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Why is the no (crappy) widescreen version of McClintock on DVD???

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Why is the no (crappy) widescreen version of McClintock on DVD???

Old 02-06-04, 05:15 PM
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Why is the no (crappy) widescreen version of McClintock on DVD???

I have seen at least 5+ crappy Full Screen versions of the John Wayne Classic McClintock on DVD (I have the Delta version I paid $3 for) and not 1 Widescreen release. Can't one of these studious pull a crappy widescreen transfer out of there #$% and release it? Is there a widescreen version available anywhere on any format in the Milky Way solar system?
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Old 02-06-04, 06:04 PM
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McLintock! is a bit of a misbegotten movie ...

It was produced by John Wayne's Batjac production company and released by United Artists in 1963. Ownership of the film was retained by Batjac. In 1991, Michael Wayne, John's son and administrator of his estate, neglected to renew the copyright of the film and it went into the public domain. There is some (rather dry) information here about Batjac's subsequent efforts to reinstate their copyright. These efforts failed (although the court asserted the copyrights to the music in the film) and the movie remains in the public domain.

So basically anyone who can get their hands on a print can release this on video (although they have to replace some if not all of the music). The prints that are available to everyone except Batjac appear to be low quality 16mm non-comercial prints or TV station copies, all pan-and-scan. At one point Batjac put out a VHS edition (pan-and-scan itself) but no DVD as of yet.

Batjac produced a number of films (24? I can't remember exactly) and I don't think that any of them are on DVD (I could be wrong about that too). There was some speculation that the negatives in Batjac's possession had not been stored properly and needed major restoration. Also that Michael Wayne was shopping for a studio partner to put up the money to have the films restored. With Michael's death (4/2/2003) these plans may be on hold (although I believe that The High and the Mighty has been anounced for DVD).

McLintock!, because of its public domain status, faces more of a challenge for a DVD release, as it would have to compete with all the other cheap, low quality copies on the market. If it were released, I am not sure whether another company could just copy their transfer, or if that's illegal; if it is legal, that's another strike against it. I remember seeing a feature on Entertainment Tonight about this sometime in the 1990's where Michael Wayne gave a tour of the Batjac facilities (a storage room with stacks of reels of film, etc.). They did a comparison of Batjac's VHS release of McLintock! versus the Goodtimes tape, and the Batjac version looked to be in excellent shape.

So, several strikes against getting a good transfer from the original Batjac film elements. Keep hoping.
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Old 02-07-04, 07:59 PM
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Republic/Artisian was able to rescue IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE from public domain hell (I think they were able to obtain a copywrite on the music and the original story) so it can be done. Let's hope soem enterprising member of the Wayne estate and a a vdieo company find a way.
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Old 02-08-04, 12:26 AM
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From what I read about this and a couple of other films owned by Batjac is that the Wayne estate is simply being greedy about distribution. Basically, they want far more money from a distributor than anyone is willing to pay for what most consider an "old movie".

Pity. McLintock is one of the Duke's more entertaining westerns.

Last edited by Robert George; 02-08-04 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 02-08-04, 12:09 PM
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I bought the Goodtimes DVD for this one at Wal Mart for $5.50 but I returned it after I read the customer reviews of it on Amazon - most of them noted just how bad the print was and many of them asserted that there was some missing footage. That was enough for me - I took it back the next day.

I'm just hoping for a better print to be used by SOMEBODY someday. Hopefully Batjac does it like they did the VHS version - and gives us a nice anamorphic widescreen version. I'll pay ten bucks or more for that - hell, I might pay fifteen bucks for a great anamorphic widescreen version (even as a blind buy - I've only seen ten minutes of this movie and it looked really good).
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Old 02-08-04, 09:10 PM
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Michael died? Man, one of the Sinbads are gone!

So is this the same story as with Hondo?
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Old 02-09-04, 02:03 AM
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I'll pay ten bucks or more for that - hell, I might pay fifteen bucks for a great anamorphic widescreen version...
Which is likely the real reason we don't have one.

"Hey mister, I'd pay a hundred bucks for that new Porche. Maybe a hundred and twenty if you throw in a Blaupunkt."
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Old 02-09-04, 04:14 AM
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Sorry, I don't get your point. I'll pay three times the cost for the current version to get a properly released anamorphic widescreen version and you're trying to say...what?

A $14.98 or $19.98 list price is more than enough to turn a nice big profit on the release, so that really isn't an issue.

Maybe I'm really not getting your point....

I would just like to get McLintock on DVD in anamorphic widescreen (with a decent print), and I'm willing to pay two or three times the price of the substandard pan and scam version to get it.

I know I'm not alone on that one....
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Old 02-09-04, 10:02 AM
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...and you're trying to say...what?
That this trend of devaluation of DVD, as is illustrated by your statement which shows how little the general public is willing to pay for a DVD movie, is the root cause of what I preceive as an increasing trend to produce unremarkable DVD discs. Most studios have abandoned liner notes, or "inserts" if you want, in order to save a few more pennies per disc. Instead of trending toward high value content, we are now seeing more and more bare-bones, mediocre transfer, movie-only discs to meet the $15 retail pricepoint that the studios marketing hacks say the public is now demanding.

Before you try to point out the rare disc that is released for under $20 that may have a decent transfer and a few supplements thrown in, I would point out these are the exception, not the rule.

So I guess to not too fine a point on it, it is cheapskates like you that are diluting the quality of DVD for collectors like me.
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Old 02-09-04, 10:40 AM
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Originally posted by Scot1458
Michael died? Man, one of the Sinbads are gone!

So is this the same story as with Hondo?
Hondo isn't in the public domain, but it is one of Batjac's productions, so the DVD release has to be done when/if the Wayne estate can come to terms with someone to distribute it. What would be nice with that one would be if they would include a 3-D version along with a "flat" one ...

Doubtful ...

It does seem to be in print on VHS, for what that's worth, and it was filmed at 4:3, so OAR shouldn't be an issue.
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Old 02-09-04, 10:42 AM
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So I guess to not too fine a point on it, it is cheapskates like you that are diluting the quality of DVD for collectors like me.

No, It's not. You're not taking into consideration the very low price to manufacture DVD's. A $19.98 list price will give the company producing the DVD a nice profit even with a good amount of supplements.

And I take offense at being called a cheapskate. Just because you might have more money than me doesn't give you the right to insult me or call me names. I'm not cheap - I just don't have the money to pay $20 a DVD for all the movies I would like to buy. I don't know many people who do. I might be willing to pay that amount for the recent fantastic releases of the Alien movies or Planet Of The Apes, but for a marginal title like McLintock I'm not. McLintock may be a very good movie, but it isn't worth $20 (a $24.98 or $26.98 list price) -not to me. It's not THAT good.

And while the inserts have disappeared (which I find disappointing) I'm not seeing barebones releases on significant titles. I'm seeing barebones releases on marginal or fringe movies - which is perfectly fine if that's the only way that the studio will release those movies. I'd rather see them release a marginal title as a barebones release than have them not release it at all because there isn't much of a market for that title.

The marginal titles will NEVER come out as super-dee-duper special editions regardless of price. Studios won't spend that kind of money on a title that they see as a "fringe" release. Not even at a $24.98 list price (just look at the releases of Bogart's lesser known movies like The Harder They Fall, Tokyo Joe, and Sirocco as examples). That's just the way it is.

Like I said, I'd really like to see McLintock get re-released as a good anamorphic widescreen edition, and that's the bottom line.
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Old 02-09-04, 01:07 PM
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...I just don't have the money to pay $20 a DVD for all the movies I would like to buy.
So does that mean you are entitled to $10 DVDs because you can't afford $20 DVDs? Who are you to decide what constitutes a fair profit for a studio? Do you know what is involved in the licensing, production, manufacturing, and marketing of DVD movies? Do you think just because a DVD costs a buck (or whatever) to press in quantity that a $15 retail price is more than enough for a company to continue to put resources into releasing "marginal" movies?

Lastly, and I expect you will be insulted by this as well, if you can't afford a hobby, you should get another one. This isn't prescription drugs or life-saving medical care. This is purchasing and collecting what most consider a luxury consumer item (home theater in general). You don't have to have DVDs.

McLintock may be a very good movie, but it isn't worth $20 (a $24.98 or $26.98 list price) -not to me.
That makes absolutely no sense to me. But what do I know. There was a time, a time when I made considerably less money than I do now, that I would pay $100 plus for a movie I wanted on laserdisc, and was happy to get it. If one is not willing to pay $20 for a movie, something that will give pleasure and entertainemnt for years to come, something that will give one the freedom to enjoy the pleasures of the artform of film whenever one wants in the comfort of one's own home without being dictated to by the vagaries of broadcast scheduling or poor presentation, then one truly is missing the point.

BTW, don't feel insulted or picked on. This is certainly not personal. I'm only using you as an example to make my point. Economics dictates to a large degree what gets released on DVD and in what form. Obviously those that are in a position to release a decent version of McLintock! on DVD do not see enough economic benefit in doing so to justify the expense of doing it.
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Old 02-09-04, 04:24 PM
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Robert, come on - if any company can't turn a profit at a $14.98 list when it costs only a buck or so to press up each DVD then they shouldn't be in business in the first place.

Of course they CAN make a profit at that price point, as other companies have shown. Don't be naive enough to think that they can't.

I wouldn't use the Laser Disc comparison either - that format never really caught on as a mass market item largely because the LaserDiscs were usually double or triple the price of VHS tapes at the time (and I know about that because I bought LaserDiscs myself).

If you want to have a mass market item then you can't price it only for the upper end of the income scale, that's just common sense. Sure, if they want to price DVD's at $50 they have every right to do it - it will just kill the format (or the sales of any titles they release at that price point).

You just have to remember that, like I said, the studios know that a fringe or marginal title is a fringe or marginal title for a reason (lower demand), and with lower demand you have to find a way to lower the price in order to sell enough copies to make a profit. To get most people to buy a title like McLintock you have to release it at a competitive price point or they will skip it and buy something else. Period.

Like I said - I'll pay THREE TIMES as much for a good anamorphic widescreen version of McLintock as the going price for the crappy version. That's a significant difference in price that I'm willing to pay, and more than enough for them to turn a nice profit (especially if Goodtimes can turn a profit at the lower $9.98 list price).

If the people at Batjac want more than the title is worth then the problem lies with them. I don't know how much they want in order to license it out, and neither does anyone else here. Maybe they want an amount that would require a $19.98 list to turn a profit for the company that releases it on DVD and no-one thinks that it will sell at that price point, or maybe they're more reasonable than that and they just aren't being aggressive in trying to get it on the market. Who knows?
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Old 02-09-04, 11:03 PM
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"Michael died? Man, one of the Sinbads are gone!"

Wrong Wayne. John's son Patrick played Sinbad (he lives). John's son Michael served as his business manager (he passed away).
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Old 02-09-04, 11:47 PM
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Originally posted by Robert George
From what I read about this and a couple of other films owned by Batjac is that the Wayne estate is simply being greedy about distribution. Basically, they want far more money from a distributor than anyone is willing to pay for what most consider an "old movie"...
That's what I understood the issue to be a few years ago...and this has been an issue with Batjac long before DVD. They want a deal similar (or better) than what the Hitchcock estate got from Universal for Vertigo, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), etc...
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Old 02-10-04, 01:18 AM
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Originally posted by Robert George
There was a time, a time when I made considerably less money than I do now, that I would pay $100 plus for a movie I wanted on laserdisc, and was happy to get it.
Sounds to me like you're just mad that people can expect to pay under $20 for something that you had to pay $100+ for several years back. I see no other reason for this tirade. There's been thousands of movies far less popular than McLintok released, but let's just look at this week. MGM released Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold on DVD this Tuesday. Now if there ever was a movie title that screamed "Don't buy this movie! It sucks more than you can imagine!" it's Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold. And the movie doesn't disapoint, at best it's a cheesy rip-off of Indiana Jones that's good for a few laughs. At worst, it's just plain bad. And not only is it bad, it's obscure. So how much is the MSRP for this gem? $50? $35? Even $20? No, it was $15. Which means you can get it for around $10 at most places. Now I'm no marketing genius, but I'm guessing MGM planned to make money off this somehow. So I fail to see how expecting similar pricing for a movie that's better and more popular is somehow being a cheapskate and destroying the industry. It's not like it costs them more to put a good movie on a DVD than it does a bad one.
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Old 02-10-04, 04:52 AM
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Originally posted by Robert George
So does that mean you are entitled to $10 DVDs because you can't afford $20 DVDs? Who are you to decide what constitutes a fair profit for a studio? Do you know what is involved in the licensing, production, manufacturing, and marketing of DVD movies? Do you think just because a DVD costs a buck (or whatever) to press in quantity that a $15 retail price is more than enough for a company to continue to put resources into releasing "marginal" movies?

Lastly, and I expect you will be insulted by this as well, if you can't afford a hobby, you should get another one. This isn't prescription drugs or life-saving medical care. This is purchasing and collecting what most consider a luxury consumer item (home theater in general). You don't have to have DVDs.



That makes absolutely no sense to me. But what do I know. There was a time, a time when I made considerably less money than I do now, that I would pay $100 plus for a movie I wanted on laserdisc, and was happy to get it. If one is not willing to pay $20 for a movie, something that will give pleasure and entertainemnt for years to come, something that will give one the freedom to enjoy the pleasures of the artform of film whenever one wants in the comfort of one's own home without being dictated to by the vagaries of broadcast scheduling or poor presentation, then one truly is missing the point.

BTW, don't feel insulted or picked on. This is certainly not personal. I'm only using you as an example to make my point. Economics dictates to a large degree what gets released on DVD and in what form. Obviously those that are in a position to release a decent version of McLintock! on DVD do not see enough economic benefit in doing so to justify the expense of doing it.
Robert, each individual has an absolute right to determine the value to him of any product. That is how capitalism works. Laserdiscs were a failure in the marketplace because they were too expensive, so citing your purchases of those expensive items does not really support your position. DVD is a successful format that has virtually destroyed VHS in less than ten years. The primary reason for this success is low cost. If average consumers cannot afford a product, it will never have mass appeal. Most people, myself included, were not willing to pay $100.00 to own an obscure film on laserdisc. Your comments smack of elitism. You do not determine what my hobbies are. I have a disposable income and I budget part of that for DVD's. It is limited. That is the case for most people. You seem to be arguing that only the rich should collect films on DVD.
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Old 02-10-04, 11:19 AM
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watched it last night.

I think the Goodtimes verison was cut between three different copies. One was pretty good, another was ok but muddy, and the third was just horrible. Still, any Duke is better than no Duke.
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Old 02-10-04, 12:19 PM
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...each individual has an absolute right to determine the value to him of any product.
I never contended otherwise. My comment was directed toward a particular attitude of entitlement that is diametrically opposed to the tenets of capitalism.

Laserdiscs were a failure in the marketplace because they were too expensive, so citing your purchases of those expensive items does not really support your position.
I used laserdisc to illustrate a point regarding "value", or "preceived value", not to compare laserdisc to DVD directly. There were a number of resasons laserdisc did not become a mainstream format, but the "failure" was simply that it was replaced by a superior technology.

Your comments smack of elitism.
I was wondering how long it would take for the "E" word to come up. Unfortunately for your side, I don't consider striving to be "elite" to be a negative. You can't insult me by calling me "elitist". I know what I am.

You seem to be arguing that only the rich should collect films on DVD.
You seem to be trying to make this a class issue when that was never mentioned. I'm not rich. Not even a little bit. But I value the pleasure I get from my main hobby enough that I am willing to pay enough for it to ensure it continues in a way that I want. I resent that the downward price pressures of the current market have diluted the production values of DVD discs. because of people like some in this thread that feel they are entitled to $10 DVDs, we are moving closer and closer to VHS-on-a-disc.

Then I have to laugh (in a sad, pathetic sort of way) when I see these same people railing against "Joe Sixpack".
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Old 02-10-04, 02:07 PM
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Robert, your biggest problem is that you're just unrealistic. If you expect movies like McLintock to come out in super-dee-duper special editions you're nuts. It isn't going to happen. There just isn't the demand for these titles to make it worth the studios time to put all those extras together.

Titles like McLintock are impulse buys based on price.

Hell, I just bought Dillinger (1973) last night for $5.88. I've never seen it, and it got mixed reviews, but for $5.88 I'll give it a shot. It is presented in ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN with the original trailer. To me, that's a great value. If it was priced at $9.88 I wouldn't have bought it - I've never seen it and the reviews have been mixed ever since it came out, but at $5.88 I'll take a chance on it.

McLintock presented in anamorphic widescreen would be worth as much as $14.99 to me, but no more (again, I've never seen it, but it's a John Wayne movie, and the reviews have been good and it has a good reputation among John Wayne fans).

The perceived value by many DVD buyers for McLintock has been diminished because of the Goodtimes version (released at such a low price). That's Batjac's fault for not renewing the copyrights on the film and letting it slip into the public domain.

An "Authorized Edition" from the Wayne estate may increase the perceived value if they make note of the superior quality of the film used for the DVD, but it still isn't a "must have" title for most people, regardless of price or quality.

Marginal or fringe titles will never have the demand to warrant special edition status. "Cult" films will have just enough demand to warrant special edition status - because there are enough fans who will be willing to pay the higher price to get the extras to make it worthwhile to the studios, but films like McLintock, Dillinger, etc do not have "cult" status and do not have the demand to warrant a higher price for potential added special features.

That's just the way it is.
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Old 02-10-04, 05:21 PM
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"because of people like some in this thread that feel they are entitled to $10 DVDs, we are moving closer and closer to VHS-on-a-disc."

Incorrect. What title that received bad reviews sold well? If it is a crappy transfer people will not buy it, it will not be produced(no profit in it). Done. Then someone will eventually(this is the key word here) see that there is a 'market' for a quality version and release it. They will charge what they think they can get for it. But again, if it's crappy quality people are not going to buy it. But then again I typically take a look at reviews before I buy a disk as an informed buyer so I NEVER have to worry about the "VHS-on-a-disc" phenomenon.

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Old 02-10-04, 06:36 PM
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I think it's pretty clear that with all the interest in this and similar threads, an
anamorphic OAR McLintock DVD release would be a "good-seller" for a catalog title.

I don't think most John Wayne fans would have any problem with a $14.95-19.95 m.s.r.p.
for a bare-bones release or a $24.95 m.s.r.p. for a special edition (depending upon what
materials Batjac has.)
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Old 02-10-04, 06:48 PM
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As a John Wayne fan, I really don't need another copy now. If a nice clean one came out, I would pay $12.99 for it. Anything above that..i can live with the goodtimes verison I have.
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Old 02-10-04, 07:02 PM
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Originally posted by Scot1458
...i can live with the goodtimes verison I have.
...and you really don't mind losing out on approximately 40% of the image of this movie which - as proudly proclaimed in its main (=opening!!!) credits - was " FILMED IN PANAVISION" (meaning 2.35:1 anamorphic)...???...

...the mind boggles...

. . . . . .

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Old 02-11-04, 07:29 AM
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Originally posted by B5Erik
Robert, your biggest problem is that you're just unrealistic. If you expect movies like McLintock to come out in super-dee-duper special editions you're nuts. It isn't going to happen. There just isn't the demand for these titles to make it worth the studios time to put all those extras together.

Titles like McLintock are impulse buys based on price.

Hell, I just bought Dillinger (1973) last night for $5.88. I've never seen it, and it got mixed reviews, but for $5.88 I'll give it a shot. It is presented in ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN with the original trailer. To me, that's a great value. If it was priced at $9.88 I wouldn't have bought it - I've never seen it and the reviews have been mixed ever since it came out, but at $5.88 I'll take a chance on it.

McLintock presented in anamorphic widescreen would be worth as much as $14.99 to me, but no more (again, I've never seen it, but it's a John Wayne movie, and the reviews have been good and it has a good reputation among John Wayne fans).

The perceived value by many DVD buyers for McLintock has been diminished because of the Goodtimes version (released at such a low price). That's Batjac's fault for not renewing the copyrights on the film and letting it slip into the public domain.

An "Authorized Edition" from the Wayne estate may increase the perceived value if they make note of the superior quality of the film used for the DVD, but it still isn't a "must have" title for most people, regardless of price or quality.

Marginal or fringe titles will never have the demand to warrant special edition status. "Cult" films will have just enough demand to warrant special edition status - because there are enough fans who will be willing to pay the higher price to get the extras to make it worthwhile to the studios, but films like McLintock, Dillinger, etc do not have "cult" status and do not have the demand to warrant a higher price for potential added special features.

That's just the way it is.

I found your example of DILLINGER to be interesting. I for one would have bought that particular film at a higher price--perhaps as high as $19.95--because a) I am very interested in the subject matter, which is treated here with great historical accuracy; b) I am a sucker for films with lots of accurate gunfighting; and c) John Milius is a director whose work attracts a cult following, and I am a proud member of that cult (no, we're fresh out of kool aid...). I think that John Wayne is another focal point for film fans: like Hitchcock, the Duke's fans want to have all of his work at his best, and McClintock is a very good film indeed.
One thing I don't understand: the 1976 Copyright Law eliminated the need for renewals, even for items published after a certain point (I think 1957 or thereabouts) before it went into effect. So how could this film go public domain? Personally, I'd like to see more stuff go PD, since I've edited a few books and there's a lot of good material sitting out there that is rotting because nobody knows where the heirs are. And yes, a new transfer or cut is protected under copyright law, just as my edition of stories that would otherwise be in the PD is protected due to my choice of texts, annotations, even typographical errors, page headers, and page numbers!
Best, Scott Connors
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