Films, TV shows, etc. on laserdisc, but *not* on DVD or Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Michelle66, Mar 3, 2011.

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  1. Michelle66

    Michelle66 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    They're big, they're bulky, and many look quite bad when compared to DVD and blu-ray, but a lot of films and TV shows that were released on laserdisc have never seen any sort of release on the newer digital formats.

    So, which LD are still the only way to enjoy certain films/TV shows? (Or which titles either look or sound better on LD?)

    Here are some I have no plans to part with:

    The Monkees - 10 disc (40 episode) bilingual set released in Japan by Vap. - This set features the syndicated prints of the show. For better or for worse, these are the ones I grew up with on UHF after school. A few episodes have the rerun/Saturday morning soundtracks with songs not on the DVD set. The color balance is more saturated and "warm" than the DVDs (again, something I prefer).

    It Came From Hollywood - pre-MST3K bad-film nonsense with Cheech & Chong, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, and John Candy. Getting all of its film clips cleared for DVD release proved to be too much and the DVD got cancelled.

    Queen's Greatest Flix - A compilation of music videos, but with their proper aspect ratios (not in fake widescreen like the DVD).

    Let It Be - Still the best place to get the only official release on home video.

    Yellow Submarine (80's release) - The US print. Minus "Hey Bulldog", but includes material not seen on the now out-of-print DVD.

    The Little Rascals - Cabin Fever boxed sets Vols 1-4 - Unlike the DVD set from a couple of years ago that used Blackhawk 16mm prints for a few films, the LD sets have 35mm prints with all of the original title cards. Still the best way to see Hal Roach's Our Gang films as they were shown in the 30's.

    The Best of Warner Brothers Animation Vols 1 & 2 - Two Japan-only boxed sets with many classic Merrie Melodies & Looney Tunes that never saw release on the Golden Collection DVDs.

    Dr. Duck's Super Secret All-Purpose Sauce - 90-minute compilation of skits and music from Mike Nesmith's Television Parts series. The very first place I ever saw Jerry Seinfeld, Gary Shandling, and others.

    The Compleat Tex Avery - Every one of his MGM cartoons. (Although I've read that one or two were edited a bit for racial content.)

    The Golden Age of Looney Tunes Vols 1 - 5 - Still the only place to get a bunch of classic WB cartoons.

    Prince - The Sacrifice of Victor & The Undertaker - Two longform videos from the early-mid 90's.

    The Rolling Stones - Voodoo Lounge in Japan - A Japanese concert from the Voodoo Lounge tour.

    Which ones can you add to the list?
  2. Atari265278

    Atari265278 Forum Resident

    I'd love to see this on DVD or BD!:agree:
  3. Atari265278

    Atari265278 Forum Resident

    Sorcerer in widescreen!
    chumlie likes this.
  4. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits, Abbie & Mitzi: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    This is gonna be a long thread! :)
  5. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery picture member

    SORCERER had a widecreen Laserdisc? I have a pan'n'scan that looks the same as the DVD.

    To the thread I'll add:

    COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT in widescreen. The DVD is pan'n'scan.

    HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS and NIGHT OF DARK SHADOWS both were released in LaserDisc, but never on DVD.

    The Burt Bacharach musical version of LOST HORIZON had a deluxe Pioneer widescreen LaserDisc, but nothing on DVD.

    Disney's SONG OF THE SOUTH had release on Japanese LaserDisc (and Hong Kong, too), but has never seen a release on DVD anywhere in the world.

  6. Michelle66

    Michelle66 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I sure hope so! :)

    Can't believe I forgot about that one - considering a copy is sitting in a cabinet with my other animation discs.

    A couple of others:

    I've read that a boxed special edition of It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World is also the most-complete version currently available.

    Also, the Criterion LD of This Is Spinal Tap is the only place you can find their very first appearance - performing a song called "Rock & Roll Nightmare".
  7. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits, Abbie & Mitzi: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    It's not on the Criterion DVD as well?
  8. Michelle66

    Michelle66 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I'm pretty sure it was left off due to time constraints.

    Everything else is there, however.
  9. Michelle66

    Michelle66 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Going through a box of old LDs tonight found some more not on DVD:

    The Beatles - Concert at Budokan - the "dark suits" show from 6/30/66. Abysmal performance, but they are still pretty magnetic.

    Davy Jones - Hello Davy - A concert LD from his '81 Japanese tour. (The Monkees got big in Japan in '81 due to Kodak using "Daydream Believer" in a commercial.)

    Stray Cats Rock Tokyo - The second of two shows at Club Citta in Kawasaki (May '90). I was at the first show, so this is a great souvenir for me.

    Speed Racer - Three old LDs with the original Trans-Lux 16mm syndication prints. Pretty much a time capsule of early 70's UHF programing. (The show's out on DVD, but the opening and closing sequences were changed by the current rights holder. I've read that the original version is only on VHS or LD.)

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  10. Derek Gee

    Derek Gee Senior Member

    The Cabin Fever set WAS released on DVD just prior to Cabin Fever going under. Those should look better than the LD release.

  11. The Compleat Beatles
    Beatles Ready Steady Go
    The Rolling Stones 25x5
    The Rolling Stones Video Rewind
    Elvis Presley Lost Performances
  12. Michelle66

    Michelle66 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I have the Cabin Fever set on DVD, but it's not all of the episodes.

    Cabin Fever released 21 VHS tapes. The DVD set, which has 6 discs, contains the episodes found in volumes 1 - 12.

    The content from volumes 13 - 21 was never released by Cabin Fever on DVD, yet those episodes are part of the LD sets.

    Another LD-only release is Paul McCartney's Rockshow. The original US release is pretty rare, but the late-80's Japanese reissue is fairly common (and it has the digital audio option, so it also sounds better than the US version).
  13. mj_patrick

    mj_patrick Forum Resident

    Elkhart, IN, USA
    Jimmy Buffett Live By The Bay only came out on VHS and laserdisc. I have a copy of the LD, the sound is amazing. I'm actually in the process of capturing the video for my own DVD copy.

    Season 2 of Amazing Stories came out on LD (and probably VHS), never arrived on DVD.

    I suppose when AC/DC's Let There Be Rock: The Movie comes out on BluRay I can toss my VHS copy.

    There's a lot of unreleased Pioneer "exclusive" LD music titles.
  14. easyge

    easyge Forum Resident

    Sioux Falls, SD
    Pink Floyd - Delicate Sound Of Thunder
  15. "SORCERER" I don't believe is a pan and scan. Instead, Friedkin after seeing pan and scanned versions of his films shot it in full screen and it was matted for theatrical showings (at least this is what I recall about it).
  16. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    The Kevin Brownloe Thames TV Hollywood series. Apparently there's a bunch of rights problems they've been trying to solve for more than a decade, without success. And there's a bunch of unreleased films like C***sucker Blues that have never seen the light of day, but I guess they're in another category.

    I could bring up the original theatrical releases of the first three Star Wars films, but... :hide:

    Sorcerer was shot spherical (flat) in 1.85 and masked in projection, like most widescreen films. I think some shots were hard-matted, but it was all intended for 1.85, not 4x3. Good film, but very dark. It did come out on DVD in 1998, but I dunno how the transfer was:

  17. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery picture member

    The transfer is grainy and looks cropped to me. Here's a frame as it appears on the DVD and Laserdisc in 4x3, followed immediately by one that further crops it to 16x9. The English subtitles for this French dialog scene are hard coded, not coming from the DVD player itself. So it's obvious to me that THIS print isn't a 4x3 that was cropped in theatres to 16x9. I think this one looks like they took the 16x9 matted portion and further hacked off the sides.
  18. bamaaudio

    bamaaudio Forum Resident

    I don't think the show FAMILY DOG has ever been released on DVD.. or has it?
  19. RicP

    RicP All Digital. All The Time.

    This was released as a French DVD set. Unfortunately, the censored toons are still censored on the DVD set. I have it and all the shorts are in English and look great. Shame about the censorship though.
  20. Benno123

    Benno123 Forum Resident

    Criterion released a 40th Anniversary laserdisc of I Love Lucy in 1991. While all the clips and the two episodes ("Lucy Does A TV Commercial" and "Job Switching") have been released on DVD, there were audio commentaries from Lucy, Desi, and others from interviews and other sources that were not released on DVD. Too bad, some of these "discussions" from the stars and others would have been outstanding extras to include on the ILL releases.
  21. It's possible it was indeed cropped for the DVD just saying how I recall reading Friedkin was shooting his films after being VERY unhappy seeing pan and scanned versions on TV.

    I like the film A LOT. The film has always looked very grainy (an artifact of the time and film stocks used) but the big issue for me is that the print they chose looks pretty shoddy and the film could use a restoration as the DVD looks pretty crappy.

    It could also use a commentary track from Friedkin now that so much time has passed (he was having his usual tantrums but this time in the middle of nowhere). Sadly, we will never get Roy's take on the film in a commentary although I should note he never worked with Friedkin again.
  22. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery picture member

    SORCERER's laserdisc looked just like the DVD, cropped the same way. I still don't know anything about some supposed widescreen Laserdisc mentioned earlier in the thread.

  23. Michelle66

    Michelle66 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thought I'd bump this thread due to the recent interest in LDs here.
  24. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    I once asked a minor Universal executive about this, and was told they felt that laserdisc sales had been bad, so they were reluctant to put it out on DVD. When they finally did, some idiot bureaucrat pulled the wrong master and it went out in pan/scan. They kinda shrugged and said, "whoops," but wouldn't recall the bad disc. Idiots. Guaranteed, there's a perfect HD master of it sitting in the vault.

    This is a really bad movie, but I'm amazed they never released it on DVD. The letterboxed 1990s Digibeta standard-def master tape would actually work for DVD, so it wouldn't need a lot of prep work. The guy in charge of Pioneer Classics put it out on Laserdisc because it was one of his favorite films, and I think he got clobbered since it sold very few copies. Some of his choices did a lot better, like a couple I worked on (including Mysterious Island).
  25. HGN2001

    HGN2001 Mystery picture member

    If the chowderheads at Universal were basing the DVD decision for COLOSSUS: THE FORBIN PROJECT on LaserDisc sales, then I can understand why they were hesitant - on LD it was paired with the title SILENT RUNNING, making for an expensive set if you didn't want both movies.

    I think I'd read that about LOST HORIZON - that it was a favorite of one of the high mucky-mucks. Bad movie or no, it's a guilty pleasure for me. I still remember driving out to LaserLand in Paoli PA to pick it up on release day, and then sitting in my car reading the liner notes while the Amtrak mainline trains whizzed past behind me.

    I've since transferred both COLOSSUS and LOST HORIZON to DVD for my own purposes. Both are OK, but no real substitute for a real DVD transfer.

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