Tuesday, March 24, 2009

An idea that's finally here: DVDs/CDs on-demand of previously out-of-print material.

Here's the link to Warner Brothers' recently announced we'll-make-DVDs-on-demand archive: http://www.wbshop.com/Warner-Archive/ARCHIVE,default,sc.html

The titles range from early MGM talkies such as THE BEAST OF THE CITY to lesser-known films from directors such as John Frankenheimer (ALL FALL DOWN) and Francis Ford Coppola (THE RAIN PEOPLE).

At this point, there are only a small number of choices available; I'd like to see WB dig a bit deeper in its vaults to unearth Howard Zieff's 70's comedies SLITHER and HEARTS OF THE WEST, John Flynn's THE OUTFIT (a Donald Westlake-writing-as-Richard Stark adaptation with a great cast including Robert Duvall, Joe Don Baker, Sheree North and Robert Ryan), Richard Quine's THE MOONSHINE WAR (an Elmore Leonard 30's bootlegging saga with Patrick McGoohan, Richard Widmark and a somewhat-cast-against-type Alan Alda), and--for Roy Orbison completists--Orbison's lone star vehicle, THE FASTEST GUITAR ALIVE.

In the realm of recorded music, Sony is now making some previously out-of-print albums (i.e., Joe Strummer's first solo album EARTHQUAKE WEATHER) available on Amazon.com in either CD-R on demand or download formats as part of their Back From The Vault series: http://www.amazon.com/b/ref=amb_link_7154062_3?ie=UTF8&node=1264123011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=browse&pf_rd_r=0ECHMR595C00RM3MSQ9Y&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=472542131&pf_rd_i=5174

One can only hope that the on-demand services for customers wanting their favorite previously-out-of-print movies or record albums will last at least a few months before the bean-counters get nervous and pull the plug because megaprofits aren't being made.

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