When Are You Coming to DVD?!by jzappa | created - 16 Jun 2011 | updated - 16 Jun 2011 | Public
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1. A Letter to Elia (2010)
Not Rated | 60 min | Documentary
A documentary on the late Elia Kazan.
Not all of us can just up and buy a whole hundred-dollar box set just to see a documentary that follows the life and career of film director Elia Kazan and how he influenced you, Marty!
2. Comandante (2003)
Not Rated | 99 min | Documentary
Documentary on the director's meeting with Castro.
Oooohhh, socialism…So dangerous we can’t even hear the guy talk.
3. The Addiction (1995)
Not Rated | 82 min | Horror
A New York philosophy grad student turns into a vampire after getting bitten by one, and then tries to come to terms with her new lifestyle and frequent craving for human blood.
Votes: 8,557 | Gross: $0.30M
Nominated for Best Film at the Berlin Film Festival, nominated for 2 Independent Spirit Awards, but I can’t see it, because it’s not even on DVD.
4. The Burning Season: The Chico Mendes Story (1994 TV Movie)
R | 123 min | Biography, Drama
Based on the true story of a Brazilian rubber tapper who leads his people in protest against government and developers, who want to cut down their part of the rainforest for a new road and ... See full summary »
Maybe in a time when anti-union, a movie about a martyred union activist is not in high demand. Even though it won 2 Emmys, 3 Golden Globes and a SAG award.
5. Cousin Bobby (1992)
Not Rated | 70 min | Documentary, Biography
A documentary about Director Jonathan Demme's cousin, an Episcopalian minister in Harlem.
A documentary on the director’s cousin doesn’t exactly jump at distributors, granted, but when that director is Jonathan Demme, not releasing a DVD is letting a great modern filmmaker’s flexography fade away.
6. High Heels (1991)
R | 112 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A girl's mother returns after 15 years to find her daughter has married one of her (the mother's) old boyfriends. They try to mend their broken mother/daughter relationship and deal with ... See full summary »
Votes: 13,213 | Gross: $1.71M
Almodovar’s early work has been released on DVD in region 2, but is not available on DVD in America.
7. Whore (1991)
NC-17 | 85 min | Drama
The prostitute Liz works on the streets of Los Angeles. She recalls her life in flashback, when she marries an alcoholic man. She leaves him with their son. Then she works as waitress in a ... See full summary »
Votes: 3,365 | Gross: $1.01M
What a shock, branded with an NC-17 rating for its sexual content. The MPAA and theater chains also refused to release posters or advertise a film called "Whore", so for this purpose the film was re-titled "If You Can't Say It, Just See It". Russell protested his film being given such a rating when Pretty Woman got an R, on the grounds that his film showed the real hardships of being a prostitute, and the other glorified it. Needless to say Pretty Woman totally eclipsed it, permanently it seems.
8. The Voice of the Moon (1990)
Not Rated | 120 min | Comedy, Drama
The amusing and entertaining adventures of a recently released mental patient and his band of misfits, discover conspiracies to concur while looking for love.
Due in some measure to an uncompromising European optic and a refusal to entertain for its own sake, maestro Fellini’s last film became his first never to find a North American distributor.
NC-17 | 124 min | Crime, Drama
The wife of an abusive criminal finds solace in the arms of a kind regular guest in her husband's restaurant.
Votes: 33,563 | Gross: $7.72M
On VHS in the 1990s, there was both the original version and the heavily cut R-rated version. On DVD there’s NOTHING.
10. Angelo My Love (1983)
R | 115 min | Drama
Step into the world of gypsy life. Come meet Angelo and his family. See the gypsy court system. A gypsy wedding where a boy's family pays for his wife. Come see the gypsy lifestyle, how they live, how they love family.
Duvall spent five years on the film and many of the cast, including Angelo, did not read English. San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles commercial screenings were documented, with a Cinemax cable presentation in 1985. That’s about it.
11. Hanna K. (1983)
R | 111 min | Drama
An Israeli lawyer is defending a Palestinian charged by The Military Court System in the Israeli-Occupied Territories. It's a tough case because of a strong political background.
Votes: 608 | Gross: $0.11M
Played for a short time in several American cities to practically unanimous negative reviews, where it was reviewed at all, then suddenly yanked from distribution by Universal. One of them commented unofficially that while it couldn’t be confirmed that the film was eradicated due to political pressure, distributors got that it was intolerable to supporters of Israel. Costa-Gavras himself personally promoted the film in the New York Times at a cost of $50,000 after Universal declined to. They even banned him the use of advertisements.
12. The Challenge (1982)
R | 108 min | Action, Drama
A down-and-out American boxer becomes involved in a feud between two Japanese brothers.
Votes: 1,854 | Gross: $3.53M
A re-edited version of the film called Sword of the Ninja was created for television, probably making it terrible, but no DVD!
13. Labyrinth of Passion (1982)
Not Rated | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A camp melodrama/comedy about Sexilia (a nymphomaniac), Sadec (a gay Islamic terrorist), Riza Niro (the son of the emperor of Tiran), and Queti (the daughter of a dry-cleaner). When Riza ... See full summary »
Like Almodovar’s High Heels, it’s available in Region 2 but not here.
14. Buddy Buddy (1981)
R | 96 min | Comedy
During a high profile Mafia testimony case in California's Riverside County, a hired killer checks-in a hotel room near the courthouse while his next door depressed neighbor wants to commit suicide due to marital problems.
Votes: 4,216 | Gross: $7.26M
"It hurts to strike out on your last picture," said Billy Wilder about this forgotten Jack Lemmon-Walter Matthau vehicle.
15. The Decline of Western Civilization (1981)
Not Rated | 100 min | Documentary, History, Music
A look into the Los Angeles punk rock scene, that was largely ignored by the rock music press of the time.
LAPD Chief Daryl Gates wrote a letter demanding the film not be shown again in L.A. Spheeris herself claimed to have shoplifted a VHS copy of her film from a Walmart as a paean to the spirit of it.
16. HealtH (1980)
PG | 105 min | Comedy
A parody and satire of the U.S. political scene of the time, HealtH is set at a health food convention at a Florida luxury hotel, where a powerful political organization is deciding on a new president.
This ensemble comedy was made by Lion’s Gate, which was actually Robert Altman's company. It was his last film for 20th Century Fox, which, being Fox, shelved it for over two years. Still, it showed at festivals and ran in L.A. briefly. It was broadcast on TV over the years…but has never been issued on DVD…or even home video.
17. Pepi, Luci, Bom and Other Girls Like Mom (1980)
Not Rated | 82 min | Comedy
Pepi is raped by the policeman who catches her growing marijuana in her apartment. She seeks revenge by getting his masochist wife to leave him.
Again, Almodovar available in Region 2. The U.K even issued it as part of a collection. But the film has not been released on DVD in America.
18. Every Man for Himself (1980)
Not Rated | 87 min | Drama
An examination of sexual relationships, in which three protagonists interact in different combinations.
Region 2, no Region 1.
19. The Human Factor (1979)
R | 115 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller
When a leak of information in the African section of British Intelligence is discovered, security man Daintry is brought in to investigate.
The final film the great Otto Preminger helmed in his 50-year career, finance was such a plague on the project the editor even held the print hostage.
20. Saint Jack (1979)
R | 112 min | Drama
Jack Flowers, an American hustler in early 1970s Singapore, dreams of building a fortune by running a brothel and returning to the States to lead a life of luxury.
"Saint Jack and They All Laughed were two of my best films,” said Peter Bogdanovich, “but never received the kind of distribution they should have," the film having been banned in the place where it was shot in the first place.
21. Fedora (1978)
PG | 114 min | Drama, Romance
Down-on-his-luck Hollywood producer Barry 'Dutch' Detweiler attempts to lure Fedora, a famous but reclusive film actress, out of retirement.
Votes: 3,586 | Gross: $2.20M
It had its world premiere at Cannes in 1978 as part of a retrospective of Wilder's work. After that, it was released in only a handful of select American and European theaters with little flourish, inducing an offended Wilder to declare that the studio spent about six hundred bucks on marketing.
22. Renaldo and Clara (1978)
R | 235 min | Drama
Bob Dylan on tour with the Rolling Thunder Revue in 1975; concert footage, documentary interviews and bizarre improvised character scenes.
After allegedly a single showings of the original 232-minute version on European television, Dylan withdrew the film from distribution. Copies, made from recordings of that very TV broadcast, circulate among collectors, but the only parts of the movie to be released for consumers are the excerpts found on the bonus DVD of one of Dylan’s live albums.
23. Slow Dancing in the Big City (1978)
PG | 110 min | Drama, Musical, Romance
An aging out of shape reporter falls for a pretty but seriously ill ballerina.
Votes: 174 | Gross: $1.58M
Oddly, the first film made by John G. Avildsen after he won Best Director for Rocky is unavailable and nobody’s ever even heard of it.
24. Backroads (1977)
60 min | Crime, Drama
A black and white lowlife duo drives around Australia's Outback in a stolen vehicle and finds trouble after trouble.
Opened commercially in only one cinema at the time. You would think the debut film of the director of some of the most seen action thrillers of the past twenty years would get at least a bare-bones DVD release.
25. The Domino Principle (1977)
R | 100 min | Drama, Thriller
A Vietnam War veteran, imprisoned for murder, is offered his freedom if he accepts to undertake a contract killing for a shady organization.
Kramer’s first stab at a thriller opened to negative reviews and lasted only two to three weeks in theaters.
26. The Travelling Players (1975)
230 min | Drama, History, Music
Greece, 1939-1952: Fascist, Nazi, and Communist conflict, as seen through the eyes of a family of travelling provincial players.
Response to this epic film was tremendously affirmative. It was immediately pronounced one of the greatest films of all time and won copious awards. Regardless, the conservative Greek government prevented it from showing at Cannes, and has yet to find a Region 1 DVD release.
27. W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings (1975)
PG | 91 min | Comedy
W. Bright (Burt Reynolds) is a robber with a heart of gold who travels the South knocking off banks and gas stations owned by a corrupt businessman. When he hijacks a car, he meets an aspiring country band, the Dixie Dancekings, led by Dixie (Conny Van Dyke). The two sides eventually take a liking to one another, especially after the Dancekings realize the size of Bright's thefts. Trailed by ... See full summary »
Votes: 841 | Gross: $17.44M
Another Avildsen film that has not been released on DVD or any other home video set-up. The rationale remains uncertain.
28. The Five Days (1973)
122 min | Comedy, Drama, History
In the chaos of the final days of the Italian revolution a thief and a baker hook up and travel the streets of Milan witnessing the historic events, which quickly take a dark turn.
Argento’s first box office flop in Italy.
29. Child's Play (1972)
PG | 100 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
At an exclusive boys' school, a new gym teacher is drawn into a feud between two older instructors, and he discovers that everything at the school is not quite as staid, tranquil and harmless as it seems.
Votes: 913 | Gross: $0.13M
Presumably enough because of a much more popular 1988 film that copped the same name, this dramatic thriller, yet another buried Sidney Lumet film, has never been available on home video in the United States in any format.
30. Young Winston (1972)
PG | 124 min | Biography, Drama, War
Complex family relationships, as well as a combat experience, form the personality of the future world-known politician.
Votes: 2,079 | Gross: $4.69M
The full uncensored version of the film is currently unavailable on DVD.
31. Out 1 (1971)
Not Rated | 729 min | Drama, Mystery
Following the May 1968 civil unrest in France, a deaf-mute and a con artist simultaneously stumble upon the remnants of a secret society.
Votes: 1,075 | Gross: $0.03M
First shown as a work in progress in France, few people have seen the full-length version, restored in Germany in 1990, retrospectives, yadda yadda, but home entertainment format seems to be intimidated by its 12-hour running time, which financially precluded any serious attempt to shoot the whole film on 35 mm.
R | 108 min | Comedy, Drama
Georgie Soloway, a pop hit love song writer who cannot love, himself, or others. He spends his days with various women flying his plane, and dropping in to the world around him.
Votes: 809 | Gross: $0.23M
Although the film has been released on videotape, this young Dustin Hoffman vehicle has not been released on DVD and is not carried by any major film rental service.
33. All These Women (1964)
Not Rated | 80 min | Comedy
A critic blackmails a famous musician with his biography filled with the revelations of many of his women.
One of the few comedy films ever made by Bergman and his first film to be shot in color, you would think Criterion would perpetuate its love fest with him by cranking this one out.
34. The Cool World (1963)
105 min | Crime, Drama
A look at the horrors of Harlem ghetto slum life filled with drugs, violence, human misery, and a sense of despair due to the racial prejudices of American society.
Selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, but not selected for showing people by making it available.
35. Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954)
Not Rated | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Fed up with the inhumane prison living conditions, a general prison riot breaks out, leading to hostage-taking, a stand-off with the guards and eventual negotiations with the prison administration officials.
Initially banned. Might have something to do with its circulation issues.
36. Phantom Lady (1944)
Not Rated | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
A devoted secretary risks her life to try to find the elusive woman who may prove her boss didn't murder his selfish wife.
For such an influential installment in film noir by one of the original Expressionist Hollywood émigré to spawn it, it’s particularly odd that the closest you can get to it on DVD seems to be an episode of CSI where there’s a scene at a movie house.
37. The Murderer Lives at Number 21 (1942)
Not Rated | 84 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery
Inspector Wens moves into a Paris boarding house to catch a serial killer.
Inglourious Basterds should have kick-started a new Clouzot distribution campaign but evidently not. Go figure.
38. Nazi Agent (1942)
83 min | Crime, Drama
A story of German-born identical twins (both played by Veidt), one a loyal American and the other, a Nazi official.
The earliest and latest sections of Dassin’s flexography are not circulated nearly as much as they should in the post-DVD age.
39. The Spy in Black (1939)
77 min | Thriller, War
A German submarine is sent to the Orkney Isles in 1917 to sink the British fleet.
This looks like a job for Criterion!
40. You and Me (1938)
Approved | 94 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Romance
An altruistic department-store owner hires ex-convicts in order to give them a second chance at life. Unfortunately, one of the convicts he hires recruits two of his fellow ex-convicts in a plan to rob the store.
Maybe if Paramount hadn’t sold it for TV, it could’ve put it out by now.
41. Craig's Wife (1936)
Passed | 73 min | Drama
A domineering woman marries a wealthy man for his money, and then uses her position to further her own ambitions for money and power.
Scorsese’s probably got a print in his attic.
42. Honor Among Lovers (1931)
75 min | Drama, Romance
Jerry Stafford, a businessman, is in love with his secretary but she deserts him for another man. When she realizes her mistake, she goes back to him. Doris Brown is her girlfriend who is in love with a man named Monty Dunn.
One day we will be a post-feminist society and we’ll want to see the work of American cinema’s first studio-era female director, and Universal will have to release its stranglehold.