Which movie(s) have been available on all sorts of format?
April 13, 2005 5:34 AM   Subscribe

Which movies(s) have been available on most, if not all, the different movie formats?

I was just wondering, has there been any movies released that have been available on all the consumer-level home video formats, like Beta, VHS, VCD, Laserdisc, DVD - heck even 16mm? I guess it would have to be a classic film of sorts.

And, in a semi-related question, which movies have been released in all sorts of different editions in those format - like a Fullscreen version, a Widescreen version, a 25th anniversary version, a collector's version with souvenir book, an "unrated" director's cut, etc.
posted by icontemplate to Media & Arts (14 answers total)
Godfather 1 & 2?
posted by the cuban at 5:39 AM on April 13, 2005

I think your sub question is more interesting...

It wouldn't surprise me if every hollywood movie released up until 1990 was available in all the formats you list. You could add SVHS to restrict it a little, but then you will just have a list of everything ever released on SVHS.

Which movies have had many different edits released is an interesting question! "Edits" really doesn't cover the territory though. What about pan & scan, open mask, colourization, etc.

Blade Runner has at least six different versions, but I think there may actually be more.
posted by Chuckles at 5:59 AM on April 13, 2005

The very first film I collected was 2001: A Space Odyssey, released back in the day when companies like Disney and Lucas were swearing that they'd never release their works to home video. I'm sure 2001 has been printed in every possible format, simply because the striking visuals make it such a "must have" for the video collector.
posted by SPrintF at 7:13 AM on April 13, 2005

Don't forget Capacitance Electronic Disc/SelectaVision. Here's a list of what titles were available for that. (Note 2001 and Blade Runner are both on the list.)
posted by CrunchyFrog at 7:26 AM on April 13, 2005

Annie is on CrunchyFrog's list. I remember watching it on betamax and it's evidently available on dvd and vhs.

Seems like it was on Laserdisc too.
posted by easyasy3k at 8:45 AM on April 13, 2005

I can't find a list of movies released on SVHS, although I can remember seeing an SVHS of Patriot Games on ebay once. There does seem to be quite a list of movies available on DVHS currently. There is also the UMD version of Spiderman 2 for PSP...
posted by Chuckles at 9:09 AM on April 13, 2005

I believe this to be a very very difficult question to answer, as I'm quite sure that there are scores or hundreds of films that have been released on all these formats (though the inclusion of VCD narrows the field a bit ... but not if you count bootlegs). I work in film studies, and I can't really think of a way to get a definitive answer to this question that doesn't entail huge amounts of tedious legwork, such as somehow acquiring lists from all the major studios of all the films they've released on every format, and then comparing them. Or really delving hard into old video guides and library catalogs. It would be extremely unrewarding labor.
One way you might find an approximation of an answer, though, would be to reframe the question: which are the films that, historically, have been most widely circulated? That is, which films are the most "active" in a studio's back-catalog? The likelihood of a correlation between the most widely circulated films and the films available in the greatest number of formats is, I'd wager, quite high. And any studio would probably have a shortish list of such films, which you could probably even get from calling their PR departments. Films like CASABLANCA, for instance, have never been and will never be out of circulation, so I'd bet that it (and many other classic films) were among the first placed on any new, seemingly viable format.
posted by Dr. Wu at 9:24 AM on April 13, 2005

Poor, forgotten Super-8.
posted by mendel at 10:00 AM on April 13, 2005

Well, I know there's not a definitive answer. I should've asked if anyone personally owned (or know of someone who has) multiple copies of a favorite film in all those different formats...
posted by icontemplate at 10:31 AM on April 13, 2005

icontemplate, I've owned Five Easy Pieces in beta, vhs, dvd, and laserdisc; same with Carnal Knowledge actually (own the poster as well). 5EP was also available on 16 (I believe) as it was screened in a film class I took. I've also seen NIght of the Hunter in 16, 35, vhs, beta, laser, and dvd.
posted by dobbs at 10:41 AM on April 13, 2005

The Wizard of Oz

Probably difficult to get an exaustive list, but easy to come up with likely candidates, using the Dr. Wu method. Plus with LaserDisc having been so short lived, and never very popular, that's a list you could start with and work from backwards. Anything reissued for LD probably gets reissued for every new format.
posted by airguitar at 1:16 PM on April 13, 2005

airguitar, LD was hardly shortlived. People were still buying new laserdiscs in 1999 or 2000. The format was around for 16 or 18 years or something like that. And there were many titles on LD that have not yet appeared on DVD.
posted by dobbs at 2:03 PM on April 13, 2005

ok, never very popular. Of course, this is just me, but I only saw one LD player, ever. It was in 1991. The high school owned it. And one of my teachers borrowed it a couple times to show us a video of a jet taking off. Never saw LD discs at blockbuster. Only saw a handful of LD discs at the library (they must have had a player somewhere). And then DVD was the news in 97?ish it seems.

But that's cool that LD lasted out. Those discs are wild. Like shiny gigantic vinyl LPs.

And there were many titles on LD that have not yet appeared on DVD.

Right, of course, but were they reissued for LD? You know, to get at the question of 'all formats', LD being a smaller-newer set to filter the older-larger set through. I'm asking. I don't know. No slight to LD.

Great question though.
posted by airguitar at 9:53 PM on April 13, 2005

There was a sidebar in last week's Entertainment Weekly that there have been thirty DVD releases of Night of the Living Dead.
posted by gnomeloaf at 5:44 AM on April 14, 2005

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