Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New on DVD: Forbidden Hollywood Vols. 4 and 5

There's good news this week from the Warner Archive, the release of two different sets of pre-Code films, Forbidden Hollywood Volume 4 and Forbidden Hollywood Volume 5.

Each of these collections consists of four films, all newly remastered. Even better is the unexpected news, explained in Lou Lumenick's New York Post column, that the initial run of each set will consist of pressed discs rather than burned.

Lumenick says the Archive's George Feltenstein "indicated this would only be used for 'selected multi-disc sets' as a manufacturing efficiency and that most releases will continue to be released on burned discs."

Warner's Forbidden Hollywood label dates from 1988, when it was used on VHS tapes such as EMPLOYEES' ENTRANCE and RED-HEADED WOMAN.

The video releases were followed by three DVD sets with plentiful extras, including commentary tracks.

The Warner Archive's new Forbidden Hollywood Volume 4 is an excellent group of films, including Loretta Young and George Brent in THEY CALL IT SIN (1932), Kay Francis in JEWEL ROBBERY (1932) and MAN WANTED (1932), and Francis's costar from JEWEL ROBBERY, William Powell, in LAWYER MAN (1932), costarring Joan Blondell.

Volume 5 contains George Brent and Joan Blondell in MISS PINKERTON (1932), James Cagney in HARD TO HANDLE (1933), Barbara Stanwyck and Preston Foster in LADIES THEY TALK ABOUT (1933), and Warren William and Constance Cummings in THE MIND READER (1933).

The sets are currently retailing at $39.95, which means each title is half the normal Archive cost of $19.95.

Also just out from the Archive: two more MacDonald-Eddy films, MAYTIME (1937) and ROSE MARIE (1936).

An email from the Warner Archive indicates that the MacDonald-Eddy films, like the Forbidden Hollywood sets, are remastered, yet I note that none of these releases have the usual red "Remastered" label on the DVD covers. If I am able to obtain clarification on this I'll share the info here.

Update: The Warner Archive Twitter team has let me know that it was decided to discontinue the red "Remastered" labels due to consumer confusion. (I can only assume some customers confused remastered with restored.) There's one little problem, in that the WB Shop listings are missing information on remastering or have flat-out had the wrong information. THE HANGING TREE, for example, had a note saying it was not remastered, but now has a note with the correct information. Hopefully the Shop will be addressing this issue so that consumers have reliable information on remastered products.


Blogger Cliff Aliperti said...

This is the most exciting round of DVD releases I've seen in a long time!

I'm guessing there are no extras on the Forbidden Hollywood discs. Wish they had found a decent documentary to pop on each like Volumes 2 and 3 had.

That said, shoot, I'm going to have to spend the 80 bucks anyway. I have most of these, but some of the copies are pretty ugly. Guess I better order soon!

Can't wait to see what makes Volume 6!

10:55 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I agree with all of your comments, Cliff! I love THEY CALL IT SIN and MAN WANTED and would like to get these while they're still selling pressed discs. I wish there were at least a couple extras but I guess that may only happen when something previously produced is waiting in the vaults, such as the commentary for WESTWARD THE WOMEN.

Best wishes,

12:30 AM  

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