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 Post subject: The Old Dark House Laserdisc and James Cameron's Titanic
PostPosted: 20 Nov 2017, 20:21 
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I was watching James Whale's The Old Dark House, from 1932, on Turner Classic Movies the other day, and during Ben Mankiewicz's outro segment, he mentioned an interesting bit of LD-related trivia. He said that James Cameron had watched The Old Dark House on LD during the late 90's, and was so impressed by Gloria Stuart's charisma in her commentary track, that he decided to cast her as "Old Rose". This is repeated on TCM's web site: "When director James Cameron watched a laserdisc release of The Old Dark House, he was so taken with Gloria Stuart's amusing audio commentary, he wound up casting her in a little film he was planning called Titanic (1997)." Curiously, the LDDB has the LD release for The Old Dark House as being 1998-05-27, which is quite a bit after the filming of Titanic. Maybe Cameron had a promotional/pre-release copy of the LD? I've seen this anecdote repeated elsewhere, but the dates thing has me wondering.

Great movie though! I guess it was long considered a "lost movie" until filmmaker Curtis Harrington went on a mission to find an extant print, and ultimately was successful. From what I've read, Harrington was a bit of a Thelemite or occultist and did some work with Kenneth Anger. Has any one else seen the film?
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 Post subject: Re: The Old Dark House Laserdisc and James Cameron's Titanic
PostPosted: 20 Nov 2017, 21:04 
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It's funny you should bring this up.

I also watched that Segment on TCM, I didn't get to see the whole film but caught the outro, like you I went to check the LDDB info and found the release date as 1998, which also made me question this story.

Then a few days later by chance I was browsing through LDs at a thrift shop and found a copy of this disc, of course I picked it up, aside from the great cover art it was still fresh in my mind from TCM. Later when taking a look at the back I found ID3146KN with program dated 1995 and art 1996 KINO/IMAGE. That leaves a small window but actually makes the story plausible.

As far as the LDDB listing, maybe there was a reissue or simply a mistake is likely.

Either way it was cool to see LD make a cameo on TCM, and I'm glad other fans caught it, also excited to find the disc!
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 Post subject: Re: The Old Dark House Laserdisc and James Cameron's Titanic
PostPosted: 21 Nov 2017, 03:24 
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Hello!

Most of the prices are based on online retailers latest database dumps and when the MSRP was refreshed by the publisher, they would typically update the "street release" as well.

There was a lot of repricing (downwards) in 1997-1998 and this one might be part of it.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/The-Old-Dark-House-Laserdisc-Boris-Karloff-RARE-HORROR-/142521419614
Image

I removed the CX encoding as well since it can't be used when the 2 analog tracks (commentaries) are different and, indeed, it doesn't appear on the back cover.
No ISBN and no CC, updated as well.

Julien
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