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Classic Coming Attractions by Barrie Maxwell

Barrie Maxwell - Main Page

I'm going to devote this edition of Classic Coming Attractions to an evaluation of Columbia Pictures' track record to date on releasing its classic films to DVD. I'll provide a short biography of the studio, take a look at which of its classic titles have made it to DVD so far, summarize the results of a recent exchange of e-mails and telephone conversations with several key Columbia personnel involved in the company's DVD activities, and wrap up with reviews of two titles from amongst the recent flurry of Columbia classic DVD releases. Look for the latest classic announcements at the end of the column as usual.


Columbia - A Brief History of the Classic Period

Columbia Pictures began its life as CBC Film Sales in 1919. CBC stood for Cohn-Brandt-Cohn, namely the Cohn brothers Jack and Harry, and Joe Brandt, a former employee of Universal Pictures. Harry Cohn would soon become the public face of the company after he headed to the West Coast to supervise film production. With meager financial resources, the fledgling company set up shop on Poverty Row, an area near Gower Street just off Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. After beginning production with one- and two-reel shorts, CBC quickly learned that the real money was to be made in features. In 1922, the company's first feature was completed - a melodrama called More to Be Pitied Than Scorned. Ten films were released by the end of 1923, and all would be sufficiently financially successful that CBC was able to set up shop on Sunset Boulevard itself. Harry Cohn also promoted a company name change and in January 1924, Columbia Pictures Corporation was born.

For the rest of the 1920s, Columbia did not make a particularly big impact with its product. The quality was good enough to sustain the company, and the occasional film was singled out for positive press (such as 1927's The Blood Ship), but there were no particular films that have really since made a name for themselves in popular film history. The company's business decisions were probably more significant. Most important was that of not investing in its own chain of movie theatres, with the real estate, building, and upkeep costs that all of that entailed. Thus, when the depression years of the 1930s came, Columbia was not almost forced into bankruptcy, as some studios were, by the drop in theatre attendance. Nor was it forced to sell property at a loss when in 1948, the courts ruled that the studios could not both make and exhibit their own films. The decade did see one event crucial to Columbia's production future. In 1927, Frank Capra, then a director of slapstick comedies, agreed to come to Columbia. After several successful B pictures, Capra successfully handled Columbia's first release to include sound effects (Submarine, 1928) and its first all-talkie (The Donovan Affair, 1929).

The Capra/Columbia partnership was a key component of Columbia's success in the 1930s. The early part of the decade saw Capra team with Barbara Stanwyck for Ladies of Leisure (1930), The Miracle Woman (1931), Forbidden (1932), and The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933). But it was with American Madness (1932, with Walter Huston) that he really began the string of comedy/drama features for which he is best known. In succession, he gave us Lady for a Day (1933), Broadway Bill (1934), It Happened One Night (1934), Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), You Can't Take It with You (1938), and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939). Capra's only deviation was his foray into the Utopian fantasy that was Lost Horizon (1937). Aside from the Capra connection, Columbia's approach was to make a handful of A pictures each year using major stars borrowed from other studios and buttress them with an ambitious B schedule of westerns (Buck Jones, Charles Starrett) and series pictures (Boston Blackie, Blondie) plus serials and shorts (The Three Stooges primarily). Aside from the Capra pictures, other key titles of the decade were The Criminal Code (1930, directed by Howard Hawks), Twentieth Century (1934, with John Barrymore and Carole Lombard), The Whole Town's Talking (1935, directed by John Ford), Craig's Wife (1936, with Rosalind Russell), Theodora Goes Wild (1936, with Irene Dunne), The Awful Truth (1937, with Cary Grant and Irene Dunne), Holiday (1938, with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn), Golden Boy (1939, with William Holden), and Only Angels Have Wings (1939, directed by Howard Hawks and starring Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, and Rita Hayworth).

The appearance of a young Rita Hayworth in Only Angels Have Wings was a harbinger of the 1940s at Columbia. She would become one of Columbia's major stars of the decade as the studio began to see the merit of developing some star talent itself if it was to compete on the same level with MGM, Warner Brothers, Paramount, and Fox. Glenn Ford and William Holden would be two other major assets for the company in the 1940s. With these new developing stars and the continued-though-less-frequent borrowing of stars from other studios, Columbia raised its profile considerably. Capra was gone (a casualty of his continual differences with Harry Cohn), but the annual number of prestige pictures was tripled and the B picture schedule was pared back somewhat. The result was an extremely profitable decade for Columbia and by its end, industry recognition that the studio was on a par with any of the other majors. Key films of the 1940s included: His Girl Friday (1940, directed by Howard Hawks), Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941, with Claude Rains), Penny Serenade (1941, with Cary Grant), Talk of the Town (1942, with Cary Grant and Jean Arthur), You Were Never Lovelier (1942, with Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth), Sahara (1943, with Humphrey Bogart), The More The Merrier (1943, with Jean Arthur), Cover Girl (1944, with Rita Hayworth and Gene Kelly), My Name Is Julia Ross (1945, directed by Joseph H. Lewis), Gilda (1946, with Glenn Ford and Rita Hayworth), The Jolson Story (1946, with Larry Parks), Dead Reckoning (1947, with Humphrey Bogart), Lady from Shanghai (1948, with Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth), and All the King's Men (1949, with Broderick Crawford).

As with all the studios, the 1950s saw major changes at Columbia. The inroads in movie theatre audiences due to the rise of television saw Columbia making fewer films each year than it had since the silent days. The company continued to turn a profit each year, but its role as a releasing company for independent productions became a more significant aspect of its activities. There were new stars such as Judy Holliday and Jack Lemmon, and independent producers such as Sam Spiegel. The results were still there on the screen - Born Yesterday (1950, with Judy Holliday and Broderick Crawford), From Here to Eternity (1953, with Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Clift), The Caine Mutiny (1954, with Humphrey Bogart), On the Waterfront (1954, with Marlon Brando), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957, with Alec Guinness), and a series of Randolph Scott westerns (Decision at Sundown, Hangman's Knot, etc.) - but the death of first Jack Cohn in 1956 and then Harry Cohn in 1958 signalled the end of an era. Columbia lost money for the first time in its history and limped into the 1960s.

The 1960s was the decade of the British connection for Columbia - both British independent productions that Columbia distributed, and British productions that it financed and distributed through its British production office opened in England in 1965. Among the titles were: The Guns of Navarone (1961, with Gregory Peck and David Niven), Lawrence of Arabia (1962, directed by David Lean), Dr. Strangelove (1964, directed by Stanley Kubrick), Lord Jim (1965, with Peter O'Toole), A Man for All Seasons (1966, with Paul Scofield), To Sir with Love (1967, with Sidney Poitier), and Oliver! (1968, directed by Carol Reed). Of course, there were many domestic productions too, but few of them were as successful as the British imports. Funny Girl (1968) was a notable exception. Less spectacular successes but still moneymakers included Raisin in the Sun (1961, with Sidney Poitier), Fail-Safe (1964, with Henry Fonda), Cat Ballou (1965, with Lee Marvin), The Bedford Incident (1965, with Richard Widmark), The Professionals (1966, with Burt Lancaster), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967, with Spencer Tracy), and Easy Rider (1969, with Peter Fonda). But a string of failures (often best represented by the abominable musical remake of Lost Horizon [1973]) was on the horizon that would make Columbia's fortunes much worse before they once again got better in the late 1970s.


Columbia Classics on DVD

Since the early days of DVD, Columbia has had a pretty consistent record of putting out classic titles regularly on DVD. Its devotion to issuing good product to classic fans has been variable, however. Initially, it had a special line that it called Columbia Classics. Many of the discs came with some decent supplements and there seemed to be an effort to provide production notes on the disc inserts. We even got some good special editions with audio commentaries and documentaries, specifically for the Frank Capra films. Most of the film transfers were very good as well.

Sometime over a year ago, things began to change. We still got classic titles being issued, but gone was the Columbia Classics designation, and gone too were any supplements beyond a few trailers and some vintage advertising. Transfer quality was not uniformly as high either. Then last fall, news about the winter 2003 Columbia releases started to appear. More Bogart, lots more Cary Grant, the long awaited You Can't Take It with You - it sounded like the good times might be returning, even though supplement content wasn't promising. Unfortunately too many of the releases didn't live up to the expectations. One that did was In a Lonely Place, with an impeccable transfer and an interesting retrospective supplement, but too many of the others were nearer the extreme disappointment of You Can't Take It with You - poor transfer, no supplements or at least none really relevant to the film (for example, no trailer for You Can't Take It with You, but one for Sense and Sensibility - whatever sense that makes).

Columbia has a library of over 2500 titles, over 1500 of which were released prior to 1970. Slightly over 100 of these are available on DVD. This total includes several films for which Columbia no longer holds the rights and that have subsequently been released by other companies. The following table details the record to date by year of release. Titles indicated to be on DVD include those that Columbia has officially announced as being forthcoming during the next three months. As one might expect, the more distant the decade, the fewer the number of releases on DVD from it. For each year, titles to be on the lookout for in the future are suggested although obviously the lists of suggestions are not exhaustive. Note that Columbia has also released a number of Three Stooges compilations as well. Titles in YELLOW text indicate those that are particularly worthy, in my opinion, of a purchase due to the combination of film and DVD quality.


Year Available on DVD Yet to Be Released
Pre-1928 None --
1928 1. Matinee Idol (Capra) Submarine (Capra)
1929 None Donovan Affair (Capra) [Columbia's first all-talkie]
1930 None Ladies of Leisure (Capra)
1931 None Criminal Code (Hawks), Miracle Woman (Capra), Platinum Blonde (Capra), Range Feud (John Wayne)
1932 1. Two-Fisted Law (John Wayne) American Madness (Capra), Forbidden (Capra), Texas Cyclone (John Wayne)
1933 1. Lady for a Day (Capra) [an Image release] Bitter Tea of General Yen (Capra), Man's Castle (Spencer Tracy)
1934 1. It Happened One Night (Capra) Broadway Bill (Capra), Lady by Choice (Carole Lombard), One Night of Love (Grace Moore), Twentieth Century (Hawks), Whom the Gods Destroy (Walter Connolly)
1935 None Black Room (Boris Karloff), Crime and Punishment (Edward Arnold), Love Me Forever (Grace Moore), She Married Her Boss (Claudette Colbert), Whole Town's Talking (Ford)
1936 1. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (Capra)
2. Pennies from Heaven (Bing Crosby)
Craig's Wife (Rosalind Russell), If You Could Only Cook (Jean Arthur), Man Who Lived Twice (Ralph Bellamy), Theodora Goes Wild (Irene Dunne)
1937 1. Awful Truth, The (Cary Grant)
2. Lost Horizon (Capra)
When You're in Love (Grace Moore)
1938 1. You Can't Take It with You (Capra) Holiday (Cary Grant), I Am the Law (Edward G. Robinson), There's Always a Woman (Joan Blondell)
1939 1. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Capra)
2. Only Angels Have Wings (Hawks)
Golden Boy (William Holden), Lady and the Mob (Fay Bainter), Man They Could Not Hang (Boris Karloff)
1940 1. Angels Over Broadway (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.)
2. His Girl Friday (Hawks)
3. Howards of Virginia (Cary Grant)
Arizona (Jean Arthur), Before I Hang (Boris Karloff), Doctor Takes a Wife (Loretta Young), Lady in Question (Rita Hayworth), Man with Nine Lives (Boris Karloff), Too Many Husbands (Fred MacMurray)
1941 1. Penny Serenade (Cary Grant) [various public domain releases] Here Comes Mr. Jordan (Claude Rains), Ladies in Retirement (Ida Lupino), Texas (Glenn Ford), You'll Never Get Rich (Rita Hayworth)
1942 1. Commandos Strike at Dawn (Paul Muni) [5.13.03 release]
2. Talk of the Town (Cary Grant)
My Sister Eileen (Rosalind Russell), You Were Never Lovelier (Rita Hayworth)
1943 1. Sahara (Humphrey Bogart) Desperadoes (Glenn Ford) [Columbia's first Technicolor film], More the Merrier (Jean Arthur), What a Woman! (Rosalind Russell)
1944 1. Once Upon a Time (Cary Grant)
2. Return of the Vampire (Bela Lugosi)
Cover Girl (Gene Kelly), Mr. Winkle Goes to War (Edward G. Robinson), None Shall Escape (Alexander Knox), Song to Remember (Paul Muni), Together Again (Irene Dunne)
1945 None Counter-Attack (Paul Muni), My Name Is Julia Ross (Lewis), Tonight and Every Night (Rita Hayworth)
1946 1. Gilda (Rita Hayworth) The Jolson Story (Larry Parks), Perilous Journey (Pat O'Brien), Return of Monte Cristo (Louis Hayward)
1947 1. Dead Reckoning (Humphrey Bogart) Down to Earth (Larry Parks), Guilt of Janet Ames (Rosalind Russell), Gunfighters (Randolph Scott), Johnny O'Clock (Dick Powell)
1948 1. Lady from Shanghai, The (Orson Welles)
2. Loves of Carmen (Rita Hayworth)
Coroner's Creek (Randolph Scott), To the Ends of the Earth (Dick Powell), Walk a Crooked Mile (Louis Hayward)
1949 1. All the King's Men (Broderick Crawford) Doolins of Oklahoma (Randolph Scott), Johnny Allegro (George Raft), Knock on Any Door (Humphrey Bogart), Jolson Sings Again (Larry Parks), The Reckless Moment (James Mason), Shockproof (Sirk), Tokyo Joe (Humphrey Bogart), Walking Hills (Randolph Scott), We Were Strangers (John Garfield)
1950 1. Born Yesterday (Judy Holliday)
2. In a Lonely Place (Humphrey Bogart)
711 Ocean Drive (Edmund O'Brien), Fuller Brush Girl (Lucille Ball), Harriet Craig (Joan Crawford), Nevadan (Randolph Scott)
1951 1. Sirocco (Humphrey Bogart) Brave Bulls (Anthony Quinn), Death of a Salesman (Fredric March), Man in the Saddle (Randolph Scott), Santa Fe (Randolph Scott), Ten Tall Men (Burt Lancaster)
1952 1. 5000 Fingers of Dr. T, The (Peter Lind Hayes)
2. Invasion USA [a Synapse release]
Affair in Trinidad (Rita Hayworth), Hangman's Knot (Randolph Scott), Marrying Kind (Judy Holliday)
1953 1. Big Heat, The (Glenn Ford)
2. From Here to Eternity (Burt Lancaster)
3. Wild One, The (Marlon Brando)
Ambush at Tomahawk Gap (John Hodiak), Juggler (Kirk Douglas), Miss Sadie Thompson (Rita Hayworth), Stranger Wore a Gun (Randolph Scott)
1954 1. Caine Mutiny, The (Humphrey Bogart)
2. On the Waterfront (Marlon Brando)
Hell Below Zero (Alan Ladd), It Should Happen to You (Judy Holliday), Violent Men (Barbara Stanwyck)
1955 1. End of the Affair, The (Van Johnson)
2. It Came from Beneath the Sea (Harryhausen) [5.6.03 release]
3. Long Gray Line, The (Ford)
4. Man from Laramie, The (James Stewart)
5. Picnic (William Holden)
6. Queen Bee (Joan Crawford)
Lawless Street (Randolph Scott), Ten Wanted Men (Randolph Scott), Tight Spot (Edward G. Robinson)
1956 1. Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (Harryhausen)
2. Eddy Duchin Story, The (Tyrone Power)
3. Harder They Fall, The (Humphrey Bogart)
7th Cavalry (Randolph Scott), Autumn Leaves (Joan Crawford), Jubal (Glenn Ford), Solid Gold Cadillac (Judy Holliday), Storm Center (Bette Davis)
1957 1. 20 Million Miles to Earth (Harryhausen)
2. 3:10 to Yuma (Glenn Ford)
3. Bridge on the River Kwai, The (Lean)
4. Hellcats of the Navy (Ronald Reagan) [5.13.03 release]
5. Pal Joey (Frank Sinatra)
27th Day (Gene Barry), Abandon Ship! (Tyrone Power), Decision at Sundown (Randolph Scott), Fire Down Below (Robert Mitchum), Story of Esther Costello (Joan Crawford), Tall T (Randolph Scott)
1958 1. Bell, Book and Candle (James Stewart)
2. Cowboy (Jack Lemmon)
3. Curse [Night] of the Demon (Dana Andrews)
4. Last Hurrah, The (Spencer Tracy)
5. Seventh Voyage of Sinbad, The (Harryhausen)
Buchanan Rides Alone (Randolph Scott), Gideon of Scotland Yard (Ford), Goddess (Kim Stanley), Key (Wiiliam Holden), Me and the Colonel (Danny Kaye)
1959 1. Anatomy of a Murder (Preminger)
2. Mouse That Roared, The (Peter Sellers) [7.8.03 release]
3. Suddenly, Last Summer (Elizabeth Taylor)
4. Tingler, The (Vincent Price)
City of Fear (Vince Edwards), Crimson Kimono (Fuller), Last Angry Man (Paul Muni), Middle of the Night (Fredric March), They Came to Cordura (Gary Cooper)
1960 1. 13 Ghosts (Castle)
2. Stop! Look! And Laugh! (Three Stooges)
Comanche Station (Randolph Scott), Edge of Eternity (Cornel Wilde), Our Man in Havana (Alec Guinness), Strangers When We Meet (Kirk Douglas)
1961 1. Devil at 4 O'Clock, The (Spencer Tracy)
2. Guns of Navarone, The (Gregory Peck)
3. Mr. Sardonicus (Castle)
4. Mysterious Island (Harryhausen)
5. Raisin in the Sun (Sidney Poitier)
Two Rode Together (James Stewart), Underworld U.S.A. (Fuller)
1962 1. Barabbas (Anthony Quinn)
2. Damn the Defiant (Alec Guinness)
3. Experiment in Terror (Glenn Ford) [6.10.03 release]
4. Lawrence of Arabia (Peter O'Toole)
5. Requiem for a Heavyweight (Anthony Quinn)
6. War Lover, The (Steve McQueen) [5.13.03 release]
Advise and Consent (Henry Fonda), Five Finger Exercise (Rosalind Russell), L-Shaped Room (Leslie Caron), Notorious Landlady (Kim Novak)
1963 1. Bye Bye Birdie (Janet Leigh)
2. Cardinal, The (Tom Tryon) [a WB release]
3. Jason and the Argonauts (Harryhausen)
4. Three Stooges Go Round the World in a Daze [5.13.03 release]
Diamond Head (Charlton Heston), Man from the Diners' Club (Danny Kaye)
1964 1. Dr. Strangelove (Peter Sellers)
2. Fail-Safe (Henry Fonda)
3. First Men in the Moon (Harryhausen)
4. Long Ships, The (Richard Widmark) [6.24.03 release]
5. Strait Jacket (Joan Crawford)
Behold a Pale Horse (Anthony Quinn), Finest Hours (Orson Welles), Good Neighbor Sam (Jack Lemmon), Pumpkin Eater (Anne Bancroft), Quick Gun (Audie Murphy)
1965 1. Cat Ballou (Lee Marvin)
2. Collector, The (Wyler)
3. King Rat (George Segal) [5.6.03 release]
4. Outlaws Is Coming, The (Three Stooges)
Arizona Raider (Audie Murphy), Bedford Incident (Richard Widmark), Bunny Lake Is Missing (Preminger), Lord Jim (Peter O'Toole), Major Dundee (Peckinpah), Ship of Fools (Vivien Leigh)
1966 1. Alvarez Kelly (William Holden)
2. Born Free (Virginia McKenna)
3. Lost Command (Anthony Quinn)
4. Man for All Seasons, A (Paul Scofield)5. Professionals, The (Lee Marvin)
6. Walk, Don't Run (Cary Grant) [5.29.03 release]
Chase (Marlon Brando), Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round (James Coburn), Georgy Girl (Lynn Redgrave), Silencers (Dean Martin)
1967 1. Casino Royale (David Niven) [an MGM release]
2. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (Spencer Tracy)
3. To Sir with Love (Sidney Poitier)
Deadly Affair (James Mason), In Cold Blood (Robert Blake), Night of the Generals (Peter O'Toole)
1968 1. Anzio (Robert Mitchum)
2. Don't Raise the Bridge, Lower the River (Jerry Lewis) [7.8.03 release]
3. Funny Girl (Barbra Streisand)
4. Oliver! (Oliver Reed)
5. Swimmer, The (Burt Lancaster) [5.29.03 release]
Berserk! (Joan Crawford), Dandy in Aspic (Laurence Harvey)
1969 1. Cactus Flower (Ingrid Bergman)
2. Easy Rider (Peter Fonda)
3. Mackenna's Gold (Gregory Peck)
Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (Robert Culp), Comic (Dick Van Dyke), Desperadoes (Jack Palance), Marooned (Gene Hackman)


A Perspective from Columbia

I recently had the opportunity to discuss the Columbia classic film DVD release program in an exchange of e-mails and telephone calls with several Columbia Pictures personnel. I'd like to thank Suzanne White (Vice President - Catalog), Fritz Friedman (Vice President - Worldwide Marketing), and Grover Crisp (Vice President - Asset Management and Film Restoration) for their participation. The results of this exchange gave a clear indication of Columbia's general approach to its classic film assets, but for the most part, did not yield as much specific information as I had hoped. For that reason, I have chosen to summarize the answers I received to my questions, rather than provide a question and answer transcript.

Columbia does not have a "set policy" regarding the release of its catalog titles on DVD. The company is, however, very aggressive in converting its assets to digital masters so that it will be ready for all future technologies, not just DVD. Classic films (those originally released before the late 1960s for sake of argument) are treated no differently than any other catalog titles in this respect. Marketability/profitability is the key criterion in determining which catalog titles are brought to market and when. Other factors play lesser roles. They include: the success of the original theatrical release in terms of both profitability and awards, the appearance of a particular actor or actress in the cast, the degree and cost of restoration required, consumer requests, previous availability on VHS or laserdisc, and major anniversaries. Profitability is also the main determinant when it comes to deciding upon the level of effort on DVD supplementary content. This likely means that the recent noticeable decrease in supplements on classic titles from Columbia is due to sales totals of earlier classic releases being less than hoped for.

The company anticipates that the total DVD releases annually that are classic titles will stay about the same in the future. Columbia aims to bring about ten catalog titles to market each month, of which classics are part of the mix. There is little likelihood of any Columbia titles to which the company retains the rights being licensed to other distributors for DVD release. This position would change only if a business opportunity arose that fit Columbia's long-term goals.

Columbia has a very active restoration department that at any given time may have up to 200 titles in its pipeline. Being "in the pipeline" means that a title could be in any one of several stages from research (looking for the best source material) to restoration to manufacture. As a consequence, it could take anywhere from 1 to 4 years for a specific title to appear.

Looking at Columbia classic titles more specifically, Columbia gives the same consideration to its B films, shorts, and serials as it does to its A features in determining what to release. In other words, if Columbia felt the Blondie features or the Batman (1943) or Superman (1948) serials would be a profitable release on DVD, we'd likely see them, subject to the state of the source materials. The same consideration would be given to the company's silent features, but there are no plans at present to release any of them on DVD beyond the already available Matinee Idol (1928). Here are some issues concerning particular titles and Columbia's answers:


Status of Powell and Pressburger's A Matter of Life and Death (1946) - It took two years to get access to original source material at the British Film Institute, but restoration on this title is now complete and a high definition transfer has been done. The film has been added to Columbia's schedule for release. It is still a minimum of four months away, though, as Columbia adheres strictly to a policy of only making specific release information available for titles it expects to release within three-to-four months.

You Can't Take It with You (1938) - The recent DVD release of this Capra title was a distinct disappointment to most classic enthusiasts due to the quality of the transfer and the lack of supplements. As many people may know, the original negative for the film no longer exists and the elements in Columbia's hands were in very poor condition. The DVD that was recently issued was taken from a high definition transfer, but one that was done four years ago for an outside client. At that time, considerable digital clean-up was recommended by Columbia's restoration group, but for whatever reason, it was not done. Columbia felt the demand for this film was such that issuing a DVD version now was warranted, even though the currently available source material was not the best. Meanwhile, the company is actively working on a new transfer. This involves borrowing material from the British Film Institute as well as looking at elements from other European archives - a long process which will eventually lead to a new DVD release, but one which is several years away.

Status of Columbia Humphrey Bogart films not yet on DVD (Love Affair [1932], Knock on Any Door [1949], Tokyo Joe [1949]) - Columbia has confirmed that it retains the rights to all three titles. Tokyo Joe has been scheduled for release, but no official announcement of a date has been made as yet. There is no news on a DVD release for the other two titles.

Randolph Scott films - Columbia confirmed that it retains the rights to a number of films starring Randolph Scott, but none of them are scheduled for release at this time. The titles in question are: 7th Cavalry (1956), Buchanan Rides Alone (1958), Coast Guard (1939), Cocktail Hour (1933), Comanche Station (1960), Coroner Creek (1948), Decision at Sundown (1957), The Desperadoes (1943), The Doolins of Oklahoma (1949), Gunfighters (1947), Hangman's Knot (1952), Last of the Mohicans (1936), A Lawless Street (1955), Man in the Saddle (1951), The Nevadan (1950), Ride Lonesome (1959), Santa Fe (1951), The Stranger Wore a Gun (1953), The Tall T (1957), Ten Wanted Men (1955), and The Walking Hills (1949).

Early John Wayne westerns - Wayne made three westerns for Columbia in the early 1930s. Last winter, Columbia issued a two disc DVD of John Wayne westerns that contained six of his early programmers. In a strange move, five of these were the Monogram Lone Star westerns that have been widely available from public domain specialists for years and only one (Two-Fisted Law) was an actual Columbia production. The other two Columbia Wayne westerns from the same era (Range Feud, Texas Cyclone) remain unscheduled for any future DVD appearance.

Titles such as Penny Serenade, The Reckless Moment, and The Donovan Affair (Columbia's first talkie) have expired from the Columbia catalog and thus seem like unlikely Columbia DVD releases.

Titles often requested to appear on DVD, such as Submarine (1928), The Criminal Code (1931), American Madness (1932), Twentieth Century (1934), The Whole Town's Talking (1935), Theodora Goes Wild (1936), Holiday (1938), There's Always a Woman (1938), Golden Boy (1939), The Doctor Takes a Wife (1940), Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941), My Sister Eileen (1942), The More the Merrier (1943), None Shall Escape (1944), Cover Girl (1944), My Name Is Julia Ross (1945), The Jolson Story (1946), Johnny O'Clock (1947), To the Ends of the Earth (1948), and We Were Strangers (1949) are not scheduled at this time.


On to Part Two

Barrie Maxwell - Main Page
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