Speaking of classic Columbia films on digital, I wrote the following to Sony Home Video spokesperson Fritz Friedman earlier today: “This summer will mark the third anniversary of Grover Crisp‘s high-def restoration of From Here to Eternity. This allegedly spiffier-than-ever version played at the Academy in the fall of ’09, and then on the beach in Cannes in May 2010. I know — I was there watching it.
(l. to r.) Frank Sinatra, James Jones, Montgomery Clift sometime during filming of From Here To Eternity.
“In any event, year after year I’ve asked if there’s any commitment to bringing it out on Bluray, and every year your response has been ‘down the road’ or ‘sometime next year’ or words to that effect.
“My most recent article, posted on 8.20.11, suggested in a very cynical vein that Sony Home Video just forget about putting out the Bluray entirely and instead offer From Here To Eternity as a high-def streaming download when such downloads become commonplace in two or three or four years.
“I feel foolish asking again, as I suspect what the answer will probably be, but as your most recent reply was that Eternity would be delayed until sometime in 2012, is that the actual plan? To release it later this year? Or are we thinking yet again about bumping it into 2013 or whenever? Just checking.”
My closing statement to Sony Home Video execs:
“Where did this idea about movies acting as shared-memory experiences, aesthetic-worship rituals and/or opportunities for spiritual nourishment come from anyway? You’re running a business, Sony Home Video, and that’s how you need to play your cards. If a Bluray isn’t likely to bring in a healthy profit that will impress Sony stockholders, fuhgedaboutit.”