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Warner Adds Best-Picture Titles

24 Nov, 2004 By: Brendan Howard

Bringing the most comprehensive collection of Academy Award best-picture winners on DVD that much closer to completion, Warner Home Video (WHV) will release Chariots of Fire (1981), The Life of Emile Zola (1938) and The Broadway Melody (1930) Feb. 1.

Warner Bros. has produced 19 best-picture Oscar-winning films — the most of any studio — and with these three, there's only one more Warner winner left to release on DVD, according to WHV's SVP of catalog, George Feltenstein: 1931's Cimarron.

The three titles as well as three four-film sets (best-picture Oscar-winning dramas, musicals and adventure films, respectively) prebook Jan. 4. The sets will retail at $64.98 each.

Marketing for the titles will include a consumer press blitz as well as cross-promotional advertising with the cable channel Turner Classic Movies' “31 Days of Oscar.”

Chariots of Fire gets two-disc special-edition treatment, with the remastered 16x9 feature and director's commentary, additional scenes, actor screen tests, a making-of featurette and footage of a reunion of filmmakers and cast. It is priced at $26.99.

Extras on The Life of Emile Zola ($19.97) will include a dramatic short, a musical short and a cartoon from the year of the film's production as well as a radio production (thus, audio-only) starring the movie's star, Paul Muni.

Music is the overarching theme of extras on The Broadway Melody ($19.97), the first musical to win a best-picture Oscar. Included on the disc will be short song-and-comedy routines from vaudevillians of the day in “Metro Movietone Revues” as well as an extended set from comedic musicians Gus Van and Joe Schenck, and “The Dogville Melody,” a spoof of the film, featuring dogs in the leading roles with radio actors providing voices.

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