Monday, April 1, 2013

Trailer Not on the DVD: China 9, Liberty 37 (1978, Monte Hellman)

Talk about a film that's been poorly represented on video...Monte Hellman's China 9, Liberty 37 is one of the more recent theatrical feature films that you will see on dubious-quality DVDs from umpteen poverty row labels.  It's a 'scope film, but, of course, the DVDs are cropped.  On top of this, they utilize a censored television print of the film.  Anyone who's seen the proper version, knows that Jenny Agutter makes one of her trademarked nude swimming appearances here, something I don't think you'll see on any of the extant DVDs.

It was purchased by Lorimar in '79, as noted by Hellman here and belatedly released theatrically in '84 in the States, as indicated by this Maslin review in the Times.  Happily, the film is now controlled by Warner Bros. via their ownership of the Lorimar library. I was told by the Warner Archive folks, via a Facebook message, that they are working on getting a DVD out, but have been delayed by issues with the master.  Hopefully, this will be cleared up soon.  I'm not sure why the film has been allowed to proliferate in so many substandard, presumably unlicensed editions in the U.S. when, it seems, WB has had the rights for awhile now.

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