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I know, hey is for horses.


BUT where is Fred C. Dobbs????????? :(


Also, I'm having a brain freeze...can someone point me to the category for Great Movie Alert? I have NO idea what these are and am looking to path to tell me if they are good and are tape-worthy:



BW-4 mins,


BW-10 mins,


BW-0 mins,


BW-8 mins,


BW-7 mins,


BW-9 mins,




Fred? You okay???

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Hey! That mine is dusty and dirty!


These shorts are apparently some early sound shorts using synchronized phonograph records. These were shown in only a few theaters in 1926.


Later, by 1929, Warner Brothers had developed the optical sound track that was on the side of the film, so there was never any synchronization problem with it. That?s why we hear that sound was invented in 1926, but there are no long full sound movies until 1929.

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That's how it's listed in this month's issue of Now Playing. On August 6, 1926, Warner Brothers unveiled the first Vitaphone sound pictures with this presentation of eight short subjects and the feature DON JUAN at the Warner Theatre in New York. The Vitaphone added sound by way of discs that played in synchronization with the motion picture.


A collector showed me one of these discs, which was later used to restore a Vitaphone short subject featuring Red Nichols and his Five Pennies. They were 16 inches wide, and were played at about the same speed as a latter-day LP record, with the needle traveling from the center of the disc to the edge. A small arrow indicated the starting point of the record, so the projectionist could properly sync film and record.


Although the Vitaphone was quite the thing after the presentation of THE JAZZ SINGER in 1927, other sound methods like the Fox Movietone and the RCA Photophone which recorded sound directly on film became more prevalent after 1930, even though it was proven early on that the Vitaphone was technically superior to any of its competitors (recent restoration efforts have also affirmed this). The chief problems lay in the Vitaphone's portability and vulnerability. The records wore out quickly, or became scratched or broken, and therefore six records were shipped with every reel of film.


When sound-on-film became the norm, some budding entrepreneurs picked up the old Vitaphone technology and used it to provide music programming for radio stations, since it was still illegal at the time to play phonograph records over the air. Radio shows were also recorded live using the same method. That is why the radio shows recorded in the 1930s and '40s sound so good -- the high fidelity of the old transcription discs, properly restored, makes them sound as if they were recorded yesterday.


Ironically, the theaters that present movies in digital sound today use similar technology. The digital sound is recorded on a separate disc played in sync with the film, which uses almost the same cueing method as the Vitaphone!

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I think ?Don Juan? was the film they made fun of in ?Singing in the Rain,? when they showed the film being played back with a bad sound synch problem. I wonder if this TCM presentation will have the original sound track? I think it was a silent film with some sound effects added via the Vitaphone phonograph disk.

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> I see now why few tune in to TCM. Just too many films

> that either have been played and played repeatidly. I

> tuned in last night for '36 Hours' Finally a film

> not recently aired. Now why can't tcm ape the

> programming on AMC?


You mean like AMC playing "Fargo" six times this month? Or maybe playing "Open Range" six times this month, including FOUR TIMES IN A ROW on the 16th?!

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