dune-discs

Weekend Roundtable: Movies You Own the Most Copies Of

We movie collectors can be an obsessive bunch who often feel compelled to rebuy new copies of films we already own in order to upgrade to a new format, benefit from a slightly-improved video transfer or obtain some new supplemental feature we hadn’t seen before. In this week’s Roundtable, it’s time to confess (or boast) about the movies we can’t stop ourselves from buying again and again.

Daniel Hirshleifer

For me, this is an easy one. I own multiple copies of ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. The World‘. I’ve purchased versions from different regions, SteelBooks, regular editions, etc. Why? Because I love ‘Scott Pilgrim’ beyond all reason and want as much of it as I can get my grubby hands on. I also have all the comics (two copies of the last volume, one signed by Bryan O’Malley), an original page of artwork from the comic (also signed by O’Malley), the videogame, merchandise, shirts, you name it. I had a keychain too, but the image wore off.

Shannon Nutt

Like many (I assume), the original ‘Star Wars‘ and its two sequels (‘The Empire Strikes Back’ and ‘Return of the Jedi’) are the movies I’ve bought the most times on home video. My first copies weren’t on VHS, but rather on CED, the old RCA-created format that was a precursor to Laserdisc. [Ed: Actually, CED didn't debut until 1981, while Laserdisc goes back to 1978. -JZ] Laserdisc was the second format I bought the trilogy in, and I still own those letterboxed, unaltered versions. Next up for me were the VHS releases of the Special Editions, followed a few years down the road by DVD. I actually bought the re-released DVDs of the original trilogy too – since those contained (very poor) copies of the unaltered versions as extras on the discs. Finally, I picked up ‘Star Wars: The Complete Saga’ when it hit Blu-ray, marking the fifth time I’ve purchased some version of the original trilogy on home video. George Lucas may not have raped my childhood, but he’s certainly raped by wallet over the past few decades.

Mike Attebery

I’m sure that I’m not alone on this one. The movies I’ve bought the most are the ‘Star Wars‘ franchise. I own this series on VHS, the “Definitive Collection” on Laserdisc, the Special Editions on Laserdisc, multiple versions on DVD, and ‘Star Wars: The Complete Saga’ on Blu-ray. You win, George. You win.

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

If only I’d picked up ‘Predator‘ on VHS…! I’ve owned the movie on just about every other format out there. It was my most endlessly rewatched Laserdisc. I had the two-disc special edition DVD set, and I’m the not-so-proud owner of both of the Blu-ray discs that Fox has churned out so far. I guess I’ll have a third copy on Blu-ray once the shiny new 4K-sourced version comes out in a few months.

Army of Darkness‘ is right up there too. I’ve owned both the theatrical and “Bootleg” editions that Anchor Bay put out on DVD, I was first in line when Universal put it out on HD DVD, and now I have the theatrical cut on Blu-ray too.

Bryan Kluger

I have purchased every version of each of the ‘Evil Dead‘ movies from VHS through to their current Blu-rays. I even have several of them signed by Bruce “Man-God” Campbell. I have the infamous Bootleg copy of ‘Army of Darkness’, the double-disc Director’s Cut, and the Conan cover version. Not to mention the “Book of the Dead” versions with the rubber skin covers, the Ultimate Edition 3-disc DVD set, the two Blu-ray versions of part II, and of course the big tin box set of part II as well. Hell, I even owned the HD DVD version of ‘Army of Darkness’. I would say that, in total, I’ve owned these three films at least 17 times over, and I plan to buy future versions and re-releases whenever they come out. I just hope that Bruce adds another commentary. GROOVY!

Tom Landy

For me, it’s the original ‘Clash of the Titans‘. This was actually the very first movie my family owned on VHS. Then I bought it again when it eventually came out on DVD, and now my go-to copy is the Blu-ray Digibook. I’m just a sucker for this film, and would probably buy it again if a 4k release (or an Ultimate Collector’s Edition with live Kraken!) ever surfaced.

M. Enois Duarte

Next to ‘Blade Runner’, which I have various copies of, I think the movie I’ve probably collected the most is George A Romero’s original zombie classic ‘Dawn of the Dead‘. Starting with my two VHS copies — one with the theatrical cut and the other an anniversary director’s cut — I’ve owned this particular film in several variations because it has a history of being edited in various countries due to different censorship laws.

I also purchased two Laserdiscs – again, a Director’s Cut, followed a beautiful black box set with a copy of the original script, called the “Collector’s Edition.” On DVD, I have the Anniversary Edition, the Collector’s Edition and the Special DiviMax Edition.

My favorite edition is the attractive black box with three different versions of the movie, including the European cut made by Dario Argento, dubbed the “Ultimate Edition.” To top it all off, I also own the German “Red Edition” DVD with the Langfassung cut, which was reportedly edited slightly differently than Argento’s version. Finally, jumping into Blu-ray, I’ve purchased every release thus far, including a lovely edition from Arrow Video, which is a nice match to the previous “Ultimate Edition.” So, this is the one movie I’ve collected the most over the years, followed closely by ‘Blade Runner’, the ‘Evil Dead’ series and ‘Day of the Dead’. Ain’t this hobby grand!

Brian Hoss

Naturally, the answer would be ‘Blade Runner’, without contest. That said, the second most owned for me has to be ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail‘. That’s mainly because the movie is both a classic and the height of hilarity, but also because I triple-dipped the DVD versions. I think I got all three in in a two year period starting with the vanilla release. Of course, despite my efforts to obtain the Collector’s Edition with the film cell and paperback script, more versions followed. Thus, I realized that companies like Anchor Bay and Artisan (and even Sony) had some experience reboxing from the VHS days and had no problem putting out a new version every year just so long as suckers like me kept buying.

These days, with Laserdisc, VHS and even HD DVD in my rear view mirror, doing something like buying ‘The Hobbit’ on Blu-ray, and then buying the Extended version, and then buying the box set or 3D version, really isn’t in the cards. I’d much rather read-up on High-Def Digest and avoid such a mess.

Chris Boylan (Big Picture Big Sound)

Coming in only behind ‘Star Wars’ (VHS, Laserdisc, DVD and Blu-ray), my next most purchased title would be ‘Blade Runner‘, one of my all-time favorite films. After seeing it in the theater in 1982 (at least twice), I eagerly awaited its arrival on VHS tape and snapped that up when it came out. After just about wearing that out, I purchased it again on the Criterion Collection Laserdisc. I loved viewing the Syd Mead concept art photos that were each presented as still frames on the CAV copy. I also purchased the Director’s Cut on Laserdisc, but wasn’t as impressed with it. (I actually like the voiceover.)

I bought the Director’s Cut version again on DVD, but never even broke the shrink wrap. I even somehow got a VHS bootleg of a workprint of the film that had been making the art house cinema rounds for a while. Horrible quality, but it had its moments. When the movie came back to theaters in its Final Cut version, I was all over that, and happily plunked down the cash for the “Ultimate Collector’s Edition” boxed set on Blu-ray. I was so happy that this movie got the deluxe treatment it deserved. I use the intro scene with the eye and the smokestacks venting flame into the polluted night sky as a reference scene when I review TVs and projectors. This scene really tests a display’s ability to reproduce black levels, but also presents the starkly contrasting white text of the intro, as well as bright flames against that pitch black background.

Josh Zyber

It will come as no shock to regular readers of this blog that I’m obsessed with David Lynch’s misunderstood sci-fi epic ‘Dune‘. Yes, the banner image above this post is a small portion of my own personal collection. At present count, I own 35 unique copies of the film. That breaks down as: 2 VHS (one pan & scan, one letterboxed), 1 Betamax, 1 CED, 1 VHD (bet you never even heard of this format), 1 VCD, 6 Laserdiscs, 13 DVDs, 1 UMD, 1 HD DVD and 8 Blu-rays. (Germans apparently love this movie. It’s been reissued in that country more times than any other.) Of the Blu-rays, one contains a 3D conversion of the movie in crappy anaglyph format and another contains a slightly-less-crappy version in full 3D. I also have a copy of the movie’s trailer on 35mm film.

That’s to say nothing of the vast quantities of other merchandise and memorabilia from the film that occupy a shrine along one wall of my home theater.

I also have 8 Laserdisc copies of ‘Blade Runner‘ that I collected for their cover artwork, a couple DVDs, the HD DVD box set that came in a plastic briefcase and the Blu-ray in a Steelbook case. Strangely, I haven’t bought the Digibook Blu-ray yet. I probably need to do that.

What movies have you found yourself buying multiple copies of? Tell us about your collections in the Comments below.

83 comments

  1. Scott

    Bryan, do you not have the “blood red” Evil Dead 2 Laserdisc? I have a copy that is collecting dust that I would be willing to give to a fan.

  2. NJScorpio

    Shouldn’t this be “Movies of which ou own the most copies”?

    (Thank ‘Beavis & Butt-head Do America’ for that post).

    • NJScorpio

      More on topic…

      I’ve owned 4 copies of Contstantine (DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-Ray/Blu-Ray Triple Feature). Though I wasn’t looking to collect various formats of the movie.

  3. Clowd Cole

    Anchorman,

    I own Anchorman (VHS), Anchorman Unrated (VHS), Anchorman (DVD), Anchorman Unrated (DVD), Anchorman (UMD), Anchorman Unrated (HD-DVD) and 2 copies of Anchorman Unrated (One the Best Buy Exclusive edition) on (Blu-ray)

  4. Daniel Rowen

    I’d have to go with The Ice Storm as I imported a Region 2 DVD of it before it was out in the US, and then got the first US DVD release, Criterion DVD, and now the Criterion Blu-ray to round out the set. Generally I don’t keep around old copies of things though, and once a blu-ray is a proper upgrade, I send the DVD’s down the line to my younger brother.

  5. Drew

    Well, it won’t allow me to finish posting the comment. I’ll try to put the breakdown in later.

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      Other than the upgrade from DVD to Blu-ray, have the Godfather movies been reissued multiple times in Special Editions, Collector’s Editions, Ultimate Editions, Anniversary Editions, “Just When I Thought I Was Out” Editions, etc.? How many copies do you own? Details, please. :)

      • VHS, DVD and now Blu-ray. I don’t buy versions just to collect them, only when a format provides a significant upgrade in the viewing experience.

        That ‘Dune’ collection above cracks me up.

  6. I do a pretty good job about trading in when/if I upgrade a specific film. However, the purpose of this article reminds me of Steve Martin in MY BLUE HEAVEN when asked about why he would 25 copies of the same book in his trunk if, in fact, they weren’t stolen for profit.

    “In case I wanna read it more than once.”

  7. bhlombardy

    Star Wars The original Trilogy (as was mentioned)… but I’m not sure if it counts because every time it’s released, it’s slightly different. :)

    Laserdisc
    VHS (original release)
    VHS THX remastered editions (no added scenes)
    VHS Special edition (with the “crappy” Jabba scenes)
    Imported Asian VideoCD (when Lucas was adamant he wouldnt release them on DVD)
    Then of course, he recanted…
    The DVD special editions
    The DVD Special edition re-issue (for the now included, original crappy unaltered version)
    Then the Blu-ray complete set

    And I’ll buy them again if they come out again… probably. If the rumours are true that Disney will give us the “original” cuts.

  8. Kevin

    Ghostbusters 1&2, the Star Trek movies, Terminator 2, Mulholland Drive, Serenity, Lord of the Rings, Planet of the Apes, RoboCop, The Dark Knight

  9. DanC

    Star Wars original trilogy: 2x vhs, 2x dvd, 1x blu ray and even a (bootleg/pirated) vcd set of the original trilogy. Got VCD set before official dvd boxset became available.

  10. EM

    Depends on how you count. Since the question is about how many we own (present simple), I’m not going to consider any discarded copies (I got rid of my VHS copies of almost everything). In my current collection, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is the film I have the most editions of: two standalone DVD editions (1 theatrical cut, 1 director’s) plus DVD and Blu-ray editions of the Star Trek: Original Motion Picture Collection. However, I think the prize really goes to Phantom of the Opera (1925). While I own “only” three editions, two of the three boast multiple cuts of the film, so that I have a total of seven iterations of Phantom throughout my collection. (And I still haven’t picked up a Blu!)

  11. My guilty video pleasure has to be the original Halloween. I’ve owned this movie on VHS, Criterion Edition LaserDisc, DVD 1999, 25th Anniv. DVD 2003, Blu ray, and will soon purchasethe 40th anniv. Blu ray. Each version seems to be a little better, and I’m really excited about the 40th anniversary edition because of the remastering of the video.

  12. Ted S.

    I’ve bought Blade Runner and Terminator 2 so many times I lost count. I still have the original VHS copy of Blade Runner, I begged my mom to buy it for me when I was about 13 years old. It’s on sale for like $6, that’s a bargain for a VHS back in the early 90s.

    I think I’ve bought T2 on VHS, LaserDisc, first crappy looking DVD, then slightly better looking DVD, then the awful looking Bluray and currently I have the latest version that came out on BD a couple of years back.

  13. Dave Mueller

    Definitely Star Wars. VHS, original version LD, Definitive Collectors LD, Special Edition LD, DVD, and now Blu-ray.

    Damn.

  14. Brian

    For me it’s gotta be Raiders of the Lost Ark (that movie is also my record-holder for most times seen in the theater). I got it on VHS, wore it out, got it again, that one broke (stupid VHS!), got a free copy on VHS from McDonald’s, (maybe during a Last Crusade promotion?).. That one got replaced by a widescreen copy on VHS, which then got replaced by the DVD, and now the BD.

    As an asterisk, I almost bought a laserdisc player at one point, and you can be sure that would have been the first movie I’d have bought.

  15. Star Wars Trilogy, Laser Disc original, Laser Disc Special Edition, VHS, Japanese DvD import, DVD, Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray if it comes out, and Ultraviolet/Vudu if it comes out for that, and of course 4K if that also ever happens.
    Also on Laser,VHS,DvD,Blu-ray Escape from New York, Big Trouble in Little China, Indian Jones Trilogy, Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, TV would be the Original Star Trek, but add first season of it in HDDvD. And every Doctor Who VHS, UK import DvD and US DvD, with a few laser discs.

  16. shawn

    The movie I own the most copies of is The Private Eyes. I have the VHS, DVD, and the blu ray. I also have some others that double dipped on blu ray like Total Recall and two versions of Watchmen.

    • EM

      Is that the Don Knotts–Tim Conway gothic-mystery spoof? I saw that in theater and loved it. Then a few years later I saw that it was going to be on TV, and I set up the VCR to tape it. While watching the broadcast I decided it wasn’t nearly so hilarious as I remembered, and so about halfway through I shut off the VCR and never watched the movie again. At ½, it’s the movie I’ve had the least copies of (other than zero, of course).

      • shawn

        That’s the one, I had a similar reaction when I bought it on blu ray and watched it for the first time in years. I couldn’t believe that I thought the movie was really funny when I was a kid, I still like it, but it seems like something best enjoyed when younger or on the first viewing.

        • EM

          Yeah, I was ten upon first viewing and around 16 upon my disillusionment. I still appreciate some things about the film, such as the verses that would rhyme if only the final word or phrase had been replaced by a synonym.

        • William Henley

          Oh, that would be a fun topic for a future roundtable – movies we loved as kids, bought on Blu-Ray, and then realized how awful they were! I got a few of those!

  17. Jurassic Park (VHS, VHS Letterbox, Laserdisc, DVD, DVD with DTS, Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray 3D)

    Top Gun (VHS, DVD, HD-DVD, Blu-Ray 3D)

    Willow (VHS, Laserdisc, DVD, Blu-Ray)

    Fantasia (VHS, Laserdisc, DVD, Blu-Ray)

    Harry Potter 1-5 (DVD, HD-DVD (have Philosopher’s Stone and Sorceror’s Stone), Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray Ultimate Editions

    Star Trek Movies (VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray)

    Star Wars (VHS, VHS special Editions, VHS Letterbox, Laserdisc, Laserdisc THX, DVD (with the theatrical cuts, which are really just the THX Laserdiscs), Blu-Ray

    ET (VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray)

    Independance Day (VHS, DVD, Laserdisc)

    Terminator 2 (VHS, Laserdisc, DVD, DVD Special Edition, Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray Skynet Edition)

    Lost In Space (VHS Letterbox, DVD, Blu-Ray).

    • William Henley

      *ID4 should be VHS Widescreen, DVD, Laserdisc and Blu-Ray)

      *Star Wars should include 2 versions on DVD.

      *Star Trek should also include the Directors Cuts on DVD

      *I will also admit that Jurassic Park holds the record for the movie I have seen in the theater the most times.

      *I have 2 different VHS copies of T2 and 2 laserdisc copies (I think). I believe there was the directors cut and the extended cut.

      *ET holds the record for the movie I have bought the most of but rarely watched.

      A few more
      ———-

      Monsters Inc (DVD, Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray 3D)

      Monty Python’s Meaning of Life (VHS, DVD, HD-DVD [my HD-DVD player still works, so I haven't upgraded most of my HD-DVDs yet. Probably won't unless significantly better transfers become available of the movies I own])

      Nightmare Before Christmas (VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray, blu-Ray 3D)

      Just about every Disney movie that has had a VHS / DVD / Blu-Ray release.

      Anastasia (VHS, DVD, Laserdisc, Blu-Ray) [honestly do not know why – the movie is okay, I was actually surprised to realize I own 4 copies of it. The Blu-Ray is sitting on my shelf in the unopened discs section).

      Muppet Movie (VHS, Laserdisc, DVD, Blu-Ray)

      Muppets Take Manhatten (VHS, Laserdisc, DVD, Blu-Ray)

      Those are the record holders – at least, those that I remember. Every movie that I had on VHS that came out on DVD I replaced, and every movie I have owned on either VHS, Laserdisc, or DVD that has come out on HD-DVD or Blu-Ray I have replaced. Makes me realize how much money I have spent on movies over the year. Expensive Hobby.

  18. Mr Apollo

    I own a lot multiple copies of movies but I’m only found to name one of them because it’s almost weird. The Last Samurai.

    1 opened dvd – wide screen
    1 opened dvd – full frame
    2 sealed dvd – wide screen
    1 opened hd-dvd
    1 sealed hd-dvd
    1 opened blu-ray
    1 sealed steel book blu-ray

    For some reason I REALLY like buying that movie.

    • William Henley

      I think everyone owns Last Samurai on HD-DVD and / or Blu-Ray if they were early adoptors. The movie was given away with all new players for years. I don’t care, though, it is a good movie.

      • Really? I got ‘Children of Men’, ‘Miami Vice’, ‘Chronicles of Riddick’ and ‘Poseidon’ with my HD DVD player and ’300′ and ‘Blood Diamond’ with my Blu-ray player. As such, I have never seen ‘The Last Samurai’. Do you recommend it?

      • I had an HD DVD player on day one, and my Toshiba HD-A1 (if I’m not misremembering the model number) didn’t come with a pack-in. The only movies I could find locally at launch were The Last Samurai and The Phantom of the Opera. Serenity wasn’t in stock anywhere I checked, and Million Dollar Baby was delayed a few days. I wanted to get *something* to try out on my shiny new player, so I basically flipped a coin and picked up The Phantom of the Opera.

        Fun fact — more than 7 years later, I’ve still never actually watched Phantom. On that very first day, I skipped around for a minute or two to make sure I had everything hooked up right and that it looked as good as I expected, and that was it.

          • William Henley

            It’s one of those things that you either love or hate. I love it, but I can see why many people hate it (I have several friends who hate it).

            It is pretty eye candy. I picked it up on Blu-Ray when I bought my PS3 in 2006. I later picked it up on HD-DVD when I got a player (because places were unloading HD-DVDs for dirt cheap, so I thought “hey, cheap HD movies”) because it had a better audio track than the Blu-Ray version.

            When I say that Last Samurai was bundled with early players, I don’t mean day one adopters – I am talking those who waited about 6 months to a year (that still means you got a player before most of your friends). That was when the format wars really picked up, and they just started bundling ridiculous amounts of movies with their players. My HD-DVD player had 2 movies in the box, a card that I could send off to Toshiba to get another 5, then Best Buy offered a couple of free movies. I paid $150 for the player, then a week later it was marked down to $100, so I got $50 back from Best Buy’s 30-day price guarantee, and two weeks after I bought it, Toshiba threw in the towel (I saw it coming – it is why I picked up a player – for clearence movies), so I got another $50 on a giftcard from Best Buy. So, $50 for a brand new player and 9 free movies. It was a steal!

            I think Last Samurai and 300 were in the box with the player. The movies Toshiba sent me were Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Babel, Black Rain, I think there was a movie called Back Draft, and I got Beowoulf.

            I think Transformers and Shrek the Third were my free movies from Best Buy.

            Then I started on teh clearence movies. Matrix Trilogy – $20. Star Trek TOS Season 1 – $15. Heros season 1 – $10. Battlestar Galactica Season 1 – $10. Forbidden Planet – $3. Josh’s favorite movie – Dune – $3. No Reservations – $3. Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty – $0.99 each. Serinity – $5. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – GBP5. Then I got an even larger stack of movies that were given to me by someone clearing out their HD-DVD collection.

            Anyways, when I say movies were bundled for early adopters, I don’t mean people who bought their players in 2006, I am talking about those who bought their players between 2007 and early 2008 when the format wars were in play. Last Samurai and 300 were bundled with just about every HD-DVD and Blu-Ray player sold at the time.

  19. Probably a tie between ‘Back to the Future’ (trilogy) and ‘The Goonies’ for me. As it stands:

    Back to the Future: VHS (retail), VHS (rental, only the first movie), LaserDisc (PAL; still looking for NTSC and MUSE-versions), VCD (from Hong Kong) DVD (3-disc set), DVD (4-disc set), Blu-ray box-set and Blu-ray Steelbook from Germany. Probably forgot some version along the way.

    The Goonies: 2x VHS (retail), 1x VHS (rental), LaserDisc (widescreen), DVD (from Spain, the home country of One-Eyed Willy no less), 2x UMD from UK (one sealed), UMD (from Japan), Blu-ray (from UK), Blu-ray (in 25th Anniversary Set from USA) and Blu-ray (forthcoming Steelbook from Zavvi).

  20. August Lehe

    WOW! You guys put me to shame!

    I’ll put it this way…I have three copies of Ben-Hur; two of The Stranger with Orson Welles, three of Citizen Kane; three of King Kong, three of From Russia With Love (one is a CED RCA Disc); three of Blade Runner; Two of Zulu (including the fantastic Criterion Collection LaserDisc; four of The Big Country (two DVD and Two Blu Ray)…I won’t go on…

  21. Ryan

    I tend to get rid of the old copy once I get the newer version with very few exceptions.
    Lord of the Rings is one. I own the Theatrical and the EEs.
    And Kingdom of Heaven DC is the other. I kept the DVD version even after I got the BluRay because it had better extras (and I believe the commentary).

  22. Ben Hur. It was my fathers favorite movie. He first recorded it on VHS for me. And I have bought every upgrade since. I still have the VHS copy, I can’t bring myself to get rid of it!