Porgy and Bess

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Douglas R, Dec 7, 2001.

  1. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    What's the story on this 1959 film directed by Otto Preminger? It was a big 70mm roadshow success but has not been seen theatrically for many years and has not, to my knowledge, been on home video. I don't know who has the rights but some time ago I read that the Gershin Estate did not like the film and have prevented it from being shown (a bit like the situation regarding Annie Get Your Gun which was recently issued on DVD after many years in rights limbo). Porgy and Bess is a major film which should be seen again. Anyone know the facts?
     
  2. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    I think this is an MGM film (through Goldwyn).

    The movie was filmed in 70mm Todd-AO, so perhaps it needs restoration?
     
  3. Rutledge

    Rutledge Stunt Coordinator

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    You know, I probably haven't seen that movie in about 20 years. It just kind of disappeared. I think some people were not happy with the casting. Or something.

    Incidently, my house is about 500 ft. from Catfish Row. It is a real place.
     
  4. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    Last heard: The film was restored a few years ago when it was noticed that the soundtrack was detoritating. The rights are expire in a year or two and which ever company holds those rights doesn't want to spend the large amount of money on a video release(in case the rights aren't renewed). Once the rights pass on maybe we will see it. I've heard a few people in the industry have been approached to work on the project. The film has been screened in Los Angeles within the past five years.
     
  5. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    The Gershwin estate, which holds rights to the story and music, was never happy with the film and has witheld it from release. Some of the actors in the film expressed remorse in appearing in it. A DVD of one of the stage productions is available I believe.
     
  6. Hendrik

    Hendrik Supporting Actor

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    ...this 1992 stage version 'wipes the floor' - musically, vocally, and acting-wise - with the stodgy Otto Preminger movie (IMNSHO, of course!)...
    http://www.blackstar.co.uk/video/item/7000000062214
    ...oddly enough I bought this EMI DVD from a US e-tailer, and my copy is R1/NTSC...
    . . . [​IMG] . . .
     
  7. Marty Neudel

    Marty Neudel Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with Hendrik that the Glynbourne Opera Company production of P&G surpasses the lackluster movie. It was originally a great performance on CD, then staged and sync'd for video. The DD soundtrack (2.0) leaves nothing to be desired and the the cinematography (videography?) takes full advantage of the intimacy of TV.

    Marty
     

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