Who owns the rights to Pirates of Penzance?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Mark Bendiksen, Jul 23, 2002.

  1. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

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    It's been well over ten months since this thread was bumped, so I'm tossing it to the top of the heap (again).
    It's been three years since my initial post on the subject. Has anyone heard anything at all? Even a whisper? This movie is seriously long overdue for a DVD release.
     
  2. David Grove

    David Grove Stunt Coordinator

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    I often think of this title as sort of orphaned [​IMG]
    Bring it on.
    DG
     
  3. RobertSiegel

    RobertSiegel Screenwriter
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    I havn't heard a word about the release of this great film, that's pretty sad. I will never understand the Universal home video department. Here come special editions of all the Rodgers and Hammerstein films this winter, and they STILL don't release FLOWER DRUM SONG, what terrible decision making. This, aside from the fact that the broadway revival of DRUM played for 8 months and they didn't take advantage of that either. Universal needs some new marketing people.
    As for Pirates, it's really a shame this great film hasn't been released. I just hope they don't use the cable version,in which ALL of the dialogue (which was panned beautifully in the initial release) was moved to the center channel, I will never understand why unless they felt with the movie in pan and scan, they should bring the dialogue to the center. I just hope that they don't use that soundtrack. In the original release, where-ever the person was, the dialogue was panned to show that. Of course, these hopes are if they ever release the title at all. I heard today that Universal plans a 7th special edition of American Pie, yet these great films have yet to see the light of day on dvd [​IMG]
     
  4. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

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    Yes, I agree. I started this thread well over three years ago. During the meantime I've emailed Universal. I've sent snail mail to Universal. Not that I actually expected my actions to make a lick of difference. I'm just holding out hope that one day the powers that be will step up to the plate and actually get this DVD out the door.
     
  5. David Grove

    David Grove Stunt Coordinator

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  6. Adam_WM

    Adam_WM Screenwriter

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    Orphan?

    For he is an orphan boy! He is! Hurrah for the orphan boy!
     
  7. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    MArk,

    Who have you been writing to at Universal. I'll them a letter, can't hurt.
     
  8. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

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    Sure thing...it's been awhile since I sent them mail but I'll dig up the address I used and post it here shortly. Anyone who loves this movie as much as we do is encouraged to let Universal know that there is an audience for Pirates of Penzance!
     
  9. RobertSiegel

    RobertSiegel Screenwriter
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    Ok this is an old thread, but there's reason to celebrate, I have inside info that on September 19, Universal will be releasing The Pirates of Penzance, yes the movie!!!!! It has been completely remastered (picture and sound) on DVD. No word on Blu-ray yet but I tend do doubt it at least this year.
     
  10. Bradley-E

    Bradley-E Screenwriter

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    I remember seeing a screening on the Universal lot. Personally I found the film to be dull. They pretty much just built some dumb sets on a sound stage instead of actually opening it up by using real outdoor locations and more sophisticated sets. It seems very rushed with no thought whatsoever on what to do with the material. I think if they actually put something into the film it would not have premiered on Cable and would have maybe had a chance on being a hit.
     
  11. RobertSiegel

    RobertSiegel Screenwriter
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    Some people felt that way, but it was a Broadway show filmed really. It works fo mr in the fantasy type world they created. It's the music that sets it apart for me and the performances. This movie did NOT premiere on Cable. It showed in many theaters around the country, but because Universal decided to use this film to try the first pay-per-view with a theatrical title, many theater chains refused to book it. I saw it in 3 different theaters in Minneapolis (and about 3 times at each theater).
     
  12. RafaelB

    RafaelB Second Unit

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    Awesome news! With Lansbury back on Broadway in A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, it probably should've been released a little sooner, but I can't wait (although I'm not believing this until I have it in my grubby little hands come september).
     
  13. GMpasqua

    GMpasqua Screenwriter

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    Amazon and TCM have the film available for pre-order. DVD Release date 9/14/2010
    At the time it was filmed it had an expensive budget. It was filmed in England and on Studio soundstages to give the film a dreamlike "wizard of Oz" look. The film was chosen to premiere on pay pre view as a test and most theater chains would not screen the film as a result (they did not cable TV competing for the audience).
    As a result the film opened at second rate theaters and didn't do very well. It was also an opera a genre that never draws a large audience. The film is quite good and the score is sung very well. The film looks great in widescreen and you can see a lot of money was spent on it. The film had no expensive "movie stars" so most of the budget went into the production and not into the actors pockets
     
  14. RobertSiegel

    RobertSiegel Screenwriter
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    I think the film is brilliant and I can't wait, I just wish there was going to be a Blu-ray release, this is the type of film that would be fantastic with a lossless audio track (in additon to the high-res picture). It's been sad to see it in 4:3 on all these airings and the laserdisc and VHS versions, because so much of the picture has been taken off, people who sing are not even in frame, and it was never even properly scanned for pan and scan, the4:3 frame was left in one place for the entire film.


    I really hope they release the version with the ORIGINAL soundtrack, in which every line of singing and dialogue is panned, excellent stereo. I saw it later on several cable showings that had centered all of the voices (music still in stereo) and I am saying a prayer that they do not use that remixed soundtrack. I have no idea why they would remix it like that, unless to compensate for the pan and scan. The soundtrack on the laserdisc is excellent and had the origiginal theatrical mix.
     
  15. Eric Vedowski

    Eric Vedowski Second Unit

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    You can find some details on the pay per view aspect from Billboard Magazine via Google Books here:

    http://books.google.com/books?cd=1&lr=&as_pt=MAGAZINES&q=%22pirates+of+penzance%22+%22pay+per+view%22&btnG=Search+Books&as_coll2=+issn%3A0006-2510+
     
  16. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Great news- someone lent me the laserdisc of this to transfer to DVD, but I haven't gotten around to doing it. I'll just let them know about the official release now.
     
  17. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Supporting Actor

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    Might want to hold on to the Laserdisc just in case the DVD soundtrack is screwed up. Can you say HYBRID? :)
     
  18. RobertSiegel

    RobertSiegel Screenwriter
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    Yes I am holding on to my laserdisc, just in case they use the remixed soundtrack. I was so angry when I first heard it on cable. All dialogue and singing was centered (the music was still stereo). I pray that they don't use that one and use the original. This movie has a very well recorded soundtrack, one of the best of its time. I thought "now what idiot at Universal spent time and money authorizing a remix where you center part of a soundtrack....when the soundtrack they already had was fantastic.


    I keep thinking about how awesome this would sound with DTS MA, oh well, maybe some day.
     
  19. jerauf

    jerauf Agent

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    I don't see how anyone can say that this was a rush job and that there is little thought about what to do with the material.


    First...it was based on a revised version of the operetta. That operetta is not so great if you see it in an opera house. This version is fun, light, campy, and exhilarating.


    Second...they did just what they should have done. Had they filmed people singing like that on actual locations, it would have looked absolutely ridiculous. Musicals are fantasies and shouldn't be filmed on actual locations anyway. They are stylized views of reality. That's one of the things I've never understood about moviegoers...they'll accept Christopher Lee dressed up as a half-baked Merlin in a tower, but they won't accept someone singing their emotions or moving the plot through song.
     
  20. RobertSiegel

    RobertSiegel Screenwriter
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    I would like again to suggest all fans of this film go to the Universalstudios.com web site and click "contact us" and request this film for a Blu-ray release. I have been working with many websites and I know many people have written to them. Any email in a friendly tone would really help, so please take a few minutes and request this title on Blu-ray.


    You can also go to Universal's Facebook page and click on Discussions, I had started a "Movies wanted on Bluray" discussion, please add Pirates there too but also contact the studio at their website. This would be incredible on Blu with lossless audio!!!!!
     

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