The highlight of the project would seem to be the promised inclusion of amateur color footage from a tour stop.
This posting is not to be regarded as an endorsement of the project.
Hollywood Victory Caravan - A Star Spangled Show
By I. Joseph Hyatt
A new DVD documentary with color movie footage of Laurel & Hardy, Groucho Marx, James Cagney, Bob Hope, Joan Blondell, and many more.
The Hollywood Victory Caravan was America's largest bond tour during World War Two. The content of the show varied but typically it ran for around three and half hours with Bob Hope and Cary Grant sharing the master-of-ceremonies role. Each star had a brief role, as an example: Laurel and Hardy did their “Driver’s Licence Sketch”, James Cagney did songs and dances as George M. Cohan in full costume from Yankee Doodle Dandy.
Always a Laurel and Hardy fan and a film collector going back to the 1960's, one of my favorite discoveries occurred in 1983. I had just finished a presentation in Philadelphia on WWII movies when I was approached by a member of the audience. A former soldier, he told me that he was in attendance the evening the all-star troupe performed on May 2, 1942. Over 4 decades after the event he never forgot the experience of seeing so many stars live.
Amazing as this conversation was, it was soon to get better.
The soldier told me he sat in the tenth row center of the arena. He also brought his 16mm home movie camera with him, along with two rolls of Kodachrome film.
While enjoying the show, he was able to film a bit of every act. After a bit of negotiation I was able to add this film to my collection. It is the only known color filmed record of the Hollywood Victory Caravan that I know to exist.
The DVD Project
The "Star Spangled Show - Hollywood Victory Caravan" DVD will contain the full two reel home movie of the performances but will also have a new-to-DVD Hollywood Victory Caravan documentary telling the story of the Caravan's tour from beginning to end. Bonus features will include 2 additional shorts made to contribute to the war effort, and a 1953 television comedy that contains a bit of the Hal Roach Studios, which was a major producer of WWII training films.
The Goal: $7000
Reaching the Kickstarter goal will ensure a high quality digital transfer from the original film source. It will also insure a high quality professional DVD replication. To keep the cost reasonable the size of the pressing will be limited, so your pre-order will allow the production of the right number of discs. This pre-sale campaign will tell us how many copies we need to produce and allow you to ensure you can get one. For this project to become a reality, I need to raise at least $7000, which will cover the cost to press the needed minimum number of copies, and cover other expenses, such as Kickstarter's fees, etc.
Please remember that postage costs will be added to all pre-orders. If the $7000 goal is reached, the DVD will be shipped by July 2018.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!
Telling your friends and increasing sales of this DVD will help bring it to fruition. If the goal is reached any KickStarter supporters who pledged $55 or more and provided their email address will receive full color PDF files from the collection of I. Joseph Hyatt.
These files will consist of the complete souvenir program from opening night in Washington, DC, the program from Cleveland Ohio, and San Francisco's closing night program. ALSO INCLUDED as PDF: Bob Hope's souvenir program from Dallas, Texas. This program was signed by the stars and crew of the Hollywood Victory Caravan and was part of Bob Hope's memorabilia. The file will be emailed by June of 2018 to all pre-purchasers who provide their email addresses.
I Joseph Hyatt
Risks and challenges
As I film collector for more than half a century I take pride in my reputation. I was one of the early film collectors to trade on eBay (under 'Sandman300' should you want to check my rating) and my many books on film are available through Amazon and B&N.com. The only risk associated with this project is one shared to all Kickstarter projects: if I don't achieve the minimum level of funding, this DVD will not be produced. In that event, the only risk to you is extreme disappointment; your credit card will not be charged.
UCLA has recently posted some Hearst footage from the Washington DC stop
May 1942 article with photos on the Minnesota stop and the “set list.”