International DVD Talk Intl. DVDs, Region Free Players, RCE, Hong Kong DVDs & More

Has anyone watched the region 2 "Chimes at Midnight"

Old 05-23-02, 03:47 PM
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Has anyone watched the region 2 "Chimes at Midnight"

DVDgo, which according to another subject on this page is a
Spanish dvd site, lists Welles' Chimes at Midnight on region 2.
This has certainly not made its way to the UK. Has anyone
seen it and could they please post a comment ? Chimes at Midnight is the greatest Shakespeare on film but it's so long
since I saw it last (18 years) my memory of it is patchy. Why, I wonder, does it linger unheralded on a European dvd ?
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Old 05-23-02, 07:12 PM
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By coincidence, I just received the disc from DVDgo. I haven't been able to watch it all the way through, but the beginnign looks fine; not pristine, there are a few scratches, but considering the film's rarity, not bad at all.
I know that Criterion has wanted to bring this out for years, but has had trouble clearing the rights. From what I understand, the ownership of the film is a complicated mess (funded by private deals Wells made over the years to secure pieces of funding). Apparently Spain is the only country where any one entity hold a clear title to the film, hence the Spanish DVD. If there are any Wells scholars out there who can shed more light on the subject, please respond.
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Old 05-23-02, 11:01 PM
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Arthur Kantor Films released a subpar videotape version a few years ago, which used to run about $60 at the few outlets that carried it. Peter Bogdanovich, who helped put together the recent revised version of One Man Band, a documentary about Welles, stated that they tried to get about 10 seconds or so of footage from Chimes to include, but the rights holders wanted a massive number that was completely out of whack with the reality of the situation. So it appears that it is owned by one entity. There is also the Welles estate, which is extremely litigous and might challenge a domestic release as well.

In the meantime, the Spanish release is quite good considering the crappy VHS versions in circulation.
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Old 05-24-02, 01:43 PM
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http://wellesnet.com/chimesdvd.htm
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