My Two Cents
Thursday, 21 March 2019 15:38

Retro Release Day: The Black Hole on DVD (1999 & 2004)

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Today’s Retro Release Day title here at The Bits is none other than Disney’s The Black Hole (1979), directed by Gary Nelson and released by Anchor Bay Entertainment on DVD back on March 30, 1999.

The film stars Maximilian Schell, Robert Forster, Joseph Bottoms, Yvette Mimieux, Anthony Perkins, and Ernest Borgnine, and features a terrific score by composer John Barry.

The single-disc release was a much-dreaded (and double-sided) DVD-10 release, a disc configuration known as a “flipper” to DVD veterans.

The reason for this was that the release included the film in both non-anamorphic (letterboxed) widescreen on one side, and full frame on the other.

Both sides of the disc also includes the film’s theatrical trailer and a gallery of images. Each version of the film also included Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. [Read on here...]

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It’s hard to believe that there was a time when Disney licensed out their catalog titles to companies like Anchor Bay, but this was pretty common back in the laserdisc days and the practice continued for a while into DVD.

The Black Hole (DVD)

The Black Hole (DVD)

My copy is a bit of a Frankenstein, as you can see below. Because the Anchor Bay title was non-anamorphic, I replaced my copy of the disc with Disney’s own release, which finally happened on August 3, 2004. So the insert and disc (seen here) are the Disney release.

That version finally included the film in anamorphic widescreen video, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. It also included a 16-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, Through The Black Hole and an extended version of the trailer as well (it runs over 3 minutes).

The Black Hole (DVD)

For those of you curious what the original Anchor Bay disc and insert looked like... it ain’t much as you can see here (pix sourced from an current eBay sale of a used copy)...

The Black Hole (DVD)

Sadly, as with The Abyss, this film has yet to be released in HD on Blu-ray by Disney, though it is available in HD digitally (here on Amazon Prime).

That’s it for today’s Retro Release Day! Check back Tuesday for the next installment, and if you share links to this column on social media, be sure to use tag #RetroReleaseDay.

Stay tuned...

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