A few weeks ago, I read a Hollywood Elsewhere column lamenting the lack of a DVD for the 1951 film The African Queen. I remember hearing for years that Fox was restoring the film, and now Paramount has the rights and says they're restoring it for an eventual DVD release. This is only one of many movies that, as Variety notes, are considered notable or classic but still haven't made it to DVD. Many studios feel that there's not enough of a market for older films to justify the expense of restoring the films and transferring them to DVD.

Criterion recently started a new label, Eclipse, that will give many movies a DVD release without all the bells and whistles (and price) we usually associate with a Criterion disc. Each month, Eclipse will release a short series of several DVDs by a particular director or on a theme, such as the first series of early Ingmar Bergman films due at the end of March. Warner has been distributing a number of classic films, often in boxed sets, and also has released a number of films via Amazon's download service in advance of a later DVD release.

The Variety article hints that one of Criterion's upcoming releases may be a movie I've never seen because of a lack of DVD: Billy Wilder's Ace in the Hole. I suspect we all have lists of movies we'd love to rent or own on DVD but aren't available -- mine includes the 1939 romantic comedy Midnight, the 1973 cult Western Kid Blue and John Ford's 1935 film The Whole Town's Talking. I know some of these may never see the light of DVD, but I keep hoping. What's on your list?
categories Features, Cinematical