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Philo Vance.......


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tcmprogrammer, as wonderful as the recent 91(91!) crime movie film fest is, and it is! (and I should stop with the accolades, I'm even making me sick), I wonder if you have the following in your library:


ALL the Philo Vance movies..........i.e., the William Powell three that are NOT shown while The Kennel Murder Case is constantly shown:


The Greene Murder Case

The Canary Murder Case

The Benson Murder Case


and the other Warren William one:


The Gracie Allen Murder Case




Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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The Kennel Murder Case is a Warner Bros. film from 1933, so TCM owns it.


Greene Murder Case is a 1929 Paramount film, thus owned by Universal, which requires leasing it.


Ditto for Canary Murder Case (Paramount 1929, owned by Universal).


Again ditto for Benson Murder Case (Paramount 1930, owned by Universal).


Yet again ditto for Gracie Allen Murder Case (Paramount 1939, owned by Universal).

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Thanks, all. So is the bottom line that Universal would not allow TCM to show those films on a 'lease' basis (is that how it's done, they're leased?)? What would be the benefit to them, I can't see everyone rushing out to buy any of these movies on DVD (or VHS).


Is it a case of the dog in the manger?


Does a film get into the public domain if the studio which made it no longer wishes to retain the rights? Again, why would one old film (Kennel Murder Case) get into the public domain while the other three are still being held?


LOL, thanks for the class in the business of cinema. Fascinating stuff.

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Well, it costs money to lease the films. That is assuming Universal still has prints. No, and they probably can't see people rushing out to buy them either, which means they will probably not be released.


It simply could be a case on their part of, 'I have it, and you don't'. They own it, they can do with it what they want.


PD-Movies have to have their rights renewed (At least, they used to. Haven't figured this out with all the new copyright laws Congress keeps passing). If the studio doesn't renew, the film lapses into the public domain. Santa Fe Trail is another example of a film that went PD this route.


A less traveled route (This is actual the only one I've ever heard of) is the case of Universal's Charade with Cary Grant. It went PD the day it was released in theaters. Universal apparently forgot to put any 'Copyright Universal Pictures 1963' logo on the prints.


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I think about half of the movies that are being shown this week are leased from various studios or are in the public domain


as for "Charade," although it is considered p.d. by many people, Universal represents it as one of their films and we don't wan to disturb our relationship with them by forcing the issue - we treat it as though it were their film


there are only so many films we can licnese from various studios, though - we have a budget, so have to choose where to use our limited resources

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Interesting, thank you. Is the leasing of movies expensive? I would have thought that the pockets of Time Warner were nearly bottomless. Then again, perhaps they budget more for their executives than they do for the really important business of showing and preserving films?


Speaking of which, anyone here know what happened to the AMC film preservation program? Did they use all the preservation money they used to ask for to treat their execs to bigger limos? It's funny to see old tapes I have from the hey day of AMC which asked for donations for film preservation, when they no longer SHOW the films they supposedly preserved.


Well, however you're choosing to distribute your budget, tcmpgmr, you're doing an outstanding job this week.

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thank you


no, definitely not bottomless; we have to survive as our own business, and since we aren't ad-supported we don't have anything close to the revenue that most cable networks do


we have to be very judicious in how we spend our money; the leasing can be very expensive


I'm sure the money AMC raised went to a film preservation charity, not to pay for bigger limos


a lot of people at AMC were very upset by the changes they made; it is a business, though, and someone figured more money could be made by adding advertising - thankfully, that isn't part of our business model, which makes TCM a fun channel to program (we don't have to worry about ratings to please advertisers, so we can play a variety of films that might not be big ratings generators)


but there are definitely business pressures

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Speaking of film preservation, this week-end on WYBE (a PBS affiliate) I saw the worst copy of a classic film EVER! It was "D.O.A." with Edmund O'Brien. It was so faded that sometimes in medium distance shots, the entire facial features of the actors disappeared. All you could see was the outline of the face framed in a hairdo.In the exterior scenes, some of the letters had vanished off signs. Thank goodness better copies exist.

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