Author Topic: Ken Russell on DVD...and not on DVD.  (Read 15144 times)

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Offline regal26

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Re: Ken Russell on DVD...and not on DVD.
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2010, 04:02:45 PM »
The real problem is trying to secure the home video distribution rights as most of the films were made for major American studios.

Ken's films in the early 1970's were made for MGM/UA which is currently being auctioned off...so the future of their library is still up in the air. These films include Women in Love, The Music Lovers, The Boyfriend, Savage Messiah, and Valentino.

Mahler is probably the swampiest. It was made for Goodtimes Enterprises which I believe is now defunct. It's original theatrical release was handled by several different distributors, while the current
DVD's have been handled by small companies using the same battered old print.

Lisztomania and The Devils were both released by Warner Brothers who are usually pretty hestitant to license their titles out to other distributors (at least in America). Though Lisztomania has had a release in the UK, there has not been a US release.


« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 09:08:39 PM by Iain Fisher »

Rob Halcro

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Ken Russell on DVD...and not on DVD.
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2010, 06:27:45 PM »
Hi,

     Found your site by accident! Would welcome being kept up to date with postings - is there an icon to click on for that? If not my email is: robhalcro1@hotmail.com .

     How about getting a letter template written / constructed for the varying owners of Ken Russell's rights for new folk like me to write to & what about the BFI, will they not put his works out with all the extras?

Rob.

Offline BoyScoutKevin

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Re: Ken Russell on DVD...and not on DVD.
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2010, 10:38:00 PM »
I didn't realise the reissue of Lair didn't come with the commentary.  There are so few commentaries by Ken, and so few extras on Ken's DVDs, that it seems madness not to include it.

Yes, it is. I have the version with Ken's commentary on it, and when I played it for friends in the U.K., they thought the commentary was the best part of the film and really added to the enjoyment of watching it.

I also believe there is a version of "Gothic" out there with commentary by Ken, but I haven't heard that one.

I do wish someone would get more commentaries from Ken on his films, if only to be added to future film releases, before Ken passes on.

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: Ken Russell on DVD...and not on DVD.
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2010, 10:01:54 PM »

"There are two Region 1 dvd's not yet mentioned: TALES OF EROTICA (Trimark) - I believe it's OOP and my copy originally came in a box-set with some other Trimark titles called "After Dark Collection"."

I got that DVD, pretty dire.  I don't even know if I have watched all the films on the box-set, I found it so bland.  And Ken's film wasn't very good.

Offline jonsi

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Re: Ken Russell on DVD...and not on DVD.
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2010, 10:08:44 PM »
I would so hope on "The Devils" be released in an appropriate form as long as Ken Russell is alive - but the more time passes by the more the hope vanishes...

Sometimes i thing that Warner just waits as long as Ken Russell himself will die and then release it with the publicity given by the event...

But then, if that happens, i am in the position to decide wether i want to buy it or not... if really that happens i would say i throw overboard my opinions and download that piece of art...


Offline jonsi

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Re: Ken Russell on DVD...and not on DVD.
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2010, 09:53:40 PM »
Well, "Lisztomania" got a DVD-realease in Great Britain...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lisztomania-DVD-Roger-Daltrey/dp/B001THPPGW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1276289484&sr=8-1

and "Salome's last Dance" has been "reissued" (wrong word) in Italy with english audio-track (again "open matte", but that's not the problem in modern times)...

http://www.amazon.de/Salomes-Last-Dance-L%60Ultima-Salom%C3%A8/dp/B001O0OGPA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1276289586&sr=8-1

Offline regal26

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Re: Ken Russell on DVD...and not on DVD.
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2009, 01:44:29 PM »
My mistake about 20th Century Fox.

Savage Messiah and The Boyfriend were produced for MGM so all home video distribution is handled through WB.

Rights are one of the most bureaucratic systems ever devised.

Criterion probably won't release any of Russell's films in the near future. They already have acquired a huge Warner's backlist and very little MGM licensing deals.

Offline music-lover

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Re: Ken Russell on DVD...and not on DVD.
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2009, 09:05:34 PM »
I just found this forum.  Great stuff!

There are two Region 1 dvd's not yet mentioned: TALES OF EROTICA (Trimark) - I believe it's OOP and my copy originally came in a box-set with some other Trimark titles called "After Dark Collection".

Then there's his segment for "WOMEN & MEN: Stories of Seduction" on HBO DVD.

My favorite film of all-time is THE MUSIC LOVERS.  I have a DVD-R that I made off my old widescreen laserdisc (thank God for that release!!!), but I'd really like a more proper presentation.  I rarely watch movies more than once, but my DVD-R of THE MUSIC LOVERS gets played more times than I can speak of.   I also love many of Russell's other films, such as TOMMY, THE DEVILS, SAVAGE MESSIAH, THE RAINBOW, and others.  Even in his lesser films, there's always something to enjoy.  I have all of his Region 1 releases (I bought SALOME'S for $60 about 6 years ago and thought that was high - now it's a bargain!).

Warners could easily do a box-set as they have 5 films:  ALTERED STATES (already out), THE DEVILS, SAVAGE MESSIAH, LISZTOMANIA, and THE BOY FRIEND.  ("The Boy Friend" wasn't a UA production - as far as I know - so now it would be with WB instead of MGM, just like "Savage Messiah" via the Turner purchase and sell-off.)

MGM still has THE MUSIC LOVERS and VALENTINO as they were UA films and MGM retained that library.  Fox now distributes for MGM (no longer Sony), but their releases of catalog titles is practically nothing so these films will continue to languish in the vaults.  Un-fricken believable.   When you see all the crap movies MGM and Warners have put out on DVD over the years and these great movies are ignored makes me seriously ill.

I have also contacted Criterion a few times.  I think they'd have a better chance with MGM than Warners, but who knows?   I wrote a letter to a US video magazine called VIDEO TIMES in 1984 for a column called "Why don't they release?" and my request was printed.  This was back in the VHS days, of course, but THE MUSIC LOVERS wasn't out yet even on VHS and that's the movie I asked for.  It did finally come out on VHS and thankfully that laserdisc, but both of those were short-lived and now it's 25 years later.   And the film has basically been completely unavailable for most of those years.   Depressing, to say the least.


Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: Ken Russell on DVD...and not on DVD.
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2009, 11:53:14 PM »
I didn't realise the reissue of Lair didn't come with the commentary.  There are so few commentaries by Ken, and so few extras on Ken's DVDs, that it seems madness not to include it.

Offline regal26

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Re: Ken Russell on DVD...and not on DVD.
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2009, 07:21:49 PM »
The problem with 'Salome's Last Dance' and 'Lair of the White Worm' not being reissued is that Ken Russell made both films for a long-defunct company called Vestron.

All of Vestron's titles were aquired by Artisan in the 1990's. But Artisan itself was bought by Lionsgate Films along with their entire backlog of films in 2005 (I think.)

Ahh, the wonders of capitalism.

Offline John Gargo

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Re: Ken Russell on DVD...and not on DVD.
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2009, 11:42:07 AM »
It is absolutely ridiculous that Artisan didn't bother reissuing SALOME'S LAST DANCE, given how much money those used copies go on auction sites.  I was also very disappointed that their reissue of LAIR didn't come with the commentary.  Sometimes a distribution company just doesn't really care about some of their titles, but you would think that with someone like Ken Russell, they would realize what kind of audience he has and port over the extras instead of releasing barebone discs.

Offline regal26

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Re: Ken Russell on DVD...and not on DVD.
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2009, 10:24:44 PM »
Been doing some follow up work on Russell's 70's films. It appears that Twentieth Century Fox owns the Home Video distribution rights
to all of the MGM back-catalog.

So they are the ones to annoy if you want to see The Music Lovers, The Boy Friend, and Savage Messiah (which were all released for
MGM/United Artists). The Devils and Lisztomania were released by Warner Brothers.


Offline regal26

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Re: Ken Russell on DVD...and not on DVD.
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2009, 04:52:01 PM »
I would really like to see the Criterion Collection do at least ONE of Russell's films in a nice edition. I've emailed their suggestions department a few times, but I'm sure the licensing issues are tricky because many of the films are controlled by MGM/UA a.k.a. Sony.

As far as bootlegs there is a widescreen bootleg of The Music Lovers that keeps popping up on ebay. But I'm guessing it was copied from a television broadcast (the same with a Savage Messiah disc).

Offline tornhill

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Re: Ken Russell on DVD...and not on DVD.
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2009, 01:52:01 AM »
Salome's Last Dance (the region 1 is long out of print and is one of the most expensive DVD's on the market. I saw one going for 300$ US!)
There is an Italian RC-2-DVD around. But sadly without any extras.

Offline Iain Fisher

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Re: Ken Russell on DVD...and not on DVD.
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2009, 12:14:00 AM »
The opera Faust is available on DVD, all regions.  The DVD is much better than the VHS video which misses out the witches dream (I am writing this from memory but it is something like that) which is one of the best parts of Ken's version of the opera.

The opera Mefistofele was available on VHS but no more.  I think it pops up on eBay every so often.  Just as with Faust if you like opera (and like Ken) it is worth buying.

Ken's television film on Gaudi is an extra on the DVD Antonio Gaudi by Hiroshi Teshigahara.  Even though Ken's film is just an extra, the DVD is good value with lots of stuff.