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Chuck L

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Has this movie fallen into the abyss known as 'no...we don't know who own's this title?'
Saw this film for the first time not to long ago on television and couldn't believe how bad the film looked. The film is a wonderful film, but it is sad if this is one of those mystery pics.
 

Mark Edward Heuck

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I assume you're talking about Robert Altman's COME BACK TO THE FIVE AND DIME JIMMY DEAN JIMMY DEAN. If not correct me.
Part of the reason the film looks "bad" is that it was an early experiment in shooting on video and converting to film. Altman was staging the play, and it had only done mediocre business, so the movie was a last-minute idea. To keep costs low, it was done on video with the existing sets. Consequently, since home video (and TV syndication) were in relative infancy also, those transfers come from film prints of the video, rather than going direct to the original video master.
As far as rights go, it is a little jumbled. Embassy first released the film on tape, with a copyright to Viacom Productions, who in turn sold it in syndication. Later on, the short-lived Forum label, which evolved into MCEG Virgin, reissued it, since MCEG founder Jonathan Krane had been an investor in the production.
So, either MGM has video rights, due to their acquistion of the MCEG library from the Orion buyout, or Paramount, because of Viacom now being their parent company. Of course, their options may have expired as well, and it could be Krane or even Altman himself who owns it. Apparently Altman himself owns the rights to SECRET HONOR and the miniseries TANNER.
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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
 

NeilEdwards

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Mark, could this be the same reason that Altman's STREAMERS looks so bad in the videotape? It very well could have been shot with video. Any idea who owns this?
 

Mark Edward Heuck

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I believe STREAMERS is owned by American Playhouse; the PBS series was very active in financing low-budget films in the '80's. STREAMERS was released in theatres by United Artists Classics and on video by Media, but I'm very sure that all those options have expired and American Playhouse has all the rights now.
I have never seen the film, but I would not be surprised if that was shot on video also and transferred to film.
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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
 

NeilEdwards

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There are a great number of classics that must be owned by PBS/American Playhouse. PBS has been very slow getting into DVD's. Their Heritage series is just coming out as well as Elizabeth R. However, I wonder if these are released by PBS or by BBC.
 

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