The Challenge (1982)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jon Hertzberg, May 8, 2006.

  1. Jon Hertzberg

    Jon Hertzberg Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2001
    Messages:
    1,522
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Real Name:
    Jonathan
    So I just sold a VHS copy of this film (released by CBS/Fox) on eBay for much more than I expected to get for it. It is an entertaining Westerner goes East action tale directed by John Frankenheimer and co-written by John Sayles. It stars Scott Glenn and Toshiro Mifune and would make for a neat double bill with something like Big Trouble in Little China. Glenn is sort of bafoonish in the same way that Kurt Russell was in that film. I would think this film would have some appeal, but it seems to have fallen off the radar.

    Anyway, this was released theatrically by CBS Theatrical Films and the VHS/Beta release was handled by CBS/Fox. Is this still Fox's or has it moved on to another company? I have a feeling Mark Edward can give us the rundown.
     
  2. Mark Edward Heuck

    Mark Edward Heuck Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2000
    Messages:
    1,187
    Likes Received:
    37
    Trophy Points:
    0
    As a CBS Theatrical Films production, it's now Paramount's domain.

    If there's an adventurous soul at the special features department, they should get John Sayles to record a commentary for this and for BABY IT'S YOU, his only directorial outing for the studio. It's a marked contrast in styles that shows just how versatile this Jersey auteur is.
     
  3. Jon Hertzberg

    Jon Hertzberg Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2001
    Messages:
    1,522
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Real Name:
    Jonathan
    Thanks, Mark. As for Baby, It's You, love your idea and while they're at it, they should try and restore the original soundtrack. Perhaps Paramount could enlist Scott Glenn to speak on The Challenge and The Keep.
     
  4. walter o

    walter o Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2004
    Messages:
    852
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    This has been playing alot on cable, but under the title CHALLENGE OF THE NINJA (???!!), and it was 15 minutes shorter. I recall ending with MGM's logo, so perhaps they control cable rights? It is also under StudioCanal's library, so since Embassy released it theatrically, they have some rights to it as well.
     
  5. Jon Hertzberg

    Jon Hertzberg Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2001
    Messages:
    1,522
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Real Name:
    Jonathan
    Yes, I've caught one of those screenings in the middle on Encore several years ago. I knew it was shorter--is it re-edited in any and/or does it incorporate new footage not found in the theatrical version?
     
  6. Mark Edward Heuck

    Mark Edward Heuck Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2000
    Messages:
    1,187
    Likes Received:
    37
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My hypothesis:

    In the '90's, the former ITC wanted to ramp up its presence in television, so it acquired TV rights to films produced by Miramax, CBS, and other entities that at the time did not have their own means of syndication, and sold that package around.
    ITC is later bought by Polygram, and initially integrated into the company; syndicated broadcasts of the ITC production THE LAST SEDUCTION ended as recently as two years back with a "Polygram Television" logo.
    Universal buys Polygram, sells off their pre-96 library to MGM while retaining the post-96 titles. MGM in turn sells off ITC to Carlton Communications.

    However, it would appear that as far as this '90's movie package is concerned, MGM retained the rights to it for the time being. This would explain not only why MGM's logo appears on broadcasts of THE CHALLENGE, but also on films like Miramax's HARDWARE.

    As for StudioCanal, it would appear their claim to the movie ended long ago. Repertory bookings for this and other CBS Films would be handled by Hollywood Classics, a small distributor in Pasadena.
     
  7. Jon Hertzberg

    Jon Hertzberg Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2001
    Messages:
    1,522
    Likes Received:
    46
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Real Name:
    Jonathan
    Mark,

    I'm curious about Hollywood Classics--I do some programming for a non-theatrical venue and am trying to determine if they would rent prints to us and what the extent of their rights are over these films. Their website is a little oblique. And, I also understand that they are primarily British-based.
     
  8. Mark Edward Heuck

    Mark Edward Heuck Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2000
    Messages:
    1,187
    Likes Received:
    37
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You might have wound up at a different company's website; there's more than one with the generic name of Hollywood Classics. To the best of my knowledge, the one that is based in Pasadena does not have a website, and all they carry is the CBS library, from all stages - '60's era Cinema Center Films up to the '80's era stuff like BETTER OFF DEAD. You may just have to do some cold calling in the California area to find them. But they are active; they just recently cleared a few prints for a screening at the American Cinematheque in Hollywood.
     

Share This Page