I’m planning my Christmas schedule. Anybody know when A Christmas Story marathon will be on the TeeVee? TVGuide says not in the next fourteen days. This can’t be right, can it? As much as I used to grumble about seeing It’s a Wonderful Life on every channel, I miss it now that it’s gone. If you want to read a convoluted tale of how copyright laws work, It’s a Wonderful Life is a great example.
The copyright protection expired so any network could show it, but they still had to pay royalties. Then the Supreme Court said it was a derivative work of work that was still copyrighted. So it was protected. NBC had the rights, then Paramount bought ancillary rights, Lions Gate has home video rights, but only in Latin America and France. Consequently, It’s a Wonderful Life is gone forever never to be seen again in the U.S. (slight exaggeration)
Thus A Christmas Story has replaced It’s a Wonderful Life in my Must See TeeVee for Christmas.
Now you’re thinking, “buy the DVD, dud.”
All of the fun of A Christmas Story the serendipity of flipping through channels and hitting the movie mid stream and picking up the dialogue as if I watched the movie from the opening credits. Rather than being able to fast forward to the “good parts” watching on the TeeVee requires sitting through the magnificent comedy set ups.
- Would you watch the writing down of the secret message for the decoder ring?
- Would you watch them sing “Jingle Bells”, in the car, with pfbbt at the end? Only to have the perfect family moment erased when the lugnuts go flying?
- Would you watch the Bumpuses dogs steal the turkey leading to a rousing Fa Ra Ra Ra Raaaa, Ra Ra Ra Ra…
Here’s a couple didja knows:
- that the Old Man’s award was modeled after the logo for Nehi pop?
- the author of the original story was the narrator for the movie? Jean Shepard.
- The Old Man’s first name was never used in the movie?
I guess A Christmas Story will just show up on my Tivo Guide and I will be as happy as a kid with Red Ryder!