Universal, TCM partner for DVD deal

Never before released horror films to escape vault

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has partnered with Turner Classic Movies on a new manufacturing-on-demand service, kicking off Friday with a series of horror films never before released on DVD.

Featured films, many of which have previously aired on TCM, hail from Universal’s library. People can access the service, dubbed the TCM Vault Collection Presented by Universal, at TCM.com.

TCM Vault, where discs are pressed and shipped upon order, marks the second extensive MOD offering from a major studio.

Earlier this year, Warner Home Video bowed its Warner Archive Collection in order to offer DVDs that have yet to be granted release. The idea behind the Warner Archive Collection is to make titles efficiently available to consumers that had earlier been deemed too niche to warrant a wide, traditional retail bow.

Like Warner’s service, TCM Vault titles are generally individually priced at $19.99.

One unique aspect of U’s service is that TCM plans to promote its offerings by running films on the cabler near their MOD debut. Also, select titles will be introduced by TCM host Robert Osborne.

Universal’s TCM Vault will bow on Halloween with five vintage frightpics: “Murders in the Zoo” (1933), “Mad Doctor of Market Street” (1942), “The Strange Case of Dr. RX” (1942), “The Mad Ghoul” (1943) and “House of Horrors” (1946). Each title is $19.99. The entire five-film set can be bought for $49.99.

TCM is set to air “Murders in the Zoo,” about a man who uses animals to kill his wife’s lovers, on Friday as well.

In the TCM Vault pipeline is “Remember the Night” (1940), with Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray, bowing Nov. 22 for $19.99. TCM will air the film on Dec. 6 and Dec. 24.

Also on deck in January are three Cary Grant films: “The Eagle and the Hawk” (1933), “The Devil and the Deep” (1932) and “The Last Outpost” (1935). Pricing is not yet available.

“Universal is very proud of its prestigious collection of Hollywood screen gems,” said Universal president Craig Kornblau. “Like us, TCM is dedicated to honoring Hollywood’s golden age. This collaboration presents the perfect opportunity to share Universal’s rich cinematic legacy and celebrate vintage works with classic film fans.”

TCM host Osborne added, “Many terrific films have been unavailable on homevideo for too long, especially the holiday classic ‘Remember the Night.’ TCM and Universal have worked hard to restore them digitally and provide historical context, bonus content and behind-the-scenes information.”

(Susanne Ault writes for Daily Variety sister publication Video Business.)

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