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MGMWBRKO - Syncopation (1929)


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Does anyone at TCM know anything about the disposition of the Morton Downey/Dot Lee/Fred Waring film "Syncopation"? This was apparently discovered in Russia in 1997 or so and copies were made. According to the Penn State link below, they had some interest in trying to obtain the film. Does anyone know if they, or anyone else did? This is an historic film in that it was the first "all talking, all singing" film. It was also the first Radio Pictures film AND the first commercial test of the RCA Photophone system. It was also apparently produced before "The Jazz Singer", but released after. I know there is a huge interest in this film amongst jazz buffs because of the appearance of Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians and Morton Downey and The Melody Boys. Not to mention that it was Dot Lee's film debut. I have a multi-generation VHS dub of this film and it is delightful. Has any effort been made to obtain it?

 

http://www.psu.edu/ur/archives/intercom_1997/Feb20/CURRENT/news.html

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That is indeed awesome. Especially, if something can be done to rescue this film. As near as I can tell, it is still in Russia. Penn State had the one blurb about it, but I haven't been able to find any more info on it at their web site other than the fact that they apparently have a tape to rent.

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  • 2 weeks later...

> I have asked George Feltenstien and the film and

> video mastering department at Warner Bros to look

> into this. Thanks!

 

If you can let us know if you hear anything, that would be wonderful. There are quite a few people that would be interested to see this film saved somewhere else than Moscow. :-)

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