FRONT PAGE 31 GOOD COPY ON DVD?

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louie
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FRONT PAGE 31 GOOD COPY ON DVD?

Unread post by louie » Sun Dec 07, 2008 7:39 am

just saw this on tcm again and it is still the same very poor print. jumpy and bad sound.

is this the best there is?

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Jim Reid
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Unread post by Jim Reid » Sun Dec 07, 2008 8:35 am

It would be interesting to know if the Hughes estate still has the original elements on this or did they go to Columbia when they made His Girl Friday?

Richard P. May
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Unread post by Richard P. May » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:44 am

Considering the ongoing interest in this film, I would guess the original elements are long gone. I recorded this TCM showing, and watched it last night. It appears to have been mastered from a 16mm syndication print. Notice the soft image, poor sound, and noticeable big splices and punched cue marks.
If a 35mm copy in decent condition showed up, or better yet, pre-print elements, I would guess it would take at least $25,000 to get it into usable condition.
There were many situations where, when a movie was remade, the elements for the original version were destroyed. I have had personal experience with one of these, where with sale of the original version to another company all elements except one reference print were to be destroyed. Somebody didn't follow instructions, however, and that original was turned over to the purchasing company who preserved it. The original negative still resides in one of the major archives.
Dick May

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Jim Reid
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Unread post by Jim Reid » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:58 am

I was afraid of that.

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Ray Faiola
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Unread post by Ray Faiola » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:40 pm

The one I'd really like to see improved is WINTERSET. One of the LA facilities has 35mm elements but, as an orphan film, nothing's happening with it. The film features several outstanding performances including Paul Guilfoyle, Margo, Stanley Ridges and Eduardo Ciannelli. And one of Willard Robertson's best meanie cop roles!
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Harlett O'Dowd
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Unread post by Harlett O'Dowd » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:30 pm

Ray Faiola wrote:The one I'd really like to see improved is WINTERSET. One of the LA facilities has 35mm elements but, as an orphan film, nothing's happening with it. The film features several outstanding performances including Paul Guilfoyle, Margo, Stanley Ridges and Eduardo Ciannelli. And one of Willard Robertson's best meanie cop roles!
I didn't think the copy they ran at Cinecon some years back failed to pass muster - although I was amused when guest Burgess Meredith turned to his companion in the less-than-acoustically-ideal Blossom Room and asked, "Can't they turn the sound up?"

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Harold Aherne
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Unread post by Harold Aherne » Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:41 pm

Just what is the copyright situation/history of The Front Page? Presumably it was sold to Columbia for remake as His Girl Friday, but it was also remade by Universal in 1974 under the original title. Given all the low-rent DVDs of the first two films, I'd have to think that both were PD, but Columbia has their own version of His Girl Friday available; did they need permission from Universal or anyone else? And what about the underlying rights of the original play?

-Harold

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silentfilm
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Unread post by silentfilm » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:24 pm

The Front Page and His Girl Friday are both public domain. Of course the 1974 Billy Wilder version is still copyrighted. The original play was also remade into Switching Channels with Kathleen Turner, Burt Reynolds, and Christopher Reeve in 1988.

Columbia had excellent quality materials, so their DVD quality is better than most versions.

There are tons of 16mm prints of this film floating around, because it was shown on TV frequently and sold by public domain 16mm distributors. I've got one.

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