MGM Catalog and Warner Bros.

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Nick_Feduccia, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. Nick_Feduccia

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    I have a quick question in preparation for tomorrow night's chat with Warner Home Video.
    Does Warner still own the rights to pre-1970s MGM titles or have they reverted back to Sony when Sony bought MGM? If they still own them, then to what year to these titles go? Any response from anyone with knowledge on this subject would be greatly appreciated. I have TONS MGM titles I would like to ask them about.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Bruce Morrison

    Bruce Morrison Supporting Actor

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    As far as I know, Warner owns DVD rights for all pre-1986 films that were actual MGM productions, and the sale of MGM to Sony should not have affected that. The Warner ownership does not include films that were produced by United Artists or Orion (or various other production companies) and merely distributed by MGM. The home video rights to these films remained with MGM, and will therefore now reside with Sony.

    I think that's the situation, but others more knowledgeable than I may well want to correct me!
     
  3. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    I guess the Warner/MGM/UA/Sony rights queries will go on ad infinitum but to say it again - the Sony purchase of MGM/UA titles has nothing whatsover to do with the classic pre-1986 MGM titles which remain with Warners! And long may they do so!
     
  4. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    In the early 1980’s, MGM bought United Artists and became MGM/UA Entertainment. In the mid-80’s, Ted Turner bought MGM/UA, he then sold off their other interests and kept the hugh library of MGM films as well as the pre-1948 Warner and RKO films. The number of films involved was well over 3000 films, a very significant number which brings us to the 1990’s, when Turner Broadcasting Company was sold by Ted Turner to Time Warner. Also, during that time period of Turner's sale, some film rights reverted back to MGM while others were exchanged and given to Warner. Most of those titles that reverted back to MGM were originally United Artists films.





    Crawdaddy
     
  5. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    [​IMG]

    Exceptions:

    Warner Bros. distributes Saul Zaentz (originally distributed by Orion or United Artists) films (Amadeus, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, etc.), Orion-WB coproductions (Caddyshack, Time After Time, Arthur, etc.). Also, they own most Lorimar, Allied Artists, choice Monograms, The Ladd Company films, and a choice selection of others. Turner and WB also control most RKO Radio Pictures films.
     
  6. Joe Fisher

    Joe Fisher Screenwriter

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    So this means the James Bond library is in the hands of Sony now??? Right?? [​IMG]
     
  7. Opi

    Opi Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, James Bond was one of the main reasons for Sony to buy MGM.
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    That's right, James Bond films were United Artists titles.
     
  9. ted:r

    ted:r Second Unit

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    According to IMDB, UA only produced about 121 films. That jives with what I have gleaned from "Heaven's Gate" which states that UA was more a distributor of independently produced films than a production company, like MGM or WB or the others.

    Did the former UA eventually come to own (or at least perpetually distribute) the films it originally distributed, making them now owned by Sony? More to the point, anyone know of a website that lists, film by film, who owns what?
     
  10. Marko Berg

    Marko Berg Supporting Actor

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    As I understand it, UA not only distributed but also financed productions, effectively making them a "proper" production company. However, UA was not a studio like MGM or WB which means they did not have the facilities for film-making.
     
  11. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Many independent production companies made films that were distributed by United Artists. Most of those films still might fall under the now, Sony umbrella. Case in point, films like A Bridge Too Far and Missouri Breaks which in the last six months or so had new MGM/Sony dvd releases.






    Crawdaddy
     
  12. Leroy Williams

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    Given the fact that Sony has the rights to United Artist. I certainly hope they re-release the film "Thief" starring James Caan and Tuesday Welds. MGM's release was not anamorphic and the picture was of VHS quality.
     
  13. Muir Hewitt

    Muir Hewitt Extra

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    I wonder if Warner will therefore release
    The Mask of Fu Manchu starring Boris Karloff? I wonder who currently owns the rights to Mad Love starring Colin Clive and Peter Lorre?
     
  14. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Both titles were MGM productions from the 1930s and therefore, belong to Warner now.
     
  15. Eric Huffstutler

    Eric Huffstutler Screenwriter

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    I just posted elsewhere a question about The Best Years of Our Lives 1946 that won the Academy Award for best picture and is in the National Archives... was an MGM film so guess now Warner (aka Sony) owns it too?

    They need to put out a decent transfer of this movie which has been overlooked by MGM to restore.

    Eric
     
  16. Brian PB

    Brian PB Supporting Actor

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    Warner and Sony are two (very) separate companies.

    The Best Years of Our Lives was produced by the Samuel Goldwyn Studio. The rights to these films were purchased by MGM/UA in 1996 (MGM/UA released the film on DVD, which is still in print). So SONY now controls the rights to this great William Wyler film.
     
  17. Tory

    Tory -The Snappy Sneezer- -Red Huck-

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    This is kind of off topic, but I didn't wan't to start another thread and it is sort of related, Does Warner own all RKO films not in the Public Domain, specifically those of the 30's?
     
  18. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    The Samuel Goldwyn films just licensed out to MGM (now Sony)

    Warner is NOT related to Sony. Check out the flowchat a few posts up to see where the splits are.
     
  19. Stephen PI

    Stephen PI Supporting Actor

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    The Samuel Goldwyn Studios on Formosa Avenue in Hollywood was also the home of United Artists for many years. The Mirisch Corporation released all their films through UA and the post production of their American made titles were done there. The Goldwyn Sound department had a great reputation and they had the best sounding scoring stage in Hollywood, Goldwyn Stage Seven.
     
  20. AlanBrom

    AlanBrom Second Unit

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    Does Sony still own the Samuel Goldwyn libary? I hope they don't, or that they sold it to someone else so that VAMPIRE CIRCUS, TWINS OF EVIL and HANDS OF THE RIPPER can finally be released in Region 1.
     

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