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ken123

Pre - Code Films on DVD

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Barbara Stanwyck's " Babyface " is due for release. I have never seen this film, cut or uncut. What should I look for in this film that is especially nasty ?

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Ken,

 

It wasn't anything particularly nasty that got cut. It's just that the juicy storyline got truncated by the cuts.

 

If you watch the censored version the last half of the movie has Stanwyck's character trying to absolve for her sins while the restored original is much more in keeping with Stanwyck's character arc.

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Had to go back a little ways to find the only pre-code DVD thread here.

 

This news seems a little trivial beside the Cavalcade (1933) combo pack release this week but wanted to mention a couple more films from 1933 recent or upcoming.

 

One is from Alpha, it's a poverty row melodrama from Mayfair Pictures Corp. called Alimony Madness starring Edward Earle, Helen Chandler, Charlotte Merriem. It's been out for a couple months supposedly.

 

8958205.jpg

 

A British film from 1933, Good Companions, stars Jessie Matthews, Edmund Gwenn, John Gielgud. Haven't heard of Jessie before but some other big names on board for this one too.

 

I have a couple other early 30s British titles from the Rank Collection but haven't had a chance to watch them yet. Rome Express (1932) and I Was A Spy (1933) w/Madeleine Carroll, Herbert Marshall, Conrad Veidt and Edmund Gwenn.

 

8969512.jpg

 

Quite a few Jessie Matthews films coming from VCI - Rank Collection over the next few months. I think this is the oldest of them. Technically not really a precode as it's not from the US but it's the same era of course. This one comes out on Sep 03, 2013.

 

Wonder if it's up to Perfect Understanding (1933) standards.

A sophisticated British romantic comedy, aired recently on TCM and available on disc

(as previously mentioned on these DVD forums( ;

through The Cohen Film Collection.

The dialogue is a little harder to catch due the English accents and their seemingly inferior sound processes.

The DVD image is very clean and sharp. The audio I just described above - decent but a little murky as I recall.

 

Edited by: farnesbarnes on Aug 5, 2013 3:09 AM

 

Edited by: farnesbarnes on Aug 5, 2013 12:46 PM

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> {quote:title=farnsbarns wrote: }{quote}Haven't heard of Jessie before but some other big names on board for this one too.

>

> Edited by: farnesbarnes on Aug 5, 2013 3:09 AM

>

> Edited by: farnesbarnes on Aug 5, 2013 12:46 PM

 

Jessie Matthews was one of Britain's greatest stars, and among its most popular at the time. I wrote about her here, in my history of the British Cinema

 

http://forums.tcm.com/thread.jspa?threadID=161496&start=120&tstart=0

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Thanks for the link - guess I've been missing out.

 

Just noticed VCI has several other 1933 Jessie Matthews DVDs scheduled upcoming, There Goes the Bride (US release date 1933) on 8/20/13 and both The Man From Toronto and Friday the 13th on 9/3/13 along with Good Companions... That's four of her first six sound films, according to IMDb.

 

8969520.jpg

 

Edited by: farnsbarns on Aug 7, 2013 1:42 AM

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Another early 30s film from VCI, this one I just found on their website:

White Zombie (1932) on Blu-ray (and probably DVD) - September 10th but it's already on DVD/Blu in a remastered edition from Kino, so....

 

Edited by: how do you spell it? same way ya pronounce it on Aug 7, 2013 2:05 AM

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A couple of weeks ago I watched Jessie Matthews in "First A Girl" from 1935 on Netflix. It was the second version of the German film "Victor/Victoria". The third was the Julie Andrews film. I was completely enchanted with the beauty and talent of Miss Matthews. If you get to, I would recommend this fun musical which shows off a very talented early star.

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Picked up the Kino DVD version of White Zombie today. It's remastered from 35mm negatives so expecting no less than stellar quality.

 

...Produced by Holland Releasing, ...mastered in HD from a 35mm fine grain print and ...presented in both a digitally restored and an unenhanced version (with the natural film grain intact).

 

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Bonus features are the same for both DVD and Blu editions:

 

? Mastered in HD from a 35mm fine grain master.

 

? Dual edition includes both a digitally restored version as well as the raw, unenhanced film transfer.

 

? Audio commentary by film historian Frank Thompson

 

? "Intimate Interviews" (1932), a 6-minute interview with Bela Lugosi, mastered in HD from 35mm elements.

 

? 1951 theatrical re-issue trailer.

 

Edited by: farns on Aug 8, 2013 2:47 AM

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Do yourself a favor and stay away from the so called "digitally restored" version. That's probably the prime example of what not to do with digital restoration.

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Oops, fell asleep shortly after posting that last night.

I did preview the first 20 min. or so of each version this morning.

 

I'd have to choose the fine grain version though the source print does suffer from some small white specks. The movie's 80 years old though - I don't mind if it looks like it a little bit. There's also some scenes with a fuzzier, less grainy look with no white (and black) specks and tinnier audio - probably the best available elements used to fill in damaged or missing sections of the main print.

The fine grain or raw version has more of a natural look;

there's an overall artificiality to the digitally cleaned version - it's removed that visual noise but creates a little of it's own like smeary solids, lightening and darkening picture. It also seems maybe it's been brightened too much which changes the mood and look of the film.

 

The 6 minute bonus interview from 1932 or whenever is entertaining though staged and parts played for effect. It's hard to take it all seriously. Bela claims that Dracula made him depressed, said it haunted him and he often dreamed of the dead. He appears to be in deep, troubled thought as he speaks of it.

 

Hoping once again to watch White Zombie tonight. It's the type of movie better watched at night.

 

Is there anything you would add in critiquing the restored version, btw?

 

Edited by: farnsbarns on Aug 10, 2013 4:08 AM

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Getting back to movies a bit...

 

I posted a while back on "The Special Sales..." thread about a few Alpha titles I purchased recently on sale.

 

A friend of mine informed me the other day there's actually a better copy of Sensation Hunters available from archive.org.

 

Also I watched the bonus short, Everything's Ducky w/ Joyce Compton, included with Flirtation last night. Both from late 1934 but Everything's Ducky seems very precode. And though it's from RKO not Columbia, there's many similarities to Three Stooges shorts. Only with two stooges but not THE Stooges... A hapless couple lets two fast-talking, ne'er-do-well pots and pans salesmen talk them into cooking for their party. The husband thinks he'll save some money...

 

I previewed independently produced Flirtation too and picture wise it's almost blurry - content wise it didn't look very interesting, at least early on.

I recommend Everything's Ducky though, especially if you're a Stooges fan.

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A rather hastily thrown together post as I felt this thread and another needed to get back on topic. I'd hoped to write in more detail about Everything's Ducky but so it goes.

 

Another Alpha release of interest next week:

Ladies Crave Excitement with Norman Foster, Esther Ralston and cutie Evalyn Knapp.

A Mascot Picture from June 1935 so not a pre-code but still within it's first year of enforcement. You'd think it was a pre-code though from Alpha's risque cover art (which seems to be a trend for them) - Ms. Knapp wears a see-thru top. Personally I don't care for it - if it was original art from the film, fine - but this appears to be new.

 

This title's already available from Sinister Cinema so I'd opt to pay a dollar more for their copy.

 

Edited by: farnsbarns on Aug 19, 2013 7:26 AM

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Not wanting to make this the Alpha Video thread but they do arguably, aside from TCM Vault and Warner Archive, seem to be the only company releasing an appreciable number of pre-codes - though their's are usually public domain and quality's ever an issue. It would be nice if there was also more news to report from other companies...

 

Anyhow, they recently presented some pre-code films and collections back on October 29th (all titles mentioned here released on that date).

 

Some public domain titles are new to DVD, others like Daring Daughters (1933) w/Marian Marsh are previously available from Sinister Cinema in which case I would rather pay more and get it from them.

 

Everything's Ducky is also included in a new set from comedy team Clark and McCullough:

 

Clark and McCullough: Lost Comedy Classics Collection: Druggists Dilemma (1933) / Gay Nighties (1933) / Kickin' the Crown Around (1933) / Snug in the Jug (1933) / Love and Hisses (1934) / Everything's Ducky (1934)

 

Everything's Ducky and at least one other short here have appeared previously as bonus features on other Alpha releases.

 

Also released, Framed For Murder (1934) with Wallace Ford and June Clyde.

 

Edited by: farnsbarns on Nov 23, 2013 3:26 AM

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