Criterion's Merchant Ivory Titles Going Out of Print
Posted June 25, 2013 06:01 PM by Webmaster
The Criterion Collection has announced that all films in its Merchant Ivory Collection (this includes DVD releases), as well as the Blu-ray release of James Ivory's Howards End, will soon go out of print. Copies of many of these films are still available at Amazon and other retailers. The Criterion Collection will also sell remaining stock via its site until the end of June.
You can see our listing and review of Howards Endhere.
Shame about no Maurice here as well. Would've liked to have seen an eventual Remains of the Day one as well. Guess there's been some tension brewing for a while as CC haven't released anything except Howards End on BD, and that was a few years ago now.
Remains of the Day is owned by Sony Pictures. Mike Nichols (who produced) was originally going to direct but passed it onto James Ivory. It could still be a Criterion title if they wanted it. These films going OOP are properties of Merchant/Ivory.
Not a fan of these but I certainly feel sorry for those who are since Criterion will simply do what they normally do in this situation which is absolutely nothing. I'm sure they'll enjoy sticking their middle finger up to people who do enjoy these movies.
Howards End was a really powerful film that should be seen & preserved, but my wallet is grateful that one viewing was enough for me. Maybe could see again when it comes out on 4K or whatever in about 10 years.
@billyearle: Unfortunately, any future format after BD most likely won't be something you can actually own. If you want something you can fully control, use however you want, hand down to your kids or grandkids, or resell and make a few bucks when it eventually appreciates in value as all physical media is likely to do in an all-digital future, buying the BD may be your last chance for collecting the film, unless you're someone who rents something and calls that collecting. And unless you've got a large front projection system, you're not likely to see much if any difference between scaled 1080p and true 4k anyway, especially if streaming is as bandwidth contrained and over-compressed in 10 years as it is now and as satellite and cable have been for the last 20 years, without so much as even any ambition to improve quality only rather than content: Having half a dozen channels showing the exact same thing is more important to most networks.
I only wish this news was announced a few days ago when it was still on sale.
@mjcavinder: ebay doesn't sell anything other than storefronts to other businesses. Only scalpers and legit buyers, who can't ignore turning a sizeable profit on the BD/dvd they bought for themselves, will be selling it for a premium once it's no longer available and in short supply. Same goes for amazon marketplace vendors: You aren't buying from amazon themselves.
What a shame, I love Merchant Ivory and their "Howards End" release was stunning. Too bad the production company and Criterion couldn't reach an agreement. Though I doubt Criterion had any plans to release "Maurice" on bluray. They didn't even release it on their official Criterion label; it was on the Merchant Ivory series sublabel. In any case, I doubt these discs will sell for a lot of money down the road since Criterion is announcing that the titles are being deleted, so anyone who wants them has plenty of time to get them.
The Criterion of "Howard's End" looks stunning.
I was fortunate to see the New York show print at Technicolor labs nr Heathrow back in early '92. I was working on a film which the editor was also involved with and he invited the cast and crew to watch it.
That looked and sounded great but the clarity and depth of Criterion's Blu-ray even surpasses this.
I tried to like Howards End, viewed the preview and a scene on youtube (decision whether to let the girl stay overnight), and I could not bring myself to buy it. That style of arty movie isn't my "cup of tea."
I'm sure it looks nice but Howards End looks lovely but it's a melodrama commenting on a long gone British social system, so thematically it falls flat for most audiences today. A Room with a View and The Remains of the Day are two period pieces that fare much better IMO.
majorkonig41: "Now people are gonna buy a bunch of titles they were never going to buy because they have a C on the spine and are going out of print."
Maybe, but it won't be these, because these don't have any "C" on the spine (nor, for that matter, do they have spine numbers). They weren't released under the regular Criterion Collection label.
That said, buying movies just because they have a "C" (and a number) on the spine isn't completely silly. At some point back in the laser disc days, I'd been buying enough titles I wanted from Criterion that I decided to collect the entire run of their LDs. Never did complete the set, but in the process I had bought some movies that I ended up loving that I might never have otherwise have bought. I became a fan of, among others, Jacques Tati, Powell & Pressburger, Jean Renoir, and Rene Clement because of blind-buying Criterion LDs.