MGM to bow 400 on DVD

James Bond, Spinal Tap special editions to be released

Never mind that Warner Home Video now owns and distributes most of MGM’s library of classic films produced in the studio’s glory years.

MGM plans to release more than 400 movies on DVD next year from the more recent MGM and United Artists libraries and the eclectic collection of titles acquired from Polygram and Orion.

That’s nearly three times as many titles as the 140 titles MGM released on DVD last year and about 33% more than the nearly 300 titles the studio has released in the past three years combined.

Among the 30-40 releases each month in 2001 will be one or two monthly special editions that will get the same elaborate treatment that the studio has become noted for with its James Bond franchise and the recently released “This Is Spinal Tap.” The third and final set in the 007 series debuts on Oct. 17. The last Bond movie, “The World is Not Enough,” shipped more than 1 million units.

In January MGM will release the first DVD edition of “When Harry Met Sally,” featuring an audio commentary by Rob Reiner, a 35-minute documentary, and 11 minutes of outtakes with Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan.

‘Terminator’ coming

Other special editions on tap for 2001 include a new DVD edition of “The Terminator” in the fourth quarter of 2001 featuring a newly remixed version of the previously monaural soundtrack in surround sound that was supervised by director James Cameron, plus some new interviews with cast and crew woven into existing supplemental material. “The Terminator” has been released by various distributors on VHS and laserdisc, including LIVE, Pioneer and Image Entertainment.

Standard and special DVD editions of “Some Like It Hot” will be released in April, with the standard edition priced at a new low suggested retail price point for MGM of $14.95.

A new special edition of “The Princess Bride” is also being prepared as a follow-up to the recent standard edition release of that movie in August.

MGM will also release the second wave of six Woody Allen movies in April, followed about a year later by the last five.

The first home video release of the Polygram title “Mystic Pizza” on either VHS or DVD will premiere in January with a host of other critically acclaimed titles that are not categorized as special editions but may include audio commentaries or limited extra features, including “Moll Flanders,” “In the Heat of the Night,” “Babette’s Feast,” “American Buffalo,” “I Shot Andy Warhol,” “River’s Edge,” “Benny & Joon” and “Camille Claudel.”

Most of the titles priced at $14.95 will be budget titles in the studio’s so-called MovieTime and Midnight Movies packages of beach, biker, horror, camp or other cult favorites like “Foxy Brown.”

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