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Life With Father (1947)


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It's probably been shown at some point, just not anytime recently (last six months or so I'm pretty sure).

 

There was a long stretch when I didn't have much access to TCM so I'm sure it must have played at some time when I couldn't watch the channel.

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It's probably been shown at some point, just not anytime recently (last six months or so I'm pretty sure).

 

Oh, gad (the original Howard Lindsay-Russell Crouse play had Clarence Day, sr.'s favorite exclamation a more typical, "Oh, God!" but, to Hollywood's Breen Office, Clarence's outbursts were entirely too casual for their taste, hence the movie's taking-the-Lord's-name-in-vain-lite)!

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The problem is that a lot of times, when a film is in public domain, the studio that use to own it doesn't have the original elements to do a retoration. In some cases they simply don't want to invest money in a film that's been around for decades in PD. I don't know what Warner's situation is.

 

I do know that even into the early 1980's (after it went PD) Warners syndicated very nice 16mm film prints to tv stations. If they still have that negative and it's in good shape or even really good 16mm print in the vaults, they could make a decent looking DVD from it. It wouldn't be a restoration, but still would be much better than the PD junk that's out there.

 

If TCM has shown it, and I have a feeling they did, WB must be a tape master someplace too. Let's hope they'll start looking.

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Well I guess there must be hope.... WHV/MGM has recently rescued Till the Clouds Roll By from PD hell and there's hope that they'll soon do the same with Royal Wedding. Fox video will be bringing out an "official" release of The Little Princess later this year.

 

I mean, if there's a good source material anywhere, it should still rest within the vaults of the studios that originally owned them, even if the copyright expired at some point, right?

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I mean, if there's a good source material anywhere, it should still rest within the vaults of the studios that originally owned them, even if the copyright expired at some point, right? >>

 

Unless there was a vault fire, or the film elements were melted down for their silver content, or the film was originally on nitrate and decomposed or the studio threw out the elements at some point because they needed the storage space or the elements were mislabeled or the elements were on safety stock but have faded to pink or the people in Home Video have no idea of what films they have their in their in their libraries.

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> I mean, if there's a good source material anywhere,

> it should still rest within the vaults of the studios

> that originally owned them, even if the copyright

> expired at some point, right? >>

>

> Unless there was a vault fire, or the film elements

> were melted down for their silver content, or the

> film was originally on nitrate and decomposed or the

> studio threw out the elements at some point because

> they needed the storage space or the elements were

> mislabeled or the elements were on safety stock but

> have faded to pink or the people in Home Video have

> no idea of what films they have their in their in

> their libraries.

 

I'm sure you didn't mean to sound condescending... yes I was well aware of the wide array of problems that can occur when trying to use the best source material for a video transfer. Nonetheless I stick by my earlier point that the studio which originally owned/distributed the movie is more likely to have the best possible source material in a lot of cases. That's not to say that a better source couldn't occasionally be found overseas, but at least if we're talking about films originally released by U.S. studios, I'd guess the studio that originally distributed it (or whomever ended up owning their film library) probably can put out a better-looking video transfer than any of the companies making horrible-looking public-domain titles.

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What - lzcutter coming across like a condescending know-it-all? Perish the thought! ;) We can all learn so much from lzcutter.

 

I've been wishing Warner would release a superior DVD of "Life With Father" as well. If TCM airs it, I suspect it would be the same crappy public domain print though - since that's what they did with other Irene Dunne movies like "Love Affair" and "Penny Serenade"... I recorded those off TCM in hopes they'd be upgrades of the cheapie DVDs, but no such luck.

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I'm sure you didn't mean to sound condescending... yes I was well aware of the wide array of problems that can occur when trying to use the best source material for a video transfer. >>

 

Cinemascope,

 

I'm sorry if my response sounded condescending as that was not my intent.

 

<>

 

In theory you are correct about the producing studio being the one most likely to have the elements. The point I was trying to make is that not every film's elements have survived the years.

 

<>

 

Overseas archives can often yield some treasures. Warners Home Video is currently scouring everywhere in hopes of finding the missing footage from "The Sea Wolf" in hopes of being able to restore it to its original length.

 

Again, sorry for the tone of my earlier post.

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[nobr]This film has indeed been shown on TCM but not for well over a year, now.[/nobr]

AMC, wayback when it was worth a damn, used to air it too.

Have copies of it from both sources.

 

An alternative available to you is to rent a decent vhs copy from a video store and transfer it to dvd.

 

S A M

[nobr]527.gif[/nobr]

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I think one of the problems goes back to the '70s and '80s when the studios were being sold to conglomerates who had no interest in the films themselves. The accountants couldn't understand why they were paying storage bills on all this original material from films that had been made sixty years ago. They just figured once the films were completed all that stuff was worthless and had it destroyed to save a buck.

 

Incidently, most people think that each studio has a giant "vault" on the lot to store all their films and negatives. It's not true. While there may be some film storage there, most studios rent space in commercial complexes especially designed for the proper storgage of film.

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Izcutter,

 

No hard feelings I hope.... the tone of the earlier post probably rubbed me the wrong way because I've spent way over a decade lamenting the lack of pristine source materials for some great classic movies, as well as the complete loss of maybe 50% of all movies made before 1950 (an estimate that I believe to be accurate although I can't be 100% sure).

 

It's great to have Criterion DVDs of some great movies but obviously that kind of care can't always be given every worthwhile movie whether it's because of rights issues, or just the plain lack of first-rate source materials.

 

I always cherish every title that is rescued from PD hell, such as Till the Clouds Roll By and It's a Wonderful Life.

 

Here's hoping that WHV will at some point have a chance to rescue Life With Father even if it's with a less-than-pristine transfer; I'm sure that anything that is roughly in the same ballpark as most of their movies from the 40's would be much appreciated.

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Warners does, indeed, have negatives on LIFE WITH FATHER. They sent around a beautiful 35mm transfer on tape about ten years ago to stations. However, they cannot release it to the home market due to contract limitations. This, of course, does not stop the pd pushers from releasing it; but it does prevent a licensee of the original property from doing so with impunity. It's one of the many legal wrangles that WB is slowly but surely sloshing through. I'm sure they will succeed eventually.

 

I recently bought a beautiful lowfade original print on eBay for a pretty hefty price. But it was worth it. It's a great film. And, once again, it's Curtiz and Steiner.

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> Warners does, indeed, have negatives on LIFE WITH

> FATHER. They sent around a beautiful 35mm transfer

> on tape about ten years ago to stations. However,

> they cannot release it to the home market due to

> contract limitations. This, of course, does not stop

> the pd pushers from releasing it; but it does prevent

> a licensee of the original property from doing so

> with impunity. It's one of the many legal wrangles

> that WB is slowly but surely sloshing through. I'm

> sure they will succeed eventually.

>

> I recently bought a beautiful lowfade original print

> on eBay for a pretty hefty price. But it was worth

> it. It's a great film. And, once again, it's Curtiz

> and Steiner.

 

I'm a bit confused... back in the 40's, didn't studios generally own the movies they made 100%? And if they owned it originally, how can they have contract limitations?

 

Anyway here's hoping something does indeed get worked out, it would be great to rescue this movie from PD hell.

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I'm a bit confused... back in the 40's, didn't studios generally own the movies they made 100%? And if they owned it originally, how can they have contract limitations?>>

 

Cinema,

 

It may have something to do with the contract with the author. Another problem is that VHS, laser and DVD are technologies that no one planned or foresaw so that can cause problems in securing the rights beyond just the film rights. Just because a studio owned the rights to make a movie from the book does not necessarily mean they own the rights in perpetuity or for technology beyond what was known in the 1940s.

 

Also, this may be a case where the Abend ruling has precedent.

 

There are wiser folks than I around here that can talk about that.

 

I do agree with CRStudio that if WBHV is working on getting the rights worked out they will ultimately prevail.

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> Yes, it is relating to the contract with Clarence Day

> and his estate.

 

So WB didn't overlook renewing the copyright? It was something about that specific contract as well?

 

I think I remember reading somewhere that MGM didn't renew the copyright on Till the Clouds Roll By in the early 70s, apparently due to an oversight.

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