|JET's Most Wanted II
About a week or so ago, I filled up the second JET's Most Wanted album on the Electric Theatre's Facebook page (for reasons known only to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's photo albums max out at 200 images). Since starting this project over a year ago, 55 movies have been moved out of their Most Wanted album and into Captured! JET's Most Wanted Movies Now Available On DVD. Warner Archive has been leading the charge, releasing 18 Most Wanted titles to date and other MOD programs from MGM, Sony and Universal have been slowly catching up. Criterion has released or officially announced four titles and other indie labels like Shout! Factory, Olive Films, Severin, Raro Video USA, Synapse and Code Red each have a title or two to their credit. All in all, not a bad showing considering that nobody's supposed to be interested in deep catalog titles anymore.
The bad news, of course, is that leaves 371 forgotten films still not available on disc and plenty more to come. Before I start JET's Most Wanted III on Friday, I thought I'd tally up the results so far and provide a quick update on the most desired Most Wanted picks as chosen by fans of the Electric Theatre. While I counted both likes and comments on each title, the results were based on the number of folks who clicked the happy little thumbs-up icon. I counted comments in cases where there was a tie. In other words, if the same number of people liked two (or more) movies, the one that generated the most discussion came out ahead.
Before I get to the results of JET's Most Wanted II, I thought it'd be interesting to go back to the original album and see if the standings had changed. Last time I tallied up the results, Hal Needham's 1982 stunt spectacular Megaforce came out on top. And while it's still in the top ten, classics fans made their voices heard and came up with a new top five.
1. The Magnificent Ambersons
3. Song Of The South
5. Let It Be
7. The Star Wars Holiday Special
9. Island Of Lost Souls
Pretty interesting. I wasn't surprised to see The Magnificent Ambersons surge ahead but I wasn't expecting such a big push for silent classics like Napoleon, Wings and Greed. Of course, there's always room for nostalgic cheese like Megaforce and The Star Wars Holiday Special, too.
For JET's Most Wanted II, I really had no idea what to expect. I'd already featured most of the biggest titles in the first album, so the titles in Part II tended toward the more obscure. But given the new results of the first album, I wasn't too surprised to see Orson Welles turn up twice in the top ten.
1. Chimes At Midnight (a.k.a. Falstaff)
2. The Music Lovers
3. Deep End / I Was A Teenage Werewolf (tie)
4. That Man From Rio
5. Macbeth (1948)
6. Last Exit To Brooklyn
7. The Flim-Flam Man
8. Unman, Wittering And Zigo
9. Rad / The Krays (tie)
10. 1492: Conquest Of Paradise / Cast A Deadly Spell (tie)
Once again, strong support for Welles, Ken Russell (whose film The Devils placed at #11 in the previous album), and Hal Needham. I imagine the recent death of director Irvin Kershner helped push his 1967 comedy The Flim-Flam Man up a few spots. But as for the 1964 spy comedy That Man From Rio at #4... well, I didn't see that one coming. It has a lot of fans and they've definitely made me want to see it.
So there you have it, studios. You've got some work to do. And if you haven't become a Facebook fan of Jahnke's Electric Theatre yet, now's the time. JET's Most Wanted III starts on Friday, April 1, and I've got plenty more forgotten films where these came from. Plus, on Saturday, I'll be starting a brand new feature that'll alternate days with JET's Most Wanted: Double-Dip This! Revisiting DVD's Greatest Misses. We all know how much studios love getting us to buy new editions of the same movies over and over, right? Well, I figure if they're going to do it anyway, we'd might as well steer their attention to some titles that really need it. I've had a lot of requests for something like this over the past year and I think it's going to be fun, so I do hope you'll come on over and join the conversation.
Dr. Adam Jahnke