Raintree Country-- restoration?

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Dejael

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Raintree Country-- restoration?

PostTue Apr 18, 2017 10:50 pm

I know this is off topic, but does anyone know why Warner Archive-WB Studios is not releasing the classic MGM movie RAINTREE COUNTY (1957) starring Elizabeth Taylor, on USA DVD or Blu-Ray? It was the first movie filmed in MGM's then-new Camera 65 film process, of which BEN-HUR (1959) was the second film in that process. I suppose it is in need of a long-awaited restoration also.
And I know it's too new of a movie to be discussed on this pre-1950 site.
If you can direct me to a site where this subject is discussed, I would love to know. Thanks.
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Danny Burk

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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostWed Apr 19, 2017 7:45 am

Dejael wrote:I know this is off topic, but does anyone know why Warner Archive-WB Studios is not releasing the classic MGM movie RAINTREE COUNTY (1957) starring Elizabeth Taylor, on USA DVD or Blu-Ray? It was the first movie filmed in MGM's then-new Camera 65 film process, of which BEN-HUR (1959) was the second film in that process. I suppose it is in need of a long-awaited restoration also.
And I know it's too new of a movie to be discussed on this pre-1950 site.
If you can direct me to a site where this subject is discussed, I would love to know. Thanks.

It's been mentioned on HFT and Warners' Facebook page, but I don't have a link. In short, they've said that it's badly in need of expensive restoration; expensive to the point that they wouldn't be able to recoup costs from sales, so they have no present plans to work on it.
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Dejael

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Re: LONG AWAITED "KING OF JAZZ" RESTORATION BEGINS IN 2012

PostWed Apr 19, 2017 12:37 pm

Thank you, Mr. Burk. I was afraid of that. Perhaps a consortium can put together a restoration package that will work for all parties on that, like they have done for other films. Maybe Criterion can get involved. Thanks again!
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2 Reel

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Re: Raintree Country-- restoration?

PostWed May 31, 2017 8:00 pm

It's a talkie, so why not discuss it here? We watched it a few weeks ago for the first time. I liked the acting, and the production values were excellent, but am sorry to report that the movie begins in tedium and ended, 168 leaden minutes later, leaving me exhausted and in a bored stupor. The first three reels are little more than monotonous chatter, establishing nothing other than the premise that there is, somewhere, a mythical "raintree." The story only picks up (briefly) in much later scenes where Taylor's character is in a mental institution, a forerunner of some elements of Suddenly, Last Summer. The ending, with her running off into the swamps to die, seemed ridiculous. These misguided tropes should have been tagged in early script discussion and repaired. The story they used did not justify the mind-numbing length.
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Mike Gebert

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Re: Raintree Country-- restoration?

PostWed May 31, 2017 8:17 pm

The off-topicness was a reference to another thread this discussion originally began in and was moved from, fwiw.
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Re: Raintree Country-- restoration?

PostThu Jun 01, 2017 5:12 am

I first saw this on CBS primetime back in the early 70's. I've always liked it. Taylor's performance was wonderful. Poor Monty had his awful car wreck during production and his face changes radically over the course of the picture. Best of all is Johnny Green's wonderful musical score including the main title sung by Nat "King" Cole. I still have the MGM/UA video cassette release which is the road show version with all the program music.
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Javier

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Re: Raintree Country-- restoration?

PostThu Jun 01, 2017 3:19 pm

I am happy with the VHS release from MGM and it looks/sounds fine to me.
It cannot be that bad for it not to be released on DVD. That is one title I do look forward to upgrade.

Years ago I read somewhere (cannot recall the source) that Forever Amber, just like Raintree County was not likely to see the light of day because it needed some restoration. My VHS copy was fine and then out of the blues it is out on DVD.

It could be that MGM or whoever owns the rights, outright does not care to release it on disc.
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s.w.a.c.

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Re: Raintree Country-- restoration?

PostWed Jun 07, 2017 8:45 am

There's always laserdisc...

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Re: Raintree Country-- restoration?

PostThu Jun 08, 2017 4:13 pm

2 Reel wrote:It's a talkie, so why not discuss it here? We watched it a few weeks ago for the first time. I liked the acting, and the production values were excellent, but am sorry to report that the movie begins in tedium and ended, 168 leaden minutes later, leaving me exhausted and in a bored stupor. The first three reels are little more than monotonous chatter, establishing nothing other than the premise that there is, somewhere, a mythical "raintree." The story only picks up (briefly) in much later scenes where Taylor's character is in a mental institution, a forerunner of some elements of Suddenly, Last Summer. The ending, with her running off into the swamps to die, seemed ridiculous. These misguided tropes should have been tagged in early script discussion and repaired. The story they used did not justify the mind-numbing length.


It has been a long time since I read the novel, which I must try gain, but is very lengthy, and non-linear in structure- most of the book is composed of lengthy flashbacks and there is a chart to help you keep the chronology straight. It might be suited to something like a series, but to make it filmable they slashed it to the bone- and then had to fill in the narrative around that.
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