Few films like "What a Wonderful Life" by Frank Capra can be found That are both seen and loved. It is considered by many to be the greatest Christmas film in history, it has entered the US National Film Registry, and the American Film Foundation has chosen it as the best fantasy film of all time. Many moments, images and dialogues of "What a Wonderful Life" have become part of the culture of American society. For today's young audience, the film has the same magic of the past.
But the film was not always so unattainable. The film did not receive much attention when it was first released in 1946. The film was made with a budget of $ 3.7 million and sold only 3.3 million, which is a complete loss. "What a Wonderful Life" is based on a story by Philipp van Dorn Stern. He wrote the story in 1939, and it was in 1943 That he placed it next to the Christmas greetings card he sent to family and acquaintances. As it turns out, Carrie Grant saw the story and decided to turn it into a movie, which is why Archive bought the rights to the story. The story was later sold to Liberty Films Capra, with James Stewart cast as the lead actor. The Christmas story is too bitter and dark. Despite the happy ending, much of "What a Wonderful Life" is about the heartbreak of Stuart's protagonist George Bailey, who repeatedly sacrifices everything in his life for the benefit of others. Finally, on Christmas Eve, he reaches the peak of despair and helplessness and decides to commit suicide. A guardian angel saves his life and shows him how awful life would be for the people of his small town if he did not exist at all and was not born.
They watch (emotional romances, warm family stories, little kids messing with thieves), it was predictable That a film like "What a Wonderful Life" would not get much attention from 1940s viewers. And if something really Strange had not happened in the life story of this film, perhaps today's audience would be unaware of the existence of such a work. It so happened That the owners of the film forgot to renew the copyright!
US copyright law allows the creator of a work of art to own the copyright for up to 28 years. After that, the creator or his family members can extend the copyright for another 28 years. If they do not do so, the work of art will be considered a public asset. In this case, anyone can distribute and reproduce this work of art, and the creator or his family has no right to object (William Shakespeare has been dead for centuries. You can safely do whatever you want with his "Romeo and Juliet") .
The original copyright of "What a Wonderful Life" ended in 1974. And for reasons not yet known to anyone, no one extended it (although many say it was simply a forgetfulness). This means That a film of this magnitude, starring James Stewart and Dana Reed, and made by a Hollywood filmmaker such as Frank Capra, has now become public property. This means That anyone could watch and play the movie as they wished.
And that's exactly what happened. All local and cable television channels across the United States began airing the film. From the mid-1970s to the early 1990s, "What a Wonderful Life" was a regular feature of television network Christmas programs. The more people saw the film, the more they were impressed by the warm-hearted message it contained. A message about sacrifice and generosity and being in the community. By the mid-1980s, one of Frank Capra's most forgotten works had become one of the most beloved works of American history, thanks to the annual Christmas's "What a Wonderful Life" tradition. In fact, the film became so popular by the 1990s That it became so popular That none of the film's survivors or former owners dared to try to get the copyright again. Except for Republic Pictures, which in 1993 claimed ownership of the film. You must be wondering how you can own a movie That has been in the public domain for twenty years? Hitchcock is composed. Republic's claim was That since he owns the intellectual property of Van Dorn Stern's story and owns the music used in the film, and most importantly, because he has the original negatives used in the film in his archive, he can Be considered the owner of the film. The court upheld the company's decision. All copies of the movie were lost. Anubis television also bought the rights to the television.
Since the 1990s, television stations trying to broadcast "What a Wonderful Life" without regard to its copyright have been subject to Republic Pictures legal action. All the local and cable TV stations That aired the film each year were replaced by Anubis. But by then, "What a Wonderful Life" had found its place and had become a Classic masterpiece. But think about it: if someone had forgotten about it in 1974 and the copyright of the film had been extended, perhaps none of this would have happened. Imagine a world in which "What a Wonderful Life" is a typical forgotten film by Frank Capra. I wish a guardian angel would come and show us how sad and boring life would be without "What a Wonderful life"!
Source: ScreenCrushTags: strange, thing, that, turned, "what, wonderful, life", into, classic, christmas, movie