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Fred Astaire's birthday, yet NO Astaire films?


Macwench
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Today is Fred Astaire's birthday and yet, TCM didn't broadcast even one of his films. I don't get it. Why not some Astaire films on his birthday. The network certainly indulges with other birthday salutes for other stars. I'm seldom disappointed in TCM's broadcasting, but today I feel they missed the boat.

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I don't pretend to know a thing about movie rights, but I remember Ginger Rogers complaining that Astaire's widow wouldn't allow any of his film clips used in a big show about her. I don't know if this means that she controls all the studio movies or what. I can't imagine she controls EVERYTHING.

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> {quote:title=Dothery wrote:}{quote}I don't pretend to know a thing about movie rights, but I remember Ginger Rogers complaining that Astaire's widow wouldn't allow any of his film clips used in a big show about her. I don't know if this means that she controls all the studio movies or what. I can't imagine she controls EVERYTHING.

If Astaire's widow is still alive at this point, she certainly hasn't stopped TCM from showing oodles and oodles of his movies ever since I can remember. The fact that none were shown on his birthday almost has to be due to a decision by TCM, and not because of any rights issues.

 

And personally, I think that birthday tributes are better reserved for 90th or 100th birthdays, or for birthdays of actors whose movies are seldom shown. Astaire's films are shown repeatedly in the course of TCM's normal programming, and given that he would have been 114 yesterday, it wasn't exactly a landmark occasion.

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Birthday tributes get old real fast. Today is Irving Berlin and Margaret Rutherford's birthday. Every day is some great star's birthday. It could become a really tedious way to create programming.

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Thanks for pointing out what I felt was rather obvious. If TCM was to celebrate 'stars' birthdays (even just the so called major ones), most of their programming would have to be devoted to that theme.

 

As for tedious, each time a major star has a birthday and TCM doesn't honor it a tread is created. e.g. last week it was about Judy Garland.

 

 

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Fred Astaire movies are some of the most played movies on TCM. We see him in many movies all year long.

 

There are movie stars and actors that have birthdays every day of the year, and it is not a good idea to show their movies on every birthday.

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I'm confused by the widow Astaire's power over film clips containing Fred Astaire while Warner Brothers owns both the broadcast rights and the distribution rights to Fred's MGM/RKO/WB films ( did Fred do any WB films???) . Anybody have an answer???

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There are different rules regarding simply rerunning movies/TV shows in full, and using clips from them in derivative works, but I don't know the full details.

 

An acquaintance on another board who likes the 80s prime-time soaps pointed out a few years back that when a reunion show was done for Knots Landing, actress Constance McCashin didn't want clips of her used, so the producers had to [blur out her image|http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/archive/index.php/t-157890.html].

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