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 The Alamo (1960)

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corplhicks

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PostSubject: The Alamo (1960)   Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:42 pm

So, this is interesting. Apparently the 35mm dupes of John Wayne's The Alamo, both the theatrical cut and the roadshow print--are in danger of complete deterioration any day now and MGM won't do anything about it. It's a long story but the elements are almost beyond printing and the original 65mm negatives can't even be saved. So there's been some pressing of MGM to being a restoration of the dupes before their degradation is complete. Now, MGM is in a bind, financially, as they have been for decades, so the cost to do this isn't really in their capability. However, third party investors have stepped forward to contribute to the restoration. Problem is MGM are dragging their feet on this because of the "potential" embarrassment they could face by allowing angel funding. Of course, the have nothing to be ashamed of and would come out winning by doing this, but whatever. Anyway all we have of the film these days is the 35mm dupe of the theatrical version released in 2000 on DVD, which was transferred from tape--it's pretty bad. The entrance, intermission, and exit are all missing, the aspect ratio is incorrect, the color timing is awash, and of course we don't have the full cut. There is the laserdisc, which has the 70mm roadshow edition, which one of a thousand reasons for me to reacquire a LD player again. But currently we just have the nasty print.

I hope it happens soon. The Alamo isn't a great movie--Wayne is just heavy handed with his melodrama and has a knack for throwing historical accuracy to the wind--but it looks GORGEOUS with some wonderfully rendered action sequences. It was one of my favorite movies as a kid and I'd love to revisit it again. Anyway, you can tweet MGM or speak out on their Facebook for them to get this in gear--it's a ticking timebomb that's been counting down since 2009--and read more about it here: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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corplhicks

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PostSubject: Re: The Alamo (1960)   Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:03 am

From 2009--very interesting trade article on the history of the prints: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

"MGM and a number of vendors have been very supportive in the effort to save this epic film, and are making generous contributions. Still, in order to expedite a full and proper restoration we are seeking financial support from outside sources, both corporate and private, for the remaining 1.4 million dollars.

The work involved will take about 10 to 12 months. The final result will be two versions of the film – The original Roadshow and the General Release, both with Overture, Intermission, Entr'acte and Exit Music. "
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S.D.
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PostSubject: Re: The Alamo (1960)   Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:44 am

MGM really doesn't even exist, it's just part of the Sony Pictures umbrella.  Go to Culver City and you won't see Metro Goldwyn Mayer on the side of the building any longer, it's Sony Pictures Studios.

Hell, Warner Bros. now owns the rights to the entire MGM catalog prior to 1960, that got auctioned off a few years ago.

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corplhicks

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PostSubject: Re: The Alamo (1960)   Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:30 am

S.D. wrote:
MGM really doesn't even exist, it's just part of the Sony Pictures umbrella.  Go to Culver City and you won't see Metro Goldwyn Mayer on the side of the building any longer, it's Sony Pictures Studios.

Hell, Warner Bros. now owns the rights to the entire MGM catalog prior to 1960, that got auctioned off a few years ago.  

Their history is one big headache for sure. I'm wondering if they're having a hard time securing funding for this from their holding due to a lack of confidence. Isn't Warner involved as well thanks to Ted Turner? Or am I thinking of someone else?
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corplhicks

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PostSubject: Re: The Alamo (1960)   Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:00 pm

MGM is still refusing a restoration effort on The Alamo, but I just read this interesting tidbits from thedigitalbits.com:

"Also today, more media outlets have begun to cover MGM vs. The Alamo restoration story including The Northwest Chicago Film Society, Chris Hamby’s At the Matinee (see here and here), the website for TV station KENS 5 in San Antonio, Time Warner Cable News – Austin, and Breitbart.com. Plus Jeffrey Welles at Hollywood Elsewhere has weighed in again on the topic and his post is a doozy. But here’s the kicker: Welles has further drafted a letter to MGM CEO Gary Barber in support of the film’s restoration and a number of prominent directors have already signed onto it including JJ Abrams (director of Star Trek Into Darkness, Star Wars: Episode VII), Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Rian Johnson (Star Wars: Episode VIII), Guillermo del Toro (Pacific Rim), Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity) and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Birdman). More are being added all the time. Rest assured we’re going to have another column on this very topic next week. The point is, if you’re a fan of classic film or this film in particular, keep the pressure on MGM on Facebook and Twitter (@MGM_Studios). It’s certainly mounting."

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