More of the classics should be available on DVD

The Gripe

The Gripe

The Buzz

August 25, 2006|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Movie Critic

A few years back, American Movie Classics showed Floyd Mutrux's marvelous American Hot Wax but prefaced it with a warning that it had been edited for content and modified to fit the TV screen. Thinking the other night about this jubilant homage to the early days of rock and roll, I thought I'd go online and order a copy of the DVD, so I could see the movie as it was meant to be seen, unedited and in letterbox format.

No go. The film isn't available on DVD.

Last week, while preparing to teach my film class, I went online to order a copy of The Jazz Singer, the 1927 Warner Bros. film that revolutionized the art form by introducing spoken dialogue to motion pictures. I figured the kids in my class would get a kick out of seeing Al Jolson in this quaint (and surprisingly enjoyable) relic from bygone days.

No go. The film isn't available on DVD.

Recently, while suffering as my kids laughed at yet another hopelessly inane TV sitcom, I figured I'd introduce them to a true classic: The Addams Family, surely as anarchic and hilarious a comedy as has ever been shown on television. Eager to show what real funny is, I went online to order at least the first of the series' two seasons.

No go. The series isn't available on DVD.

I know there are a million titles out there waiting to be released, and I know none of these titles is going to earn big bucks for the companies that release them. Still, it's depressing when copies of The Adventures of Pluto Nash and From Justin to Kelly are everywhere, but classics like these are nowhere to be found.

(P.S. Proving there is such a thing as justice, Volume 1 of The Addams Family is set to be released Oct. 24.)

chris.kaltenbach@baltsun.com

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