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 Posted:   Feb 2, 2018 - 7:52 PM   
 By:   TonyJ   (Member)

The '52 film version of Frank Loesser's Broadway hit has become one of the most obscure movies of all time. There has never been a legitimate video release. It has rarely been shown on TV and never (to my knowledge) on TCM. Also, there was never any type of soundtrack album. I believe this was discussed many years ago here, but I don't remember what was said. I've always heard the story that Loesser disliked the film and his widow Jo Sullivan did not want the film shown. Is any of this true? The film was a Warner Bros. production, filmed in the UK. Does a good print of the film exist? Who controls the rights to it today?

 Posted:   Feb 2, 2018 - 11:19 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Warner Bros. still has the rights to the film. They copyrighted it in 1952, then renewed their copyright in 1980. That gives them rights to it through 2047.

Copyright in the songs was held by the Frank Music Corp. Frank Music Corp. was created by Frank Loesser to control and publish his work, and eventually included other song writers such as Richard Adler, Jerry Ross, and Meredith Willson. But in 2004, the rights to the songs of WHERE'S CHARLEY, held by both Frank Music Corp. and Warner Bros. were terminated by a notice filed by Allen H. Arrow, the lawful agent of Jo Sullivan Loesser, widow & executor of the Estate of Frank Loesser, Susan Loesser Gallagher, John Loesser, Hannah Loesser & Emily Loesser Stephenson, children of deceased author Frank Loesser. So, the song rights are now in the hands of the estate. It would seem that if the estate had wanted Warner Bros. to release the film, it wouldn't have terminated Warners' song rights.

 Posted:   Feb 3, 2018 - 1:36 PM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

I have a print of the film and gave its producer Cy Feuer a video transfer of it several years ago. Even HE was frustrated by its suppression.

 Posted:   Feb 3, 2018 - 7:30 PM   
 By:   Sigerson Holmes   (Member)

I think I remember reading that the copyright complications have more to do with the original source material, the ancient farce "Charley's Aunt," a staple of worldwide repertory theater, than with Loesser's musical version. The relatively recent release of the Jack Benny non-musical film on DVD made it through, so some kind of legal miracle seems possible. Anyone more knowledgeable have details?

Found the old thread:

 Posted:   Feb 4, 2018 - 12:36 AM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

Jo Loesser blocked any release for several years, but she finally said it would be okay - I believe the standard line now is it needs a lot of restoration work and Warners doesn't think there would be enough sales to justify it - which is pretty true.

 Posted:   Feb 5, 2018 - 8:54 PM   
 By:   TonyJ   (Member)

Thanks, Bob, Ray, Sigerson, and Haines for your replies.

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