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David Poland

By David Poland

When Good People Do Bad Things To Old Movies


  • Due to the upcoming release of Steven Spielberg’s THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, the 1953 print is no longer available for public exhibition. A ticket purchased for THE WAR OF THE WORLDS can be redeemed for the HIGH NOON screening or any other of the AFI at ArcLight 2005 AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movies screenings. A refund will also be awarded by ArcLight either the night of or by contacting Linda Thompson at 323.464.1465 x109. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact Erin Anderson at 323.856.7771 or by e-mail at
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17 Responses to “When Good People Do Bad Things To Old Movies”

  1. Mark says:

    This is just plain dumb. Just because something is new makes it better?

  2. Eric says:

    Is this a directive from on high? Is this Spielberg’s doing?
    I don’t think it would be– think of the flack he’d get from his peers, such as Scorsese, who cherish cinema history.
    I’m willing to believe that Spielberg would try such a thing, but I’m not willing to believe that he’d choose to take such a PR hit.

  3. Joe Leydon says:

    Pssst! Now available on,,….

  4. jeffrey boam's doctor says:

    This has happened in the past but is a pretty rare occurence and the logic behind is quite unfathomable. Or is it. What exactly is the studio thinking?
    1. The original will show-up the remake
    2. The original will put audiences off it
    3. The original causes confusion
    I’m going to go with number 3 even tho the original WOTW is no classic. Taking the original prints out of circulation would affect extremely limited audience numbers. Possibly hundreds. It’s the overall impact of advertising and promotion of the original screenings that the studio perceives on audiences is the probable reason for this idiocy.
    I guess we’re going to have cancel that FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX booking.. it’ll piss those Stewart fans off!

  5. Mark says:

    I go with the studio wants to make as much cash as it can and competition from the original only hurts that.

  6. KamikazeCamel says:

    But it’s not like the old War of the Worlds is playing on 2000 screens. I doubt one cinema’s showing will affect the remakes takings (NEXT SUMMER) one bit.
    This is stupid.
    Are Dreamworks henchmen going to come around to everyone’s house and steal their DVD/VHS copies of the movie?

  7. Adam says:

    Geez, it’s probably nothing so sinister, and more along the lines that Spielberg’s remake has caused that studio to initiate a restoration of the fifties War of the Worlds and the studio has subsequently pulled the print so they can later premiere the restored version at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre, the Egyptian or possibly the Arclight and the same audience will show up regardless. And they’ll release a beautiful DVD of the title as well–actually that will probably happen first, since film restoration can take longer than digital restoration, for example, Sunrise DVD in January 2003 and the premiere of the film restoration at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre at the end of April 2004.

  8. SRCputt says:

    Fox Movie Channel had the right idea last month. Knowing the publicity helps both the original and the remake, Fox Movie Channel ran the ’65 Flight of the Phoenix 10 times in a row one day last month.
    Pulling War of the Worlds is dumb, dumb, dumb.

  9. bicycle bob says:

    if i was dreamworks i’d pull it too. until next summer at least

  10. Bill Warren says:

    I wonder what Dream Works will do about the rival version of WAR OF THE WORLDS? It’s low-budget, but is set in the 1890s.

  11. Joe Leydon says:

    At the risk of sounding like a suck-up for DreamWorks: Since the original movie was a Paramount production, and the remake will be released by Paramount in the US — well, might it not be Paramount’s decision, not DreamWorks’ decision, to withdraw the original from theatrical circulation?

  12. bicycle bob says:

    theres no such thing as a rival when ur going against spielberg, cruise, and a 200million dollar budget

  13. viktor says:

    It’s all about anticipation. Marketing anticipation. I suppose Dreamworks bought the rights for the original (the novel is PD) to secure every penny they can. It’s not because an art-house showing would be detrimental as such but to prevent any do-shrewder to cash in on the upcoming marketing millions (exploitative behavior when you feel the breeze rising…).
    Well they don’t care about cheking every request for screening so they cut it short.

  14. TheBrotherhoodOfTheLostSkeletonOfCadavra says:

    This indeed is most likely Paramount’s decision. It’s common practice to take, say, all the old James Bond pictures out of service when a new one opens, but a single screening like this six months ahead is harder to fathom. I’m guessing force of habit.

  15. Mark says:

    Paramount must have an agreement with Dreamworks. Or they’re going to open it up again in June.

  16. The Woods says:

    The trailer for this movie looks really good. Spielberg behind the camera. He gets better with age. Cruise does not take bad movies either. I’ll forgive and forget Far and Away.

  17. Barbie says:

    If you want to rent it, Netflix has it available for viewing, and I’m sure many other outlets do as well.
    It’s just a screening that was cancelled, not the availability of the film to others. It’s not being taken out of circulation that I can see.
    I suspect there’s some sort of marketing ploy in the the works.

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And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

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