For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Wednesday, 27 August 2003

NEW BUTCH AND SUNDANCE MOVIE

In January 1998 Butch and Sundance (“the Tamworth Two”) made a break for freedom that captivated the entire British nation. They squeezed through a hole in the slaughterhouse wall and gave the police the slip. After Butch, a sow, was recaptured, Sundance was caught after being stunned by tranquilisers. The happy pair are now enjoying a life of leisure at the South of England Rare Breeds Centre, near Ashford, Kent, but they are back in the news again following an announcement that the BBC is to make a £2 million film of their exploits. The 90-minute film for will use the same mix of live action, animation and computer technology as Hollywood bacon-buster Babe. Since Butch and Sundance were mere piglets at the time of their adventure, it will be necessary to employ eight look-alikes for the duration of the filming.

The IPKat wonders about the issues relating to ownership and control of contemporaneous historical events. The pig’s escape was first reported by a local newspaper, the Wiltshire Daily News, but the national tabloid Daily Mail -- which orchestrated a “save the pigs” campaign – then took the pigs over. Now it’s the turn of the BBC. Since “Butch” and “Sundance” were not the pigs’ real names but were given to them in tribute to their exploits, will the owners of the rights in the movie classic “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” object? Or Viacom, owners of the THE LEGEND OF BUTCH AND SUNDANCE trade mark registration for “entertainment services in the nature of a dramatic television series”? A less problematic issue is that of whether, in the light of the Bette Midler case, the original pigs can object to the use on the film’s soundtrack of an unauthorised sound-alike “grunt-over”.

Which treatment do you prefer? A comparison of UK press reports on the Tamworth Two here
Tamworth pigs here, here and here
More here about Tamworth than you probably wanted to know
Eat your Tamworth pig here
Other porcine celebrities here, here and here
Grunt here. Be disgruntled here. Be gruntled here


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