Skip to comments.DVDs on demand: Warner dips into untapped vault (LAT, VAR, WSJ, THR)
Posted on 04/14/2009 8:26:08 PM PDT by ReformationFan
Warner Bros. today will launch a service giving the public the opportunity to custom-order DVDs of films never before released via the medium. The move is seen as a response to dwindling DVD sales and also to customer demand for titles that while not totally obscure, didn't necessarily generate enough heat to merit a full-on DVD release.
The Warner Archive Collection, available at WarnerArchive.com, includes films dating back to the silent age and for $19.95 per disc Warners will burn, package and ship for receipt within an estimated five days. Currently there are 150 titles available with for a total of more than 300 by year's end.
The films will also be available for download at the site for $14.95. The discs, which do not come in Blu-ray form, will be made without any extras save an original trailer if available. The Web site also allows customers to preview each title to see how it looks in terms of picture quality, notes The Los Angeles Times.
The choice of the launch titles was based on the volume of consumer requests Warner has fielded over the years, says Variety.
"My dream has always been to find a way to get everything to everybody who wants it," George Feltenstein, senior vice president of theatrical catalog marketing for Warner Home Video, told The Los Angeles Times. "No matter how obscure or arcane, there is something in the library that somebody wants. But yet you have to hit a certain threshold of sales potential to justifying making a DVD the old-fashioned way."
"Just the cost of authoring, compression and menus, all of that kind of thing, can run into a great deal of money," Feltenstein added, "and with shelf space at retail being diminished - there is no more Tower Records, Music Plus..."
Some of the new-to-DVD titles listed at the site include "Possessed," starring Clark Gable and Joan Crawford; "Once Upon a Honeymoon" with Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers and "All Fall Down" with Warren Beatty and Eva Marie Saint.
TV additions to the new service are likely to include "Maverick," "77 Sunset Strip," "Bourbon Street Beat," "Bronco," "Lawman" and "Hawaiian Eye."
Debbie Reynolds will head up a publicity blitz for the service.
The Warner feature film library houses 6,800 theatrical films, of which just 1,200 have so far made it to DVD.
Forgot to include the direct link-
Titles they say will be coming include
“Bright Leaf”-a highly politically incorrect historical epic about the North Carolina tobacco industry featuring conservative Republican actor Gary Cooper as self-made magnate and Patricia Neal and Lauren Bacall as the women in his life.
“How Sweet It Is”-a hilarious 1960s comedy that makes fun of flower children and their naivete. I love the scene where James Garner advises his hippy son who thinks “love will protect him” all over the world and Garner says “I’ve seen the world, son. Take a gun.”
Warner Brothers announced this about a month ago. I have already searched their archive library and have ordered a few. At $ 19.99 for a DVD though, it had better be on my want list.
I hope they keep adding, because my classic movie want list is huge. TCM has been a big help, in scratching off some titles, but there is still many never released I am looking for.
Always nice to read of another classic movie fan. If you don’t mind me asking, which ones did you buy? I’m also thinking of adding “Captain Nemo and the Underwater City” with Chuck Connors(”The Rifleman”) and Bond girl Luciana Paluzzi(”Thunderball”),”Darby’s Rangers” with James Garner and “Westbound” with Randolph Scott to my collection.
You’re right about $20 per flick is a lot but one almost spends as much seeing a new flick at the theaters nowadays. And you don’t have to worry about the political correctness if the film is made pre-1966.
Shopworn Angel 1938
Idiots Delight 1939
Both arrived in about two weeks. Glad to ad them to my collection of over 1500 movies. And I have some real beauties, and many of them rare. Probably the only one in a hundred miles with Song of the South.
Forget DVD, the future is Blu-Ray, especially when it come to HDTV.
Idiot’s Delight is interesting. Before I saw that, I never knew there were anti-war movies right on the eve of WWII. It’s fascinating to see how old movies teach history. If you like that one, I highly recommend Once Upon A Honeymoon, I consider OUAH one of those great films that few people seem to know of. It helped me memorize the order of nations falling under Nazi occupation for a WWII history test. Another good one(not on the Archive list) is Comrade X, a hilarious spoof on Soviet communism with Clark Gable and Hedy Lamarr.
I have been really liking classiccinemaonline.com. I don’t know how good the selection is, but I’m just getting started on the old films. It is a streaming service, which is what I prefer. Its 30s-40s selection seems to be to small.
I always liked this film.
Wow! Thanks for that link. Love the live streaming.
The Bride Came C.O.D. is another of those great movies that few people seem to know about. James Cagney and Bette Davis act like Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner in that one. It’s very funny and almost like a live action Looney Tune.
I think Ball of Fire has become my favorite Howard Hawks comedy. Perhaps Hawks should have worked with Billy Wilder more often. Republican superstars Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck are both terrific in it.
They’ve almost made available one of Ronald Reagan’s funniest comedies, “John Loves Mary” with Patricia Neal in her film debut.
It’s funny to see the great man in a 3’s Company type of farce.
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