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Has TCM ever shown "Stars and Stripes Forever" on July 4th?


jakeem
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The 1952 film biography of bandleader John Philip Sousa (portrayed with a no-nonsense flair by Clifton Webb) would seem to be an appropriate selection for each and every Independence Day. Could there be a problem in clearing it with Fox?

 

The movie may be heavily fictionalized, but you can't beat Sousa's patriotic marches. I also love Webb's performance, although Robert Osborne apparently still cringes at the thought of the actor passing up a meaty role in "The Band Wagon" (1953). And I like Webb's co-stars: Ruth Hussey (as Mrs. Sousa), and Robert Wagner and Debra Paget as family friends.

 

Oh, well! Maybe next year!

 

 

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Yes, in 2012. That was the only time. It was right after TCM started acquiring more Fox titles. I was hoping it would become an annual tradition, but alas no.

 

Thanks! Maybe it will happen. It would be nice to hear some of Robert Wagner's anecdotes about the making of the movie, too. 

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Now, one would think that a perfect movie for July 4th would be STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER. Right?

 

Wrong!  20th Century-Fox, the studio that made it, didn't. They released it on December 22, 1952 as their CHRISTMAS attraction. No joke, I do a lot of research with old movie ads and I've seen it in print. a number of times.

 

Of course, maybe we shouldn't be that surprised. After all, it was Fox that release MIRACLE ON 34th STREET in May of 1947 with no mention of Santa Claus or Christmas in the ads. Try and figure that one out.

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Now, one would think that a perfect movie for July 4th would be STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER. Right?

 

Wrong!  20th Century-Fox, the studio that made it, didn't. They released it on December 22, 1952 as their CHRISTMAS attraction. No joke, I do a lot of research with old movie ads and I've seen it in print. a number of times.

 

Of course, maybe we shouldn't be that surprised. After all, it was Fox that release MIRACLE ON 34th STREET in May of 1947 with no mention of Santa Claus or Christmas in the ads. Try and figure that one out.

 

Do you know if Fox re-released Miracle on 34th Street in early December of 1947?  (I assume the film was pulled from most theaters by June of 47).    If yes, than releasing the film in May and again in December might have been good for the overall box office.      

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Do you know if Fox re-released Miracle on 34th Street in early December of 1947?  (I assume the film was pulled from most theaters by June of 47).    If yes, than releasing the film in May and again in December might have been good for the overall box office.      

 

Things were different back then. A film had it's first-run in the big theaters, then it was held back for a month or two before the second-run neighborhood theaters where able to show it and then after a little more time it was just considered in general release and was available to any theater that wanted it for a couple of years.

 

What with staggered national releases back then, unlike today when a film opens everywhere the same week, it was probably consider first-run most of that summer. So if it started second-runs in October, the movie could have still have been in the neighborhood and small town theaters during the holidays and Fox would have already been committed to other films for its holiday release.

 

I don't know if Fox started reissuing it for Christmas in future years. Of course, even if they did,  MIRACLE ON 34th STREET really hit its stride as an annual Christmas favorite after it started showing up on television a few years later.

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Things were different back then. A film had it's first-run in the big theaters, then it was held back for a month or two before the second-run neighborhood theaters where able to show it and then after a little more time it was just considered in general release and was available to any theater that wanted it for a couple of years.

 

What with staggered national releases back then, unlike today when a film opens everywhere the same week, it was probably consider first-run most of that summer. So if it started second-runs in October, the movie could have still have been in the neighborhood and small town theaters during the holidays and Fox would have already been committed to other films for its holiday release.

 

I don't know if Fox started reissuing it for Christmas in future years. Of course, even if they did,  MIRACLE ON 34th STREET really hit its stride as an annual Christmas favorite after it started showing up on television a few years later.

Right. I don't think movies were marketed around holidays as much as they are now. Some of that probably changed with television broadcasts. I am sure MIRACLE was featured regularly every December on TV.

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Things were different back then. A film had it's first-run in the big theaters, then it was held back for a month or two before the second-run neighborhood theaters where able to show it and then after a little more time it was just considered in general release and was available to any theater that wanted it for a couple of years.

 

What with staggered national releases back then, unlike today when a film opens everywhere the same week, it was probably consider first-run most of that summer. So if it started second-runs in October, the movie could have still have been in the neighborhood and small town theaters during the holidays and Fox would have already been committed to other films for its holiday release.

 

I don't know if Fox started reissuing it for Christmas in future years. Of course, even if they did,  MIRACLE ON 34th STREET really hit its stride as an annual Christmas favorite after it started showing up on television a few years later.

 

Yes, I know that 'things were different back then' which is why I asked the question if Fox did an extra or special secondary release of the film (to major markets which I didn't stress),   for the Holiday season.  If NOT,  than I would agree with your initial view as in 'what where they thinking' because if the timing you mention is correct the film wasn't shown during the holiday season in the major markets.

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Obviously, my research is limited, but from what I can tell the release of MIRACLE ON 34th Street was no different than any of Fox's other films that year. It went through the release pipeline just like all the rest of them.

 

It's likely that some indiviidual theaters or circuits booked it for the holidays, but if they did, it seems to be of their own doing and not because of any big effort on Fox's part.  Still,  it would be incredible to think that  Fox  overlooked doing big  push to get it booked into New York City theaters for Christmas. Unfortunately, I don't have access to NYC newspapers of the time.

 

 

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