I find it amazing that copyright owners are making things so difficult for fans and distributors … after all, we’re talking about films which are 50 years old and of almost no commercial value other than to die hard fans of the genre.
Perhaps the arrival of Tarantino’s 2 pseudo westerns has raised some interest with casual film fans … but not all that significantly.
I remember how UK television in the 80s and 90s would show many of these movies very late at night, on ITV and Channel 5 … they were clearly being screened as time fillers for insomniacs. The only thing comparable today is the movies4men channel which shows a lot of SWs, dumped in with some of the worst ‘straight to video’ garbage imaginable. So there must be some regulation as to how much a copyright owner can be paid for a television broadcast?
Are these owners holding out for a big pay cheque ? … and if so, how come low budget DVD releases are readily available in English, albeit in dubious quality.
Speaking to a festival organiser at the Almeria Western Film Festival, a few years ago, I inquired as to why the rather odd selection of older films being screened … He explained that it was down to the budget they had for paying copyright owners … he told me that the Spanish owner of ‘For a Few Dollars More’ (La muerte tenía un precio) Death had a Price - wanted 3000 euros for a one off screening, and that was a DVD projected, not a 35mm print. In contrast they could have screened ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’ for just 50 euros ! So, it all comes down to greed, rather like that which we encounter in characters from our favourite genre. It’s a shame that there aren’t regulations to prevent greedy selfish copyright owners from holding out … after all they had nothing to do with these films production, nor I doubt do they have any personal interest in the material they control. Assholes!!!