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TV Series Being Made into Films

Mar. 5, 1964 - Can a movie based on a television series run profitably in theaters while the series is on T.V.? An answer to this will be sought in a few months in an experiment started next week at Universal City in Hollywood.

The movie will be “McHale’s Navy.” The T.V. series, televised by ABC-TV, is made by Revue Productions. The movie and television companies are owned by MCA, Inc.

The movie will be about 90 minutes long; the series has 30-minute episodes. No attempt will be made to break the movie into segments to be shown on the series, according to Revue.

The low-budget color movie will be released in theaters this summer, when reruns of “McHale’s Navy” will be on television. The producer of the series, Edward Montagne, will produce and direct the movie. He has directed about 15 movies.

The main performers in the series, including star Ernest Borgnine, will appear in the movie. Two women will be added for the film, Claudine Longet and Jean Willes. This is the latest step by MCA to use T.V. and movie material, actors, and facilities interchangeably at its University City studio.

In making the first 90-minute series, “The Virginian” — a Revue project — MCA considered that with some editing and added footage, weekly episodes might be sold as films in foreign theaters. Many of the shows have been sold. But no attempt has been made to show them in U.S. movie houses.

Many movies have inspired television series. Among the earliest was “National Velvet.” One of the most successful of current series is “Dr. Kildare,” originally a movie.


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