Thursday, July 10, 2014

MGM is still neglecting "The Alamo" (1960)

From a 1960 issue of Motion Picture Daily 
(on United Artists releases for 1960).
Since the end of May, numerous film enthusiasts and archivists have called on MGM to restore the "roadshow" version of The Alamo.  This ongoing issue in the field of film preservation has gained significant media attention.  Many (including the author of this blog) have informed MGM that preservation work on the film needs to begin immediately.   This author has also written to The Library of Congress, so that The Alamo can be nominated in this year's National Film Registry.

As of this writing, MGM is still ignoring all options from the film community to save The Alamo.  A new article has appeared on The Digital Bits, written by columnist Bud Elder ("View from the Cheap Seats"). Elder explores the production history of the film, how Wayne's production company (Batjac) originally held  the rights to the film (until selling the rights to the film's distributor, United Artists), and film preservationist Robert A. Harris' warning on MGM's unwillingness to restore the film.

If anyone from the current incarnation of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) is reading this post, please consider restoring The Alamo.  The studio shouldn't be fooling around, they should be focused on preserving the vintage John Wayne film (with outside restoration experts) for all generations to see.  If the studio isn't willing to do this, they should let outside film preservation groups work on restoring the complete "roadshow" version of the picture.

To those that haven't informed MGM, tell them to save the complete "roadshow" version of The Alamo (via the studio's Facebook and Twitter feeds- in a positive manner).  The vintage John Wayne feature film should not be neglected, it should be preserved for all generations to see.

UPDATE: Two recent awareness videos (on MGM's ignorance of The Alamo) have appeared on YouTube- one from Mr. Chris Coombs, and another from Mr. Kevin T. Rodriguez (of The Movie Wizard).

Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert in
Life Itself, a Magnolia Pictures release.
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures. Photo credit: Kevin Horan
STILL NO WORD (YET) ON "LIFE ITSELF" IN THE FREDERICK AREA:  If you've read the July 2nd edition of At The Matinee, you may have heard about the new documentary on the life and legacy of the late film critic Roger Ebert, titled Life Itself.  ATM is still waiting for comment from the management of MDL Holiday Cinemas (which usually screens second-run theatrical features) to show the Ebert documentary in the area.

ATM and its proprietor hopes to hear from them soon.  If talks falter (between ATM and the Holiday), the author may have to contact another venue for interest in screening the film*.  As I've stated before, since this documentary is being released by Magnolia Pictures- it is being released on various platforms (in addition to cinema exhibition).  According to a recent article in Variety, Life Itself will be telecast on CNN later this year (this film was co-produced by the network's CNN Films unit).

In my view, I think it would be best for the Frederick area to have Life Itself shown on the big screen.

*If any readers of this blog know of some venue (in the Frederick area) that would be interested in screening Life Itself, feel free to drop a line (in the "comments" section of this blog).  Information for theaters (or venues) that would like to screen Life Itself can be found at this link.

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The proprietor of "At The Matinee", Chris Hamby- welcomes your comments and suggestions on any post featured. NOTE: All comments are monitored by the author.