Films With Re-Used Footage

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Brooksie

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Films With Re-Used Footage

PostWed Sep 13, 2017 12:23 pm

Watching MGM's Buster Keaton talkie Speak Easily (1932) yesterday, I noticed what was clearly King Vidor's famous skyscraper window shot from The Crowd (1928) repurposed as an establishing shot. No doubt this was a common practice, especially in the case of older special effects shots that remained durable well into the sound era.

The re-use of footage from the 1924 Dante's Inferno in Twentieth Century-Fox's 1935 film of the same name is another that springs to mind. Anyone got other examples?
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostWed Sep 13, 2017 2:03 pm

Brooksie wrote:Watching MGM's Buster Keaton talkie Speak Easily (1932) yesterday, I noticed what was clearly King Vidor's famous skyscraper window shot from The Crowd (1928) repurposed as an establishing shot.


The same shot was also used in another MGM film, THE EASIEST WAY (1931).

The 1933 Columbia feature, THE CIRCUS QUEEN MURDER, borrowed the Rainey Circus footage from Frank Capra's 1930 film RAIN OR SHINE.
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostWed Sep 13, 2017 2:26 pm

In The Soldier and the Lady, based on Verne's Michael Strogoff, you can see stock footage of Ivan Mosjoukine from the silent version, as well as footage from the French version with Anton Walbrook, made two years before the English version, also with Anton Walbrook. You can probably see all three in the 1956 version.
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostWed Sep 13, 2017 2:29 pm

I remember getting a shock when I first saw the 1934 Western "Wagon Wheels" with Randolph Scott and Gail Patrick. All of a sudden my favorite sequence from the 1925 Western "Tumbleweeds" - and, may I add, its most famous scene! - is up on the screen big-as-you-please! It's the famous Oklahoma land-rush scene.
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostWed Sep 13, 2017 2:42 pm

Stock footage libraries have a long-standing usage. I recall seeing some Edison footage from a Buffalo Bill Wild West show in a Bob Steele B Western in the 1940s.

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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostWed Sep 13, 2017 2:42 pm

The re-use of footage from the 1924 Dante's Inferno in Twentieth Century-Fox's 1935 film of the same name is another that springs to mind. Anyone got other examples?


No one has ever been able to identify an earlier film that the Hell scenes in the 1924 film are taken from, by the way, but watching it some years ago at Cinevent... it was obvious to me that they had done exactly what you would do if you were reusing footage. For instance, there would be a long shot of a Hell scene, and a closeup of an actor in the American film with flames flickering around him-- but never a medium shot that would show you both an extended portion of the Hell set, and also clearly show you the face of the American actor in that set. It was very well done, but it seemed clear to me that it was done.
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostWed Sep 13, 2017 4:14 pm

I feel like aerial footage from Wings may have been repurposed for later films, but can't think of any specific examples. Or maybe I'm thinking of another First World War flying ace title, but I have a memory of getting deja vu while watching an early sound film on the subject.
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostWed Sep 13, 2017 4:54 pm

This is a small-scale example, but one of the later Three Stooges shorts with Joe Besser, Oil's Well that Ends Well, has some footage that I'm almost certain had been used in a Curly short, Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise. Of course they were recycling a number of tried-and-true plots at this point in their careers.

I saw Oil's Well at a hometown theater in 1971 or 1972, when it was paired with the reissue of Modern Times. Talk about a study in contrasts!
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostThu Sep 14, 2017 10:49 am

Mike Gebert wrote:
The re-use of footage from the 1924 Dante's Inferno in Twentieth Century-Fox's 1935 film of the same name is another that springs to mind. Anyone got other examples?


No one has ever been able to identify an earlier film that the Hell scenes in the 1924 film are taken from, by the way, but watching it some years ago at Cinevent... it was obvious to me that they had done exactly what you would do if you were reusing footage. For instance, there would be a long shot of a Hell scene, and a closeup of an actor in the American film with flames flickering around him-- but never a medium shot that would show you both an extended portion of the Hell set, and also clearly show you the face of the American actor in that set. It was very well done, but it seemed clear to me that it was done.


So, what you're saying here is that the 1924 film itself probably contained footage from an earlier version? That's intriguing, because the other part of my interest was the possibility that tiny portions of reused footage from otherwise lost films have made their way into later films. It wouldn't surprise me if footage from one of those Italian epics of the mid teens was used.

s.w.a.c. wrote:I feel like aerial footage from Wings may have been repurposed for later films, but can't think of any specific examples. Or maybe I'm thinking of another First World War flying ace title, but I have a memory of getting deja vu while watching an early sound film on the subject.


That rings a bell. I have an idea it might have even turned up in another Wellman film (paging Frank Thompson!) You can imagine how much additional B-roll footage they must have ended up with, even aside from what was in the finished film. If you had a WWI dogfight to include in a later picture, you'd be a fool not to use it.
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostThu Sep 14, 2017 12:24 pm

The Tarzan franchise liked to re-use wilderness footage from its own movies. I believe a lot of the jungle/Africa footage was shot originally for Trader Horn.
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostThu Sep 14, 2017 12:42 pm

Dean Thompson wrote:This is a small-scale example, but one of the later Three Stooges shorts with Joe Besser, Oil's Well that Ends Well, has some footage that I'm almost certain had been used in a Curly short, Oily to Bed, Oily to Rise. Of course they were recycling a number of tried-and-true plots at this point in their careers.

I saw Oil's Well at a hometown theater in 1971 or 1972, when it was paired with the reissue of Modern Times. Talk about a study in contrasts!


More than one Stooges movie has reused footage. NERTSERY RHYMES (1933), for example, uses the 'Woman in the Shoe' number from LORD BYRON OF BROADWAY. When I first saw this short, I presumed the number was from a film which had been abandoned, but no, they hoped moviegoers' memories were short.
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostThu Sep 14, 2017 2:38 pm

So, what you're saying here is that the 1924 film itself probably contained footage from an earlier version? That's intriguing, because the other part of my interest was the possibility that tiny portions of reused footage from otherwise lost films have made their way into later films. It wouldn't surprise me if footage from one of those Italian epics of the mid teens was used.


Yes, apparently that's long been speculation (this was according to the notes at Cinevent) but no one can identify the film. Nevertheless, looking at it from that point of view, it had all the telltale signs of that scenario-- that a film with elaborate Hell scenes was used for stock footage, and the American cast was inserted into the Hell footage in a way that the casual viewer does not detect, while a new terrestrial story was filmed around it.

Maybe the Italian-or-whatever film was never completed and released. Much like another Hell film, The March of Time.
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostThu Sep 14, 2017 4:19 pm

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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostThu Sep 14, 2017 6:50 pm

" The Tarzan franchise liked to re-use wilderness footage from its own movies. I believe a lot of the jungle/Africa footage was shot originally for Trader Horn...."

This is true.

Dinosaur footage from ONE MILLION B.C. is used in TARZAN'S DESERT MYSTERY.

The ultimate bit of recycling is reusing tinted footage of the crocodile attack from
TARZAN AND HIS MATE (1934) in the Denny Miller remake TARZAN THE APE MAN.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarzan,_the_Ape_Man_(1959_film)
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostThu Sep 14, 2017 7:06 pm

maliejandra wrote:The Tarzan franchise liked to re-use wilderness footage from its own movies. I believe a lot of the jungle/Africa footage was shot originally for Trader Horn.


And wasn't at least a smidge of that footage used to set up Jimmy Durante's turn as Schnarzan in Hollywood Party?
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostFri Sep 15, 2017 3:17 am

A related issue is the re-use of film as actuality - perhaps the best known example is the sequence from "The Battle of the Somme" of troops exiting the trenches and making an attack, which is well known to have been filmed after the battle and in a training area in France remote from the battle, to add to the real footage which for obvious reasons was taken from a distance.

This particular clip turns up time after time in newsreel or T.V. documentary programmes uncredited, usually used to illustrate the extensive casualties. I believe that footage from "Wings" often turns up also as real WW I air fighting.
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostFri Sep 15, 2017 8:08 am

Riffing from the Tarzan reuses, ethnographic exploitation films are probably the champs at reusing earlier footage. Ingagi is probably 80% from 1915’s The Heart of Africa, and then of course later films cribbed from Ingagi setting off an avalanche of cribbed films.
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostFri Sep 15, 2017 12:07 pm

Speaking of Frank Thompson's "Lost Films," stock footage from Universal's 1926 "The Flaming Frontier" seems to turn up in nearly every 'thirties Universal Western serial. Not only is it easy to spot because of the change in contrast and grain, but the integrated scenes often don't match, e.g., a long shot of a horde of charging Indians, with the new medium-shot footage containing only a handful.
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostSun Sep 17, 2017 5:04 pm

Reusing stock footage is as old as the hills. I've seen city footage from '30s Warner films recycled as late as 77 SUNSET STRIP episodes in the 60s. And Ben Pivar was a genius at building features around the library; the Richard Arlen/Andy Devine series he produced at Universal from 39-41 (and the seven Arlen-less ones that followed) are great examples of this; he even used footage from German mountain films that Uncle Carl had purchased years earlier (e.g, a huge action scene from THE REBEL turned up in MUTINY ON THE BLACKHAWK). And the six John Wayne westerns that Warners made 32-33 were remakes of Ken Maynard silents, with all the big action scenes reused and Duke wearing an identical costume so the shots would match.

BTW, MGM used that Tarzan/alligator fight five times.

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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostMon Sep 18, 2017 8:29 am

One of the more unfortunate instances was when RKO cut quite a bit of action footage from the camera negative of THE PAINTED DESERT (1930) and inserted it into PAINTED DESERT (1938). All extant prints of the first film are minus that footage (I managed to use a spare print of the '38 film to restore my print of the '30 film).
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostMon Sep 18, 2017 11:14 am

If we're talking about the low budget sector, exploitation films would have to take the prize for the reuse of material. Willis Kent Productions managed to make a whole new feature out of excerpts of their earlier productions, linked together by ten or so minutes of new footage - Confessions of a Vice Baron (1943). I've found showings of that film well into the 1950s, at which point some of the footage was nearly twenty years old.
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostMon Sep 18, 2017 12:01 pm

Another example is the reuse of the robbery scene in YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE (1937) in 1945's DILLINGER.
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostFri Sep 22, 2017 9:34 am

Parts of THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938) were re-used in THE ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN (1947) both strred Errol Flynn.

The big sea battle in SEA HAWK (1940) re-uses shots from the earlier CAPTAIN BLOOD (1935) which in turn came from THE DIVINE LADY (1929) and the even earlier SEA HAWK (1924). Talk about recycling!

I believe that some of the vast crowd scenes in THE SCARLET EMPRESS (1934) were taken from a 1928 Lubitsch epic called THE PATRIOT (now lost, unfortunately ) starring Emil jannings.

The picnic scene in CITIZEN KANE re-uses some of the Skull island process shots from KING KONG as background shots.

The opening tracking sequence moving down an elaborate set of the norious Pacific Street in San Francisco in the George Raft film NOB HILL (1945) is a direct lift from an identical opening sequence in the Alice Faye musical HELLO FRISCO HELLO (1943)

There are probably dozens more examples, maybe hundreds - but these are the most famous ones that come to my mind, at the moment.
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostFri Sep 22, 2017 11:37 am

brendangcarroll wrote:Parts of THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (1938) were re-used in THE ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN (1947) both starred Errol Flynn.


-----

THE ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN recycles shots from THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX, but where are there shots from ROBIN HOOD? (Can't check the DVD myself at the present moment.) Thanks!
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostFri Sep 22, 2017 12:17 pm

Regarding your question about recycled footage from ROBIN HOOD in THE ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN, look to the scene when Don Juan (Errol Flynn) is seen escaping on horseback over the castle drawbridge and into the forest, through a triangular beam of light shining through the trees. This is footage taken directly from The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938).
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostFri Sep 22, 2017 12:32 pm

brendangcarroll wrote:Regarding your question about recycled footage from ROBIN HOOD in THE ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN, look to the scene when Don Juan (Errol Flynn) is seen escaping on horseback over the castle drawbridge and into the forest, through a triangular beam of light shining through the trees. This is footage taken directly from The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938).


-------

Excellent! In Rudy Behlmer's indispensable INSIDE WARNER BROTHERS there are references to customer complaints about the recycled footage in DON JUAN; Warners felt obliged to add the word "NEW" to the title in its promotional efforts. Thanks!
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostFri Sep 22, 2017 12:46 pm

I would never wish to contradict my dear old friend, Rudy Behlmer but I always thought Warners added the word "new" to their promotional material for ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN to avoid mistaken comparisons with the 1934 Korda film starring Douglas Fairbanks Snr.
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostFri Sep 22, 2017 2:27 pm

brendangcarroll wrote:I would never wish to contradict my dear old friend, Rudy Behlmer but I always thought Warners added the word "new" to their promotional material for ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN to avoid mistaken comparisons with the 1934 Korda film starring Douglas Fairbanks Snr.


-------

Just for laffs, here's the relevant passage from Rudy Behlmer's INSIDE WARNER BROS. (1935-1951):
Image
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostTue Oct 03, 2017 6:34 pm

David Howard's "The Golden West" (1932) recycles long stretches of footage from 2 earlier George O'Brien Fox films, "The Iron Horse" (1924) and "Three Bad Men"(1926). Both films feature a rescue of a train beset by Indians by another train of men that includes George. An actual 1924 print must have been recycled in because long shots look incredibly grainy, and even bubbling, alongside the 1932 footage.
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Re: Films With Re-Used Footage

PostTue Oct 03, 2017 6:57 pm

Brooksie wrote:Watching MGM's Buster Keaton talkie Speak Easily (1932) yesterday, I noticed what was clearly King Vidor's famous skyscraper window shot from The Crowd (1928) repurposed as an establishing shot. No doubt this was a common practice, especially in the case of older special effects shots that remained durable well into the sound era.

The re-use of footage from the 1924 Dante's Inferno in Twentieth Century-Fox's 1935 film of the same name is another that springs to mind. Anyone got other examples?


The following Keaton film WHAT! NO BEER? also makes use of the very following shot in THE CROWD, panning across the vast field of identical desks....
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