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Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by PaulKTF, Aug 10, 2007.
I vaguely remeber this show and I hope this release happens. Julie Newmar is a real fox!
It's surprising this situation has occurred regarding a filmed series from the mid 60s! You'd naturally assume that this problem would only happen regarding a show that originally aired live and only has scattered kinescopes left, like The Goldbergs and i Remember Mama. On the other hand, I remember seeing online someone mentioning that they're trying to find the Ida Lupino/Howard Duff sitcom Mr. Adams & Eve, which was filmed. I wonder if there are any other filmed shows from the 1960s or even the 70s that have episodes missing from the vault. Unfortunately, I do know of filmed shows from the dawn of TV that that have a lot of missing shows- Beulah being the most famous example. Considering its historical status as the first sitcom with an African -American lead (Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel), finding more episodes would be a miracle!
Can't you force CBS to look even further or threaten to sue them for gross negligence? Maybe you should speak to someone like Jim Pierson, who has worked wonders at MPI regarding shows like Dark Shadows, The Mothers In-Law and Here's Lucy. He may be able to help you in locating possible places where the missing source material may be found. He was the one who discovered the clean kinescope of Stephen Sondheim's Evening Primrose for its DVD release, and found several hundred episodes of the original Hollywood Squares which have been shown in recent years on GSN. I really believe he is one man who may be able to help you- if he hasn't already!!!
A run of Beulah has surfaced and is now residing at the UCLA archives. They were found in containers that had been sitting on a loading dock for who knows how long. Decades maybe. Not the negatives but an intact set of 16mm prints. Not sure how accurate the Mr. Adams and Eve info is but either CBS or Four Star (now w/Fox) would probably have them. Other less famous series may be missing but its unknown as no one has been looking for them. If a show was independently owned, it had a better chance of being mishandled and lost. The Betty Hutton Show a/k/a Goldie was acquired by a film archivist after she left all of the elements sitting at the lab for forty years. There are surely many stories like that and not all will have happy endings. Unfortunately, the industry doesn't see its properties as history but as product. Product which either has a commercial value or doesn't and if it doesn't, it has no more value to them than bags of fertilizer. Especially in the pre-home video explosion days. If there was no syndication value, no re-broadcast value, then it was just a worthless item and costing storage fees.
In addition to what seems on the surface to be unrealistic expectations at best and just plain old greed at worst, one wonders if Mr. Urbanski may be a little "star struck" by all the attention he's getting over this. I don't know if he's ever worked in the industry besides from a collector/dealer standpoint, but if not, it's very easy to become caught up by any indulgence from those who do work in show business. It's ridiculous, but you see it all the time in our celebrity obsessed culture. People suddenly think they are going to be a part of some exclusive club and want it to last as long as it can. Why anyone would care about such things is beyond me, but it can happen with people who try stretching their 15 minutes as much as they can. Maybe Mr. Urbanski sees this as his one chance to be noticed for a little while and by continuing to milk it, he not only has the potential of profiting monetarily, but also staying in this tiny spotlight a little longer.
I know, right? "Hello, CBS--we need your help desperately, and we will sue you if you don't!" But I've worked at CBS Radford from time to time. Believe one thing--that studio is only concerned with the many current sitcoms and reality shows being shot there at any given time. I'm sure they have their archives intact. I'm sure the films and materials are properly stored. But CBS is not a dedicated film preservation center. I have a funny feeling that the entirety of My Living Doll is safely tucked away in a storage room somewhere--just that nobody knows which one.
The fans need to understand that major studios don't want independent dvd producers opening up those storage rooms and poking around. Those units are basically only opened when the studios themselves are looking for something, and then only when they want to revive a movie or tv show for their own dvds. They don't want clumsy people opening up cans of film and destroying something within. It's a big trust issue. An indie producer has to have a lot of clout in order to gain access to those facilities. I mean, it's not as dicey as rummaging around in the Vatican archives, but it still takes a lot of negotiation and convincing in order to for them to open up the store for you, right? That's why a lot of shows are supposedly missing--they're not. It's just that nobody remembers where they're being stored. I think only Disney stores and labels everything completely, and properly, and keeps records of where everything is. All the other studios (with a few exceptions) just shove everything into a unit and lock the door. And stuff may be moved over time, and then nobody knows where the stuff is anymore. And they don't want to just open up all the vaults and see what's inside, for fear of ruining the materials. And it would cost big money for these studios to hire people just to sort through the archives and see what's there, and to make sure those same people don't accidentally ruin the films inside. So it's a huge and ongoing dilemma.
I'm telling you--if the studios actually spent big money hiring dedicated archivists and preservationists to look after their properties, then no doubt we'd suddenly see a wave of "lost" movies and tv shows flooding out onto the market. And upgraded versions of existing shows, too!
Whew! I'm glad Pierson is involved- at least with him you know there will be a lot of research done with the project. He and Paul Brownstein are probably the best at making DVD releases of classic TV shows. They will give you lots of extras and they will go into the vaults looking for rarities that no one else will.
Hmmmm- anything rare and interesting regarding other shows you found there? Maybe there's hope for other 'lost' shows!
Does CBS still have storage facilities on the East Coast? Didn't they have one in Ft.Lee,NJ?
I have never seen this show but it sounds interesting. I like Julie Newmar and would very much like to see this show. I am not sure whether or not it was shown in Britain. I always believed that America had kept virtually all its televisual history. Unfortunately Britain didn't. Sadly there are lots of Tv shows that I enjoyed in the 1950s and 1960s that are no longer in British TV vaults. Doctor Who - my all time favourite TV show has over 100 missing episodes. As these are among my favourites and were made in 1964-1969 I can understand someone wanting tos search for a favourite Tv series of that era. For me most of the best shows came from the 1960s. A few Doctor Who prints have turned up in overseas vaults over the years. I wonder if episodes of My Living Doll could be sitting in some overseas vault? Was it sold abroad a lot? Anyway, best of luck with the release.
Good point. How about Canada- was the show sold there?
I remember this show -- albeit vaguely -- from my childhood. I saw a couple episodes
years ago that were from a company called Video Yesteryear.
Just a "thanks" for all the hard work in trying to assemble this series into a dvd release!
What about UCLA, the Paley Center, and the Library of Congress?
Many thanks for the replies. But what about further afield? Do you know all the countries that bought the series and if all the archives in these countries have been contacted to see if they hold copies. I have heard of overseas countries holding prints of American TV shows. The general concensus amongst most people is that these are just yet more prints as all the originals are still held back in America. Again just a thought.....