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Whatever Happened To The Deal With Universal?


midnight08
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   If I remember correctly back in 2010 or 2011 TCM made an agreement with Universal to showcase

some of its film library. This would include not only the Universal films but the Paramount films prior to 1949 which Universal also owns. I was eagerly looking forward to finally viewing some of these films.

Since then I know that TCM has had a few films here and there (mostly Paramount films) which they've shown but nothing to the extent which I anticipated. I know that some of the reasons why more of them aren't shown would be the condition of the films along with the cost of transferring them to a digital format, etc. But I still expected to see more than what was shown in these 3-4 years.

 

Is this deal still going on or has it terminated? I had hoped to see films starring Sylvia Sidney,

Clara Bow, Nancy Carroll, W.C. Fields, Mae West and much more. Yes, TCM has shown a few of

the movies with Mae West and W.C. Fields but only a few. They have shown many of the classic horror

Universal flicks such as The Mummy and Frankenstein but they still haven't shown the original Dracula.

Then there are the other Universal flicks from the Carl Laemmle era which are practically never shown.

 

Does anyone know what happened? Maybe I was expecting too much.

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   If I remember correctly back in 2010 or 2011 TCM made an agreement with Universal to showcase

some of its film library. This would include not only the Universal films but the Paramount films prior to 1949 which Universal also owns. I was eagerly looking forward to finally viewing some of these films.

Since then I know that TCM has had a few films here and there (mostly Paramount films) which they've shown but nothing to the extent which I anticipated. I know that some of the reasons why more of them aren't shown would be the condition of the films along with the cost of transferring them to a digital format, etc. But I still expected to see more than what was shown in these 3-4 years.

 

Is this deal still going on or has it terminated? I had hoped to see films starring Sylvia Sidney,

Clara Bow, Nancy Carroll, W.C. Fields, Mae West and much more. Yes, TCM has shown a few of

the movies with Mae West and W.C. Fields but only a few. They have shown many of the classic horror

Universal flicks such as The Mummy and Frankenstein but they still haven't shown the original Dracula.

Then there are the other Universal flicks from the Carl Laemmle era which are practically never shown.

 

Does anyone know what happened? Maybe I was expecting too much.

 

If you were expecting TCM to get more access to the pre-1949 films Universal owns the right to,  that is a very reasonable expectation and one I have as well as many other users.

 

BUT,  if you were expecting someone from TCM to let us know IF they did make such an agreement;   Yea,  your expecting too much!   ;)

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I would also like to know why so relatively few Paramounts and Universals have been shown by TCM after the deal that had been announced several years ago.

 

Naively, I hoped at the time we would be bombarded by products from those two studios, much as we have been on TCM with Columbia. Such, sadly, has not been the case.

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Hopefully this month we will get to see SKYLARK from Paramount and AN ACT OF MURDER from Universal. I say hopefully because they could always be pulled at the last minute. Wow! Two rare showings from the Universal vault in one month. Excuse me. Make that 4  rare showings. GIVE ME A SAILOR with Bob Hope and THIS GUN FOR HIRE with Alan Ladd will also be shown this month. Could this be the start of something ?  Let's hope so.

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Hopefully this month we will get to see SKYLARK from Paramount and AN ACT OF MURDER from Universal. I say hopefully because they could always be pulled at the last minute. Wow! Two rare showings from the Universal vault in one month. Excuse me. Make that 4  rare showings. GIVE ME A SAILOR with Bob Hope and THIS GUN FOR HIRE with Alan Ladd will also be shown this month. Could this be the start of something ?  Let's hope so.

 

Yes, let's hope TCM keeps to the schedule.    I also wish TCM would show the Ladd movie Salty O'Rourke.   Very good balanced picture (it can be funny, romantic but it has an edge as well).     Stanley Clements is great in the movie.   Gail Russell looks great and is very cute and William Demarest as Ladd's sidekick is,  well,  Demarest playing another great sidekick!

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On FMC (all times.eastern)....

 

 

TUESDAY, AUGUST 18:

 

 

3.am: PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET (1953).......4:25 am: ONE FOOT IN HELL (1960)......6 am: I WAKE UP SCREAMING (1941)......7:30 am: SLEEPERS WEST (1941)......8:45 am: THE DARK CORNER (1946)......10:30.am: CABINET OF CALIGARI (1962)......12:20 pm: THE ALLIGATOR PEOPLE (1959)......1:45 pm: THE DAY MARS INVADED EARTH (1963).....

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The occasional Hope-Crosby, Alan Ladd, Cecil B. DeMille or Betty Hutton film is anemic, considering the long-buried treasures and forgotten gems in the Universal vaults. I don't think the vast majority of Carl Laemmle-era talkies have ever been shown on television. And Paramount had a strong roster of contract players in the 30s.

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I don't have any inside information as to what goes on in TCM's programming department, but I do have decades of experience as a movie programmer at a local TV station. It's not uncommon for film deals to be struck years before they start showing up on air. We'd often had a contract signed that didn't start for three, four, or even five years in the future. I retired in 2008 and when I left there was a package that had titles that didn't become available until  2014.

 

There's many reasons for that. Sometimes it was the doing of the distributor, other times it was to lock up a package of films for future use when current packages will have expired. Most often it was about money, keeping the cost off the books until other films have been written off. I don't care if it's the biggest network or the smallest local station, they all have to work within a yearly programming budget or some kind.

 

I know this sounds odd to somebody outside the business, but that's often how it works.

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On FMC (all times.eastern)....

 

 

TUESDAY, AUGUST 18:

 

 

3.am: PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET (1953).......4:25 am: ONE FOOT IN HELL (1960)......6 am: I WAKE UP SCREAMING (1941)......7:30 am: SLEEPERS WEST (1941)......8:45 am: THE DARK CORNER (1946)......10:30.am: CABINET OF CALIGARI (1962)......12:20 pm: THE ALLIGATOR PEOPLE (1959)......1:45 pm: THE DAY MARS INVADED EARTH (1963).....

Oh, here's where I posted this, definitely on the wrong thread.  I thought I had lost it into the Twilight Zone, cloud or whatever the nether reaches are called....

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I don't have any inside information as to what goes on in TCM's programming department, but I do have decades of experience as a movie programmer at a local TV station. It's not uncommon for film deals to be struck years before they start showing up on air. We'd often had a contract signed that didn't start for three, four, or even five years in the future. I retired in 2008 and when I left there was a package that had titles that didn't become available until  2014.

 

There's many reasons for that. Sometimes it was the doing of the distributor, other times it was to lock up a package of films for future use when current packages will have expired. Most often it was about money, keeping the cost off the books until other films have been written off. I don't care if it's the biggest network or the smallest local station, they all have to work within a yearly programming budget or some kind.

 

I know this sounds odd to somebody outside the business, but that's often how it works.

 

What you outline sounds like a standard business practice so to me what is odd is those that appear to believe there isn't any type of business practice at all with regards to leasing films.    e.g. people at this forum that believe TCM should be able to get any film,  at any time,  for a 'reasonsable' price and when TCM doesn't show a film they are interested in,  it must be because of some devious reason.

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  • 1 year later...

   If I remember correctly back in 2010 or 2011 TCM made an agreement with Universal to showcase

some of its film library. This would include not only the Universal films but the Paramount films prior to 1949 which Universal also owns. I was eagerly looking forward to finally viewing some of these films.

Since then I know that TCM has had a few films here and there (mostly Paramount films) which they've shown but nothing to the extent which I anticipated. I know that some of the reasons why more of them aren't shown would be the condition of the films along with the cost of transferring them to a digital format, etc. But I still expected to see more than what was shown in these 3-4 years.

 

Is this deal still going on or has it terminated? I had hoped to see films starring Sylvia Sidney,

Clara Bow, Nancy Carroll, W.C. Fields, Mae West and much more. Yes, TCM has shown a few of

the movies with Mae West and W.C. Fields but only a few. They have shown many of the classic horror

Universal flicks such as The Mummy and Frankenstein but they still haven't shown the original Dracula.

Then there are the other Universal flicks from the Carl Laemmle era which are practically never shown.

 

Does anyone know what happened? Maybe I was expecting too much.

Bumping this up.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Does anyone know what happened? Maybe I was expecting too much.

 

Hi Midnight!

I know Svengoolie shows Universal exclusively, meaning no one else can rent them. Last night he showed a Paramount, so they seem to have the deal you had hoped TCM would make last year.

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I don't have any inside information as to what goes on in TCM's programming department, but I do have decades of experience as a movie programmer at a local TV station. It's not uncommon for film deals to be struck years before they start showing up on air. We'd often had a contract signed that didn't start for three, four, or even five years in the future. I retired in 2008 and when I left there was a package that had titles that didn't become available until  2014.

 

There's many reasons for that. Sometimes it was the doing of the distributor, other times it was to lock up a package of films for future use when current packages will have expired. Most often it was about money, keeping the cost off the books until other films have been written off. I don't care if it's the biggest network or the smallest local station, they all have to work within a yearly programming budget or some kind.

 

I know this sounds odd to somebody outside the business, but that's often how it works.

 

BUMPING THIS UP.

 

Everyone who has written as to WHY these things happen, should read this from Mark.

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I have a question about Marion Davies and her MGM films that have never been shown, according to your list.  They are:

 

Lights of Old Broadway (1925)

 

Zander the Great(1925)

 

Beverly of Graustark (1926)

 

The Fair Co-Ed (1927)

 

Quality Street (1927)--(yes, I know I complained about the sound version; how is the Silent?).

 

The Cardboard Lover (1928)

 

It's A Wise Child (1931)--The lone talkie of the bunch.

 

Her older films I consider Lost (there are/were nineteen of those, according to Fred Lawrence Guiles' 1972 biography of Marion Davies).   Excluding "Janice Meredith" (1925), these are just the Marion Davies films since 1925 that haven't been aired.  Any idea why these have not been shown, Or can you point me in the right direction as to who to ask?  Your lists are an awesome feat of work!

 

 

fxreyman--thank you for posting markfp2's post of 2014!

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I have a question about Marion Davies and her MGM films that have never been shown, according to your list.  They are:

 

Lights of Old Broadway (1925)

 

Zander the Great(1925)

 

Beverly of Graustark (1926)

 

The Fair Co-Ed (1927)

 

Quality Street (1927)--(yes, I know I complained about the sound version; how is the Silent?).

 

The Cardboard Lover (1928)

 

It's A Wise Child (1931)--The lone talkie of the bunch.

 

Her older films I consider Lost (there are/were nineteen of those, according to Fred Lawrence Guiles' 1972 biography of Marion Davies).   Excluding "Janice Meredith" (1925), these are just the Marion Davies films since 1925 that haven't been aired.  Any idea why these have not been shown, Or can you point me in the right direction as to who to ask?  Your lists are an awesome feat of work!

 

 

fxreyman--thank you for posting markfp2's post of 2014!

 

A few of the infrequent posters may be capable of answering your questions, one or two of them who are professional film collectors.  What I have put together will at least give you a good starting point, so you can ask specific questions.

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Her older films I consider Lost (there are/were nineteen of those, according to Fred Lawrence Guiles' 1972 biography of Marion Davies).   Excluding "Janice Meredith" (1925), these are just the Marion Davies films since 1925 that haven't been aired. 

 

 

 

For those who really want to see it, there is a version of Janice Meredith currently available on You Tube. Besides Marion, the film also features a young W. C. Fields.

 

The image quality is pretty grim but it does, at least, have musical accompaniment.

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I have a question about Marion Davies and her MGM films that have never been shown, according to your list.  They are:

 

Lights of Old Broadway (1925)

 

Zander the Great(1925)

 

Beverly of Graustark (1926)

 

The Fair Co-Ed (1927)

 

Quality Street (1927)--(yes, I know I complained about the sound version; how is the Silent?).

 

The Cardboard Lover (1928)

 

It's A Wise Child (1931)--The lone talkie of the bunch.

 

Her older films I consider Lost (there are/were nineteen of those, according to Fred Lawrence Guiles' 1972 biography of Marion Davies).   Excluding "Janice Meredith" (1925), these are just the Marion Davies films since 1925 that haven't been aired.  Any idea why these have not been shown, Or can you point me in the right direction as to who to ask?  Your lists are an awesome feat of work!

 

 

fxreyman--thank you for posting markfp2's post of 2014!

Quality Street exists. It's even on out of print DVD and scalpers have it at a high price.  "Lights of  Old Broadway" must exist, because the lone imdb review is by "drednm" who is Dr. Ed Larusso (sp?) who is a respected film historian. He also reviewed "The Cardboard Lover", "Bevery of Graustark, and "Zander the Great". My guess is that Warner Bros. has never ordered these films restored and, most of all, never had any music composed for them, thus you never see them on TCM.  Such films often show up at film festivals where musicians compose and play their own music for the silent shown. If you want to know HOW he saw them you might want to contact Dr. Larusso who I haven't seen on this board so much anymore, but I think he still is a contributor at nitrateville and their boards.

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PrinceSaliano--I was asking a question I got from MovieCollectorOH's post of Dec. 20th, 2:16 p.m. E.S.T.  I'm sorry  if I derailed your thread, but looking at his MGM list mentioned in that post made me wonder Why So Many of Marion Davies MGM owned films have never been shown.  It can't be quality of the film (I mean critical raves (unanimous excellent reviews) or bombs (the opposite).  So either the physical film itself was allowed to deteriorate to an unrestorable condition, was Lost due to simple incompetence, or TCM isn't showing them, for some unfathomable (to me) reason.  Sorry I derailed your thread.

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