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Criterion Westerns?

Criterion Westerns?

 
Old 05-04-04, 02:26 PM
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Criterion Westerns?

I've seen threads where people have asked about why Armageddeon or The Rock were released by Criterion and Criterion usually replies that they like to hit every major genre and that those two are examples of the "blockbuster" genre. Then what about westerns? Anyway, I emailed Jon Mulvaney at Criterion and this is what he said.

Dear Josh,

We hope to add a Western or two to the collection in the coming year.

best,
JM


I just thought some of you might be interested. I hope the do a High Noon or The Searchers or Red River.
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Old 05-04-04, 02:32 PM
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That is good news and thank you for posting it. However since there already is DVDs of those titles I doubt that they will C editions of them. More likely it would be a title that hasn't been released yet.
Austin
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Old 05-04-04, 02:49 PM
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CC has needed to show Ford some lovin' for a while now .
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Old 05-04-04, 03:33 PM
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It's one thing I've never understood about Criterion. The western genre is perfect for Criterion treatment. I'd love to see som Leone from Criterion, or Criterion putting out The Searchers, I could go on & on, so many great candidates.

Last edited by Sessa17; 05-04-04 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 05-04-04, 03:46 PM
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You have to consider the types of films Criterion releases, and why, to understand why there aren't any westerns in the collection. By and large, great westerns are classic, American major-studio productions. Very few great westerns are foreign films or recent art-films, which make up the bulk of the films Criterion releases. Because they tend to be older films produced by major studios, the studios themselves have either released them or have plans to do so. I'm sure Criterion would have loved to have gotten their hands on The Searchers or Rio Bravo, but why would Warners license them out?

Now, there are a number of great Boetticher westerns that haven't been released on DVD, in addition to Fuller's Forty Guns and a number of others. Films of this type would be prime Criterion material. I certainly can't see how they would have improved upon the existing release of Once Upon a Time In the West.
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Old 05-04-04, 04:26 PM
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Hey, what about McClintock??? The DVD release of that one is so awful you think you're watching a VHS copy from 1982.
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Old 05-04-04, 04:36 PM
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McClintock sounds like a good one to me....the dollar tree copy just won't hack it.
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Old 05-04-04, 05:01 PM
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Criterion has already said they'll be releasing at least one Ford sometime this year. That said most folks are betting it'll be Young Mr. Lincoln, which isn't a Western.
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Old 05-05-04, 01:19 PM
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The problem with McClintock is that of copyrite. This film along with tow other John Wayne films are tied up in a dispute. In this case however, someone found a loophole (read Public Domain) and released a version. I don't think C would touch this for legal reasons.
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Old 05-05-04, 01:23 PM
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This needs to be on DVD

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Old 05-05-04, 01:32 PM
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Who owns the rights to Nick Ray's Johnny Guitar? This and Fuller's Forty Guns would make awesome CC's.
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Old 05-05-04, 02:04 PM
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Since Sam Fuller got mentioned, FOX or Criterion NEED to do a DVD of his 'House of Bamboo.' The transfer on the VHS sucks even for VHS.
Don't believe me? Hunt a copy down. Truely a nadir of transferring skill.
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Old 05-05-04, 02:26 PM
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Criterion is not going to release the Searchers - its a Warner title.....as are Rio Bravo and the others originally mentioned already have decent releases.

BUT - there are dozens upon dozens of titles that would fit well in the collection, and I honestly don't understand why they haven't released any yet. Ride the High Country or Broken Arrow (1950) would be excellent choices I think.

And while Young Mr. Lincoln would be a good choice from Ford, i'm praying it will be Drums Along the Mohawk........PLEASE!!!!

Personally, I've suggested a few times that they release a 2 disc set with the 1914 and 1931 versions of the Squaw Man by C.B. DeMille - the first bearing the distinction of being the first movie ever made in Hollywood.
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Old 05-05-04, 02:31 PM
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Isn't Squaw Man a Warner title now as well? At least the 1931 version (the other may be PD).
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Old 05-05-04, 07:18 PM
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I don't know....i've written Mulvaney a couple of times about it and not gotten a reply....it would be GREAT to have both versions in one set though....
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Old 05-05-04, 07:19 PM
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In the same vein, how do you find out who owns a title? I always here people mention some obscure title and say who owns it....is there a magic website that offers that info, or are we just lucky enough to have members 'in the know' so to speak?
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Old 05-06-04, 12:47 AM
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Originally posted by The Exister
Who owns the rights to Nick Ray's Johnny Guitar? This and Fuller's Forty Guns would make awesome CC's.
I was just about to mention Johnny Guitar. That just needs a DVD release period.
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Old 05-06-04, 03:17 AM
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Johnny Guitar was a Republic production. Republic's library was previously controlled by Artisan and is now controlled by Lion's Gate (following their acquisition of Artisan); it will revert to Paramount next year (who is already preparing their own DVD releases of some major Republic titles, although I don't know if Johnny Guitar is among them). Ride the High Country was originally an MGM production and is now (probably) controlled by Warner. None of these studios have any existing relationship with Criterion so I wouldn't count on those.

Forty Guns and Drums Along the Mohawk, on the other hand, are both Fox titles, and are thus fairly good possibilities for a Criterion release (particularly Forty Guns, in light of the recent Criterion release of Pickup on South Street).
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Old 05-06-04, 08:56 AM
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Originally posted by Dan Average
Johnny Guitar was a Republic production. Republic's library was previously controlled by Artisan and is now controlled by Lion's Gate (following their acquisition of Artisan); it will revert to Paramount next year (who is already preparing their own DVD releases of some major Republic titles, although I don't know if Johnny Guitar is among them). Ride the High Country was originally an MGM production and is now (probably) controlled by Warner. None of these studios have any existing relationship with Criterion so I wouldn't count on those.

Forty Guns and Drums Along the Mohawk, on the other hand, are both Fox titles, and are thus fairly good possibilities for a Criterion release (particularly Forty Guns, in light of the recent Criterion release of Pickup on South Street).
Thanks for the info. Guess I'll hang onto the old VHS copies and wait patiently.
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Old 05-06-04, 01:56 PM
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Criterion released some westerns on laserdisc, including Bad Day at Black Rock and Silverado. They no longer have the rights to those titles.
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Old 05-06-04, 02:24 PM
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How about "Death Rides A Horse"? I've heard all the current releases are atrocious.
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Old 05-06-04, 02:31 PM
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Originally posted by Josh Z
Criterion released some westerns on laserdisc, including Bad Day at Black Rock and Silverado. They no longer have the rights to those titles.
Bad Day at Black Rock is a western? That's stetching the definition of "western" a bit too far if you ask me.
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Old 05-06-04, 03:12 PM
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I agree auntiewinnie on BDABR... it's a melodrama IMO.

How about Howard Hughes' The Outlaw with Jane Russell? That was in public domain last I heard. Been waiting on The Westerner from MGM for many a fort night too. (Let me guess: it's owned by Warner Bros. now?) Fort Apache anyone? Just my $.02

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Old 05-06-04, 04:21 PM
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There are clues here that would indicate that Criterion may be releasing the Western TV series "The Westerner": http://www.americancinematheque.com/...CABLE%20HOGUE,

Directed by Sam Peckinpah
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Old 05-06-04, 04:54 PM
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Originally posted by Austin54
The problem with McClintock is that of copyrite. This film along with tow other John Wayne films are tied up in a dispute. In this case however, someone found a loophole (read Public Domain) and released a version. I don't think C would touch this for legal reasons.
Austin
Thread about McLintock! here:

http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...ight=mclintock

Since questions frequently arise about the availability of several movies produced by John Wayne's production companies, I'm cutting and pasting a list of the movies from another web site:

http://www.jwaynefan.com/producer.html

along with my own quick additions as to genre, availability on home video, and a couple of miscellaneous notes. This list is the result of a couple of quick minutes on IMDB and is in no way meant to be definitive.


Angel and the Badman (1947) (Western) (DVD) (probably public domain)
The Fighting Kentuckian (1949) (Western) (DVD)
Bullfighter and the Lady (1951) (Drama) (VHS only)
Big Jim McLain (1952) (Drama) (VHS only)
Plunder of the Sun (1953) (Action/Adventure) (no Video)
Hondo (1953) (Western) (VHS only)
Island in the Sky (1953)(Adventure/Drama) (no Video)
Ring of Fear (1954) (Adventure/Mystery) (no Video)
Track of the Cat (1954) (Western) (VHS only)
The High and the Mighty (1954) (Adventure/Drama) (no video - announced?)
Blood Alley (1955) (Adventure) (VHS only)
Goodbye, My Lady (1956) (Drama) (VHS only)
Seven Men From Now (1956) (Western) (no Video)
Man in the Vault (1956) (Crime/Drama) (no Video)
Gun the Man Down (1956) (Western) (No Video)
Hondo and the Apaches (1967) (two TV episodes) (Western) (VHS only)
Legend of the Lost (1957) (Adventure) (DVD)
China Doll (1958) (Drama/War/Romance) (no Video)
Escort West (1959) (Western) (VHS only)
The Alamo (1960) (Action/Adventure/War) (DVD)
McLintock! (1963) (Western/Comedy) (DVD) (public domain)
The War Wagon (1967) (Action/Western) (DVD)
Hondo and the Apaches (1967) (two TV episodes) (Western) (VHS only)
The Green Berets (1968) (Action/War) (DVD)
Chisum (1970) (Western) (DVD)
Big Jake (1971) (Western) (DVD)
The Train Robbers (1973) (Western) (VHS only)
Cahill, U.S. Marshal (1973) (Western) (DVD)
McQ (1974) (Crime/Drama) (VHS only)

My guess would be that any titles with no video available might be owned by the Wayne estate ... the others were probably co-productions that major studios now own (i.e., The Alamo by MGM through UA).

The titles that seem to get the most questions (as to why no DVD?) are Hondo, Island in the Sky, The High and the Mighty, Seven Men From Now, and McLintock! (in the last case, a decent DVD, not the crappy available ones). I'm pretty sure that ownership of these titles is retained by the Wayne estate, although there may be ancillary rights owned by others ... I have read about legal battles between the estate and Warner Bros. but don't know any details. At some point I read that The High and the Mighty was being released on DVD but I haven't heard anything since. I also read that some of the negatives that the estate owns are in poor condition and need expensive restorations.

Scanning this list, Hondo, Seven Men From Now, and McLintock! are westerns that could possibly be available for the Criterion treatment ... although it's a stretch. I don't believe they are owned by major studios (we know McLintock! is public domain). The public domain status of McLintock! by itself shouldn't deter Criterion as they have released a number of PD titles (Charade, The Third Man, My Man Godfrey among others).
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