Missing footage for Hat Check Girl?

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Lokke Heiss

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Missing footage for Hat Check Girl?

PostWed Jun 06, 2018 1:32 pm

The group mind can be very helpful for a mystery that occurred last night at the Museum of Modern Art.
They screened Hat Check Girl. 1932. Directed by Sidney Lanfield. Screenplay by Barry Conners, Philip Klein, based on the novel by Rian James. With Sally Eilers, Ben Lyon, Ginger Rogers. 35mm. 75 min.

Everything going okay...well the male lead wasn't so hot but you can't get Gary Cooper for every film. Anyway, the film is racing toward a party where something dramatic may happen, the characters are assembling to celebrate a coming wedding...and then whoosh, there's a jump cut and the next thing we see is a newspaper announcing someone has been killed and someone arrested. Footage has been last, perhaps five minutes, maybe up to one real.

Does anyone know this film? Dave Kehr checked and the running time was 63 minutes, not 75. I think this was not a MoMA error, they were sent 63 minutes of film. So maybe the restoration people didn't see a huge continuity error?

Does anyone have a copy of this film? Is there a scene of a party and then a murder, which would be the most dramatic scene in the film?

Thanks in advance-
"You can't top pigs with pigs."

Walt Disney, responding to someone who asked him why he didn't immediately do a sequel to The Three Little Pigs
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earlytalkiebuffRob

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Re: Missing footage for Hat Check Girl?

PostWed Jun 06, 2018 1:46 pm

Similar thing happened with a NFT showing of THE CROWD ROARS (1932) during a Hawks season in 1976. There was a big jump in the storyline near the end, although one could tell roughly what had happened between reels. Seems as if this was the same copy viewed by author Donald C Willis in his monograph on Hawks.Don't know yet if the film survives complete.
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Harold Aherne

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Re: Missing footage for Hat Check Girl?

PostWed Jun 06, 2018 5:22 pm

Harrison's Reports (15 Oct. 1932) says 63 minutes; AFI catalogie says 63-65 minutes. Harrison was usually quite accurate, but someone would have to check the cutting continuity to be sure.

--HA
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jameslayton

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Re: Missing footage for Hat Check Girl?

PostWed Jun 06, 2018 7:08 pm

I think the 75 minutes reference must be an error on the MoMA website. The film was listed as 63 minutes when it played at MoMA in 2014.

https://www.moma.org/calendar/events/434?locale=en
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Lokke Heiss

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Re: Missing footage for Hat Check Girl?

PostWed Jun 06, 2018 9:22 pm

How does someone go about checking the cutting continuity? Where would those records be? If in NYC, I volunteer.

I think the only thing left is to wait until some of you see this film, and see if everyone agrees there is at least a few minutes of the (most important part) of the film missing, possibly even an entire reel.
"You can't top pigs with pigs."

Walt Disney, responding to someone who asked him why he didn't immediately do a sequel to The Three Little Pigs
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MDJimenez

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Re: Missing footage for Hat Check Girl?

PostThu Jun 07, 2018 8:06 am

Perhaps, what may help is to find out if this film was re-released after the Code. If it was, entire scenes may have been cut so we may only have the Postcode version of a Precode film like Love Me Tonight or Arrowsmith.
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Brooksie

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Re: Missing footage for Hat Check Girl?

PostThu Jun 07, 2018 5:32 pm

The continuity is available at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, but the AFI Catalogue entry is based solely on that continuity (i.e. a print was not viewed), which would allow you to compare and contrast what you saw.

The AFI also notes that the PCA were unhappy with a scene in which women are seen undressing, and that the studio also encountered serious opposition to the film's proposed reissue in 1937. It could be that the surviving version is indeed a post-Code cutdown.
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missdupont

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Re: Missing footage for Hat Check Girl?

PostFri Jun 08, 2018 12:04 pm

The Code files are at the Margaret Herrick Library, and they do have a file on Hat Check Girl.

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