Porgy & Bess released from rights limbo?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Douglas R, Oct 1, 2002.

  1. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    I saw this in the Movies Forum:

    "4-TRACK MAGNETIC STEREO FESTIVAL - Egyptian Theatre, Los Angeles Presented by SabuCat Productions
    Friday, November 29 - 7:30 PM
    Original 4-Track Technicolor Print - Complete Version!!
    PORGY & BESS, 1959, 138 min. Dir. Otto Preminger"

    I understand the Gershwin estate holds the rights to the film and for many years have refused to allow it to be re-issued. Does this perhaps mean that the film may at last be issued on DVD?
     
  2. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    The only known surviving 70mm print of this film was shown at the CINERAMA during the 1999 Seattle International Film Festival. The festival folks told us that this was a rare opportunity because the moratorium was still in effect. I would not take this screening as a sign that the moratorium is lifted. GO SEE IT AT ALL COSTS!!!
     
  3. Bob Graham

    Bob Graham Supporting Actor

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    "Does this perhaps mean that the film may at last be issued on DVD?"

    Much as I would like to see it, I think the answer at this time is..

    "...it ain't necessarily so".
     
  4. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Is it 70mm dye-transfer?
    Why is the Gershwin Estate holding it back - the goddamn film needs restoring - if they continue to jerk off, the film will eventually be lost forever.
    Same goes for Michael Wayne's dunderheaded attitude toawrds The High and the Mighty. What's the state of the negative on that one? Maybe Mr Robert Harris knows? [​IMG]
    Gordy
     
  5. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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  6. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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  7. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

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    Again, no dye transfer prints were ever made in 70mm. The IB prints used for color timing info were 35mm IB prints.

    Ted
     
  8. Jeff Joseph

    Jeff Joseph Agent

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    There are still rights issues with this title. We got special permission from the Gershwin estate, Goldwyn, and MGM to do this one screening. It's a superb dye-transfer 35mm print...possibly the last one in existence.

    Jeff
     
  9. Mark_Wilson

    Mark_Wilson Screenwriter

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    Does someone else hold the international rights?
     
  10. Jeff Joseph

    Jeff Joseph Agent

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    Sorry, I don't know about the international rights on this. I presume that the Gershwin estate controls it world wide.

    Jeff
     
  11. Peter Kline

    Peter Kline Cinematographer

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    The Gershwin estate owns the music rights. If they won't give permission to use the songs (and background score) then the film cannot be released. It is not a good film and many in the cast regretted doing it. It's a great opera but the film is not. There was a video version that was pretty good. It may still be available.
     
  12. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    I had read the Goldwyn Company restored the film a few years ago when they noticed the soundtrack was deteriorating. It was also rumored to be released by MGM/UA but MGM/UA would only have the rights for a short time and they didn't want to spend the money to release the film with a short market window. I believe the music rights become public domain in 2007, but with the new copyright laws this may not happened. The film is ok, there are few closeups and the camera remains stationary much of the time. The print screening at the Egyptian will most likely be the print that's been shown around the Los Angeles area over the last 10 years. I saw the print about 5 years ago, it's not a bad print, but it's not a new print, but that was five years ago.
     
  13. Jeff Joseph

    Jeff Joseph Agent

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    No, that print of "Porgy" that you are referring to went bad (vinegar syndrome) and has been destroyed. This is a different print, in excellent shape. And to the best of my knowledge, it is the last surviving dye-transfer Technicolor 4-track stereo print.

    Jeff
     
  14. Greg_M

    Greg_M Screenwriter

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    Jeff,

    Do you know if the "Sweet Charity" print screening at the Egyptian is the roadshow version 157 minutes, or the general release print -133 minutes
     
  15. Jeff Joseph

    Jeff Joseph Agent

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    Almost positive it's 133 minutes.

    Jeff
     

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