Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > DVD Discussions > DVD Talk
Reload this Page >

Public Domain DVDs...who does the best discs?

DVD Talk Talk about DVDs and Movies on DVD including Covers and Cases

Public Domain DVDs...who does the best discs?

Old 07-25-05, 08:42 PM
  #1  
Needs to contact an admin about multiple accounts
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 475
Public Domain DVDs...who does the best discs?

I tried a search and got hundreds of threads. However, I don't think any of them covered the broad spectrum I am looking for. There are thousands of PD films, TV shows and cartoons and my query is...who releases the best quality versions of these? Is there a website dedicated to all things PD or perhaps, several websites which seperate the bad from the good? I would pay good money (instead of the normally cheap prices) for good quality transfers of this material. If nothing exists except known sub-standard copies then I would, at least, like to know this before making decisive purchases. I am really interested in all things of film history and would love to avoid making the wrong decisions on PD purchases when some other company may have the better release. Thank you all for any help in this direction!!!
Kimiakane is offline  
Old 07-25-05, 09:11 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
manicsounds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Posts: 2,609
The Roan Group.
manicsounds is offline  
Old 07-25-05, 09:22 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Times Square
Posts: 12,133
Agreed. If a public domain title has been issued by the Roan Group, chances are that it will be far superior to anything else out there.

Other than that, I'm not sure that any one company is always the best - but I've been mostly satisfied with the Delta (Laserlight) releases.

The most important thing to remember: avoid MADACY at all costs. Makes VHS look like HDTV.
marty888 is offline  
Old 07-25-05, 10:29 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Legend
 
darkside's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: San Antonio
Posts: 19,847
Originally Posted by manicsounds
The Roan Group.
My first thought. I think there are cases of other public domain titles being as good as Roan, but very few cases of them being better. I thought I read somewhere that Roan uses their own personal 35mm film library for the transfers they make. Not sure if that is true though.

Not sure if the quality has dipped any since Troma took over, but I've been happy with all the Roan releases I own.

I have the Laserlight Hitchcocks and those are pretty decent. I have heard that on some of their releases Laserlight puts logos on top of the film a few times during the movie and that is not something I would buy.

Last edited by darkside; 07-25-05 at 10:34 PM.
darkside is offline  
Old 07-26-05, 12:50 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Seattle
Posts: 788
I agree with other posters that the Roan Group is the best out there. I'd also give VCI the nod for second place.
FilmFanSea is offline  
Old 07-26-05, 10:11 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Astoria, NY, USA
Posts: 3,333
Kino and Image also distribute great versions, especially when the latter distributes titles for Blackhawk.

DJ
djtoell is offline  
Old 07-26-05, 10:34 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 899
As has been mentioned, you'll usually be pretty happy if the case has the name Image, Roan, VCI or Kino on it. Other than those, it's generally a crapshoot.
kingtopher is offline  
Old 07-26-05, 10:59 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 437
Marengo Films. Good value, and great quality.
ken_572002 is offline  
Old 07-26-05, 12:37 PM
  #9  
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Oklahoma City, OK, USA
Posts: 247
OffColorFilms and Legend Films is also a good source they usually offer both a colorized version of the movie as well as the original B&W.
Tracer is offline  
Old 07-26-05, 01:33 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 11.5 Miles from the Strip
Posts: 2,353
I agree with the others that Image and Laserlight do pretty good jobs of this, but most importantly is what the following quote says:

Originally Posted by marty888
The most important thing to remember: avoid MADACY at all costs. Makes VHS look like HDTV.
So true.
LasVegasMichael is offline  
Old 07-26-05, 02:26 PM
  #11  
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: a hill in Connecticut
Posts: 121
I would avoid Brentwood as well.
filmo70 is offline  
Old 07-27-05, 12:18 AM
  #12  
Needs to contact an admin about multiple accounts
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 475
Thank you! Do any of these companies have websites or catalogs?
Kimiakane is offline  
Old 07-27-05, 06:04 PM
  #13  
Needs to contact an admin about multiple accounts
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 475
It looks like DELTA/LASERLIGHT and THE ROAN GROUP are the most popular choices here...are there some recommendations of some of their better releases?

Also, any opinions of ALPHA VIDEO which seems to have a lot of interesting titles?

Last edited by Kimiakane; 07-27-05 at 06:14 PM.
Kimiakane is offline  
Old 07-27-05, 08:10 PM
  #14  
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 6
Originally Posted by Kimiakane
Also, any opinions of ALPHA VIDEO which seems to have a lot of interesting titles?

I own two nice Alpha's : "Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla" and "The Manster", but I've seen some bad looking releases by them too.
batty is offline  
Old 07-27-05, 08:19 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Socal
Posts: 4,137
Alpha's good time... and for the money Goodtimes used to be really good as well....

Is Anchor Bay a PD?
critterdvd is offline  
Old 07-27-05, 10:11 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 664
Originally Posted by filmo70
I would avoid Brentwood as well.
Brentwood does have some licensed titles. If you want the best print of Road to Bali, Brentwood is the source. When Brentwood licensed several Bob Hope movies owned by Columbia Pictures Television, it included Bali (which Columbia would've owned if the copyright had been properly renewed), and they're using the same print on the DVD's available at Family Dollar in cardboard sleeves. These don't have the Brentwood logo on the cover, and have a Dollar-DVD copyright notice on back.
digidoh is offline  
Old 07-27-05, 10:11 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 899
Alpha is really hit or miss. Generally if the title is one put out by another company like Image or Roan, you're better off to get that one, but there are some pretty decent Alpha titles, and a lot of their catalog is only available via them.
kingtopher is offline  
Old 07-27-05, 10:25 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
B5Erik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Southern California
Posts: 9,144
I'd go with Image, Roan, or VCI. Their quality is generally very good for public domain titles. I've soured on Alpha - they are very hit or miss, and I've had more misses that hits.
B5Erik is offline  
Old 07-27-05, 10:38 PM
  #19  
Defunct Account
 
John Sinnott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: State College, PA
Posts: 5,920
I agree that Roan is the top of the heap. Check out thier release of White Zombie. It has a great image and some cool extras even.

Kino and Image do a good job too, but I wouldn't call either of them a PD company. They usually liscense restorations of PD properties.

VCI is very good as well. I have several of their serials and have likes what I've seen.

Alpha is hit or miss, but more misses for me. Their Bowery Boys collection is horrid. Absolutely unwatchable.

As has been stated, avoid Madacy. I also really dislike Critic's Choice. I've only seen a couple of their DVDs, but the were really bad.
John Sinnott is offline  
Old 07-27-05, 11:34 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Times Square
Posts: 12,133
Originally Posted by videophile
Alpha is hit or miss, but more misses for me. Their Bowery Boys collection is horrid. Absolutely unwatchable.
Thanks for mentioning the Bowery Boys - I've been tempted to pick those up, but I'll wait and hope something better shows up.

Alpha is definitely very iffy, and the few I've grabbed have generally been titles that are not around anywhere else. I was quite pleased to get The Black Book which is about France's Reign of Terror during the revolution, and fortunately the print is almost ok.
marty888 is offline  
Old 07-28-05, 12:40 AM
  #21  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
B5Erik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Southern California
Posts: 9,144
I tend to only buy Alphas when there isn't an alternative available as well - such as Woman on the Run with Ann Sheridan and Dennis O'Keefe. Very good film noir, and a print that is "almost ok." I'd love to see VCI, Image, or Roan release that one.
B5Erik is offline  
Old 07-28-05, 03:36 AM
  #22  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Rampaging across DVDTalk.
Posts: 4,046
Madacy means quality.
Fincher Fan is offline  
Old 07-28-05, 03:05 PM
  #23  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Johnny Zhivago's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Korova Milkbar
Posts: 5,435
Originally Posted by B5Erik
I tend to only buy Alphas when there isn't an alternative available as well - such as Woman on the Run with Ann Sheridan and Dennis O'Keefe. Very good film noir, and a print that is "almost ok." I'd love to see VCI, Image, or Roan release that one.
I'm with ya... The only Alphas I buy are film noirs and only if it's a title that's not available from a more reputable company. For a few titles, Alpha is the best available. But that's not saying much, the transfers are usually crud. So, I live with it and keep hoping for another company to secure a better print.

Alpha noirs that need a better release...

- Fear in the Night
- Port of New York
- Red House, The (there's a Madacy version of this one)
- Scarlet Street (couple of versions of this one, the one in the Questar set is shit, same as the Alpha)
- The Second Woman (again, couple of versions available but no better than Alpha)
- Shock! (see Scarlet Street and Second Woman)
- Trapped (^ ditto)
- Woman on the Run

The Big Combo is pretty much an Alpha exclusive at this point, the Image disc is long OOP and OOS. There's a few on eBay though.

Ah well, at least they're cheap.

I'm also in agreement with everyone else... Roan, VCI, Image.
Johnny Zhivago is offline  
Old 07-28-05, 09:02 PM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 899
Originally Posted by Johnny Zhivago
I'm with ya... The only Alphas I buy are film noirs and only if it's a title that's not available from a more reputable company. For a few titles, Alpha is the best available. But that's not saying much, the transfers are usually crud. So, I live with it and keep hoping for another company to secure a better print.

Alpha noirs that need a better release...

- Fear in the Night
- Port of New York
- Red House, The (there's a Madacy version of this one)
- Scarlet Street (couple of versions of this one, the one in the Questar set is shit, same as the Alpha)
- The Second Woman (again, couple of versions available but no better than Alpha)
- Shock! (see Scarlet Street and Second Woman)
- Trapped (^ ditto)
- Woman on the Run

The Big Combo is pretty much an Alpha exclusive at this point, the Image disc is long OOP and OOS. There's a few on eBay though.

Ah well, at least they're cheap.

I'm also in agreement with everyone else... Roan, VCI, Image.
I just got the Alpha "Big Combo" a few weeks ago and thought it was pretty nice, especially for an Alpha. Even if the Image was still in print, I'd probably still just stick with the Alpha and save some money. It's very watchable. Same goes for the Alpha "Impact". That one looks nice too. Of course, those are two exceptions to the rule.
kingtopher is offline  
Old 07-28-05, 11:05 PM
  #25  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 648
What about Questar ?
forumsmy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.