Yet More PD Sets
I think if you're a filmmaker, one fate you must avoid is having your work fall into the public domain. Because you will then be subject to an endless parade of shoddy cash-in video releases from every guy with a dream of being a high roller in the home video field. That's a generalization of course, but honestly, how many truly good public domain releases have you seen?
Welles' work has found a ready home in the public domain through three of his films: The Stranger, Mr. Arkadin (one version of it, at least), and The Trial. There has been a seemingly inexhaustible run of PD releases of these films, all of them varying degrees of junk. And now, we have another entrant in the field. Coming next year from Passport Int'l is The Orson Welles Collection, which gathers two of the three films named above (no Arkadin), and adds David and Goliath, the televised King Lear, and a fifth disc of odds and sods, including a TV appearance of Welles reciting poetry and two documentaries. It retails for $29.99, but can obviously be had cheaper if you feel compelled to own a copy. Also, and it isn't clear whether the sets are related, there will be a double bill of The Stranger and King Lear slated for release on 31 January 2006. This one retails for just $5.98, more in line with standard PD pricing.