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TopBilled

Legally prevented from airing on TCM

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10 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Are you talking about the rarefilmm guy? I notice his page was shut down recently.

Yes. Now, according to his Twitter account he is trying to start again....

Death Takes a Holiday has been on TCM in the past, according to moviecollectoroh's database. But it and Applause are controlled right now by Universal. Universal probably would be willing to license these and other films for TCM screening, but TCM would have to go to some effort and expense to secure those rights. It's so much easier for the programmers to just schedule yet another screening of North by Northwest.

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6 hours ago, skimpole said:

Is there some rights issue that prevents TCM from showing Death Takes a Holiday or Applause?

It would be nice to see DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY on the line-up, but I do have it on DVD (as a double feature of the deadly dull MEET JOE BLACK), I got the set because of DEATH, which I have watched a 100 times but not but as of yet have not wasted my time a second one watching JOE BLACK (nor do I intend to anytime soon).

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3 hours ago, Polly of the Precodes said:

Yes. Now, according to his Twitter account he is trying to start again....

Death Takes a Holiday has been on TCM in the past, according to moviecollectoroh's database. But it and Applause are controlled right now by Universal. Universal probably would be willing to license these and other films for TCM screening, but TCM would have to go to some effort and expense to secure those rights. It's so much easier for the programmers to just schedule yet another screening of North by Northwest.

APPLAUSE was issued on DVD in the early 2000s, but I am not sure if it's still being manufactured. Maybe they need to re-release it...or at least make it available for streaming somewhere.

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1 hour ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

It would be nice to see DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY on the line-up, but I do have it on DVD (as a double feature of the deadly dull MEET JOE BLACK), I got the set because of DEATH, which I have watched a 100 times but not but as of yet have not wasted my time a second one watching JOE BLACK (nor do I intend to anytime soon).

Yes...but if not for the remake, they probably wouldn't have pulled the original out of the vault.

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3 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Yes...but if not for the remake, they probably wouldn't have pulled the original out of the vault.

No doubt you're right.

As a matter of fact I looked up the set, I still have DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY but MEET JOE BLACK I must have 'misplaced' somewhere down the line. I won't go out of my way to look for it.:D

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15 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Yes. Now, according to his Twitter account he is trying to start again....

Death Takes a Holiday has been on TCM in the past, according to moviecollectoroh's database. But it and Applause are controlled right now by Universal. Universal probably would be willing to license these and other films for TCM screening, but TCM would have to go to some effort and expense to secure those rights. It's so much easier for the programmers to just schedule yet another screening of North by Northwest.

 

5 hours ago, Polly of the Precodes said:

Yes. Now, according to his Twitter account he is trying to start again....

Death Takes a Holiday has been on TCM in the past, according to moviecollectoroh's database. But it and Applause are controlled right now by Universal. Universal probably would be willing to license these and other films for TCM screening, but TCM would have to go to some effort and expense to secure those rights. It's so much easier for the programmers to just schedule yet another screening of North by Northwest.

I saw this happen pretty much in real time.  Basically someone posted a link to his site, then like clockwork some buzzkill troll reported him and then proceeded to boast about it.  His site was soon offline after that.

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IT'S A WISE CHILD (1931)

WISE.jpg

MARION DAVIES pretends to be pregnant to avoid an arranged marriage to an old man in this racy comedy.

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12 hours ago, yanceycravat said:

It's my hope that I will do that very thing.  I also have hundreds of sit-com pilots I recorded on VHS from about 1985 to 1999 sitting in boxes waiting to be transferred. Unfortunately the quality of those recordings vary greatly as it was just for archival purposes and recorded at SLP speed, with and without cable reception!

I hope your idea about archiving the TCM intros and wrap-ups becomes a reality.

I think it would be hugely beneficial to future generations. Especially younger people who never had a chance to watch Robert live on air.

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On 7/8/2020 at 2:20 PM, TopBilled said:

1. LETTY LYNTON (1932)...Joan Crawford's very best precode.

According to whose opinion?

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23 minutes ago, TikiSoo said:

According to whose opinion?

Methuselah the movie critic, still writing away at the age of 115. Saw it on its first run. ;) 

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4 hours ago, UMO1982 said:

IT'S A WISE CHILD (1931)

WISE.jpg

MARION DAVIES pretends to be pregnant to avoid an arranged marriage to an old man in this racy comedy.

This one looks good. I'm a fan of Polly Moran, and putting her with Davies would be comedy gold.

Why is it tangled up in litigation? Any particular reason...?

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12 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

This one looks good. I'm a fan of Polly Moran, and putting her with Davies would be comedy gold.

Why is it tangled up in litigation? Any particular reason...?

It's some sort of copyright issue regarding the play on which the film is based.  I'm not following the explanation clearly, but apparently the playwright's widow copyrighted the play in 1937 (after this film was released).  So I'm not sure how the two are interrelated, especially if the play was protected after the film was released.  The play was a hit when it originally ran on Broadway in 1929, and was revived in 1933.

One interesting sidebar: Bogart was in the opening night cast of the play:  https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-production/its-a-wise-child-10915#OpeningNightCast

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1 minute ago, txfilmfan said:

It's some sort of copyright issue regarding the play on which the film is based.  I'm not following the explanation clearly, but apparently the playwright's widow copyrighted the play in 1937 (after this film was released).  So I'm not sure how the two are interrelated, especially if the play was protected after the film was released.  The play was a hit when it originally ran on Broadway in 1929, and was revived in 1933.

One interesting sidebar: Bogart was in the opening night cast of the play:  https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-production/its-a-wise-child-10915#OpeningNightCast

Thanks for the notes/explanation. Much appreciated!

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7 hours ago, TopBilled said:

APPLAUSE was issued on DVD in the early 2000s, but I am not sure if it's still being manufactured. Maybe they need to re-release it...or at least make it available for streaming somewhere.

Applause was issued by Kino but no longer seems to be available on their site.  It can be found on in secondary markets like eBay and Amazon.

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7 hours ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

No doubt you're right.

As a matter of fact I looked up the set, I still have DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY but MEET JOE BLACK I must have 'misplaced' somewhere down the line. I won't go out of my way to look for it.:D

The blu-ray release of "Death Takes A Holiday" was released a year ago almost and boasts a decent picture and a good commentary.

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screen-shot-2020-07-09-at-3.17.54-pm

Wonder what's going on with the silent film ANNIE LAURIE (1927). It was restored by the Library of Congress and has played at film festivals.

But this Lillian Gish feature has never aired on TCM, and it's an MGM film. The studio made a ten minute musical short, also called ANNIE LAURIE (1936) with Ann Rutherford. Probably based on the same source material. It has aired six times on TCM, the most recent airing was last year. Yet the Gish picture doesn't see the light of day.

Legally prevented from airing?

Screen Shot 2020-07-09 at 3.17.43 PM.jpeg

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3 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Thanks for the notes/explanation. Much appreciated!

It seems that MGM had submitted the story based on the play to the Hays office and then retrieved it, knowing the Hays office would not OK it for the screen so they re-worked the story (apparently with the playwright (Laurence Johnson). It was pre-Code but the Hays office did not approve the screenplay and because it was a re-worked but close approximation of the play it caused the widow to copyright the original play (not the screenplay). It was sort of a case like Gloria Swanson's filming SADIE THOMPSON rather than RAIN ....

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3 minutes ago, UMO1982 said:

It seems that MGM had submitted the story based on the play to the Hays office and then retrieved it, knowing the Hays office would not OK it for the screen so they re-worked the story (apparently with the playwright (Laurence Johnson). It was pre-Code but the Hays office did not approve the screenplay and because it was a re-worked but close approximation of the play it caused the widow to copyright the original play (not the screenplay). It was sort of a case like Gloria Swanson's filming SADIE THOMPSON rather than RAIN ....

Very interesting. So because the widow copyrighted the play, does that mean the studio needed to request certain permissions, because the screenplay is based on the original play and the widow now legally controlled it?

Was the film ever re-released in theaters? Has it ever been seen by anyone since the original exhibition?

Surprised papa bear Hearst didn't step in.

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Even if the rights can be untangled, two more steps have to be taken: 1) the film may need to be restored and 2) the film has to be digitized. TCM has done just that with quite a number of films that once were in the rights limbo category. The Constant Nymph and Home Before Dark are the first two that come to mind. So there is hope.

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5 minutes ago, kingrat said:

Even if the rights can be untangled, two more steps have to be taken: 1) the film may need to be restored and 2) the film has to be digitized. TCM has done just that with quite a number of films that once were in the rights limbo category. The Constant Nymph and Home Before Dark are the first two that come to mind. So there is hope.

Yes, those two are Warner Brothers productions and in the TCM library. Sometimes we see the rights untangled for a film outside the TCM library, like THE STORY OF TEMPLE DRAKE (1933), which is a Paramount picture (controlled by Universal). And TCM seems willing to give such titles a well-deserved "premiere."

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38 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Very interesting. So because the widow copyrighted the play, does that mean the studio needed to request certain permissions, because the screenplay is based on the original play and the widow now legally controlled it?

Was the film ever re-released in theaters? Has it ever been seen by anyone since the original exhibition?

Surprised papa bear Hearst didn't step in.

Johnson died in 1933, The widow re-copyrighted the play and thus killed the film's "legality" since MGM did not change the title of the Davies film or (apparently) the names of the main characters. She controlled it. The film was never re-released and been shown only a few times at screenings. Sounds like MGM made the purchase of the play, not Hearst ... but who knows. The legal tangle came later. The plot sounds terrific and the trade papers of the day praised it.

To avoid an arranged marriage, Davies claims to be pregnant but won't name the father. The town gossips have a field day trying to figure out who daddy is, causing all sorts of problems. Of course in the end she's not pregnant but has made her point and is free to marry whom she chooses.

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John Gilbert's His Glorious Night (1929) is locked away at Library of Congress. This was Gilbert's first all-talkie and was shelved because of technical issues with the sound. MGM then released Redemption as Gilbert's talkie debut but then released His Glorious Night even with its bad sound. This one-two punch of badly recorded films killed Gilbert's film career. Anyway, Paramount bought the rights to His Glorious Night for a remake titled A Breath of Scandal, thus sealing the Gilbert  film's legal rights. It was an MGM film but Paramount owned the copyright ... and still does.

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1 minute ago, UMO1982 said:

John Gilbert's His Glorious Night (1929) is locked away at Library of Congress. This was Gilbert's first all-talkie and was shelved because of technical issues with the sound. MGM then released Redemption as Gilbert's talkie debut but then released His Glorious Night even with its bad sound. This one-two punch of badly recorded films killed Gilbert's film career. Anyway, Paramount bought the rights to His Glorious Night for a remake titled A Breath of Scandal, thus sealing the Gilbert  film's legal rights. It was an MGM film but Paramount owned the copyright ... and still does.

But it sounds like this film, which is extant, could screen on TCM if TCM leased it from Paramount. There are no rights issues preventing its broadcast. The only question would be if it's been digitally restored for broadcast.

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2 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

But it sounds like this film, which is extant, could screen on TCM if TCM leased it from Paramount. There are no rights issues preventing its broadcast. The only question would be if it's been digitally restored for broadcast.

It's been preserved "for historical purposes" but not digitized.  As I remember, Paramount has always refused access to it since it's an MGM film.  If TCM could never get its hands on it, it's doubtful anyone ever will. This is one that's never even shown at film festivals (to my knowledge). I seem to remember that when Leatrice Gilbert Fountain was writing the biography of her father, she had trouble even seeing the film at LOC. Of course that was decades ago.

In the 20s and 30s, a studio was usually happy to sell the rights to a film to another studio., especially if they had no plans to re-release or remake the film. It was easy money. Of course that was before television and home theaters gave value to old films.

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Looking at MovieCollector's database I notice the Garbo film AS YOU DESIRE ME (1932) hasn't aired since December 2006. Since that time there have been Star of the Month tributes for Garbo and for her costar Melvyn Douglas, but it hasn't been included. It aired 15 times between 1994 and 2006. Then it just dropped off. Is it a rights issue?

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