The Sea Wolf (1941) Finally Restored to Original Length!!!

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brendangcarroll

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The Sea Wolf (1941) Finally Restored to Original Length!!!

PostSat Sep 23, 2017 2:40 am

Some great news from The Warner Archive DVD Collection (and with thanks to Glenn Erickson at CineSavant.com):

October 10th sees the premiere of a new Blu-ray of 1941’s The Sea Wolf, finally restored to its original theatrical length for the first time in over 75 years.

This is the classic version of Jack London's famous novel starring Edward G. Robinson, Ida Lupino and John Garfield. All that's ever been seen on Dvd or TV up to now was a poor quality reissue version cut by a full fourteen minutes.

According to the WAC website:-

“Long thought to exist only in substandard form, Warner Bros. is proud to present this film as first released in 1941, restoring its original 100-minute running time from 35mm nitrate elements.”

This film also has one of Erich Wofgang Korngold's finest and most abstract scores, highly reminiscent of his mystical operas. Indeed, the story so captured his imagination, he considered turning it into an opera at one point.

The news that this film has finally been restored is remarkable and very very welcome.

Brendan Carroll
"Korngold has so much talent he could give half away and still have enough left for himself..." Giacomo Puccini (1921)
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earlytalkiebuffRob

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Re: The Sea Wolf (1941) Finally Restored to Original Length!

PostSat Sep 23, 2017 1:39 pm

I had no idea that THE SEA WOLF had been cut, only having seen it a couple of times (a showing at my local film society was missed for some reason or other - perhaps college) on TV / videocassette. The copies I've seen were very good to my memory, so when was it cut?
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brendangcarroll

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Re: The Sea Wolf (1941) Finally Restored to Original Length!

PostSat Sep 23, 2017 1:46 pm

SEA WOLF was cut in 1947 for its first reissue so that it would fit on a double bill with another film (I forget which). The actual camera negative was cut and the trims discarded. Consequently, all subsequent reissues on video, dvd and for TV showings were only able to use the 1947 print as source.

It was believed that no complete print survived but I believe Turner/WB has (for several years) undertaken a worldwide search to try to locate an intact and good 35mm print. This release indicates they were successful.
"Korngold has so much talent he could give half away and still have enough left for himself..." Giacomo Puccini (1921)
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Javier

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Re: The Sea Wolf (1941) Finally Restored to Original Length!

PostSat Sep 23, 2017 6:21 pm

brendangcarroll wrote:SEA WOLF was cut in 1947 for its first reissue so that it would fit on a double bill with another film (I forget which). The actual camera negative was cut and the trims discarded. Consequently, all subsequent reissues on video, dvd and for TV showings were only able to use the 1947 print as source.

It was believed that no complete print survived but I believe Turner/WB has (for several years) undertaken a worldwide search to try to locate an intact and good 35mm print. This release indicates they were successful.


Happy Birth-Day to me!
Such great news, for so many years I waited and waited, in the hopes someone would find the missing footage and release it to us.
Edward G. Robinson and John Garfield are terrific in this fantastic film.
Thank you for sharing the news, it really made my day. :D
"it's a Kafka high, you feel like a bug"
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brendangcarroll

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Re: The Sea Wolf (1941) Finally Restored to Original Length!

PostSat Sep 23, 2017 10:41 pm

Javier - I'm delighted I made your day!
"Korngold has so much talent he could give half away and still have enough left for himself..." Giacomo Puccini (1921)
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Henry Nicolella

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Re: The Sea Wolf (1941) Finally Restored to Original Length!

PostSun Sep 24, 2017 6:28 am

Didn't the long version play at Syracuse Cinefest long ago?
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Ray Faiola

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Re: The Sea Wolf (1941) Finally Restored to Original Length!

PostMon Sep 25, 2017 4:35 am

I saw John Garfield's personal print of THE SEA WOLF about twenty years ago. Soon after it was donated to NYU. Warners had considered incorporating footage from that 16mm print but were holding off until all efforts were made for a 35mm print to be uncovered, which finally paid off. The footage itself is great and, thankfully, we will now know where the "phantom cues" of Korngold's score belong.
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cinefan

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Re: The Sea Wolf (1941) Finally Restored to Original Length!

PostMon Sep 25, 2017 10:49 am

Henry Nicolella wrote:Didn't the long version play at Syracuse Cinefest long ago?


I also have a memory of seeing a version at Cinefest that was advertised as being longer or restored in some way. That was the first time I'd seen it so I would have had no idea what was new. I think I still have all of my Cinefest programs -- if I can locate the one from that year maybe I can find what was said about it in the program notes.
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Ray Faiola

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Re: The Sea Wolf (1941) Finally Restored to Original Length!

PostTue Sep 26, 2017 10:42 am

I think that may have been Everson's print which was, I believe, a reversal of Garfield's print.
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cinefan

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Re: The Sea Wolf (1941) Finally Restored to Original Length!

PostThu Sep 28, 2017 5:53 am

Ray Faiola wrote:I think that may have been Everson's print which was, I believe, a reversal of Garfield's print.


I did find the Cinefest program but it offers no further information on the print source or length. It was Cinefest 16 in 1996. The program note for the film is uncredited and offers just a one sentence plot synopsis. It played the late night slot on Saturday so it was 16mm. That's a slot I usually fell asleep during :D -- but I do remember seeing this and also remember either an introduction or discussion at some other time during the Cinefest which highlighted its extended length.

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