Go Into Your Dance & altered opening titles

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Harold Aherne
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Go Into Your Dance & altered opening titles

Unread post by Harold Aherne » Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:59 am

I was just reviewing my copy of Go Into Your Dance that arrived recently and I noticed something that I had seen before but stuck out more obviously this time: the film opens with the 1937-48 WB logo and fanfare and the opening credits use a typeface and layout more typical of Warners' mid-late 40s films that their mid-30s ones. There's also a title inserted right before the picture begins that mentions how Broadway was flourishing in 1935 or words to that effect, in a past tense that would seem bizarre to include in an original release. Could there have been a reissue? I wondered.

The trusty Google news archive reveals that Go Into Your Dance was indeed reissued in June 1947, at which time the alterations noted above were probably made. How many other Warners films of the time are similarly affected? There's at least Bright Lights (title changed to 'Adventures in Africa' for TV syndication) and Smart Money (reissued in 1954). G-Men doesn't have its titles altered but there is a prologue tacked on acknowledging an anniversary of the FBI (the reissue seems to have taken place in 1949).

-Harold

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Derek B.
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Unread post by Derek B. » Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:32 am

The first example I can think of is RKO rather than WB. The DVD of Stage Door has the original opening credits but until then both on film and video I had only seen it with new credits presumably from the 1953 reissue (that, among other things, listed Lucille Ball, Eve Arden and Ann Miller higher). I did notice that the original opening credits did not have the director credit last as became standard soon after; the later version did. (The DVD also has a brief montage near the end that I don't think I had seen before.)
- Derek B.

dr.giraud
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Unread post by dr.giraud » Fri Oct 30, 2009 11:46 am

BRIGHT LIGHTS was retitled because of a later WB film with the same title. Same thing happened to the 1931 MALTESE FALCON. Though the idea of WB reissuing a Dorothy MacKaill-Frank Fay musical in the 1950s is fun to imagine.

The real nightmare is in cartoons. WB has been able to restore some original credits to the "Blue Ribbon" reissues of 1930s-40s Merrie Melodies & Looney Tunes, but many openings are just lost. Nice examples on Jerry Beck's page here:

http://www.cartoonresearch.com/warner.html

Not WB, but the print of STATE OF THE UNION shown on TCM has the reissue titles listing "Katherine" instead of Katharine Hepburn.
dr. giraud

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Harlett O'Dowd
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Unread post by Harlett O'Dowd » Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:04 pm

The title slide from the opening of The Bells of St. Mary's has long since been tampered with. The slide itself appears to be original, but there is a gray bar covering some of the text on the bottom of slide.

Hal Erickson
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Unread post by Hal Erickson » Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:07 pm

GO INTO YOUR DANCE was obviously reissued to cash in on the success of Columbia's THE JOLSON STORY. Prior to his cameo in 1945's RHAPSODY IN BLUE, Jolson was considered washed up in the movies. No reason to reissue the film any earlier.
BTW, Reshooting the opening titles was hardly unique to WB. Columbia did it all the time for the reissues of such films as A MAN'S CASTLE, I AM THE LAW and FACE BEHIND THE MASK. Same with 20th C-F's reissue of the 1934 Spencer Tracy starrer MARIE GALLANTE.

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Harlett O'Dowd
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Unread post by Harlett O'Dowd » Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:45 pm

Hal Erickson wrote:Same with 20th C-F's reissue of the 1934 Spencer Tracy starrer MARIE GALLANTE.
when did that happen?

Hal Erickson
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Unread post by Hal Erickson » Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:55 pm

Harlett O'Dowd wrote:
Hal Erickson wrote:Same with 20th C-F's reissue of the 1934 Spencer Tracy starrer MARIE GALLANTE.
when did that happen?
I don't know, but it would have to be after the 20thCentury and Fox merger 1935. Probably after 1937, when Tracy won his first Oscar. The PD prints of this film have reshot opening titles.
Give a look here:
http://www.archive.org/details/MarieGalante

Hal Erickson
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Unread post by Hal Erickson » Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:57 pm

Pardon me. Tracy won his first Oscar in 1938. The typeset on the reshot titles of MARIE GALANTE have a late-1930s "look."

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radiotelefonia
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Unread post by radiotelefonia » Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:38 pm

I remember a few RKO films that have been shown for many years with a Selznick International opening logo.

Several films from Samuel Goldwyn have their references to United Artists removed in an annoying way. Chaplin altered the opening credits for MODERN TIMES and THE GREAT DICTATOR.

Columbia's TEXAS CYCLONE, with Tim McCoy and John Wayne, has survived without the original opening and ending credits (there is not even a reference to the studio).

And where are the original First National credits of the Chaplin films?

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colbyco82
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Unread post by colbyco82 » Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:06 pm

radiotelefonia wrote: And where are the original First National credits of the Chaplin films?
Ive always wondered this too. I hate the way Chaplin went back and replaced the original credits with those bland black and white title cards.

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Jack Theakston
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Unread post by Jack Theakston » Sat Oct 31, 2009 2:54 am

Most of the time, you'll see that opening titles were replaced for re-issues specifically after 1953 to block for widescreen. The Loony Toon re-issues are the most obvious, blocked for 1.85-1.
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Ray Faiola
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Unread post by Ray Faiola » Sat Oct 31, 2009 9:07 pm

The reissue trailer for GO INTO YOUR DANCE is even more unctious than the feature. There is no mention of Ruby Keeler whatsoever in the 1947 trailer. The feature reduced her billing to the after-title list. I wonder if Warners stockholder Jolson had anything to do with the alterations.....
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dr.giraud
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Unread post by dr.giraud » Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:57 pm

Jack Theakston wrote:Most of the time, you'll see that opening titles were replaced for re-issues specifically after 1953 to block for widescreen. The Loony Toon re-issues are the most obvious, blocked for 1.85-1.
A number of later Blue Ribbon reissues on the Looney Tunes sets have the "Blue Ribbon" opener, followed by the original credits, unchanged. I assumed that it was a union victory.
dr. giraud

dr.giraud
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Unread post by dr.giraud » Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:58 pm

Ray Faiola wrote:The reissue trailer for GO INTO YOUR DANCE is even more unctious than the feature. There is no mention of Ruby Keeler whatsoever in the 1947 trailer. The feature reduced her billing to the after-title list. I wonder if Warners stockholder Jolson had anything to do with the alterations.....
Or the fact that Keeler kept her name out of THE JOLSON STORY.
dr. giraud

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