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 Post subject: Nicholas Ray on DVD
PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:22 am 
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Since it is my opinion that there can never be too much talk about Nicholas Ray, I thought I would open a dedicated thread. If for no other reason, at least this will offer a place to have his filmography and its DVD availability on hand.

The following filmography is taken from Geoff Andrew's book on Ray in the Letts Filmmakers series. (The list does not include such titles as Macao and The Racket, which Ray worked on without credit):


Sorry Wrong Number (1945, TV episode)

They Live By Night (1948) -- This title will be included in the forthcoming Film Noir, Vol. 4 from Warner Bros. However, for anyone unwilling to wait, the film is already available in a nice special edition from the French label Editions Montparnasse

A Woman's Secret (1949) -- In France, as part of the RKO collection from Editions Montparnasse

Knock On Any Door (1949) -- Released in Japan, as part of a Humphrey Bogart collection (detailed review at Beaver)

Born To Be Bad (1950)

In A Lonely Place (1950) -- A fine restoration of the film is available from Columbia in both R1 and R2

On Dangerous Ground (1951) -- Included in Warner's Film Noir, Vol. 3

Flying Leathernecks (1951)

The Lusty Men (1952)

The High Green Wall (1954, TV episode)

Johnny Guitar (1954) -- Universal released an edition in UK, but it is not great. The edition available in Germany is allegedly an improvement

Run For Cover (1955)

Rebel Without A Cause (1955)

Hot Blood (1956) -- Released in France by Columbia

Bigger Than Life (1956) -- A reasonably good edition (Derrière le miroir) is available from Carlotta in France. However, a release has long been rumored to be imminent from BFI

The True Story Of Jesse James (1957) -- Available from Fox in R1

Bitter Victory (1957) -- Available from Columbia

Wind Across The Everglades (1958)

Party Girl (1958) -- Warner Brothers released this (Traquenard) in France a couple of years back. The colors may not be absolutely perfect, but I am still cotent with this edition (until something more exciting comes along, of course)

The Savage Innocents (1960) -- Masters of Cinema gave the world a beautiful DVD of this, but it is now sadly taken off the market.

King Of Kings (1961)

55 Days At Peking (1963) -- Several editions available internationally. DVDBeaver has promoted the Japanese release heavily. (If anyone owns and can support Beaver in the praise, I would personally be interested to know)

We Can't Go Home Again – A Film By Us (1973-1976, uncompleted)

Marco (1978, short)

Lightning Over Water (Nick's Film) (1980-1981, co-directed with Wim Wenders) -- The Anchor Bay DVD is lightning compared to my old Laserdisc of this film. Incidentally, for anyone anxiously awaiting a release of The Lusty Men, this film includes a lengthy excerpt.



Titles in red are available on DVD. Rather than link to a long list of reviews, an index of reviews (with links) can be found [url=http://www.dvd-basen.dk/uk/home.php3?search=Nicholas+Ray&mvis=ok&region=%&land=%&ok2=go&director=ok]here[/url] at DVD-basen. Most, if not all, available titles are reviewed with screen captures by DVDbeaver.

Both Born To Be Bad and The Lusty Men were available on LD. The Lusty Men is a very reasonable presentation of the film. Born To Be Bad is also OK (as far as I remember).


Last edited by Scharphedin2 on Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:09 am 
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There are Spanish editions of several of these films. Of these, I have only seen Bigger than Life and A Woman's Secret. Bigger than Life looks identical to the French Carlotta release with the same slightly squashed aspect ratio (sampled by David Hare on this page), but with a choice of English or Spanish subtitles. A Woman's Secret is quite soft and grainy but still very watchable (the yellow Spanish subs are removable):

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:25 am 
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Thanks for the lovely still Kinsayder. This looks fine to my eyes... do you have any idea how it compares to the quality of the Editions Montparnasse edition (am placing a French order incl. this title tomorrow, so anxious to know if I should go for the Spanish edition instead)?

EDIT: Just looked at the link to DVDgo, and that is a pretty impressive line-up of Ray titles that they have available in Spain! It looks like they just released Johnny Guitar -- I wonder if it is better looking than the existing editions? And, the Samuel Bronston box (incl. El Cid, 55 Days at Peking, Circus World, King of Kings and Fall of the Roman Empire) for €24!! That is insane. Apparently this was only just released, and I can't help wondering if the transfers are up to par with the Japanese editions of these films? Anyone know?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:41 am 
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I haven't seen the Montparnasse A Woman's Secret, but I wasn't very impressed with their On Dangerous Ground (nor was DVD Beaver). I ought to add that the subs on the Spanish A Woman's Secret may not be removable on all players, as there's no menu option to do it. They can be removed by ripping, of course.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 4:40 am 
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Hot Blood has been released by Columbia Pictures in France as L'Ardente gitane. Only... don't tell anyone, because I think they are kind of shy about it, so they did everything they could to disguise it as an RKO picture.

This is one of those "holy grail" films for me. It sounds absolutely gorgeous and wild! The story is about gypsies, and continues Ray's interest in outsiders and other (sub)cultures. It stars Cornel Wilde and Jane Russell, and although the cover would make you think that this is a small B&W picture, it was in fact shot in CinemaScope and Technicolor. I hope, I hope, I hope that the disc manages to come close to reproducing the glory, because Ray was obviously one of the real masters of color and the wide screen.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 9:31 am 
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Scharphedin2 wrote:
I hope, I hope, I hope that the disc manages to come close to reproducing the glory, because Ray was obviously one of the real masters of color and the wide screen.

I saw a gorgeous 35mm print of this about ten years ago, so the elements are in good shape.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 6:57 pm 
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Here is a French review of Hot Blood from the DVDRama webzine. The screen captures would seem to indicate that the image quality is about par with other Ray scope-color (Bigger Than Life and Party Girl) films that have been released in France.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:50 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 1:11 am
Location: Netherlands
Hot Blood is coming to DVD in the UK!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 9:06 am 
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Wind Across The Everglades is available as a boot here. I haven't seen it or used the seller, so caveat emptor and all that.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 9:27 am 
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Born To Be Bad has been announced for release in Spain on March 21st.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 5:32 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:04 am
Huh? Why has the MoC Savage Innocents been taken off the market?! I was wanting to get around to this eventually, having the Spanish disc, but the MoC looks far superior and contains extra footage... agh...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:38 am 
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Nothing wrote:
Huh? Why has the MoC Savage Innocents been taken off the market?! I was wanting to get around to this eventually, having the Spanish disc, but the MoC looks far superior and contains extra footage... agh...

A rights dispute - it was cheaper to take it off the market than risk a possibly ruinous lawsuit.

It's a real shame, as the replacement edition is apparently jaw-droppingly bad (pan-and-scan for starters).

That said, there are still a few copies of the MoC floating around - I picked one up myself in a bookshop in London not that long ago.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:42 pm 
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The Columbia R2 Japan disc of Ray's Knock On Any Door is going to be available seperately from the rest of the box on April 4th (for about $24... much better than paying $140 or $150 for the set.) Here's the DVDBeaver review of the disc.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 9:51 pm 
Take a chance you stupid ho
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It's probably been reported elsewhere, but Bigger Than Life from the BFI has a listing up at Bensons for a July 30 release.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 10:44 pm 
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Great thread! Thanks to Scharphedin and others for this info.

It's crazy that Johnny Guitar is still so damn hard to get a hold of. Who can we petition to get some R1 Nick Ray love?

Incidentally, I'd avoid "Lightning Over Water," even (or perhaps especially) if you're a hardcore Nick Ray fan. At risk of offending Wim Wenders fans (and I do like some of his work -- Tokyo-Ga, for instance): it's one of the worst films I've ever seen. It's like five different kinds of terrible movie (cancer tearjerker; film-school wallclimber; facile po-mo wankfest; 80s music video; snuff film) mashed into one improbable monstrosity. (Even the 30-minute university lecture included as an extra on the DVD is unwatchable.)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 11:03 pm 
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In a Lonely Place is a masterpiece that deserves a first-class DVD treatment. Are there plans of that happening?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 11:10 pm 
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malcolm1980 wrote:
In a Lonely Place is a masterpiece that deserves a first-class DVD treatment. Are there plans of that happening?

The R1 is pretty darn good. It's one of my favorite films and even I wouldn't complain about the existing edition.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:05 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 08, 2005 11:22 pm
devlinnn wrote:
It's probably been reported elsewhere, but Bigger Than Life from the BFI has a listing up at Bensons for a July 30 release.

oh man, amazing news! thank you!!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:14 pm 
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ADDENDUM: I think In a Lonely Place features Humphrey Bogart's career best performance.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 8:46 pm 
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Agreed about In a Lonely Place. That's my favorite of the Nick Ray movies I've seen (though there are obviously quite a few I haven't been able to get my hands on).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 3:35 pm 
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Scharphedin2, you can colour Born to Be Bad red, which has been released by Manga Films in Spain. Can be bought for €7,49 at dvdgo or $14,95 at Xploited Cinema.

Does anyone know how the quality is on this edition? And if anyone has seen the movie, I'd love to hear some comments!


Last edited by Ornette on Fri Aug 10, 2007 6:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 3:47 pm 
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Ornette wrote:
And if anyone has seen the movie, I'd love to hear some comments!

It's "woman gone bad" melodrama, but still pretty good, especially if you like Joan Fontaine.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 3:54 pm 
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souvenir wrote:
...especially if you like Joan Fontaine.

Which is the reason next to Ray that makes me want to see it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 6:11 pm 
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A sample from the Spanish Born to Be Bad. Image quality is soft and VHS-like throughout, no better than the other Spanish Rays I've seen:

Image


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2007 6:56 pm 
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Thanks a lot Kinsayder! Seems servicable enough (didn't really expect more) -- at least I get to see it.


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