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Elia Kazan: Where's the rest?


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#1 of 19 Eric Peterson

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Posted June 16 2009 - 12:41 AM

Elia Kazan has made a number of my favorite films, yet there are several still unavailable on DVD that I really want to see. I would like to narrow down, who owns the rights to these films.

  • The People of the Cumberland (1937) - This is a documentary short, but would be a great bonus feature for a feature length movie, or a companion piece to a documentary like the Schickel documentary "Elia Kazan: A Director's Journey"
  • A Tree Grows in Brookylyn (1945) - I recently saw this on TCM and fell in love with it. This is a beautiful film about an impoverished family growing up in New York. Fox reportedly had this in development, but seems to have dropped interest in their classic releases. Any hope on this still coming out?
  • The Sea of Grass (1947) - Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn - need I say more? This was released by MGM on VHS, so I'm assuming that this is now a WB property. If so, why wasn't it released in the Hepburn/Tracy boxset that came out so many years ago? Coming Soon
  • Viva Zapata! (1952) - Marlon Brando as a Mexican revolutionary in a story written by John Steinbeck. This film appears to have slipped in to the public domain as there are many cheap copies available on Amazon. It appears to have been a Fox production though.
  • Man on a Tightrope (1953) - Another well reviewed film by Kazan starring Frederic March & Gloria Grahame (A personal favorite of mine). This also appears to be a Fox production. What's the deal Fox, you have enough Kazan films to make a very marketable boxset?
  • Wild River (1960) - Montgomery Clift & Lee Remick star in a film set in the south and centering around the eviction of an old lady from her house in order to build a dam. This sounds pretty good, but it's only available in the UK. Yet again, another Fox production.
  • America, America (1963) - Kazan's personal favorite film that is loosely based on the immigration of his relatives to the United States. Another film that I'm dying to get my hands on, but is only avaible in Region 2. According to the documentary that I watched, this was a WB production - do they still have the rights?
  • The Visitors (1972) - An early James Woods film that is only available in Region 2.
  • Elia Kazan: A Director's Journey (1995) - An excellent documentary by Richard Shickel. This appears to have been a Turner production as it is listed as such on IMDB and aired on TCM recently. If so, I'm surprised that WB has not released this as part of an SE for any of his other films that they home. Perhaps this would be a good inclusion for a mini-boxset along with their other titles.
Along with these, according to IMDB there is another new documentary in development, so hopefully we will see some of these coming out in conjunction with that.

Does anybody have any info that I've missed?



#2 of 19 Robert Crawford

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Posted June 16 2009 - 12:57 AM

I think there is some right's issues with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Viva Zapata.

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#3 of 19 Simon Howson

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Posted June 16 2009 - 01:36 AM

Viva Zapata is available for around US$7.50 in Australia.

The Optimum Region 2 version of Wild River has excellent picture quality (not so good sound quality).

Both are well worth buying.

#4 of 19 Charles H

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Posted June 16 2009 - 02:10 AM

I understand that Fox has a moratorium on classics. They've pulled the plug a couple of times on A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN, although the dvd with a commentary by Richard Schikel was released in the UK. Perhaps something to do with the Betty Smith estate?
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#5 of 19 Eric Peterson

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Posted June 16 2009 - 02:36 AM

Does anybody know if any of these play semi-regularly on The Fox Movie Channel? I do not currently get that channel, but with Fox backing down on classic DVDs, I may consider getting in in the near future.

#6 of 19 jdee28

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Posted June 16 2009 - 04:51 AM

I've seen A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Wild River play on the Fox Movie Channel.

Undoubtedly, you'll eventually see The Sea of Grass turn up in the Warner Archives, as well as perhaps America, America.

#7 of 19 Mark B

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Posted June 16 2009 - 09:23 AM

WILD RIVER, to me, is as exceptional a film as many of the Fox Studio Classics. I just don't understand why this film is so overlooked, even within the Kazan canon. Fox Movie Channel does broadcast a nice looking transfer, far superior to what was being broadcast a decade ago on AMC. The increased image quality led me to believe a DVD was on the way. Coupled with The People of Cumberland, a truly "special" edition is possible.

#8 of 19 jdee28

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Posted June 16 2009 - 09:39 AM

According to their site Fox Movie Channel, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is showing on FMC tomorrow at 6 am. Wild River is airing Friday, July 24, 12:00 pm ET

#9 of 19 Peter M Fitzgerald

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Posted June 16 2009 - 02:45 PM

MAN ON A TIGHTROPE occasionally airs on Fox Movie Channel as well. It'd be nice if Criterion would consider adding it to their release schedule, since Fox has apparently broomed their in-house classic releases.

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#10 of 19 Dan McW

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Posted June 17 2009 - 01:48 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Peterson
[*]Viva Zapata! (1952) - Marlon Brando as a Mexican revolutionary in a story written by John Steinbeck. This film appears to have slipped in to the public domain as there are many cheap copies available on Amazon.

Many bootleggers claim that the films they offer are in the public domain. I'm sure Fox still has all rights to release VIVA ZAPATA!, if the legal issues with the Steinbeck estate (or whatever is holding up the film's release) can be worked out.

#11 of 19 Eric Peterson

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Posted June 17 2009 - 01:56 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan McW
Many bootleggers claim that the films they offer are in the public domain. I'm sure Fox still has all rights to release VIVA ZAPATA!, if the legal issues with the Steinbeck estate (or whatever is holding up the film's release) can be worked out.

That is certainly true, but certainly not uniformly. This is the only one of these missing films that I saw bootlegs readily available for. Certainly the other films have a similar demand in the marketplace so why would the bootleggers pick only this title?

#12 of 19 Miguel M Santos

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Posted June 17 2009 - 07:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Peterson
That is certainly true, but certainly not uniformly. This is the only one of these missing films that I saw bootlegs readily available for. Certainly the other films have a similar demand in the marketplace so why would the bootleggers pick only this title?

There are legitimate releases of VIVA ZAPATA! in R2 and R4 by Fox, so I'd say the film is not in PD. There have been at least two different covers for the DVD in the UK, and two boxsets including it.

Amazon.co.uk: viva zapata: DVD

WILD RIVER is also available, and A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN was released in the UK at some stage, but is now OOP.

#13 of 19 Karl R

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Posted June 17 2009 - 10:25 AM

Avoid the Korean Viva Zapata! dvd at all costs! (Available from various Amazon marketplace & eBay sellers.)

During the "digitally remastering," they removed the opening credits and the ending of the film (probably to steer clear from any references to 20th Century/Fox.)

#14 of 19 oscar_merkx

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Posted June 17 2009 - 09:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karl R
Avoid the Korean Viva Zapata! dvd at all costs! (Available from various Amazon marketplace & eBay sellers.)

During the "digitally remastering," they removed the opening credits and the ending of the film (probably to steer clear from any references to 20th Century/Fox.)

Why would they do that ?
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#15 of 19 Skweeker

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Posted June 18 2009 - 04:37 AM

America America is a beautiful film, and its lack on DVD is sorely felt, by me anyway: but I do have the WB VHS.

I don't understand the release of Wild River or Viva Zapata in R2 but not R1 - surely whatever "rights deals" were worked out for those releases could be adapted to R1, no? Or is this a case of the "capricious" exercise of rights - that is, it ain't about the money, but for some other reason? (eg Heirs' dislike of the film - but why then an R2, but not R1?)

#16 of 19 Eric Peterson

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Posted February 04 2011 - 01:40 AM

I updated the first post to account for release and upcoming releases!Posted Image



#17 of 19 ahollis

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Posted February 04 2011 - 02:21 AM

Fox has a new Anniversary program starting now.  Hopefully this will mean that they will get some of those missing titles out and in our hands.


http://www.yearofamillionmoments.com/ 






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#18 of 19 Joe Caps

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Posted February 04 2011 - 07:19 AM


Great - not really - went to your link and any announcementa about anything?


No - just more Fox B S.  When will they stop"?



#19 of 19 ahollis

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Posted February 04 2011 - 08:05 AM



Originally Posted by Joe Caps 


Great - not really - went to your link and any announcementa about anything?


No - just more Fox B S.  When will they stop"?


That's exactly what I thought.

"Get a director and a writer and leave them alone. That`s how the best pictures get made" - William "Wild Bill" Wellman



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