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What Ever Happened to Paramount's "The Vagabond King?" (1 Viewer)

SFMike

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As a free viewing choice on Amazon Prime TV I watched Paramount's 1956 production of "The Vagabond King." The print was crap but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Google searching showed it was filmed in VIstaVision so it was especially disappointing to see this train wreck of a print of a fine film that I didn't even know existed. So Robert I thought you might know how this seemed to slip into public domain. It's truly sad we get new restorations of, it seems, every 70s-80s slasher films but a big studio production like this get thrown on the garbage heap. Have you seen this one as it was new to me.
 

Matt Hough

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Paramount had poor luck in 1956 with two VistaVision musicals that were both critical and box-office flops: The Vagabond King and Anything Goes. The taste for operetta was pretty much gone by 1956 (even Mario Lanza couldn't get much traction for his films by this point. Paramount tried to borrow him for this film but had to settle for Oreste.) I have this movie on VHS but haven't watched it in years. Next free evening I have I might give it another spin now that you've brought it back to mind.
 

cinemiracle

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It was a great pity that Vista Vision was a process that was only ever seen in One London cinema and very few in the USA. It remained unseen throughout the rest of the world, despite Vista Vision being falsely included in the advertising for all films that were filmed ,but rarely projected in VV. Vista Vision was the rarest of all cinema processes after Cinemiracle. How many HTF readers ever saw a film in Vista Vision? We advertised Vista Vision where I worked for the many VV films shown, but we never had Vista Vision projection. Advertising films that were projected in Vista Vision was the biggest cinema fraud ever seen in the fifties. It was very common in the U.K,; Australasia and many other countries.
 

bujaki

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What about the 1930 Technicolor version of The Vagabond King (also Paramount) with Jeannette MacDonald, Dennis King and Lillian Roth? Only place you can see it, as far as I know, is UCLA, where I saw it. Both versions would make a great BD double feature release.
 

Matt Hough

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What about the 1930 Technicolor version of The Vagabond King (also Paramount) with Jeannette MacDonald, Dennis King and Lillian Roth? Only place you can see it, as far as I know, is UCLA, where I saw it. Both versions would make a great BD double feature release.
Yes, this is a film I've often read about but never seen, and I would love to. I wish someone could make it happen.
 

Robert Harris

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As a free viewing choice on Amazon Prime TV I watched Paramount's 1956 production of "The Vagabond King." The print was crap but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Google searching showed it was filmed in VIstaVision so it was especially disappointing to see this train wreck of a print of a fine film that I didn't even know existed. So Robert I thought you might know how this seemed to slip into public domain. It's truly sad we get new restorations of, it seems, every 70s-80s slasher films but a big studio production like this get thrown on the garbage heap. Have you seen this one as it was new to me.

Don’t presume that because a film is of poor quality that it’s fallen into the PD.

TVK was properly renewed in 1983.

While I know nothing about the film’s Rights History, there is the underlying musical work, which might have created problems for Paramount. Or the studio may no longer own the IP.

There is also the possibility that some more nefarious entity has “licensed” something that they may not own to Amazon.

One never knows.

As to all those “restorations” of slasher films. Most simply aren’t. It’s called marketing sizzle, much like Disney’s restored Little Mermaid.
 

Robert Harris

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What about the 1930 Technicolor version of The Vagabond King (also Paramount) with Jeannette MacDonald, Dennis King and Lillian Roth? Only place you can see it, as far as I know, is UCLA, where I saw it. Both versions would make a great BD double feature release.

No longer owned by Paramount, and a truly awful, if still historically significant, film.
 

SFMike

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Thank you everyone for the info. It just seems sad we can't get a nice sharp color corrected version of some of these films that are out of popularity.
 

ajabrams

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No longer owned by Paramount, and a truly awful, if still historically significant, film.
I have to say yes, it's not a GREAT film but I didn't think it was truly awful. And it's definitely worth seeing for the wonderful design values and terrific use of early Technicolor. I'd love to be able to see it again.
 

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