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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 6:02 pm
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
And I completely defer to matrixschmatrix on the question of judging the quality of the commentaries. One is better off trusting his take over mine.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:24 pm 

Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 7:24 pm
RE: La vida nocturna (1930: James Parrott) on the second disc.

For some reason I had a lot of trouble playing this on my DVD. It ran into pixalization and then stopping late in the movie. In order to finish it I had to chapter skip and rewind back a little bit (but not to the part where it freezes). It was consistent in its freezing and the disc is new with no scratches. So far everything else plays fine. Anyone else have this issue?


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 3:50 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm
So any word on the silent sequel to this?


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 6:15 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:31 am
Location: Somerset, England
I don't think there can be a sequel, at least not from the same source, as the silents are owned by a different company to the talkies (in the US). Last I heard, the announced "definitive" US collection of the L&H silents had completely fizzled and customers who'd paid up-front were filing mail fraud charges to recover their money. Also, it has been revealed that the producer who was put in charge of the surviving camera negatives let them rot in his California garage....

From Nitrateville:
Bor Enots (Rob Stone) wrote:
I can tell you where a number of the original camera negatives for the silent went.... into barrels of water to be incinerated. I know because I did it. Nothing is more sickening for a film fan (much less a big L&H lover) then to have to do that, but HABEAS CORPUS was a solid brick... completely beyond ANY chance for restoration. Why? because Michael Agee kept it, and many of the silent nitrate negatives he has in his trust, in his garage. His un-air conditioned, gets hotter than 100 degrees Yorba Linda, California garage!!!! He finally after it was too late for much of the material give it over to UCLA and we had to get rid of a good amount of it. If there had been a single frame we would have saved it... but in many cases the reel was a total loss.


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 10:27 am 
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Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 11:12 am
Location: Norway
I just noticed that the six 20th Century Fox films have been released on Blu-ray/DVD combos in Norway by a company called Foreign Media Group.

They appear to be pan Nordic editions, and judging by the cover art on-line the packaging is in English. The titles released are

A Haunting We Will Go (1942)
Jitterbug (1943)
The Dancing Masters 1943)
The Big Noise (1944)
Great Guns (1941)
The Bullfighters (1945)

Perhaps this bodes well for future releases of the Hal Roach films too?

http://www.platekompaniet.no/Search.asp ... ay&x=0&y=0


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 1:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 3:38 am
Jonathan S wrote:
I don't think there can be a sequel, at least not from the same source, as the silents are owned by a different company to the talkies (in the US). Last I heard, the announced "definitive" US collection of the L&H silents had completely fizzled and customers who'd paid up-front were filing mail fraud charges to recover their money. Also, it has been revealed that the producer who was put in charge of the surviving camera negatives let them rot in his California garage....

From Nitrateville:
Bor Enots (Rob Stone) wrote:
I can tell you where a number of the original camera negatives for the silent went.... into barrels of water to be incinerated. I know because I did it. Nothing is more sickening for a film fan (much less a big L&H lover) then to have to do that, but HABEAS CORPUS was a solid brick... completely beyond ANY chance for restoration. Why? because Michael Agee kept it, and many of the silent nitrate negatives he has in his trust, in his garage. His un-air conditioned, gets hotter than 100 degrees Yorba Linda, California garage!!!! He finally after it was too late for much of the material give it over to UCLA and we had to get rid of a good amount of it. If there had been a single frame we would have saved it... but in many cases the reel was a total loss.

This is terribly sad. From what I can glean in conversations on forums, in spite of everyone's justifiable anger toward Agee, he seems like a well-meaning guy who wants to be perceived as a champion of film preservation, but can't bear to let anyone (with money, means, knowledge, etc.) to shepherd the project, especially if it means he has to relinquish physical control of the negatives. He's been involved with this for so long, he has confused himself with Hal Roach Studios, even though, judging by the results of his stewardship, he has knowledge and proprietary interests that can never be met with means. The narrative he provides to disappointed customers is so pathologically self-involved, digressive, and overweeningly heroic--with themes of self-sacrifice and isolation amidst hostile resistance--that I can't help but feel a little sorry for him, even if he did end up destroying camera negatives through negligence. What a strange cat.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:18 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm
Which version of A Chump at Oxford is the better one to watch first?


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 4:19 am 

Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:31 am
Location: Somerset, England
^ If you're watching it mainly for entertainment (and particularly if you might never get around to both) I'd say go for the extended version - the only one I ever saw for 45 years! But if you're watching them more or less back-to-back, and have a scholarly interest in comparing them, it might be easier - and ultimately more satisfying - to start with the short version.

It always used to be claimed that the only difference was the addition of the dinner party sequence, but in fact there are minor editing changes throughout, including the opening street-sweeping scene.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 1:10 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm
Thanks, I'm just trying to burn through my kevyip before a massive workload hits so I'll just watch the long version.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:09 am 
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Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm
I'm watching through this whole thing, and really enjoying it, but it's driving me crazy that there doesn't seem to be a good way to get the silent shorts- should I just buy the massive R2 brick? I feel like it would make the Essential set redundant, but it seems preferable to spending what would apparently be about $2500 on the Image discs for the missing parts.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:07 pm 

Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:31 am
Location: Somerset, England
matrixschmatrix wrote:
I'm watching through this whole thing, and really enjoying it, but it's driving me crazy that there doesn't seem to be a good way to get the silent shorts- should I just buy the massive R2 brick? I feel like it would make the Essential set redundant, but it seems preferable to spending what would apparently be about $2500 on the Image discs for the missing parts.

I own both and bought the Essential set long after the UK one, mainly because the foreign-language versions are subtitled on the R1, but not on the R2 (unless they've added them since the set's initial release). There are also a few exclusive items on the Essential set and, generally speaking, the prints are slightly cleaner or otherwise superior to the R2 talkie transfers. And of course there's no PAL speed-up.

Note the print quality of the silents varies greatly on the UK set. I haven't seen enough of the R1 Image releases to compare visually but I do believe the scores on the R2 are generally much better, in some cases specially tailored to the films. From what I've seen/heard of the R1 silents, they use the same vintage needle-drop tracks, crudely stitched together, which quickly become annoyingly repetitive.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm
Ok, thanks very much- I'll just wait for a good price on that giant R2 set, and then I can stop driving myself crazy about this.


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