Warner Home Video has announced that it plans to release three major catalog titles on Anniversary Blu-ray editions in 2012: Singin' in the Rain (Stanley Donen/Gene Kelly, 1952), What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (Robert Aldrich, 1962), and Camelot (Joshua Logan, 1967). To build demand, the DVD editions of all three movies will be put on moratorium starting December 31, 2010.
The studio also confirmed that Ben-Hur and Citizen Kane will be released on Ultimate Collector's Editions in 2011.
It's so disheartening to see that there are just a handful of classic Hollywood movies being released on Blu-Ray each year and that even in 2012 the situation stays the same. When will the trickle of classic catalog releases finally turn into a flood, so we can see Barbara Stanwyck, Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, James Cagney, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Spencer Tracy, Carole Lombard, Edward G Robinson, Erroll Flynn, Gene Tierney, Joan Crawford, Myrna Loy, William Powell, etc etc etc in HD? And not just one or two of their most famous movies, but a deep, extensive selection of titles.
The movie needed additional restoration to be released on Blu-ray compared to the previous DVD edition. That's why they didn't release it along with An American in Paris two years ago. They needed time. The decision wasn't taken because of the ratings of a Glee episode guest starring Gwyneth Paltrow.
I agree, _ck. This is too early for a catalogue 2012 blu-ray slate. However, it is nice to know more classics are gonna be released. Though, I personally expected Singin' in the Rain to come a bit sooner. But since 2012 will be it's anniversary, it's a little more understandable. But hopefully they don't stop releasing more classics for 2011, such as Dial M for Murder.
Disappointing news on Ben-Hur and Citizen Kane ultimate collector's editions. As much as I like ultimate collector's editions, I can't stand the oversized ones like Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind that can't fit nicely on a shelf with other blu-rays, which is what they look like judging by the new cover arts. However, editions like the Dirty Harry and Casablanca ultimate collector's editions were fine exceptions because they actually fit on shelves with other blu-rays with out taking up as much space. Hopefully they get some sort of standalone editions since Gone with the Wind and Oz did. Surely they will, but hoping it's sooner rather than later.
Wow, within one week there is release news of two Bette Davis films being released and two of her best! "Jane" and "Eve" are going to be great additions and I'll keep my fingers crossed that both will be in digibook form, either you love those or you don't.
I don't care if The Ultimate Collector's Editions of Ben-Hur and Citizen Kane don't fit on the shelves where I keep my other BRDs, just as long as the discs fit in my Blu-ray player. Great news! Day One purchases both, at whatever the cost.
Great News. I want all of them. Strangely whenever I want to add a DVD to my collection an announcement comes that it is getting a bluray. Thats sounds good but the wait is not. It happened to me before with The Eternal Sunshine, Meet the Parents, Appocalypse now and now with what Ever Happened to Baby Jane.
Now I should seriously think of buying Taxi Driver DVD
Anyone else think it's odd that the studios are releasing "Anniversary Editions" AFTER the anniversary? We have a "50th Anniversary" Ben Hur two years after the anniversary (2009) and a "60th aniversary" All About Eve(1950) coming out in 2011.
ymmv, what you are looking for is not going to happen. BD is for the future not the past. There are a lot of reasons for this but the most compelling is the most obvious: old films are too resource intensive to be remastered. There's too much work and even some artistry involved to make an old film ready for blu-ray. You can expect each year to see a few old titles, mainly the big blockbusters, released for prestige reasons but don't expect to see a flood of classic films on BD. The studios can make more money off mastering the latest films which are practically ready to go right out of the can than spending the time cleaning up, patching etc. the old ones to make them acceptable for a BD.
The title should've been "WB confirms Citizen Cane and Ben-Hur for 2011"
Those two titles are a no-brainer day 1 for me, but I'll stick with the regular release instead of the big boxes. I really regret buying Casablanca Ultimate edition, and learned my lesson and bought The Wizard of Oz, Gone with The Wind and The Sound of Music in regular packaging.
Those oversized collector's editions of Gone with the Wind and the Wiz of Oz are a joke. Now you can see them piled up at places like Costco, Sam's, and Wally-World, prices slashed, and still not selling..why? Too big! Who want's all that extra junk anyways? I sure hope WB doesn't do the same for Ben Hur and Kane and make the rest of us wait 6 to 12 months for the trimmed down, shelf sized 2 or 3 disc special editions BDs to come out. Frustrating. Another example of a studio not having a clue as to what the public really wants.
reidw, that's not the only way to look at it.
What you say is true, but it's also true that all studios have most of their catalog already mastered in HD. The problem is, as you say, that new restorations and mastering (expensive are you say) are needed for many of them. But not for all, and this is the issue.
New mastering is needed when not good enough mastering has been done, either because it was made with dvd in mind, or too many years ago. In the case of flagship titles (like the ones announced here, or most of the old movies already released in the format), there's and added reason: they will be scrutinized by many people, and buyers want to be blown away by the quality. They have an important role as marketing leads for the format.
But most other classics will never have ultimate collector editions, they don't need to be a showcase of blu-ray's capabilities, the don't need to drive sales. Many of them have good-enough masters made in recent years. They could be released at cheaper prices (in box-sets, for example) and most old-movie fans would be happy to upgrade. Like ymmv, I hope this will come some day. Hopefully studios will believe demographics allow for this soon.