AMC Inks Exclusive Agreement with Paramount Pictures, Acquiring Thirty-Two John Wayne Films

Deal Includes World Premiere of the Digitally Remastered The High And The Mighty and Island In The Sky

-Vault Unlocked After 25 Years-

(New York, New York — June 6, 2005) – AMC, basic cable’s premiere destination dedicated to movies and movie culture, announced today an exclusive licensing agreement with Paramount Pictures, providing the network with 32 of John Wayne’s greatest films and further cementing the network as the cable home for John Wayne. Included in the deal is the world premiere of the fully restored, digitally remastered High and the Mighty and Island in the Sky. It has been over 25 years since the analog versions of these two films last aired on television. Paramount plans to release DVD versions of both films on August 2 after the AMC premiere. The deal also includes such classic favorites as Hondo, El Dorado, The Shootist, Sons of Katie Elder, True Grit, Hatari, Donovan’s Reef, Flying Tigers, among many others.

Few actors embody the heroic spirit of John Wayne, whose career starring in westerns and war movies has made him a permanent American movie icon. The addition of these 32 classics provide AMC’s well-established John Wayne movie library with unprecedented depth.

AMC’s most recent John Wayne Stunt, The Duke in December, delivered an average 725,000 homes, peaking with over 1.3 million homes. Today’s announcement comes on the heels of AMC’s most successful year ever (2004). In 2005, AMC continues to post record ratings growth in total day and prime time households and key demo deliveries. The network experienced its best EVER 1Q in 1Q 2005, and posted double digit HH and key demo growth across every daypart year to year in April 2005. In addition, season to date (Oct 04 thru Apr 05) is pacing to be AMC’s strongest season ever.

“These titles further cement AMC as the television home for John Wayne and ensure that we will continue to celebrate the great impact he has had on the film industry,” stated Ed Carroll, President, Rainbow Entertainment Services. “AMC is dedicated to providing the full spectrum of Hollywood movie on television, showcasing all the great film icons from a broad range of past and present eras.”

“Opening our John Wayne library to AMC is a great opportunity to gain additional exposure for these beloved and timeless films,” said Thomas Lesinski, President Paramount Pictures, Worldwide Home Entertainment. “The television premiere of the newly restored titles, The High and Mighty and Island in the Sky, will also offer a sneak peek at the great content that is featured on the upcoming DVDs.”

“Knowing that a whole new generation will be able to see and appreciate films such as The High and Mighty and Island in the Sky would make my husband so happy,” stated
Gretchen Wayne, daughter-in-law of the legendary actor who oversaw the restoration. “We are so pleased to see AMC’s commitment in showcasing his work and helping to keep his memory and contribution alive.”

John Wayne stars as a washed-up pilot who must guide a damaged airliner to safety in this forerunner to modern disaster movies. Co-starring Claire Trevor and Robert Stack, it was nominated for six Oscars? including Best Director (William A. Wellman).

John Wayne is the pilot of a transport plane that crashes in the remote reaches of sub-Arctic Canada. As he struggles to keep his stranded crew alive in the deadly conditions, a rescue team desperately searches for them in the vast snow-covered wilderness.

Among the other movies that will be covered by the licensing agreement are:

  • Dakota – In 1871, professional gambler John Devlin (Wayne) elopes with Sandra “Sandy” Poli (Vera Ralston), daughter of Marko Poli (Hugo Haas), an immigrant who has risen to railroad tycoon.
  • The Dark Command – Texas cowpoke Bob Seton (Wayne) comes to a Kansas town with his friend, Doc Crunch (George ‘Gabby’ Hayes), and runs for town marshal against school teacher Will Cantrell (Walter Pidgeon.)
  • Donovan’s Reef – ‘Guns’ Donovan (Wayne) prefers carousing with his pals Doc Dedham and ‘Boats’ Gilhooley, until Dedham’s high-society daughter Amelia shows up in their South Seas paradise.
  • El Dorado – Hired gunman Cole Thornton (Wayne) turns down a job with Bart Jason as it would mean having to fight an old sheriff friend.
  • The Fighting Kentuckian – In Alabama in 1818, Kentucky militiaman John Breen (Wayne) falls in love with a French exile and discovers a plot to steal the land her fellow exiles plan to settle on.
  • The Fighting Seabees – Construction workers in World War II in the Pacific are needed to build military sites, but the work is dangerous and they doubt the ability of the Navy to protect them.
  • Flame of Barbary Coast – Montana cowboy Duke Fergus (Wayne) travels to 1906
    San Francisco to collect a debt from Tito Morell who runs a place on the dodgy Barbary Coast.
  • Flying Tigers – Jim Gordon (Wayne) commands a unit of the famed Flying Tigers, the American Volunteer Group which fought the Japanese in China before America’s entry into World War II.
  • Frontier Horizon – The Three Mesquiteers convince a group of settlers to exchange their present property for some which, unbeknownst to the goodguys, is going to be worthless.
  • Hatari – John Wayne and his ensemble cast cavort over the African landscape filling orders from zoos for wild animals.
  • Hondo – Geraldine Page (nominated for an Oscar for her role) and Ward Bond join Wayne in this adaptation of a Louis L’Amour story about a half-breed Cavalry dispatch rider who protects a woman and her son living amidst warning Apaches.
  • King of the Pecos – Texas cattle baron Stiles killed John Clayborn’s parents ten years earlier. Now a lawyer, Clayborn (Wayne) tries legally to break up Stiles’ water monopoly and rustling operation.
  • Land for a Night – Gambling boat operator Jenny Blake throws over her gambler beau Jack Morgan in order to marry into high society.
  • The Lady Takes a Chance – A city girl on a bus tour of the West encounters a handsome rodeo cowboy who helps her forget her simple city suitors.
  • The Lawless Nineties – Federal agent John Tipton (Wayne) heads for Wyoming to supervise the vote on whether to join the Union.
  • Lawless Range – John Middleton is investigating cattle rustling when he is captured and tossed into a cave with Emmett, a rancher who disappeared earlier.
  • The Lonely Trail – Ex-Union officer John Ashley returns to his hometown in Texas and finds law and order being maintained by northerner Benedict Holden’s armed troopers.
  • The New Frontier – When the New Hope Valley ranchers learn their land has been condemned for construction of a new dam, they decide to fight.
  • The Night Riders – Talbot (George Douglas) uses a phony land grant to rule thirteen million acres, taxing everyone heavily and evicting those who won’t pay.
  • Pals of the Saddle – Foreign agents are smuggling a poisonous chemical into Mexico until the three Mesquiteers get involved when they ride to save a girl (really a government agent) on a runaway horse.
  • Red River Range – The Cattlemen’s Association has called in the Mesquiteers to find cattle rustlers.
  • Sante Fe Stampede – The Mesquiteers capture a horse thief who escapes justice through a crooked judge.
  • The Shootist – A dying gunfighter spends his last days looking for a way to die with a minimum of pain and a maximum of dignity.
  • The Sons of Katie Elder – Ranch owner Katie Elder’s four sons are determined to avenge the murder of their father and the swindling of their mother.
  • Three Texas Steers – Nancy Evans, lovely circus owner, has a ranch that she’s never visited, but for sentimental reasons won’t sell to Mike Abbott. Her partners, secretly in league with Abbott, sabotage the circus to force Nancy to sell the ranch; instead, she goes there to live.
  • True Grit – A fearless, one-eyed U.S. marshal… a Texas ranger thirsty for bounty money… and a girl still wet behind the ears… band together to prove they have true grit.
  • Wake of the Red Witch – Captain Ralls fights Dutch shipping magnate Mayrant Sidneye for the woman he loves, Angelique Desaix, and for a fortune in gold aboard the Red Witch.
  • Westward Ho – When Ballard and his men attack the Wyatt wagon train, they kill all except two young brothers. Twelve years later one brother John has organized a vigilante group.
  • Wheel of Fortune – Attorney Lynn Hollister investigates the murder of his friend in the big city. Along the way, he manages to fall in love with the daughter of his chief suspect.
  • Wyoming Outlaw – With himself and his father out of work, Will Parker is stealing cattle to feed his family.

About AMC
AMC, a division of Rainbow Media’s Entertainment Services, which also includes WE: Women’s Entertainment and IFC Companies, is a 24-hour, movie-based network, dedicated to the American movie fan. The network, which reaches over 86,000,000 homes, offers a comprehensive library of popular movies and a critically-acclaimed slate of original programming that is a diverse, movie-based mix of original series, documentaries and specials. AMC has garnered many of the industry’s highest honors, including 14 Emmy awards. AMC is “TV for movie people.”

About Paramount Pictures
Visit to learn more about Paramount Home Entertainment’s new releases, as well as other classic Hollywood films, television programs, animated titles and family and special interest programming. Paramount Home Entertainment is part of the operations of Paramount Pictures, a unit of Viacom Inc.

Press Contacts

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    Brenda Ciccone
    Paramount Home Entertainment
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