1953 Movie On DVD

Eric Paddon

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The 1953 Barbara Stanwyck-Clifton Webb movie "Titanic" will be released on DVD by Fox Home Video sometime in August as part of a series of releases of classic films. No information on whether it will contain any supplements beyond a trailer (which is standard for all DVDs) but I would suppose not.

With this release, every major Titanic production that I can think of will at last have DVD representation.
 
May 5, 2001
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Except "TITANIC:Death Of A Dream", which is no longer available, too bad too because THAT is the one TITANIC DVD I would like besides "Secrets", which is hard to find now and the upcoming "GHOSTS FROM THE ABYSS", which couldn't come out soon enough as far as I am concerned.

regards,
Bill
 

Eric Paddon

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I had in mind major dramatic movie productions and not documentaries but I'm surprised to hear that the A+E and "Secrets" are hard to find because I see them quite often in Borders and Best Buy.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Bill, 'Titanic: the Complete Story' is still listed at Amazon. This includes both the A&E documentaries - 'Death of a Dream' and 'The Legend lives on'.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Eric, the 1943 German 'Titanic', despite its wild inaccuracies as a propaganda piece, was a major dramatic production in its day, and some scenes were even lifted for use in ANTR. Unfortunately it's not available on DVD, even in Germany where it's regarded as a popular classic. Or so I've heard - German members may need to correct me on that.
 

Eric Paddon

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It's a major production to be sure, but one that would never be a prime candidate for Region 1 release in the US due to its obscurity and propaganda tone.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Eric, I'm more interested in a Region 2 release of the '43 film, and I think that's still possible in Germany as more and more older 'classics' find their way onto DVD. But I wouldn't entirely rule out Region 1. Unlikely, I agree, but the propaganda content didn't stop Blockbuster from selling the VHS version, and with something as obscure as the 1929 'Atlantic' resurrected for DVD, I figure anything's possible!
 
May 3, 2002
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Wellington, New Zealand
personally I find the whole region 1,2,3 etc a real pain in the A#$*. It prevents us down here [NZ/Australia] from getting some things that are avaliable in region 1. eg. Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey is avaliable here in Region $ only with the theatrical trailer whereas in Region 1 there are a raft of interesting extras in it.

Does it really serve any valid purpose? 'cause I don't see it. :-(


Martin
 

Bob Godfrey

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Agreed, Martin. It's all down to marketing strategies. But the solution is to get a 'region-free' dvd player that doesn't care. These are easily available and perfectly legal in the UK - I don't know the situation in NZ. If you're using a dvd drive in your computer to play films, these too can be modified to ignore region codes. When I can't get what I want in the UK I buy from Amazon in the US or from dealers in the Far East. Less than a week ago I ordered the Criterion version of ANTR (Region 1 and not marketed in the UK) from a dealer in Hong Kong. It arrived (post free) a few days later and now I'm watching it in the UK on my region-free player.
 

Eric Paddon

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There's another reason why Region 1, 2, 3 etc. is the norm. A lot of movies fall under the peculiar category of being owned by one studio for U.S. distribution and another studio for international distribution which sometimes means you can see a DVD release in Region 2 but not Region 1 because a different home video company in the US would hold the rights, and we wouldn't want a region free standard for all because then theoretically one firm could lose money or see their rights being infringed upon.
 
Feb 21, 2003
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I have the information about the 1953 Titanic feature on DVD.

Titanic
Release Date: 09/02/2003
DVD Features: Fullscreen; Commentaries; Photo and still galleries etc. I have already put in a pre-order.
 
A

Anita Casey-Reed

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Susan:

Do they say who will be doing the commentaries??
 

Eric Paddon

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Fox has usually had film historians do these kind of commentaries in the past for other films of this vintage. They're usually a lot more informative than cast members are.
 
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Anita Casey-Reed

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Eric:

True, the historians do give great commentaries, but I think Wagner's recollections would be great, too. Let's face it, there are not too many people left who worked with some of the stars that he did: Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyck, of course, but also Susan Hayward, Spencer Tracy, etc. I'd LOVE to hear some stories about working with these folks...
 

Eric Paddon

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It's better if a cast member or the director is being interviewed during the commentary by a film historian because there is nothing worse then listening to a solo commentary by a cast member or the director and hearing them reveal how ignorant they are about the film after all these years (I take that back the only thing worse in a commentary is when it's a film "critic" who spends the whole film giving boring explanations of the subliminial messages of every camera cut. I have seen two Hitchcock movies ruined because of someone like that)
 
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Anita Casey-Reed

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I agree with you completely on that one, Eric. Personally, my favorite two commentaries were both done by the director John Frankenheimer (I'm sure I'm spelling that wrong...) for "The Manchurian Candidate" and "Ronin". I wonder how big a seller "Titanic" will be? Can't say there's an overwhelming fan base for Clifton Webb (not like for DiCaprio, anyway!) - will it just be total geeks who must have this film (counting myself as one of said geeks, of course...)
 
Jun 8, 2002
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Dear all,

As usual, I notice an interesting thread a little late.

I too look forward to the DVD release of the 1953 "Titanic", with added features, I hope!

Perhaps it is heresy to say, but it remains my favorite film on the subject, not because of accuracy, which ANTR has all over it, but because it has such an excellent dramatic plot separate from the historical backdrop of the disaster. The film won the Oscar for "Best Screenplay", and despite Jean Negulesco's histrionics (at least two dramatic kisses while that infernal siren goes off) it's a great yarn, with some historical inspiration.

For example, the "kidnapping" of two minors by an unhappily married parent(Barbara Stanwyck)which backfires tragically. Michel Navratil? How about
a priest(Richard Basehart)who finds redemption, and a form of immortality, in an eleventh hour attempt to comfort the doomed. Father Thomas Byles? And a dilettante international traveller and "leader of cotillions"(Clifton Webb). Billy Carter? I wonder how many of the possible comparisons made by 20th Century Fox were accidental.

Additionally, in my opinion, the 1953 "Titanic" captures the feeling of transatlantic ocean travel, at least in my nostalgic mind, better than ANTR. The model and special effects, if not the interiors, are better in "Titanic", especially the "tank" shots of the ship in Cherbourg and at sea.

Again, just my opinion.

Regards, all!
Doug
 
Feb 21, 2003
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You know Doug, I have never compared the 1953 Titanic to real life passengers before, never gave it a thought. But now that you mention it, there are quite a few similarities to real Titanic passengers. I did notice in the '53 Titanic the Strauses were the only real passengers mentioned by their real names. The other passengers, like Maud Young (Molly Brown) and others were not portrayed by their real names. That being said I liked the musical score for the film. My favorite is the opening theme. Thanks Doug for the thoughtful post.