This is probably my all-time favorite Bogart movie. I've been patiently waiting for it to be released on DVD to add to my collection. It seems that the only release so far is Region 2 encoding which will not play in most DVD players in the USA. what gives?
The strange thing is that you can't get a direct answer to this question. This is SUCH a classic. An absolute MUST for any ones film library or viewing. I can't for the life of me, understand what corporate or legal decision is keeping this from a good studio quality DVD copy. All I read are questions. No one has yet to give me a direct, or reasonable answer as to why this wonderful masterpiece is not yet available in a current format.
My information on the subject of the possibility of "African Queen" on DVD involves the extensive restoration the DVD would need which would involve a considerable cost compared to the "small" audience that would purchase a DVD of this classic film (compared to a recent DVD that would sell in the millions with no consideration towards the film's quality). With today's economy, I'm sorry to say, I would be surprised to see a complete restoration and a proper DVD release of this film to take place in the near future, yet we classic movie fans can hope for the best!
Here's some news we think is pretty exciting: We've confirmed with our sources that Paramount is - at long last - finally preparing The African Queen: Centennial Collection with a tentative street date of 10/13 (date subject to change). [Editor's Note: We had direct confirmation on the record from the studio earlier this year that they were working on the transfer, but this is the first word we've had of the final release.] We believe this is currently a DVD only release, but a Blu-ray could still be planned for later in the year or next year.
I hope that Paramount had the good sense to allow Lowry Digital (http://www.lowrydigital.com/filmography.html) to restore this great classic. Lowry did a great job with two other Paramount classics whose film elements were badly damaged, Roman Holiday and Sunset Boulevard.
Blu-ray.com has confirmed movie will available in March
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Posted January 11, 2010 09:56 AM by Juan Calonge
"Paramount Home Entertainment has announced that it will release 'The African Queen' on Blu-ray on March 23.
"Meticulously restored using state-of-the-art 4K digital technology, 'The African Queen' will now be available for a new generation to appreciate and for long-time fans to see again, as if for the first time. Legendary director John Huston's treasured romantic adventure stars the incomparable Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart in a role that won him his only Academy Award.
"A six-year journey filled with challenges nearly as difficult as those faced by Rose and Charlie, the restoration process began at the source: Romulus Films -one of the film's original production companies- provided access to the original three-strip negative at a London facility where the film was carefully scanned and digitized. The separate elements were then transferred to Los Angeles and painstakingly recombined and inspected frame by frame to ensure that every detail aligned and that any dirt and scratches were removed.
"To ensure that the restored picture matched the filmmakers' original vision, Paramount arranged a screening of an MPAA archive print for the film's original cinematographer, Academy Award winner Jack Cardiff, whose comments were recorded live during the screening. That same archival print was later screened alongside the newly restored version so that the restoration team could ensure that all of Cardiff's notes had been addressed. The result is a vibrant, warm picture that reverentially recreates the film as it was originally meant to be seen. "
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Link to the site, which offers great information on Amazon's pricing, like a Yahoo stock chart:
I agree with your assessment of Lowry's work; however, in the below press release and on Lowry's site, which isn't exactly up to date, no mention is made of them. Perhaps it was done by a competitor? However, based on the below, it should be good.
I assume a regular DVD will follow the Blu-ray, but it's worth buying a Blu-ray player at the recent low prices, even at Amazon.com