Ray Faiola

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About Ray Faiola

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    Film Score Restoration
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    Ellenville, NY

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  1. Ray Faiola

    Our Town (1940) First Time Viewing

    This is a wonderful film. And with a great score by Aaron Copland. Seeing Frank Craven repeat his Broadway role is one of those great instances of the performance of a lifetime captured on film. Same with Charlie Winninger in SHOW BOAT. OUR TOWN has not fared too well celluloid-wise. The film was orphaned early on and there are compromised 35mm reels at UCLA. Most of the 16mm prints around are awful dupes. I have a rare 16 from an original negative and, believe me, with this film it makes a difference. The transfer running on TCM appears to be from an original 16 print. Because the film is public domain, I would not expect a restoration any time in the forseeable future. One of my film treasures is a print of an episode of Lilli Palmer's NBC talk show in which she interviews Thornton Wilder. They don't discuss OUR TOWN, but this is one of the few extant films of the great American author.
  2. Ray Faiola

    A Star is Born (1937) First Time Viewing

    Interesting thing about this sequence. Max Steiner originally scored it with appropriate themes for each impression. Selznick had the music cut. Here is the scene with the original scoring restored (music taken from scoring acetates):
  3. Ray Faiola

    1950 - one opinion

    Quite a few folks who bought our CAGED soundtrack CD had never seen the film. After hearing the score they sought out the film and were totally blown away. Still packs a wallop. Honorable mention for 1950: THE BREAKING POINT.
  4. Ray Faiola

    Mr Magoo

    Maybe you're thinking of Matthau as Mr. Wilson in DENNIS THE MENACE.
  5. Ray Faiola

    Black Face in Mary Poppins

    The MARY POPPINS article is ridiculous, at least as far as the picture is concerned. As was said above, it's just soot. I've never inferred any racial implications. As for William Frawley, he was a blackface minstrel in vaudeville and, in fact, introduced many hit songs including "Carolina in the Morning" and "My Mammy". Many blackface minstrels and comedians became character players in films. Lee "Lasses" White had his own minstrel company. Movie fans remember him as the mule-riding singing mail carrier in SERGEANT YORK.
  6. Ray Faiola

    Movies that won't be shown on TCM

    I just transferred and uploaded the trailer to this 1940 Universal release. After going to NTA in the 1950's it has, apparently, returned to Universal. But my guess is that the studio only acquired a 25 year license on the property and it will be a cold day before we see it officially distributed.
  7. Ray Faiola

    Martin Scorsese's Favorite Films

    ALWAYS LEAVE THEM LAUGHING??? Hey, I have a print but I certainly wouldn't say it's one of my favorites, not even in a sea of (Scorcese's) 900 titles. I'd yank that one and slip in ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN. And interesting he included the 1943 PHANTOM OF THE OPERA over the 1925 Lon Chaney version.
  8. Ray Faiola

    colorizing deserves another shot

    Are you looking at an original 35mm print? There are tons of bad public domain dupes out there that look awful.
  9. Ray Faiola

    Classical music

    Is that the one that plays the Swiss National Anthem???? My kids used to drive me CRAZY with it!!
  10. Ray Faiola

    Everything from 1923 is Public Domain Now.

    And then there is the issue of new versions. There has been dispute whether Chaplin's original 1925 version of THE GOLD RUSH is public domain. But in two years it WILL BE. But that does not impact the copyright protection of his 1942 reissue which significantly altered the original by removing inter-titles and adding a synchronous soundtrack. Though I'm sure there will be tests of that claim!!
  11. Ray Faiola

    Everything from 1923 is Public Domain Now.

    That is correct. An entity that has custodianship of official, original or master materials cannot be compelled to make them available. But if other copies are available elsewhere they may be freely distributed, copied or exhibited.
  12. Ray Faiola

    Everything from 1923 is Public Domain Now.

    Those films - distribution prints, private holdings, etc - have survived in spite of the fact that Universal destroyed their studio prints and negatives from the silent era.
  13. I don't think I could choose a favorite. I love different films for different reasons - cast, performances, music. I have a soft spot for THE BIRDS as it is the first Hitchcock I saw in the theater (original release). My sister tried to shield my eyes in the farmer scene. And FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT was my first Hitchcock in 16mm, so there must be a reason I went after that one. Probably Albert Basserman!
  14. Ray Faiola

    mary poppins returns

    My wife and I just watched SAVING MR. BANKS for the first time. A very, very good film with Tom Hanks as Disney and Emma Thompson as Travers both giving superb performances. Add kudos to Paul Giamatti as Thompson's studio chauffeur. I wasn't nuts about the casting of the Sherman Brothers, who looked more like waspy Broadway chorus boys than two Jewish fellows from Brooklyn. As for MARY POPPINS RETURNS, when I see it (probably on cable) I will be listening to hear if Marc Shaiman used the concertina in his orchestration. That single instrument, prominent during the passages that used the "Feed the Birds" motif, to me was critical to the emotional character of Irwin Kostal's scoring of MARY POPPINS.
  15. Ray Faiola

    Hopalong Cassidy vs. Gene Autry

    I think the Cassidy Paramount films are better than the Autry films. And Boyd was certainly a much better actor than Autry. The best part of the Autry films were the songs. Unfortunately, when Hollywood Film Enterprises (a Republic subsidiary) released the films to television in the 50's, they cut them all to 54 minutes. The early films didn't suffer much as they ran about 56-60 minutes. But the post-'38 films all ran seven reels and were heavily cut. And what did they cut? Most of the songs! Thankfully, the films have since been restored to full length. The one thing the Autry Republics benefited from were the great musical scores done by the same team who did the studio's serial scores.

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