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Harold Lloyd TCM and DVD questions


yanceycravat
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2 questions for anyone in the know....

 

First off - Will the music on the DVD's be different from the Lloyd silents that have been aired on TCM and

 

2) The TCM guide says BILLY BLAZES will have a commentary. I didn't see where the DVD will have a commentary and just how do we hear that commentary when it airs on TCM.

 

Thanks in advance to all who can help.

 

Yancey

 

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yanceycravat

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Yancy,

 

You may be able to hear the commentary by hitting the SAP button, (Second Audio Program), on you remote control? Not real sure?

 

Yes, the scores will be the same on as on TCM, hopefully in a little better synchronization? Some of the features will contain alternate Wurlitzer scores preformed by the late Gaylord Carter.

 

The Carl Davis Orchestral scores for SAFETY LAST (1923), THE KID BROTHER (1927) and SPEEDY (1928), were all adapted from the Thames/Photoplay Productions editions produced between 1989-1992. The Lloyd Trust decided to retain those scores when thy commissioned new film-to video transfers at UCLA in 2002.

 

Unfortunately, however, these scores were adapted often dreadfully out of sync with the action! Not precisely timed as they had been in the earlier Thames originals! The Trust had claimed that the problem would be rectified? I saw little evidence of this though when TCM aired the New-Line edition of SAFETY LAST for the first time last month? I did see some improvement at times, from the prints TCM had been running since 2002.

 

I don't think presenting the Carl Davis scores in perfect synchronization was a high priority for New-Line? They likely felt most people had never seen the earlier Thames versions, and thus would never notice the difference anyway! For those of us like myself, who are familiar with those editions though, this is frustrating!

 

Even more distressing is the three Davis scores are abruptly cut off way before the orchestration ends! The Thames editions where these scores originated, ran clear through to the final note! I can scarily believe that this anomaly was not taken care of, for the official DVD release! I was confident that it would be! Fortunately, there should be no such concerns with Robert Israel's scoring on the rest of the silent shorts and features!

 

I must admit, I was slightly disappointed that the excellent Thames Jim Parker score for GIRL SHY (1924), and Adrian Johnston's equally wonderful Thames effort for HOT WATER (1924), were not retained by the Trust and thus will not be included in the DVD package. Though both versions of these two films have been shown on TCM before!

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Gagman,

 

Thanks for your amazing knowledge on the subject.

 

I don't own any of the Thames releases. I wanted to check what I have taped against what was going to be on DVD so as to keep the ones with different scores.

 

It does look like a great set, however, I'm confused as to why the folks who produce these things don't seem to want to get them perfect for posterity's sake.

 

Yancey

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Gagman,

 

Wanted to let you know that on the Silent Movie Usenet group, the question came up about the sych problems with the Davis scores. Annette Lloyd, who was involved with the production of the new Lloyd set posted that that problem was one of the first things they addressed and has been resolved.

 

Hope that helps!

 

Lynn in Sherman Oaks

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Izcutter,

 

Part of the problem is that the base prints are just not the same! The Thames print of SPEEDY for example, is not the same one stored in the UCLA vault at all, which the official Trust restoration was made from. Rather it was a UK release print leased to the BFI (British Film Institute) by the Lloyd Trust in the late 1980's! At the time that Kevin Brownlow and David Gill were working on the documentary HAROLD LLOYD THE THIRD GENIUS. (Which was completed in early 1989).

 

The 1992 Thames/BFI print, contains some brief footage not found in the 2001 UCLA restoration! Also the opening and closing credits are of a completely different design and running time!

 

Despite what Annette Lloyd had to say, when TCM aired the New-Line edition of SAFETY LAST! (1923), in late September, it was definitely not shown in perfect synchronization with Carl Davis 1989 score at that time!

 

Any and all gripes aside, I am very happy that this long overdue set is finally reaching the market today. I bought it off Ebay two weeks ago! Assured by the seller, I would receive my copy at the same time that the retailers did! So far, I have not even gotten any confirmation that the package has even been shipped yet? Hopefully, it has been? God willing, I will have it in my anxious little mitts by the end of this week?

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