The Fall of the House of Usher
Abel Gance’s Napoleon (if it is)
The Gold Rush
I don’t care whether it’s from Criterion or not, but Napoleon needs a dvd/blu-ray release in this country. Even the French release is sub-standard, and currently OOP (if I’m not mistaken).
There are so many unique technical aspects of the film that demand in-depth documentation, namely Gance’s brilliant creation of what was essentially cinema-scope in 1927.
In the same year, Gance invented the wide screen aspect ratio for Napoleon, and Alan Crosland was the first to use sound in The Jazz Singer. Yet one innovation was overshadowed by the other.
Don’t know why there is no release of Napolean. That’s such an obvious omission.
Flicker Alley has two very good quality recent releases of Gance films but no sign of Napoleon.
Usher was available in a so-so print. Yeah, a quality release would be nice. The subject matter alone should generate some interest.
Actually, Amazon has a pre-order notification on its page for an unseen Napoleon film (I can confirm it is the 1927 version). Other than that I don’t know any details. You can look it up. Cross your fingers, everyone!
Advertise, everyone. These silent films, along with others, are neglected. (That’s not a lame signature, by the way)
John Huston’s Beat the Devil could use a good release.
his girl friday
I’m talking Public Domain, so that Criterion doesn’t shoot the prices to Mars.
D.W. Griffith Eclipse. The Birth of Cinema.
I don’t think Napoleon is public domain, is it? I have always heard that it is Francis Coppola who is keeping it from getting its proper release.
Hercules, Fabiola, Maciste all’inferno, and various other giallo and peplum movies.
Maybe its not that worth for Criterion to release a film which is already on public domain. There are plenty of reasons for someone to buy a Criterion film, such as extras, interviews, documentaries, but one of the most important, I think, has to do with the uniqueness or availability of that film. And with those public domain films, for someone who’s got to take care of every buck they spend.. there might be some kind of contempt…since they are already there for everyone to get them…
Those films are not in the public domain in France. They will be 70 years after the death of the last auteur who has collaborated to the conception of the film (ie director, scriptwriter, score composer…)
Dementia 13 by Francis Ford Coppola.
As I remember, it is Coppola who is holding up NAPOLEON. Apparently Brownlow et al have continued working on the film, and there have been substantial discoveries of footage since the 1980s version was shown. Coppola will only allow the film to be shown with his father’s score, and there are apparently enough legal complexities for him to be able to prevent the thing from going any further.
probably one of the most amazing film watching experiences I ever had was NAPOLEON somewhere in the 80s. They had to expand the screen left and right to accommodate the wide screen triptych. Probably the most astounding epic silent ever filmed.
I think the public domain films would be better as Eclipse releases.
I think Kino has got a handle on Murnau’s “Faust”, as part of their new Murnau box set.
Are you sure any of those films are Public Domain?
After the debacles in he 1980s with titles like It’s a Wonderful Life and His Girl Friday, there was a mad rush to snap up titles into copyrights by studios, companies, and even governments.
I’m sure there aren’t many titles that slipped through any of those cracks. Even Night of the Living Dead is being held by its nebulous lawsuit.
steve is correct on beat the devil. every release of it has been poor quality. Shame, its such a great film
The Trial by Orson Welles
Also, Isn’t Welles’ The Stranger public domain? I’ve seen crappy versions by a couple of different companies—none of them worth even a film Welles considered second-string.
Also, I feel like I’m treading on eggs here, but Capra’s Meet John Doe, seems to be similarly positioned; I’ve seen a few crappy releases of so-so quality, and nothing by a major studio.
And just as a response to an earlier comment, all things considered, I think that for what they put into their releases Criterions are pretty reasonable—especially when you bear in mind that they’re discounted 20% at their own site, and 25% or more elsewhere.
I forgot to mention The Lost World (1925). Great Silent Film.
BEAT THE DEVIL, which I’ve heard is great but poor quality DVDs give me a headache.
Also, Frank Borzage’s A FAREWELL TO ARMS. It’s really a beautiful movie, damned if it isn’t exactly Hemingway—Gary Cooper’s desperate eyes when he prays for Catherine are enough to stop any cynic in their tracks. It so deserves a clean-up and a new audience.
HIS GIRL FRIDAY already has a swank clean-up from Colombia so I don’t see it as an essential for Criterion.
Kudos to Sal & Steve.
Beat the Devil. This DESPERATELY needs a decent release…how could a film directed by Huston, featuring Bogart, Lorre, R. Morley, Lollobridgida, Jennifer Jones with a script by Capote be so neglected????