Movies yet to be released on DVD?
December 16, 2008 10:30 PM   Subscribe

This FPP on Last Summer got me wondering: what other films of note have yet to be released on the DVD format? I'm thinking legitimate releases here, not black market dubs.
posted by stinkycheese to Media & Arts (32 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
A few months ago I was wracking my brain (and the Google search index) for the name of an old animated film I'd seen on TV as a kid years ago. I eventually identified it as Twice Upon a Time, an odd movie with a unique method of animation which was produced by George Lucas, of all people. A censored version of it is available on VHS, but the movie never saw release on DVD in any form, which is a shame considering how lush and luminous it looks in old production stills. It is available on YouTube and Google Video, but it's just not the same, you know?
posted by Rhaomi at 11:17 PM on December 16, 2008


I don't think Wim Wenders' Kings of the Road has been issued on DVD. It's a favorite of mine.
posted by jayder at 11:32 PM on December 16, 2008


At least thirty years ago, I saw Act of the Heart late at night on television. I've always wanted to see it again. Donald Sutherland was good and it was the begining of a crush I had on Genevieve Bujold. I've waited in vain for a DVD release.
posted by various at 11:44 PM on December 16, 2008


Tampopo; I guess it was released in 1998 but you can't buy it new now.

I had to get the Region 2 import of Wenders' Until the End of the World.
posted by troy at 11:44 PM on December 16, 2008


The now defunct DVD review website DVD Journal maintained such a list, though it's probably a bit out of date.
posted by jroybal at 12:10 AM on December 17, 2008


Mother Lode, a 1982 film starring (and directed by!) Charlton Heston, and partially written by his son. They showed it a bajillion times on cable TV back in the 80s. On home video, it's only available as pan-and-scan VHS. A region 2 DVD was available at one point but supposedly just had the same pan-and-scan image as VHS.
posted by Potsy at 12:16 AM on December 17, 2008




The biggest is probably The African Queen (in Region 1, that is). It's been tied up in rights issues.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 3:28 AM on December 17, 2008


Robert Altman's Brewster McCloud (the film that got Bud Cort his role in Harold & Maude) was available for about five minutes on VHS. A new print played Film Forum and the Brattle about two years ago, and Warner has said repeatedly that tehy're putting it out. Sadly, it has yet to see the light of day. The Apartment -- Hal Ashby's first film -- also toured the revival houses with a new print, but the DVD has not yet surfaced.
posted by pxe2000 at 3:32 AM on December 17, 2008


Funny this question should come up, as my SO recently discovered that Disney's Beauty and the Beast is currently unavailable on DVD. It was released in 2002 but seems to have gone out of print some time shortly after.

That's very strange for a mainstream, double Oscar-winning film that was theatrically released only 16/17 years ago. And even more so seeing as Disney seems to be re-releasing much older, more obscure films (The Fox and the Hound? Puh-lease!) left, right and centre.
posted by macdara at 3:40 AM on December 17, 2008


That's very strange for a mainstream, double Oscar-winning film that was theatrically released only 16/17 years ago. And even more so seeing as Disney seems to be re-releasing much older, more obscure films (The Fox and the Hound? Puh-lease!) left, right and centre.

Disney likes to enforce scarcity on their titles by only releasing them for certain periods of time. Although they seem to have relaxed this recently.
posted by minifigs at 4:00 AM on December 17, 2008


Ohh.... Thanks Cinemafiend for the heads up on The Outfit. I love Richard Stark novels and never heard of this version.
posted by archaic at 4:13 AM on December 17, 2008


Porgy and Bess
posted by Atreides at 4:47 AM on December 17, 2008


Sea Prince and the Fire Child. It was very briefly released on DVD (albeit only in Japan), then discontinued.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 5:33 AM on December 17, 2008


Homicide (David Mamet)
The Hours and the Times
Mickey One
New Leaf
Ishtar!
Laws of Gravity
Barfly (was avail but is out of print)
Godard's Weekend
posted by Manhasset at 6:38 AM on December 17, 2008


Robert Altman's Brewster McCloud... was available for about five minutes on VHS


H.E.A.L.T.H. didn't even manage that - though perhaps just as well.

http://www.filmthreat.com/index.php?section=features&Id=2239
posted by Joe Beese at 7:09 AM on December 17, 2008


Last I checked, Jodorowsky's brilliant Santa Sangre doesn't have a legitimate release yet.
posted by naju at 7:32 AM on December 17, 2008


Disney's Song of the South; never officially released though there are copies available online.
The Cremaster Cycle "was released in a limited series of 20 sets of DVDs, sold each for at least $100,000, and will not be made available on mass-market DVD."
posted by TochterAusElysium at 7:40 AM on December 17, 2008


Yeah, Disney drags things into and out of the vault constantly. I wonder what the reasoning is behind those decisions, it seems to only benefit second hand sellers in the short term. My dad has a couple of sealed Disney VHS tapes, because the out of print ones in the 90s often went for $100 or so. Of course, they're worthless now. I also had to pay a near ridiculous amount for a bare bones Aristocats DVD a few years ago, just before they trudged it out for the special edition treatment.

On a completely different note, and to answer the question asked, I've always heard that Errol Morris's The Thin Blue Line was an excellent and influential documentary, but every time I've looked into it a lack of DVD release has stopped me.
posted by yellowbinder at 8:08 AM on December 17, 2008


yellowbinder: "Yeah, Disney drags things into and out of the vault constantly. I wonder what the reasoning is behind those decisions, it seems to only benefit second hand sellers in the short term."

According to Wikipedia:
The practice is the modern version of Disney's practice of re-releasing its animated films in theaters every seven years, which began with the reissue of 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1944. When VHS eroded the market for theatrical reissues by the early 1990s, Disney shifted its moratorium practices towards home video releases. Typically, a major Disney animated film is released on video or DVD for a pre-established amount of time, ranging from sixty days (the first Disney DVD releases in 1999) to several years.

During the 1980s and 1990s, when the home video market was dominated by VHS systems, Disney films would be reissued every seven years, a time gap equal to that of their theatrical reissues. With the transition to DVD technology, the moratorium period was increased to up to ten years.
As for the reasoning:
The Walt Disney Company itself states that this process is done to both control their market and to allow Disney films to be fresh for new generations of young children. A side effect of the moratorium process is the fact that videos and DVDs of Disney films placed on moratorium become collector's items, sold in stores and at auction websites such as eBay for sums in excess of their original suggested retail price. Disney's live-action films, Disney films that are produced by the Pixar studio, and films released by Disney's other film divisions/labels (Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Miramax Films) are not held to this rule, generally only being discontinued when a newer edition is released.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:49 AM on December 17, 2008


Reckless, an awesomely dark christmas movie, has yet to come out on DVD.
posted by nomisxid at 8:52 AM on December 17, 2008


Cannery Row, starring Nick Nolte is just now coming out on DVD - releases January 27, 2009. Also, there are a ton of Chris Marker films not on DVD.
posted by mattbucher at 9:19 AM on December 17, 2008


One of my favorite remembered movies from childhood: What's So Bad About Feeling Good? It has a great all-star cast (Mary Tyler Moore, George Peppard and Thelma Ritter in what I believe was her last role).
posted by agatha_magatha at 10:02 AM on December 17, 2008


TochterAusElysium, quoting Wikipedia: The Cremaster Cycle "was released in a limited series of 20 sets of DVDs, sold each for at least $100,000, and will not be made available on mass-market DVD."

Going entirely from memory, there was a time several years ago when Palm Pictures was scheduled to release The Cremaster Cycle as a three-DVD set: it was listed on their website as "coming soon." Then, about a year after the Barney exhibit at the Guggenheim that coincided with the release of Cremaster 3, any mention of the forthcoming DVD set disappeared from the site. I remember hearing that it was thought that the release of the DVDs would devalue the original run of twenty sets of laserdiscs (Wikipedia is wrong about the format for the initial release, I believe).

My most wanted DVD--the Thames Silents version of Douglas Fairbanks' The Thief of Bagdad, with a score by Carl Davis based on Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherezade. There are several versions of The Thief of Bagdad available on DVD, but none with that score.
posted by Prospero at 10:16 AM on December 17, 2008


Let It Be
posted by chococat at 10:20 AM on December 17, 2008


In the same vein, All This and World War II.
posted by ALongDecember at 12:56 PM on December 17, 2008


Don't know if this counts, but Sunrise is only available with the purchase of a large box set. Which, for one of the most important films in the history of cinema, is kind of bullshit.
posted by pxe2000 at 3:06 PM on December 17, 2008


Drawing Restraint 9
posted by bjork24 at 5:00 PM on December 17, 2008


The Good Fight: The Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War - not just missing from DVD, but also from most of our collective memories. (Surprisingly under-represented here in the Blue (or Green)).
posted by dylanjames at 5:56 PM on December 17, 2008


Tampopo is findable, just got it off Amazon a few months ago, all region too. Got most of Itami's releases on one expedition.

But I must second Manhasset's notation of Mamet's "Homicide". One can only find VHS tapes of it and even then rarely are they better than repackaged Blockbuster returns.

Is hard to find an English version of Diva out there, but the Korean import has subtitles.
posted by Zangal at 12:23 PM on December 18, 2008


oh, and Rock & Rule has been discontinued.
posted by Zangal at 12:32 PM on December 18, 2008


Thanks everybody. I know there was an excellent two-disc DVD of Santa Sangre out in Britain (Region 2), but I never did see any transfers in the usual 'grey market' venues.

And I would have to agree with pxe2000 that it's some kind of sin you can't buy a DVD of Sunrise.
posted by stinkycheese at 2:19 PM on December 18, 2008


« Older Now or then?   |   How do I seek and destroy image-only PDF's? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.