KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

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busby1959

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KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostThu Oct 12, 2017 4:00 pm

I've just finished reading James Layton and David Pierce's magnificent book on the KING OF JAZZ for probably the 10th time and was curious if anyone has heard anything about a release on DVD or BluRay. I've been recovering for a surgical procedure and I'm very out of touch concerning recent releases.
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vitaphone

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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostThu Oct 12, 2017 4:54 pm

Nothing to report yet.
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Scott Eckhardt

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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostThu Oct 12, 2017 6:21 pm

Someone read my mind. I was mentioning that on the 16th, it will have been a year since I saw the restoration and nearly a year and a half since the restoration's world premiere. I may contact The Heights Theater who ran it last year and ask if they could rebook for a second showing. The big screen does the restoration justice.
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Thad Komorowski

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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostFri Oct 13, 2017 6:36 am

The fully restored footage is really quite something to see. If it's playing in your area, do not hesitate to see it. It could be that Universal wants the restoration to make the most of the theatrical circuit before they put it out on Blu-Ray. Once it's available for purchase, the restoration will lose its sheen to exhibitors.
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vitaphone

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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostFri Oct 13, 2017 7:07 am

Correct. The restored KING OF JAZZ continues to make the theatrical rounds and Universal has been pleasantly surprised at the accolades and turnout the film has received. We are working closely with them ands other partners on a home video release but I would not expect any announcement until sometime in 2018. Stay tuned.
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busby1959

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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostFri Oct 13, 2017 9:53 am

Attending screenings is difficult for me as I'm disabled. If it was ever shown in the Palm Springs area (and there's a greater chance of snow in Death Valley that that ever happening), I'd be there with bells on. I'll have to be patient and hope to be able to watch it on my own big screen someday.
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Scott Eckhardt

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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostFri Oct 13, 2017 10:14 am

If and when the film is released on disc, I hope that the powers that be will contact Bob DeFlores. This man introduced KOJ at last year's screening at The Heights Theater in suburban Minneapolis. He preceeded the screening with a 20 minute compilation of footage of Paul Whiteman and his boys clowning around on the Universal lot and some humorous footage of Paul receiving an award from some restaurant group. There was also a clip from a 1931 short featuring Bing Crosby and the Whiteman boys, and the theatrical trailer. These would make wonderful extras to any disc release of the film. Mr. DeFlores' recollections of being Bing Crosby's personal film archivist would make an interesting featurette as well.
Last edited by Scott Eckhardt on Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Ray Faiola

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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostFri Oct 13, 2017 10:28 am

Due to music clearances, I believe a release is very doubtful. So says an industry pal.
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Scott Eckhardt

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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostFri Oct 13, 2017 10:47 am

Ray Faiola wrote:Due to music clearances, I believe a release is very doubtful. So says an industry pal.

Well, the same music was included in the video cassette release of the 1980s. I don't understand how the rights were cleared for that release but are held up for this new version.
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vitaphone

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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostFri Oct 13, 2017 2:30 pm

There are ZERO music rights issues regarding a DVD release of KING OF JAZZ. This has been thoroughly researched with Universal and there are no rights issues whatsoever. There were some less than motivated Universal personnel who once claimed this but it has long been disproved, so ignore any such claims.

It is also NOT true that a DVD is unlikely. Not sure where these stories come from. You may recall that about five years ago right here on Nitrateville, several folks allegedly "in the know" claimed Universal would never restore KOJ because of cost.

Please just stay tuned.
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Donald Binks

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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostFri Oct 13, 2017 2:39 pm

vitaphone wrote:Correct. The restored KING OF JAZZ continues to make the theatrical rounds and Universal has been pleasantly surprised at the accolades and turnout the film has received.


Ron - this is wonderful news! I am so pleased that after all the effort, the picture has done so well at the box office - it lends encouragement, I hope, to other wonders to come out of hiding. :D Audiences don;t know what they are missing!
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Thad Komorowski

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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostFri Oct 13, 2017 6:28 pm

So which songs were supposedly the point of contention and proven not to be? Ray's comments are not the first I've heard along these lines—it was the response given when anyone asked when they could buy the restoration on Blu-Ray—and I'm all too familiar with music rights erroneously holding up releases. I'm glad it's been proven false because it's a restoration that should be as widely seen as possible.
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David Alp

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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostFri Oct 13, 2017 8:16 pm

vitaphone wrote:Correct. The restored KING OF JAZZ continues to make the theatrical rounds and Universal has been pleasantly surprised at the accolades and turnout the film has received. We are working closely with them ands other partners on a home video release but I would not expect any announcement until sometime in 2018. Stay tuned.


This is AMAZING news! And I will be first in the queue to buy (several copies) of the release as it would be essential to have a couple of "back-ups" for such a "Super - Super - Special - Special - Production!!"

If it DID get a blu-ray release then this would DEFINITELY be the tipping point for me to finally convert the dining room into a Home Cinema Room! I would most definitely get a projector for this release!
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vitaphone

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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostSat Oct 14, 2017 9:50 am

Thanks David and Donald! Just will take a little patience but previous perceived roadblocks have been cleared. And yes, extras are under consideration. Sorry I can't share more detail on what has been a somewhat fragile process --- as was the KOJ restoration journey itself.
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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostSun Oct 15, 2017 10:55 pm

This will definitely be a first day purchase for me. I am dying to see the improvements I made the mistake of having my wife see the unrestored version with me at a movie festival and she found it very dull. I should have waited!
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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostMon Oct 16, 2017 7:23 am

Just this morning I became aware of a new book by Richard Barrios, Turner Classic Movies: Must-See Musicals: 50 Show-Stopping Movies We Can't Forget. KING OF JAZZ made the cut and is among the 50. For that reason and my admiration for Richard's tireless research, I ordered it immediately.
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Scott Eckhardt

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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostMon Oct 16, 2017 10:15 am

BixB wrote:Just this morning I became aware of a new book by Richard Barrios, Turner Classic Movies: Must-See Musicals: 50 Show-Stopping Movies We Can't Forget. KING OF JAZZ made the cut and is among the 50. For that reason and my admiration for Richard's tireless research, I ordered it immediately.

It is a marvelous book. I received it last week. Well written and beautifully illustrated. You will love it.
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David Alp

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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostWed Oct 18, 2017 8:27 pm

vitaphone wrote:Thanks David and Donald! Just will take a little patience but previous perceived roadblocks have been cleared. And yes, extras are under consideration. Sorry I can't share more detail on what has been a somewhat fragile process --- as was the KOJ restoration journey itself.


Vitaphone! VERY IMPORTANT! Be sure to TELL the folks over at Universal that my brief 3 and half minute restored clip of "King Of Jazz" on YouTube has had over THIRTY THOUSAND hits in just a one-year-period that it has been up! I have NEVER had so many hits on ANY of my other video's that are up! It really is a colossal amount in this day and age, and its more evidence that this film just has something (?) that NO other film has? It is unbelievably popular! And I've had hundreds of comments from people asking where can they get the film?

Please see below. [If you are wondering how I obtained it -- the clip is from a high definition promotional video made for The New York Times last year when the 2016 re-release was "doing-the-rounds" and getting publicity "right left and centre". I thought I would share it you youtube with a link to the book's kickstarter project, and a squibble to promote the new book as well.

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Donald Binks

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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostWed Oct 18, 2017 8:31 pm

I think that the popularity may have something to do with the fact that there is actual music employed in the film. Those who know only the noise available today will have been pleasantly surprised. Hopefully they will wish for more and we shall have a return to sweeter sounds.
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she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."
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Thad Komorowski

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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostWed Oct 18, 2017 11:26 pm

Donald Binks wrote:I think that the popularity may have something to do with the fact that there is actual music employed in the film. Those who know only the noise available today will have been pleasantly surprised. Hopefully they will wish for more and we shall have a return to sweeter sounds.


Doubtful. It's an important restoration, so I think it'll still spark many conversations about cultural differences—the ones between 1930 and today—rather than get anyone pining for a world they never lived in. The restored DVD/Blu-Ray should be a must for all media culture history classes.
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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostThu Oct 19, 2017 6:27 am

Thad Komorowski wrote:Doubtful. It's an important restoration, so I think it'll still spark many conversations about cultural differences—the ones between 1930 and today—rather than get anyone pining for a world they never lived in.


True, Thad.

(Just as I'd doubt that many Thirties Jazz Babies craved more Schumann's liederkreis on their radios!)

-Craig
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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostThu Oct 19, 2017 7:15 am

As a Universal Pictures buff I supported the Kickstarter project for the book about the film, and it didn't disappoint. After reading it I watched my old AMC videotape, realizing that the poor quality was not a fair representation of the film. Yes, it had inventive staging, set design, and based on the Youtube restoration clip, spectacular color. But what of its overall entertainment value? I thought much of the film wasn't very good. Having said that, I'd probably still buy a blu-ray if issued, unless the film turns up on TCM first.
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vitaphone

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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostThu Oct 19, 2017 11:11 am

David Alp --- Will do! There had also been a posting I think by Pordenone of the Happy Feet sequence.
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Thad Komorowski

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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostThu Oct 19, 2017 12:00 pm

ClayKing wrote:As a Universal Pictures buff I supported the Kickstarter project for the book about the film, and it didn't disappoint. After reading it I watched my old AMC videotape, realizing that the poor quality was not a fair representation of the film. Yes, it had inventive staging, set design, and based on the Youtube restoration clip, spectacular color. But what of its overall entertainment value? I thought much of the film wasn't very good. Having said that, I'd probably still buy a blu-ray if issued, unless the film turns up on TCM first.


It is what it is and has its place in history for a reason, since it set the stage for Hollywood musicals that followed. But it definitely is a product of a certain mindset and aesthetic that may not be universally (hah) accessible.
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IA

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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostThu Oct 19, 2017 12:55 pm

ClayKing wrote:After reading it I watched my old AMC videotape, realizing that the poor quality was not a fair representation of the film. Yes, it had inventive staging, set design, and based on the Youtube restoration clip, spectacular color. But what of its overall entertainment value? I thought much of the film wasn't very good. Having said that, I'd probably still buy a blu-ray if issued, unless the film turns up on TCM first.


There are some films that don't come alive if their presentation isn't optimal. I've only seen The King of Jazz on the big-screen and can barely imagine how dead it would feel on an old VHS tape. Speaking as someone who has no great interest in 30s music, and who was primarily drawn in by the Lantz animation, I thought the film was a triumph, thanks to the inventive staging, set design, and spectacular color--all the elements served least well on VHS, elements that make even the segments with less interesting music interesting to watch (not that there were many--I found most of the music fun and pleasant).
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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostThu Oct 19, 2017 1:24 pm

IA wrote:
ClayKing wrote:After reading it I watched my old AMC videotape, realizing that the poor quality was not a fair representation of the film. Yes, it had inventive staging, set design, and based on the Youtube restoration clip, spectacular color. But what of its overall entertainment value? I thought much of the film wasn't very good. Having said that, I'd probably still buy a blu-ray if issued, unless the film turns up on TCM first.


There are some films that don't come alive if their presentation isn't optimal. I've only seen The King of Jazz on the big-screen and can barely imagine how dead it would feel on an old VHS tape. Speaking as someone who has no great interest in 30s music, and who was primarily drawn in by the Lantz animation, I thought the film was a triumph, thanks to the inventive staging, set design, and spectacular color--all the elements served least well on VHS, elements that make even the segments with less interesting music interesting to watch (not that there were many--I found most of the music fun and pleasant).


I love the old movie revues of the early talkie era, especially for the music and despite the creaky skits. I'd buy King of Jazz in an instant if it came out on DVD (not Blue-ray since I don't have a player).
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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostThu Oct 19, 2017 3:14 pm

Some company ought to do a box set comprising
Hollywood Revue of 1929
Paramount on Parade
Fox Movietone Follies(soundtrack only alas)
The Show of Shows
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David Alp

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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostThu Oct 19, 2017 5:13 pm

ClayKing wrote:I'd probably still buy a blu-ray if issued, unless the film turns up on TCM first.


It won't be on TCM because it is a Universal Pictures film.
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Danny Burk

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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostThu Oct 19, 2017 5:23 pm

TCM runs quite a few Universal (and Universal-owned) films.
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Re: KING OF JAZZ on DVD or BluRay

PostThu Oct 19, 2017 5:24 pm

I believe Turner has licensed Universals on occasion?
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