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You are right. Sidney Toler obtained the film rights to Charlie Chan and "shopped" the studios to see if one would pick up Charlie Chan. Of course, we know that Monogram Pictures agreed, and the rest is history, and, Presumably, Monogram then bought the film rights from Toler. My question would be: if Cy Kendall had taken over as Chan, would he, following the end of the series at 20th Century-Fox, have done the work that Toler did to preserve the film presence of charlie Chan?
Ah, I see. Would he have gone out-on-a-limb to purchase the rights with his own cash count...like Sydney Toler did? That was quite a "leap of faith" on Toler's part? I wonder what were the dynamics of the situation at the time?
Did Toler get along with Mrs. Biggers (or Cole) so well that she'd agree to sell the rights? She must have liked him in the part to sell. Was Toler as enamored with the part as Warner Oland had been? How much did Toler fork out to pay for the rights, and did he already have a handshake agreement with Monogram or others they'd continue?
I guess we'll never know the answers to those questions, but it could have all ended when fox discontinued, as you hint! So the last Chan film would have been "Castles in the Desert," right?
Thank you, Lou! This gets more interesting!
Yes, the series could have ended with "Castle in the Desert"! Would a Cy Kendal, or anyone else besides Sidney Toler, who seemed to have a love for Chan (somewhat like that of Warner Oland!), have sought to continue the series beyond 20th Century-Fox? Maybe...maybe not...
Somewhere out there, the answers regarding the obtaining of the rights could probably be waiting should the right person or persons try to find them. I would think that the Biggers estate would welcome possible further monetary reward by way of the series continuing. This could have been key to any deal. Maybe all it took was that mentioned "handshake" to get the film rights if the possibility of future income might result. Also, who better to "sell" Charlie Chan to a film studio than Charlie Chan himself: Sidney Toler?
Very interesting, Rush. Fox Films/20th Century Fox owns rights to their own films, but stops making any further releases. Then Toler buys the "Character" rights from Eleanor Biggers Cole, probably like you say with a handshake agreement from Monogram Studios they'd continue. How much he paid is anyone's guess. However, he either paid her a good sum or Eleanor might have gotten a piece of the action in the agreement. What is also interesting (to me) is that 20th Century Fox now again own the rights to the character. So sometime after Toler's death they must have purchased them from his estate.
Yes. I am guessing that 20th Century-Fox bought back the character rights around 1968 when there was something of a Charlie Chan revival. Fox stood to make a good income as their Chan movies were released for television airings. If seems that Warner Brothers was in the mix, as well! We see that the re-released publicity stills for the films At that time bear the name and logo for “Warner Brothers/ 7 Arts.” This might also explain why Warner somehow holds the rights to “The Black Camel.” This affected the Fox DVD release of that movie in the early 2000s.