Friday, April 19, 2013

Another pair of DVD releases

I look at TCM's online schedule almost every day to see if there are any interesting shorts coming up, since those don't make it to the printable monthly schedule, since TCM only schedules the shorts a week or so ahead of time. However, TCM also uses some of the excess space on the page to include a "movie news" section, which is usually links to articles on various DVD or book releases.

Currently, there are two articles on DVD releases of movies I blogged about quite some time ago. First is Apartment for Peggy which I commented on back in November 2009. The reviewer who wrote the article has a rather more negative view of the movie than I do. I thought it was better than it had business being; he thinks it's worse than it should be, although the article is dripping with negative views of the director's (George Seaton) social values. Sure, the social values were different back in the 1940s, but movies set in contemporary time periods ought to be given a bit more of the benefit of the doubt for presenting the mores of the day.

That said, the bigger problem is apparently with the DVD itself. Apartment for Peggy is part of Fox's MOD service, the Fox Cinema Archive. I haven't bought any of the Fox MODs, but what I have read about them indicates that the DVD quality isn't particularly good, with lousy prints, which is a shame. Granted, there's no other way such movies are going to get released... or is there?

The other movie is Heaven With a Barbed-Wire Fence, which also happens to be courtesy of the Fox Cinema Archive. This time, a different reviewer suggests that the DVD quality is better. I can't remember from my viewing on the Fox Movie Channel what the print quality of the two movies was, but if Heaven With a Barbed Wire Fence was running with a better print on FMC, then it should be no surprise that the MOD DVD has a better print too.

Heaven With a Barbed-Wire Fence stars Glenn Ford, and these days when I think of him I think of the Glenn Ford: Undercover Crimes box set that TCM has been hawking in between movies. I don't think the movies in the box set have shown up on TCM recently, but the five movies on this set are all from Columbia, so one would have to presume that the constant plugging of this set is getting TCM access to other movies from Columbia's archive. Still, I can't help but wonder whether a box set like this shows the way forward for some of those old Fox movies. I don't know that Glenn Ford made very many movies at Fox, but as I mentoined back in October 2010, there are quite a few actors who worked at Fox for a good portion of their career. Some of the lesser-known entries from Spencer Tracy's or Henry Fonda's early work would be ripe for putting out on a box set, I'd think.

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