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Mr. Bug Goes to Town Screens in NY

Mr Bug Goes to Town

Here’s a special end-of-the-year treat for New Yorkers: the Fleischer’s second and last feature, Mr. Bug Goes to Town (1941), is playing at the Film Forum (209 West Houston Street) through New Year’s Day. The daily 1pm matinee presents a new 35mm print of the film and also includes the Fleischer short Betty Boop’s Rise to Fame. More details on the Film Forum website.

(Thanks, Jacob Ospa)

  • Well it might as well could be the “Hoppity” version cause the Film Forum website states that it’s that version.

  • julian

    lucky dogs

  • Bill Andres

    Hey Jerry,

    Since this film has been released under different titles, are there separate copyright holders, and if so who would own the rights to Mr. Bug and any DVD news in the future?

  • Bill – MR. BUG GOES TO TOWN is the original title. The theatrical, TV and home video rights were sold to NTA in the 1950s. They changed the name for theatrical reissue to HOPPITY GOES TO TOWN. The film is not in public domain.

    NTA became Republic Entertainment in 1986. Republic was bought by Spelling Entertainment in the 1990s, which in turn became a division of Blockbuster Entertainment. Viacom bought Blockbuster in 1994 and licensed the home video rights to the Republic library to what is now called Lions Gate Entertainment.

    Paramount has the theatrical rights to this film today. Paramount holds the copyright and has the master film elements. Lions Gate has the right to restore it and put it on DVD. But that won’t happen – they are idiots.

    By the way, the Museum of Modern Art has an outstanding nitrate Technicolor print (with original titles) in their collection and on occasion shows it on the big screen there.

  • Bill Andres

    “Lions Gate has the right to restore it and put it on DVD. But that won’t happen – they are idiots”.

    I was afraid of that; I have seen Lions Gates shoddy treatment with the Laurel and Hardy/Roach films.

    Thanks for the info.

  • I’ve posted a little analysis on the oft-quoted line that Mr. Bug’s lack of success was due to Pearl Harbor over at my blog – http//

  • Peter

    Why on earth is Lionsgate holding the rights to old movies at all? That hardly seems in line with its business model ….

  • I dunno why Lionsgate has the right to put these old movies out, if that would happen, it would be just another poor quality release.

    It’s surprising that the studio wouldn’t even bother with them cause often they basically make bad live-action or animated movie after bad live-action or animated movie to make a quick buck.

    Maybe it’s best for Paramount obtain the rights again OR maybe a collaboration with Lionsgate and Warner Bros (who have put out the Popeye sets and later the “”Super” Fleischer” shorts) would put the film out in a special double feature with “Gulliver”.

  • Robert Schaad

    I saw the film at a MOMA screening (thanks again) and the colors were beautiful…particularly the opening sequence.

  • That’s a surprisingly good movie.

    I bought a DVD from “Legend Films” of it on Amazon a few months ago, but the case was titled “Bugville” and the opening credits were covered over by a modern graphic. I wondered about the legality of that.

  • Keith Paynter

    Bill Andres says: “I was afraid of that; I have seen Lions Gates shoddy treatment with the Laurel and Hardy/Roach films.”

    Actually, that was Hallmark’s fault, who held the rights at the time. They used television versions (which included commercial cutways!)

    There is a very heated discussion thread at the Animation Show Forum over this quasi-legal release, as Legend released a few “cult” Paramount titles on DVD earlier this year, one of which was the “quote – restored – unquote” ‘Bugville’.

    Some dared to take the bait, but the majority were not impressed…

  • Mr. Bumble

    For the doubters here is the Lions Gate web sight

    Their big Christmas release this year is ‘The Spirit’: plainly a film of some cost. However, much of their other product appears to me of a budget nature: inexpensive properties such as ‘My Bloody Valentine, exploitation and action quickies such as the ‘Saw’ Franchise, ‘Transporter’ etc. Perhaps something akin to a modern day Roger Corman studio. Classics they ain’t … however, they probably like money. In that instance, in a fantasy universe, perhaps it would be possible that they would sell the rights?

  • messy

    I’m seeing this afternoon, and I’ve never seen it before because it was only released on old fashioned laser disc ONCE and never on vhs or dvd. As far as I can tell, “Mr. Bugs” has been deliberately hidden away forever.