"Porgy and Bess" / "Where's Charley" on DVD?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Greg_M, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    Anyone interested in adding the 1959 film of "Porgy and Bess" to their collection may be happy to know that there is good news: the Gershwin Estate wants to finally release it, and the Sammual Goldywn company has the elements, the not so good news is that the elements need to be restored and so far no studio has come forward with plans to finance the restoration, Miles Kreuger is trying to get the film out as he was able to do with "Annie Get Your Gun"

    "Where's Charley" is also finally being allowed by the Losser Estate - don't know if there are any plans to release it yet

    Maybe Robert Harris could get involved with the restoration?
     
  2. vnisanian2001

    vnisanian2001 Supporting Actor

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    Source please?
     
  3. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    I'm afraid this is old news. I've heard both of these rumors for a few years now.

    If WHERE'S CHARLEY? is released, it would almost certainly be through the Warner Archive now.
     
  4. BillyFeldman

    BillyFeldman Supporting Actor

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    Boy, you've been a busy little person posting this everywhere, haven't you? :)
     
  5. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    Just here and on "All That Chat" Spoke with Miles on Saturday, hoping some one will come forward with the Money
     
  6. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    It is not that I don't believe this news, but I would need to see some sort of official announcement. I understand that Columbia still has control of the elements and the rumor is that they have been well taken cared of. Sony has the funds, the understanding to bring this film back if the statement is true that the Gershwin Estate is ready to deal. In the past they wanted to deal, but their deal price was astronomical and unbelievable. There is some talk that the film elements reverted back to the Goldwyn Estate, if that is true, then yes a lot of money will need to be raised to restore it, but Sony should control the elements since they put up most of the production money.

    As far as Where's Charley is concerned, Jo Sullivan Loesser has a strong dislike for the film and unless there is a big need for money, then I doubt she is ready to deal. Where's Charley would be better served in a pressed DVD collection of lost films and not archive. Then perhaps we could get a documentary on the history of the film included.

    These are two films I would very much like to see. The only time I saw Porgy & Bess was on ABC Sunday Night at the Movies. It would be a treat to see it in all its glory with the correct aspect ratio, overture, intermission and 5.1 sound. I have never seen anything but clips on Where's Charley and as a fan of Ray Bolger, this needs to see light of day for his catalog of films.
     
  7. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Ditto.

    Where's this coming from, Greg? The Gershwin Estate probably would love to get it out and make a ton of money off it...but on their terms. And has anyone really stepped up and met those terms?

    Some have speculated over-the-years that their terms are so high because they really don't want to get it out.

    So what are your sources...for each of those items?
     
  8. vnisanian2001

    vnisanian2001 Supporting Actor

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    Well, he did say that he got this info off of "All That Chat", when he spoke with Miles.
     
  9. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Oh. I thought he was responding to Billy's comment about where had been posting this info.

    My bad.
     
  10. BillyFeldman

    BillyFeldman Supporting Actor

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    No, he posted the info on All That Chat, he didn't get it from there. This topic and this news is not anything anyone doesn't know - there has been no official announcement, not even an article about it, so there is no source to quote. Things do change, and money does talk, but nothing is happening, so instead let's discuss that print of The Magnificent Ambersons I heard they found in Brazil.
     
  11. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    I spoke to Miles Kreuger over the weekend - he was responsible for getting "Annie Get Your Gun" out. I asked about "Porgy and Bess" and he said the Gershwin Estate wanted to release it and Sammuel Goldwyn has the elements (Columbia never owned "Porgy and Bess" they were the distributors in 1959) Miles said the elements need a lot of work and no studio was willing to invest at the moment - but he's working on it (doesn't mean the film is coming, just that the rights issue is over)

    "Annie Get Your Gun" was not the big home video success the studio thought it would be. At one point MGM was going to release P&B on DVD but the rights were for a limited time and they couldn't justify the cost of the repairs.

    Didn't get a chance to ask about the cost to restore, if it's not too high I would imagine it will get done, Maybe Robert Harris can contact Miles Kreuger or the Sammuel Goldwyn studios to find out what needs to be done.

    When asked about "Where's Charley" Miles said the Losser estate was finally willing to release it now it just depends if a studio will wants to (Catalog titles aren't big sellers these days and Where's Charley isn't an "A" Catalog title to begin with.


    Remember the audience for these films is aging/dying off and young people could care less.-
     
  12. Rick Thompson

    Rick Thompson Screenwriter

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    Just a small thing folks: it's "Loesser," not "Losser."
     
  13. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    Yes, pronounced as "lesser."

    Which reminds me of the old story that Abe Burrows referred to Frank Loesser's first wife, who had a rather domineering and demanding way about her, as "the evil of two Loessers."

    The one sitting on "Where's Charley?" is the second wife. I wonder if Loesser himself would be ok with "Where's Charley?" coming out on DVD. After all, how many copies will it sell, total? Maybe 3,000, if that many? It's amazing the big deal people can make over nothing.
     
  14. Richard M S

    Richard M S Supporting Actor

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    I heard from a friend who works in the NY theater that a decision was made by the Loesser estate to release WHERE'S CHARLY after the collapse of last season's unfortunate revival of GUYS AND DOLLS. However I do not know any more than that......but I do agree with the comments of Joe Lugoff and Greg M. In my opinion, the very existence of the Warner Archive means the days of making a ton of money off of ANY debut release of an old film - which may or may not even be a "classic" since both musicals have not been seen for decades - are long gone.
     
  15. BillyFeldman

    BillyFeldman Supporting Actor

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    Miles Krueger has nothing to do with Porgy and Bess or Where's Charley, and he didn't really have anything to do with Annie Get Your Gun, other than being a champion. Nothing wrong with that, but let's not make it seem like he's in control of making these things happen. The Irving Berlin family via the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization made Annie ultimately happen. From what I understand, the real person who's been tirelessly trying to make it happen for Porgy and Bess is the fellow in Los Angeles who owns a 35mm Technicolor stereo print, the one that's been shown at all these theaters over the last few years.
     
  16. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Jo Loesser was last seen by me in the release of of "Guys & Dolls: Off the Record" a documentary of the making-of the cast recording of the 1992 revival (Lane/Gallagher/Prince/Guzman). She liked that production and has been pretty particular about how Frank's works are used. For anyone who hasn't seen it...G&D: OtR is a nice recording and fun watch. It was released to DVD by Kultur.
    I know this post is rather off-topic...but I'm not sure this thread ever really had much of a topic to begin with. /img/vbsmilies/htf/tongue.gif
     
  17. Joe Lugoff

    Joe Lugoff Cinematographer

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    So how in the world did she sign on to this year's revival of GUYS AND DOLLS, which got poor reviews and closed quickly? It made a mess of one of Loesser's masterpieces.

    If she allowed THAT, she certainly should allow a release of WHERE'S CHARLEY?

    If she has relented, I'm afraid she waited too long. WHV might have released it about ten years ago, but now it looks like an Archive release or nothing.
     
  18. lionel59

    lionel59 Supporting Actor

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    Any word on these two titles? I can get an average copy of WHERE'S CHARLEY from a collector website but don't want to do this if a studio-authorized release is on the horizon. I had heard that MGM had the rights to PORGY+BESS but they have expired (I think). Hoping someone else " grabs the ball and runs with it", releasing the uncut Roadshow version. (Bootlegs of the 2 hour general release version are floating around but are only barely adequate for "die hard fans".) Maybe Sidney Poitier could lend some support. I heard he was speaking of a dvd release a few years ago at a book signing, so if this is true he must be interested. I'm glad the estate of Oscar Hammerstein had no issues with the movie of CARMEN JONES!!
     

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