Windows 7 "The Movies" PC Game Crashing When Saving (Windows 7 64-Bit)


I recently installed the computer game The Movies (2005) made by Lionhead Studios, and its expansions The Movies: Stunts and Effects (2006) on my Windows 7 Prof. 64-bit computer (I have owned the game for years, and played on my Vista and XP PC earlier). The install was okay, though I had to do a well known-fix by going on to the fix and running the install as an admin as the autorun does not work on Win7. I'm also running the shortcut with "Run as Admin" on.

After I installed the first game, I played it, but quit soon after as I knew I was installing the expansion next. I installed Stunts and Effects next by doing the same setup procedure as before, and it installed correctly. I ran the game, and it worked perfectly as expected, on "Best settings".

It is an older game, so I did use the resolution command change in the shortcut (-width 1920 -height 1080) to make the game crisper. I also went on ATI CCC for my HD 4870 card and for the game's profile, I made the settings as such:

Level: 8x
Filter: Box

SMOOTHVISION HD: Anisotropic Filtering
Per-pixel samples: 16x

Catalyst A.I. (I know this setting can be problematic in games, testing it soon)
Level: Advanced

Mipmap Detail Level:
Level: High Quality

Wait for vertical refresh:
Always On (Quality)

Adaptive Anti-Aliasing:
Level: Quality

OpenGL Settings:
Triple buffering: OFF

Besides the A.I. setting, I believe all these are not making a difference besides making the game look stunning for its age.

The game runs fine on startup and I'm able to play the game smoothly. I have a saved game which I am playing on too, and I have played many hours on it. However, since starting it, after about 10-20 minutes in, if I save either with a quicksave, an autosave, or through different, full save, the game crashes to the desktop. It's usually always the 3rd-5th save I do in-game, and I lose all progress since last saving obviously.

I do have a few mods, some of which increase the movie studio lot size, increase the actors/director's happiness, etc. I've played with said mods, and without them, and the game still will crash when saving after the first few saves.

I've found no support on this issue; Lionhead Studios and Activion do not support the game anymore through tech help, so I came here. I tried all the different compatibility modes with the game as well, but no luck.

I really don't want to play the game w/o the expansion, so if it is causing the issue, I'd be pretty sad. Also, the game has the 1.1 retail patch (the original game, not the expansion as there are no patches for the 2nd game).

Anyone have an idea what's going on?

CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU 920 @ 2.67GHz
Motherboard: DELL Inc. 0X501H
BIOS: Default System BIOS
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
Total Memory: 9.00 GB
Usable: 5.99 GB
HDD: Volume0
Sound Card: (1) Realtek High Definition Audio (2) High Definition Audio Device (3) ATI HDMI Audio
GPU: ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series (Driver: 8.970.100.3000 7/3/2012 )

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