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» 8mm Forum   » General Yak   » Our Town 1940, why not restored?

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Author Topic: Our Town 1940, why not restored?
Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10035
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted August 29, 2018 11:55 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm just curious as to why such a classic film (it won five or six oscars, for petes sake), has not received the bluray treatment or any restoration? Anybody know? Did this become a public domain title, out of copyright, for instance?

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Bryan Chernick
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 649
From: Bothell, WA, USA
Registered: Mar 2010


 - posted August 29, 2018 10:49 PM      Profile for Bryan Chernick   Email Bryan Chernick   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The quote below may explain why, it seems to be in a strange copyright limbo.

quote:
The U.S. copyright of the film was not renewed after its first term expired in 1968. However, because it is a derivative work from a play that is still under U.S. copyright, it is not deemed to be in the public domain.

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Bill Brandenstein
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1624
From: California
Registered: Aug 2007


 - posted August 30, 2018 06:44 PM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
...which effectively makes it an orphan if the copyright owner doesn't want to invest in the restoration.

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10035
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted August 31, 2018 11:41 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
[Confused] [Frown]

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Bill Brandenstein
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1624
From: California
Registered: Aug 2007


 - posted August 31, 2018 05:49 PM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Osi, I have no idea who owns the Thornton Wilder "Our Town" play, but they're probably a literary publisher, not a movie studio, so they wouldn't likely have deep pockets for such a movie restoration project.

And whoever has the negatives (originally released by United Artists) probably doesn't have pockets deep enough to satisfy the copyright owner!

This is one of the movies scored by the great Aaron Copland, which I studied in school. Via yukky VHS!

I'm making assumptions, of course. If this is to see the light of day, presumably someone will need to do some skillful negotiating.

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Michael O'Regan
Film God

Posts: 3083
From: Essex, UK
Registered: Oct 2007


 - posted September 01, 2018 07:29 AM      Profile for Michael O'Regan   Email Michael O'Regan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm guessing the rights are held by the Wilder family.

I, too, would like to see a restored version but, as was mentioned above by Bill, it's unlikely. A film like this would probably not be a big draw.

There was a DVD release a few years back by, I think, an outfit called Focus Films.

The play is one of my favourite plays. It was written specifically with the stage in mind though and, although Wilder had a hand in the screenplay, I think it lost something in the move, as good as it was overall.

Incidentally, as far as I'm aware the film did not win any Oscars, though it was nominated in some departments.

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10035
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted September 01, 2018 11:45 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
... which is such a shmae. if that is the state of this film. You would think that an Academy Award winner like this would have been treated better.

It looks like anybody who loves this film will have to be content with finding a good 16MM print or even (with a LOT of luck) a vintage 35MM! (hey it's possible!).

Thanx 4 the comments, folks! [Smile]

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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