Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

James FitzPatrick TravelTalks shorts


Recommended Posts

Excellent stuff, Jlewis! Lord knows where you get all the info, but really well done. As for the list that I mentioned in my most recent post, I'll have a look and see if I can find it, but barring that, perhaps I can just recreate it from the checklist Jlewis supplied.

 

Btw, anybody who may want to see A Cavalcade of Texas (the super-length Traveltalk-style film filmed independently of the MGM series -- and the only FitzPatrick filmed in Texas) can find it here (along with a four-minute intro discussing its rediscovery):

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

He is pretty well documented, travel trip wise, in FILM DAILY and MOTION PICTURE HERALD, but... yeah... you do kill a lot of time going through each scanned reference (often just two or three months of a particular year) on the Internet Archive.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Found the list, and since the time of its posting (2 years ago!) it has been whittled down to the following titles. If any of these were shown in the last couple of years, I somehow managed to miss them. So here goes:

 

  • Alluring Alaska (1941)
  • Colorful Guatemala (1935)
  • Glimpses of Mexico (1940)
  • Glimpses of Peru (1937)
  • Glimpses of Washington State (1940)
  • Holland in Tulip Time (1934)
  • Java Journey (1939)

 

So these are the titles that I for one would very much like to see played. TCM seems to be on a Traveltalk kick recently, so if the programmer could somehow see fit to air any (or all) of these, I'd be in heaven.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Holland in Tulip Time, Java Journey and Glimpses of Mexico DID get shown at least once in the past FOUR years, but I would not know when. Amusingly Holland was available on YouTube for a looooong time until the Copyright Cops at Time-Warner removed it. There is also a 50% chance one of these was shown in Canada instead of the US too. I just have them included among those I covered on the defunct forum CFU blogs.

 

We did fleetingly discuss Glimpses of Peru on this thread this past November. However I did not save the actual day-by-day schedules on that forum... just know it was shown the week of the 14th... between Chapters 14 and 15 (Saturday airings) of Batman & Robin. That was one of the goooood ones with excellent camera work.

 

These are the "buried" ones... although they may have been shown before 2009.

 

  • Alluring Alaska (1941)
  • Colorful Guatemala (1935)
  • Glimpses of Washington State (1940)

 

Oh heck! Instead of putting out a ton of BluRays of features that have already been out in every other "version", Warner should just give us a Traveltalk compilation DVD set. It can't be THAT expensive and cumbersome to put together as a Warner Archive item. There IS a market for it, otherwise this thread wouldn't be so looooong.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone,

 

Loooong time reader, first time poster. I wanted to chime in on Jlewis's recent post (love your posts, by the way, Jlewis) about tracking the travel FitzPatrick did. One of the easy ways to "cheat" at figuring out where he was and when: around-the-world cruises. He took a number of them as it was an easy way for him to hit so many spots in the early days, pre-jumbo jets.

 

For example (and I believe there were more):

 

1930 - Columbus

1936 - Franconia

1938 - Empress of Britain

 

Because of WWII, a-t-w cruises were discontinued until the Caronia in 1951, aaaaand... guess who was on board that one? You got it. 

 

So as you can see in Jlewis's post below, the Jan.-April 1938 filming dates will precisely coincide for when the Empress of Britain would've been sailing into those ports. 

 

Anyway, just thought I would drop in, say hello, express my thanks for these great posts, and join the call FOR THESE TO BE RELEASED ON DVD, PLEASE!

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey! Welcome to the discussion, TravelFilmsFan, and feel free to correct my boo-boos.

I was scouring over old Film Daily and Motion Picture Herald magazines and, while these were quite detailed about Jimmy's travels, you still have to "guesstimate" a lot.

Jimmy has a pretty big fan base here, so ANY experiences YOU had will get ALL ears here!

Sure, we don't all necessarily view his little voyages as great works of cinematic art and, heck, there were other travelogues of the period that may have had more "gusto". I, for one, am partial to Warner Bros. Andre de la Varre travels myself, but that is partly because Warner had mighty Marvin Miller and energetic Art Gilmore narrating those in a way that never made you fall asleep. I also like the Alpha DVD set of  Port O'Call: Rare Archival Short Subjects (Deane H. Dickerson's "Port O'Call" films were made in 1930-32 for Imperial and later released for Monogram).

Yet Jimmy's films are still impressive records of a world that has changed dramatically... and, yeah, why not see them ALL get put on DVD? Kino Lorber released a bunch of his black and whites on VHS back in the 1990s and it is high time they made the DVD cut (although you can see many online today). His Technicolor stuff is still under-represented on DVD except as occasional "extras" with the feature film.

Recently we have heard how ISIS has destroyed the Roman relics of Palmyra. Although FitzPatrick's Traveltalks didn't cover those, a great many other travelogues did... for posterity. For example, producer Sol Lesser (who made Jackie Coogan famous in the twenties, backed Sergei Eisentein's Thunder Under Mexico and later did many B-films with Tarzan and so forth) also did a cluster of travelogues like Syria (1932) that have preserved on film what is now lost. Jack Cardiff shot the ruins in Technicolor in 1938 for the British "World Windows" series: Ruins of Palmyra and Baalbek.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the welcome Jlewis, and zero boo-boo's to report. Your research is always air-tight. One thing that has made me chuckle, though...

 
From previous posts: I get a kick over your mentions of cheesy organ music from the 1950's Traveltalks. Our collective snickering would no doubt get finger wags from Jimmy Fitz, however, as the fingers tickling those ivories belonged to none other than Mrs. Jimmy Fitz.
 
Any time you see a music credit given as "Lesley Kirk," that's his wife. Kirk was her middle name (leaving off the FitzPatrick, obviously), so "Lesley Kirk" was her nom de piano, I guess. But yes, there are no doubts that the overall quality of the Traveltalks were past their prime by the 1950s. 
 
For me, the golden age of his work is 1935-1940. The locales are exotic, the Technicolor is dreamy, the picture is (usually) very bright, crisp, and sharp, the sound is good, the orchestra music is the best of the series, etc. 
 
Plus there seems to be a certain quaintness to them since they are years before the awful ravages of the height of the WWII carnage. Although, obviously, Europe and Asia were getting mighty hot circa 1935-1936. This sort of echoes the Palmyra comments from the previous post of how people destroy these beautiful buildings, places, things, and the only thing future generations will have are moving pictures. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Wasn't he was married twice and both ladies aided him in his work?

 

One problem post-war was that he shooting everything on 16mm like most travel filmmakers, simply because it was easier and much cheaper. The bulky 35mm equipment yielded excellent results in the thirties but you can imagine they exhausted everybody.

 

Oh yeah... the music. I guess I am just spoiled by what Warner Brothers and 20th Century Fox were putting out post-war. Those Warner scores, in particular, were wonderfully slushy and loud!

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, he was. His first wife, Ruth Thomas FitzPatrick, even got five director's credits in 1934-35. Here is her TCM page link (new to this, but hoping the url will translate through):

 
http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/person/11220780%7C0/Ruth-Fitzpatrick/
 
Wow, five MGM-level director's credits for a lady in 1935. Not sure if that was a first, but certainly that must've been semi-groundbreaking. She divorced him in Reno in 1936 and immediately remarried a man named -- now get this -- Mowbray Stenhouse Berkeley, who was some sort of stock broker or whatever. 
 
I have NO CLUE what happened to her after this, and believe me I've looked. This lady is a ghost post-1936. If anyone on this thread has amazing search engine skills and can turn something up, details PLEASE. I've about broken my Internet on that one.
 
It appears Jimmy was single for about 2 years and then met his second wife on the aforementioned 1938 around-the-world cruise on the Empress of Britain. Her name was Lesley Kirk Champlin. Funny story: in Hong Kong, he was giving a Burton Holmes-esque in-person lecture, and during the Q&A session, an audience member asked if he was married. Jimmy, probably puffing out his chest, replied, "No, a rolling stone gathers no wives." Great line. 
 
But hold on, Mr. Toughguy...
 
He left the lecture to return to the cruise ship, and he met his future wife RIGHT THEN. She was carrying a bird in a cage up the gangplank, gallant Jimmy offered to help her, they started chatting, and the rest, as they say, is very-hard-to-discover-on-the-Internet history. He proposed in Hawaii about a month later (still on the Empress cruise), and they were married in NYC the day the Empress docked at the conclusion of the cruise. This was May 1938. 
 
They set up house in NYC, but they moved to "the Coast" -- Beverly Hills -- in 1939. By now, film industry players seemed to be moving away from NYC and to California. Best I can tell, they lived in California for the rest of their lives. Although they did own an island (!) in British Columbia for vacations. He died in 1980, aged 86, she died in 2001, aged 86.
 
But, yes, in 1938, she went on to become his traveling secretary and music-contributing organist. You can sometimes spot her, and him, in fleeting shots within the Traveltalks.
 
This is a short film that shows him and her in London, circa 1945-46, I'm guessing:
 
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

That newsreel clearly shows the filming of LOOKING AT LONDON (1946 release), which Film Daily and Motion Picture Herald (scanned on the Internet Archive) pinpoint to the month of August of 1945. Wonder if TCM would consider showing that newsreel and LOOKING AT LONDON back to back so we have the "behind the scenes" story?

 

Wonder where mickeyfender is hiding right now. Lol!

 

post-32659-0-38938900-1460476471_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Major interesting topic today that TCM may start a streaming service a la Netflix and Hulu. So could the TravelTalks be loaded onto this thing? There would be nothing stopping it, right? No licensing conflicts that exist with other streaming services.

 

Would we be able to request this?

 

Here's the link:

 

http://www.engadget.com/2016/04/26/stop-trying-to-make-me-sign-up-for-more-subscription-services/

Link to post
Share on other sites

Heck... better yet... let Criterion put out the Traveltalks on DVD and BluRay if Warner is too reluctant to.

 

That Warner Archive has been sticking exclusively to features during the past year or two. They used to have great shorties compilations, but I guess it requires too much work "scanning" lots of "little" films?

Link to post
Share on other sites

My bad mood for the uber last-minute slip-in of -- and subsequent missing of -- this morning's "Exotic Mexico" may have been pacified if the below item is for real. Has anyone heard about this upcoming DVD set?

 

It has a WB Archive Collection logo on it, and right on the cover it has Technicolor, so these wouldn't be his pre-color films of 1930-34 (which were released on VHS (Kino?), and (I think) would be in the public domain anyway).

 

Anyway, this set contains 60 shorts in Technicolor and has "Volume 1" on the cover (giving hope that there may be a 2, 3, etc.). Release date set for May 17.

 

Anybody hearing that this is legit?

 

UPDATE: I just went to the WB site and it's on there!!!!!!! This looks totally legit!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

post-57825-0-37144200-1462028610_thumb.png

post-57825-0-37144200-1462028610_thumb.png

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I found the Fitzpatrick Travel Talks under Pre-orders on the WBshop.com site. $29.95 and "made to order."  Available May 17.  Running time is 521 minutes.  Can't see where it says how many discs are in the set. 8.6 hours is pushing it for one DVD.

Apparently they make it when you actually send in your order, as they do with many others in the Archives collections.

Be interesting to see what the quality will be and what is actually featured on the set.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

See... SEEEEEE!

 

The more we belly ache on this forum, the greater our chances of getting what we want. Will this set be as popular as the same priced GROWING PAINS: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON? I have the feeling that, despite how dry Jimmy's narration can be, individual titles will be watched by their purchasers a great many more times than even the most die-hard Kirk Cameron fans... if any actually still exist. (Oh... I forgot. Leonard de Caprio appeared THAT season. Well... just watch him again on your $5 copy of TITANIC or GANGS OF NEW YORK again.)

 

My guess is that this "Volume 1" spans the Technicolor years of 1934 through 1938/39 and doesn't include the black and white years of 1929-33 even though two of those years involved MGM distribution. The Kino VHS from the early 90s is pretty expensive, although one of the BWs (GATEWAY TO INDIA) is available on an Alpha DVD that is priced pretty cheap, WEIRD WILD WORLD, VOLUME 1, and a cluster can be viewed online. Yet I like some of the areas covered in the BW years such as the Guianas in South America, Soviet Union and Korea that were not done later in color.

 

We will see... if these volumes of color shorts do well, then they could do a companion piece with a little help from either Kino or the FitzPatrick estate or whomever currently owns the rights.

 

I also look it at this way.

 

As much as I would like to see Warner also put out their E.M. Newman travelogues of the '30s and Andre de la Varre efforts of the '40s and CinemaScope (letterbox) years out on DVD as well, you are certainly NOT seeing anybody else bothering to make their old shorts available. Fox has all of their "Magic Carpets" (hopefully not ALL lost), which weren't in color until a few years after MGM and Warner started doing theirs in color (along with Educational Pictures, First Division and other independents) but were very innovative at the time because they used on-location sound recordings. That was not easy to do during the first season of 1930-31, but you actually felt like you "are there" in South Africa on safari and up close to the Yangtze River in China. They were the precursors of the cinéma vérité movement with very limited narration.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I miss most of the shorts now.  Too lazy to look at this thread or go to TCM website to find out when they are showing.  My information system for Charter Cable used to show what shorts were on TCM, but they stopped several months (maybe more) ago.  I think TCM quit providing the information to them.

TCM has never listed them in the Now Playing Guide.

Is there a site on TCM website where the list the shorts for the week or month etc.?  Without having to log in and all that stuff.  What about shorts without all the other programs?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I found the Fitzpatrick Travel Talks under Pre-orders on the WBshop.com site. $29.95 and "made to order."  Available May 17.  Running time is 521 minutes.  Can't see where it says how many discs are in the set. 8.6 hours is pushing it for one DVD.

Apparently they make it when you actually send in your order, as they do with many others in the Archives collections.

Be interesting to see what the quality will be and what is actually featured on the set.

I have seen on a sight where it says that this will be three (3) discs.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen on a sight where it says that this will be three (3) discs.

That makes sense and should increase the quality.

Incidentally, I have found these type DVD's to be great for accompanying exercising.  You can watch as little as 15 minutes or so or up to hours.  I have several DVD's of old commercials that also work well for this.  Also some documentaries of old passenger trains, cars, etc.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Fitzpatrick's Traveltalks can be ordered from oldies.com.  They are a source of a lot of old movies and TV shows.  Will also mail you  a free catalog, but its a long one.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Looked in on this thread after not having been around for a while to discover the news regarding the Traveltalk collection release. Absolutely made my day! I love these shorts, especially Jimmy's "dry" narration, and in spite of the cheesy organ in the later ones.

 

I haven't been able to find the lineup of the 60 titles, so if anyone has any information, feel free to post. I wouldn't be surprised if they went chronologically, but then again, I wouldn't be surprised if they split up the 60 by region, the way Warner Archive offered them in their online streaming service.

 

In any case, it's really good news. In all honesty, I never thought I'd see the day when these shorts would see any kind of official release except as dvd extras. It'll be very important that this set sells well so that WB will be motivated to release additional sets. And at 60 shorts per set, it's going to take quite a few more sets to get them all released (the color ones, that is).

 

And don't get me wrong, I'm all for getting the B&W ones released, as well (ditto for A Cavalcade of Texas and the British Pathé newsreel clip), but I think that's probably a much taller order, so at the moment I think it's most important to get the color Traveltalks out there first.

 

As for quality, well, they certainly aren't going to be any worse than the ones I recorded onto my dvr. Though it'll be kinda strange to see them without the little TCM watermark. I guess I'll just have to tough it out and get used to it.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi mickeyfender,

 

I also can't locate the lineup for the 60 shorts. I too am very curious if they will be chronological or grouped by region. After seeing the streaming option you mentioned, I'm betting it will be by region. Oh well, won't matter so long as they release them all. Again, the very fact that they named this thing "Volume 1" gives me hope there will be a second, third, and fourth. 

 

But getting back to the first 60, I'm buying this on opening day, so I will be glad to post details here as soon as the cellophane comes off.

 

One easy prediction: approximately 60 suns setting slowly.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

The DVDs arrived today (two days earlier than expected!), so here we go with a just the facts, ma'am review.

So as to the big question of how they are grouped:

They are not in chronological order, and they are not grouped by geographical region. They are loosely grouped based on release date, but they jump around and skip over each other, etc. Sooooo... dunno?

But for the most part:
Disc 1 = 1934-1938
Disc 2 = 1938-1941
Disc 3 = 1941-1946

Full list below.

Picture quality is decent. About what you'd expect. Some are super bright. Some look scratchy. Pretty much what you would see on your TV when watching TCM.

There are no extras or commentaries. Just the 60 shorts.

The disc home screen is pretty basic. An old-school color shot of the WB lot with the travelogue titles over top of the photo.

The underbellies of the discs are blue -- I think because they are DVD-R since each set is made-to-order. I test drove them in my DVD player and an Apple laptop with an optical disc drive. No problems with either, discs play smoothly.

Very cool: each short gets a Tanner the Lion roar at the start. Just like TCM.

It is indeed weird not to see the TCM watermark pop up in the corner of the screen.

All in all, really great. Never thought we would see these on DVD, but here we are, and this set is definitely worth it. WB: many thanks and let's go forward with sets 2, 3, and 4!

 

The full list:

Disc 1
1934 - Switzerland the Beautiful
1934 - Ireland: 'The Emerald Isle'
1935 - Zeeland: 'The Hidden Paradise'
1935 - Rainbow Canyons
1935 - Colorful Guatemala
1935 - Los Angeles: 'Wonder City of the West'
1935 - Beautiful Banff and Lake Louise: A FitzPatrick Traveltalk
1935 - Modern Tokyo
1936 - Sacred City of the Mayan Indians
1936 - Rio de Janeiro 'City of Splendor'
1936 - Yellowstone Park: 'Nature's Playground'
1936 - Oriental Paradise
1937 - Glimpses of Java and Ceylon
1937 - Hong Kong: 'The Hub of the Orient'
1937 - Floral Japan
1937 - Stockholm: Pride of Sweden
1937 - Chile, Land of Charm
1937 - Copenhagen
1937 - Land of the Incas
1938 - Glimpses of Argentina

Disc 2
1938 - Czechoslovakia on Parade
1938 - Paris on Parade: A FitzPatrick Traveltalk
1938 - Jaipur, the Pink City
1938 - Singapore and Jahore
1939 - Java Journey
1939 - Rural Hungary
1939 - Colorful Curacao
1939 - Quaint St. Augustine
1939 - Land of Alaska Nellie
1940 - Seattle: Gateway to the Northwest
1940 - Sitka and Juneau, a Tale of Two Cities  
1939 - Glimpses of Australia
1940 - Cavalcade of San Francisco
1940 - Old New Mexico
1940 - Beautiful Bali
1941 - Mediterranean Ports of Call
1941 - Red Men on Parade
1941 - Alluring Alaska
1941 - Glimpses of Kentucky
1941 - Haiti: 'Land of Dark Majesty'

Disc 3
1941 - Glimpses of Florida
1941 - Scenic Grandeur
1942 - Minnesota: 'Land of Plenty'
1942 - Glacier Park and Waterton Lakes  
1942 - Exotic Mexico
1942 - Modern Mexico City
1943 - Land of Orizaba
1943 - Motoring in Mexico
1943 - On the Road to Monterrey
1943 - Scenic Oregon
1943 - Through the Colorado Rockies
1944 - A Day in Death Valley
1943 - Salt Lake Diversions
1944 - Along the Cactus Trail
1944 - Colorful Colorado
1944 - City of Brigham Young
1944 - Monumental Utah
1945 - Shrines of Yucatan
1945 - Merida and Campeche
1946 - Glimpses of Guatemala

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like Volume 2 will also stretch back to 1934 to pick up the titles skipped. What they are doing is giving us a cross selection of countries... one Netherlands and three Japans with the others from those countries saved for a later volume.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2021 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...