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All Quiet Really is Quiet!


sewhite2000
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I certainly wasn't expecting a silent version of ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT. I didn't even know there was a such a thing. Every previous airing I've ever seen on TCM had sound. Are the two versions the same, shot-for-shot?

I didn't expect it, either. I don't remember ever seeing this version on TCM before.

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ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1930) SILENT VERSION

 

News to Me as well.

 

TCM has always shown a "restored" 133 min sound (talking) version.

 

HOWEVER, after a quick bit of research and I discovered that the film had originally been released in BOTH silent & "talking" versions

 

http://nypost.com/2012/02/12/all-quiet-even-quieter/

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0020629/

 

The original U.S. version ran 152 min, was silent, with synchronized sound. A sound version was filmed simultaneously with the silent version.

A 147 min version was released in Britain, then was cut down to 145 min by British censors,
a 138 min edited version was released later in the U.S.,  and a 136 min censored edit in Germany,
with various additional edits & cuts dropping it down to 101 min for some U.S. television broadcasts.
 

In 1998 it was finally "restored" to 133 min in the U.S. , which is the version that TCM has shown in the past. (it was reported that all the former "CUT" footage was lost.)

 

Evidently in 2012, in honor of their 100th anniversary, Universal released a new Blu ray transfer of the 133 min restored version of the film, but also included a "silent" transfer as well!

 

The best I can figure from an advertised 2 discs with a combined run time of 266 min is that they are both  transfers of the 1998 133 min "restored version."

 

So, for the first time, tonight, without any prior fan fare, TCM is showing the silent Blu ray version of this film.

 

If I had known I'd have recorded this puppy, now I suppose I'll have to invest in a Blu ray player and order this if I want to see it again.

(which may have been the intent of not informing us that this special would be showing all along???)

That is, unless TCM decides to broadcast it again, with a little prior notice of which version they will be showing?

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Quiet_on_the_Western_Front_(1930_film)

 

Releases

 

First version of the film, a 152 minute silent version with synchronised sound,[1] was first shown in Los Angeles on April 21, 1930 and premiered in New York on April 25, 1930.[8] A 147 minute version was submitted to the British censors, which was cut to 145 minutes[9] before the film premiered in London June 14, 1930.[8] The film went on general release in the US on August 24, 1930.[1] In 1939, it was re-released as a proper sound version, which was cut down to ten reels.[1]

Later re-releases were substantially cut and the film's ending scored with new music against the wishes of director Lewis Milestone.[10] Before his death in 1980, Milestone requested that Universal fully restore the film with the removal of the end music cue. Two decades later, Milestone's wishes were finally granted when the United States Library of Congress undertook an exhaustive restoration of the film, which is vastly superior in sound and picture quality to most other extant prints, but because all existing complete prints of the film were lost and no longer exist, the final "complete" version now available is only 133 minutes long.[9]

The film received tremendous praise in the United States, but controversy would attend the film's subject matter elsewhere, including Europe.

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Quiet-Western-Front-Blu-ray-Digital/dp/B006FE83T0

 

Digitally Remastered and Fully Restored from High Resolution 35MM Original Film Elements to Get the Most from Your HDTV Digital Copy of All Quiet on the Western Front (Subject to expiration. Go to NBCUCodes.com for details.) Introduction by Turner Classic Movies Host and Film Historian Robert Osborne Rarely Seen Silent Version of All Quiet on the Western Front 100 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics 100 Years of Universal: Academy Award® Winners Theatrical Trailer BD-Live – Internet-connected features My Scenes – Bookmark your favorite scenes Pocket BLU App – App for smartphones and tablets. Take content on the go! D-BOX

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Based on what I've been seeing (and reading) so far, the film appears to be matching the sound version scene for scene.

 

However, I am noticing that a lot of the dialogue that was spoken in the talking version is not placed on the screen to read.

 

The action of course speaks louder than any words, and the sound is discriptive.

 

But without captions, or the ability to read lips, It's difficult sometimes to figure out what they are saying,

 

Thankfully, this is one of my favorite films that I almost always watch, so I can anticipate each scene and the missing dialogue.

 

But lacking that, when Lew Ayres is in the foxhole with the French soldier, and menacingly holds his bayonet to his neck, and the caption reads: "I'm only trying to help you."

The sparse written verbage doesn't quite match the action I'm seeing.

Also, missing much of the pathos intoned in the voice 's of the sound version.

 

This version definitely leaves a lot to "read" between the lines....

 

But still very powerful, and for me a unique experience in a film that I've seen numerous times before!

 

 

Of course I notice that the French girls are having no problem speaking out loud... go figure. :)

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Did anyone notice if the "silent" version TCM aired was filmed at 24 frames per second or 16 frames per second? If it was 24, the same as the sound version, the movements of the actors would have looked normal. But if it was actually shot as a silent film, at 16 fps, all the movements would have been speeded up when viewed on TV at the normal sound speed of 24 fps.

 

Also, were all the scenes the same as all the scenes in the sound version? If it was really shot originally as a silent film, then the camera setups would have been different than the camera shots used in the standard sound version.

 

Also, when will we get to see the TCM silent version of GONE WITH THE WIND?

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Why would anyone want to watch a silent version of a sound film?

I wish I had known the silent All Quiet was on last night because I would have recorded that one!  In answer to the question, sometimes only the silent version is left. I've got a VHS tape version of  the silent version of The Drake Case, which was the last film Gladys Brockwell ever made - she died in a car accident shortly thereafter. I believe the sound version is lost. The Drake Case is an odd situation where the silent film was made as an afterthought because not all theatres were wired for sound. Thus title cards are awkwardly placed throughout the film and don't adequately express what is going on. I guess I pull it out and watch it from time to time just for the film history angle.

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It seems to me that ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT was made originally as a SOUND FILM, with some prints being released in countries that weren't wired for sound films yet. If so, this means we are merely watching the SOUND version of the film but WITH NO SOUND except for some background music, which would vary from silent theater to silent theater.

 

So I suggest the next time TCM wants to show the film, they should always show the SOUND version so the rest of us can watch and hear the film as it was originally made, and people wanting to pretend their TVs aren't wired for sound yet can just turn their sound all the way off and watch it as a "silent" film. They can make up some 4 x 6 dialogue cards that they can hold up and read when guys are talking in the film, to further pretend they are watching a "silent" film, and they can put some old violin music on the victrola and pretend there is a live orchestra present.

:)

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rosebette asked:

 

I'm curious-- did Zasu Pitts appear as Paul's mother in the silent version? Or is this just urban legend?

 

Not 100% urban legend. She was originally cast in both talking & silent versions, later cut & recast by Beryl Mercer, but remained in some preview clips.

 

According to the IMDb trivia page

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0020629/trivia?ref_=tt_trv_trv

 

 

Zasu Pitts was originally cast as Mrs. Bäumer (mother of Lew Ayres' character Paul Bäumer), but she was replaced by Beryl Mercer. Contrary to long-standing rumor, she did not appear in the silent version of this film simultaneously produced for theaters not yet wired for sound. However, she DOES appear briefly in the original 1930 trailer for the silent version, a scene of her in bed.

 

Because up to this point in her career, Zasu Pitts was associated with comedic roles, it was hard for audiences to take her seriously in a dramatic role.

 

According to the reminiscences of director Lewis Milestone, audiences laughed when Zasu Pitts appeared as the mother in the original cut (sound version), and that is why he recast the role with Beryl Mercer.

 

FredCDobbs asked:

 

Why would anyone want to watch a silent version of a sound film?

 

Because it is a classic Fred, and has a significant part in film history.

 

As I understand, in 1930, there were still many theatres that were not set-up for sound.

So at that time it made good marketing sense, especially on such a hefty production, to cover your bases and film in both sound and silent versions so your production could take advantage of the broadest possible distribution.

 

As TopBilled reported earlier:

 

Quite a few films had silent and talking (talkie?) versions.

 

Another point is that in AQOTWF both silent and talking versions were filmed at the same time, simultaneously, but with seperate equipment and cameras.

 

So, although the film is the same, scene for scene, the bulky camera angles are slightly different in the silent versus the sound version.

A student of film may appreciate the somewhat different perspectives offered in either version.

 

Also, and I found this out first hand last night, in some ways it is like watching a very "different " picture.

By virture of it being "silent" many of the captions do not capture all of the dialogue of the sound version, leaving much more room for audience interpretation, which can be quite different from the sound version.

Though I have seen the sound version many times, and knew what to anticipate, after a while I tried to divorce myself from what I knew and immerse myself into the experience, as if I were watching the film for the first time.

The absence of verbal dialogue allowed me to interpret some things differently than before.

 

So I imagine two different audiences who had only seen either the talking or sound versions would walk away from their respective theatres with many different interpretive viewpoints.

 

This would allow an even deeper discussion of this great and historically controversial film than what has already been voiced, and, thrust viewers back to a day when the only films that they could see were silent ones.

 

Did anyone notice if the "silent" version TCM aired was filmed at 24 frames per second or 16 frames per second?

 

Since this 2012 Universal transfer was made from the 1998 "restorations" and intended for todays media and devices I would imagine that it was at 24 fps, as I didn't notice any unusual "silent" speed-up.

 

were all the scenes the same as all the scenes in the sound version? If it was really shot originally as a silent film, then the camera setups would have been different than the camera shots used in the standard sound version.

 

As said, all the scenes were the same, but my research indicates that it was originally filmed in BOTH talking and silent format, to overcome the 1930 limitations of many theatres not yet adapted for sound, and allow the broadest available marketing.   

And as said, because both formats were filmed simultaneously and the equipment was quite bulky, the angle of the shots does differ slightly between the silent and sound versions.

 

when will we get to see the TCM silent version of GONE WITH THE WIND?

 

That would be really news worthy... I had no idea there was a "silent" version of GWTW.

But I think you may have asked that question a bit facetiously, as in 1939 the same theatre limitations likely did not exist as in 1930.

Outside of Chaplin and a few foreign markets, sound had become an accepted standard for film by the mid 1930s, so I would guess that GWTW was never intended for a "silent" film market.

 

 

NOW, I have a couple of questions...

 

When I discovered that last night was a "special" set of broadcasts, I regretting NOT recording them

(2012 restoration of WINGS (1927) with the re-orchestrated J.S. Zamecnik score; AND the Universal 2012 Blu ray transfer of the 1930 silent version of ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT.)

I try to review the online schedule to see if there is anything that I should be recording, and there was no mention either there, or on anything that TCM broadcast, that gave me any inkling that they were going to show something that they hadn't shown before.

Regarding the 2012 Blu ray transfer of the 1930 SILENT version of ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT

To my knowledge this was not only a TCM premier, but a U.S. televised premier, as well.

Yet, as far as I am aware, TCM provided us this very special treat without any pomp and ceremony, fanfare, or prior notice of any kind?

I can't imagine that such a special event wouldn't have been reported somewhere,... unless,

 

1) it was a program mistake, and someone sent TCM the wrong version. So TCM had no idea until it was shown what a special movie they would be showing???

 

Both of the transfers (silent & talkie) are from the same 1998, 133 min restoration, so the run time would have been the same for either.

OR,

 

2) TCM knew what they had, but perhaps part of the agreement they had with Universal was they couldn't advertise that fact for fear that a slew of folks would be recording something that they are selling from their 2012, 100th Anniversary Blu ray promotion....???

Somehow I'm thinking that the First possibilty is the most likely one, which means TCM will not likely air the silent version again, or at least not for many, many more years.

In either event, DID ANYBODY on these boards, viewing this thread, RECORD the SILENT version of ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT last night (ideally on a single dvd disk with Robert Osbornes intro and end commentary)???

if so, could you please send me a PM.... I have a question to ask of you.... B)

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I recorded a silent version of All Quiet off TCM a couple of years ago. Whether or not it the same blu ray version shown this week, I have no idea.

 

However, if there is only one silent version of the film available, then this was definitely not a channel premiere. Having said that, I agree that it's exasperating that TCM would not have made some kind of announcement to let its viewers know that this was not going to be the same talkie version broadcast so many times in the past.

 

I wish that TCM would make a point of mentioning restorations of films (particularly if they're premieres of same) on their website.

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     I know that TCM did show the silent version of "All Quiet On The Western Front" a few years ago as I have it recorded (although I don't know if it was the 2012 restoration).

     I'll have to look at it again but if I remember correctly there were some differences between the silent and sound versions which Robert O. pointed out in his intro. I'll have to look at it again to see if I'm correct.

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FredCDobbs (wittily) said:

 

...and people wanting to pretend their TVs aren't wired for sound yet can just turn their sound all the way off and watch it as a "silent" film. They can make up some 4 x 6 dialogue cards that they can hold up and read when guys are talking in the film, to further pretend they are watching a "silent" film, and they can put some old violin music on the victrola and pretend there is a live orchestra present.

:)

 

Fred!

I had no idea that you were opposed to silent movies????    ;)  

 

Actually, I think I get your drift, that a film should be watched in the format it was originally intended... be that sound or silent...

 

However, in this case, from everything I've thus researched on this particular film.

Director Lewis Milestone,  originally produced this film for both silent and talking formats, using separate equipment to record each scene at the same time. So, although the scenes are the same, the shot angles are slightly different. So it is NOT the same as converting a talkie into a silent film.

To produce both film formats at the same time made perfect marketing sense for 1930, as there were a few holdouts that still believed that "sound" was a fad, that would pass, and many theatres, as well as some foreign markets were not tooled up for sound.

 

This was not an altogether unique practice for that day, and studios that could afford to make both did so. This was at the beginning of the "Great" depression, and Universal had a lot riding on the success of this film, so they obviously hedged their bets and went with both formats from the get-go. The original April 1930 broadcast premiers in both Los Angeles, and New York were reported to have been silent versions with synchronized sound, for whatever reason. Though this film was not intended to be a strictly silent version, so that raises a question for me, as to why the premiers should have been silent.???

 

Since, according to the record, the film was "restored" from the best existing prints in 1998 to 133 min, with all of the longer cut film reported as "lost," then the 2012 Universal transfer was likely made from those same resources as was availble in the 1998 restoration.

 

I'm guessing that because reported camera angles on the silent version differ somewhat from the sound version that, for the most part, Universal had access to and used the best silent footage when they "reconstructed" this silent version for Blu ray in 2012.

So it "sounds" like though both films are are the same, they are slightly different, and its not like simply turning off the sound, and holding up caption cards to the sound version that we have become familiar. :)

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TomJH said:

 

I recorded a silent version of All Quiet off TCM a couple of years ago. Whether or not it the same blu ray version shown this week, I have no idea.

However, if there is only one silent version of the film available, then this was definitely not a channel premiere. Having said that, I agree that it's exasperating that TCM would not have made some kind of announcement to let its viewers know that this was not going to be the same talkie version broadcast so many times in the past.

I wish that TCM would make a point of mentioning restorations of films (particularly if they're premieres of same) on their website.

 

 

midnight08 said:

 

I know that TCM did show the silent version of "All Quiet On The Western Front" a few years ago as I have it recorded (although I don't know if it was the 2012 restoration).

I'll have to look at it again but if I remember correctly there were some differences between the silent and sound versions which Robert O. pointed out in his intro. I'll have to look at it again to see if I'm correct.

 

 

mockingbird66 said:

 

I did dvr this movie because I never saw either version. I have not viewed it yet. I was expecting the talkie one.

 

 

Thank you gentlemen, for your replies  (I apologize if I have mistated gender, but I generally think in the masculine sense, unless otherwise informed).

 

Well, this information is is both reassuring and disconcerting...

 

In our time, the only "official" Universal silent version of this film would have been released by Universal for generally distribution via Blu ray in 2012.

 

So it appears that TCM was granted broadcast rights to it sometime in 2012.

Since they showed it again, last night, after a two + year hiatus, then there is a good probability that they will show it again.... sometime...

So last night was not an "accident," which is good news.

 

However, I am a pretty avid TCM viewer, and AQOTWF is a favorite of mine that I usually watch whenever TCM has aired it, so.... Since I obviously missed that  2012 TCM premier I wonder "where the hell was I when they showed it in 2012? "

 

For those of you who saw it, and recorded it then... Did TCM "advertise" that silent screening as a TCM premiere, or that it was a rare silent screening? 

 

I must have somehow missed all of that.

 

Since TCM sprang this last, possibly second silent showing with no specific warning, or heads-up that we were in for a repeat treat of this rarely shown version, then in all likelihood, they will not let us know when they plan to show this version again, the next time. ... Whenever that may be???

 

So, the only way I'll be able to be sure to get a copy of it to view again and study, is by either:

 

1) Have my DVR set to record whenever I see AQOTWF listed to play, and eventually catch the silent version....

or

2) purchase a Blu ray player and the Blu ray copy....

or

3) Find somebody willing to share their recorded DVD copy of the silent version with me????

 

I like the last option best, if I can find a willing partner?

 

So if any of you gentlemen are willing, please PM me.

 

I promise that I will handle your copy with kid gloves, and return it to you intact.

 

Also, if you just want to trade DVDs, maybe I have a TCM recording that you are looking for?

Just PM me a few titles along with their release year, and I'll check for you.

I try to record the intros & end commentary whenever available.

 

Also, mockingbird66, if you want I will send you one of my recorded copies of the sound version of AQOTWF so you will have both to enjoy and compare.

Just PM me with your address and I will send it to you.

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I recorded a TCM broadcast of the silent All Quiet on September 28, 2011.  The introduction featured Leonard Maltin and Patrick Loughney, Director of the Library of Congress, discussing the movie, its restorations, and the silent version.  Mr. Loughney mentions in his discussion of the releases of the various versions of the film that there was originally a road show edition that was three hours long.  Also, different versions were created to fit the countries (France, Germany, etc.) they were shown in.

 

This showing was the Library of Congress' restored version.  From the date, I imagine it was a DVD release, not Blu-Ray.

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slaytonf reported:

 

I recorded a TCM broadcast of the silent All Quiet on September 28, 2011.  The

introduction featured Leonard Maltin and Patrick Loughney, Director of the

Library of Congress, discussing the movie, its restorations, and the silent

version.  Mr. Loughney mentions in his discussion of the releases of the various

versions of the film that there was originally a road show edition that was three

hours long.  Also, different versions were created to fit the countries (France,

Germany, etc.) they were shown in.
 
This showing was the Library of Congress' restored version.  From the date, I

imagine it was a DVD release, not Blu-Ray.

 

Okay, that explains why I missed the original TCM premier broadcast .

 

I was in a remote part of Alaska September 28, 2011, and had no access to TCM.

 

It sounds like you have seen and maybe recorded both presentations?

 

You confirm that last nights showing was the Library of Congress' restored version and think it was from a DVD release?

 

Aside from the excellent commentary that accompanied the 2011 broadcast, are you aware of any differences in the actual film presentations?  

in example:

Did they have the same run times?

Did you notice any change in film speed (ie 24 vs 16 fpm)?

Different scenes, or noticeable film angles?

Were they of the same quality?

Would you say one was superior to the other?

 

I sure would like to see a copy of both presentations if they are differ?

 

But based on what you have said about the commentary from 2011, I would especially like to see that one, if both features were otherwise the same.

 

To your knowledge, has TCM shown silent version/s of AQOTWF on only these two occassions?

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slaytonf reported:

 

I recorded a TCM broadcast of the silent All Quiet on September 28, 2011.  The

introduction featured Leonard Maltin and Patrick Loughney, Director of the

Library of Congress, discussing the movie, its restorations, and the silent

version.  Mr. Loughney mentions in his discussion of the releases of the various

versions of the film that there was originally a road show edition that was three

hours long.  Also, different versions were created to fit the countries (France,

Germany, etc.) they were shown in.

 

This showing was the Library of Congress' restored version.  From the date, I

imagine it was a DVD release, not Blu-Ray.

 

Okay, that explains why I missed the original TCM premier broadcast .

 

I was in a remote part of Alaska September 28, 2011, and had no access to TCM.

 

It sounds like you have seen and maybe recorded both presentations?

 

You confirm that last nights showing was the Library of Congress' restored version and think it was from a DVD release?

 

Aside from the excellent commentary that accompanied the 2011 broadcast, are you aware of any differences in the actual film presentations?  

in example:

Did they have the same run times?

Did you notice any change in film speed (ie 24 vs 16 fpm)?

Different scenes, or noticeable film angles?

Were they of the same quality?

Would you say one was superior to the other?

 

I sure would like to see a copy of both presentations if they are differ?

 

But based on what you have said about the commentary from 2011, I would especially like to see that one, if both features were otherwise the same.

 

To your knowledge, has TCM shown silent version/s of AQOTWF on only these two occassions?

Being in a remote part of Alaska will do that.

 

I did not record the presentation last night.  I already have both sound and silent All Quiets, and didn't have an interest.  I assumed it was the sound version, anyway, as the trailer they showed was soundy.

 

I don't know if last night's version was the LoC restored version.  All I know is the recording I have from 2011 is.  I assume all showings of All Quiet from now on will be the restored one.  Before the credits, if you see a LoC logo, you will be sure.

 

I can't answer your other questions definitively, as I haven't compared the two versions carefully.  Tonight I only watched the first few minutes of the silent version, with that remarkable crane shot pulling in from the parade on the street to the classroom.  I have to say, that from memory it was the same shot as in the soundy version.  I don't see how it could possibly have been taken with two cameras side-by-side.  And when you think of it, it seems counterintuitive that there would be two cameras taking shots of the same action.  Why not just use one camera--the sound one--for both versions?  Unless the silent projectors in all those unconverted movie theaters required a movie shot from a different camera.

 

If I remember correctly, TCM repeated the airing of the silent version a few months or so later.  Unless I'm mixing it up with their broadcast of a German silent version of the movie.

 

My February 2012 schedules shows it aired on the 7th.  And again on the 6th of February 2013.  Were those silent showings?  Who knows.

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slaytonf said:

 

I did not record the presentation last night. ....

I don't know if last night's version was the LoC restored version. All I know is the recording I have from 2011 is.

 

Ah, sorry, I misunderstood. I thought you were initially refering to last nights broadcast.

Yes, it was from the 1998 LoC "restoration."

 

And, so was yours, so it seems like they should be the same 133 min presentations, except, the 2011 broadcast you recorded has all that marvelous commentary.

 

My February 2012 schedules shows it aired on the 7th. And again on the 6th of February 2013. Were those silent showings? Who knows.

 

Not sure about the 2/7/2012 showing, but I recorded the 2/6/2013 & 2/15/2014 showings, both hosted by Robert Osborne, I also watched the WW1 anniversary tribute 7/11/2014, hosted by retired General Wesley Clark, and another showing later in 2014, and ALL of those were the 133 min LoC "restored" Talking versions.

 

So it appears that September 28, 2011, was a TCM premier broadcast , and you remember "maybe" one more silent broadcast a few mos later? And last nights showing . If no others then a total of two confirmed and maybe a third silent screening in three plus years.

I'd say that still qualifies as rare to infrequent, esp. when compared to the frequency of the sound showings during that same time frame.

 

Still, it bothers me that we have no idea which version TCM is going to show until it plays...

 

 I don't see how it could possibly have been taken with two cameras side-by-side. And when you think of it, it seems counterintuitive that there would be two cameras taking shots of the same action. Why not just use one camera--the sound one--for both versions?

 

Apparently the technology of the day either necessitated, or made it more cost effective to have two camera set-ups with two sets of negatives. One intended for English speaking audiences, and the second for an international audience which was in essence a synchronized soundtract "silent hybrid" version that could have foreign language dubbed in later, or be released as a more traditional "silent"  with synchronized soundtrack and caption cards in any language (including English, for American theatres not yet wired for sound).  The cameras, though close were far enough apart so that when they captured the same scene, they did so at slightly different viewing angles.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Quiet_on_the_Western_Front_(1930_film)

 

The film was shot with two cameras side by side, with one negative edited as a sound film and the other edited as an "International Sound Version" for distribution in non-English speaking areas.

 

Apparently it was this international sound "silent" hybrid version with synchronized sound track that debuted in L.A. and N.Y.C. in April 1930.

 

The following article explains it better :

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Sound_Version

 

International Sound Version is a term for a film in which all dialogue is replaced with music and foreign inter-titles. It was a method used by movie studios during the early talkie period (1928-1931) to make sound films for foreign markets. This method was much cheaper than the alternative, the "Foreign Language Version", in which the entire film was re-shot with a cast that was fluent in the appropriate language (e.g. Spanish version of Drácula 1931, Laurel & Hardy shorts in Spanish, French and German).

To make an international version, the studio would simply insert (on the soundtrack) music over any dialogue in the film and splice in intertitles (which would be replaced with the appropriate language of the country). Singing sequences were left intact as well as any sound sequences that did not involve speaking.

International versions were sound versions of films which the producing company did not feel were worth the expense of re-shooting in a foreign language. They were meant to cash in on the talkie craze; by 1930 anything with sound did well at the box-office while silent films were largely ignored by the public. These "international sound versions" were basically part-talkies and were largely silent except for musical sequences. Since the film included a synchronized music and a sound effect track, it could be advertised as a sound picture and could therefore capitalize on the talkie craze in foreign markets (instead of the more expensive method of actually re-filming talking sequences in foreign languages).

Warner Bros. was the first to begin issuing these "International Sound Versions." In 1928, they began to release their part-talkies and all-talkies in this format. They would always leave musical interludes and non-dialogue sound sequences intact. On occasion, they would dub the theme song into Spanish, French or German in order to further popularize the music.

Starting in 1931, studios began to subtitle films and directly dub them into foreign language, both methods that continue to be used today and both "International Sound Versions" and "Foreign Language Versions" quietly disappeared, although the latter method continued to be employed until the mid-1930s for special productions. Such films as "My Man" 1928, "**** Tonk" 1929, and "Is Everybody Happy?" 1929 were seen throughout the world in "International Sound Versions". In the "International Sound Version" of "Paris" 1929, which was especially prepared for French markets, the Warner Bros. had Irene Bordoni sing several of her songs in French.

Surviving examples of "International Sound Versions" include "Song O' My Heart" 1930, "Phantom Of The Opera" 1929, "Men Without Women" 1930, "All Quiet On The Western Front" 1930, Rain or Shine 1930, etc.

 

 

Anyway, if anyone, including yourself, that recorded the September 28, 2011, TCM Silent premier of ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, with all of the intro and end commentary intact, to a DVD, would be willing to share a copy with me, I would be very grateful.

I will return it to you and cover postage both ways.

Or, we could make a swap, If I have a TCM copy of something you are looking for, I'd be happy to send it in exchange, and still return your original DVD back to you, if you want.

Just PM me and include a list of any titles you are seeking , along with the release date, and I'll check and see if I have any of them.

 

Anybody willing to help me out?

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