Among the titles Warner is buying from the producer's son Samuel Goldwyn Jr. are best picture Academy Award winner "The Best Years of Our Lives," the Lou Gehrig biopic "Pride of the Yankees" with Gary Cooper, the musical "Guys and Dolls" with Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra, and Danny Kaye's "Hans Christian Andersen."
Some of the movies have never before been released on DVD, and many have not been available on Blu-ray disc or for digital download.
Jeff Baker, executive vice president of theatrical catalog for Warner Bros. home entertainment group, said many of the films will be released as part of packages the studio is already marketing under the brand of its sibling television network Turner Classic Movies. Warner has already released packs of movies, many starring or directed by such well known names as Kirk Douglas and John Ford, in Turner Classic Movies collections for less than $20.
"The theatrical catalog business has been resilient," Baker said. "Our business in catalog is virtually flat, which is outpacing the market."
Warner will start releasing films from Goldwyn's library on DVD late this year. Among the first will be "Guys and Dolls," "Wuthering Heights" with Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon, and "The Bishop's Wife" with Cary Grant.
In the past, Samuel Goldwyn Jr.'s firm, the Samuel Goldwyn Co., released some of the movies on DVD in a partnership with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
"I'm very proud of these pictures and I'm pleased that they'll be released by a company that has so many great pictures of its own, like 'Gone With the Wind' and 'The Wizard of Oz,'" Samuel Goldwyn Jr. said.
Goldwyn's library includes 16 silent films such as "Stella Dallas," "The Winning of Barbara Worth" and "The Night of Love."
-- Ben Fritz
Photo: Michael Hall, Teresa Wright, Fredric March and Myrna Loy in "The Best Years of Our Lives." Credit: American Movie Classics.