MovieChat Forums > M (1951) Discussion > rights issues with Losey's version

rights issues with Losey's version


The reason why this excellent Joseph Losey version of M is virtually unavailable in any form is because Columbia, the original studio, lost the rights many years ago. The rights reverted to the original producer Seymour Nebenzal. Either he or - if he is deceased - his family's estate, seem to be apathetic about doing anything with the film in regards to things like DVD releases or screenings on Turner Classic Movies cable channel (though it might help if somebody at Turner did the detective work and contacted them). The only existing print(at least a publicly known existing print) is at the BFI (British Film Institute) in London. When there were recent film noir festival showings of this in USA, those venues brought it in from there. Which costs big bucks in shipping...

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There is more than one print out there, and the film has been sold on bootleg VHS before.

Where in the world did you get your information?

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The very mediocre/poor bootleg VHSs and DVDs out in circulation seem to be all from the same original source, a 16mm print from either an uninterrupted cable TV airing in the 1980s or a 16mm film chain transfer. I know, as far as existing prints (that are known to archives), there is only one 35mm because when I was a programmer at the American Cinematheque in L.A. between 1999-2009, we frequently questioned the main film archives to see if they had a print. BFI in the UK was the only one, at least in English-speaking territories. If you know where other prints (35mm) are and it is not just a very vague impression you have, please get in touch with Eddie Muller or Alan Rode at the Film Noir Foundation (google them) and let them know where to look. Likewise, if you know the Nebenzal family or the current rightsholders.

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Just got back from a 35mm screening near Washington D.C. I suspect it was the print you reference, from BFI, as it was preceded by a logo for the National Film and Television Archive and an old British certificate to screen for those aged 16 and older.

The film was beautiful and the print seems to be in fine condition, so I guess at least we can say the film is not lost and if and when the rights issues are ever worked out more people will be able to see it.

P.S. I appreciate you responding to the other poster like an adult, which is all too uncommon on these forums.

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DAMN. I would love to own this film as a companion piece to the outstanding Criterion release of the 1931 classic. If it ever shows, I think TCM is the right outlet to market it or maybe Facets.

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The print of M shown at the Harvard Film Archives' "The Complete Joseph Losey" in 2008 came from BFI, per the online program notes for that series at
http://hcl.harvard.edu/hfa/films/2008julyaug/loseyjuly.html
Losey himself talked about cut versions of M (including a cut UK version) in the book of interviews titled Losey on Losey, so any eventual restoration may involve considerable detective work.

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Just saw the restored version on TCM. Great job and very disturbing. Look for Sherry Jackson who's dad get's beaten up in front of the movie theater.

________________________________________Isn't it pretty to think so?

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Wow, really enjoyed watching this film for the first time tonight.

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There is a french DVD out by FSF http://www.films-sans-frontieres.fr/fiche-film/film-m-le-maudit-533.html since last year. I watched it yesterday and was very satisfied with the quality of the print.

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The French PAL DVD is unauthorized, according to the attorney for the people who restored the film in 2013. I hope to see the film released in the US on an authorized Blu-ray or DVD.

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..screening The Red Shoes…!


Cold sober, I find myself absolutely fascinating.

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Nebenzal's son was interviewed for a feature on the Criterion release M and he states his father was not pleased with Losey's "communist cell" working on the picture and the film was initially picketed and quickly shelved due to being viewed as a communist flick. Nebenzal also believed this to have killed his career.

Given those details it wouldn't be surprising if Nebenzal's family have prevented further release.

Though, it has been on TCM since the OP's original post.

Hope to see it myself one day.

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