For years, cable outlet Turner Classic Movies has made it a mission to bring not only popular vintage films to television audiences but also presenting lesser-remembered output from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Now, TCM looks to be expanding that second part of that mandate to home video as well.
A few months back the cable outlet quietly introduced their DVD “Vault Collection” in the form of six vintage RKO titles that had been rediscovered and restored. The films – A Man To Remember (1938), Double Harness (1933), Living On Love (1937), One Man’s Journey (1933), Rafter Romance (1933) and Stingaree (1934) – had been out of circulation for nearly 50 years, due to their rights being tied to the estate of producer Marion C. Cooper.
And according to the NY Post’s Movies Blog, they are currently in talks with various studios to bring to DVD older titles that their owners don’t feel will be profitable enough to be worth the trouble. Among the studios that TCM is talking to are Warner Home Video (which controls the rights to the vast Turner Entertainment library, including pre-1948 Warner, pre-1986 MGM and the bulk of the RKO titles), Universal (which also controls hundreds of long-unseen 1929-1948 Paramount titles), Sony and MGM.
“We decided our brand can stand for classic movies on all fronts, not just on TV. And we’re looking at new ways to give fans access to these films, many of which have never been available on video’,” explains TCM exec Molly Battin. Although no specific titles were announced, it was hinted that collections featuring writer Robert Benchley’s short films, the Dogsville series of comedy shorts and the series of shorts were golfing legend Bobby Jones teaches golfing tips to stars of the day are all being considered.