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April 20, 2008 in General Discussions
Hi Thelma... I loved reading your suggestions for our two presidential candidates, vis a vis classic films and their eventual release.
But, unless I missed it -- a possibility -- I don't see that anyone replied to you on this matter.
I'm guessing you are in the USA, and the "two major candidates" you mention are Obama and McCain. If that's true, then let me ask you directly:
HAVE YOU, in fact, posed that question to their campaigns?
And if so, what was their response?
I am so frustrated that so many great old films are still being "held hostage" by their owners, and that they are not being permitted to be restored and released on DVD or even, for that matter, videotape.
What, if anything, do you plan to do on this subject?
This being an election year, I feel like reaching out to the two major candidates and ask them to make a statement here about preserving our nations' film legacy.
Some questions I would like to pose to them:
1)Would they support tax incentives for antique films to be released, rather than shelved?
2)What commitment would they offer to the cause of film preservation?
3)Would they support further legislation banning the deliberate destruction of these films?
4)Would they support legislation that discourages antique film owners from imposing release restrictions upon subsequent owners?
5)Would they support a penalty tax for non-release?
6) Would they support requiring current owners of films in the process of decomposition to be forced to "Restore or sell"? (Or be taxed some more!)
The US tax code goes on for thousands of pages and has many provisions which arose out of considerations that were far less high minded than what I am suggesting here! The fact is the federal govt has used the tax code to encourage and discourage all kinds of behavior. It's about time this principle was invoked to save our cultural and historic legacy as it relates to film.
This thread is part of a public education process.
Message was edited by: daneldorado
Hey Dan, It's me Giant from GAOH. Have you visited my new page over there yet? I would have invited you to join, but don't have your E-mail address?
Anyway, I agree with everything that you have to say! We desperately need to get the films out of the Cotton Picking vaults before it is to late. And time is rapidly running out to do so! The films can not possibly be rediscovered as long as they remain stuck in the vaults!
For instance, I want to know just exactly what Bebe Daniels, Clara Bow, Dorothy Gish, and Pola Negri Titles Paramount still has? As well as the condition they are in? A surprising number of Gloria Swanson films made at Paramount still exist it appears? STAGE STUCK, and FINE MANNERS were even recently restored! What good does it do if we can't see them?
What upsets me even more, is Kevin Brownlow's company Photo-play Productions restores a film like WINGS, Paramount has almost nothing to do with it. Brownlow Hires Carl Davis to Compose an Epic score, and this version has not been shown on TCM, or in the States at all as far as I know! Why won't Paramount release the Photo-play presentation to TCM? A Positive step toward a DVD release. I don't get it when better versions of films exist, and the studio provides a sub-par, and older transfer? That just doesn't make any sense!
Another real Puzzler is the Hughes Estate refusing consent to Flicker Alley to release the superb restorations that they worked on of TWO ARABIAN KNIGHTS, THE RACKET, and THE MATING CALL! These could have been out 3 or 4 years ago, if the Hughes people had given their blessing. All great films that they should be very proud of! Just plain dumb for their sitting on these movies as they have in my opinion!
By the way, have you actually seen HER BIG NIGHT (Universal, 1926) with Laura La Plante, and Reginald Denny? You reviewed the movie awhile back, and described it as Her best film? Boy, how I want to see this one!
Have you heard that UCLA recently restored another of Laura's films Clarence Brown's BUTTERFLY (Universal, 1924), with Margaret Livingston, and Norman Kerry?. Also THE HOME MAKER with Clive Brook, and Alice Joyce, That is providing that these new restorations didn't burn up in their recent studio fire? I sure hope not!
Thelma, those were great-looking lobby cards there @ $5.50 each too, huh ?
It's such an eye opener to know how things were different back then.
And Gagman, thanks for sharing your layouts, too ! It was such a treat to look
@ each one of these. I never tire of this thread...there's always more to enjoy
every time I 'tune' in. . .
Well....F. Y. I. ...Everyone !!
I don't know how many of you are in the Chicago area, but there is a Portage Park
Theatre, locacted @ 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave, and they are beginning their
'2008 SILENT SUMMER FILM FESTIVAL'. It Runs Every Friday, from
July 18 until August 22 @ 8 PM. Some of you may have already heard of it.
Their Web site is WWW.PORTAGETHEATRE.COM.
Their Phone Number is: 773-736-4050 & 773-205-7372
Each Film is in 35MM & the Schedule is as Follows:
July 18 'SPEEDY' 1928
with Harold Lloyd
July 25 'CHILDREN OF DIVORCE' 1927
with Clara Bow & Gary Cooper
Aug 1 'OUR HOSPITALITY' 1923
with Buster Keaton
Aug 8 'METROPOLIS' 1927
Aug 15 'Sadie Thompson' 1928
with Gloria Swanson
Aug 22 'KINGS OF COMEDY 2'
(A Tribute to the Funny Men of the Silent Screen:
W.C. Fields, Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton,
just to name a few....)
All Tickets are $12 for Each Show on the Day of Show.
Tickets are $10 if purchased in advance,
and $9 for Senior Citizens & Students.
Please check out their Web Site for Additional Information.
I know that @ these times when funds are tight and it would cost a lot less
to watch these films @ home on DVD's, to which I couldn't agree more,
But I also feel that its worth Watching @ least One of these Classics, on the Big Screen,
and to be able to Enjoy sharing with Others who are of Like minds.
Who knows. . . I may be sitting next to one of you, if you're there ! : )
Message was edited by: ugaarte
Smokin' Josephine! Are you kidding me! CHILDREN OF DIVORCE (1927) with Clara Bow, Esther Ralston, and Gary Cooper is one of my Top 10 Holy Grail titles! This film was restored by Eastman House in 2001. Unfortunately, but for a few live screening's, Paramount put it right back in the vaults again! It has never been on VHS, let alone DVD! Incidentally, this is the very film I believe, that made Coop a Big, Big Star! Or at the very least established him as a top leading man!
This film is rarely ever seen anywhere! They are actually screening this picture in Chicago on the 25th of this month? That is huge! My good friend Angie would be completely ecstatic as she loves all three Stars to death! Thanks so very much for informing us! Holy Toledo!!!
Hiya gagman66... Yeah, I did get to see Laura LaPlante in "Her Big Night" (1926) a couple of years ago. But Reginald Denny is not in this one. Her S.O., I believe, was played by Einar Hanson.
The highlight of this fine comedy -- and there are a LOT of great scenes -- comes at the very end. Laura has a double role here, playing movie star Daphne Dix and also Frances, the shopgirl who looks just like her. During the movie, the two ladies become friends, and at the end they say goodbye with a kiss.
But you see, it's Laura LaPlante kissing HERSELF, courtesy of some cinema magic. Very sophisticated for so long ago, I think.
The print I saw at the UCLA Archives looks fine, not much restoration needed at all. What it lacks is a sound track of some kind, plus end credits. UCLA's copy had neither.
But still, I hold out hope that eventually (and please, during my lifetime!) saner heads will prevail and "Her Big Night" will be restored and released on DVD for the public to enjoy... or, at least, let it be shown on Turner Classic Movies.
Enjoying reading this thread, thanks everyone!
_*EXHIBIT # 73:*_
My free photobucket accounts all have a maximum size of 1024, so if a
picture's larger than that it automatically shrinks it down when I upload it.
I've re-edited my previous post, removing my question about the image size.
Sounds like you're pretty thorough - thanks for all the work you're doing!
Message was edited by: Snorky
Flicker Alley has put out a number of releases recently that received high-praise, so I hoped that this would sway the Hughes people to finally give there consent to go ahead and release the films? Unfortunately, so far, there has been no evidence of this?
Obviously, the Hughes Heir's (who ever they heck they are) feel that there is no real interest in any of these three films. But they are Dead Wrong! There are tons of people waiting for TWO ARABIAN KNIGHTS, THE RACKET, and THE MATING CALL to be released on official DVD! I have personally talked to hundreds of people that really want these movies!
TWO ARABIAN KNIGHTS is of interest to not only Hughes fans, but Lewis Milestone Fans, William Boyd fans, Mary Astor fans, and as we have seen here even Louis Wolheim, and maybe Ian Keith, and Boris Korloff fans? Robert Israel aficionado's would love to have it too. Silent comedy fans may wonder how this film could beat out the likes of Chaplin's THE CIRCUS, and Lloyd's SPEEDY for best Comedy feature, and can judge for themselves.
THE RACKET is of Interest to Milestone Fans, Thomas Meighan fans, Wolheim, and Marie Prevost fans. And of significance as a Best picture nominee, Paramount Silent, and early Gangster genre flick.
THE MATING CALL? Well besides Thomas Meighan, there is Evelyn Brent and Renee Adoree, and neither of these great ladies has any films on official DVD yet. In-fact, I am frequently asked, "Why are there no Renee Adoree films on DVD? Not even THE BIG PARADE?" Plus it is another Paramount Silent, and is in virtually pristine condition! And it's a wonderful picture! Director James Cruze was once a Monster name in HOLLYWOOD, but today most of his films are lost, and those that survive, are not around for viewing. Again all three movies appeal to people who enjoy and collect Robert Israel's Silent film scores as well!
The Website is: WWW.PORTAGETHEATER.ORG,
(Theater, Not Theatre & ORG, Not Com).
I apologise for this Error. . .I had entered it around Midnite, very sleepy,
boths my son patiently pacing back & forth waiting for Mom, to use their computer,
you can see how I could've entered the wrong info. . .Sorry !
When I Caught it, Early the next morning @ work, I hurried to enter in & make the
Correction, but was Not able to get in TCM all day, until now. . .
Gagman. . .
I Just have to tell you how totally Ecstatic I was with your Response,
regarding 'Children of Divorce' with Clara Bow & Gary Cooper. . . .
I hope to catch all 6 movies, if possilbe, but You've definately Sold me on this film,
as definate.... 'Must See" !!
Another Website is: WWW.SILENTFILMCHICAGO.COM
PH NUMBER: 773-205-7372. . . .I think this is the Same One
Thelma mentioned. Hi Thelma !!! : )
Since the full restorations and video presentations were completed for TWO ARABIAN KNIGHTS, THE RACKET, and THE MATING CALL four years ago, all that remains to be done is for Flicker Alley to press some DVD's. I mean they literally could be out in a few weeks!
They would have released these right away if they had been granted permission to do so I am sure. I wonder if the Hughes Heir's have even taken time to see these wonderful restorations? If not, that's pretty pathetic! Remember all three of the features were considered lost until about 2001! So another example of some highly sought after "Lost Films" being found, and subsequently locked away by the ignorant copyright owners!
Wanted to be sure to mention a rarely seen Marion Davies feature THE FAIR CO-ED (MGM, 1927) with Jane Winton, and Johnny Mack Brown is being screened in 35 millimeter in LA on the 23rd of this month! I have been patiently awaiting for TCM to air this movie for quite some time. Maybe they are finally getting ready to?
Marion is a female Collegiate Hoops Star if you can believe that on the Hard-Wood! Another of the endless stream of College Sports movies that followed the blockbuster success of Harold Lloyd's THE FRESHMAN in 1925.
In an additional note, Colleen Moore's HER WILD OAT (First National 1927), another recently found, and restored feature, is also a part of the San Francisco Silent Film festival this year! This is a title that I have been waiting on! Hopefully, TCM will be airing the picture with a new score very soon! Before the end of the year?
Has anyone contacted the Hughes heirs to see they have the films and negatives or if they were given to an archive?
Perhaps a letter writing campaign to them might make them aware that people appreciate the films that Hughes produced and that there is a growing audience for his films.
It wouldn't hurt to ask.
It doesn't really matter much who has the films, the Hughes Heir's who have maintained the rights somehow, (although Paramount probably could have claimed two of the three titles), are the ones responsible for their not being out on DVD yet. Plain and simple as that. Both David Shepard, and Kevin Brownlow have said as much. TWO ARABIAN KNIGHTS was released by United Artists, and not Paramount.
Unless I am mistaken these were not the only 3 Howard Hughes produced Silents that were found in 2001. They are the titles that have been restored though up to this point. There was at least one more film from 1926, that I have forgotten the name of? Probably a few others to boot?
I believe that all the recovered so called Hughes features are now kept in the archives at the University of Nevada.
Well. if the Hughes Heirs retain the rights then perhaps a campaign of some sort to let them know that people appreciate HHughes cinematic legacy, etc might be worth a shot.
A little googling might provide some info about who and where the heirs are.
It can't hurt at this point.
Cinesage brings up another good point in another post in a different forum. There are over 7,000 titles in the Warners library (all WB, RKO and pre-1986 MGM titles).
This is not going to be a cheap to transfer them all to digital formats and author them to DVD.
The battle between Blu-Ray and HD DVD only ended earlier this year with Blu-Ray finally being declared the winner.
It may be that WBros held off releasing some of the silents that they had restored and authored until they were sure which format would be declared a winner. Will we see silents on Blu-Ray? Who knows? My crystal ball isn't working so well these days but neither it seems, is anyone elses.
Any way you slice it, 7,000 titles is a lot of films to restore, transfer and author to disc.
We may see some titles start to debut later this fall for the holiday season.
You never know.
Don't count on it. I doubt that you will ever see many Silent films/early talkies on Blue-Ray at all. I sure hope that I am wrong. A format like Blue-ray is expressly designed and intended to showcase todays wide screen and Imax garbage, not classic films.
The fact that THE FAIR CO-ED is running in L.A. may mean that this film was recently restored and could be debuting with a new score on TCM soon? Same for Colleen Moore's HER WILD OAT at the San Franciso Film Festival.
I might also mention that a brand new 35 millimeter print of King Vidor's long unseen feature PROUD FLESH was screened a few months ago in France.
By my own admission, I don't know much about the legaleeze or technical problems involving this stuff. However I do know this; it's probably not so much a matter of money as it is "the works".
And yes, I fully understand that "the works" would cost money, but just the same, getting competent people working on it requires logistical planning that probably is just too daunting for any one group to even get started.
I have a question, regarding "in the vault" stuff that remains.....in the vault.
Do the big film companies literally NOT allow people from the private sector to view these gems under any circumstances, other than public viewings at film festivals?
Or could someone view a vault film privately for a fee, and pay (copyrights included) to have a private, umm, lets say digital print made for private use?
In other words, is there a concerted effort to NOT have these things available, or is it more a case of..."Yes there are some valuables in the closet, but it's going to be a lot of work for little reward, and we just don't have the time right now"?
Sorry for my seeming lack of interest.....but nothing could be further from the truth. I'm just trying to figure out what a quintessential "average Joe" like myself could bring to the table.
I may not have a ton of resources, but I've got "horse sense" in spades,and the gift of gab.
It seems to me it costs them to store these items properly, but they will never make money unless they are shown.
So....where is the middle?
Does anyone really know?
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