A Few Words About A few words about...™ Whoopee

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Robert Harris, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Samuel Goldwyn's Whoopee (1930) is an extremely important film historically, possibly the least of which is the direction by Thornton Freeland.

    A Samuel Goldwyn production, along with Florenz Ziegfeld. Eddie Cantor, who began his career on stage, and was a major vaudeville star, was a Follies veteran. Hence the connection, since Whoopee! was originally a stage show in 1928.

    Mr. Cantor didn't make many films during his iconic career. Between 1930 and 1936, he appeared in six films for Samuel Goldwyn. Another half dozen films between 1937 and 1953, and he was done.

    Great songs, including the iconic Makin' Whoopie, and My Baby Cares for Me. Musical numbers devised by newcomer Busby Berkeley. A young actress in the chorus, who we would later recognize as Betty Grable.

    Did I mention two-color Technicolor? The film was somewhere around the 15th entire production in the format, although other films had sequences in color. The cinematographers were among the finest.

    Lee Garmes
    Ray Rennahan
    Gregg Toland

    If you've not heard of them, do your research.

    Not PC, but of the times, the film is a great example of what was seen on screens 80 years ago.

    I believe the release of Whoopie is also the first generally available DVD first. While I'm certain that someone will correct me if I'm incorrect, this is the first film to be released on home video from original elements in two-color Technicolor.

    A fun film, and historically, an extremely important release from The Warner Archive Collection.

    While the master may not be new, it more than suffices for DVD, and Whoopee comes along with a...

    Recommended.

    More Please.

    Image - 3.5

    Audio - 4

    RAH
     
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  2. John Skoda

    John Skoda Stunt Coordinator

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    Can't vouch for the source personally, but there was a laserdisc of this put out by Pioneer Special Editions/HBO Video in 1995. It looked pretty good. Here's exactly what it says on the cover about the transfer:"We used the finest restored elements from the Goldwyn vaults. The transfer took place at IVC in Burbank and utilized a POGLE color-corrector employed on a RANK MARK III. Digital noise reduction (DVNR) was used, frame by frame, to eliminate scratches, dirt and bleeding. The colorist was Mike Volland."Disc was produced for laserdisc by Charles Kiselyak.
     
  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Already corrected, but thank you. It was also released in a special set of 50 or so DVDs, but not singly.

    RAH
     
  4. moviepas

    moviepas Second Unit

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    I have the Goldwyn/Cantor Laserdiscs. I was hoping this and other Cantors were going to be Blu Ray but.... like they have done so far with Wuthering Heights on DVD. One can be hopeful.

    Kid Millions might have been in that box set also which I couldn't not justify a purchase as I had 99% of the DVDs in my collection. I did have Kid Millions ordered from Canada when a single DVD was announced and three times, I think, I had it invoiced as shipped to me after I read it had been cancelled. The business soon went out of, well. business and disappeared, for what appeared to be the second time taking both times customers funds and points towards later purchases. A long story that the Canadian authorities refused to do anything about.
     
  5. Mike*HTF

    Mike*HTF Supporting Actor

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    An absolute joy of a film.
    I hope this means more Cantor films on the way.
     
  6. Paul Penna

    Paul Penna Supporting Actor

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    The WAC listings for both Whoopee and Kid Millions carry the standard disclaimer "... has not been remastered or restored for this ... release." Given Robert Harris's rave reviews, is it safe to assume these apparently existing transfers are more recent than those used for the laserdiscs?
     
  7. JoHud

    JoHud Producer

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    They were both released on a monster DVD set of random musical titles about 5 years ago, so they should at least be as good as what was offered there.

    With the Samuel Goldwyn titles overall, it'll be hard to say. I think when MGM had the license, they just released whatever transfers the SG company gave them and it might be the same situation with WB. SG might have done more recent transfers for many of these since the laserdisc releases.
     
  8. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    I think that Warner would require decent transfers and I also believe that the Goldwyn Estate wants to keep the library top notch as the the Wayne Estate does with their Batjac titles.
     
  9. JoeDoakes

    JoeDoakes Cinematographer
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    I read a book called Will Rogers, Performer that covered all aspects of Will Rogers show business career. One of the more interesting details in was that, during the period they were all performers with the Zigfield Follies, Will Rogers, W.C. Fields, and Eddie Cantor would travel together when the Follies had performances outside of NYC. Those must have been very interesting trips.
     
  10. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    . Haha. One roping, one drinking pineapple juice, and one rolling his eyes. I'm smiling thinking about it.
     
  11. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The Whoopee and Kid Millions transfers are not from the laserdisc era. They were both remastered about 3-4 years ago. They have not been digitally cleaned, but the masters are quite good.

    RAH
     
  12. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    Thanks for verifying what I expected. WHOOPIE look great and sounded good also. Both DVDs were better than the laserdiscs.
     
  13. Doug Bull

    Doug Bull Advanced Member

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    Damn, more expenses.
    Looks as if I'll have to retire the Laserdiscs to the attic. :D

    Doug.
     
  14. revgen

    revgen Supporting Actor

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    Unlike the Kid Millions disc, only the opening titles and credtis are hard-telcined. Once that part is over, the film is soft-telecined and looks nice and sharp.

    Very few 2-strip Technicolor movies survive and they are usually not in great condition. Whoopee looks exceptionally great and was definitely taken care of by Goldwyn. Great job by SG and WAC for making this available. Hopefully, more Cantor titles are forthcoming.
     
  15. Mike*HTF

    Mike*HTF Supporting Actor

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    Just a point of confirmation - are they in fact MOD or pressed?
     
  16. ahollis

    ahollis Lead Actor

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    MOD.
     
  17. Mike*HTF

    Mike*HTF Supporting Actor

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    Cheers for that
     
  18. Vic Pardo

    Vic Pardo Screenwriter

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    One of the bios of W.C. Fields, the one by Robert Lewis Taylor, relates a prank Fields pulled on Rogers during one of their performances. I won't relate it here but it was pretty funny.
     

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