I remember when DVDs first came out. It was a wonderful yet weird time, and I’d like to take you on a little journey.
Blockbusters were on practically every corner.
Unfortunately, since I lived in a rural area, we had a cheap knockoff called Video Wonderland that my German dad pronounced, “Wideo Vonderland” which I found absolutely hilarious. VHS was the only game in town. Every tape featured a giant sticker with “Be Kind, Rewind,” plastered on it. Nobody actually rewound the tapes.
It was a different time.
Then DVDs hit the market and the world changed. The year was 1997, and folks were tired of having to fast forward and rewind their tapes. DVDs liberated humankind from the doldrums of antiquated technology, ushering in a new era of unbelievable opportunity. Not only did DVDs have awesome menus and title screens, but they also came jam-packed with special features.
DVDs were $3 to rent and VHS tapes were $2.
I remember video rental stores being the vanguard of DVD utopia. While browsing the shelves one Friday night, I saw my first DVD. The case was sleek. The DVD inside was shiny, I can only assume. It took my family years after DVDs first came out to actually get a DVD player. But a young boy can dream.
Now just because I can remember what it was like seeing my first DVD for rent, that doesn’t mean I remember which movies were actually on the DVDs. For that, I’ve had to consult the internet. According to some people, Twister was the first movie to be released on DVD. Others say that’s not quite accurate.
According to this one guy, these were the first titles to be released on DVD:
- A Time to Kill
- Blade Runner
- Interview with the Vampire
- The Road Warrior
- The Birdcage
- The Bridges of Madison County
- The Fugitive
- The Mask
- The Wizard of Oz
Reading over the list, it’s a solid cadre of titles. Twister is on this first release batch, so I guess the Twister crew isn’t wrong. The Mask, a comedy classic, was a perfect movie for me at the time. The Bridges of Madison County sticks out like a sore thumb to me, but maybe it has a cult following. I honestly don’t know. All things considered, they could have chosen to plop out some direct to TV trash for the first DVDs, but they opted for better films instead. I can respect that.
Whether or not we can trust Chris Cooling--Blockbuster manager--or not, I can’t say. His list seems solid, and personally, I love it. It’s a great collection that spans a few decades of great movies.
Also, The Mask was probably the first DVD I ever watched, so the list checks out as far as I’m concerned!