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Podcasts > S&L Podcast - #340 - No Birdy Poos

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message 1: by Veronica, Supreme Sword (new) - rated it 4 stars

Veronica Belmont (veronicabelmont) | 1528 comments Mod
The Verge is writing SciFi for a better tomorrow, plus is Roald Dahl Fantasy? Is It's a Wonderful Life SciFi?

http://swordandlaser.com/home/2018/12...
http://www.patreon.com/posts/23170631
http://soundcloud.com/swordandlaser/...


message 2: by Stephen (last edited Dec 07, 2018 04:26AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Stephen Richter (StephenofLongBeach) | 923 comments Just about everywhere I look for It's a Wonderful Life, it is listed as Fantasy although Urban Fantasy might meet the definition too. ( If you consider Mr. Potter to be a bloodsucker.) Was released at the same time as Miracle on 34th Street, split the Christmas Box Office giving it the fake belief it was a flop. Nominated for Best Picture which it did not win as it lost out to The Best Years of Our Lives, another classic. Oh and because the Bird was out in the rain it was obviously repeating the same cuss word over and over.


message 3: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4913 comments Stephen wrote: "Just about everywhere I look for It's a Wonderful Life, it is listed as Fantasy although Urban Fantasy might meet the definition too. ( If you consider Mr. Potter to be a bloodsucker.) Was released at the same time as Miracle on 34th Street, split the Christmas Box Office giving it the fake belief it was a flop."

I don’t know where you got this information, but it’s incorrect. It’s a Wonderful Life was released just before Christmas in 1946, while Miracle on 34th Street was released in June 1947, a full six months later. The film that crushed IaWL was the post-war drama The Best Years of Our Lives.

It’s a Wonderful Life WAS a bomb. It made $3 million at the box office but it cost nearly $4 million to make. (Capa had Bedford Falls built, including transplanting those giant trees. Miracle on 34th Street also earned $3 million, nearly 5 times its budget of 550k. Capa spent almost that much just on fake snow.) By comparison, The Best Years of Our Lives was a certified blockbuster. It cost $2 million to make and earned over $23 million. ($311 million in 2018 dollars.)

Not only was It’s a Wonderful Life a flop, it destroyed the mini-major studio that made it, Liberty Studios, whose assets were bought by Paramount for pennies on the dollar.


Iain Bertram (Iain_Bertram) | 605 comments Trike wrote: "Stephen wrote: "Just about everywhere I look for It's a Wonderful Life, it is listed as Fantasy although Urban Fantasy might meet the definition too. ( If you consider Mr. Potter to be a bloodsucke..."

To which I can only add.
Christmas, Bah Humbug!


message 5: by Rob, Roberator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rob (robzak) | 5267 comments Mod
Good podcast, but no mention of the S&L Challenge survey :(

We are up to 487 responses, but surprisingly about half of those people didn't participate this year, which means we have about 250+ people who did participate in the challenge this year, but haven't yet responded to the survey.

I'm going to leave the survey up until the end of the year, but I'll be looking to draw some conclusions on what to do next year in the next week or so.


Stephen Richter (StephenofLongBeach) | 923 comments Sorry trike. I just looked at the box office and assumed a Christmas Movie was not released in June! My Bad, Still the snow won an Oscar, part of the Liberty deal was each of the directors/ owners got picture deals that resulted in the Shane, Roman Holiday, Place in the Sun and Desperate Hours.


message 7: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4913 comments Stephen wrote: "Sorry trike. I just looked at the box office and assumed a Christmas Movie was not released in June!"

Christmas movies were released all year long back in the day. I presume the summer Christmas ones appealed mainly because no one had air conditioning back then.

The Shop Around the Corner: January 12, 1940
Holiday Inn: August 4, 1942 (although arguably not Xmas specific, it ends with White Christmas)
I'll Be Seeing You: January 5, 1945
The Cheaters: July 15, 1945
Christmas in Connecticut: August 11, 1945
The Bishop’s Wife: February 16, 1947
Miracle on 34th Street: June 7, 1947
A Christmas Wish (aka The Great Rupert): March 1, 1950
The Lemon Drop Kid: April, 1951
The Holly and the Ivy: February 4, 1952
White Christmas: October 14, 1954
We’re No Angels: September 8, 1955


Stephen Richter (StephenofLongBeach) | 923 comments I got a message from Tom about the survey, I am assuming all 27,000 people got it, but I am going to quit assuming for awhile as it has gotten me in trouble. But I stand by my conclusion the Bird was cussing,


message 9: by Rob, Roberator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rob (robzak) | 5267 comments Mod
Stephen wrote: "I got a message from Tom about the survey, I am assuming all 27,000 people got it, but I am going to quit assuming for awhile as it has gotten me in trouble. But I stand by my conclusion the Bird w..."

They did, but not everyone who listens to the podcast is a member on goodreads.


Stephen Richter (StephenofLongBeach) | 923 comments Yes but Tom & Veronica may have gotten distracted by bird research which happens to a lot of people, Just look at NYC and the Mandarin Duck.
http://www.thehour.com/news/us/artic...


message 11: by Keith (new)

Keith (KeithATC) | 452 comments It's a Wonderful Life wasn't even originally scheduled for a Christmas release. It was a last minute change.

1932's THE MUMMY was released on Dec 22, making it my favorite Christmas movie.


message 12: by Tom, Supreme Laser (new) - added it

Tom Merritt (tommerritt) | 1031 comments Mod
It's a Wonderful Life was only a limited release in December 1946 and that was done to get it Oscar consideration. It's wide release was January 1947.


message 13: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4913 comments Tom wrote: "It's a Wonderful Life was only a limited release in December 1946 and that was done to get it Oscar consideration. It's wide release was January 1947."

Technically everything followed a Limited -> Wide release pattern back in the day, typically starting in NYC and LA, then rolling on from there after a few weeks. Part of the reason why the Best Picture Oscar eligibility rules stipulate that the film has to have been released in Los Angeles County for at least a week is a holdover from that practice.

“Limited release” wasn’t an artisanal choice like today, it was a function of testing a film in front of audiences and the practical issue of striking physical prints. Movies were sometimes re-edited after their initial releases to make them more audience-friendly. But mostly it just cost a lot of money to make a new print. Once attendance dropped below a certain point, a theatre would box up the reels and send them to the theatres in smaller cities. It was entirely possible that the actual print audiences saw in Fort Wayne was the one that had played in Chicago the month before.

Jaws was the first genuine wide release that eschewed this pattern, opening in 400+ theatres nationwide on the same day. Given that most of today’s movies open in 4,000 theatres, that number seems quaint, but it was quite something back in the day.

Even Star Wars didn’t do that, opening in NYC and LA first, following the traditional film rollout. Its release date is May 25th, 1977, but that was only in something like 25-30 theatres for the first couple weeks. I don’t think it came to my local theatre in Ohio until late June of 1977.

Movies also used to run for much longer than they do now. Star Wars is the all-time champion for longest wide release, staying in hundreds of theatres for nearly a year and a half, but most films ran for 3 months in initial release, then another couple months in secondary theatres.

I remember Roger Ebert complaining about a couple saying to him that they’d catch a movie “in a few weeks”, which he mocked, exclaiming that the movie would be gone by then. He was forgetting that for the better part of 70 years movies hung around for months and months, and people were still in that mindset.


message 14: by David (new) - added it

David (farrakut) | 751 comments The last movie I remember being in theaters for months was Titanic. That sucker was around forever (unlike the actual ship, hey-ooo)


message 15: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 1899 comments Trike wrote: "Tom wrote: "It's a Wonderful Life was only a limited release in December 1946 and that was done to get it Oscar consideration. It's wide release was January 1947."

Technically everything followed ..."


If you're interested, here's a list of first-run Star Wars engagements from 1977. I know that my first viewing was actually while visiting relatives somewhere in the Bay Area, but then I saw it again later that summer when it opened in my hometown (on July 1st).

http://www.digitalbits.com/columns/hi...


message 16: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4913 comments Joseph wrote: "If you're interested, here's a list of first-run Star Wars engagements from 1977. I know that my first viewing was actually while visiting relatives somewhere in the Bay Area, but then I saw it again later that summer"

Wow, that’s cool. I’m from Dayton and had no idea it opened at Cinema 1 on 5-27. I wonder why I didn’t see it for so long. (I mean, besides being 12 and not able to drive.)

Fun personal note: my parents took my brother and me and my mom, at the time head nurse of the ER night shift, fell sound asleep a few minutes in. Explosions and all. To this day she’s only seen the last 45 minutes of Star Wars.


message 17: by Joe Informatico (new)

Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 871 comments David wrote: "The last movie I remember being in theaters for months was Titanic. That sucker was around forever (unlike the actual ship, hey-ooo)"

Yeah, these days if a film has "legs" (e.g. Black Panther, Wonder Woman, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, The Force Awakens) it's usually in release about 24 weeks, give or take. Most animated features stick around that long too--I guess most theatres figure they can run daytime and weekend matinee showings for children with caregivers at home during the day, etc. for months without hurting the evening screenings of the latest blockbuster. But every few years you get an outlier like Frozen or The Greatest Showman that runs for over 30 weeks.

Fun bit of trivia: it's claimed that The Rocky Horror Picture Show has continually been in theatres since its 1975 release.

Trike wrote: "“Limited release” wasn’t an artisanal choice like today, it was a function of testing a film in front of audiences and the practical issue of striking physical prints. Movies were sometimes re-edited after their initial releases to make them more audience-friendly. But mostly it just cost a lot of money to make a new print. Once attendance dropped below a certain point, a theatre would box up the reels and send them to the theatres in smaller cities. It was entirely possible that the actual print audiences saw in Fort Wayne was the one that had played in Chicago the month before."

Another tangential bit of trivia: Dawson City in the Yukon was one of the last towns on the circuit during the silent film era, and a lot of film reels sent there were never returned: there wasn't much concern about archiving back in the silent film era, and the cellulose nitrate film stock in use at the time was a very fragile medium. (Anywhere from 75%-90% of films from that period are thought to be lost forever). Forty years ago, they were digging for a new parking lot and uncovered a trove of over 500 silent film reels mostly thought lost, buried since 1929 and preserved by this unintended permafrost vault. This story is told in the documentary Dawson City: Frozen Time.


message 18: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 1899 comments When I was going to college (late 80s in a very small town in western Minnesota), there was only one two-screen theater and the movies didn't arrive until months after their initial release -- I remember one fall seeing a poster for the latest Friday the 13th movie, which had originally hit theaters back in May.


message 19: by John (Nevets) (new)

John (Nevets) Nevets (Nevets) | 994 comments I think I've mentioned it hear before, but one of my earliest, if not earliest, memories is seeing Star Wars in the theater with my Dad at a particular theater near where we lived. The thing was, I was born the day before it was released in 77, so I knew that it wasn't from back then that I saw it. By the time I was 12 or so, and realized this, I also knew it didn't make much sense to me, because by the late 80's the movie release schedule had changed to more or less what it still is today. It wasn't until I got to college in the mid 90's and had access to the internet that I realize that Star Wars was rereleased as many times as it was in the late 70's and early 80's, and that it had as long a run as it did. And then this all started to make more sense. The best I can figure I saw it 81, or 82 when I was 4 or 5 and that also lines up with when most people do have there early memories from.

Thanks for the article Joseph, and the jog down memory lane.


message 20: by Mark (new) - added it

Mark (mmtz) | 1027 comments Joseph wrote: "If you're interested, here's a list of first-run Star Wars engagements from 1977."

Boston, MA — Charles Triplex is where I saw Star Wars for the first time. Had a blast at the theater with a large group of people.


message 21: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 7 comments In Australia Star Wars wasn’t released until October 1977 but it didn’t get to my small town until sometime after July 1978 because I went and saw it with my then boyfriend and we didn’t get together until then.

We didn’t get Saturday Night Fever until 1979 (I remember doing the dance routine in it for my Year 10 Farewell at the end of the year and we’d not long seen it. And we got Grease around the same time. It was like that a lot at the time. We were always at least a year after Sydney got it because the film had to physically go from place to place in the country.


message 22: by Keith (new)

Keith (KeithATC) | 452 comments I worked at a movie theater where we showed HOME ALONE for, at least, a solid year.


message 23: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2253 comments Finally catching up on podcasts and I actually was on vacation! 😆


message 24: by Trike (new)

Trike | 4913 comments John (Nevets) wrote: "one of my earliest, if not earliest, memories is seeing Star Wars in the theater with my Dad at a particular theater near where we lived. The thing was, I was born the day before it was released in 77, so I knew that it wasn't from back then that I saw it."

My cousin James had a similar experience. His birthday is today (Jan 3rd) and when he was about 1-1/2 in summer of 1978 they took him to see Star Wars because it was still playing. For some inexplicable reason just before the movie started he began cheering. I guess he was reading the mood in the room.


message 25: by Ian (new)

Ian Seal (Rebel-Geek) | 85 comments Keith wrote: "I worked at a movie theater where we showed HOME ALONE for, at least, a solid year."

Tell me you weren't the projectionist or something & didn't have to watch it all year. I liked Home Alone, but I wouldn't want to have to watch it more than once in a year.


message 26: by Ben (new)

Ben | 53 comments A year of Home Alone? Sounds like something out of Dante's Inferno *shudder*


message 27: by Keith (new)

Keith (KeithATC) | 452 comments Ian wrote: "Keith wrote: "I worked at a movie theater where we showed HOME ALONE for, at least, a solid year."

Tell me you weren't the projectionist or something & didn't have to watch it all year. I liked Ho..."


Just an usher, luckily. Our projectionist (back in the projectionist union days, when it was a trade) was a guy we called Dirty Bob, and there are few stories about him fit to tell in this venue.


message 28: by Ian (new)

Ian Seal (Rebel-Geek) | 85 comments Keith wrote: "Ian wrote: "Keith wrote: "I worked at a movie theater where we showed HOME ALONE for, at least, a solid year."

Just an usher, luckily. Our projectionist (back in the projectionist union days, when it was a trade) was a guy we called Dirty Bob, and there are few stories about him fit to tell in this venue. "


That sounds like the plot of a funny independent film.


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