Finding its way to LaserDisc in the summer of 1983, MGM/UA Home Video was
the second label associated with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer films on home video. Originally MGM product was found on videocassette
and CED videodisc on the MGM/CBS Home Video label. LD never had the MGM/CBS label and the titles presented below represent
the first MGM/UA discs to arrive on the format.
MGM/UA launched with a three-level pricing plan. Single discs generally
received the then-becoming-standard $34.95 retail price. Double discs came in at $39.95. MGM/UA did offer a unique $25.95
price group. Apparently applied to older films, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Day at the Races
and Forbidden Planet, and specialty releases, Tom & Jerry, this $25.95 group had few
additions and didn't last into modern MGM/UA releases. Reviewing this initial group however, one must wonder how the decision
was made on the $25.95 titles. For example, Wizard of Oz certainly fits into the same era as the Marx Brothers
film, but receives the full $34.95 price. And if we consider Tom & Jerry got the $25.95 because
of being a specialty or non-feature title, why didn't Compleat Beatles receive the $25.95 price?
majority of the launch titles were Japanese pressings done by Pioneer's Kofu plant. All transfers are full-frame as was the
norm for this time. As was typical of this time too, usage of CX-noise reduction is very hit-and-miss. For example, Clash
of the Titans got CX'd and the Bo Derek Tarzan remake did not, yet both are stereo
films. There never seemed to be much of an explanation for this situation.
Considering the pan-and-scan transfers
and occasional use of time compression, it is interesting to note that MGM/UA Home Video titles all carried a statement on
the disc jacket that the films were original theatrical presenation versions. Perhaps MGM/UA Home Video was merely claiming
them to be uncut with respect to their MPAA-rating, as many today would be hard pressed to agree that these LDs reflect the
original theatrical presentations for most of these movies.