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Warner Bros. Delaying Films?


Guest obrienmundy
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Guest obrienmundy

I just caught Ben M.'s intro to My Reputation, and he said that it was on the shelf for two years. I also remember reading that The Two Mrs. Carolls and Devotion (over the De Havilland lawsuit) were shelved following their production. Were there other WB films delayed at the time? And why were the films delayed in the first place?

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In general, the waning days of the war saw studios with a fair amount of films on that very subject. These were rushed out as it was felt that once the war was over, there would be little interest war movies.

 

The Woman in White is another WB film that sat on the shelf for a couple of years. Being a costume drama, it wouldn't appear dated.

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Arsenic and Old Lace -- Shot in Dec 1941; contractually could not be released until the Broadway play closed

 

Of Human Bondage -- I guess they finally realized no one was buying Paul Henried as a romantic lead. This version actually has a very evocative period atmosphere as well as a Korngold score.

 

Saratoga Trunk

 

Three Strangers

 

The Big Sleep -- tinkered with by various parties for various reasons

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I believe that Warners delayed release on their films, particularly during the war, more often than the other studios.

 

Adventures of Mark Twain, shot in 1941, was released in 1944 (getting Frederic March a best actor nomination for that year, who knows if he would have in 41).

 

One More Tomorrow, shot in '44, was released in '46. Ann Sheridan looked quite vivacious and youthful in that film. Audiences must have been a little surprised to see her looking more tired and worn in her 1947 releases (Nora Prentiss, The Unfaithful) so soon afterward. The reality is that those films were two or three years older than One More Tomorrow, and it shows in the heavy smoking and drinking actress's appearance.

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In general, the waning days of the war saw studios with a fair amount of films on that very subject. These were rushed out as it was felt that once the war was over, there would be little interest war movies.

 

The Woman in White is another WB film that sat on the shelf for a couple of years. Being a costume drama, it wouldn't appear dated.

The films might still appear a bit dated if the actors aged while the film was awaiting release.  Especially if there were child actors involved.  But yes, period pieces shot in black-and-white have a longer shelf life it would seem.

 

I think THE TWO MRS. CARROLLS was delayed because Warner was not happy with Bogart's work in that picture.

 

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE was delayed so long that Priscilla Lane's movie career had all but ended by 1944. It was one of her last films.

 

With MY REPUTATION, George Brent had long since moved on from his old stomping grounds at Warners and had made quite a few films as a freelancer during the time the film sat on the shelf.  It must have seemed weird for him to have a 'new' Warner Brothers release in 1946.

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The films might still appear a bit dated if the actors aged while the film was awaiting release.  Especially if there were child actors involved.  But yes, period pieces shot in black-and-white have a longer shelf life it would seem.

 

It was taking a bit of a gamble. If a star had fallen into sudden disfavor or passed away, there was a risk. On the other hand, a film such as Backfire, which sat on the shelf for about 18 months, had Virginia Mayo in the cast and thus WB used the tagline "That White Heat girl turns it on again."

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I just caught Ben M.'s intro to My Reputation, and he said that it was on the shelf for two years.

 

I have a regular print of MY REPUTATION with the 1946 copyright.  I also have a complete set of main titles from an older "military" print that had different design and a 1944 copyright.  While the film was delayed in its public release, it was sent to military installations upon completion.

 

Similar delays and title alterations took place with ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (contractual restiction re Bway play) and THE ADVENTURES OF MARK TWAIN.

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I have a regular print of MY REPUTATION with the 1946 copyright.  I also have a complete set of main titles from an older "military" print that had different design and a 1944 copyright.  While the film was delayed in its public release, it was sent to military installations upon completion.

 

 

That's right.  And I don't think Ben mentioned that last night. Glad you added it to the conversation.  So imagine what it was like for military men who had seen it two years earlier, going to see it 'new' again with their wives or girlfriends.  That's kind of funny if you think about it.  They could give spoilers on the plot!

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It was taking a bit of a gamble. If a star had fallen into sudden disfavor or passed away, there was a risk. On the other hand, a film such as Backfire, which sat on the shelf for about 18 months, had Virginia Mayo in the cast and thus WB used the tagline "That White Heat girl turns it on again."

Yup.  In Mayo's case, her star was ascending.  So when the studio got around to releasing it, she was now a hot commodity.  It worked in their favor!

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I just caught Ben M.'s intro to My Reputation, and he said that it was on the shelf for two years. I also remember reading that The Two Mrs. Carolls and Devotion (over the De Havilland lawsuit) were shelved following their production. Were there other WB films delayed at the time? And why were the films delayed in the first place?

MY REPUTATION, DEVOTION, and CONFLICT (a Bogart film) were all directed by Curtis Bernhardt and all 3 films were held back from release for considerable time. Bernhardt had a lot of issues with Mr Warner and he received a number of suspensions from the studio or was loaned out to other studios.  Was it just coincidence that these films were held back?

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I just caught Ben M.'s intro to My Reputation, and he said that it was on the shelf for two years. I also remember reading that The Two Mrs. Carolls and Devotion (over the De Havilland lawsuit) were shelved following their production. Were there other WB films delayed at the time? And why were the films delayed in the first place?

I'm sure that release of films from all studios has always been delayed (though not by years) to avoid cannibalizing filmgoers from releases of the same studio which may currently be in theatres.

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Though the film was produced by Columbia and not WB, Dr. Strangelove's release in the United States was delayed by a couple of months due to the assassination of President Kennedy, as it was felt that the public was in no mood for such a film any sooner.

 

The movie reflects this in an unusual and nearly undetectable dub job. After going over the contents of the survival kits on board the B-52, Major Kong is heard to say "A fella could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff." "Vegas" was dubbed in for "Dallas", which Slim Pickens as Major Kong initially filmed before JFK's assassination in Dallas.

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More recently, (though not to do with WB), the film O was delayed for a few years, due to the Columbine massacre. O is an updated version of Othello, set in a contemporary high school setting.

I think it's a pretty good film.

 

 

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Though the film was produced by Columbia and not WB, Dr. Strangelove's release in the United States was delayed by a couple of months due to the assassination of President Kennedy, as it was felt that the public was in no mood for such a film any sooner.

 

I was going to post this but got sidetracked.

 

Actually both Strangelove and Fail Safe (both Columbia films) were ready for release when Columbia realized that releasing two films with essentially the same story would not be good business.

 

And this is the curious part: somehow, Kubrick was able to talk the studio into releasing Strangelove first. Commercially, that seems totally bass-ackerds to me, and pretty much killed the box office chances for Fail Safe.

 

Seems to me a shrewder strategy would been: release the deadly serious movie first, then people will still be interested in seeing it spoofed. Who would want to watch Henry Fonda grimacing on the hot line after hearing Peter Sellers ask for Omsk information?

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I was going to post this but got sidetracked.

 

Actually both Strangelove and Fail Safe (both Columbia films) were ready for release when Columbia realized that releasing two films with essentially the same story would not be good business.

 

And this is the curious part: somehow, Kubrick was able to talk the studio into releasing Strangelove first. Commercially, that seems totally bass-ackerds to me, and pretty much killed the box office chances for Fail Safe.

 

Seems to me a shrewder strategy would been: release the deadly serious movie first, then people will still be interested in seeing it spoofed. Who would want to watch Henry Fonda grimacing on the hot line after hearing Peter Sellers ask for Omsk information?

 

Yep, I remember you making this point a while back RK, and I have to say I agree with you.

 

(...and in addition, and in essence, it would be akin to releasing "Airplane" before "Zero Hour", as there would be no earlier reference to play off of for comic effect) 

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I just recently started to receive GetTV on my cable system. GetTV is affiliated  with Sony so they have access to the Colombia films. Right now GetTV is showing both DR STRANGELOVE and FAIL SAFE . GetTV does have some commercials during their film broadcasts (like MOVIES! channel and others)  I don't know if they do any editing for content or running time.

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I just recently started to receive GetTV on my cable system. GetTV is affiliated  with Sony so they have access to the Colombia films. Right now GetTV is showing both DR STRANGELOVE and FAIL SAFE . GetTV does have some commercials during their film broadcasts (like MOVIES! channel and others)  I don't know if they do any editing for content or running time.

 

Well Mr.R, at least you'll know if they ADDED to Strangelove if you see a pie throwing fight at the end of it anyway, RIGHT?! ;)

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I just caught Ben M.'s intro to My Reputation, and he said that it was on the shelf for two years. I also remember reading that The Two Mrs. Carolls and Devotion (over the De Havilland lawsuit) were shelved following their production. Were there other WB films delayed at the time? And why were the films delayed in the first place?

Early in the war years, movies were doing so well that many were held over much longer than had been the case prior to WWw. This soon led to a glut of films from the studios, and a backlog to releasing them. Some studios, such as Paramount, sold some of their movies to UA, and were released as such. These include POT O'GOLD and YOUNG AND WILLING.

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I just recently started to receive GetTV on my cable system. GetTV is affiliated  with Sony so they have access to the Colombia films. Right now GetTV is showing both DR STRANGELOVE and FAIL SAFE . GetTV does have some commercials during their film broadcasts (like MOVIES! channel and others)  I don't know if they do any editing for content or running time.

 

I've been enjoying the service. They show some Columbia B's you aren't generally going to see anywhere else.

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I've been enjoying the service. They show some Columbia B's you aren't generally going to see anywhere else.

Agree, it's a goto it when TCM has a solid block of unappealing fair for the day (like today for instance).

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Agree, it's a goto it when TCM has a solid block of unappealing fair for the day (like today for instance).

Amen, cigarjoe. A day of stinkers. Same as yesterday.

 

Holy mackerel, mrroberts, thanks for the news. Don't know how long FIOS has had GetTV, but I didn't know it.

 

Hours of black and white movies, like TCM used to show.

 

Thanks again, mrroberts.

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These other channels are nice to have but they do have some commercial breaks (and often the same ***** commercials each time) and are more limited in the selection of films that they show (meaning a lot of repeats) . So I still greatly appreciate TCM for their format and hope they can stick to it.

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These other channels are nice to have but they do have some commercial breaks (and often the same ***** commercials each time) and are more limited in the selection of films that they show (meaning a lot of repeats) . So I still greatly appreciate TCM for their format and hope they can stick to it.

I agree. Didn't realize there were so many commercials.

 

I appreciate TCM too, when they're good.

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