September 17, 2015
        "Black Mass" could get Johnny Depp back in the Oscar game                J.J. Abrams and Denis Villeneuve: Ten potential first time writer/director nominees for Oscar in 2015                Roger Deakins offers up some of his very best cinematography in "Sicario"                "The Martian" launches itself as an awards hopeful at the Toronto Film Festival                "Steve Jobs": Oscar predictions for September                "Sleeping with Other People" is one of the most charming films of 2015                Sandra Bullock looks like a contender in the Trailer for "Our Brand is Crisis"                Sam Smith will sing the theme song for the upcoming 007 film "Spectre"                Richard Gere is an under the radar Best Actor contender for "Time Out of Mind"                Telluride and Venice launch festival debuts into the Oscar race                “The Hateful Eight”: Looking at potential Best Original Screenplay Contenders                David O. Russell and Ridley Scott: Which filmmaking contenders this year are most due for their first win?                Telluride Announces 2015 Lineup - Steve Jobs, Black Mass, Suffragette                “Sicario”: Ten Films to see in September                Will Smith crusades for Best Actor in the "Concussion" Trailer        

‘Dinner for Schmucks’ forks out $1.5M for Beatles song

By Roger Friedman The Beatles rarely if ever give permission for their records to be used in movies. Sometimes they allow the songs to be covered by other artists. But it’s a given that the answer is ‘no’ when a film producer asks for a Beatles record to be part of his or her soundtrack.

Well, this week there’s an exception. The Beatles have allowed their classic, “Fool on the Hill,” to be used as the song over the opening credits in Jay Roach’s “Dinner for Schmucks.” I am told by inside sources that Paramount/Dreamworks paid $1.5 million to buy out the rights in perpetuity. That is a staggering amount of money to pay for one song in a film.

It didn’t hurt that “Schmucks” comes from Dreamworks, which means Spielberg, who is Paul McCartney’s neighbor in the Hamptons. Also, producer Walter Parkes says that both McCartney and Yoko One saw and liked the movie. Ono also allowed the lyrics to “Imagine” by her late husband, John Lennon, to be used. For a price.

In the past, the Beatles have not allowed the use of their records in many films. When Wes Anderson wanted “Hey Jude” and “I’m Looking Through You” for “The Royal Tennenbaums,” he put them in the version that was shown at the opening of the New York Film Festival. Subsequently he had to remove the recordings and substitute them with instrumental versions made by Mark Mothersbaugh.

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About Roger Friedman

Roger Friedman began his column in April after 10 years with Fox News where he helped create Friedman’s prior experience on the Internet is with MSN’s Cinemania column. Friedman also wrote the Intelligencer column as a contributing editor at "New York Magazine," where he covered the O.J. Simpson criminal trial. In addition, Friedman has been involved in book publishing and filmmaking (Only the Strong Survive). For more about Roger go to

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