Gallery of Mastheads

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by s.w.a.c. » Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:50 pm

Jim Roots wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:12 am
Glad to see the Tin Man is holding a Canadian-made axe!
I wonder if he got it in New Brunswick?
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Brooksie » Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:13 pm

Mike Gebert wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:35 pm
I trust I do not have to introduce anyone here.
An interesting question, in its own way. Setting aside Garland, how well remembered would any of the lead performers be today, if not for their performances in Oz? Haley, Bolger and Lahr's film careers were relatively minor, and Frank Morgan was prolific, but more of a character actor than a leading man.

It says much that audiences of 1939 would have come to the film with certain preconceived notions based on the casting, but it's well made enough not to rely on them.

To put it another way, it's a rare film that outlives its in-jokes.

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by s.w.a.c. » Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:13 am

Brooksie wrote:
Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:13 pm
Setting aside Garland, how well remembered would any of the lead performers be today, if not for their performances in Oz? Haley, Bolger and Lahr's film careers were relatively minor, and Frank Morgan was prolific, but more of a character actor than a leading man.
I first knew Bolger as the aging uncle who was in vaudeville on The Partridge Family, of all things. I can't say I've seen Haley in much of anything else, apart from at least one early Warner Bros. short with Shemp Howard.

It would be nice if one of Bolger's rare starring roles, the musical version of Charley's Aunt, Where's Charley? (1952) would finally surface on DVD. I've seen one of the musical numbers and it's great, plus with music by Frank Loesser it's hard to go wrong. But I'm guessing there are rights issues keeping it in limbo (or on the shelves of collectors who have 16mm prints).
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Brooksie » Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:08 am

Haley is quite good in the films I have seen him in (Sitting Pretty (1933), Redheads on Parade (1935) and Pigskin Parade (1936), for example), and also The Wonder Show, which he hosted on radio - but he's one of those performers where you feel that he'd have happily stayed in vaudeville if the bottom hadn't dropped out of it.

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Sat Aug 03, 2019 7:57 am

I grew up in a town where the local TV stations had RKO and Universal/Paramount packages. So I grew up seeing King Kong, Citizen Kane, Fred and Ginger and the Marx Bros., but I only knew Humphrey Bogart from The African Queen which still played network TV then, and the first I saw of any of the MGM musicals other than Oz was in That's Entertainment.

Which is to say, I still don't know what Jack Haley or Ray Bolger were ever in back in the day, besides Oz. Hold That Co-Ed and Moon Over Miami... Four Jacks and a Jill and The Harvey Girls... yeah, they hit the jackpot, eternal memory-wise with one film.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Sat Aug 31, 2019 9:40 pm

Image

I wanted to continue the 1939 theme, but I didn't want to do Stagecoach because John Wayne had already been up there some years ago, Only Angels Have Wings would have been good but Jean Arthur was just up not so long ago... what was a 1939 movie where neither of the leads (I assume it has two, though obviously that's not the case with, say, The Women) had already been on the masthead? And then I found it: the lovely Love Affair, directed by Leo McCarey, with Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer, dressed for fall.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by boblipton » Sun Sep 01, 2019 3:08 am

Much better than the better known remake, in which Cary Grant is French, Deborah Kerr is from Boston and a set of miniature street mugs gather to sing a bit of faux Capra-corn that Frank would roll his eyes at.

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Dean Thompson » Sun Sep 01, 2019 10:54 am

Mike, it was your enthusiasm for Only Angels Have Wings that led me to watch that wonderful film, so I'm going to seek out (the original) Love Affair as well.

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:21 am

Thanks, Dean, nice to hear.

One issue with Love Affair is that it fell out of copyright but the musical score was still under copyright, so there are PD versions out there with the original score scrubbed off and replaced, or simply gone so it feels like a 1930 movie. Not sure how to tell a good version, I don't know of a definitive release, but if you check one and it seems... off, keep looking.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by MaryGH » Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:13 pm

Mike Gebert wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 9:40 pm
Image

I wanted to continue the 1939 theme, but I didn't want to do Stagecoach because John Wayne had already been up there some years ago, Only Angels Have Wings would have been good but Jean Arthur was just up not so long ago... what was a 1939 movie where neither of the leads (I assume it has two, though obviously that's not the case with, say, The Women) had already been on the masthead? And then I found it: the lovely Love Affair, directed by Leo McCarey, with Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer, dressed for fall.


Or in addition (or option) to John Wayne, include a nice shot of Luke Plummer - he wants a turn on the masthead.

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Jim Roots » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:03 am

Boyer is wearing a Roots Canada prototype scarf.

Hey, if you can't trust me to identify a Roots product, who can you trust?

Jim

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by boblipton » Mon Sep 02, 2019 8:35 am

Company founded in 1973.

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Jim Roots » Mon Sep 02, 2019 11:15 am

That's why I identified it as a prototype.

Jim

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Mon Sep 02, 2019 2:52 pm

So I went to see what was out there on streaming services as far as Love Affair is concerned. The good news, everything seems to have the original RKO score and soundtrack now. The less good news is that I wouldn't say there's a first-rate copy anywhere-- a lot of PD video-level transfers, some with visible jaggies, or just a general softness or murkiness. Amazon's is somewhere near the middle of the pack; the (slightly) best one I found offhand is on a service called Tubi.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Dean Thompson » Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:23 pm

Mike Gebert wrote:
Mon Sep 02, 2019 2:52 pm
[T]he (slightly) best one I found offhand is on a service called Tubi.
Or not Tubi?

(Sorry--I taught Hamlet this morning....)

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Brooksie » Mon Sep 02, 2019 4:37 pm

From memory, the copy of Love Affair on The Film Detective is OK too. It's often a good place to look for PD titles in better transfers than are available elsewhere.

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:20 pm

I don't know how Film Detective's disk is, but the version you can stream online was right on par with the others, at least the better ones like Tubi. Maybe it's better coming through your TV and Roku or whatever, but that was at 720, and could have looked better than it did at that resolution.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by George O'Brien » Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:28 pm

The print of "Love Affair" broadcast by TCM during their recent salute to the films of 1939 (it was the very last film of the series - on midnight on the last day) was the best I have ever seen. It bore a Library of Congress or MOMA opening card, and may even have been restored. I was astonished how and sharp and rich the cinematography looked.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Rick Lanham » Sat Sep 21, 2019 4:27 pm

Love Affair (1939) is scheduled on TCM tomorrow, Sunday, Sept. 22 at 8:15 AM EST.

https://www.tcm.com/schedule/index.html ... 2019-09-22

Rick
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:56 pm

I was going to put up another 1939 film, but then I was reminded that this month was the 100th anniversary of the best-loved Australian film of the silent era. And so, in honor of our Australian members here:

Image

The Sentimental Bloke, directed by Raymond Longford, written by Longford and his [correction] constant companion Lottie Lyell, and starring Lyell and Arthur Tauchert, was based on a popular poem which captured the lives of happy-go-lucky larrikins (slang which Wikipedia informs me means "an uncultivated, rowdy but good hearted person"), one in particular as he finds love and settles down. Predictably, the depiction of the lower classes meant that the film nearly didn't get seen, as its distributor sat on it, but in the end, it proved to be the most popular Australian film of the silent era. Happily it survives, and you can watch it here:

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by boblipton » Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:52 am

While the American film industry embraced its lower-class audience and was happy to offer stories about them -- particularly comedy -- the British and by extension, it seems, the Australian film makers strove to appeal to the middle classes. I've noticed this divergence in attitudes early. Perhaps this was perceived as an allocation, since AM&B handled several British producers in the US. By the middle of the 1910s, this tendency seems to have largely vanished, particularly given the essentially lower-class viewpoints of Sennett and his imitators. Mike, however, indicates that the tendency continued for some time in Australia.

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Brooksie » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:55 pm

Huzzah! I dips me lid! Very pleased to see this Mike. Bosker! :D :D :D

It's a film with a big beating heart and an essential Australian-ness that survives the century-long leap. I might note that I'm not aware of a single commemoration in Australia itself. No centenary screenings, no nothing. So, thank you for recognising it here.

To make one tiny correction - Lyell and Longford were professional and personal partners, but not spouses. It was a Hearst-and-Davies kind of situation, both in that it seems to have been an open secret, and Longford was separated but never divorced from his wife.

And for those who'd like to watch the movie, please do, but mute the godawful accompaniment whoever uploaded it to YouTube has added ... it repeats OVER ... and OVER ... and OVER ... and OVER ... meanwhile, the full text of the poem on which it is based is available at archive.org, complete with a handy glossary of the slang.

I'll direct anyone with further interest about its history and preservation to historian Graham Shirley's speech for the launch of the DVD. Its survival and rediscovery is quite a story in itself.

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Jim Roots » Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:29 am

Ahem ... Okay, here goes ...

In the masthead picture, Lyell is dressed and coiffed exactly like Mabel Normand.

Mabel, of course, was half-Canadian.

You'll have to do better than a hundred-year-old Australian film to stump me, Mike!

Jim

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by s.w.a.c. » Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:30 am

Lovely essay on the history of the film's rediscovery and restoration.

And if anyone wants to own a copy (and has a DVD player that can handle PAL discs), they have it for sale at the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by s.w.a.c. » Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:01 am

s.w.a.c. wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:30 am
Lovely essay on the history of the film's rediscovery and restoration.

And if anyone wants to own a copy (and has a DVD player that can handle PAL discs), they have it for sale at the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Update: I purchased The Sentimental Bloke and another title from the NSFA online store, but according to my invoice, it looks like I paid for a digital download, not a physical DVD. The page for the film only mentions it as a DVD title (with special features and so on), so I'm not 100% sure if I'm getting a DVD and a download or just the download. There was no point where I was given a choice between physical or digital media, so I emailed the NSFA just to be sure.

If it turns out to be a burn-it-yourself project, that'll be a new one on me...
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Brooksie » Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:54 pm

s.w.a.c. wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:01 am
If it turns out to be a burn-it-yourself project, that'll be a new one on me...
Huh, well that's something new - I didn't know the NFSA does digital downloads. If it gets the films in front of more people, I'm all for it.

In a few days' time, on the actual anniversary of the film's public premiere, I'm going to publish a small guide to the film's locations - by no means complete, although there's a few I've uncovered that I don't think anyone has found before. I'll post the link to my website when it's up.

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by s.w.a.c. » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:49 pm

Brooksie wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:54 pm
s.w.a.c. wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 6:01 am
If it turns out to be a burn-it-yourself project, that'll be a new one on me...
Huh, well that's something new - I didn't know the NFSA does digital downloads. If it gets the films in front of more people, I'm all for it.
I emailed them right after my order went through to try and clear things up. I mean, they charged me an extra $12 over and above the cost of the films, so I can't imagine that's for bandwidth (and I haven't received an email with download links). I'll post something when I hear back.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Frame Rate » Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:20 am

Mike Gebert wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:21 am
One issue with Love Affair is that it fell out of copyright but the musical score was still under copyright, so there are PD versions out there with the original score scrubbed off and replaced, or simply gone so it feels like a 1930 movie.
Without access to the pre-mixdown dialog track, how could the film's score be scrubbed off?
Also, was there any actual threatened (or filed) litigation by a claimant of the music?
If only our opinions were as variable as the pre-talkie cranking speed...

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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:19 am

I don't know the technical aspects, but it certainly exists, and is referenced in Maltin's movie guide.
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Re: Gallery of Mastheads

Unread post by Donald Binks » Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:47 pm

Thanks Mike for putting up "The Sentimental Bloke" - at least someone in the world is celebrating the centenary!

As an aside, my father was working alongside C.J. Dennis, when both were in the Royal Australian Navy at the time "Den" was writing "The Sentimental Bloke" in his spare time - so whenever I see the film, I feel somewhat of a connection with it.

This film could really only be played to Australian audiences with its original titles as they would have been indecipherable to those unfamiliar with the Australian slang of the times. In fact modern Australian audiences would have great difficulty too as most of this slang is no longer in usage.

There was a talkie made of "The Sentimental Bloke" in the early 1930's, but the silent is the better of the two.
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