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James FitzPatrick TravelTalks shorts


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#41 TheCid

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 10:08 AM

Yeah, but he definitely could not get away with that kind of talk after the war. I also think he was... well... not thinking. That is a VERY common phrase in all too many embarrassing travelogues of the era. I don't think Jimmy was the most original narrator. So much seems recycled from rival travel films.

 

Humorously, I think that cameraman had the "hots" for the lovely Caucasian "Australians" posing in their Fifth Avenue dresses. It was obvious he was flirting with them. Probably dated one later.

 

Also should add: If you look at any National Geographic magazine published during the same period, the tone is eerily similar to the Traveltalks. It was only after Melville Bell Grosvenor took over as editor after his father in 1957, that a lot of changes took place with both "the bad" and racial injustices of foreign countries and the United States shown along with the pretty "rose colored" scenery.

While I was in Vietnam, took R&R in Sydney in 1971.  Had a great time.



#42 Jlewis

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 10:00 AM

Yeah, but he definitely could not get away with that kind of talk after the war. I also think he was... well... not thinking. That is a VERY common phrase in all too many embarrassing travelogues of the era. I don't think Jimmy was the most original narrator. So much seems recycled from rival travel films.

 

Humorously, I think that cameraman had the "hots" for the lovely Caucasian "Australians" posing in their Fifth Avenue dresses. It was obvious he was flirting with them. Probably dated one later.

 

Also should add: If you look at any National Geographic magazine published during the same period, the tone is eerily similar to the Traveltalks. It was only after Melville Bell Grosvenor took over as editor after his father in 1957, that a lot of changes took place with both "the bad" and racial injustices of foreign countries and the United States shown along with the pretty "rose colored" scenery.



#43 TheCid

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 09:46 AM

They get better after the war, at least in their narration. The United States reels shot in the ol' South also fit your criticism. Mostly Caucasians shown, although Glimpses of Florida includes an... ahem, interesting... moment involving "Swanee River". Note too that he directed a studio made short on Stephen Foster called Memories And Melodies showing happy plantation life that you must watch tongue and cheek.

 

This is just my perspective after listening to him over the years.

 

Jimmy is Mister Sunshine. He only sees The Good in every country. You never see soldiers marching in Imperial Japan, but he views the Japanese as "much like us". He fortunately made it to Austria before all of the Third Reich flags were put up in 1938. I think he was the personalty type who was happy with the progression of civil rights since his portraits of many Asian and tropical countries do present the residents as human. He is even quite optimistic of the darker skinned residents of Haiti.

 

His only fault may be that he was TOO easy going with the assumption that progress should be gradual or, at least, fit with what is wonderful about Western Civilization. I don't see him as the type marching with Martin Luther King, but probably applauding him from the side line in his white pants and travel hat. (Sort of like Miss Daisy as Hoke rolls his eyes in Driving Miss Daisy... but even that old broad still progressed in her old age.) Yeah... he is "old school", but I would not say he was necessarily Imperial and Euro-centered entirely.

 

I noticed that he has a live and let live attitude towards religions, but still loves that Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Elvis Presley was like that. Open to all faiths and not prejudiced about lifestyles, but still a bit too deep in the Spirit compared to others.

 

However, he DID shoot an awful huge number of reels in UK right after the war as if that nation is somehow the most important.

Don't disagree, but take a look at Glimpses of Australia - "the white man's paradise" as he called it.



#44 Jlewis

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 09:41 AM

They get better after the war, at least in their narration. The United States reels shot in the ol' South also fit your criticism. Mostly Caucasians shown, although Glimpses of Florida includes an... ahem, interesting... moment involving "Swanee River". Note too that he directed a studio made short on Stephen Foster called Memories And Melodies showing happy plantation life that you must watch tongue and cheek.

 

This is just my perspective after listening to him over the years.

 

Jimmy is Mister Sunshine. He only sees The Good in every country. You never see soldiers marching in Imperial Japan, but he views the Japanese as "much like us". He fortunately made it to Austria before all of the Third Reich flags were put up in 1938. I think he was the personalty type who was happy with the progression of civil rights since his portraits of many Asian and tropical countries do present the residents as human. He is even quite optimistic of the darker skinned residents of Haiti.

 

His only fault may be that he was TOO easy going with the assumption that progress should be gradual or, at least, fit with what is wonderful about Western Civilization. I don't see him as the type marching with Martin Luther King, but probably applauding him from the side line in his white pants and travel hat. (Sort of like Miss Daisy as Hoke rolls his eyes in Driving Miss Daisy... but even that old broad still progressed in her old age.) Yeah... he is "old school", but I would not say he was necessarily Imperial and Euro-centered entirely.

 

I noticed that he has a live and let live attitude towards religions, but still loves that Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Elvis Presley was like that. Open to all faiths and not prejudiced about lifestyles, but still a bit too deep in the Spirit compared to others.

 

However, he DID shoot an awful huge number of reels in UK right after the war as if that nation is somehow the most important.



#45 TheCid

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 09:05 AM

Hey, hey, hey... I now see Vol. 2 on the WB shop website. It looks like pre-orders are open and they ship August 23.

 

Assuming this will be the same amount of 60 shorts, this would easily put us past the halfway mark for Technicolor shorts.

Yesterday I watched the Vol. 1 episodes Glimpses of Australia and Old New Mexico.  I did enjoy them and realize they were made before WW  II, but about as politically uncorrect as you can get, especially the one on Australia.  Still a very good series and I'll get Vol. 2, but people need to be prepared for the attitudes of an earlier era.

There is a plus in that people may better understand what it was like socially and politically in America and the "European" world before the 1960's.



#46 TravelFilmsFan

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Posted 23 July 2016 - 08:56 AM

Hey, hey, hey... I now see Vol. 2 on the WB shop website. It looks like pre-orders are open and they ship August 23.

 

Assuming this will be the same amount of 60 shorts, this would easily put us past the halfway mark for Technicolor shorts.


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#47 TheCid

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Posted 09 July 2016 - 10:39 AM

It would have helped in Fitzpatrick had a map showing the locations of the places at the beginning of each feature.  Nice to know where they are.

Another limitation is that some of the countries now have new names.  I do have a map that I got with a solicitation from a charity some time back, but it only has the new names.

Still a good DVD set.  I can see adding this to the ones I use for the treadmill.  I prefer shows that are fairly short as I do not exercise long at a time.



#48 Jlewis

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 05:59 AM

Where I saw the most dramatic difference is in the final three titles shot in Central America around March-April of 1944 (one released that year and the others in '45 and '46). These were clearly shot in 16mm Kodachrome and blown up to 35mm. Nothing wrong with that since Kodachrome preserved as equally well as Technicolor and was the favored film of documentary color films from the late thirties onward. However any scratches were more noticeable and the focus was a bit softer on account of the smaller size. Virtually all of the color World War II combat material was shot in that process, as well as the majority of wildlife films including Walt Disney's True-Life Adventures (which the late Roy Disney Jr. personally supervised as that company's all-time best DVD releases, 4 2-disc sets in total, to "look" as 35mm-ish and clean as possible). Yet the May-July 1943 material shot in Utah, Colorado and other western states look 35mm to me and the image is so much sharper. There may be some material pre-1943 that was also shot in 16mm or, as that DVD Talk review hints, 16mm reissue prints originally released in 35mm. However you notice the difference at the end.



#49 TheCid

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 03:49 PM

I'm taking you at your word, Jlewis. I just ordered this set.  :D

You shouldn't be disappointed (regardless of where you are when you view them).  The only problem I had is that they have not been restored (some colors a little off), but knew that going in.  As I said earlier, the European and Asian pre- WW  II locations are very interesting.


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#50 Jlewis

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 05:26 PM

Yeah I read that Amazon's were rather unusual looking. The Warner Archive's looked more like "typical" DVDs while the other was an odd blue. As long as everything plays OK.

 

Yeah that was Los Angeles: Wonder City Of The West with Walt Disney. At the time it was filmed, they would have just released The Tortoise and The Hare and The Band Concert with Mickey Mouse. 



#51 LawrenceA

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 01:07 PM

Gee, all DVD Talk could say is "recommended"?

 

I would say HIGHLY recommended.

 

http://www.dvdtalk.c...talks-volume-1/

 

I'm taking you at your word, Jlewis. I just ordered this set.  :D


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#52 arty100

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Posted 03 July 2016 - 01:43 AM

Gee, all DVD Talk could say is "recommended"?

 

I would say HIGHLY recommended.

 

http://www.dvdtalk.c...talks-volume-1/

Did anyone catch the TCM Disney special last Weds,.Near the end was Jimmy and Walt from the TT 1  disk set! (Disk 1).

Also I did buy three sets of these discs and two from the archive are pressed & the one set from Amazon is MOD.( Blue Discs)

 

Chris

 

Chris


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#53 Jlewis

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 06:09 PM

Gee, all DVD Talk could say is "recommended"?

 

I would say HIGHLY recommended.

 

http://www.dvdtalk.c...talks-volume-1/

 


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#54 TheCid

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Posted 19 June 2016 - 05:12 PM

Finished disc one of the DVD set today.  Enjoyed all of them.

Interesting to see the tours of European locations before WW  II.

The color seems fairly good all things considered.  It seems that green things such as trees and bushes are often brown even when other colors are near normal.  And the scenes were obviously filmed in warmer months and not winters.

Still, well worth the price of admission.


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#55 Jlewis

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Posted 30 May 2016 - 03:19 PM

Could be... ha ha! So much of his stuff got borrowed without permission. It wouldn't surprise me if Ken Burns or Martin Scorsese stole a clip or two. Speaking of the latter, I loved how he recreated 2-color Technicolor for part of his The Aviator. There were quite a few 2-color series in competition with FitzPatrick in the early years that could have supplied a peekaboo Hollywood shot.

 

That one is an extra on the DVD for When the Clouds Roll By, the official Warner edition... not the "public domain" versions

 

Attached File  46-Glimpses Of California.JPG   33.82KB   0 downloads

 

If Grauman's Theatre, they could have borrowed from Selznick's A Star Is Born too. Unless you needed the car shots, which would have to be forties vintage instead.


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#56 TravelFilmsFan

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Posted 30 May 2016 - 02:57 PM

Another assignment for the group after seeing that "Glimpses of California" will air on June 1.

 

I once read that some of FitzPatrick's footage was used in "The Godfather" since Coppola needed to find creative ways to stay in budget. "Glimpses of California," has what I believe could be that footage. It's been some years, but I think I saw "Glimpses" on YouTube and located the possible part:

 
In the Traveltalk, it's the scene with Grauman's Theatre, screen bottom left. In "The Godfather," it's the scene where Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall) arrives in Los Angeles. Right after his plane touches down, on his way to present an offer not to be refused. You will see vintage L.A. footage to set the scene, and I think it could be FitzPatrick's.

Comparing the two, the footage looks identical -- it has to be shot from the same tower or balcony or whatever -- but the angles are just a little off. I suppose it could've been an unused take of a Traveltalk, but I haven't found proof. If anyone knows anything, I'd love to read all about it. 
 
Interesting side note...

If it is indeed FitzPatrick's footage in "The Godfather," his work would've appeared in two of the four greatest movies of all time, since he shot background film for "Gone with the Wind." Doubt he filmed anything for "Citizen Kane" or "Casablanca," but two out of four ain't bad.


#57 Jlewis

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Posted 25 May 2016 - 06:50 PM

They all look gorgeous to me, but the Warner Archive never promised "restored". Generally speaking, the Traveltalks looked their best in the thirties, while the later shorts were often 16mm "blown up" to 35 mm and look a bit more grainy anyway.

 

I absolutely love the Joe McDoakes comedies (the funniest stuff post-Hal Roach... I think I have watched So You Want To Hold Your Husband almost as many times as One Froggy Evening)... and Robert Benchley. The latter are absolutely beautiful in appearance, while the former probably could use a little work... but are still in great condition over all. What Sony did to the Three Stooges and their two "archive" DVDs of Charley Chase probably set the standard for short film compilations (along with the UPA cartoons), but... alas... they are releasing far less in shorties than Warner... and I just want to see the stuff put out regardless of its condition.Later they can upgrade the best sellers to BluRay.


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#58 TheCid

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Posted 25 May 2016 - 03:31 PM

Did they do anything to improve the quality of the shows?

Ordered a set yesterday and added in the Joe McDoaks and Robert Benchley sets. 



#59 Jlewis

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Posted 25 May 2016 - 02:58 PM

They left out a cluster from the 1934-44 period as well that will need covered in a future volume including the very first Technicolor filmed title, Holland In Tulip Time, and the Egyptian reels. They could have held off on one of the Alaskan reels (a little too much for disc 2) and given us an Egypt one. But... whatever. Ha ha!

 

It is still great to get Haiti, Land of Dark Mystery again so I can compare and contrast with my copy of Fallen Empire, part of RKO-Pathé's Vagabond Adventures: http://forums.tcm.co...-fbo/?p=1286196

 

The latter is an "extra" on The Fantastic World of William Cameron Menzies: Rediscovered Shorts of the 1930's, an Alpha DVD that is most affordable (i.e. going for just $7 or so). I do favor the 1931 black and white title over the 1938 (year filmed) Technicolor one... although Jimmy is much more thorough in his information regarding Sans-Souci's very ominous history. However there's something rather "phantom" like about the monochrome photography in the earlier one. Also it is Pre-Code, meaning that the ladies fishing are all bare-breasted. (Hollywood had no problem with that as long as the ladies weren't Caucasian... until the Code cracked down on it.)


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#60 mickeyfender

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Posted 25 May 2016 - 12:45 PM

Got my set today. Haven't played it yet, but I expect no problems. Really looking forward to it.

 

The description of the home screen and disk color provided by TravelFilmsFan is pretty much in line with every shorts collection I've ever bought from Warner Archive -- and I've bought quite a few.

 

But in regards to future sets, a thought crossed my mind: Does WHV plan to include the shorts that, while released by MGM and informally grouped with Traveltalks, weren't released under the Traveltalks banner? Specifically, the two-reel Mighty Manhattan: New York's Wonder City and the two People on Parade titles, Voices of Venice and Egypt Speaks. I would certainly hope they'd all be included, as no Traveltalks collection would be complete without them.

 

But that's for another day. As for now, I can't wait to get home and try these out.

 

Edit: In looking over the titles again I noticed another one from my list -- Java Journey. Now I'm even more stoked. Woo hoo!






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