Monday, December 9, 2013

Hi, this is your TCM classic movie out-of-print update

If TCM is going to run those "Classic Movie News" reports with the lady who starts her voiceover with the phony "Hi", perhaps they ought to do a beter job updating the news of which classic movies are no longer in print on DVD.

TCM's schedule for tomorrow, December 10, has Manhattan Melodrama kicking off the morning at 6:00 AM. I was surprised to see there was no "Buy DVD" icon, so when I did a search of the TCM Shop, the first hit was to... the TCM Spotlight collection, which is oddly listed as a "(Repackage)". Something's not quite right here. The DVD is supposedly on sale for $20, which is 60% off, except that it's only "on order". What's the point of having a sale on items not in stock? The other interesting thing is that TCM's web shop lists the box set as having been released on November 20, 2012.

So, it was off to Amazon to do some searching. The first hit was to... this TCM Spotlight DVD, which looks remarkably similar to the one TCM lists but isn't selling. This one has a price of buying from a reseller for $45, or used for about 10% less. And there's a release date of August 7, 2007. That would probably explain why my March 2008 blog post suggested that Manhattan Melodrama is available on DVD.

But wait, there's more! There's a box near the top listing "other formats and versions", which is generally the case any time a movie has had mutliple DVD releases (say, individually and as part of a box set). There's a "5-disc version" listed that's available from Amazon at a price of $17.99! (Humorously, that one is apparently for sale used from $34.95.) That version is here, which remarkably seems to be another version of the TCM Spotlight collection, only this time being released on November 20, 2012, the same as the one listed but not available at the TCM Shop.

I didn't check up the DVD status of the other movies in the collection. That having been said, it sounds like this particular William Powell/Myrna Loy box set really needs another printing.

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