All but buried on Deadline is Pete Hammond‘s 7.10 story about the thirteen classic films being restored by Universal to honor its 100th anniversary, and slated for Bluray release between now and the end of the year. Hooray for Universal and shame on those studios who’ve failed to honor their classic films in a similar fashion. Like Paramount, for example, which as far as I know is still refusing to create a Bluray for George Stevens‘ Shane. Dilletantes!
The other Universal films getting the full restoration and Bluray treatment are both 1931 versions of Dracula (English and Spanish-language), Frankenstein (1931), The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Abbott and Costello’s Buck Privates (1941), Pillow Talk (1959), The Birds (1963), The Sting (1973), Jaws (1975), and Out of Africa (1985).
The restoration process for each film took up to six months and cost anywhere from $250,000 to $600,000 a title. Plans are being drawn up to tour the films as well, and the blueprint is to accelerate restorations in the future.
“I would like all of our films to be restored,” Universal honcho Ron Meyer told Hammond. “And hopefully as the years go on more and more of them will be done. I think we need to do more film restoration. All of us need to do it.”
Are you listening, Brad Grey? The ghost of George Stevens is hovering above Paramount as we speak, flipping the bird at you and your Paramount Home Video vision-free underlings.
Here’s the URL for Universal’s 100th anniversary website.