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

Recommended Posts

Wow a full evenings slate tomorrow with the original "King of Hollywood" Douglas Fairbanks Senior! Very impressed with the unexpected Prime-time TCM debut's and World Television Premiere's of THE GOOD BAD MAN with Bessie Love, and THE HALF-BREED with Alma Rubens! Both titles recently restored! In-fact, THE GOOD BAD MAN was restored just last year, and I am told looks pristine from those who have seen the movie at live screenings! Neither of these two extremely rare films have ever been released on home video in any format. In addition there is also a TCM Premiere of Fairbanks Two-Color Technicolor swashbuckler THE BLACK PIRATE (1926) with Billie Dove! A movie I have long wondered why TCM never seemed to run? PIRATE might have been scheduled at an earlier hour certainly, but at least it's finally on TCM! What's more, this could potentially be a new restoration from the BFI for all I know? Be sure to set your DVR's! Thank you so much TCM for this major surprise treat! A nice early Christmas gift the week before Thanksgiving!

 

 

12243193_10208329188017556_8274172964341

 

"Dem Male Folk Sure Is Pesky Critters!"

 

 

12240016_10208329022733424_3926081542268

 

Douglas Fairbanks and Bessie Love - "You Best Hightail It Straight Out 'O Dodge, City Slicker!!!"

 

 

12243155_10208331513995704_2522803214261

 

"Dashing Doug!" - Circa 1917

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

1916's "The Good Bad Man" is from a 2014 restoration, according to TCM's article.  The article on 1926's "The Black Pirate" is One sentence long--I suspect it is from a restoration job also, as all other featured movies have an article.  Thank you gagman66 for your post on these films. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks very much for this notification, gagman. I was already aware about the two rare 1916 Fairbanks silents scheduled for this evening.

 

However, I did NOT know that there had been a restoration of THE BLACK PIRATE, and, therefore, the possibility that it may be broadcast in the wee hours of the night on the channel, as well. I will definitely set my DVD recorder for all three Fairbanks films.

 

Fairbanks' THE MARK OF ZORRO, the granddaddy of all movie swashbucklers, is still fun for Doug's athletic stunts. I must say, though, that, for me, this film pales badly besides Fox's splendid and eloquent 1940 talkie remake with Tyrone Power.

 

THE THIEF OF BAGDAD, Doug's own personal favourite film of his career, has been shown a number of times on TCM. It still remains a remarkable demonstration of spectacular set design and, for its time, special effects. This, to me, is Doug at his best. At age 40 he was in remarkable physical condition for this film.

 

His final film also shown by TCM, THE PRIVATE LIFE OF DON JUAN, is a curious production but one well worth viewing. Fairbanks travelled to England to work with Korda in this production as an aging, unexpectedly naive, Don Juan. The film has a sense of humour, perhaps not all of it quite successful, and some lovely black and white photography. Merle Oberon looks as spectacularly beautiful in this film as she did in The Scarlet Pimpernel (and I say this as someone who normally doesn't even notice Oberon, for the most part). But it may well be the delightful raunchy Binnie Barnes who has some of the best moments with Fairbanks in the film.

 

This film was made eight years after the John Barrymore silent, Don Juan, and 14 years prior to Errol Flynn's Adventures of Don Juan. It's most interesting to compare the three films and their actors' interpretations of the same role.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

TomJH,

 

Yes, the BFI (British Film Institute) completed a brand new restoration of THE BLACK PIRATE a few years back. The results were said to be much truer to the original Two-Color Technicolor template then the Kino DVD or Blu-ray release were. As far as I'm aware the new version has only been screened a few times in the U.K. and not at all in the United States. It's my understanding though that the film was screened during last years TCM Classic Cruise. What print was shown during that event is not clear?

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

TomJH,

 

Yes, the BFI (British Film Institute) completed a brand new restoration of THE BLACK PIRATE a few years back. The results were said to be much truer to the original Two-Color Technicolor template then the Kino DVD or Blu-ray release were. As far as I'm aware the new version has only been screened a few times in the U.K. and not at all in the United States. It's my understanding though that the film was screened during last years TCM Classic Cruise. What print was shown during that event is not clear?

Fingers crossed for tonight (or, technically, tomorrow morning, unfortunately, for those who don't have recorders), gagman.

 

BPclip14_zps9onznsdq.jpg

 

The great Fairbanks in his only colour film, even if it is of the two strip kind.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a very wonderful tribute to him. I am sorry that they did not find room for: The Mystery of the Leaping Fish (1916). It stars him as Sherlock-Holmes-type detective investigating smuggling ring. Bessie Love is his co-star.

 

It is available for viewing on YouTube at:

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

".....Douglas Fairbanks exuded a preternatural calm and all-American self-confidence. He leapt and climbed and swooped, he joked and smiled, he always knew the right thing to do. He was a practical man--trained as an electrical engineer, deeply suspicious of "art." He was a role model in troubled times, and audiences loved him. He ruled the box office for almost 15 years."

 

http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/1135968|0/Starring-Douglas-Fairbanks-11-19.html

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice salute, but its too many silents all in a row. Our necks will get stiff with our heads and eyes fixed toward the screen hour after hour, and we'll get tired of reading all the title cards for hours and hours. Maybe two a night, one day each week for a month would be better.

 

And how much jumping, running, swinging, leaping, twisting, twirling, and hopping can we take? 4 hous? 6 hours? 8 hours? 10 hours?

 

No thanks.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice salute, but its too many silents all in a row. Our necks will get stiff with our heads and eyes fixed toward the screen hour after hour, and we'll get tired of reading all the title cards for hours and hours. Maybe two a night, one day each week for a month would be better.

 

And how much jumping, running, swinging, leaping, twisting, twirling, and hopping can we take? 4 hous? 6 hours? 8 hours? 10 hours?

 

No thanks.

So who's asking you to watch all of them? If six silents in a row is too much for you, just watch one or, if you can, two of them. Hopefully you can make a recording to watch some of them when you are in the proper frame of mind required - silents do demand more attention and concentration from the viewer than talkies.

 

Certainly both Thief of Bagdad and The Black Pirate are representative of Fairbanks in his prime, both ranking, I think, among the best costume films that the era produced.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not paying $76 a month to watch one and miss 5.

Sorry, Fred, I didn't realize that you normally watch every film on every night on TCM.

 

Can you record films? If you can, time to record some of them so you can access them later. If not, time to get a recorder or DVR, if you can.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Can you record films? If you can, time to record some of them so you can access them later. If not, time to get a recorder or DVR, if you can.

 

I used to solve this type of problem by recording, but nowadays the recorders last only a couple of years then they stop working properly. I must have 5 non-working recorders in my living room now. I can't afford a DVR, and I've heard they can't be used to dub to a DVD.

 

But disregard my message. I just wanted to post my personal gripe about it. 2 silents a night one night each week for a month would have been a better idea. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to solve this type of problem by recording, but nowadays the recorders last only a couple of years then they stop working properly. I must have 5 non-working recorders in my living room now. I can't afford a DVR, and I've heard they can't be used to dub to a DVD.

 

But disregard my message. I just wanted to post my personal gripe about it. 2 silents a night one night each week for a month would have been a better idea. :)

This is a night to celebrate for silent buffs. I can understand why watching five silents in a row (not that many will attempt that) could be more than a challenge for most viewers (actually the last Fairbanks film shown, Don Juan, is a talkie).

 

Above all, though, it's a premiere of two Douglas Fairbanks films as well as, possibily, a restoration of The Black Pirate (wish it was being shown at a better time for those without recorders). That's why I appreciate gagman for creating this thread as a reminder for those who care.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

My personal feeling is that special salutes should be shown at times when the most people can see them all, especially since some of the films in each salute are usually very rare are rarely shown.

 

For example, I recorded CALL HER SAVAGE and THE BIG PARTY, both rare Clara Bow sound films, when TCM saluted her about 12 years ago. I don't think TCM has shown those two films since then. Luckily I had a DVD recorder back then that worked properly.

 

I also had a recorder that worked when TCM showed TRIUMPH OF THE WILL and OLYMPIA, and THE WIDOW FROM CHICAGO, and other very rare old films that TCM has never shown again. But we get NORTH BY NORTHWEST 70 times in 10 years. Why would TCM want to show this film so many times in prime time? And then show the rare "Golden Age" films at 2 AM when we are all asleep, then start making it difficult for some people to record them to DVD? Doesn't make much sense to me.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Really enjoyed the two debut's tonight. Was able to record them with no issues. Sure hope people are watching THE MARK OF ZORRO (1920) as this stunning print that debuted on TCM a few years back from Flicker Alley is almost totally pristine, beautifully tinted and has a awesome Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra score. I should have mentioned that earlier. Doug's stunts as he eludes the soldiers are truly amazing.

 

In addition TCM picked up the recent Cohen Restoration of THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (1924) just last year. It too looks like it was filmed yesterday, and has the magnificent Carl Davis orchestral score first compiled in 1982 for the Thames Silents series. Prior to that TCM used to air the film with a Gaylord Carter Theater organ score that was recorded clear back in 1975. What we are missing tonight is a debut of THE GAUCHO (1927), probably my favorite Fairbanks feature with Lupe Velez as Doug's leading lady, and Wifey Mary Pickford as the Madonna vision!

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched both Fairbanks premieres tonight and particularly enjoyed Half Breed. Even though the print itself left something to be desired, at times, pieced together from both pristine and mediocre sources, its tale of racial prejudice gave the story an additional interest. It also benefited from some lovely on location photography in forest country (California? Orgeon?), with some rivers flowing through ravines below, that gave the film an added pictorial interest.

 

Interestingly, both films had Fairbanks in roles as individuals tormented about his birth, in The Good Bad Man because he (mistakenly) believed he was born out of wedlock, and in Half Breed because he was the title character having to deal with the prejudice of white society. According to Ben M.'s commentary, that prejudice overlapsed into Fairbanks' real life, as well, with his wife at the time upset that he was playing a racially mixed individual on screen.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

I watched both Fairbanks premieres tonight and particularly enjoyed Half Breed. Even though the print itself left something to be desired, at times, pieced together from both pristine and mediocre sources, its tale of racial prejudice gave the story an additional interest. It also benefited from some lovely on location photography in forest country (California? Orgeon?), with some rivers flowing through ravines below, that gave the film an added pictorial interest.

 

Interestingly, both films had Fairbanks in roles as individuals tormented about his birth, in The Good Bad Man because he (mistakenly) believed he was born out of wedlock, and in Half Breed because he was the title character having to deal with the prejudice of white society. According to Ben M.'s commentary, that prejudice overlapsed into Fairbanks' real life, as well, with his wife at the time upset that he was playing a racially mixed individual on screen.

 

IMDb says Boulder Creek, California  and Calaveras Country, California..Tom.

 

(...the second location of course being where Mark Twain's famous short story of the "Jumping Frogs" contest took and still takes place every year in the little town of Angels Camp)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Btw...I only watched the first film this evening, THE GOOD BAD MAN, and I was impressed most with its camera-work, especially considering it being filmed during such a rudimentary time of Hollywood film-making. 

 

After the showing I was glad Bob mentioned and so to learn that it was an early work of Victor Fleming's sitting behind the camera, and who as we know would go on to quite a career as a director. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

IMDb says Boulder Creek, California  and Calaveras Country, California..Tom.

 

(...the second location of course being where Mark Twain's famous short story of the "Jumping Frogs" contest took and still takes place every year in the little town of Angels Camp)

Thanks, Dargo. The visuals of Half Breed were quite impressive. Those California location shots were quite lovely. By its name I assume that Boulder Creek is where those ravine shots were taken from way up high in the hills by Alan Dwan and Vic Fleming.

 

Nice to know that Mark Twain's tall tale is still celebrated in Calaveras County today. Hope it's not too hard on the froggy participants.

 

I just checked my recording of The Black Pirate this morning. TCM showed the old Kino print. It was not a restored version.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Watching all the Fairbanks' films was a joy. His sheer athleticism is beyond anything we see today. Fairbanks moved like a gazelle and was so smooth in his jumps onto horses and over fences. In fact some of his moves seem to have been lifted totally and used in later films like "The Princess Bride" or of course the Flynn adventures. His swordplay was phenomenal also and we loved seeing the Zorro film, which was certainly much more physically challenging than the Disney version. Kudos to TCM for showing the whole spate of his early and later films.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 What we are missing tonight is a debut of THE GAUCHO (1927), probably my favorite Fairbanks feature with Lupe Velez as Doug's leading lady, and Wifey Mary Pickford as the Madonna vision!

I'm a fan of THE GAUCHO, as well, gagman. Beautifully mounted production. Fun to watch the various tricks that Doug could come up with a cigarette in this one. Unlike earlier works by the actor in which he was a flamboyant, ever smiling swashbuckling superman, in this film his character unexpectedly deals with his own mortality.

 

this_is_theGaucho_original.jpg

 

Generally speaking, I prefer Fairbanks' later silent costume adventures, Thief of Bagdad, Black Pirate, The Gaucho and The Iron Mask, as opposed to his earlier ones, noteworthy for their overwhelming art direction dwarfing the characters and slow paces (Three Musketeers, Robin Hood).

Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched all of the films, to my detriment when I tried to wake up this morning and was dead to the world.

 

But it was totally worth it, as who is more talented than Fairbanks in films of such derring do.

 

He took my breath away with all his graceful stunt work and his just walking across the room was done with such aplomb. I'd seen the major films before so enjoyed the early silents immensely.

 

Douglas also was loaded with charm and it shows onscreen in his interactions with other characters.

 

Thanks, TCM!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched everything except Thief of Bagdad, which I had seen. I loved The Black Pirate, especially the beginning, with the pirates burying the treasure, and Fairbanks overtaking that magnificent ship single handedly. That was truly fantastic. The storyline bogged it down a bit later on, but the opening scenes were wonderful. I was impressed by the color, and pictures throughout the film. A very beautiful film.

 

Get a load of the marquee:

d8c25c5bea3ec20a02bafd8f38eb9bee.jpg

 

I also got a kick out of the talky that came on afterward, The Private Life of Don Juan (1934). A funny, clever film and a great swan song for Douglas Fairbanks, basically making fun of himself by playing an aging Don Juan, struggling to keep in shape and live up to his own image. It was easy to tell it was from the same writer/director team that made the similarly titled Henry VIII film. And Doug was quite good in it, too. He had a great comic touch in all his films.

 

A great evening of films. I never got tired of them.

  • Like 4
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...