicating cropping at the sides.

Promises in the Dark whilst taking up the whole screen is cropped, by how much I don't know, on the sides. When the title appears the K is missing from dark. However it is not uncommon for films to be slightly cropped on the sides.

Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:50 am
by Big Magilla
Coincidentally, Precious, I also purchased a mix of films I've seen and wanted to own and those I hadn't seen but always wanted to and match you on two in both categories - The Citadel and Emma in the former and The Devil Is a Sissy and The D.I. in the latter.

Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:36 am
by Precious Doll
I ordered 10 films and received them yesterday.

The ten I purchased were made up of 5 films that I have seen and wanted in my collection: Promises in the Dark, Heart Beat, Emma, Beast of the City & The Citadel and 5 films I haven't seen but are on my 'want to see' list, The Devil is a Sissy, The George Raft Story, Westbound, Dusty and Sweets McGee & The D.I.

I flicked through Beast of the City, The Citadel, Promises in the Dark & Heart Beat and am very impressed with the quality. Promises & Heart are a bit soft but that has more to do with how lots of films were shot during the mid 70's to the mid 80's (see also films like Coming Home, Missing, etc).

I'll be watching Promises tomorrow night for the first time since 1982 and will get to the others over the next couple of weeks.

I'm very happy with what I've seen so far and look forward to purchasing more titles in the near future.

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:03 pm
by Big Magilla
I have Private Lives and it looks just fine.

As I stated previously none of the films in the archive have been remastered. Most, if not all, use the source print used for TCM broadcasts the VHS tapes of the 90s. They look better on DVD than they did on VHS, better even than their broadcast look and without the TCM logo appearing in the lower right hand corner of the screen every 20 minutes or so. The widescreen films are not anamorphic but on my 52" Hi-Def LCD monitor it doesn't really matter. If you have a widescreen TV that allows you to zoom you can pretty much fill the screen anyway.

7 Women is one of the titles I am hoping to see released here along with a number of other Warner Bros. owned films they have been holding back such as Night Must Fall, Of Human Hearts, The Mortal Storm, The Human Comedy, The White Cliffs of Dover, The Valley of Decision, The Green Years, Lili, Ice Palace, The Dark at the Top of the Stairs and The Subject Was Roses.

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:46 am
by dws1982
A reviewer at DVD Talk was sent a copy of Private Lives for review from the Warner Bros. Archive, and said the video and audio quality were on the VHS level, at best. I'm guessing that the video and audio quality will vary based on the materials they have available for each film.

Before I buy it, I'm wanting to hear something about the quality of Raoul Walsh's Along the Great Divide, and I'm also wondering if some of the widescreen films they offer are going to be anamorphic. Because in this day, on widescreen films, no anamorphic transfer = no sale.

And since I had it on the DVR (from August) and watched it last night: Whether it's through this archive thing, or through a regular release, they really need to get John Ford's 7 Women out. Unless there are some other issues with it I'm not aware of, being a MGM release, Warner would now own the video rights.

Edited By dws1982 on 1239198584

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:14 am
by Precious Doll
Most of these titles are now available for international customers. Postage is a bit steep for small orders but very good for larger orders.

There are some still some films (Orphans & Mr. Lucky for example) that only ship within the US. This would have something to do with the rights but if Warners ends selling these through Amazon that problem will disappear.

I'll be placing a big order this weekend.

Edited By Precious Doll on 1239228334

Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:22 pm
by Big Magilla
I received my first batch today, one week to the day of placing the order.

Sunrise at Campbello, which is still listed on the website as being available for pre-order, is in fact in stock and was one of the films I received. On the other hand, The Oklahoman, which is listed as being available, has been put on back order.

How do they look? Well, if you want the best copy of a particular film with nice DVD cover art and no annoying TV station logos on the film's print this is the way to go. However you should know that most of the old black-and-white films including Emma, The Magnificent Yankee and The Devil Is a Sissy have the old Turner logo preceding the Warner Bros. or MGM logo, a clear giveaway that this was the same transfer used for the film's showing on TCM and/or video cassette release. I would say that they are all in "good" condition. None are "pristine". They look better than copies made from old VHS tapes or downloaded from TV before digital, but only slightly better than digital TV downloads.

The colors in Sunrise at Campobello look good except for the flesh tones which seem to be paler than I remember them. When Ann Shoemaker as Anna Roosevelt says to Ralph Bellamy as FDR "you look a little pekid" it's funny because she and everyone else looks a little pekid as well. However, the flesh tones on the much mroe recent Little Drummer Girl appear rich and vibrant.

My suspicion is the real reason Warner hasn't released these films in the general market is because appearance wise they are not up to their highest standards and they don't want to spend the money to restore them to pristine condition. That said, they still look a lot better than releases put out by a lot of other DVD companies.

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:00 pm
by Precious Doll
Further update on these Warner Brothers titles. Warners intend to sell them through other sellers (Amazon was named) 90 days after they have premiered on their own site.

THis is great news!

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:07 am
by Big Magilla
Even more news about upcoming classics from Warner Bros. according to this article in The International Herald Tribune. Excerpts below:

Twenty more films or TV shows will be added to the program of re-releases each month, with 300 expected by year's end. To put it in perspective, the studio has released only about 1,100 movies on DVD since the technology was spawned 12 years ago.

"There are still thousands of movies that we own that consumers haven't been able to get," said George Feltenstein, senior vice president of theatrical catalog marketing for Warner Home Video. "I expect that we'll be selling thousands of copies of every title over a period of time, and making a lot of people really happy."

Debbie Reynolds noted that in the past, the only way to watch some old films was to have a projector at home and obtain a bootleg copy. She said fans have been asking her to get some of her films on DVD, like "The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady" (1950), which is expected in a later batch of releases.

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:30 am
by Big Magilla
From the Home Theater Forum chat with Warners:

[warnerbros] 1). There will be a availability of product WORLDWIDE shortly through the Warner Archive Collection. SHORTLY. We just don't have a date could be only a few days away.... bear with us...This would be only applicable to the films where we hold worldwide rights, which is MOST of them. 2). The discs are of the highest quality. They are manufactured via propriatary MOD process which is very different from home-used DVDRs on one's computer....we guarantee the quality of these discs and will stand by them. 3) This DOES NOT replace our retail initiatives. THEY REMAIN FULL SPEED AHEAD...

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 4:03 am
by Precious Doll
This is great news but there is a catch.

Warners will only ship DVD's to US addresses.

Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:26 pm
by Snick's Guy
This is fabulous news for the classic DVD collector!

Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:27 am
by Eric

Warner offers classics on DVD and download

By Kenneth Li in New York

Published: March 23 2009 04:38 | Last updated: March 23 2009 04:38

Warner Brothers will on Monday launch a service that makes available hundreds – and eventually thousands – of out-of-circulation classic movies and television shows for downloading and on DVDs as Hollywood studios seek new markets to offset a decline in DVD sales.

The new service does not involve any contemporary, well-known titles and will probably remain a small source of revenue for the company.

The Warner Brothers Archive Collection service will allow consumers to download or buy DVDs of movies such as Possessed, starring Clark Gable and Joan Crawford, and Once Upon a Honeymoon, which stars Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers, for the first time since DVDs made their debut in 1997.

The service was developed during the past two years by creating a DVD publishing process that is cheaper than conventional DVD systems, which company executives said were costly and required a minimum order of 15,000 to 20,000 copies.

The new system, which is called “manufacturing on demand”, is designed for smaller publishing runs and involves using a lower-cost printing process for DVD covers.

“We have developed this new methodology to monetise more of our assets,” said George Feltenstein, senior vice-president of theatrical catalogue marketing at Warner Home Video.

“It is very expensive to put a movie on DVD through traditional [means],” he said.

Warner’s launch comes as weaker DVD sales have caused panic in Hollywood. New-format Blu-ray disc sales have yet to take hold and thereby take up the slack.

DVD sales in the US dropped 15 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year. Shelf store space dedicated to DVDs has also been crimped by the closure of big chain retailers such as Circuit City.

Time Warner, Warner’s parent company, has dabbled with offering vintage programmes for viewing on the internet in the past few years, including the In2TV service launched by its AOL division in 2006.

It also offers a system, on a small scale, which allows consumers to order film DVDs at store kiosks. At today’s launch, 150 titles will become available with 20 more television programmes and movies to be added each month. By the end of this year, 300 titles will be available, according to the company.

DVDs will cost $19.95 each and downloads will be available for $14.95 per title.

Warner Brothers’ new online store can be found at

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009

Edited By Eric on 1237818442

Posted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:25 am
by Eric
Check out all the titles available now.

Edited By Eric on 1237818373