ABBOTT & COSTELLO dvds and "...Meet Captain Kidd" (coming to DVD?)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Mark Walker, Sep 8, 2001.

  1. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    2011 EDIT: The discussion of "Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd" starts on page 3.

    I own several DVDs of Abbott and Costello films:
    Africa Screams (appears to be public domain)
    Buck Privates (Universal release via Image-Entertainment)
    Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (Universal release)
    Abbott and Costello Meet The Mummy (Universal release)
    Here is what I am wondering:
    Why does Africa Screams appear to be a
    public domain title, when it was made after Buck Privates?
    The picture quality on my DVD of Africa Screams S-U-C-K-S.... I suspcet
    because it is from a public domain release,
    mine is not from Madacy, but the picture quality would
    imply that! [​IMG]
    Are any of the public domain versions of Africa Screams better than others?
    Will there be a better version released through the
    studio that made the film?
    Also, what other Abbott and Costello films are
    worthy of buying on DVD, and from which manufacturer?
    Any information is greatly appreciated.
    Mark
    [Edited last by Mark Walker on September 08, 2001 at 11:26 PM]
     
  2. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    The copyright for AFRICA SCREAMS was obviously not renewed after the initial 27-year period, while it was for the other titles.
     
  3. Page

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    "Abbott and Costello In The Foreign Legion", "Buck Privates Come Home" and "In The Navy." are/were available through Image/Universal and the transfers are very good. (All three are OOP due to the contract between Image and Universal ending so they may be hard to find.)
    Shanachie Entertainment Company put out two DVDs of "The Abbott and Costello TV Show" in 1998. The transfer on those DVDs is VERY good.
     
  4. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    I'm wondering the same thing about the Three Stooges shorts comps produced (I think) by Madacy. I don't know about later shorts with Joe or Curly-Joe, but I can't imaging Columbia not renewing the license on the earlier Curly or Shemp shorts, particularly when they were so popular on TV in the '50s-'70s.
    While I wish Sony would issue the Stooges shorts chronologically, their last few compilations have been exemplary.
     
  5. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    If I recall correctly, the reason for a few of the Stooges shorts being public domain (Brideless Groom being one I remember off the top of my head) was not nonrenewal but that for some reason the copyright notice on some of the prints got left off. Under the old copyright law, that made it public domain (Disney didn't own Congress then the way it does now).
    ------------------
    "This movie has warped my fragile little mind."
     
  6. Marty Neudel

    Marty Neudel Stunt Coordinator

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    When are they going to issue "One Night in the Tropics (1940)" which has the "who's on first?" routine?
    Marty
     
  7. Rob W

    Rob W Supporting Actor

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    AFRICA SCREAMS was an independent production made away from Universal; this partially explains why the copyright was allowed to lapse. The rights were likely passed around over the years and no one was watching to renew the copyright.
    Too bad about the DVD transfer ; I have an Image laserdisc from several years ago that's of excellent quality.
     
  8. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

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    THE NAUGHTY NINETIES has a more definitive "Who's On First" routine, and we're still waiting for that!
     
  9. John Morgan

    John Morgan Supporting Actor

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    The old Image Laser of AFRICA SCREAMS was truly terrific. Obviously they had access to original materials as well as outtakes.
    The BUCK PRIVATES DVD is bad, in my opinion. It is from a reissue print and the Universal Presents has been taken out of the credits in the prologue because it was reissed by Realart.
    Ironically, tomorrow I think, AMC is showing an updated and newer transfer with all the credits in tack. The quality is much better than the DVD, so I suggest you tape it the next time AMC runs it.
     
  10. Page

    Page Stunt Coordinator

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    Supposedly The Roan Group (by way of Troma) is issuing a double DVD of "African Screams/Jack And The Beanstalk". Although a double version like this has already been released by Madacy and is a very bad transfer, the Roan Group puts out excellent DVDs that they spend time and money restoring and remastering. This release has been pushed back week after week, but "supposedly" it is going to be released in September of this year.
     
  11. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    Thanks to all have posted thus far regarding
    Abbott and Costello. Really I have been looking
    for the best copy available on DVD of Africa Screams.
    I have The Roan Group's version of Orson Welles' The Stranger,
    so I know a bit about them, and yes,
    I'd bet of all the "public domain" releasers,
    they'll make the most effort to get a decent print.
    Here's hoping. [​IMG]
    Thanks again,
    Mark
    [Edited last by Mark Walker on September 13, 2001 at 08:11 PM]
    [Edited last by Mark Walker on September 13, 2001 at 08:11 PM]
     
  12. John Sparks

    John Sparks Screenwriter

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    ...I have all the A&B's on laser that were released and "Africa Screams" is one of the greatest with outtakes, behind the scenes and stills...a fantastic laser. To answer your question, the best DVD version of "Africa Screams" is by DVD Matter entitled "Africa Screams" Silver Screen Collector's Edition". It's in a silver keep case and it's picture is just as good as the laser but without all the extra stuff. "Jack and the Beanstalk Collector's Edition" on laser is fantastic. It contains the only surviving color print of theatrical trailer, lobby cards, gloss stills, production photos, script pages, promotion and publicity materials, photos from world premiere, recreation of deleted scenes, complete audio from original children's record. I wouldn't waste my money on any DVD that isn't the same as the laser! Oh, yeah, the laser box set that contains "Ride 'em Cowboy/Who Done It/Buck Privates Come Home/Hit the Ice" has about 5-10 minutes of outtakes that are absolutely fantastic. They are a real treat because it's not written anywhere on the box....and last but not least, the DVD print of "Meet Frankenstein" is better than the first laser print but worse than the box set print...and I was hoping it was going to be the best ever, but since they don't restore them, the print they used was now 15 years older than when they used it for the laser, hence, a lousy PRINT!!!
     
  13. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    John Sparks-
    Thanks for your post, and WELCOME TO THE FORUM!
    (it looks like that was your first post).
    Anyway, I have found two DVDs of Africa Screams
    that appear to be using the same silver keep case
    that says "Silver Screen Collector's Edition."
    Neither say they are by DVD Matter.
    Here is what the techincal specs are on both DVDs:
    DVD 1
    Technical Information
    Release Information:
    Studio: Parade
    Theatrical Release Date: January 1, 1949
    DVD Release Date: May 12, 1998
    Run Time: 80 minutes
    Production Company: Master Movies
    Package Type: Polygram Case
    Discographic Information:
    DVD Encoding: All Regions
    Layers: Single
    Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
    Edition Details:
    • All Regions
    • Black & White
    • ASIN: 6305010471
    DVD 2
    Technical Information
    Release Information:
    Studio: Digital Disc Entertainment
    Theatrical Release Date: January 1, 1949
    DVD Release Date: April 1, 1999
    Production Company: Digital Disc Entertainment
    Discographic Information:
    DVD Encoding: All Regions
    Layers: Single
    Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
    Available subtitles: -
    Edition Details:
    • All Regions
    • Black & White
    • ASIN: B000007O1S
    Here is a image both DVDs appear to be using,
    which appears to be the cover you described:
    [​IMG]
    Does either ASIN number look familiar, or
    do any of the names "Parade," "Master Movies," or
    "Digital Disc Enterainment" appear anywhere on your copy?
    Any help most appreciated!
    [​IMG]
    Mark
    [Edited last by Mark Walker on September 14, 2001 at 07:59 PM]
     
  14. John Sparks

    John Sparks Screenwriter

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    Mark...the one I have is the exact front cover you show on your response thread. It says Catalog Number 5505 on the reverse. It even shows this on the disc. On the reverse bottom top left is a red "toilet seat cover" in a square, below that is a square that sez "Master Movies". To the right top bottom is a square with "B&W 1949 79 Minutes, below that is a square that sez "DVD Video" and below that is a square that sez "Paris Media System". Hope that helps!!!
     
  15. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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    John Sparks-
    THANK YOU! That was the information I needed!
    I will order DVD #1 above and see what I get.
    Warm regards,
    Mark
     
  16. Page

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    Just an update for those wondering about AFRICA SCREAMS.
    Troma has released AFRICA SCREAMS/JACK AND THE BEANSTALK.
    Both films have been restored by The Roan Group and these are the best versions available currently on DVD. Although not in the same league as say, "The Seventh Seal" restoration done by Criterion, "Africa Screams" looks MUCH better than my old Madacy version. There are no deleted scenes or extras on the disc.
    On my Madacy version of "Jack And The Beanstalk" the picture would "jump" because it was transferred directly from an old movie print via a VHS tape! The Roan version has no jumping and the black and white sections are tinted brown. The color sections show good color saturation and are not washed out like the Madacy version. Of course, the colors are not as vibrant as the restored "North By Northwest" DVD, but then few older DVDs are.
    MSRP is $19.99 for both films on a double-sided disc. (I picked up mine for $14.99 at a local B&M store.)
     
  17. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Cinematographer
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  18. John Sparks

    John Sparks Screenwriter

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    Mark Walker...thank you, I'm glad I could help. I'm going to pick up that Roan issue of "Africa Screams/Jack and the Beanstalk" and compare the "Jack" with my laser "Special Edition"...everyone makes out like a bandit!!!
     
  19. Paul Mazz

    Paul Mazz Extra

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    Did anyone ever do the comparisons?

    I purchased a Madacy version of Africa Screams/Jack in the Beanstalk - it was a cheap impulse buy at Best Buy, but the consensus seems to be that the quality is terrible. I plan on returning it. It the Troma release of these the best available? If so I will search it out. Thanks.
     
  20. John Sparks

    John Sparks Screenwriter

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    I never bought the Roan edition of AS/JATB to compare.
    Now that see this thread revived, I'm gonna try and find it. [​IMG]
     

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