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Bells of St. Marys


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Hey dylanbash, it looks like you own TCM an apology. The original "pledge" did not contain the words "under God". They were added in the early 1950s during the paranoia of the communist "witch hunts" .


As for something else being blackedout during the credits, that's an easy one. While Leo McCary's company produced the film, it was originally released by RKO. At some point the rights were sold to a television distrubutor called National Telefilm Association (NTA). When NTA made a new negative to make tv prints, they had the credit "Released by RKO Radio Pictures" blocked out of the main title.This was actually a fairly common practice in the early days of television. Before color broadcasting was common, the studios made black and white prints, of color movies, to run on tv. Very often the credit for Technicolor (or whoever) was blocked out too.


The only thing that surprises me is that the credit to "Bells" is still the modified version and not the original. I don't have the DVD, but I checked my VHS version and it's the same way. Perhaps when NTA made the new titles they destroyed the old ones. Too bad.

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I watched a bit of BELLS OF ST. MARY'S last night and was surprised to see the NTA logo on this print. Republic long ago took over distribution of this film and that's the logo that usually appears, omitting the RKO sig. altogether. Republic pictures was taken over by Artisan which in turn was bought out by Lions Gate. I also heard Paramount now owns this library. Incidently, I can't believe TCM ran such a lousy, scratchy print of BELLS OF ST. MARY'S. If this was a public domain print I could understand, but since its not, there is no excuse for a bad print of this film to exist.

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I think we're getting spoiled when it comes to film quality. We have come to expect completely restored films and when we don't get it we think it's horrible. While "The Bells of St. Marys" has not been restored, I didn't think it was that bad. It looked to me that the tape master was made from a 35mm print of the film with little or no cleaning up. I guess Republic-Artisian-Lion's Gate or whoever either isn't interested in restoring it or they may no longer have the original elements to do so.

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How right you are. I mentioned in a seperate post yesterday how expensive and time consuming restoring movies can be.


It can cost up to (and often over) a million dollars to restore a single film title. In addition, the restoration can take years. "Kong" took five, "Bambi" took almost four.


It's not a simple as going to the vault and picking up the elements and making a dupe.


Very often it means finding lost or misplaced elements, cleaning the negative by hand and many other labor intensive jobs that folks rarely think of when they see a restored print.

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