THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

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THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby Fargo Fenwyck on Thu Oct 20, 2011 1:12 pm

I guess I'm bringing up a dead horse here but................

Saw a nice documentary on the Blu-Ray "Comancheros" about Wayne at Fox. In it were several scenes from "The Alamo" and
they really looked terrific. With all the recent Blu-Ray Classics coming to DVD what seems to be the problem with "The Alamo"?
I would think it would a top seller. Ignorant as I am of the powers that be who decides which films are updated, who would be
the people doing the decision to Blu-Ray our beloved film? UA/MGM holds the rights, correct? They also have the Laser Director's
Cut, correct?

I know we have discussed the transfer process from one form to another but I gotta believe if I can get a halfway decent copy
from my Laser to DVD with a cheap enhancer, with the best possible equipment today the transfer should be better then anything
out there! Is money the issue because I'm seeing a lot of Wayne out there on Blu-Ray and it's selling.

Am I asking for something that can't be done?

Ned's posted some great screen captures and I realize the resolutions are different on computer then HD-TV but this is a film that
cries for Blu-Ray treatment with the director's cut.

Would starting a petition to UA help the process?
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby alamocentral on Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:59 pm

Dear Fargo,
The last time you asked this question, I answered it and you thought I was being rude. The unfortunate truth is that MGM/UA is unwilling to spend the money needed to restore the film. When the restoration was announced, it was made perfectly clear that outside donations would be needed to do the job. Nobody put up the money. Signing a petition will be worthless. MGM/UA put up $500,000, with the understanding that the additional funds had to come from some other sector. This leaves the one million plus dollars remaining uncollected. Unless or until a white knight comes along, nothing will be done. Meanwhile, the negative continues to deteriorate further. Short of restoring the film, there is no way to produce a Hi Def home video product (or a print of the film). If this doesn't answer your question, please contact me.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby NefariousNed on Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:08 pm

Well, my Director's Cut laser disc transfer to DVD looks pretty good. (The Hong Kong one.) Granted they did
theirs on the cheap, but I'm sure that, with the technology we have today, a better, cleaner copy could be made.

When Ron was talking about the images from THE ALAMO in the documentary on the COMANCHEROS Blue-Ray,
I'm sure they were taken from the edited version of the film that is on the store shelves today. Even a Blu-Ray
of the short version would be better than nothing at this point, if just to show how sharp the film was originally.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby RLC-GTT on Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:09 pm

I have to agree with Ashley about this. Dead horse -- or spring for the financing! Bake sales need not apply.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby RLC-GTT on Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:24 pm

Fargo Fenwyck wrote:I know we have discussed the transfer process from one form to another but I gotta believe if I can get a halfway decent copy
from my Laser to DVD with a cheap enhancer, with the best possible equipment today the transfer should be better then anything
out there!

Fargo! Fargo! You can't get blood out of a stone! Think of the current MGM/UA video master as a stone. It is what it is, resolution-wise. You cannot through any method create what isn't there. You can make it look as good as it can look for what it is, but you can't make it look twice as good. The visual detail is just NOT THERE. BluRay marketing demands a quantum leap in image quality that (perhaps) you fail to see. For The Comancheros, How The West Was Won, True Grit and others, the FILM masters are still available to do new scans from for higher resolution. That's what The Alamo doesn't have, and won't have without a FILM restoration.

The greater goal with The Alamo is preserving it for posterity. That's why it is indeed worth millions of dollars to do so. This goal is not met by making a newly packaged video. The 70 mm. image must be preserved on film, not a digitized reference to it for the consumer -- that will be unreadable by any equipment in existance in 50 years.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby TexianAtHeartII on Fri Oct 21, 2011 12:52 am

Well, I will say that if you have a Blu-ray player, putting on the current dvd version of The Alamo will upconvert the picture a bit and make it look a little clearer, a little crisper and a little more live looking. I tried it on mine when I first got my flat screen tv and to me it looked very very good. At the beginning, when Houston is riding into San Antone, it's like you are right there watching them ride past. Certainly not the HD picture we would all love, but it's better than nothing. One of these days, I'm going to have to sit down and watch the whole thing and see what the rest of it looks like. And I also have one of those Asian copies of longer version and it won't even hardly play on my Blu-ray player. I think it goes so far and quits.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby RLC-GTT on Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:11 am

The DVD looks great on the BluRay. I think it is a clear case of having a more expensive dub (or whatever) onto the DVD disc than other movies have. I have more of a sense of being able to walk into the image than when the same DVD is played on a regular DVD player. On the other hand, The Alamo (2004) DVD looks no sharper on the BluRay HDTV than on a DVD player. With the way Disney and Touchstone treated the whole production, it doesn't surprise me they took a cheap way out for the DVD. Wish I knew more about differences in DVD formatting and presentation to talk intelligently about it, but suffice to say Alamo '60 "upconverted" better than Alamo '04 -- and both were from 35 mm. versions of the film.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby NefariousNed on Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:16 am

Well, I'm no purist. Fact remains that there are still decent 35mm prints of the short version out there that could be transferred
to Blu-Ray. While these prints still remain with us, what would be so wrong with upgrading our viewing-ability of THE ALAMO
(1960)? Is everyone actually saying that the film---short version notwithstanding---should be allowed to go the way of the
dinosaur simply because we cannot have the complete director's cut of it? Is it an "all, or nothing" proposition? I don't think
so. Fact is, the most of us here only got to see the short version back in 1961. Didn't get to see the director's cut until it was
released onto VHS back in the early 90's. And while I am grateful for being able to have the director's cut in my collection, it
was the short version that blew my socks off as a kid and made me an Alamo buff.

So, let's continue to call for an upgrade to THE ALAMO in whatever format, and whatever version. Failing this, THE ALAMO will
one day become a lost film when regular DVDs of it will no longer play in the upcoming Green, Pink, or Purple Rays players of the
future.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby gtj222 on Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:19 am

I can live with the short version on Blu-Ray.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby Seguin on Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:58 am

Nefarious wrote:Well, I'm no purist. Fact remains that there are still decent 35mm prints of the short version out there that could be transferred
to Blu-Ray. While these prints still remain with us, what would be so wrong with upgrading our viewing-ability of THE ALAMO
(1960)? Is everyone actually saying that the film---short version notwithstanding---should be allowed to go the way of the
dinosaur simply because we cannot have the complete director's cut of it? Is it an "all, or nothing" proposition? I don't think
so. Fact is, the most of us here only got to see the short version back in 1961. Didn't get to see the director's cut until it was
released onto VHS back in the early 90's. And while I am grateful for being able to have the director's cut in my collection, it
was the short version that blew my socks off as a kid and made me an Alamo buff.

So, let's continue to call for an upgrade to THE ALAMO in whatever format, and whatever version. Failing this, THE ALAMO will
one day become a lost film when regular DVDs of it will no longer play in the upcoming Green, Pink, or Purple Rays players of the
future.


I agree! The short version deserves to be on Blu-Ray, whether or not the long version will ever be. Both versions deserves to be on Blu-Ray, but if it´s not possible to create a Blu-Ray of the long version for various reasons, we should at least have the short one on Blu-Ray. It´s certainly better than no Blu-Ray version at all.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby Fargo Fenwyck on Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:47 pm

Okay. I give up. Money is the key. I don't have it. Subject dropped by me.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby NefariousNed on Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:16 pm

We're not talking about restoring the director's cut here, Fargo, just getting THE ALAMO onto Blu-Ray in whatever form. And it CAN be done.

The Director's Cut is another thread. For those of you who do not know it, I took Fargo's original post on this thread from the BEHIND THE
SCENES photos thread and made it into this one myself because I thought it deserved it's own thread. Up to now, I have not seen a legitimate
argument about not getting the short version of THE ALAMO onto Blu-Ray. UA must already have a good print of the short version, or they
could not have come out with the short version on VHS and DVD. Everyone keeps crying "Restore the long version, restore the long version!"
As that ain't gonna happen, let's get busy with getting the short version onto Blu-Ray and then at least have something.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby John on Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:33 pm

An unlikely solution perhaps, but if the distributors want to preserve the integrity of Blu Ray quality, they could release the short version (all Blu ray) together with the long version which they highlight on the box as being made up of elements that are not up to full Blu Ray standard but which enable the viewer, if he wishes, to see the film as John Wayne intended. These elements would of course be made from the laser disc/VHS release.
There are precedents for this already. There are dozens of releases containing the theatrical and the directors' cuts (eg Pat Garrett and Billy the kid) where the picture and/or sound are slightly inferior. Disney released the Davy Crockett trilogy of the TV shows complete with previously unreleased scenes which were of lower quality simply because there was a demand for them.
However, if a commercial release is not possible, can anyone please tell me how I can upgrade the laser or VHS release using my computer.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby alamocentral on Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:15 am

It is my understanding that MGM/UA has no useable 35mm prints of the film (nor obviously any 70mm prints). I believe that what they have is the previous video master (short version); the camera negative; the color seperation masters; and an older interneagative. I don't believe that any of this will produce anything of suitable Hi-Def quality. If the master used for the recent DVD was good enough, it would have already been used for a Hi-Def product.
Even though short, the 65mm elements were recently used for a Blu Ray to It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World. It is gorgeous! However, the 65mm negative for Alamo is in very bad shape (color wise). It is my understanding, therefore, that the only way to get a high quality master for Hi Def purposes, is to restore the film (which nobody wants to pay for). Please understand, the proposed restoration never included the missing scenes from the roadshow print. It was only meant to be the short version...with poor quality video of the missing scenes somewhere as a supplement. An earlier posting stated that it would be terrible for this to become a "lost" film. Short of existing home video products, and fifty year old prints, I'm afraid that is exactly what has happened, already. The elements were in marginal shape two years ago. Sooner or later, nothing will exist to retrieve a suitable video product. That may be now.
Unless any of you has spoken with Robert Harris in the last ninety days, and knows something I don't...it is all but over.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby RLC-GTT on Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:24 am

I am very sorry to say that, from all I know of the restoration attempt and of the motion picture process, I am hearing an absolutely accurate explanation by Ashley. Short of a miracle -- and a couple million bucks -- we have all that we're gonna have on The Alamo. So I urge everybody to really appreciate how good the current DVD looks on a BluRay player and HDTV, because it isn't so for most unrestored films.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby John on Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:04 pm

All very sad. Especially when you see what brilliant Blu Rays are available of older films such as Gone With The wind and Zulu.
However there is still no reason why we should not get a special edition of the film on standard DVD. Two versions of the film could be included -- the short version plus the dirctor's cut which would contain the missing elements taken from the laser/VHS releases. As I said before, this has been done many times previously and is quite acceptable within the industry.

It is not the priority to produce a new negative. As we know now, this will not happen. However a standard DVD of the long version is still practical and possible and it is this that we should be encouraging the distributors to release.

The only alternative would be a home made version where we edit the missing bits in ourselves. The processors and software are now available on the home market to do this and given some time it could be acheived.
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THE ALAMO GETTING BLU-RAY RELEASE! But Which One Will it Be?

Postby Greg C on Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:49 am

I know we have a Blu-Ray thread on here but I can't find it, so feel free to combine these, but maybe it deserves its own thread.

Just put this on my blog, that THE ALAMO is getting a Blu-Ray release, however, due to conflicting information, we do not yet know if it is the 1960 or 2004 version. My post is below:

http://gcaggiano.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/the-alamo-getting-blu-ray-release-but-which-version-will-it-be/

It’s not often that I report on something without having exact information surrounding it, but I have stumbled upon something that could be very exciting for fans of historical film epics. When the 150th anniversary of the Civil War came around, a director’s cut of Gods and Generals was finally released after such a long period of time that people had given up hope we would ever see it. Another recent historical film, The Alamo (2004), has also gone many years without even so much as a Blu-Ray release, much less a release of the director’s cut version. With the 175th anniversary of the siege and battle of the Alamo commemorated last year, one would have thought it was a now-or-never type situation, but we heard nothing, not even a whisper. All hope died down yet again…until now. According to Blu-Ray.Com, there is in fact a movie titled The Alamo being released (date and intricate details TBA), but there is some conflicting information as to exactly which film it is. If you visit the page, you will notice that the technical information (production company, year, running time, etc) are for the 2004 John Lee Hancock version, while the cast listed is for the 1960 epic directed by and starring John Wayne. Neither film has ever been released in this format, so it’s anyone’s guess at to which one is coming out now, unless you want to fantasize about a combo pack, which would make everyone happy.

[*skipping ahead*]

So there you have it: two films, four possible versions. Which one will be coming out? I expect more information will be forthcoming, but that could take a long time, as Blu-Ray.Com creates a page for film when the release is in its earliest stages. They have two different kinds of pages, one which is a film page (which could be for a title that does not even have a release date and might never be released) and one for actual Blu-Rays, no matter where they are in the process. As an example, Schindler’s List has had a page for nearly a year, and still no date has been posted, though we know it is definitely coming out. The Alamo definitely has a film page, so we can rest assured there. For a while, we can have ourselves a guessing game, but at least you’ll know it’s real.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby RLC-GTT on Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:41 pm

Cool news. If "news" means what I think it do. We'll send out scouts.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby TexianAtHeartII on Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:17 am

It's good news no matter which film it is. Would love to see both on blu-ray.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby RLC-GTT on Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:15 am

I would love to see JLH's THE ALAMO upgraded to BluRay. That is VERY possible technically. All the film material is there and in great shape for a re-scan. But it is my guess that the digital master is already HD since It had to have been considered a marketing necessity regardless of the movie's later demise at the boxoffice. The film looked great in 35 on a big screen and would look as good as any 35 mm. film presented on BluRay.

I really wish I could say the same for THE ALAMO '60. It just doesn't seem to be the case. I hope there is a loophole in our film industry reasoning, but I just don't see any at this point.

I do agree that, if it were possible, a BluRay should be made of the 161 minute version, if only to keep it playable for a bit longer on some technology in this programmed obsolescence world of ours.

Now, what about this dumb BluRay.com listing. If they can't determine which film has what cast (and if they think ANY of those guys could have been in a film made in 2004), then why should we believe they know enough of what they're talking about to even say it's on a future list? :roll:
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby alamocentral on Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:56 pm

Dear Brethren:
MGM-UA and Sony Pictures are businesses. The only reason they would undertake a Blu-Ray release of any film, is if it would turn a profit. Has anyone considered the possibility that they have weighed this matter...and decided that it is not worth their time and money? Provided they don't have to do ANY restoration, it still costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to master and press the disc...and then advertize the release. They have business models which rate their films as to desirability of BR or DVD release. It is a science to them...and not magic.

I am surprised that this line of thinking never comes up.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby RLC-GTT on Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:07 pm

It has.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby NefariousNed on Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:01 am

Still, THE ALAMO (1960) has teeth as a money-maker. Go into your local movie/video shop and it is always there.
Has been there ever since it's first release, back in the early 1980's. Look for other movies from 1960 in your local
shop and you may be hard-pressed to find one. And Amazon eBay and other online movie distributors still carry it
in their catalogs.

Can't say as much for THE ALAMO (2004) which, if you really want it, needs to be ordered online.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby Fargo Fenwyck on Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:14 pm

Good point Ned. It seems like it's always on tv somewhere. "Lawrence of Arabia" is now a Blu-Ray. I can't figure it out. Disney STILL hasn't released "20.000.... in Blu-Ray.
Maybe it's just us old foggies. I don't know how a film is selected for the Blu-Ray treatment. I am curious about it. I'm still waiting for "Raintree County" on regular DVD and some other films. Anything with Carrol Baker :mrgreen:
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby RLC-GTT on Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:32 pm

I do *hear* what Ashley is saying and it really really rings true with my understanding of the motion picture business, however I have always followed the theory that unique things do happen in spite of the obvious (or not so obvious) reasons why they can't. Trouble is, there is no evidence of this where The Alamo is concerned. So: assume the worst; hope for the best? ;)
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby Fargo Fenwyck on Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:45 pm

I goofed on my little joke. It was supposed to read "anything with Carrol BAXTER". :oops: I have chatised myself.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby Fargo Fenwyck on Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:37 pm

I seem to be having spelling problems with my posts. I can't even chastize myself.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby NefariousNed on Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:26 pm

Well, why is it that some movies we have never even heard of are suddenly on Blu-Ray?
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby gtj222 on Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:40 pm

It makes sense to me that the movies are judged on their capital gains. If it made decent money then it gets Blu Ray.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby RLC-GTT on Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:44 am

Nefarious wrote:Well, why is it that some movies we have never even heard of are suddenly on Blu-Ray?

Simply because the marketing department of the company has determined that -- whatever it is -- it will be particularly marketable at this moment in time. They may be right or wrong, but they are making what they believe to be sound marketing decisions, or they would risk their jobs. Hence, the "motion picture industry."
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby Doc on Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:14 pm

Yesterday on The Home Theater Forum, a fan asked Robert Harris about restoration of the Wayneamo. Harris answered "The question has been asked before. But things seem to be changing. Updates to come."
I'm almost afraid to let my hopes be raised again, but this seems to be good news.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby TexianAtHeartII on Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:53 am

One can only hope. but let's hope they're wearing out horses to get it done.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby RLC-GTT on Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:49 am

Whoah! I missed this. Wow! Let's hope Harris has found a new possibility.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby Fargo Fenwyck on Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:42 pm

And YOU said it couldn't be done.....I know it's not there yet but this could be happening!!! I guess we'll see.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby RLC-GTT on Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:25 pm

Fargo Fenwyck wrote:And YOU said it couldn't be done.....I know it's not there yet but this could be happening!!! I guess we'll see.

I said HE said it couldn't be done.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby RLC-GTT on Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:48 pm

Happy 53rd. Anniversary of the World Premiere of THE ALAMO at the Woodlawn Theater in San Antonio on October 24, 1960.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby MUSTANG on Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:39 am

On Wednesday, I had a chance to visit the Woodlawn. Received a backstage tour from the Marketing Manager: Projection room, wardrobe, balcony, etc. Pretty cool. But, no one currently there knows anything about the premiere, no photos, no articles. Nothing!!!
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby RLC-GTT on Fri Oct 25, 2013 4:30 am

MUSTANG wrote:On Wednesday, I had a chance to visit the Woodlawn. Received a backstage tour from the Marketing Manager: Projection room, wardrobe, balcony, etc. Pretty cool. But, no one currently there knows anything about the premiere, no photos, no articles. Nothing!!!

It's ancient history to them. The daughter of a friend of mine directed dance there several years ago and was very surprised when I told her the place's Alamo history. She hadn't a clue. They haven't a clue. Glad you got to see it though. I still haven't.
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby Fargo Fenwyck on Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:42 pm

Have I been chatized??? At my age????
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Re: THE ALAMO (1960) On Blu-Ray?

Postby AlamoMo on Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:42 pm

" On Wednesday, I had a chance to visit the Woodlawn. Received a backstage tour from the Marketing Manager: Projection room, wardrobe, balcony, etc. Pretty cool. But, no one currently there knows anything about the premiere, no photos, no articles. Nothing!!! "

Sadly It Is The Age We Live In :x :x :( :(
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