I have a theory of why "3 Ring Circus" (Martin & Lewis) is not on DVD.

Discussion in 'DVD' started by William Miller, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. William Miller

    William Miller Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2000
    Messages:
    249
    Likes Received:
    3
    All of the Martin & Lewis films are now on DVD except for "3 Ring Circus".

    Here is my theory of why this movie has not been released on DVD.

    Paramount is very paranoid about music rights these days. TV show collectors know what they have done to "My Three Sons", "The Fugitive" and "The Odd Couple" on DVD. They have replaced scores or edited out songs.

    Most of the Martin & Lewis films have songs written for the movie. Or in the case of "Living It Up", the rights to the few songs from the Broadway Show "Hazel Flagg" were purchased by Paramount. "The Stooge" also had some older songs in it.

    "3 Ring Circus" has only one original song. ("Hey, Punchinello")

    One of Dean's big numbers in "3 Ring Circus" is "It's a Big, Wide, Wonderful World" written by John Rox in 1939 and I believe made it's debut in the flop Broadway review "All in Fun" in late 1940. The song became somewhat popular in other recordings in the 40's and had a big revival from being sung in "3 Ring Circus".

    Could there be a problem with this song that is causing Paramount to not release "3 Ring Circus" on DVD?
     
  2. CineKarine

    CineKarine Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    Messages:
    672
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would not be surprised if music clearance was the problem, I know it is for The Joker Is Wild for instance, because I read about it.

    Still maybe Legend Films will surprise us with it release, courtesy of Paramount eventually, as they did for Money from Home last year...I am a Dino fan, so I would love to have a copy other than TV-taped.
     
  3. Jack Theakston

    Jack Theakston Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2003
    Messages:
    858
    Likes Received:
    65
    Real Name:
    Jack Theakston
    Possible, but there are a slew of songs in the other M&L pictures that weren't particularly Famous Music titles, either ("I'm in the Mood For Love" from THAT'S MY BOY, is a Robbins Music song, for instance).

    My guess is that Paramount either has other plans for the title, or that the elements for the film may be in a compromised state at this time.
     
  4. Eric Vedowski

    Eric Vedowski Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2002
    Messages:
    344
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    Real Name:
    Eric
    This tidbit from the AFI catalog: According to an August 1955 Hollywood Reporter news item, writers George Beck and Samuel Locke filed a $65,000 infringement lawsuit against Paramount and Wallis, claiming that Wallis had hired them to write a circus story for Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, entitled Big Top, which Wallis later rejected. The disposition of the suit is not known.
    Maybe that has something to do with it's unavailability-or maybe not.
     
  5. Martine Beswick

    Martine Beswick Auditioning

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I could swear that I saw Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis singing the song Relaxayvoo in You're Never Too Young (it was sung early in the film when Jerry is the barber) when I was a kid. The dvd released by paramount had it cut from the film. Then I think I read that it was edited out for the official release of the film but I could swear I saw it on television with that song in place.


    So I suspect that if they do release it they will cut that scene out of the film for Three Ring Circus. So I don't doubt that is why it isn't being released.
     
  6. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Messages:
    6,534
    Likes Received:
    1,510
    Location:
    New Orleans
    Real Name:
    Allen

    I think the reason it is has not released is Paramount does not have any interest to do so. I heard that they were very disappointed in the Martin & Lewis Collections sales and they continue to just make deals with other parties. Also "Big Wide Wonderful World" is used in the movie SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH and that is on DVD so if a deal needed to be made, it can. The songwriter John Rox also has several other songs in films that have been released to DVD including SIOUX CITY SUE, the well known Gene Autry film.

    "Relax-Ay-Voo" was in the film YOUR NEVER TOO YOUNG.
     
  7. gunthertoody

    gunthertoody Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    1

    I don't know how disappointed they could have been. Both Volumes 1 and 2 are out of print commanding prices of over $100 at Amazon. Seems to me they could sell another couple thousand if they wanted to as prices don't go that high arbitrarily.
     
  8. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    Messages:
    6,534
    Likes Received:
    1,510
    Location:
    New Orleans
    Real Name:
    Allen

    The original sales were slow and Paramount made comments to that effect. I remember seeing stacks of both volumes at Virgin Music in Times Square and they were still there when they closed. Paramount took just about every title they released OOP about three or four years ago (there is a thread on HTF concerning this) and those titles soared on ebay and Amazon, because you can't get them and there are some people out there that want the titles, they will pay just about any amount for the collections. Another part of the of the story, is that if the sales were any good why did they license out MONEY FROM HOME to Legend and not release it themselves?


    The best bet is for Paramount to license the 3 RING CIRCUS to another distributor such as Olive Films or hopefully Shout!, but if there are rights problems and Paramount does not want to solve the problems, I doubt that any outside company will want to take the problems on.
     
  9. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    3,200
    Likes Received:
    498
    Real Name:
    Joe Hudak
    From what I had read in the past, I got the impression that the negative for 3 RING CIRCUS was missing from the Paramount vaults (or was too damaged to salvage). Th situation may have changed regarding a 35mm master, but I recall hearing all of the other masters were either in private collections or archives that Paramount did not bother looking.


    I got lucky with the Martin & Lewis collections--picked them up (1&2) at B&N the moment they started going OOP on Amazon. How did that huge Jerry Lewis solo set do, sales-wise?
     
  10. DeWilson

    DeWilson Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Messages:
    2,220
    Likes Received:
    145
    Real Name:
    Denny

    The film was also re-issued for the kid's matinee market in the 1970's, edited as "Jerrico, The Wonder Clown" so there has to be some sort of elements on the film in Paramount's Vault, even if it's the edited version.
     
  11. Dick

    Dick Producer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,458
    Likes Received:
    1,500
    Real Name:
    Rick

Share This Page