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Frank Capra's "Its A Wonderful Life."


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It may suprise a lot of people here, but those of us who prefer to watch movies uncut and commercial free are in the minority.

 

Oh no, mark, it doesn't surprise me, not at all. H L Menken (b. 1880) said ""No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." It was true in 1880 and it is truer now.

 

The average viewer just doesn't seem to care.

 

Viewer, consumer, you name it, the public is happy to be duped and bamboozled and overcharged as long as they are getting the newest and latest and shiniest.

 

Idiots and heelots.

 

 

 

 

 

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> {quote:title=willbefree25 wrote:}{quote}Viewer, consumer, you name it, the public is happy to be duped and bamboozled and overcharged as long as they are getting the newest and latest and shiniest.

>

> Idiots and heelots.

>

>

>

Do you mind if I plagiarize you? I know I'm getting a little OT here, but that quotation is good enough to embroider into a sampler. Honestly, though, what do you expect of the younger people? I'm almost 55 and I discovered classic flim through afternoon and late night TV as a young person. Over the last ten years all that is in those timeslots is some charlatan in an infomercial trying to peddle shamwows or enzyte all the while trying to get you believe you are watching CNN by making it look "newsroomy" or over aggressive brides-to-be acting like rutting pigs often getting into hair pulling contests. AMC with its ads between and on top of the programming almost looks peaceful and soothing next to that. The fact that anyone under the age of 30 has managed to claw their way into an appreciation of classic film is almost a miracle. I must tip my hat to them.

 

Sorry to be cranky this morning, but I went to the trouble to post a multi-paragraph explanation - taken from the Wikipedia granted - about the history of the copyright problems with "It's a Wonderful Life" and the next post after mine reads:

 

Poster A: "If it's a Public Domain film, how can NBC have "exclusive rights" to it?" - like my post and answer to his question doesn't exist....right below his question.

 

Some other kind poster - let's call 'em poster B - basically rewrites what I wrote in explanation.

 

Poster A then politely thanks Poster B.

 

Honestly sometimes I think I'm talking to myself in these forums. Like I'm doing right now.

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>Markfp said: It may suprise a lot of people here, but those of us who prefer to watch movies uncut and commercial free are in the minority. The vast majority of TV viewers grew up with commercials and frankly just they don't think twice about it.

 

It's amazing to me anyone *tolerates* commercials and many people actually enjoy them!

I'm often bombarded with silly catchphrases that are met with my blank stare because I've never seen the commercial it's from. People will say, "Have you seen the one...." and I reply, "I don't watch commercials" and they retort, "What about THIS one?" and I have to repeat my answer because they simply cannot comprehend the idea.

 

And willbefree, maybe we're not ignoring you, maybe there just aren't a lot of Firefox users. Glad you found out, though....it's been going on for years.

 

My question is, does anyone have the rights for IAWL 35mm screenings? Is that (or even DVD projection) "public domain"?

I drag the family out every year for the 35mm holiday screenings hoping eventually they'll catch the bug for it!

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Be my guest, calvinnme, embrodier away!

 

When it comes to those who don't think anymore, I am cranky all the time.

 

You're not talking to yourself, although I know what you mean. Most of us read you and know exactly whereof you speak. We're the better for it, don't you think?

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Calvin,

 

My apologies, regarding the answer to FredC's question that I answered. I saw FredC's question, went to Wikipedia and posted an answer to Dobbsy.

 

I didn't realize that you had provided a much more detailed answer earlier in the thread.

 

Again, my apologies.

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>Poster A: "If it's a Public Domain film, how can NBC have "exclusive rights" to it?" - like my post and answer to his question doesn't exist....right below his question.

>

>Some other kind poster - let's call 'em poster B - basically rewrites what I wrote in explanation.

>

>Poster A then politely thanks Poster B.

>

>Honestly sometimes I think I'm talking to myself in these forums. Like I'm doing right now.

 

This type of thing happens all the time. No one has the time to read every post on every long thread before posting a message, and many people frequently repeat the same factual information on the same thread.

 

The same facts are the same facts, no matter who posts them or when they are posted.

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Calvininme, thank you for that detailed account of what happened with this flick! I think it's a total bummer, though. If any film should be in the public domain this one deserves to be! I guess I just remember fondly seeing it all over the cable dial during the holidays in the 80s! That was fun, to basically be able to watch it any time of the day or night during the holiday season!

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> {quote:title=markbeckuaf wrote:}{quote}Calvininme, thank you for that detailed account of what happened with this flick! I think it's a total bummer, though. If any film should be in the public domain this one deserves to be! I guess I just remember fondly seeing it all over the cable dial during the holidays in the 80s! That was fun, to basically be able to watch it any time of the day or night during the holiday season!

Mark I could write for days on the subject of film copyright and the convoluted mess that some films are in. That particular post is practically copied word for word from Wikipedia because they explained it much better than I ever could.

 

lzcutter: You owe me no apology. You were simply answering a question. I apologize in turn if you think my annoyance was directed at you in any way. It was not.

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> My question is, does anyone have the rights for IAWL 35mm screenings? Is that (or even DVD projection) "public domain"?

 

TikiSoo,

 

As Republic has the copyright, if someone/group wanted to screen the film in a public setting (either film or DVD), they would likely have to get permission from Republic. Republic would probably require a rental fee for the screening(s) (especially if there was admission charged).

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> {quote:title=TikiSoo wrote:}{quote}

> My question is, does anyone have the rights for IAWL 35mm screenings? Is that (or even DVD projection) "public domain"?

>

 

 

 

 

The simple answer is yes. When republic regained the rights to IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, that included all rights such as home video, theatrical and TV. To make a long story short, Republic eventually became owned by media conglomerate Viacom which is the parent company of Paramount who now handles the theatrical distribution. As for digital, with the phase out of 35mm prints expected to be complete within a year or so, I'd expect Paramount will have digital copies in circulation or maybe they already do.

 

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> {quote:title=calvinnme wrote:}{quote}

> I could write for days on the subject of film copyright and the convoluted mess that some films are in.

 

While I'd hate to cost you several days of writing, I would be fascinated to hear you expound on this topic . . .I gather that Disney has spearheaded changes to copyright law in order to hold onto Mickey Mouse et al but I'd never heard about the rights saga of It's a Wonderful Life until reading this very informative thread.

 

I've definitely never heard of a film going p.d. and then being "re-claimed" ! IAWL is hardly the only p.d. film with a tangle of other rights (like music or source material) attached to it.

 

It also struck me as weird to see a 2012 copyright on all the Mack Sennett shorts. Yes, it's great those films have been preserved and in some cases restored, but it does seem like a situation that's ripe for abuse -- go find a print of an old movie that's slipped into the public domain, tack on some new element, re-copyright the result and -- Presto ! -- you own the film ??

 

For years, there was a guy in Hollywood who had a lot of p.d. footage and made what he called "stockumentaries" -- "If we have the footage, it happened ... if we don't, it didn't."

 

Many thanks to all who've contributed to the info here -- especially to calvinnme (I share your sense of posting into a "vacuum") and lzcutter (from one who truly appreciates your generosity with both information and courtesy).

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}It's a shame that one TV network can tie up a film like that and then make it un-watchable by making 1/3 of its time slot filled with commercials.

 

 

 

 

I agree with you Fred, but that's how the business works. The film was put up for bid and NBC won. Thanks to all those commericals, NBC had deeper pockets than anybody else. It didn't hurt either that they were willing to commit to such a long-term contract. I'm not sure even TCM would have made a commitment for that long.

 

In the case of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, it's my understanding that ABC helped financed the film's restoration which tipped the scales in their favor. The joke, at the time, was that ABC would have the film for more years than Moses spent wandering in the desert. :)

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> go find a print of an old movie that's slipped into the public domain, tack on some new element, re-copyright the result and -- Presto ! -- you own the film ??

 

Val,

 

To their credit, unlike other more unscrupulous types, Cine-Museum spent major $$$$$ to restore the Sennett films. Considering how bad previous prints used to look and how beautiful they look now, I don't begrudge CM the copyright.

 

They will have to work hard to keep those same unscrupulous types from not only bootlegging their hard work but also profiting from it.

 

And CM will likely never turn enough of a profit on the upcoming Sennett box set to cover the $$$$$ they spent restoring the films.

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Speaking of sequels, this isn't exactly a sequel, but a remake with a feminine touch. I'm talking about the 1977 TV movie starring Marlo Thomas "It Happened One Christmas". I only seen it once, long ago (the problem with TV movies (they only show once or twice and are never seen or heard of again)).

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I would assume that Cine-Museum only has a copyright on their restored version. So, if someone wants to use previously existing PD versions, I think it would be legal, wouldn't it? I don't begrudge them a copyright on their work. If they can get a copyright on the films, period, that's fine with me too, after all their work.

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willbefree25 wrote: H L Menken (b. 1880) said ""No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." It was true in 1880 and it is truer now.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Well, you're close willbe my friend, however the actual Mencken(spelled with a "c" btw) quote is: "No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public."...NOT "intelligence".

 

(...but other than that, I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiment here) ;)

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As long as I can listen to the Stones, it's a wonderful life for me. I've got just about every album on my PC and more bootleg concerts that I care to count.

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