Courtesy of my friends at Warner Archive, two films arrived for review this week, “Loophole” (1954) and “Duffy of San Quentin” (1954). I not only have never seen these, I hadn’t even heard of them until the email announcement of their release arrived.
Both DVDs are right now sitting here on my desk staring straight up at me through wonderfully melodramatic and garish posters. And me, I’m like a kid watching the clock to go Disneyland because I cannot wait to watch them tonight.
I used to feel this way on Friday nights when new films came out, but not anymore. Way too many are a total waste. But unseen studio-era pictures still have the potential to be individual diamonds that you unearth and, best of all, for ten or twenty bucks, get to keep forever and look at again and again whenever you like.
Granted, not all studio-era movies are diamonds, and sure, some are outright paste. But sitting on my desk are films that cost a small fortune and hundreds of creative man hours to produce, and just the anticipation of what all that sweat equity might have resulted in is an excitement nothing else in the world brings me.
For my money, DVDs and Blurays are probably the greatest bargain in the history of commerce. For the cost of meal at Red Lobster, you get to own forever something that for two entire hours sweeps you up into another world where you meet amazing people and are almost always moved to feel something — be it love, loss, laughter… And when the art of the motion picture is done right, there’s just nothing else that makes you feel that way.
That’s why I’ve collected thousands of DVDs; owning these individual stories and characters and “moments” gives me great comfort. Those diamonds mean as much to me as a family photo album because they’re part of my life, my past, my memories.
My god, I love the movies.