The Golden Age of Hollywood

By this I mean proper pressed discs not the DVD-Rs of the Warner Archive Collection ? The evidence certainly appears to suggest this.

The big studios appear to have almost stopped releasing new classic titles. Only Sony with forthcoming Noir sets appear to be doing very much. Warner have one title in September : John Ford's Wagonmaster (1950), Paramount continue to reissue, Fox had Manhunt (1941) the other week but the star boxsets they used to do appear to be a thing of the past.

Yes I know about the recession but there has been a drastic slowing down of classic releases in the last few months. Are the studios now only interested in the latest films and the big classics we can expect on Blu-ray in the next few years ?

What about brick and mortar stores ? I think the choice is still fairly good in them in the UK (at least of R2 releases) but what about the US is it true classics aren't being stocked in these places ?

What about the Warner Archive model ? To start with it seemed like a good idea to get loads of obscure titles out but the films are unrestored and are DVD-Rs. Also they are rather expensive ($20 a pop) : now some titles they are appearing at even dearer prices as Amazon exclusives (about $30 each). So they are effectively out in online retail which makes the Warner Archive collection a real moneymaker for the studio. Could this be the future of classic movies on DVD and downloads ?

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I am new here and it may have been mentioned before, but if you are a Seattle resident SCARECROW VIDEO has a section with all the Warner Archives for rental.
Recently purchased Luxury Liner from the Warner Archive. I am very happy with the transfer. It was a worthwhile purchase.
If you think about it, almost every MAJOR classic film has been released onto DVD. THE AFRICAN QUEEN, which I understand is coming, and VIVA ZAPATA are a couple exceptions, but beyond that I can't really tink of anything significant.

Yes, THE STRAWBERRY BLONDE, A LION IS IN THE STREETS, PAY OR DIE and many other titles in the Warner Archive Collection would be nice to have, but until they drop their price to $10 per title, I'll stick with the copies I recorded off of TCM.
I agree Michael. I once can record them onto DVD, why shell out money for a DVD-R?
Well, I can think of some films of significance to me personally. I would like to know where is the Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy box set or where is Sonja Henie?

Kevin
Here's an update...I bought the Dick Powell/Ruby Keeler set. As noted, there is a limited Main Menu, and the trailers for each film are included (so I stand corrected on that score). I do agree with the observation that a price reduction would be in order. The quality varies from film to film. I'm presuming no restoration has been done (beyond what was done for TCM broadcast), as evidenced by the scratchy main titles of COLLEEN. I expect I will probably continue to buy select titles (for example, the new 5-disc "Our Gang" set).
How bad are the Archives? I was overjoyed the other day to notice BHOWANI JUNCTION available at all! I used to have a VHS copied off of TCM, but it's long gone (and I don't have a VCR anyway, LOL).

I am still going to buy it pretty soon because I love the film and love love love Ava. But are they as bad as all that? Pricey, yes, but still at least VHS quality?
I would rate the quality as better than VHS. The only caveats to this series are the ones I've already noted. In general, my advice is, go for it. One would hope a price reduction follows (or at least more titles grouped into Value Packs), but in the meantime, I would (and will) continue to buy those titles in which I am interested.
[quote]in the meantime, I would (and will) continue to buy those titles in which I am interested.[/quote]

Thanks for the tip. Yes, I agree that we have to support it if we want it.
The unjustifiably high expense always seems like a rip-off, to me, not an 'opportunity'. I am amazed at the Alpha Video "model" and their relatively long-life (7-8, 9 years now?) selling pretty awful movies in 3-for-$10 or $5 bins in retail stores.

Since shipping and warehousing - the middleman - gobbles up the vast majority of expenses (and profits therefore for "rightsholders"), I don't see why Warners and the Made-On-Demand series can justify their expensive prices. We have bought quite a few from Warners but only in their $10-each sales ("10-for-$100" was fabulous for us). Warners just repeated this attempt but in an incredibly limited (and lame) format of only selling THEIR collected series - not their entire catalog. So consumers faced a good price but they might have to duplicate half of their previous Cary Grant purchases.

Warners' marketing idiocy shows why the studio tumbled and tumbled, and they're still listening to this same idiotic advice. There's a good part of me that says "Boycott and let 'em eat cake". This time, let the guillotines chop up the credit cards instead.

When they want thousands of my dollars, they can sell me hundreds of their titles.
It looks to me that Warner Archive has been focusing more on 70's cartoons and TV shows lately. I have a feeling that those will wind up selling much better and the Archive will move toward making more "campy" things available rather than "classic".

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