Burned at the Stake (1982) actual release year

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IMDb lists Burned at the Stake (aka The Coming) as a 1982 movie and has the earliest date as February 19, 1982 in Albuquerque, NM. On every other site it is listed as a 1981 film and has been for years, even on IMDb. It is also covered in a 1980 issue of Fangoria which has photographs showing the film as completed.

Can anyone find out if it played anywhere in 1981?
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Century of Horror

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Posted 2 years ago

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Steve Crook, Champion

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Hello 'Century of Horror', 
If you have details of any earlier public releases, you are welcome to submit them. 
Just hit the Edit page button at the bottom of the page about the film
Then, in the Basic Data section, select Release Dates ... Add 1 item 
Fill in the details & submit it, then sit back and wait for your submission to be checked, hopefully approved and added to the database. 

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It doesn’t sound unusual that some film was completed in 1980 (with the coverage in Fangoria), but released in February 1981. Some more proof is probably needed.
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I searched around a bit and couldn't come up with any newspaper or magazine articles or reviews that could pinpoint the release date. But that doesn't mean they don't exist. The availability of resources has changed quite a bit since the last time I did this kind of research and I haven't been able to get up to speed as of yet.

However, I did locate a couple of pre-internet era book references on Google Books that would seem confirm 1981 as the commonly accepted release date for the film:

Horror and Science Fiction Films III, Donald C. Willis, Scarecrow Press, 1984 (p.48)

Ref: V 10/14/81:38 (ad)"

I believe 1983 refers to the video release date and 1980 to the copyright date. The next line I would guess would refer to a print ad from October 14, 1981. Don't have access to the key for abbreviations in this edition, but I'll go out on a limb and guess the "V" refers to Variety Magazine and that the ad appeared on page 38. But I could be wrong.

Here's another print reference that turned up:

Film Directors: A Complete Guide, Michael Singer, Lone Eagle Pub., 1985 (p.136)

There's also the fact that the MPAA assigned the film an "R" rating in 1981 (certificate #26060), which also would seem to indicate an imminent release:

Apparently, whoever added the 1982 Albuquerque release date for the film did so between March 17 and September 12, 2016:

Seems like they would've needed to at least include the (premiere) attribute to the Albuquerque release date to effect an automatic change of the date. But I can't remember exactly how that works. Unless they supplied some other corroborating evidence that's not currently visible on the site, then the year shouldn't have been changed, based on just that screening date.

You could try simply submitting a release date of:

USA - 1981 (premiere)

Maybe that'll do the trick. But it might get a bit more complicated if not. Good luck.

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Century of Horror

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Necturus, thanks for finding all of that. I wonder if it will be enough for IMDb to at least change the year to what you stated "USA - 1981 (premiere)" or I could possibly try to contact Bert I. Gordon the director. He's still around and probably would know exactly when his film came out.
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You're welcome. Maybe it's worth a shot trying to contact him, though you might still need an actual document or some proof you could point to, other than just him telling you. I wasn't able to find any clues in his autobiography, at least not the parts available in the Amazon preview.

Hopefully it won't be that difficult though. If you can't find anything more concrete, I would just try submitting a new release date. Country = USA, Date = 1981, Attribute = (premiere). I'm not exactly sure where you would give them the other sources I mentioned anyway. I swear there used to be a "provide additional information to help process this submission" check box on any given page. Don't see that anymore. It was either that, or you'd have to use "Miscellaneous Correction" in the "Other Corrections" section. I think. But I don't see that anymore either. :/

Anyway, curious how it turns out. If you don't have any luck, let me know and I can try to submit it myself. Maybe the fact that I've contributed quite a lot in the past will carry some weight. Though I doubt it, haha.