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Paramount -- LADIES AND GENTLEMEN THE FABULOUS STAINS


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#1 of 130 OFFLINE   Mark Edward Heuck

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Posted May 09 2001 - 09:38 AM

Dear Mr. Blythe,

I'm sure you are not familiar with many of the films that your company owns the rights to, and I'm also sure this would be one of them. But LADIES AND GENTLEMEN THE FABULOUS STIANS, is one that deserves your attention. This overlooked '81 satire on rock music, the only other directorial outing by Lou Adler, and an early starring vehicle for Diane Lane, Laura Dern, and Ray Winstone, has picked up a devoted cult of fans over the last 20 years. I was largely responsible for its recent revival at the Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles, where we played it for four weeks worth of midnights, and also great reviews from the local critics.
I would direct you to a very well-written article on the film by director Sarah Jacobsen in the Beastie Boys-published magazine GRAND ROYAL, issue #6, or to episode 29 of John Pierson's SPLIT SCREEN program on IFC, for a more eloquent explanation of its significance. Or I could just use the quote from Courtney Love proclaiming it the best movie ever made, which we used to advertise the film during our engagement.
Since this film has never received even a VHS release, I think this could be a demonstration of the revivalist powers of DVD, much like Anchor Bay's issue of Universal's TWO-LANE BLACKTOP helped it find a new audience. By enlisting the services of director Adler, who has already done a great commentary on your UP IN SMOKE disc, and Ms. Jacobsen, who was able to get interviews with disgruntled screenwriter Nancy Dowd, you could have a great disc. By including missing scenes from it's prerelease incarnations as ALL WASHED UP and THE PROFESSIONALS, you could show the dramatic differences in its initial incarnation and how Adler was able to "save" the film in editing. A commentary track where Adler could face off against Dowd, debating the merits of each's vision would be most entertaining, like the contentious discussion between Steven Soderbergh and Lem Dobbs on the dvd of THE LIMEY. Perhaps also an isolated music score, since there has never been a commercial release of the excellent soundtrack that features members of The Tubes, The Clash, and Sex Pistols.
I'm sure at this time, this is a quixotic pursuit. But my conversations with Jacobsen have revealed that this is something Paramount has considered before. I would like to see them consider it again.
Thank you for all your serious and thoughtful replies to this forum.

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"As I looked back over my life, I realized that I enjoyed nothing--not art, not sex--more than going to the movies." -- Gore Vidal

#2 of 130 OFFLINE   Martin Jeeves

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Posted May 10 2001 - 05:19 AM

Mark and Mr Blythe,

I would have to agree that this film (which was pretty much abandoned by Paramount theatrically in the early 1980's) is a real gem and a film that is increasingly gaining a large cult following thanks to word of mouth, TV screenings (VH1 and MTV I believe) and a few selected theatrical screenings. Bearing in mind the increasing interest in the film as well as the films stars now being 'hot', I think this could be a very worthwhile release. Please consider it and add it to the schedule or license it to Anchor Bay or someone else to distribute. A true gem worth seeking out if you can.

Thank you,

Martin.

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M.J.
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#3 of 130 OFFLINE   Martin Jeeves

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Posted June 13 2001 - 05:24 AM

Paramount,

Do you think this title is a possibility for DVD sometime soon (next year maybe)? 2003?

Thanks,


M.J.

#4 of 130 OFFLINE   Matthew Kiernan

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Posted June 13 2001 - 07:12 AM

I'm pretty sure the film was released on VHS once back in the mid-80's, but even if not, it seems to me that no new release could be a matter of soundtrack rights, the same problems that are plauging GREASE and SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER.

Just a guess. Personally speaking, I wouldn't mind seeing the film on disc, but I'm not holding my breath.

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#5 of 130 OFFLINE   LarryDavenport

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Posted June 13 2001 - 10:08 AM

It's funny how many Paramount titles are not getting done because of music rights.

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#6 of 130 OFFLINE   Mark Edward Heuck

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Posted June 13 2001 - 09:27 PM

I think a novel way to help defray the costs of repaying for music rights on THE FABULOUS STAINS would be to approach some of the musicians that have been influenced by the movie, get their thoughts on camera for a great supplement, and get a small donation. I bet a lot of the better hard rock grrl bands like The Donnas and Le Tigre could put up a couple hundred bucks, and weird as it sounds, the money adds up as more people find and like the film.
Hey, it worked when Spike Lee needed post production money on MALCOLM X.
"As I looked back over my life, I realized that I enjoyed nothing--not art, not sex--more than going to the movies." -- Gore Vidal

#7 of 130 OFFLINE   Mark Edward Heuck

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Posted July 26 2001 - 06:39 AM

Quote:
It's funny how many Paramount titles are not getting done because of music rights.

Not that funny, I'm afraid. And not just limited to Paramount. The video revolution opened up a whole new can of worms in terms of music licensing. While I would like to believe altruistically that some artists are enjoying newfound revenue, it is more likely that record companies and ASCAP are the primary beneficiaries of this windfall. And as such, the heavies preventing films like STAINS, SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, AMERICAN HOT WAX, and others from seeing video release. Also the forces that have given us heartbreaks like THE PRESIDENT'S ANALYST minus Barry McGuire's scene-appropriate assassination song, or the rescored DOGMA trailer on DVD, or indeed, kept classic trailers off of DVD.

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"As I looked back over my life, I realized that I enjoyed nothing--not art, not sex--more than going to the movies." -- Gore Vidal
"As I looked back over my life, I realized that I enjoyed nothing--not art, not sex--more than going to the movies." -- Gore Vidal

#8 of 130 OFFLINE   Chad Parks

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Posted July 27 2001 - 04:54 PM

I would love to see this film. I became interested a few years ago, after a great article in Grand Royal magazine about the film, with interviews with most of the principals involved.

#9 of 130 OFFLINE   Martin Jeeves

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Posted July 29 2001 - 11:22 PM

I don't know whether any of you guys can help on this but I have a couple of queries regarding '….Stains'.

Firstly, what was the original aspect ratio of the film? Lou Adler used 2.35:1 for 'Cheech and Chong: Up In Smoke" but on my VHS copy the framing looks closer to 1.85:1. What aspect ratio was the film made in and what did you guys show it as at the Nuart?

Secondly, I know that not everyone, is a fan of the ending of the film, but personally I think it is great - the highlight even. The '…Stains' music video for 'Professionals' (used over the end credits) really rocks and it is so, so cool to see big name stars like Diane Lane and Laura Dern playing air guitars and dressed-up strutting their stuff. I think they actually do a great job. Laura Dern looks slightly different to how she does in the rest of the film, and Diane Lane looks every bit a 'rock star' as she does in the excellent 'Streets of Fire'. They all look like they a having so much fun. I really, really hope that this music video (in it's entirety) gets onto the DVD! Soo cooool!

Thirdly, I cannot for the life of me, work out why this film wasn't given a chance. It's just absolutely great. Everyone, I mean everyone who has seen this film loves it! I don't know anyone who dislikes it and it's huge cult status and a hopeful DVD release is throughly deserved.

Please if you know the answers to the above, please let me know.


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M.J.
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#10 of 130 OFFLINE   Mark Edward Heuck

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Posted July 29 2001 - 11:42 PM

#1) The film was shot with an unmasked camera, and was thusly designed to be projected at 1.85:1 Adler's interest in CinemaScope apparently was a one-shot deal.

#2) I accept the ending, but it is one of the factors that made writer Nancy Dowd disown the film and take the Rob Morton pseudonym.
It is clever editing that disguises the fact that, as originally written and shot, the mass gathering of skunk clones in the TV station lot is actually a "cattle call" for sleazy manager Dave Robell's next girl band project. Corrine laughs because she sees a whole lot full of suckers that will be used just like her. Look closely at the two skunks on a motorcycle that are supposedly listening to her song playing on the radio; THERE IS NO RADIO ON THEIR CYCLE. While sneaky, one must credit Adler's cleverness in taking a down ending and making it go 180 degrees.


Quote:
Laura Dern looks slightly different to how she does in the rest of the film

That is because all that footage was shot a year later. Paramount attempted to salvage the film by having Adler reunite the girls to shoot the music video and create a "happy ending" for the film. I do not know if and when they tested the film with the old bitter ending, but they must have; on the print we showed, there were three titles, 2 crossed out, with dates next to them. One was Dowd's original title, ALL WASHED UP, next was THE PROFESSIONALS, and then finally LAG: TFS.

#3) It was made in 1981, went through numerous edits, the writer walked off, the director lost interest...the studio felt to give it any sort of real release would be to throw good money after bad. Plus, teen movies were not a moneymaker yet; John Hughes' films would not hit the scene until 1984, punk was still an underground idea, the fact that the "video" is a slap at MTV is a fluke, since MTV was not yet a household word. The world was just not ready. Happens all the time, sad to say. Just be happy it is embraced now.

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"As I looked back over my life, I realized that I enjoyed nothing--not art, not sex--more than going to the movies." -- Gore Vidal
"As I looked back over my life, I realized that I enjoyed nothing--not art, not sex--more than going to the movies." -- Gore Vidal

#11 of 130 OFFLINE   Martin Jeeves

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Posted July 31 2001 - 01:53 AM

Thank you for answering the questions. The ending you mentioned did not even occur to me. Very, very clever editing.

I trust you have seen this:
http://www.brightlig...lousstains.html

There is also info and pictures from the film on some of the many Diane Lane sites.
http://us.imdb.com/N...MSC Lane, Diane
http://www.DianeLaneFanSite.com/

Does anyone know where I can get a copy of Grand Royal Issue 6?

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M.J.
M.J.

#12 of 130 OFFLINE   Joe_Rod

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Posted July 31 2001 - 07:28 AM

I haven't seen this movie since I was a little kid. I think I saw it on Night Flight back in the 80's.

I have been trying to find a bootleg copy of this for years. The music is great. Diane Lane is wonderful. Please release this on DVD.

#13 of 130 OFFLINE   Martin Jeeves

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Posted July 31 2001 - 07:53 AM

I'm sure that Martin Blythe and those at Paramount are looking into this film because of the Paramount poll and the general 'booming' interest in this film.

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M.J.
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#14 of 130 OFFLINE   Mark Edward Heuck

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Posted August 27 2001 - 03:01 PM

Hey, Stainerators! Here's an idea for you if you have time and inclination. Go to any busy theatre that will be playing the Mark Wahlberg fluff movie ROCK STAR, with a boombox playing "Join the Professionals," a couple hot pictures of Diane Lane, and a petition to get the movie on tape and DVD. Then collect all those names and send 'em on to Paramount. Let the multiplex equivalent of "Heavy Metal Parking Lot" work for us!

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"As I looked back over my life, I realized that I enjoyed nothing--not art, not sex--more than going to the movies." -- Gore Vidal
"As I looked back over my life, I realized that I enjoyed nothing--not art, not sex--more than going to the movies." -- Gore Vidal

#15 of 130 OFFLINE   Martin Jeeves

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Posted September 10 2001 - 04:06 AM

That is a really good idea! Sadly, the impression I get is that not many people are paying to see 'ROCK STAR'. Posted Image

I would definately, sign any poll to get '..STAINS' on DVD!

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M.J.
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#16 of 130 OFFLINE   John Kilduff

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Posted November 01 2001 - 10:14 AM

Sorry for bumping this topic back up, but I just wish to cast my vote for this movie...being as I'm into late-70s/early-80s music like in this movie, and I'm a fan of Diane Lane (YOWZA!). Paramount, please release this movie.

Sincerely,

John Kilduff

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#17 of 130 OFFLINE   Martin Jeeves

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Posted November 02 2001 - 12:04 AM

I really think Paramount could make some money on this film as a DVD release. DVD was made for cult films like this!

Does anyone have any links to the Grand Royal article about the movie?

Does Diane Lane (Double Yowza) and the girls do their own singing/playing?

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M.J.
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#18 of 130 OFFLINE   Mark Edward Heuck

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Posted March 05 2002 - 10:04 PM

I normally try not to make any reference in this forum to the nationally broadcast cable TV series that I appear on, the better to keep the focus of postings on the movies that we love. But I think it is worth mentioning that after a recent episode of BEAT THE GEEKS aired, in which I taunted a contestant by proclaiming, "We're the geeks, and we don't put out," the Comedy Central message board began to blaze with postings from viewers who either were fans of LADIES AND GENTLEMEN THE FABULOUS STAINS and recognized the reference, and those whose curiosity was piqued by my mention. A couple of people even managed to locate my private email address and asked me if I knew of how to obtain it. I had to sadly tell them it is unavailable.

As our moderators have said, Paramount has been very attentive to our comments, and their "B title" poll is a clear indication that our comments matter to them. While no details can be revealed now, it is likely some of our suggestions will be made into actual fall releases.
Therefore, I put the question to the mountain: I would not and do not expect this movie to come out this year. But could a 2003 release be in the works? Perhaps just in time for the 20th anniversary of its first very brief theatrical run? (While completed in '81, I believe it did not have its original Denver playdate until '83) I'll be more excited for this than a kid waiting for Christmas if a sliver of hope can be dangled in front of me. Posted Image
"As I looked back over my life, I realized that I enjoyed nothing--not art, not sex--more than going to the movies." -- Gore Vidal

#19 of 130 OFFLINE   Martin Jeeves

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Posted July 01 2002 - 01:48 AM

I have heard from another "STAINS" fan who says that he personally spoke with a Paramount rep. (He understanably wouldn't say who).

He did say, however, that Paramount are very, very aware of all the interest in "Ladies And Gentlemen.. The Fabulous Stains" and that the studios main issue of concern was the music rights. It apparently has a lot of "clearance issues" to be sorted out.

But rest assured, they are taking this films renewed popularity very seriously, so there is hope.

Also, with "Unfaithful" being such a big hit, and getting it's star Diane Lane alot of media and critical attention, I'm sure that could help Paramount sort-out the clearance issues and release the film on DVD as soon as they can.

Please do NOT take this as a confirmation of "...Stains" coming to DVD, but it does look as promising as it ever has. So keep your fingers crossed and keep threads like this going to remind Paramount of the interest.

Thanks.
M.J.

#20 of 130 OFFLINE   Mark Palermo

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Posted July 01 2002 - 10:29 AM

Sweet! The film actually turned up on Canadian TV several years ago. It holds up pretty well.
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