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Seeking copy of Hollywood Revuew of 1929


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mickeeteeze,

 

When we say 7,000 films to be restored, that probably includes short subjects as well, not just features? A couple thousand or more of these titles probably already have been restored. The 7,000 is all holding's isn't it? Not just 1920's and 1930's fair?

 

The other thing is consider that for the cost of producing one big budget Hollywood film today, probably at least 30 to 40 classic films could be restored, maybe more? So that "it cost allot of money angle" simply will not wash with me under these circumstances!

 

Earlier in the year Ed and I, tried to get more information about the recently re-discovered Colleen Moore features SYNTHETIC SIN (1928) and WHY BE GOOD? (1929), her last two Silent films, both being restored as part of the Vita-phone project. We were disillusioned, that the restorations were put off until at least next year, because Warner's was committed to restoring more than 50 Vita-Phone shorts already. So poor Colleen Moore who has been badly treated by Hollywood history, and many of her films are already long since gone, just didn't fit into Warner's 2008 budget.

 

The disturbing thing is the prints themselves are still Silver Nitrate only, and by the time Warner's finally gets to them they may be beyond repair? I mean what is it that could possibly be so important about these shorts, that they would take priority over two formally lost features from one of the biggest Stars of the 1920's??? I just don't get it!

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The chance to make a mere $100,000 return on an obscure classic film just may not appeal to them.>>

 

Thelma,

 

According to Kevin Brownlow and David Shepard, the majority of silents and classic era films rarely make more than $20,000-30,000 when released on DVD.

 

Unless they are big titles that the public is familiar with, most titles don't approach the $100,000 mark, especially the obscure ones.

 

That is one of the things that makes studios like Universal and Paramount reluctant to spend the money to restore their films and release them.

 

However, there is a market for them as Warners Home Video has shown over the years. WHV realizes that different films have different markets and that they can make money from each market.

 

The studios need to know that there are people out here who care passionately about these films and would support DVD releases of them.

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> {quote:title=lzcutter wrote:}{quote}

> That is one of the things that makes studios like Universal and Paramount reluctant to spend the money to restore their films and release them.

>

> However, there is a market for them as Warners Home Video has shown over the years. WHV realizes that different films have different markets and that they can make money from each market.

 

Those studios who don't find it worthwhile should at the very least allow other companies to license them (like they have with some titles for Criterion and the new Legacy Films).

 

Even if they aren't worth as much as newer films, they're still studio assets, and they are unwise to just let them gather dust, for which they presumably incur storage expenses that are not being offset by any income.

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FF,

 

I agree wholeheartedly.

 

You would think they would look at WHV and see that there is money to be made by following in WHV footsteps.

 

We are up against the battle that the studios can make more money selling boxed sets of old tv shows than they can selling silents, obscure films and classic era films.

 

However, that doesn't absolve them.

 

Thelma seems to be quite adept at finding out who the top dog is, so to speak, and going directly to them, to address her concerns.

 

Perhaps that same sort of thing needs to be done here.

 

Make Paramount and Universal aware that there is an audience for these films.

 

It couldn't hurt.

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Glad for the responses, thank you Gags, LZ, Thelma, FF.

We've basically all stated the same, umm, feeling as to what the situation is.

It seems they can maintain the cost of storage on a year to year basis, but don't want to bite the bullet of "imminent expense".

I understand. I understand the "no demand=no supplier" concept.

It also seems to me that unless a very wealthy benefactor or a Govt grant is given, this probably will not change any time soon, given the way the system works (or doesn't work, in this case).

 

Now I know how the folks that love "Chocolate Covered Ant Flavored Ice Cream" feel

:D

 

Anyway, so as y'all have been saying, this must be a "grass-roots" thing.

Is there a recourse for a private citizen to view these missing pieces, or must that be an industry person?

What I'm thinking is, maybe someone "upstairs" in Hollywood Exec-Land can be brought to realise that slight profit is better than none.

In other words, "remasters" could come piecemeal, maybe get digital prints of worn copies out there first, to possibly generate some more interest?

Or is there in fact literally a mindset of "If we can't make big money, we'll let them disintegrate".

I have a tough time believing that is the case.

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Thelma,

 

The Flicker Alley DVD of Lewis Milestone's THE GARDEN OF EDEN (United Artists, 1928) with lovely-dovely Corinne Griffith, one of my favorite Silent films, is currently "Out of Print". That is why it says unavailable on the TCM Movie Data Base. Copies have been going for hefty amounts of money from collectors. I was told that this was recently on Amazon for nearly a $100.00 from an On-line seller?

 

This picture is still broadcast on TCM from Time to time. The DVD has probably drifted in and out of print a couple times, due to the small printing runs, and limited distribution of a company such as Flicker Alley.

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Thelma,

 

Ernst Lubitsch SO THIS IS PARIS (1926) is one of my Holy Grail Silent's ever since first seeing the spectacular three minute clip from the film that was features in the Thames Documentary HOLLYWOOD. The film is apparently missing, at least a reel, yet it has seen some live screenings from time to time. Warner's owns this film, but it has never been shown on TCM to the best of my knowledge?

 

I would love to see Victor Fleming's THE ROUGH RIDERS (1927). It appears that this film still exists, stashed away somewhere in the Paramount archives?

 

Charles Farrell had a vast stream of very lovely leading ladies to work with that's for certain. From Esther Ralston in James Cruze OLD IRONSIDES (1926), to Mary Astor, to Janet Gaynor, numerous times, to Greta Nissen in FAZIL, to Delores Del Rio, in Raoul Walsh THE RED DANCE (1928) to Mary Duncan in both THE RIVER, and CITY GIRL. I'll say, He sure was one lucky guy!

 

Like numerous other Clara Bow features, Some miserable looking bootlegs of HULA (1927) another Victor Fleming production, are floating around. Hopefully, very good prints still survive at UCLA, Eastman House, or someplace?

 

TCM has aired THE FLYING FLEET from time to time, but the surviving print was taken from the alternate-camera negative, and is full of close-up's. The Metro-tone track is still around, but does not match up as well as the domestic print would have.

 

The Kino DVD of THE IRON MASK (1929) is excellent. This is the Channel Four Silent's presentation produced for British Television is 1998 by Kevin Brownlow and Patrick Stansbury, and featuring another fabulous Carl Davis Musical score!

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Not wishing to be a spoil sport, the October schedule is not 100% final yet. Some of these tempting titles may not be there when the "Now Playing" comes out, as this has happened in the past. That being said, it does look great for fans of pre-code films. Carole Lombard star of the month? How cool is that?!? I am looking forward to the October any way!

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