Paramount

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Fandar Zelig

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Jul 14, 2001, 3:07:32 AM7/14/01
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While reading through past posts made on this group about Louise
Brooks one mentions that because Beggars of Life is a Paramount film
there is little chance of that film seeing any official release.

I want to know: what is the major road block facing old Paramount
films seeing the light of day again?

--
Fandar Zelig
Sic Transit Gloria

Bruce Calvert

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Jul 14, 2001, 3:29:33 AM7/14/01
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In article <df6f9e77.01071...@posting.google.com>, Fandar Zelig
says...

>
>While reading through past posts made on this group about Louise
>Brooks one mentions that because Beggars of Life is a Paramount film
>there is little chance of that film seeing any official release.
>
>I want to know: what is the major road block facing old Paramount
>films seeing the light of day again?

Paramount does not believe that the amount of money that they could make from
releasing these films is worth the trouble and expense to release them. What is
really hard to believe is that they are not even interested in licensing them to
another company like David Shephard's Film Preservation Associates that probably
could make a little money off them. About 10 years ago, they did release a few
silents on VHS and two (THE COVERED WAGON and WINGS) on laserdisc. Supposedly
the sales were disappointing.

--
Bruce Calvert, who is working reeeeeeally late tonight
Visit the Silent Film Still Archive
http://www.crosswinds.net/~bcalvert/home.htm

ChaneyFan

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Jul 14, 2001, 4:32:28 AM7/14/01
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>>>I want to know: what is the major road block facing old Paramount
films seeing the light of day again?

The problem with Paramount (and to a lesser extent, other studios) is that they
feel that to release any of these they will need to pay a lawyer to check the
clearances and rights situation on every single title. They look at the
potential expense of a few thousand dollars per title (corporate lawyers are
billing in the $300-400/hr range these days) and decide it just isn't worth the
trouble. This is probably less true for Turner, who has a cable empire to
feed, so he has probably already gone to the trouble to check rights on
everything he owns.

I suspect if someone *really* wanted them released, they could go to Paramount,
offer $10M for the rights to all silent titles, and they would drop what they
were doing, clear the titles, and license them to you. But if someone can
figure out a way to make that kind of investment back, then you're way smarter
than I am. For a percentage (of something that won't sell), or for a flat fee
of a few thousand, why should the studio bother?

The truth is that there is no market for silent films. David Shepard, Kino,
Milestone and others can take a film that is p.d., or where the Pickford Corp.
or other entity has an interest in releasing them, and after mastering,
scoring, and releasing, might hope for a small profit at best. But from a
corporate standpoint, if you start adding a few thousand in cost on top of
that, there is simply no money to be made and, the last time I checked, these
companies were in business to make money, not to exhibit art.

We should all be thankful for the handful of silents that do get released
properly on video by those who are more interested in seeing them released than
in making money.
===============================
Jon Mirsalis
e-mail: Chan...@aol.com
Lon Chaney Home Page: http://members.aol.com/ChaneyFan
Jon's Film Sites: http://members.aol.com/ChaneyFan/jonfilm.htm

Victor Quesedice

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Jul 14, 2001, 8:19:50 AM7/14/01
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Not only silents but MANY early Paramount titles seem to be out of circulation.
The WC Fields films recently showed by Turner seemed to have been "under wraps"
for at least 20 years.
And try finding copies or cable listings for any of the other Paramount films
from the silents to 1940's.
What gets me is that these seldom even pop up on cable.
I'm not too smart when it coes to copyrights and all but WHY are so many films
not even SHOWN ON CABLE? If they are worried about "ratings"--well-too bad.
There aren't many viewers who want to see the same movies OVER AND OVER AND
OVER again. Even if they are classics--one nowadays just has to record or buy a
video and can watch GONE WITH THE WIND, CASABLANCA, STAR WARS, etc until they
have the film memorized or until the tape or DVD wears out. So why bother
showing these (or any of that ILK) so many times?
Paramount, Universal, 20th Century Fox are all guilty of this.
I'd love to see countless films again--
being a horror/sci fi fan --it's damn near impossible to find decnt copies of
many of these films other than the "classics". I tracked down copies of a lot
but the quality is GODAWFUL---and one has to be content as it's better than
NUTTIN!!
VQ

Bob Birchard

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Jul 14, 2001, 10:47:41 AM7/14/01
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The sound Paramounts are controlled by Universal, and I guess it's all
relative. It the 1970's, when everyone else was putting their early talkies back
in the vault, MCA/Universal was doing a pretty good job of flogging them. They
were among the only 1930's pictures commonly available at the time. Of course,
they have been in hibernation since then.

The other problem with "Beggars of Life" is that Paramount does not control
any material on the picture. As far as I know the best surviving stuff on this
picture is a 16mm dupe made by a collector from a worn and turning print a number
of years ago. The quality would not be sufficient to support a DVD release.


--
Bob Birchard
bbir...@earthlink.net
http://www.mdle.com/ClassicFilms/Guest/birchard.htm


steven...@banet.net

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Jul 14, 2001, 11:27:02 AM7/14/01
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How many times have I seen "To Sir With Love" being played on Bravo, PBS, etc. I
mean it's a great movie, but how many times do they need to run it? The midnight
to 8AM shift is the perfect time to run silents. In my TV guide, I might see one
pre-1930 film per week - if I'm lucky!

Rodney Sauer

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Jul 14, 2001, 12:34:36 PM7/14/01
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ChaneyFan wrote:

> We should all be thankful for the handful of silents that do get released
> properly on video by those who are more interested in seeing them released than
> in making money.

And we should all be thankful for the small film festivals, libraries, and museum
film series where these films are shown -- from film -- from time to time. There
still isn't much profit, but the cost is much smaller for film screenings than for
video licensing. BEGGARS OF LIFE will be shown at the Chautauqua Auditorium, in
Boulder, Colorado, on Wednesday August 1, 2001, with Mont Alto's new score. With
luck it will show up in Kansas (Brooks' home state) one of these years as we tour.

Rodney Sauer
rod...@mont-alto.com
The Mont Alto Ragtime and Tango Orchestra
and The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
http://www.mont-alto.com/

PhantomXCI

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Jul 14, 2001, 12:54:04 PM7/14/01
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The main stumbling block which keps the pre-48 Paramounts off television is
that MCA owns them, and MCA has always been more interested in pushing their
own product (Universal), than someone else's. With the exception of ISLAND OF
LOST SOULS, SUPERNATURAL and DR. CYCLOPS, none of the early Paramount horror
films were included in MCA's 77 title horror package. They were always grouped
along with general titles in some other rental package; so if a TV station
wanted to rent, say, MURDER BY THE CLOCK or TERROR ABROAD, they would have to
take 40 non-horror films along with them. You really needed to live in a
major market, with many indie stations showing hundreds of films a month, in
order to see anything of note from Paramount. Licensing and sales agreements
have changed dramatically since the rise of cable and pay TV, but that hasn't
changed the situation much. It is still next to impossible to see an old
Fields, West or Dietrich film on television.

Jay Salsberg

Lloyd Fonvielle

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Jul 14, 2001, 2:31:46 PM7/14/01
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Bruce Calvert wrote:

> Paramount does not believe that the amount of money that they could make from
> releasing these films is worth the trouble and expense to release them. What is
> really hard to believe is that they are not even interested in licensing them to
> another company like David Shephard's Film Preservation Associates that probably
> could make a little money off them.

This is typical studio executive thinking. Their real fear is that David Shephard
WOULD make money off them, raising the corportate question, "Why didn't we release
these ourselves?" Better to bury the films than risk that.

Eric Grayson

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Jul 14, 2001, 3:04:12 PM7/14/01
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On Sat, Jul 14, 2001 1:31 PM, Lloyd Fonvielle
<mailto:navi...@compuserve.com> wrote:
>This is typical studio executive thinking. Their real fear is that David
>Shephard
>WOULD make money off them, raising the corportate question, "Why didn't
>we release
>these ourselves?" Better to bury the films than risk that.

That's just not true.

Even Turner's silent stuff doesn't make a lot of cash for him.

There are several stumbling blocks on Paramount silents:

a) Paramount isn't really certain they own any.
b) Paramount doesn't have very good material on most of them.
c) There are only half a dozen or so that would be real moneymakers.
d) They have no outlet for them (like Turner and Fox do).
e) The only ones controlled by Paramount are those 1923-29. Cut out the
lost pictures and it's not a whole lot. Jon can answer the specifics.
f) In order to get "best surviving material" on several titles, Paramount
would have to deal with that lowest-of-low, FILM COLLECTORS!

If we could get a Paramount-MCA Movie Channel, you might see some of these
films resurface.

Then we'd have people complaining about seeing The Sting and Jaws too many
times.

Eric


Early Film

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Jul 14, 2001, 3:48:59 PM7/14/01
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Bob Birchard writes:

> The sound Paramounts are controlled by Universal, and I guess
> it's all relative. It the 1970's, when everyone else was putting their
> early talkies back in the vault, MCA/Universal was doing a pretty
> good job of flogging them. They were among the only 1930's
> pictures commonly available at the time. Of course,
> they have been in hibernation since then.

Actually they were out there during the 1950s and 1960s, too.

The New Yorker would run a dim 16mm print MILLION DOLLAR LEGS at least two or
three times a year during the era I lived up there, and they always double
featured it with a title that I wanted to see. It was a good film, the first
dozen times that I saw it. Then, I thought that I would go completely "Woolf
Boogle, Gloog" if I ever saw that &#@#`!! picture or heard any song from it
again! Then, about a month or so ago, many here on this group seemed to be
excited about seeing that film for the first time when TCM ran it. For once,
not having TCM did not bother me.

Earl.

Michael Gebert

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Jul 14, 2001, 5:47:45 PM7/14/01
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In article <20010714154859...@ng-mb1.aol.com>,
earl...@aol.comedy (Early Film) wrote:

> Bob Birchard writes:
>
> > The sound Paramounts are controlled by Universal, and I guess
> > it's all relative. It the 1970's, when everyone else was putting their
> > early talkies back in the vault, MCA/Universal was doing a pretty
> > good job of flogging them. They were among the only 1930's
> > pictures commonly available at the time. Of course,
> > they have been in hibernation since then.
>
> Actually they were out there during the 1950s and 1960s, too.

Yeah, what's surprising to me about the Fields business is that he seemed
so ubiquitous on TV and even in theaters (I saw at least a couple of films
at theaters in 35, not to mention 16 at colleges etc.) in the 60s and
70s. Certainly one of the half dozen most-seen figures of the 70s
nostalgia boom. Then the video/cable age arrives and he turns out to be
one of the surprising MIAs. It's as if we were all talking about how hard
it was to see Humphrey Bogart these days.
___________________________________________________
Michael Gebert, Writer | www.michaelgebert.com

"Look where you will, in every high place there sits an Ass, settled
beyond the reach of all the greatest intellects in this world to pull him
down. Over our whole social system, complacent Imbecility rules
supreme -- snuffs out the searching light of Intelligence with total
impunity -- and hoots, owl-like, in answer to every form of protest,
See how well we all do in the dark! One of these days that audacious
assertion will be practically contradicted, and the whole rotten system
of modern society will come down with a crash."
--Wilkie Collins, on the Bush energy policy, in No Name (pub. 1862)

Bob Birchard

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Jul 14, 2001, 9:51:58 PM7/14/01
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Actually, there are about 200 silents that Paramount donated to LOC and
that have been preserved and that could be released--though, of course, there
are many that would not have much reissue value.

When Paramount released a bunch of silents for their 75th anniversary,
the results were disappointing. The cream of the Paramount silent crop was
prepared for VHS with scores by Gaylord Carter--The Ten Commandments, Old
Ironsides, The Covered Wagon, Docks of New York, The Last Command, Running
Wild, and Wings--they sold about a thousand copies on average, and my friend
the Paramount Home Video exec who pushed the idea soon found himself
involuntarily in another line of work.

eldorado

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Jul 14, 2001, 11:19:18 PM7/14/01
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"PhantomXCI" <phant...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20010714125404...@ng-fc1.aol.com...

> The main stumbling block which keps the pre-48 Paramounts off television
is
> that MCA owns them, and MCA has always been more interested in pushing
their
> own product (Universal), than someone else's.
>
> Jay Salsberg


If you'll excuse an off-topic question that was raised by this on-topic
thread...

WHY is it that the 1941 Paramount musical, "There's Magic in Music," is MIA
as far as TV, cable, VHS, DVD, and private screenings are concerned? During
the 1980s and '90s, it seems that every sound Paramount film was screened by
AMC except that one.

In just about every issue of Classic Images and Films of the Golden Age,
there are want ads placed by collectors wanting to buy a copy of "There's
Magic in Music." I haven't placed an ad, but maybe I should. My main
interest in this charming old classic is that it was shot at the famous
Interlokken Music Camp in Michigan, where I once spent a happy childhood
summer. It's a great film for lovers of classical and semi-classical music.
WHY hasn't "There's Magic in Music" shown up?

Dan N.


Mack Twamley

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Jul 15, 2001, 12:41:16 AM7/15/01
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"Bob Birchard" <bbir...@earthlink.net> wrote in message > When

Paramount released a bunch of silents for their 75th anniversary,
> the results were disappointing. The cream of the Paramount silent crop
was
> prepared for VHS with scores by Gaylord Carter--The Ten Commandments, Old
> Ironsides, The Covered Wagon, Docks of New York, The Last Command, Running
> Wild, and Wings--they sold about a thousand copies on average, and my
friend
> the Paramount Home Video exec who pushed the idea soon found himself
> involuntarily in another line of work.
>
>
> --
> Bob Birchard
> bbir...@earthlink.net
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is really no surprise, though it is certainly unfortunate. When art
and commerce collide, art seldom wins. If any of us were high powered
execs at any of the studios, and a genie told us we could produce a picture
that could either win plaudits from every critic on every newspaper in the
world, or produce one that would gross $700 million worldwide but be
critically slammed worse than Ishtar, which outcome would any of us choose?
Three guesses.

ChaneyFan

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Jul 15, 2001, 5:21:32 PM7/15/01
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>>>The cream of the Paramount silent crop was
prepared for VHS with scores by Gaylord Carter--The Ten Commandments, Old
Ironsides, The Covered Wagon, Docks of New York, The Last Command, Running
Wild, and Wings--they sold about a thousand copies on average

I think Bob has hit the nail on the head. If you can barely break even with a
list of films like this, then do you really think anyone will go to the trouble
to release less well known titles like HULA and CHILDREN OF DIVORCE?

Eric Grayson

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Jul 15, 2001, 6:07:03 PM7/15/01
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Bob, I don't doubt the 200 number you quote-- BUT--

I'd assume that Paramount would have no interest in issuing films that are
in the public domain, which would mean the entire pre-1923 crop. For some
reason, Paramount's track record on extant films seems to be far better for
its earlier films than its later ones. It's a lot easier to find a 1916
Paramount De Mille production than it is to see a 1927 WC Fields film.

I'd bet there are only 50-75 extant, copyrighted Paramount silents with
good picture material surviving. Of those, almost all of them that are
really interesting have already been issued on tape and they didn't sell
well. There are a few; the Fields films, some of the Frank Lloyd films,
the Brooks and Bow films, but after that we're not talking about a lot of
saleable material.

Just 2 cents worth.

Eric


Cheemsson1

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Jul 15, 2001, 6:30:55 PM7/15/01
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OK--
Then why not put these on cable (AMC, Turner etc) so us fans can SEE them.
I know---$$$$$$$$$$
DC

JimReid56

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Jul 15, 2001, 7:57:37 PM7/15/01
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I know this is kind of far-fetched, but is it possible that technology might
make these films more accessible, at least on video? As internet connection
speeds increase, there is more and more streaming video showing up online. What
I'm thinking of is more of a pay-per-view setup. It would eliminate the
manufacturing and marketing overhead. There has been a drastic drop in storage
costs for data, and data compression is improving all the time. I do know that
Blockbuster has been looking into streaming video for a while and BB and
Paramount have the same parent company. Am I crazy?

Michael Gebert

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Jul 15, 2001, 9:18:22 PM7/15/01
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In article <20010715195737...@ng-cj1.aol.com>,
jimr...@aol.com (JimReid56) wrote:

No, just ten years ahead of your time. (And remember what Roger Ebert
said about HDTV-- it's five years away and it's been that way for 10
years. That was at least 5 years ago. What you're talking about is
probably in the same position.)

Seriously, what you suggest may eventually be a solution, but remember
that one of the reasons the Paramount silents are seen as a failure is
that they were released at a very early stage in the video-collecting
craze. So PLEASE, let's not make the same mistake again and put them out
there as a test case for THIS new home video technology, too, and have
them be written off as a bomb when they don't rival The Matrix!

When this kind of broadband delivery is popular, then we can try knocking
on Paramount's door again. In the meantime, devote your dollars to
supporting the EXISTING home video market for silents-- buy Kino,
Blackhawk, Milestone etc.!

Jay Schwartz

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Jul 15, 2001, 10:38:19 PM7/15/01
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mi...@michaelgebert.com (Michael Gebert) wrote:

>Seriously, what you suggest may eventually be a solution, but remember
>that one of the reasons the Paramount silents are seen as a failure is
>that they were released at a very early stage in the video-collecting
>craze.

I thought they came out in the early '90s, which is hardly an early
stage of the VHS market.

Michael Gebert

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Jul 16, 2001, 1:35:57 AM7/16/01
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I thought they were earlier than that, but even so, collecting and
sell-through pricing took off around that time and sell-through really was
a pretty small chunk of the video market until the early 90s.

ChaneyFan

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Jul 16, 2001, 2:19:42 AM7/16/01
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>>>I'd bet there are only 50-75 extant, copyrighted Paramount silents with
good picture material surviving.

Yes and no. There are in fact only 39 post-1922 "Paramount" silents for which
more-or-less complete prints exist, but if you throw in the Famous Players
Lasky titles that Paramount owns, the number goes up to 124. Note though, that
a number of these only survive in 16mm. I've seen 71 of these 124, so there
are obviously prints out and about. I believe a number of these are also p.d.
or not owned now by Paramount. So the actual number of copyrighted silents
that Paramount still owns and for which prints exist may be under 100.

(Title Year Studio)

Abie's Irish Rose 28 PAR
Adam's Rib 23 FPL
Are Parents People? 25 FPL
Barbed Wire 27 PAR
Beau Geste 26 FPL
Bedroom Window, The 24 FPL
Beggars of Life 28 PAR
Behind the Front 26 FPL
Bella Donna 23 FPL
Big Killing, The 28 PAR
Blonde or Brunette 27 FPL
Bluff 24 FPL
Breaking Point, The 24 FPL
Call of the Canyon, The 23 FPL
Canadian, The 26 FPL
Casey at the Bat 27 FPL
Chang 27 PAR
Changing Husbands 24 FPL
Children of Divorce 27 FPL
Chinatown Nights 29 PAR
Code of the Sea, The 24 FPL
Covered Wagon, The 23 FPL
Dancing Mothers 26 FPL
Diplomacy 26 FPL
Docks of New York, The 28 PAR
Doomsday 28 FPL
Eagle of the Sea, The 26 FPL
Enemy Sex, The 24 FPL
Eve's Secret 25 FPL
Fair Week 24 FPL
Feel My Pulse 28 PAR
Fighting Coward, The 24 FPL
Fine Manners 26 FPL
Forbidden Paradise 24 FPL
Forgotten Faces 28 PAR
Four Feathers, The 29 PAR
Gentleman of Paris, A 27 PAR
Golden Bed, The 25 FPL
Grand Duchess and the Waiter, The 26 FPL
Grumpy 23 FPL
Hands Up! 26 FPL
Heart Raider, The 23 FPL
Heritage of the Desert, The 24 FPL
Hotel Imperial 27 FPL
Hula 27 PAR
Humming Bird, The 23 FPL
Irish Luck 25 FPL
It 27 FPL
It's the Old Army Game 26 FPL
Kick In 23 FPL
Kid Boots 26 FPL
King on Main Street, The 25 FPL
Kiss For Cinderella, A 26 FPL
Last Command, The 28 PAR
Last Outlaw, The 27 PAR
Legong 35 PAR
Let's Get Married 26 FPL
Lord Jim 25 FPL
Love 'Em and Leave 'Em 26 FPL
Lovers in Quarantine 25 FPL
Lucky Devil 25 FPL
Lucky Lady, The 26 FPL
Manhandled 24 FPL
Mannequin 26 FPL
Mantrap 26 FPL
Marquis Preferred 29 PAR
Miss Bluebeard 25 FPL
Monsieur Beaucaire 24 FPL
Nevada 27 PAR
New Klondike, The 26 FPL
Night Club, The 25 FPL
Night of Mystery, A 28 PAR
North of '36 24 FPL
Old Ironsides 26 PAR
Open All Night 24 FPL
Padlocked 26 FPL
Partners in Crime 28 PAR
Peter Pan 25 FPL
Pied Piper Malone 24 FPL
Pony Express, The 25 FPL
Quarterback, The 26 FPL
Rango 31 PAR
Redskin 28 PAR
Return of Dr. Fu Manchu, The 30 PAR
Running Wild 27 PAR
Senorita 27 PAR
Shock Punch, The 25 FPL
Show-Off, The 26 FPL
Showdown, The 28 PAR
Side Show of Life, The 24 FPL
So's Your Old Man 26 FPL
Son of His Father, A 25 FPL
Sorrows of Satan, The 27 FPL
Spanish Dancer, The 23 FPL
Special Delivery 27 FPL
Stage Struck 25 FPL
Stairs of Sand 29 PAR
Stark Love 27 PAR
Swan, The 25 FPL
Tabu 31 PAR
Tell It to Sweeney 27 PAR
Ten Commandments, The 23 FPL
That's My Baby 26 FPL
To the Last Man 23 FPL
Too Many Kisses 25 FPL
Triumph 24 FPL
Under the Tonto Rim 28 PAR
Underworld 27 PAR
Vanishing American, The 26 FPL
Volcano 26 FPL
Wanderer, The 26 FPL
We're in the Navy Now 26 FPL
Wedding March, The 28 PAR
Welcome Home 25 FPL
Wild Bill Hickok 23 FPL
Wild Horse Mesa 25 FPL
Wings 28 PAR
Wolf Song 29 PAR
Woman of the World, A 25 PAR
Woman on Trial, The 27 PAR
Womanhandled 25 FPL
You Never Know Women 26 FPL
You'd Be Surprised 26 FPL
Zaza 23 FPL

Christopher Jacobs

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Jul 16, 2001, 2:52:49 AM7/16/01
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I noticed you left off PATHS TO PARADISE, which although missing its last
reel plays well as a complete story. Are you including DANCING MOTHERS and
PONY EXPRESS as "more" or "less" complete? In other words does only the
5-reel Kodascope abridgement still exist on these, or is there material
somewhere on the full-length versions? Both of these (among several others
on your list) deserve good DVD treatment if someone ever gets the urge and
the money.

--Christopher Jacobs
http://www.hpr1.com/NEW%20WEB%20STUFF/PAGES/Film.htm
weekly movie review--this week: "WarGames" revisited


Bob Birchard

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Jul 16, 2001, 10:26:21 AM7/16/01
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Jay Schwartz wrote:

They came out in 1987 as part of Paramount's 75th anniversary
celebration.

Shawn Stone

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Jul 16, 2001, 10:27:56 AM7/16/01
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>===== Original Message From mi...@michaelgebert.com (Michael Gebert) =====
wrote:
>
>> mi...@michaelgebert.com (Michael Gebert) wrote:
>>
>> >Seriously, what you suggest may eventually be a solution, but remember
>> >that one of the reasons the Paramount silents are seen as a failure is
>> >that they were released at a very early stage in the video-collecting
>> >craze.
>>
>> I thought they came out in the early '90s, which is hardly an early
>> stage of the VHS market.
>
>I thought they were earlier than that, but even so, collecting and
>sell-through pricing took off around that time and sell-through really was
>a pretty small chunk of the video market until the early 90s.

They came out in 1987 on both VHS and Beta, with Paramount's 75th
Anniversary
logo on the tapes (going back 75 years, to Zukor's Famous Players). I still
have the poster, "Silents Are Golden", for the original 6 films: Ten
Commandments, Wedding March, Old Ironsides, Docks of New York, Last Command,
Running Wild.

Shawn Stone


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Bob Birchard

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Jul 16, 2001, 10:30:26 AM7/16/01
to
ChaneyFan wrote:

> So the actual number of copyrighted silents
> that Paramount still owns and for which prints exist may be under 100.

How about a DVD of a double bill of "the New Klondike" and "Volcano"? That
ought to wow the rubes!

Shawn Stone

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Jul 16, 2001, 10:33:29 AM7/16/01
to
>===== Original Message From chan...@aol.com (ChaneyFan) =====

>>>I'd bet there are only 50-75 extant, copyrighted Paramount silents with
>good picture material surviving.
>
>Yes and no. There are in fact only 39 post-1922 "Paramount" silents for
which
>more-or-less complete prints exist, but if you throw in the Famous Players
>Lasky titles that Paramount owns, the number goes up to 124.

<snip>

>Forbidden Paradise 24 FPL

Does Paramount own this? I've never seen A Royal Scandal (1945), which
Lubitsch produced for Fox in 1945, but it's often referred to as a remake of
Forbidden Paradise. Did Fox buy the rights to FP?

Michael Gebert

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Jul 16, 2001, 12:15:10 PM7/16/01
to
In article <3B52FBA8...@earthlink.net>, Bob Birchard
<bbir...@earthlink.net> wrote:

> Jay Schwartz wrote:
>
> > mi...@michaelgebert.com (Michael Gebert) wrote:
> >
> > >Seriously, what you suggest may eventually be a solution, but remember
> > >that one of the reasons the Paramount silents are seen as a failure is
> > >that they were released at a very early stage in the video-collecting
> > >craze.
> >
> > I thought they came out in the early '90s, which is hardly an early
> > stage of the VHS market.
>
> They came out in 1987 as part of Paramount's 75th anniversary
> celebration.


There you go. While folks like us may have been buying Blackhawk tapes,
very few normal folks were buying much of anything except maybe Disney
cartoons and a few heavily-promoted $19.95 titles like Ghost that early.
At that point even classic titles were mostly rental-priced, not
collector-priced, as the market was thought to be video stores, not
collectors. I was doing some work in the video biz then and sell-through
was probably under 10% of the business then, didn't pass rental revenues
(as a share of studio dollar volume) until the mid-90s.

Frederica

unread,
Jul 16, 2001, 1:59:49 PM7/16/01
to

Mack Twamley wrote:

> This is really no surprise, though it is certainly unfortunate. When art
> and commerce collide, art seldom wins. If any of us were high powered
> execs at any of the studios, and a genie told us we could produce a picture
> that could either win plaudits from every critic on every newspaper in the
> world, or produce one that would gross $700 million worldwide but be
> critically slammed worse than Ishtar, which outcome would any of us choose?
> Three guesses.

Mack, you can hardly blame them. That mythical high powered executive would
then have to gather everyone else involved with producing these works o'art for
a limited market (and at a big studio, that's a lot of people) and inform them
that they'll be working without pay. They will, however, be able to starve to
death whilst basking in the warm glow of critical approval and I'm sure that'll
more than make up for any pesky bankruptcies that might ensue.

I'm way into art and all that good stuff, but if I had a bunch of people
working for me who depended on my decisions for their livelihood, I'd be
producing ISHTAR, too.

Frederica


Precode

unread,
Jul 16, 2001, 4:16:17 PM7/16/01
to
In article <20010714081950...@ng-mf1.aol.com>, Victor Quesedice
says...

>
>Not only silents but MANY early Paramount titles seem to be out of circulation.
>The WC Fields films recently showed by Turner seemed to have been "under wraps"
>for at least 20 years.
>And try finding copies or cable listings for any of the other Paramount films
>from the silents to 1940's.
>What gets me is that these seldom even pop up on cable.
>I'm not too smart when it coes to copyrights and all but WHY are so many films
>not even SHOWN ON CABLE? If they are worried about "ratings"--well-too bad.
>There aren't many viewers who want to see the same movies OVER AND OVER AND
>OVER again. Even if they are classics--one nowadays just has to record or buy a
>video and can watch GONE WITH THE WIND, CASABLANCA, STAR WARS, etc until they
>have the film memorized or until the tape or DVD wears out. So why bother
>showing these (or any of that ILK) so many times?
>Paramount, Universal, 20th Century Fox are all guilty of this.

The problem is you're wrong--people DO want to see the same things over and over
again. There's a real Top 40 mentality out there now, to the point that they'll
watch, say, SINGIN' IN THE RAIN 20 times, but not take a chance on IT'S ALWAYS
FAIR WEATHER, even though it's mostly the same cast and crew. Moreover, there's
been a generational shift away from the pre-'50s pictures and toward the '60s
and '70s. Five years ago, the Capra titles were always booked...now it's all DR.
STRANGELOVE, EASY RIDER and TAXI DRIVER. (This is why AMC now programs the way
it does.) It won't get better...and it'll probably get worse. Sorry to say.

Mike S.

"I'll have you know that just this year I was given the Duke of Edinburgh award
for lethargy."--Tom Courtenay in OTLEY

Precode

unread,
Jul 16, 2001, 4:20:52 PM7/16/01
to
In article <20010715172132...@ng-fs1.aol.com>, ChaneyFan says...

>
>>>>The cream of the Paramount silent crop was
>prepared for VHS with scores by Gaylord Carter--The Ten Commandments, Old
>Ironsides, The Covered Wagon, Docks of New York, The Last Command, Running
>Wild, and Wings--they sold about a thousand copies on average
>
>I think Bob has hit the nail on the head. If you can barely break even with a
>list of films like this, then do you really think anyone will go to the trouble
>to release less well known titles like HULA and CHILDREN OF DIVORCE?

And as I've noted before, about a year-and-a-half ago, we released ONLY ANGELS
HAVE WINGS--which had never been on laserdisc--on DVD, and it moved maybe a
thousand copies. Use that as your benchmark for future discussion and resultant
depression.

Mike S.

Bob Birchard

unread,
Jul 16, 2001, 4:39:11 PM7/16/01
to
Michael Gebert wrote:

> At that point even classic titles were mostly rental-priced, not
> collector-priced, as the market was thought to be video stores, not
> collectors.

I believe the Paramount silents were "collector priced" at $24.95 or
$29.95--can't remember for sure.

Greasyfries

unread,
Jul 16, 2001, 4:57:17 PM7/16/01
to

> And as I've noted before, about a year-and-a-half ago, we released ONLY
ANGELS
> HAVE WINGS--which had never been on laserdisc--on DVD, and it moved maybe
a
> thousand copies. Use that as your benchmark for future discussion and
resultant
> depression.
>
> Mike S.


How well have other Columbia discs of similar vintage sold, such as "The
Matinee Idol" or "It Happened One Night"? I'm guessing the answer is "less
than Hudson Hawk"...


--
--------------------------------------------
We can fight!
http://greasyfries.50megs.com


Precode

unread,
Jul 16, 2001, 5:13:40 PM7/16/01
to
In article <9ivkkr$frd$1...@bob.news.rcn.net>, Greasyfries says...

>
>
>> And as I've noted before, about a year-and-a-half ago, we released ONLY
>ANGELS
>> HAVE WINGS--which had never been on laserdisc--on DVD, and it moved maybe
>a
>> thousand copies. Use that as your benchmark for future discussion and
>resultant
>> depression.
>>
>> Mike S.
>
>
>
>
>How well have other Columbia discs of similar vintage sold, such as "The
>Matinee Idol" or "It Happened One Night"? I'm guessing the answer is "less
>than Hudson Hawk"...
>

As previously noted, ANGELS was released the same week as HUDSON (which HAD been
on laserdisc). HUDSON shipped 60,000 to start, and has undoubtedly added more
since then, since as of 1999 it was still selling on VHS at the rate of 80,000
copies a year. Sigh.

Mike S.

"If they knew what they liked, they wouldn't live in Pittsburgh."--Joel McCrea
in SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS

Eric Grayson

unread,
Jul 16, 2001, 5:17:20 PM7/16/01
to

>I'm way into art and all that good stuff, but if I had a bunch of people
>working for me who depended on my decisions for their livelihood, I'd be
>producing ISHTAR, too.
>
Then I'd be proud of you. Ishtar is a good piece of work. People who
watched it in 1987 didn't get it. It was a tribute to Hope and Crosby, a
joke on Beatty's womanizing image, and it contained deliberately horrible
songs. If you watch Ishtar and think it's bad because Beatty and Hoffman
can't sing, then you missed the joke.

Eric


Fred Tepper

unread,
Jul 16, 2001, 6:48:44 PM7/16/01
to
Frederica wrote:
> I'm way into art and all that good stuff, but if I had a bunch of people
> working for me who depended on my decisions for their livelihood, I'd be
> producing ISHTAR, too.
>
> Frederica

I've got to pipe in here and just mention that I really like "Ishtar." I
think it's very funny. A little uneven maybe, and perhaps no everyone's cup
of tea, but I only know one or two people who didn't like it, and no one who
hated it. As a matter of fact, the reviews of it didn't even hate it.

Fred


Dave Sikula

unread,
Jul 16, 2001, 7:00:14 PM7/16/01
to
>===== Original Message From "Eric Grayson" <wolf...@indy.net> =====

>>I'm way into art and all that good stuff, but if I had a bunch of people
>>working for me who depended on my decisions for their livelihood, I'd be
>>producing ISHTAR, too.
>>
>Then I'd be proud of you. Ishtar is a good piece of work. People who
>watched it in 1987 didn't get it. It was a tribute to Hope and Crosby, a
>joke on Beatty's womanizing image, and it contained deliberately horrible
>songs. If you watch Ishtar and think it's bad because Beatty and Hoffman
>can't sing, then you missed the joke.
>
Personally, I didn't like it because I thought the writing, acting, and
direction were lousy; it nothing to do with the singing. I thought it was
just stupid rather than awful.

--Dave sikula

------------------------------------------------------------
"Those who like this sort of thing will find this is the sort of thing
they like." --Abraham Lincoln

Precode

unread,
Jul 16, 2001, 7:02:00 PM7/16/01
to
In article <B778C41...@209.183.70.42>, Eric Grayson says...

No, we got the joke. We just didn't find it funny.

Mike S.
(who's got plenty of prints if anyone wants to book it)

Frederica

unread,
Jul 16, 2001, 7:20:00 PM7/16/01
to

Precode wrote:

> No, we got the joke. We just didn't find it funny.
>
> Mike S.
> (who's got plenty of prints if anyone wants to book it)

Phew. I saw the film, but frankly the only thing I remember about it was
being mildly befuddled over why it was made. This occurred several seconds
before I forgot the film entirely. Which was shortly before I got to my car
in the parking lot after leaving the theater.

Frederica
(who does not wish to book it, and who promises to be very nice to Mike as
long as he keeps his feelthy prints)

VladW

unread,
Jul 16, 2001, 8:06:43 PM7/16/01
to
> There's a real Top 40 mentality out there now, to the point that they'll
>watch, say, SINGIN' IN THE RAIN 20 times, but not take a chance on IT'S
>ALWAYS
>FAIR WEATHER, even though it's mostly the same cast and crew. Moreover,
>there's
>been a generational shift away from the pre-'50s pictures and toward the '60s
>and '70s. Five years ago, the Capra titles were always booked...now it's all
>DR.
>STRANGELOVE, EASY RIDER and TAXI DRIVER. (This is why AMC now programs the
>way
>it does.) It won't get better...and it'll probably get worse. Sorry to say.
>
>Mike S.

Too true, and it does have a major effect on the programming of AMC
specifically as well as many other channels in general.

The problem with silents is simple in TV terms, they don't rate well at all.
You can make various arguments about how they could perform better under a
variety of circumstances, but in general, they are not sought after by the
majority of television and film viewers.

They appeal largely to cinephiles or to those of us who enjoy a bit of
archeology with our entertainment. I feel about silents the same way I do
about a kinescope of a Playhouse 90, like a kid discovering a toy very few
people will ever experience. (And when was the last time you saw a kini of
Playhouse 90 on TV? TVLand? PBS? Even AMC experimented with them very
briefly.)

To my knowledge, the only two silents that ever drew a decent rating at AMC
were The Saphead and Sunrise, both in prime time and both drew the rating upon
their premiere only. Subsequent reruns had dismal numbers.

AMC did run Barbed Wire a few years ago for Film Preservation, a pretty good
16mm print from Eastman House. Paramount allowed the screening under the
auspices of the preservation event, and I believe they wanted to own the music
that was composed for the film.(In case of a home video release, which
obviously never happened.)

AMC is a business, and while I lament the change of titles far more strongly
than most, I can at least understand the underlying reasons behind it. I was
very proud of the John Ford festival, especially given the sheer volume of
silents that very quietly made their way onto the schedule. Did they perform
well? No, not really. Four Sons did ok, and the rest did alright considering
the time of day they aired, but it was The Searchers and other post 1950 titles
that really won the weekend numbers.

For whatever reason, discovery seems to be on the wane and familiarity on the
rise. You can see it in the recycling of plots and themes in everything from
literature to film to television to music, ad nauseum. Eventually, this
regurgitative cycle will end and a new crop of people will be far more
interested in discovering things like silents or pre-1950 cinema, but for right
now I'm actually thrilled when I meet someone under 20 who likes black and
white!

My personal agenda (and recommendation to others) is simple: buy every tape or
DVD David Shepard, Kino, Denis Doros, et al relase from now until they run out
of titles to work with. Keep these very hard working, passionate people in
business. The day they stop releasing titles would be the blackest and most
dismal of all. (Hell, buy two copies! I often do.)

Michael Gebert

unread,
Jul 16, 2001, 10:10:53 PM7/16/01
to
AMC came into being because cable operators wanted a channel that showed
purely G-rated stuff that would attract a lot of 60+ folks who subscribed,
took one look at the nudity and dirty words on HBO, and canceled their
cable. Which is exactly what my grandparents did.

So they got the movie equivalent of a "music of your life" station-- 30s
and 40s movies. Well, guess what. Those folks are dying off and being
replaced by their kids moving into old age. So now they get a movies of
your life station-- which means 50s and pre-MPAA rating 60s movies. In
short, Charade now serves the purpose Top Hat served 20 years ago.

The surprise isn't that AMC is evolving to follow that audience-- it's
that TCM exists as nearly an old movies station. It's like having a radio
station that plays Stephen Foster.

ChaneyFan

unread,
Jul 17, 2001, 3:37:15 AM7/17/01
to
>>>I noticed you left off PATHS TO PARADISE, which although missing its last
reel plays well as a complete story.

Well I have it coded as "incomplete" in the database so it didn't show up when
I did a search. I'm sure there are other incomplete films that with a bridging
title or two would play OK.

>>>Are you including DANCING MOTHERS and PONY EXPRESS as "more" or "less"
complete? In other words does only the 5-reel Kodascope abridgement still exist
on these, or is there material somewhere on the full-length versions?

LOC has material on DANCING MOTHERS, but I'm not sure if it's the complete
version. I believe PONY EXPRESS only survives as the Kodascope.

Theodore Goodman

unread,
Jul 17, 2001, 2:24:17 PM7/17/01
to
In article <9iu2te$t8$1...@news.ndsu.nodak.edu>,

Christopher Jacobs <christoph...@und.nodak.edu> wrote:
>I noticed you left off PATHS TO PARADISE, which although missing its last
>reel plays well as a complete story.

Does anyone know what happens in the last reel of "Paths to Paradise"?
The version I saw ends with the car chase to the Mexican border. That
seemed like a great ending right there.

Christopher Jacobs

unread,
Jul 17, 2001, 3:46:28 PM7/17/01
to

Theodore Goodman <tgoo...@cse.ucsc.edu> wrote in message
news:3b5474c1$1...@news.ucsc.edu...
-----------------

There's another chase back to California and they decide to reform and go
straight. Cutting off this last reel gives the story line a more modern
1970s-2000's flavor but it would still be nice to see the additional bits of
Griffith humor giving variations on what had just happened.

Lokke Heiss

unread,
Jul 17, 2001, 8:29:23 PM7/17/01
to
> The problem with silents is simple in TV terms, they don't rate well at all.
> You can make various arguments about how they could perform better under a
> variety of circumstances, but in general, they are not sought after by the
> majority of television and film viewers.
>
About four years ago, I jokingly suggested to someone on this list
that we could get money together to start a 'silent film channel' to
compete with all the other movie channels. My answer, (after some
laughter) was that this new channel would have the honor of being the
lowest rated channel in history, lower rated than the channel that
shows the fish continually swimming around in the aquarium.

The reality is that silent films just are not going to be able to
compete in a cable enviroment. I am still amazed that TCM has their
Sunday spot, and runs silents at other times. I'd love to see their
ratings and see what kind of numbers they're getting. More power to
them, and I can only hope it will last.

The idea of getting these films as a pay-per-view through future cable
or internet is probably in the future, but as per earlier comments,
this idea seems like it is 'of the future and always will be.' (Like
Brazil, the 'country of the future, and it always will be.')

And maybe that's better. How can one argue that TV is merely a poor
substitute for 'live cinema'? And without the finances for live
performers, perhaps the future will be some kino cafe house for silent
film buffs who come together, (this will be on a Monday night, of
course), vote in some fashion, dial in some numbers, get the digital
download from some (for example) Paramount film bank, and watch an
obscure projected film, on a bigger than TV screen, in collective
spirit. In other words, a combination of video, the internet, and
actually having to show up somewhere.

Richard Lanham

unread,
Jul 17, 2001, 11:10:15 PM7/17/01
to
In article <984c1d33.01071...@posting.google.com>,
lhe...@earthlink.net (Lokke Heiss) wrote:

> The idea of getting these films as a pay-per-view through future cable
> or internet is probably in the future, but as per earlier comments,
> this idea seems like it is 'of the future and always will be.' (Like
> Brazil, the 'country of the future, and it always will be.')

There is something coming where I live. I didn't see the whole show, but the Cox Cable
company has a half hour show where they highlight different parts of their services
(cable, digital cable, PPV, phone, high-speed internet).

They also give a look ahead of what's coming. When I tuned in they were showing a
promotional film about being able to order a movie and having it start whenever you
want. You can also "pause" it for dinner or a phone call, etc. It showed a child
pointing a special remote control at the box. I didn't learn much more than that (how
many movies will be available, etc.).

I "think" I heard them say that it is coming here (San Diego) in the fall, and that we
will be one of the first locations to have this system.

Rick

Theodore Goodman

unread,
Jul 18, 2001, 7:19:13 PM7/18/01
to
In article <984c1d33.01071...@posting.google.com>,
Lokke Heiss <lhe...@earthlink.net> wrote:

>The idea of getting these films as a pay-per-view through future cable
>or internet is probably in the future, but as per earlier comments,
>this idea seems like it is 'of the future and always will be.' (Like
>Brazil, the 'country of the future, and it always will be.')

Don't know whom you quote. But there is nothing far-fetched about
video-on-demand (VOD), even for obscure titles like silents. Network
bandwidth, mass storage, CPU speeds, and compression technology have
been improving rapidly for decades, and have not plateaued yet. Home
displays seem to be leveling off at a quality that I call "good enough
for now". Digital cinema projectors are still improving yearly, and
will eventually perform as well as 35mm in some aspects: good black
levels and brightness, colors like what your favorite color technology
can produce, and the conventional, grain-based "film look" that some
people wish to emulate. Digital theater projectors will easily
outperform 35mm in other aspects: no jitter, weaving, wandering focus,
breaks, dirt, scratches, or fading color.

For many years, it has been feasible to download text on demand. For
a few years, it has been reasonable to download high-quality still
images. Currently it is feasible to download high-quality stereo or
surround-sound audio on demand. Each of these media are more
challenging than the previous.

The next step is video-on-demand. Crummy-quality VOD is available
now. The main bottleneck for high-quality VOD is network bandwidth.
At the server end, it would also be nice if mass storage were a bit
cheaper to handle huge libraries of motion pictures, but this is not a
prohibitive cost even now.

Given the tools to handle VOD, it will still remain for the owners of
the motion-picture rights to get their $#!^ together and make their
movies available as pay-per-view VOD. One hopes that they won't
dither too long. It may take a while for executives to understand
that videotapes and discs don't get remaindered in this distribution
model.

This will be economically reasonable, even for such obscure material
as silent movies. Once a title is online, it can stay that way in
perpetuity. It can continue generating revenue, if only a trickle,
from the world audience. The key words are "in perpetuity" and "world
audience". A small number of people throughout the world, watching an
obscure title at any given time, in perpetuity, does yield profit.

No mystery, it's all feasible. People are working on it right now.


--
TG

Michael Gebert

unread,
Jul 18, 2001, 8:25:44 PM7/18/01
to
Yeah, I'm the one who started the "it's five years away and has been for
10 years" thing, but that doesn't mean that I don't think it will get
here; like HDTV, I think it will, but I think specific business models
have to be looked at with skepticism-- especially in regards to video on
demand, a technology which has been given chance after chance to kill the
video rental store (let's talk Littleton, Colorado, and Time Inc.'s
Roadrunner, and...) and has yet to amount to much.

In the meantime... buy DVDs and tapes! I mean, look at that list that
Dennis Doros just posted of obscure pre-Soviet Russian silents. There's
our golden age of silent film in the home right there....

Mack Twamley

unread,
Jul 18, 2001, 8:38:55 PM7/18/01
to

"Theodore Goodman" <tgoo...@cse.ucsc.edu> wrote in message
news:3b560b61$1...@news.ucsc.edu...

> A small number of people throughout the world, watching an
> obscure title at any given time, in perpetuity, does yield profit.
>
> No mystery, it's all feasible. People are working on it right now.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lots of things are feasible, but on reflection are just not practical, or
....the bottom-liner's term ...
"Profitable". That's where the buck stops. Years ago, the US
Aeronautical industry had the opportunity to build the first SST....and
finally turned it down, because the numbers just didn't add up. The French
and British went ahead, and have yet to see the first farthing in net profit
from the Concorde. and how long has it been flying ?
If a full court press were put on, I feel sure we could have video on demand
in five years or less, but if millions of people are not willing to sit down
and watch classic movies every night, it would fade away in a couple of
months.
Even DirecTV, the source of millions of folks' nightly entertainment, is
bleeding money for Hughes Electronics, who would love to dump it on Rupert
Murdoch.
So would V O D be a viable product just because some guy in Dubuque can't
sleep and wants to see a John Boles picture at 3:30 on a Tuesday morning?
I don't think so.


Beautyboy

unread,
Jul 19, 2001, 10:07:01 PM7/19/01
to
I believe the Paramount silents were "collector priced" at $24.95 or
$29.95--can't remember for sure.

I remember not being able to afford them when they came out. I wasn't earning
that much in those days and I think they cost $29.95 each and I thought that
was a lot of money at that time.

Theodore Goodman

unread,
Jul 20, 2001, 4:57:20 AM7/20/01
to
In article <9j5aab$h9q$1...@delphi.ridgenet.net>,

Theodore Goodman

unread,
Jul 20, 2001, 5:02:06 AM7/20/01
to
Newsgroups: alt.movies.silent
Subject: Re: Silents-on-Demand (SOD), was Re: Paramount
Summary:
Expires:
References: <lYH47.21347$Kf3.2...@www.newsranger.com> <984c1d33.01071...@posting.google.com> <3b560b61$1...@news.ucsc.edu> <9j5aab$h9q$1...@delphi.ridgenet.net>
Sender:
Followup-To:
Distribution:
Organization: UC Santa Cruz - Computer Engineering
Keywords:
Cc:

In article <9j5aab$h9q$1...@delphi.ridgenet.net>,
Mack Twamley <mack...@inland.net> wrote:

>The French and British went ahead, and have yet to see the first
>farthing in net profit from the Concorde.

The Concorde was a project of pride, not profit. Its raison d'etre is
like that of the Millenium Dome in England, and the Eiffel Tower. The
Concorde has huge fuel expenses for each flight, and requires
personnel to run it. Even with the air transport system in place
(airports and the air-traffic control system), the cost of running the
Concorde alone is tremendous. This isn't a good comparison with
distributing classic movies on demand. Handling classic movies via a
video-on-demand system when the VOD system is already in place to
handle mainstream motion pictures shouldn't add major recurring cost.

To be sure, I'm not suggesting that the major players are going to
build a VOD system just to let a few enthusiasts watch rare movies.
But given that the system would be built anyway to show "Jurassic Park
VI" et al, putting the rare stuff on as well won't be such a leap. As
always, there would be one-time costs for restoring and digitizing old
films, but this would be amortized over the VOD service's potentially
infinite lifetime.

> if millions of people are not willing to sit down
>and watch classic movies every night, it would fade away in a couple of
>months.

Millions of people would have to use the overall VOD system every
night to make a profit for the system as a whole. But that would
include the mainstream movies. Since all these titles can be
available simultaneously, there is not be much much pressure for a
given obscure title to justify its presence from day to day as you
describe. In our old distribution system, motion pictures always
occupy scarce resources: cinemas, cable time-slots, and shelf space at
video stores. So if a movie doesn't do well, it must get shoved aside
for something more profitable. But when you're sending video
digitally, and when the material resides on a server, low-profit
titles no longer interfere with the availability of high-profit
titles.

> So would V O D be a viable product just because some guy in Dubuque can't
>sleep and wants to see a John Boles picture at 3:30 on a Tuesday morning?
>I don't think so.

While the Dubuque guy watches John Boles at 3:30 AM, thousands of
other folks watch the cash-cow stuff: "Gone with the Wind", "Jaws",
"ET", "Raiders", "T2", "Star Wars", "Casablanca", "Titanic", "Home
Alone", "The Brady Bunch", "I Love Lucy", "Great Moments from
Jeopardy", Professional Wrestling, etc.

--
TG

Bobbyharron

unread,
Jul 20, 2001, 5:39:59 AM7/20/01
to
>The Concorde was a project of pride, not profit. Its raison d'etre is
>like that of the Millenium Dome in England, and the Eiffel Tower.

The Millenium Dome has become something of a huge embarrassment. I think you'd
struggle to find one Brit who takes pride in it.

Pete George

David B. Pearson

unread,
Jul 20, 2001, 7:21:51 AM7/20/01
to

> From: "Fred Tepper" <fwt...@mediaone.net>

Well Fred, that explains a LOT about you!

:-)

DBP

Michael Gebert

unread,
Jul 20, 2001, 1:54:54 PM7/20/01
to
Clearly no one is in a lab saying "if we can get VOD to work, we'll put
The Man Who Laughs in every home!" But VOD will come, driven by a million
possible uses, and among them will be that Grapevine or somebody puts some
silents out there. Voila, The Perfect Clown on demand for all eternity.

I seriously question whether this will ever meet the threshhold Paramount
wants for bothering to spend lawyer money on clearing all its silents,
however. But eventually they will go out of copyright... whoops, except
for the Copyright Even Further Extension Act of 2027....

Bruce Calvert

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Jul 20, 2001, 2:11:18 PM7/20/01
to
In article <9j24k7$8rb$1...@news.ndsu.nodak.edu>, Christopher Jacobs says...

>
>
>Theodore Goodman <tgoo...@cse.ucsc.edu> wrote in message
>news:3b5474c1$1...@news.ucsc.edu...
>> In article <9iu2te$t8$1...@news.ndsu.nodak.edu>,
>> Christopher Jacobs <christoph...@und.nodak.edu> wrote:
>> >I noticed you left off PATHS TO PARADISE, which although missing its last
>> >reel plays well as a complete story.
>>
>> Does anyone know what happens in the last reel of "Paths to Paradise"?
>> The version I saw ends with the car chase to the Mexican border. That
>> seemed like a great ending right there.
>-----------------
>
>There's another chase back to California and they decide to reform and go
>straight. Cutting off this last reel gives the story line a more modern
>1970s-2000's flavor but it would still be nice to see the additional bits of
>Griffith humor giving variations on what had just happened.

After they make it back to L.A. to return the jewels, the closing gag has every
one of the pursuing policemen leaving a ticket on Raymond Griffith's windshield.

--
Bruce Calvert
Visit the Silent Film Still Archive
http://www.crosswinds.net/~bcalvert/home.htm

Theodore Goodman

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Jul 20, 2001, 3:54:57 PM7/20/01
to
In article <20010720053959...@ng-cl1.aol.com>,


I was comparing monuments with the Concorde. The Millenium Dome is an
apt comparison. White elephants.

My error was including the Eiffel Tower. A better French counterpart
(though more obscure) would be the expensive, pride-filled, failed
French attempt to create a Panama Canal in the 1800's. But their work
was useful for the Americans who succeeded in the 1900's.

--
TG

Theodore Goodman

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Jul 20, 2001, 4:04:04 PM7/20/01
to
In article <av_57.1111$ar1....@www.newsranger.com>,
Bruce Calvert <silentf...@email.msn.com> wrote:

>After they make it back to L.A. to return the jewels, the closing gag has every
>one of the pursuing policemen leaving a ticket on Raymond Griffith's windshield.

Interesting, since this undercuts the idea of the criminals'
voluntarily reforming, which seems like a fine idea at the end of the
second-to-last reel.

--
TG

Mack Twamley

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Jul 20, 2001, 3:38:01 PM7/20/01
to

"Michael Gebert" <mi...@michaelgebert.com> wrote in message
news:mike-20070...@user-33qt8r6.dialup.mindspring.com...

> I seriously question whether this will ever meet the threshhold Paramount
> wants for bothering to spend lawyer money on clearing all its silents,
> however. But eventually they will go out of copyright... whoops, except
> for the Copyright Even Further Extension Act of 2027....
> ___________________________________________________
> Michael Gebert, Writer | www.michaelgebert.com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Shucks, I'm looking forward to the "Copyright In Perpetuity" Act coming down
the pike sooner or later. I'm sure the pharmaceutical companies would like
to see the "Neverending Patents Story" too.


Theodore Goodman

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Jul 21, 2001, 4:11:21 PM7/21/01
to
In article <9ja1dt$n9b$1...@delphi.ridgenet.net>,
Mack Twamley <mack...@inland.net> wrote:

>Shucks, I'm looking forward to the "Copyright In Perpetuity" Act coming down
>the pike sooner or later. I'm sure the pharmaceutical companies would like
>to see the "Neverending Patents Story" too.

If the goal is to use copyrights to allow movies to become lost, then
copyrighting in perpetuity is overkill. All that's necessary is to
extend copyrights until the best film material is no longer usable --
after it has decomposed, faded, burned, or become misplaced. Much
sooner than perpetuity.

But that brings up an interesting question. Do current copyright laws
have any loopholes that allow for non-profit preservation of
copyrighted material without the consent of the copyright owner?

--
TG

Michael Gebert

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Jul 21, 2001, 4:54:27 PM7/21/01
to
In article <3b59d3d9$1...@news.ucsc.edu>, tgoo...@cse.ucsc.edu (Theodore
Goodman) wrote:

Sure, you can preserve it, you just can't do anything with it...


___________________________________________________
Michael Gebert, Writer | www.michaelgebert.com

"Look where you will, in every high place there sits an Ass, settled

Early Film

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Jul 21, 2001, 4:48:27 PM7/21/01
to
Michael Gebert adds to Theodore Goodman's reply:

>> But that brings up an interesting question. Do current copyright laws
>> have any loopholes that allow for non-profit preservation of
>> copyrighted material without the consent of the copyright owner?
>
>Sure, you can preserve it, you just can't do anything with it...
>

And then the Archive or Person doing the preservation is loudly criticized in
this newsgroup, the press and elsewhere for not making their collection
available!

Earl.

Eric Grayson

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Jul 21, 2001, 6:55:07 PM7/21/01