Originally Posted by oink
According to IMDB, TLE was recorded as 2 ch.
The 6ch. mix was likely down at the behest of the studio or production company (as an added cost) for the 70mm presentation way back when.
Hence, the studio or production company owns it and wouldn't offer it as the normal/ordinary track (due to the extra cost incurred) for a video release.
I'm still confused. The mix was already done back in 1987, so what additional costs would be incurred by making it available to licensees?
As I said, it is likely the 6ch. raw data could form the basis of a multi-channel BD mix.
I would imagine the original stems survive -- hell, they could've conceivably done a 7.1 mix. They've certainly done this sort of thing before, when the filmmakers have requested it: Gimme Shelter
, Monterey Pop
, Two-Lane Blacktop
, the Peter Weir titles, and probably some others I'm neglecting. So I'm a little dubious that it all comes down tight-fistedness on Criterion's part, particularly given that The Last Emperor
is a much more significant release than, say, The Last Wave