Thursday, March 24, 2011

Warner Archive's 2nd Anniversary (and a Sale!)

Has it really been two years since I first posted about the then newly created Warner Archive?

Indeed it has, and the Archive is having an excellent sale to celebrate. Single-disc DVDs, excepting this month's new releases, are 5 for $50 through March 28th, with free shipping.

It's a great opportunity to pick up recent releases such as the remastered STARS IN MY CROWN (1950), BACHELOR IN PARADISE (1961), or SUNDAY IN NEW YORK (1963), and that's just for starters. Links and reviews for a number of Archive films can be found in a post written last month.

Other titles recently reviewed here which are available via the Archive include BODYGUARD (1948), BOYS' NIGHT OUT (1962), and CRY WOLF (1947), a film which drew a lot of comments!

Lou Lumenick of the New York Post published a very informative interview today with George Feltenstein of the Archive.

Feltenstein had a great deal of positive information to share, including the news that the long-wished-for THE CONSTANT NYMPH (1943) will definitely be available on DVD within the year. He's not sure if it will be an Archive release or a regular retail DVD. I recently reviewed the film, and more information about clearing the rights can be found here.

He also mentioned that a "gorgeous" restoration of THE UNFINISHED DANCE (1947) will be out next week. THE UNFINISHED DANCE, which was described in detail by Moira Finnie in a post at TCM's Movie Morlocks blog a little over a year ago, stars Cyd Charisse and Margaret O'Brien. That's definitely going on my wish list, along with the new release of the underrated Fred Astaire film YOLANDA AND THE THIEF (1945).

I'm very enthused about the number of remastered titles the Archive has recently released, and Feltenstein had this to say: "We have upped our standards significantly for WAC. People are asking for some of their favorite [Bette] Davis or Humphrey [Bogart titles]. We won't release them unless we can remaster them. Because of the success we've had we're reinvesting in the business."

And how about this news: "We've already remastered a handful of our original releases [from two years ago]. We will make special arrangements for consumers who supported us to obtain the remastered versions at a very minimal price in about a month. There are 8 or 10 of them coming."

He also discussed the possibility of releasing MGM musicals with outtake musical sequences, and there is even a possibility of commentary tracks in the future. If the Archive can find a way to restore some of the extras which make retail DVDs so special for collectors, that will be a huge plus for buyers such as myself.

I encourage reading the entire interview, as it's packed with additional information.

The Archive has come a long, long way in two years, responding to consumer demand with better prints and more attractive cases. As the Archive goes forward, I hope they'll look at improving their website (getting it to recognize my password usually takes about four tries) and lowering the price; I wonder if the price went down a few dollars per disc if it would generate enough additional sales to make it cost effective. I would certainly buy more regularly if I didn't have to wait for their sales.

I look forward to seeing what the next two years holds for Warner Archive!


Blogger Robby Cress said...

I will definitely be taking advantage of the sale. What bargains! I only wish, like you, that the cost was a little bit less normally. Once you add in the shipping cost to a normal priced film it gets a little pricey. I would definitely purchase more frequently if they knocked off a few dollars. However, I'm happy to hear that the Warner Archive is having such success and I hope that continues. It really is great for movie fans.

2:19 PM  
Blogger KC said...

I can't believe it has been two years! I thought it was more like a year. Wow.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

Great to hear of these rare titles being released, but... when Warner Archive was launched, they promised the archive would soon be launched in the UK and Europe too. Two years on, we are still waiting! Here's hoping it doesn't take another two years before they sort out some kind of international deal. In the meantime, does now sell WA titles at a fairly reasonable price, though still a lot more than in the US.

3:58 PM  

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